1. The Orphanage (2007)
Easily in the top 5 scariest movies I’ve ever seen. The Orphanage is a mystery and a nightmare on an epic scale. It’s set in a home that used to be an orphanage for special children (scary location: check!) on a cliffside with secret caves (check, check) creepy kids, masks, ghost hunters, flashbacks and flashforwards that leave your head spinning. It’s a cliché, but truly nothing is as it seems. The suspense doesn’t stop and the ending only fills you with further dread. This film deserves Oscars for its craftmanship and storytelling.
2. Graveyard Shift (1990)
Brad Dourif as the exterminator, David Andrews plays the drifter, Andrew Divoff a bully, and Stephen Macht as the evil, power hungry foreman, all deliver pretty great performances in this made for TV movie. Both Nardello and Wisconsky are rare, fantastic female characters that round out the group nicely. It’s definitely one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations. But more importantly, THIS IS A MOVIE ENTIRELY FILMED IN A DECREPIT OLD MILL IN MAINE AND FEATURES A HUGE AND GROSS RAT/BAT/CREATURE THING!
3. Gags the Clown (2018)
The newest one on my list, because it really took me by surprise. This movie is anything but another killer clown movie or your overdone found footage flick. Gags is weird and funny and carries surprisingly deep undertones (also creepy as shit.) The story never goes where you think it will. It reminded me a lot of Trick ‘R Treat and it should be a required viewing Halloween this year!
4. High Tension (2003)
Dark, disturbing, and just badass. This movie has all the great moments you hope for when you watch a horror movie for the first time. The story is smart and the cinematography is engaging. They both play tricks on the viewers throughout the film. The gore is never shied away from, in fact they lean into it. This is an emotional and psychological horror movie and it stands out from the rest.
5. Tales of Halloween (2015)
I rolled my eyes at another horror anthology until I realized I love horror anthologies and this one was made for horror fans and casual movie goers alike. With films and cameos by all the usual suspects and cult favorites of horror, it really just made me happy to see these guys having fun. The stories aren’t overly complicated, some are genuinely creepy, and each one brings a little something different all while focusing on Halloween.
Natalie Pohorski is a freelance film, television, and game producer based in Madison, WI. She is a big horror fan and FEARnet alum, and now Camp Director for the upcoming Camp Blood Film Festival where campers team up to make a horror short in a weekend at a creepy, old summer camp – www.campbloodfilmfestival.com