If our math is correct (and we're not going to bother checking), you should be able to watch every single horror movie on our list before Halloween.
We love horror movies at the Weekender. We don't care how much or how little money is spent on these darn flicks as long as they scare our pants off.
Here is our list of the 30 best horror movies (in no particular order) to watch before Halloween:
The deranged Jigsaw Killer prefers to not outright kill his enemies, but instead play life or death games with his prey. The result is a franchise of films that enjoys torturing and mutilating its characters with outrageous mechanisms. The first film is arguably the best and offers a compelling story to boot.
Wes Craven helped revitalize the slasher genre with this self-aware flick that managed to cleverly combine comedy with horror elements into its cliche-ridden story. But that was the point. “Scream” satirizes and honors the horror movies before it and yet still remains a classic.
Speaking of classics, this wouldn’t be a true horror movie list without The Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Although his best-known film, “Psycho,” has certainly aged, we can’t help but still be frightened by Anthony Perkins’ character Norman Bates and his elusive mother.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Of course, you can’t celebrate Halloween properly without zombie movies. Today, there are tons of ’em, but we still enjoy George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” with a passion. It was ahead of its time and paved the way for more undead-inspired flicks. Best of all, you can watch this movie any time, thanks to the public domain.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
Romance and vampires? Must be thinking of “Twilight.” Get outta here. The true vampire romance movie is “Let the Right One In,” a story of a boy who develops a relationship with a young female vampire. The story is endearing yet horrific, but it’s always engaging. And the violence is brutal.
Fans of Quentin Tarantino often position this film towards the bottom of their lists of favorites by the director and that’s a real shame. Yeah, we admit it’s a slow start. But “Death Proof” perfectly pays homage to slasher, car and exploitation films from the 1970s. Once the action ensues, you’re hooked.
One of the best horror movies of all time, hands down. “Psycho” may have kicked off the slasher genre, but “Halloween” became the blueprint for all subsequent horror movies that became popular in the 1980s, like “Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” The film is still memorable to this day.
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
This film may not have spawned the found-footage genre (that accolade goes to “Cannibal Holocaust”), but it definitely popularized it. Thanks to a bit of viral marketing, we were duped into thinking this movie about student filmmakers looking for the Blair Witch was actually a documentary. It wasn’t. But it still scared the crap out of us.
Tim Burton needs to make more horror movies because “Sleepy Hollow” was a lot of fun. Loosely adapted from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Burton added his own stylistic flair to the story and even got his friend Johnny Depp attached to the project. The result is a mesmerizing and beautiful horror film.
Some may argue Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” should be on this horror movies list, but we feel “The Shining” is his true ode to the genre. Taking as many liberties with the story as possible, Kubrick adapted Stephen King’s novel of a crazed author into an iconic work of cinema.
Much like “The Blair Witch Project,” we all were duped into thinking the footage found in “Paranormal Activity” was real. When will we learn? The pacing and effects kept us on the edge of our seats until the bitter end, which still gives us the heebie-jebbies.
28 DAYS LATER
Apart from the super-fast zombies depicted in “28 Days Later,” the film manages to create a scene of pure, desolate emptiness in the most populous city in England and the United Kingdom. It’s a fast-paced horror show brooding with savagery.
Is this cheating? Nah. “Alien” is easily the most influential science fiction horror film in the history of cinema thanks in part to the eponymous alien’s design my H.R. Giger. The story is great. The characters and acting are great. Best yet, “Alien” still holds up to this day.
Science fiction horror can be hit-or-miss, especially if it happens to be released at the same time as the family-friendly “E.T.” However, “The Thing” remains a cult classic thanks to its stellar practical effects that still leave us scratching our heads and asking, “How did they do that?” The sense of paranoia and dread is strong in this movie.
Please, for the love of God, don’t watch the remake. Watch the 1963 version of “The Haunting.” The story may be a tad bit difficult to follow but the film is still unsettling and visually stunning. The film is brimming with supernatural horror and we love every second of it.
THE DEVIL’S REJECTS
Some may say the prequel “House of 1000 Corpses” is better, but we have to disagree. The campiness in the first film is fun, but the overbearing bleakness in “The Devil’s Rejects” is addicting. The Firefly family is full of wretched people who enjoy violence. We’re supposed to sympathize and root for these sick and twisted folk, but they get their just desserts.
The story behind making the movie is already eerie enough, but the actions that appear in the movie are just as disturbing. “The Exorcist” prompted theaters to provide barf bags for patrons back in 1972. The film is a masterpiece and was the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
If you don’t mind subtitles and an enormous amount of shaky camera, then you should definitely check out “REC.” Mixing found footage and zombie genres into a perilous melting pot was a genius idea. The English remake titled “Quarantine” is OK, but the original is vastly superior and has much better scares.
THE EVIL DEAD
Sam Raimi would soon become a household name among horror fans after the release of “The Evil Dead.” Never mind the overly campy sequels (which are still enjoyable), the first film is ferocious and demented. The remake is just as scary (but with more gore). It’s a strange horror film that’s difficult to watch.
DRAG ME TO HELL
After Raimi was finished with his “Spider-Man” trilogy, he returned to his horror roots with “Drag Me to Hell.” After a loan officer refuses to help a poor Romani woman, she winds up cursed and will be dragged to hell after three days time. It’s scary, it’s funny and it’s just flat out crazy.
And just like that, we were given one of horror’s most recognizable characters: Pinhead. Many horror fans were introduced to the body horror genre because of this very film and that’s for good reason. There’s no campiness in “Hellraiser,” which makes it all the more unsettling and gross.
Hollywood went through this phase of adapting scary Japanese movies for Western audiences -- dubbed J-Horror. Some, like “The Ring,” ended up working out. There’s barely any gore in “The Ring.” Instead, we’re greeted with hefty doses of creepy visuals and atmosphere. Seven days!
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Leave it to Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard to create one of the most memorable and unique horror films in recent memory. At face value, the film is about college students retreating to a remote cabin and falling victim to backwoods zombies. But it’s more than that. Way more than that. The film is wrought with dark humor and satirizes the torture porn genre.
SHAUN OF THE DEAD
Probably the funniest zombie movie in existence is “Shaun of the Dead.” This smartly written comedy pays homage to pretty much every horror movie ever made either with its clever jokes or frame-for-frame references. What? This doesn’t count as horror? Sure it does. There’s plenty of blood and guts in this film to make George A. Romero proud.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
Originals are fine and dandy, but the 1978 remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is damn good. The film is ripe with paranoia as a team of health inspectors discovers the human race is being replaced by alien duplicates. The copies are perfect apart from having no emotion. Who is a pod? Who isn’t?
Like him or hate him, Stephen King is extremely influential in continuing the horror genre. Hell, as long as he keeps making books, Hollywood can keep making horror movies. “Carrie” was the one that started it all. Those bullies made the biggest mistake of their lives: bullying the one person in their high school who has telekinetic powers. Oops?
This exploitation slasher movie tells the story of a young, traumatized girl who winds up in a summer camp where killings begin to happen shortly after she arrives. The film seems generic at first, but as the story unravels we are gifted with one of the most shocking endings in horror.
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
We can’t forget about werewolves! On paper, werewolves don’t seem to be all that scary. But thanks to the make-up effects by Rick Baker, that all changed. We were greeted with probably the best werewolf transformation of all time. The best part? It was all done with practical effects and makeup.
FRIDAY THE 13TH
The Jason Voorhees character wouldn’t show up until the sequel, but we still enjoy the first “Friday the 13th” film. It was a clever who dunnit that kept us guessing (and scared) for most of the movie. That final scare always surprises us.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Wes Craven’s Freddy Krueger is a horror movie icon. Robert Englund played him masterfully and he’s easily our favorite horror movie villain. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and its sequels are jolly good, bloody fun and extremely memorable. You’ll never want to fall asleep ever again. Or you’ll at least think twice about it. One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.