This comes as a shock to most people, but I am actually a huge horror movie connoisseur. It may or may not have something to do with the fact that my mom let me watch the original IT and Pet Sematary when I was three --IDK. Whatever the reason may be, I love them. Alas, not all of them are created equally, so these are 15 of my absolute faves that go beyond the classics. This list isn't in any particular order because I want to make sure you watch them ALL.
Proceed at your own risk.
This 2010 horror flick is one of the scariest films I've ever seen. It's especially creepy if you've ever had sleep paralysis because the movie shows some of the most common apparitions people see when they experience it. The film covers everything from astral projection to lucid dreaming and all things in between. The story line is solid, and the scares will leave you speechless.
2. The Babadook (Netflix)
This is an absolute must-see horror movie. It's weird, creepy, and haunting -- all in the best ways possible. It also made me not want children. I've only seen it once because of how eerie it is, but I think I'll have to go for round two this week before Halloween rolls around. This movie scored a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes for a reason.
3. The Houses October Built (Netflix)
Holy moly, y'all. I watched this one for the first time the other night, and I. was. not. ready. It has all of the thrill of going to a haunted house without the three hours waiting in line. ... Which is good because after you watch this, you won't ever want to go to another one.
4. Lights Out
This may be my favorite movie on the list, and I think it's because it's shocking how good it is. When I saw it in theaters, I really didn't know much about the plot, so I had v low expectations. Two minutes in, I was already sweating bullets and digging my nails in to my now-boyfriend's arm (love you, bae). If you see only one movie on this list, make it this one. There, I said it. Don't turn out the lights!
5. Honeymoon (Netflix)
This gem is super psychological, very eerie, and absolutely worthy of its place on this list. I am a sucker for an indie horror flick, so this one was everything I wanted and more. It's terribly tragic and emotionally disturbing. It also feels very personal because the couple is so relatable and adorable. The movie is thought provoking, and the ending will mortify you.
6. The Den (Netflix)
This 2013 thriller is not for the faint of heart. I randomly watched it a few years ago on Netflix, and it's just as horrifying the second time around. It's gory and voyeuristic with a surprise ending that will make you terrified of Chat Roulette. (Is that still a thing?)
7. Cabin Fever (Netflix)
Speaking of gore, this movie leaves nothing to the imagination. This campy horror film is equal parts awkward and freaky. It also validates my opinion that nothing good can happen in the woods. Never go camping, and never ever drink the tap water.
8. It Follows (Netflix)
This movie just gets it. It Follows is a unique psychological indie horror film that proves STDs aren't the only deadly thing you can contract from a sexual tryst. Everything from the surprising plot to the ambiguous time period to the spot-on acting makes this film the perfect mindf*ck.
9. The Strangers
This movie may actually be considered a classic by now because of how traditionally horrifying it is. It also further proves my point that secluded cabins are a no-go, guys; nothing good can come from them. Just make sure you don't watch this one alone. Trust me.
10. Creep (Netflix)
This movie is creepy AF, hence the name. Creep made me simultaneously second-hand embarrassed and terrified. It also made me never want to answer a Craig's List ad (not that I would anyway). I guess our moms were right -- we should never ever talk to strangers.
11. The Hills Have Eyes
Holy forking shirt b*lls. Sorry, but there's no other way to react to this one. It's disturbing to its core and absolutely horrifying. Like, please don't watch it if you are easily disturbed because this movie will emotionally scar you. I do recommend it, but only with a caveat: watcher beware. You've been warned.
12. Get Out
This film is incomparable to any other movie on this list. Get Out is smart, troubling, and surprisingly scary. The casting and acting is perfection, and it'll make you give your in-laws a second look. Everything about this movie is so wrong that it's just right. I've only seen it once, but I can't wait to watch it again.
13. Annabelle: Creation
This Annabelle movie is a million times more terrifying than the first. I honestly don't think I've ever been more freaked out in theater (with the exception of maybe Insidious). Dolls have always creeped me TF out, and this movie did nothing but exacerbate that fear. The haunting backstory of the doll makes the scares that much more intense. I'm not usually a fan of prequels, but Annabelle changes the game.
14. Paranormal Activity
Ok. I know I'm going to get a lot of hate for this one, but the first one was effing scary, guys! Mockumentary movies always get me, and this one is no exception. I literally didn't sleep with the light off for like three weeks after I saw it in theaters. I would say I'm embarrassed to admit that, but I really dgaf. Don't waste your time with the rest of the series, but this one is a classic possession story that will make you scared to sleep.
15. The Cabin in The Woods
This movie puts an interesting spin on how we view horror. It's campy, yet terrifying, and honestly one of my fave scary movies, ever. It's a fresh take on the cabin in the woods cliche that will leave you equally stirred and petrified. If you learn nothing from this list: never EVER go into a cabin in the woods.
Honorable mentions: Hush, It Comes At Night, The Conjuring, Gerald's Game, Jeepers Creepers, Drag Me to Hell, Annabelle, Insidious: Chapter 2, Would You Rather?, and The Invitation.