Ross Bonaime, Staff Writer

As Halloween rolls around this week, it is time to reflect on a yearly mainstay of the season: the scary movie.

While Saw VI comes out with its latest iteration on how to convolutedly kill people within a ragged plotline, I implore you this Halloween to check out some of the films that are actually frightening. With that, here are the top ten greatest scary movies.

10. Let the Right One In

Vampires may have regained popularity with Twilight, but this Swedish film did it much better.

Oskar is a kid who falls in love with Eli, a little girl who moved in next door, and just so happens to be a vampire.

The film succeeds by not glorifying vampirism and showing how horrifying and lecherous being a vampire truly could be.

9. The Blair Witch Project

This low-budget handheld horror film redefined how easily movies can be made and just how terrifying a movie with a small budget about three friends lost in the woods can be scarier than the typical big-budget horror fare. Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity – say thank you.

8. The Sixth Sense

Remember when M. Night Shyamalan was being called the next Hitchcock?

Before he made movies about killer air and swimming pool elves, Shyamalan made this eerie study of a child who could see dead people.

Shyamalan made audiences as scared as a little Haley Joel Osment and supplied them with one of the greatest movie twists of all time.

7. 28 Days Later

While George Romero became renowned for his world full of zombies, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later showed a much more realistic and frightening reality where zombies have taken over the world.

The story of four survivors working their way through England not only was creepy but also had a great emotional backbone to it as well.

6. M

One of the greatest serial killer movies of all time, director Fritz Lang utilized the chilling styles developed through German Expressionism used in earlier horror films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu and made this stunning look at a child-killer and the small town trying to track him down.

5. Scream

The best parodies work when the film is also an exceptional addition into the genre they are lampooning.
A perfect example is Scream, which builds on the audience’s previous knowledge of horror films and even uses it to trick and trap the characters within the movie.

Scream took a hilarious look at scary movies while also becoming one itself.

4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Like The Blair Witch Project after it, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre became a unsuspecting independent film that went on to revolutionize horror films and become one of the first slasher films.

The film follows a group of five friends on a road trip who end up in the house of a bizarre, cannibalistic family, protected by the horrendous Leatherface.

The audience has just about as much knowledge of what’s going on as the friends, and that combined with the iconic Leatherface makes this a great classic.

3. The Shining

If anyone could make a thought-provoking, intelligent, yet still unnerving horror film, it was the late, great Stanley Kubrick. Jack Nicholson leads his abused family into a summer resort to watch over it for the winter.

However, Nicholson starts to become unsettled by the house and starts to go crazy. The Shining’s study of Nicholson’s psyche as he drifts into insanity makes it not only a great scary movie but a great mind-bender as well.

2. The Exorcist

William Friedkin’s tale of losing religion and look into the depths of human psychology also created one of the most chilling horror icons of all time: Linda Blair’s possessed Reagan MacNeil.

In Friedkin’s exorcism, the camera stays in the room, forcing the audience to go through the same experience as the shaken priests.

The unrelenting, shocking film based on true events deserves its place as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

1. Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock was the master of thrilling, scaring and downright terrifying his audiences for six decades. The greatest proof of this is Psycho.

The story of Norman Bates who loves his mother too much, and his hotel, became one of the most recognizable stories in cinema history and still stands up almost half a century later.

Hitchcock defied traditional motifs and with this one film, helped model the entire structure of horror films from then on.