For your Halloween party, six horror movies that scared us the most.

This Halloween, we bring you the most hated (in a good way) horror movies of all time by our editors at HT Entertainment Desk. Consider these for your night out if you like spooky challenges. (Also read: Halloween: How the Ramsay Brothers, Kings of Horror in Indiacreated a genre with Veerana, Saamri and Zee Horror Show.)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

Jennifer Carpenter as the title character in The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Several horror films have been made around the world that are better and more memorable than The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The Exorcist was scarier, The Curse scarier, and Nightclaws more chilling. But Emily Rose had the perfect element to scare: realism. At the heart of the film, Emily Rose is a courtroom drama based on a real incident. The attention to detail in presenting the scientific and legal aspects of the story makes the element of supernatural horror all the more shocking. The film grounds the viewer in hard facts, before unleashing one of the most gruesome and violent scares in cinematic history. Jennifer Carpenter’s more than capable performance meant that, even 17 years later, the film continues to “haunt” me (and 3am has never been a safe space since first viewing).

Train to Busan (2016)

Gong Yoo and Kim Su-an in a photo from Train to Busan.
Gong Yoo and Kim Su-an in a photo from Train to Busan.

Train to Busan stands out from other films in the zombie genre with its gripping story. The action-horror movie takes place inside the confines of a train traveling from Seoul to Busan. Gong Yoo and Ma Dong-seok along with Choi Woo-shik face off against the army of zombies as they battle the undead to save their loved ones. With its thrilling plot, the film manages to create terror, as almost every scene brings a new twist. In addition to the tension in the film, viewers feel empathy for the characters. Seeing the characters transform in seconds, after being infected, I was horrified and terrified.

The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Bonnie Aarons as the demonic nun Valak in The Conjuring 2.
Bonnie Aarons as the demonic nun Valak in The Conjuring 2.

Between the evil spirit that lurks in the house, ready to prey on its next victim, and the paranormal investigators – Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) – who try to help a mother whose daughter presents with signs of demonic possession, The Conjuring 2 will leave you speechless, and you’ll sleep with one eye open. This part-horror, part-supernatural film is one of the most talked about and gripping horror films in the Conjuring franchise, which is loosely based on the story of the real Lorraine and Ed Warren. The events of this film unfold similarly to the first, in that the couple tries to get rid of the spirit that haunts the house. However, along the way, Lorraine has visions of a demonic nun (Bonnie Aarons). Personally, the nun, Valak, was one of the scariest spirits in The Conjuring 2.

Hereditary (2018)

Toni Collette in a photo from Hereditary.
Toni Collette in a photo from Hereditary.

Oftentimes in the horror film genre, we have the opportunity to browse the wide spectrum of horrific and outstanding acting performances. A24 and Ari Aster’s movie Hereditary falls into the category of the greatest actors of all time, whether it’s horror movies or otherwise. Simply by their chilling performances, Toni Collette, Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro create unprecedented feelings of dread, pain and paranoia.

Essentially, Hereditary is the story of a family of four, haunted by the secrets of their own grandmother. Sure, the severed heads, satanic rituals, ceiling railings and spontaneous combustions are enough to bring sleepless nights, but what lingers in the memory longer is the trauma each generation of a family has to carry, that’she whether haunted by grandmothers or not. Some of the standout episodes aren’t silly jumpscares but the screams of a grieving mother, a young boy who spends an entire night dreading in the morning, and that dining table scene for which Toni certainly deserved more than a few price.

Hereditary has stuck with me for almost a month and not in the ‘I can’t go to the bathroom at night’ sense. But in the sense “I wonder what my grandmother was hiding from us”. I hope she didn’t bring back demon kings from hell.

The Ring (1998)

A preview of the ghost from the 1998 Japanese film Ring.
A preview of the ghost from the 1998 Japanese film Ring.

The 1998 Japanese film Ring was such a game-changer in horror that it served as the basis for many Western installments and remakes of Japanese horror films, including the 2002 American film of the same name starring Naomi watts. The film tells the story of a journalist who embarks on a race against time to investigate the mystery of a cursed videotape which, if watched by a person, will lead to her death after seven days.

More than two decades and a new generation of moviegoers later, a quick look at the movie might seem like fun to regular fans of the horror genre who’ve seen memes based on the movie for a long time. A female ghost with damaged fingernails and long black hair covering her face, stepping out of television is nothing new these days, but the film pierced the hearts of audiences 25 years ago. Thanks to its black and white and hazy visuals that had an added impact, it was enough to make people, especially me, stop watching horror movies forever.

The Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead poster image.
Evil Dead poster image.

The American horror series Evil Dead offered audiences something new amidst the old possessed ghost stories, with female protagonists. Of all the episodes, The Evil Dead (1981) was undeniably the best at convincing people that ghosts are real, and unfortunately none of its sequels were able to recreate the same magic. Millennials may still remember the Book of the Dead and how Ash and his group of friends experienced horrific paranormal activity on their trip to a cabin in the woods. The film set the stage for horror films to come for decades, which often included a trip to the woods and a gang of nosy town friends trying to challenge a legion of demons and spirits. Its cutting-edge visuals are one of the reasons Evil Dead remains a cult choice for many horror fans, including mine. With a dose of subtle action mixed with sinister sequences like never before in the ’80s, the film is one of the greatest horror films of all time.

For your Halloween party, six horror movies that scared us the most. – The Inquirer 🇫🇷