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JoBlo.com presents: What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?

Oct. 31, 2013by: Niki Stephens

Happy Halloween all my favorite little devious schmoes! In celebration of the holiday, we here at JoBlo.com decided to compile a list of our favorite scary flicks to share with you, and in return we'd like to get some of your favorites as well. Check out the picks from our esteemed staff of writers, editors, columnists, all of whom love Halloween flicks, and everything that is Halloween!

I hope some of these gifs don't bring up some terrifying memories...or maybe I do...

Jesse Giroux:

PET SEMATARY (1989)
Pet Sematary isn't just a great Stephen King adaptation; in my opinion it is hands down the scariest film based on a novel by the horror writer this side of The Mist. The movie has ghosts, creepy kids and scary cats, but Pet Sematary's greatest strength is how dark and depressing it is. Bleak as hell and terrifyingly relatable (especially to parents) with themes of regret and loss, the movie features some visuals you won't forget (Zelda's back anyone?) and by the time the credits roll, you will definitely know why sometimes dead is better.

Paul Shirey:

SILVER BULLET (1985)
Maybe it's just because it carried over throughout my childhood, but Stephen King's werewolf tale based on Cycle of the Werewolf scared the ever-loving shit out of me, mostly because it was presented in such a realistic way. It's a film that has me looking over my shoulder in the dark when it's over. Everett McGill is frightening as hell and the late Corey Haim was surprisingly good as well. It has an eerie charm to it and the fact that they built the reveal of the monster to the very end made all the difference. And no, I'm not talking about Gary Busey.
Chris Bumbray:
VIDEODROME (1983)
One lazy summer afternoon- in the mid-nineties- around the time I was 10 or 11, I was flipping around the channels on my TV, looking for something to watch. My choices were slim. I could either watch HUDSON HAWK or F/X 2 for the zillionth time, or watch this movie called VIDEODROME that was playing on A&E (before they became slaves to reality TV). Wait a second, starring James Woods! Love that guy, count me in! Despite the fact that VIDEODROME was heavily censored for TV, the next two hours screwed with my head in a big way. As jaded as I was at that point, VIDEODROME was just too damn much for me. It wasnt that it frightened me, but I couldnt shake the image of Woods stomach turning into a VCR (never mind what it looked like, I had no idea back then), or long live the new flesh. It shook me up BAD. In the years that followed, I avoided VIDEODROME like the plague. Just seeing its box art in the video store was enough to shake me up, and I even avoided the music of Blondie for years, as Debbie Harry frightened me. Of course, I grew out of it, and I appreciate VIDEODROME for the masterpiece that it is (and for the record, I LOVE both Blondie and Debbie Harry), but Ive never been as unsettled by a movie as I was by VIDEODROME way back when. I just thank God it hadnt been DEAD RINGERS on TV that day; I might still be in therapy trying to get over it.
Niki Stephens:
SCREAM (1996)
I watched plenty of horror films growing-up. My Mom watched everything from the great to the corny. Then there was my Father who was always looking to be truly scared. There are plenty of movies that always give me a good scare but one that I always take in a viewing of is SCREAM. I thought it was a genius idea that was crafted from how we react to scary movies. "Bitch, why are you running up the stairs?! Don't do that!" Even the heroine knows that's a bad idea, but when a killer in your home is a reality, you don't have the comfort of sitting in front of the television screen. For all us movie fans, it called out our bullshit ideas and put them to the test.
Alex Maidy:
DON'T LOOK NOW (1973)
It is surprising how many people have not seen this artfully directed horror movie. Often categorized as a thriller, DON'T LOOK NOW feels right at home alongside movies like THE OMEN and ROSEMARY'S BABY. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie play grieving parents who take a trip to Venice after the death of their daughter. What follows is a dream-like drama that has a sudden and twisted ending that will leave you haunted for a long time to come.
Ammon Gilbert:
THE CONJURING (2013)
I don't know if this qualifies as the scariest movies I've ever seen, but it sure as hell is the scariest movie I've seen in years. James Wan directed a story we've seen a million times, from POLTERGIEST to AMITYVILLE HORROR, but he did it masterfully. knocking it out of the park on every level. From the creepy Annabelle doll sequence that kick-starts the whole movie, to the spooky things that happen when one sleep walks, THE CONJURING is chock-full of solid jump scares that, upon seeing it in theaters, simultaneously gave me a heart attack and made me pee my pants... and then did it again when I caught it this past week on video (a double-scaring effect which rarely happens). So if you're looking for a movie that will kill your sanity and make you afraid of the dark, THE CONJURING is it!
JimmyO:
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
There are very few genre films that manage to balance humor and horror quite as well as the brutally funny and terrifyingly suspenseful AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. David Naughton and Griffin Dunne play a couple of American backpackers who are attacked by some sort of beast. While Dunne is tragically mauled Naughton survives only to find himself turning a monster. The transformation scene is still fantastic as well the soundtrack, the witty script and yes, a ton of truly scary scenes. This is the perfect blend of fun and fears for Halloween!
Eric Walkuski:
THE EXORCIST (1973)
THE EXORCIST can't be topped. It's a cliche, I know, and I'm quite certain I'm not the only person on the JoBlo.com staff to choose it as my favorite scary movie (and if I am, I'll be shocked), but there's no getting around the fact that this movie works on every level. It's rates about an 11 on the visceral scale - who can forget Dick Smith's grotesque make-up, or those notes of sheer hysteria and horror conveyed by the top-notch cast - but its power goes even deeper than that. It conjures up our deepest fears: Fear of not being in control of your own body, fear of a loved one being tortured while you're powerless to stop it; hell, fear of the doctor - those scenes of poor Regan MacNeil in the hospital might be the creepiest of them all. A lot of the movies we see aren't able to evoke such vivid feelings of dread and dismay, and even fewer are able to prod those emotions out of you upon repeated viewings. I've seen THE EXORCIST more than 30 times in my life, and my stomach is churned each and every time. And I'd have it no other way.
Indiana Sev:
THE OMEN (1976)
U.S. Ambassador Robert Thorn (the late great Greg Peck) accepts the help of an Italian priest and adopts a newborn baby when his wife Katherine gives birth to a stillborn child. What this a-hole priest neglected to tell the good ambassador is that the babys mother was a jackal and oh, yeah, the child also happens to be the antichrist. Thus begins THE OMEN, one of the creepiest, realistic and moodiest horror classics that I have ever had the pleasure of watching at least once a year. The film features a chilling suicide, evil nannies, scary dogs and some of the most original kills youll ever see. Most of all, its the stellar performances by the elite cast that make this more than just your run-of-the-mill "scary movie." Harvey Stephens plays Damien (little boy Satan) and is so convincing in it that the name Damien is forever linked with this movie and the devil. My birth year, 1976, was the date of release of this movie which makes it all the more special to me. 2006 was not a special year as Hollywood decided to remake this legendary film. Do yourself a favor, if youve never seen the original, pop some corn this Hallow's Eve and check out badass Gregory Peck slowly lose his mind as he realizes his son is more than just an ordinary brat!
Jason Adams:
The Shining (1980)
My dad raised me on horror movies, mostly classic Universal Monsters or Vincent Price flicks. I'll always have a soft spot for those, but the one film he showed me that left a lifelong impression was Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING. You can make a case that THE EXORCIST is scarier, but THE SHINING sticks with you. I remember exactly where I was when I watched it, how old I was (too young), what the fabric of the couch felt like as I dug my nails in to it. No film has a more defined sense of unsettling dread. Every scene is just dripping with creeping hints of terror to come. Every performance is perfectly off-putting. There's never any relief or breaks to feel safe. And boy, did the bathtub sequence screw me up for life. It's also a testament to Kubrick that the movie's iconic moments and imagery are still effective and not watered down by years of overuse and parody. THE SHINING's a slow burn, especially compared to modern horror films, but also one of the most effective scarers ever made.

Okay, now that you've heard our picks, let's hear yours! Tell us your favorite scary movie below!

Extra Tidbit: Be safe out there!
Source: JoBlo.com

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+1
3:14PM on 11/01/2013

The Shining

and its not even close.
and its not even close.
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10:05AM on 11/01/2013
I can't pick one favorite scary movie. It's kind of a tie between eras: The Exorcist (duh), Pet Sematary and Session 9.
I can't pick one favorite scary movie. It's kind of a tie between eras: The Exorcist (duh), Pet Sematary and Session 9.
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10:40PM on 10/31/2013

Very nice choices...

I still remember when I was 7 or 8, flipping over to Silver Bullet one night during a thunderstorm just at the scene when the guy is searching the creepy greenhouse. Still feel uncomfortable going in one unless the sun is shining. Still, my favorites would have to be the original Halloween, Phantasm and strangely The Machinist. Even though it isn't technically a horror, it always freaks me out.
I still remember when I was 7 or 8, flipping over to Silver Bullet one night during a thunderstorm just at the scene when the guy is searching the creepy greenhouse. Still feel uncomfortable going in one unless the sun is shining. Still, my favorites would have to be the original Halloween, Phantasm and strangely The Machinist. Even though it isn't technically a horror, it always freaks me out.
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9:24PM on 10/31/2013
Event Horizon is my favorite
Event Horizon is my favorite
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6:58PM on 10/31/2013

old school but

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho both the scariest and my all time favorite
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho both the scariest and my all time favorite
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2:45PM on 10/31/2013
I loved seeing what everybody's favorite was and reading why. Lots of great picks here. Nice to see "Silver Bullet" get some love.

"An American Werewolf in London", Cronenberg's "The Fly" and Carpenter's "The Thing" are my top 3 favorites.
I loved seeing what everybody's favorite was and reading why. Lots of great picks here. Nice to see "Silver Bullet" get some love.

"An American Werewolf in London", Cronenberg's "The Fly" and Carpenter's "The Thing" are my top 3 favorites.
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1:28PM on 10/31/2013
In the Mouth of Madness/Event Horizon Sam Neill is one scary dude.
In the Mouth of Madness/Event Horizon Sam Neill is one scary dude.
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1:16PM on 10/31/2013
Some great picks here. I didn't grow up with horror movies, but I'm up for a good scare now and then. Since I was older when I started watching actual horror genre movies, it's more difficult to say I've been scared by them though Michael Haneke's '97 version of Funny Games is one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen. The final few minutes of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre caught me off-guard because I was expecting a more formula slasher, where the action is completely isolated.
Some great picks here. I didn't grow up with horror movies, but I'm up for a good scare now and then. Since I was older when I started watching actual horror genre movies, it's more difficult to say I've been scared by them though Michael Haneke's '97 version of Funny Games is one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen. The final few minutes of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre caught me off-guard because I was expecting a more formula slasher, where the action is completely isolated.

But if I were to tell you my favorite movie that actually scares me, you might laugh.

Okay, here goes.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Judge Doom just scares the crap out of me. I know I have him as an avatar, but you'd be surprised how many times I jump at my own posts. Chalk it up to seeing that movie way too young.
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+4
1:05PM on 10/31/2013

The Thing & The Innocents

Love the picks above. All worthy entires. There are soooo many that I love and that scared the crap out of me but these two really hold up well. Rosemary's Baby is fantastic as well, and Exorcist III, while not a great film, per se, is awfully creepy.
Love the picks above. All worthy entires. There are soooo many that I love and that scared the crap out of me but these two really hold up well. Rosemary's Baby is fantastic as well, and Exorcist III, while not a great film, per se, is awfully creepy.
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12:39PM on 10/31/2013
I love the original Halloween, more recently Rec and the conjuring
I love the original Halloween, more recently Rec and the conjuring
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+4
12:09PM on 10/31/2013
I'll keep it brief. All of these picks are great movies. Kudos.
My favorite is The Thing though, hands down.
I'll keep it brief. All of these picks are great movies. Kudos.
My favorite is The Thing though, hands down.
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12:06PM on 10/31/2013

Scream's opening scene wth Barrymore

I remember sitting in the theatre as a kid and watching the opening scene with Drew Barrymore. Everyone was quiet loving the dialogue between this mysterey caller with that voice we all know by heart now and this blonde haired girl. The camera lets you know that they're out in the middle of no where all alone. Very intimate. Then the moment where she asks why he wants to know her name and he replies back with ''because I want to know who I'm looking at''. Everyone gasped! Maybe my favorite
I remember sitting in the theatre as a kid and watching the opening scene with Drew Barrymore. Everyone was quiet loving the dialogue between this mysterey caller with that voice we all know by heart now and this blonde haired girl. The camera lets you know that they're out in the middle of no where all alone. Very intimate. Then the moment where she asks why he wants to know her name and he replies back with ''because I want to know who I'm looking at''. Everyone gasped! Maybe my favorite moment in movies. Just classic. Always holds a special place in heart. I got the biggest smile on my face and just knew this was going to be something special!
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11:36AM on 10/31/2013
Scariest movie for me is The Changeling with George C. Scott. The second and third act just scare me. However, I recently watched The Conjuring and Boy it's one scary ride! I'm sure years from now The Conjuring will sit on the horror shelves as one of the scariest movies out there.
Scariest movie for me is The Changeling with George C. Scott. The second and third act just scare me. However, I recently watched The Conjuring and Boy it's one scary ride! I'm sure years from now The Conjuring will sit on the horror shelves as one of the scariest movies out there.
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11:30AM on 10/31/2013
Phantasm. Very underrated horror film. If you haven't seen it yet then try watching it tonight. You won't regret it.
Phantasm. Very underrated horror film. If you haven't seen it yet then try watching it tonight. You won't regret it.
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1:29PM on 10/31/2013
awwwe yeah, Phantasm brothers.
awwwe yeah, Phantasm brothers.
11:05AM on 10/31/2013

Great article!

Don't Look Now...awesome pick and an awesome article. Only issue I'm having is the gif under Don't Look Now is actually from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nonetheless, Halloween would definitely be my pick.
Don't Look Now...awesome pick and an awesome article. Only issue I'm having is the gif under Don't Look Now is actually from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nonetheless, Halloween would definitely be my pick.
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11:22AM on 10/31/2013
You are correct! I had a hard time finding a gif for it but underestimated the power of Tumblr. All switched out now. Gotta love that that look on Sutherland's face, though!
You are correct! I had a hard time finding a gif for it but underestimated the power of Tumblr. All switched out now. Gotta love that that look on Sutherland's face, though!
11:04AM on 10/31/2013
Halloween is my favorite scary film of all time and always will be. The film is a masterpiece and it doesn't rely on gore to be scary which is one of the many things I really love about the film.

Great article.
Halloween is my favorite scary film of all time and always will be. The film is a masterpiece and it doesn't rely on gore to be scary which is one of the many things I really love about the film.

Great article.
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10:50AM on 10/31/2013
Awesome read. Totally agree with Don't Look Now. One of my favorite horror films and also really underrated. That ending gave me nightmares as a kid.
Awesome read. Totally agree with Don't Look Now. One of my favorite horror films and also really underrated. That ending gave me nightmares as a kid.
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10:46AM on 10/31/2013
Phantasm would probably be mine. Great article by the way.
Phantasm would probably be mine. Great article by the way.
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