Horror Selections for Everyone (Yes, Everyone)


Even if you aren?t a fan of the traditional slasher or ghost story ? or scary movies, period ? you can still enjoy the genre.

Horror movies tend to get a bad rap. Many are over-the-top in their violence, obscene in their gore and notoriously unkind to female characters. So when fellow pop culture vultures clam up at the mention of a fright flick, it?s tough to blame them.

But horror is experiencing a renaissance, thanks to recent subversive scares like Get Out, A Quiet Place and Hereditary. So a film fan who declares they ?don?t like scary movies? is at risk of shutting out one of cinema?s most artful, experimental and thought-provoking genres. While fear is subjective, not all horror is created equal. Even if you aren?t familiar with the slasher ways of Leatherface or Jason Voorhees or prefer to avoid torture spectacles like Saw there?s still plenty to delve into.

Below, a list of clever, plot-driven and some, flat-out gorgeous, horror selections from least to most frightening ? that are worth your while. We?ll also tell you how many lights to keep on after you watch.

The year was 1987: A time for scares and big hair.

The Lost Boys (1987)

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

What it?s about: A mother and her two sons move to a coastal California town where vampires rule the roost.

Watch if: You want to experience a modern classic with more style than scares. Schumacher (St. Elmo?s Fire) keeps this vampire tale grounded in irreverent comedy, which allows his Brat Pack cast (Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland) to shine.

Number of lights to keep on: ?


Underworld (2003)

Directed by: Len Wiseman

What it?s about: A powerful vampire becomes entrenched in a war between her own kind and werewolves ? and finds herself falling for a human whose sought after by the enemy.

Watch if: You?re in the mood for a modern horror classic. A perfectly cast Kate Beckinsale is equal parts terrifying, vulnerable and fierce as vampire warrior Selene.

Number of lights to keep on: ??

Tony Goldwyn and John C. McGinley star in The Belko Experiment.

The Belko Experiment (2017)

Directed by: Greg McLean

What it?s about: Corporate employees are at the mercy of an unknown voice coming from their office intercom system, which demands they participate in a game of Kill or Be Killed.

Watch if: You?re a bigger fan of survivalist action adventures than you are horror. Though things do get gory...

Number of lights to keep on: ???

In the Conjuring universe, dolls are people, too.

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Directed by: David F. Samberg

What it?s about: In the fourth installment of the acclaimed (and downright spooky) Conjuring franchise, possessed doll Annabelle, gets her own origin story.

Watch if: Even if you?re not familiar with the demonic Conjuring universe, Samberg (Lights Out) puts you in the mindset of the film?s young protagonists through their powerful, moving performances. If creepy dolls are a hard no in your book, however, this might be one to skip.

Number of lights to keep on: ???

Keep your flashlight close by for this one.

The Descent (2005)

Directed by: Neil Marshall

What it?s about: After her husband dies in an accident, a woman embarks on a caving expedition that quickly becomes a nightmarish fight for survival against mutant-like crawlers.

Watch if: You?re looking for a realistic, top-notch scare. Director Marshall (whose TV credits include Game of Thrones and Westworld) makes his audience feel as the characters do: petrified, claustrophobic ? and anxious around dark corners.

Number of lights to keep on: ????

Olivia Armstrong has irked many an internet surfer via Decider, Tribeca Film, HuffPo and Jezebel. The movie she first remembers watching is The Swan Princess. The second is The Shining.