As a genre, horror gets a bad rap. It’s seen as trashy, lazy, shocking for the sake of it.
But horror can, surprise surprise, actually be good. In fact, it can even sometimes be great.
So, to mark the beginning of spooky season, we’ve put together a list of 31 horror films that are actually good and worth your time seeing.
Watch one every day of October, if you dare.
1. The Blair Witch Project
The GOAT (that’s Greatest of All Time) of horror and the origin of the food footage horror as we know it today, the Blair Witch Project was so convincing audiences in 1999 actually thought those poor people got lost in those woods.
With Saw X set for release this week, it’d be rude not to. The first one is excellent. Trust me.
Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne star in Ari Aster’s feature length debut about grief, cults, and the horrors of the family unit.
An acquired taste but if you’re into it, you’ll love it. Two children awake in the middle of the night to discover their parents are gone, and all the windows and doors are missing. Watch with the lights off, and your phone across the room.
Mia Goth and her pals head down to a farmhouse to shoot some porn – the only issue is the elderly couple who own the land are… not the most sex positive.
Crazy plot and wild practical effects. Jesus wept.
A Turkish surrealist horror film that plays with time… and innards.
Okay, so not technically a horror, but a dramatic retelling of what would happen in Sheffield in the event of a nuclear war. It’s grim.
Before The Ring, there was Ringu; the Japanese techno-horror that introduced dead girls climbing out of TVs to the world. Only 10 times scarier than its US remake.
Bill Skarsgard and Georgina Campbell spend the night together in an Airbnb that’s been double booked. But there’s more than just them renting the space.
11. The Witch
Robert Eggers’ feature film debut starring Anya Taylor Joy, and probably one of the most impressive period pieces you’ll ever see.
12. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The grandpa scene. That’s all.
The prequel to X that was written in about two weeks, and may actually be more satisfying than it too. Mia Goth is incredible.
14. The Wailing
There’s horror and upset as a Korean town is plagued by killings following the arrival of a strange man. Featuring a bumbling police officer and lots of blood.
15. Evil Dead 2
This is a comedy. It’s also a masterpiece. A Farewell To Arms has never been so apt.
16. No One Will Save You
The newest addition to this list just landed on Disney+ in September, and it’s well worth a watch. An alien invasion in a zero-dialogue movie that doesn’t lose steam.
Florence Pugh may be Hollywood’s golden girl, but back in 2019 she was starring in an A24 horror called Midsommar alongside Ireland’s own Jack Reynor.
18. Saint Maud
An introverted, deeply religious woman takes a job caring for a dying woman and becomes obsessed with saving her soul. The final shot. Jesus.
19. Evil Dead Rise
The long-awaited reboot of the Evil Dead franchise finally came this year, and it was directed by none-other than our very own Lee Cronin. Be warned, there will be blood.
20. Talk To Me
Viral ghost summoning game goes horribly wrong, again and again and again.
21. The Shining
A Kubrick classic, and one that everyone should see at least once… whether they’re into scary movies or not.
If you could hold auditions to meet your next partner, would you? Judging by what goes down in this film, maybe you shouldn’t.
23. 28 Days Later
Cillian Murphy wakes up in an abandoned hospital following an accident to discover there’s been a zombie outbreak. Stunning shots of vacant London. Weird ending.
24. Infinity Pool
Mia Goth once again reigning supreme as the Scream Queen as she stars alongside Alexander Skarsgard in a film about rich people and the stupid things they do for fun.
25. The Thing
The dog scene. That’s it.
A Spanish camera crew end up trapped inside an apartment building with something less than inviting.
27. A Tale Of Two Sisters
There’s an American remake starring the girl from A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Don’t watch that one.
28. Enys Men
A woman living on an isolated island observes a rare flower for days on end… until she starts to question what’s real and what’s not.
29. The Descent
What is a scary movie without a solid helping of trauma? A group of gals head underground on the caving expedition of a lifetime, only to find that they’re not alone.
30. The Innocents
When a group of children discover they’ve got mysterious powers, they wait until the adults are out of sight to use them… not always for good.
Before Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends and Halloween H20 and all of those other questionable sequels, there was just Halloween – and it was very, very good.