Tip Tuesday — Scary Movies

One of the things I learned working in the media department of a public library with a massive film collection was that people like scaring the living chigooly out of themselves on or around October 31st.  What many people learned the hard way was that if you go to a video store or library the day before or the day of Halloween, you’ll have to be a little more creative when choosing a scary flick to watch.

More than once have I tried to convince a teenaged boy that Nosferatu would be the oogledy boogledy best scary movie to watch for his Halloween bash.  No takers.  No love for the original scary, the movie that started it all.  I bite my thumb at them.  Go to Blockbuster and see if Scary Movie 3 is in stock.  Ha HA!

Then there’s the grown men looking for a scary movie on Halloween night.  Umm… Nosferatu’s still here or you could try that one about the pride and the prejudice… The screaming, the running, the horror, the sudden fits of narcolepsy.  Works every time.

What are some of your favorite scary movies?  Here are a few that you may not have seen:

Nosferatu (1922) — silent, B&W, the original vampire movie.  Everyone should see this at least once.  It also makes a great background on a big screen during a spooky party.

M (1931) — Fabulous German film starring Peter Lorre as one of the all-time creepiest villans,  B&W, German with English subtitles.

Le Boucher (The Butcher 1970) — Another great murder mystery, French with english subtitles, directed by Claude Chabrol.  You will be freaked out by this well crafted thriller.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) — Kampy, silly 80’s horror flick.

The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) — Life is not complete without viewing this 50s horror film.  A giant brain from Planet Arous, held up by heavy wires, “floats” around and possesses the body of a well-known scientist.  The tagline reads “It Will Steal Your Body And Damn Your Soul.”Â  You cannot lose with this one.

Wait Until Dark (1967) — My favorite scary movie of all time, this film must be watched in a completely dark house.  Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman being terrorized by a team of international drug dealers.  There is no scarier movie.  Ever.  I’m willing to step up and fight you over this pronouncement or step up and dance you over it or EVEN freestyle rap battle to prove my point.  I’m that confident.

Now share yours.  Some ideas for younger kids would be helpful too.  Mine are all relatively clean as horror movies go, but much too mature in content for young family viewing.

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22 Responses to Tip Tuesday — Scary Movies

  1. Julie says:

    Amen to the Wait Until Dark nomination. There’s something so horrifying about her being helpless and unable to see her enemy. The ending of Rear Window is very scary for much the same reason except he’s in a wheelchair.

    As for young kids, my 4 year old thinks there’s nothing scarier on earth than the opening scene to Finding Nemo. We usually just skip that part and pretend that Nemo is an only child whose mother’s off on vacation.

  2. Tricia Smith says:


    You should try Hocus Pocus. I loved that one as a kid. It isn’t too scary for little kids. It’s more funny than scary. There isn’t any blood, but there is a lot of smooshing of a cat that can not die. He gets reinflated several times. It is a personal favorite of mine. It great, Bette Middler, and early Sarah Jessica Parker playing a very dumb blonde witch.
    BTW. You know me. I am Megan’s friend from High School. Remember me? I love your blog!

  3. Mary says:

    Wait Until Dark is a great one. But my favorite scary movie is the original B&W version of The Haunting of Hill House. Very intense, no gore, suspense, it has it all!

  4. tftcarrie says:

    My favorite scary movie as a kid (a little older kid. 10 maybe?) was Watcher in the Woods. I remember being completely freaked out by it. ANd then wanting to rent it every weekend thereafter.


  5. Lei says:

    Hocus Pocus is hilarious. Ditto that one for sure!

    Don’t forget good old Charlie Brown. 🙂 I get excited about all the great Peanuts Gang cartoons this time of year!!! I’m goofy that way.

  6. Heth says:

    Um….. how about The Princess Bride? That’s about as scary of a movie that I can handle. I can’t even hardly go rent nice movies because of all of the dvd case covers for the scary ones. They are so dang freaky! I know, I’m a total chicken.

  7. Becca says:

    Watcher in the Woods is about as scary as I can handle. And yes, I know it’s a Disney movie, but it was always our Halloween movie of choice. And I totally agree with Wait Until Dark. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  8. I want to know what a “living chigooly” is.
    My kids and I watched THE Nosferatu a few months ago, and loved it!, the freaky guy, the make-up, the whole thing was fun.

    “Wait Until Dark”-Superb!, so I won’t have to fight you, good.

  9. Amanda says:

    Okay, Watcher in the Woods still creeps me out just thinking about it. I’m a wimp, what can I say.
    I did like Hocus Pocus too. It is silly enough that it is not too scary. Charlie Brown is another good one.
    Wait until dark sounds like a good one. I like scary thriller movies that don’t deal with ghosts, blood/gore, or the like.

  10. Suzi says:

    The freakiest movie I ever saw, though I am not sure it wasn’t supposed to be camp, was “Sweet Charlote.” Weird, scary movie about a crazy lady in the South. It gives me the heebie jeebies still.

  11. Jessica says:

    I have never seen any of the ones you mentioned except Wait Until Dark, and I agree with you on that one. I also agree with the Watcher in the Woods nomination, that was about as scary as I could handle when I was younger, until I stumbled onto The Changling. Spooky story of a little boy haunting a house. I still get a little freaked just thinking of certain parts.
    BTW, Tricia’s mention of Hocus Pocus is a good one, but when she calls it early Sarah Jessica Parker, that makes me feel old for some reason. Probably because I consider Girls Just Want to Have Fun early Sarah Jessica Parker. Now THAT is a great movie 🙂
    Not at all scary though…..unless you are spooked by a young Shannon Doherty, and who could blame you?

  12. grammyelin says:

    I was going to say, “Wait Until Dark” It’s about the only scary movie I can handle.

    In high school, I was completely freaked out by “Something Evil” (It’s that cute little Mormon kid, Jodie Foster from “Family Affair” being possessed by the devil). Just thinking about it, still scares me.

    But K, I can’t believe you didn’t mention “Carrie” after your uncle introduced you to the …”Reet, Reet, Reet”.

  13. Yup on both Wait Until Dark and Watcher in the Woods. That movie scared me to death as a kid.

  14. Brooke says:

    I remember Lady in White scaring me pretty bad. And I was pathetically scared by Goonies when it first came out. Brian made me watch it for the second time a couple years ago. Not scary at all. I’m a total pansy. Try Scooby Doo movies with your kids. They are pretty good.

  15. Amy says:

    Night of the Hunter (1955)…black and white- very suspenseful, scary and excellent
    The original Halloween is the scariest for me (ooo the music). Psycho. Cape Fear. I saw Wait Until Dark at BYU at one their midnight showings, how fun was that.

  16. jodijean says:

    okay yeah wait until dark is the best, the first time i saw it i was in a dark house and i watched it alone, yeah prolly not a good idea.

    my other fave is lady in white. great great great scary movie. gets me every time.

  17. wendy says:

    I can’t handle scary movies, or really any really intense movie, which of course, means my husband loves that kind of stuff.

    I think I remember Casper the Friendly Ghost c.1994 or 1995 being kind of cute, but I could be wrong.

  18. Amen on your mom’s comment – “Carrie” is awesome and funny at the same time (poetic justice). Does that make me sick and wrong, thinking that Greatest American Hero, Eight is Enough mom and John Travolta all getting creamed is funny?

    My favorite scary movie is “Deceived” with Goldie Hawn, not so much monster- or killer-scary as make-you-paranoid-about-your-husband scary. And my husband once informed me that “Silence of the Lambs” was a good date movie – he enjoyed being clawed by the scared chick next to him.

  19. surcie says:

    I can’t watch scary movies. They really do a number on me, i.e., nightmares, etc. But the boy is enjoying all things Halloween this year, including Disney’s Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie, and the Great Pumpkin.

  20. Jessica says:

    You (and just about everyone else) stole mine, but I’ll say it again: Wait Until Dark. Freaked me out the first time I saw it: late at night and then just when the jumpy bit comes up someone actually did jump up and yell right outside our apartment window. Scared the tuna salad outta my roommate and me! So I guess I’d have to plug the (not intentional, but perfectly timed) “surround sound” version of the film 🙂 Other than that, I’m pretty much banned from watching scary movies. No backbone, I tell ya!

  21. falwyn says:

    I love Nosferatu! At my college it was an annual Halloween event, with accompaniment played by the college orchestra (and written by their conductor)… it was awesome.
    Growing up, we liked Ichabod Crane, and the Mr. Boogedy movies. Charlie Brown, of course.

  22. Tora P says:

    The original Phantom of the Opera (silent, b&w) always did it for me. When we were kids, our class trooped over to the library each year to watch it, and each year I was terrified.

    I love a good, reliable skull-faced man in a flaming, pipe organ-equipped underground cavern.

    But who doesn’t?

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