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Choose Your Own Scare

By Tara Bennett

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a scary movie or two. Whether you’re looking for a frightening date night flick or a spooky solo showing, here’s a guide to scaring yourself cinematically, one genre at a time.


This is definitely the most popular of the genre. The majority of slashers centers on a masked psychopath (sometimes of a supernatural origin) who goes about eviscerating their favorite prey: teenagers.

Classic examples: Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Also try: Hills Have Eyes, Hatchet, Wrong Turn, The Strangers, You’re Next



This genre focuses on well-known creatures of myth and legend or the creatures who became really famous in the 30s such Dracula or the Wolfman. While these creatures vary by sub-genre, they all share a taste for human flesh.

Classic examples: Frankenstein, The Mummy, Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula

Also try:  Pumpkinhead, Tremors, Feast, Alien, The Thing



The paranormal and the fear of the unknown is a natural topic of horror. From ghosts to demons and even witches, these movies usually have some pretty good scares.

Classic examples: The Woman in Black, Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist, The Ring, House on Haunted Hill

Also try:  The Haunting, Scanners, 1408, Event Horizon, Hausu



Psychological horror feels the most real since it features the work of humans that have lost all mental faculties or are facing exceptional situations. Often linked with the thriller genre, these films build most of their horror around psychological tension.

Classic examples: Psycho, The Wicker Man, Identity, The Descent, Saw

Also try: Cube, May, The Ward, Frailty, Red State



Zombie’s films could be part of the monster genre, but the sub-genre has been exploited so much that it now deserves its own separate genre. If it features people rising from the grave or being infected with a rage virus, it may be a zombie film.

Classic examples: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, Zombie

Also try:  Shivers, REC, 28 Weeks Later, Pontypool, Flight of the Living Dead



While this genre can be linked to pretty much all the genres mentioned above, many of these films feature an insane amount of gore, emphasizing especially on the blood and body parts. Not for the squeamish.

Classic examples: Evil Dead, Blood Feast, The Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, Hostel

Also try: Dead Alive, Martyrs, Cannibal Holocaust, Ichi the Killer


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