“The Hills Have Eyes”.  Official Facebook image.
“The Hills Have Eyes”. Official Facebook image.

Perfect scares for this Halloween

Director Kevin Smith, host of this year’s “Fearfest” on AMC, says that people are attracted to horror movies because being scared is a way for us to feel alive.

“There aren’t many human experiences that can match the terror we feel while watching a horror film.”

With Halloween approaching, it’s time to watch some of your favorite movies. Whether you’re into possession flicks or gory numbers, here are just a few horror staples that are sure to keep you scared this holiday.

1. “The Exorcist” (1973) A doe-eyed young girl (Linda Blair) is possessed by the devil in this cult classic that went on to receive Academy Award nominations, a noteworthy feat for any horror film. You’ll never look at pea soup the same way again.

2. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) Smith calls the original “still one of the greatest independent films ever made and most successful, plus a straight-up horror movie.” The infamous Leatherface was created by taking fragments from the story of real life serial killer Ed Gein.

3. “Halloween” (1978) The John Carpenter slasher film classic was made for $320,000 and introduced Michael Meyers and Jamie Lee Curtis to the world.

4. “The Shining” (1980) This Stanley Kubrick adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name, stars Jack Nicholson in one of his most famous roles as Jack Torrace, a writer driven mad by the hotel his family are named caretakers of.

5. “Scream” (1996)  Wes Craven directed this film that revived the slasher genre for a new generation, and features a killer named “Ghostface,” who kills teenagers under the guise of horror movie rules.

6. “28 Days Later” (2002) Featuring rage-infected zombies, the story takes off four weeks after a mysterious virus spreads throughout the UK, and a handful of survivors try to find a safe haven.

7. “Haute Tension” (2003) This gory French thriller follows two college friends, Maria and Alexa, after the former’s family vacation house is invaded by a mysterious killer.

8. “Saw” (2004)  The film that birthed an entire “torture porn” genre is surprisingly light on gore. What it does brilliantly is let the mind wander at the right time. After all, our imagination can conjure up much more than anything Jigsaw can put up on a screen.

9. “The Hills Have Eyes” (2006) With the tagline “The lucky ones die first,” this remake pairs “Haute Tension” director Alejandro Aja with a Wes Craven ‘70s classic, and makes for a gory  ride that pits a vacationing suburban family against a family of inbred mutants in an abandoned desert town.

10. “Paranormal Activity” (2007) Filmed at a Rancho Penasquitos home under an unbelievable budget of $15,000, this film utilizes the found-footage genre and blends elements from “Poltergeist” and with a little demon possession thrown in.

11. “Insidious” (2010) Tired of gore? “Saw’s” writing and directing team of James Wan and Leigh Whannel pair up for this suspense-driven supernatural flick about a family driven to save their comatose son after he slips into a paranormal realm called The Further.

12. “I Saw the Devil” (2010) In recent years, South Korea’s garnered attention for the popularity of its revenge films. A dedicated secret agent, Soo-hyeon (Byung-hun Lee), fights to abstain from becoming a monster himself after the murder of his pregnant fiancee at the hands of a serial killer named Kyung-chul (Min-Sik Choi). Kyung-chul is utterly remorseless, introducing audiences to one of the most frightening villains in recent years.

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Perfect scares for this Halloween