Scary movies are an oddity. You know exactly what you’re buying into. You are purposedly watching a movie that is going to make your heart race, cause you to jump, and will probably give you nightmares. Even knowing they you simply can’t resist a good scare. Thankfully, there is no end of scary movies to put into rotation during Halloween or any time you want that scare. Have these movies scared you?

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist holds the distinction of being the highest-grossing R-rated horror film ever. It was also the first of its genre to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. If you look back at the history of The Exorcist when it first came out you will find stories of mass hysteria and widespread reports of fainting and nausea among the audiences. That only fueled the success of the movie. As for the story, it is a familiar one by today’s standards of a little girl being possessed by the devil. However, this was the original and became the standard.

The Conjuring (2013)

Director James Wan had already made a name for himself with such horror classics as Saw, Dead Silence, and Insidious. What makes The Conjuring unique is that it is “inspired-by-true-events.” It concerns the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. This is the duo that delved into the stories that inspired The Amityville Horror (another scary film to add to your list!). There are enough freak-out moments in The Conjuring that it has spawned its own cinematic universe.

The Shining (1980)

If you think of horror, then you think of Stephen King. His novels continue to be adapted for the big and little screen. Features like Carrie, Misery, and Pet Sematary are all prime examples of King’s scary imagination. But among his novels, The Shining stands out as a gripping terror fest from start to finish. It was the Shining hotel that “possessed” Jack and once it took hold, there was no turning back. Add in evil twins and blood-filled elevators and you’ve got a great scare ahead of you.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Before there was Jason, Michael Myers, or Freddy, there was Leatherface. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a gritty film based loosely on real-life serial killer Ed Gein. It was directed and co-written by Tobe Hooper and unleashed the “slasher” genre of horror films. It was also filmed in such an authentic way that audiences were left with the creepy feeling that “This could happen to you.” That just intensifies the scares!

The Ring (2002)

True devotees of the film know that there is a wide world of horror cinema unspooling beyond our shores. For the typical American audience, it is the remakes that introduces them to these stories. Such is the case with The Ring. It was a remake of a Japanese horror film directed by Hideo Nakata. The story concerns a “cursed” videotape (remember those?) and a ghostly girl who comes to life for every viewer of that video. Genuine scares all around.