It’s officially spooky season! With Halloween quickly approaching, there is nothing more appropriate than horror flicks. Each year is met with new scary films to scare a fresh generation of movie lovers. However, there is nothing like the classics of the genre that still have the ability to make us jump in fear.
Today, we pay homage to our favorite horror films that have us checking our doors at night years after their release.
Candyman – 1992
No Halloween is complete without looking into the mirror and chanting “Candyman” five times to summon this fictional character. According to the film, the hook-handed ghost would appear upon hearing his name and take the lives of those who dared to disturb him. What made the movie so disturbing is the real-life basis of it. “Candyman” immortalized the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago, where most of the killings were committed in the movie. Outside of its onscreen depiction, the housing project was notorious for crime and became the poster child for the neglect of public housing in America. This only further fueled the legend of “Candyman,” making him one of the most cherished slashers in horror history.
When a Stranger Calls – 2006
“When a Stranger Calls” sent chills through moviegoers who had to return to an empty home after seeing this thriller. Centered around a young woman who receives creepy calls throughout the night while working as an in-home babysitter. The caller torments the terrified sitter, tracking her every move as she desperately tries to stay alive throughout the night. Though a remake of Fred Walton’s 1979 movie of the same name, the 2006 version sticks out in the minds of most and causes nightmares to this day.
The Exorcist – 1973
Though multiple remakes have come, there will never be another movie like “The Exorcist.” Made before CGI and fancy production technology were a thing, this supernatural jump scare pulled off a perfect depiction of a possessed young woman that was so disturbing, the U.K. banned it in certain areas. Now 49 years later, it’s nearly impossible to watch this iconic horror flick without screaming.
Scream – 1996
A cultural icon like none other, “Scream” is one of the most beloved slasher films in history. The first flick, which debuted in 1996, saw so much success that four additional sequels followed. MTV even reimagined the franchise into a series that debuted in 2015 and remained on air for three seasons. Each year, Halloween is celebrated by millions who dress up as the famous knife-wielding villain that stalked the characters in each film, slaughtering them one by one.
It – 1990
Before Gen Z met Pennywise, OG horror fans were introduced to the killer clown in 1990. The unique two-part television film terrified children and parents for years, turning one of the most innocent characters of childhood into a vicious monster that targeted the youth. “It” got a makeover as a feature film in 2017 and again in 2019. Though the newer versions have attracted their own fanbase, the original ABC television production is much more terrifying.
Pro tip: Watch any of these alone with the black-out curtains closed for maximum scare potential. Enjoy!