When Halloween rolls around each year, me and my friends and family always watch scary movies and hand out candy to trick or treaters—pretty traditional stuff, and always a lot of fun.
This past year, however, one of my friends posed a question to everyone present, asking us what were the scariest horror movies we had ever seen. I had to think about this one for a while, because I have seen so many scary movies, but eventually we all had our answers and took turns discussing our picks.
I got things started with “The Shining.” I first saw this movie when I was a teenager, and now, 20 years later, it still scares me. From the opening music, which is from Hector Berlioz’ “Symphonie Fantastique,” to the halls of the hotel filling with blood, to the bathroom scene with the corpse, it is without question one of the scariest horror movies of all time.
My wife chose next, and for her the scariest horror movie of all time was “The Exorcist.” We are both Catholic, and I think it might take on an especially frightening tone with us, but I had to agree with her that it was definitely one of the scariest movies I had ever seen.
My brother chose next, and he said for him, “The Amityville Horror” was among the scariest horror movies he had ever seen because he first saw it when he was a boy. He said that he had nightmares about it for weeks after he first saw it, and said that it was actually difficult for him to watch it now because of all of the memories it conjured up.
My sister, who is a bit younger than the rest of us, said of all the horror movies she had ever seen, “Final Destination” was the scariest for her. She said the concept of it fascinated her, and said the feeling of utter hopelessness and despair definitely added to its scariness.
One of our friends mentioned the movie “The Ring,” and another couple talked about “It” as being the scariest horror movie he had ever seen. He said a lot of the scariness for him, like my brother, was that he saw it when he was a child, and used to have to ask his dad to check his closet before he went to sleep to make sure there were no scary clowns in there.
There are many scary movies, and opinions about the scariest horror movies are going to vary, but there do seem to be a few that stand out from the rest. Movies from the “Friday the 13th” series or “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” for instance, were scary when we were children, but none of us counted them among the scariest movies we had ever seen. Those are reserved for the ones that you see and never forget as long as you live.