Halloween is almost upon us, and for many of us this means spending the nights scaring the piss out of ourselves watching scary movies. Maybe you will find a companion to brave the silver screen of horror with you, or maybe you will do it all on your own.  Whether you decide to hit the theaters, sit at home, or do a bit of both, there will be plenty of flicks to choose from. This year, theater hits like Sinister and Paranormal Activity 4 are surely going to make audiences lose sleep. However, if it’s your couch you decide to bring the fear at, then look nowhere else for your menu serving  the Best Halloween Movies of All-Time…

Halloween (1978) – This list couldn’t begin without the film that spawned several sequels and made Michael Myers a horror icon.  When he escapes from the mental institution, puts on that pale white expressionless mask and mechanics jumpsuit, then wields that broad blade kitchen knife while stalking a young Jamie Lee Curtis – sitting home alone was never the same.

Friday the 13th (1980) –  Another one that also spawned several sequels along with some remakes, not to mention several superstitious Fridays of the same date, this film made campers think twice about pitching their tents. If you saw this one, you probably tuned into the sequels and witnessed the birth of Jason Voorhees and his famous hockey mask – another Halloween horror icon, and an simple costume you could easily imitate this year.

The Exorcist (1973) – This film might be a little hard to watch by yourself. Complete with head twisting, green puking, crucifix stabbing, and plenty of demon possession to keep your lights on forever. Any movie that’s still scary after four decades definitely deserves to be on the all-time list.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – If a man in a red striped sweater with knives for fingers and a burned face rings any bells, then you’re familiar with Freddy Krueger…or an imposter. Then again, it is Halloween and fakes are allowed.  However, if you are recognizing Freddy from your dreams, then you may have a problem.  Just ask Johnny Depp as he was one of the first victims in this movie about a child murderer who is lynched by parents and gains the ability to stalk their children through their dreams.

Dawn of the Dead (2004) – This remake of the original film was one of the few film remakes that was actually better and scarier than its original – to say the least.  The fact that the zombies were much quicker and stronger than the first ones was enough to make this film a must-see if you are looking for plenty of gore, lots of ugly dead people, and upbeat suspense with a great cast and plot.

28 Days Later (2002) – Yes, Halloween has a habit of bringing out the zombies and even though there are a ton zombie films available, there are not many that can provide you with great acting and screenwriting. This film brought a different type of zombie – based in England, it is about a mad-cow type of disease that originates from crazed monkeys before taking over the world slowly. It also spawned a decent sequel and both come with superb acting and screenwriting, making these films promising in the zombie hall of fame.

The Blair Witch Project (1999) – The film was one of the first to use “reality based drama” as a point of view to tell its story. It’s about a group of student filmmakers making a documentary on a witchy legend who end up getting lost in the creepy forest where they are researching. The movie garnered a lot of attention with its limited use of CGI – in fact, I don’t think it had any. Yet its ability to scare audiences out of their skivvies with its simple use of camera trickery and simple noises put this film on the horror map. The acting wasn’t bad either considering they used complete unknowns as they were clearly swinging for the fences on this one. It takes great acting when someone can cry the snot right out of their noses and have the camera catch every bit of it.

Psycho (1960) – Norman Bates and his delusions about his crazed mother makes it tough to stay at any motel along the lonely highways these days. Need we say more? If you haven’t seen this one and you do decide to stay in a creepy motel along a lonely highway someday – take the advice and don’t take a shower. Just trust us on this one.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) – The film might actually be scarier than the original Exorcist mentioned earlier. With a superb cast starring Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson, the film went to the extent about a young woman who may or may not have been diagnosed incorrectly as a demon possession.  You can be the judge – however the scenes of possession played by Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter will probably keep you up for many nights.

The Amityville Horror (1979) – Based on a true story, which is scary in itself, a family moves into a house with a curse from the murdered hacked-up family that lived there before. Yes, they did a remake in 2005 starring a brooding Ryan Reynolds, but there was something very creepy about the original that the remake just couldn’t emulate.

Pet Cemetery (1989) – When it comes to Stephen King, chances are rare that his novels will rarely disappoint as films. Although seldom does a film compare to its novel – this film lived up to its adaptation.  It’s about a grieving father who decides to bury his dead child in a pet cemetery that was once an Indian burial ground – and we all know what happens when you mess with an Indian burial ground!  If you choose this one to watch, be sure to catch the scenes with the sister with scoliosis – very creepy stuff.

Scream (1996) – Starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette along with a slew of other known actors, this movie has to be listed as one of the best American slasher films. It embodies everything you would want from a campy classic horror story. Plenty of suspense, mystery, and twists that will jump out at you in every scene – which also comes complete with a scary grim reaper costume that also became an iconic Halloween costume. Definitely rent this one if you are looking for some fun horror with a great cast without leaving you in need of psychological counseling, which might be the case if you choose any of the other above titles.