The 10 Best Scary Movies Since 2008
If ever there was an appropriate time to lock your doors, turn on all the lights, and spend an entire weekend watching movies so scary they'll make you repeatedly pee in your pants… well, let's just say that this would be a good moment to make sure you're well stocked with rubber underoos, my friend. 'Tis the season for headless horsemen, haunted houses, and all other manner of horrorshows — and because we want you to enjoy it, we've curated a list of ten awesomely must-watch-worthy scary movies to come out in recent years. We've got ghosts! We've got zombies! We've got pretty young ladies creeping around big, rickety houses full of monsters that you just know are gonna suck out their innards like so much spaghetti! And if you're in need of a solid screamer, look no further than...
The movie: Grave Encounters
The premise: Found footage tells the story of the cast and crew of a "Ghost Hunters"-style reality show, who get more than they bargained for while filming an episode in an abandoned asylum.
Why we love it: The budget for this movie was, like, a dollar (or at least, it was very small)—but after a long slow burn at the start, the scares are bigger, bolder, and better-executed than any multimillion-dollar blockbuster.
The movie: Let the Right One In
The premise: This film was remade in the U.S. as "Let Me In," but the Swedish original is way better. Set in the vast, snowy landscape of Scandinavia, it explores the budding bestie relationship between a young boy and the mysterious girl who moves in next door… and who only comes out at night.
Why we love it: We like our vampire love stories best when the vampires don't freakin' sparkle, okay?
The movie: Insidious
The premise: A young couple moves houses to escape the haunting that has stricken their son with a mysterious illness—only whoops, because to use the movie's most-quotable teaser, it wasn't the house that was haunted.
Why we love it: It's a movie that finally uses Tiny Tim's song, "Tiptoe Through the Tulips," for the purpose for which it was clearly intended: scaring the crap out of people.
The movie: Sinister
The premise: A box of videotapes found in the attic of his new home leads a father (Ethan Hawke) to uncover a string of gruesome family murders.
Why we love it: The premise is silly, but Ethan Hawke is so gifted at playing a stupid, stupid man, it's not even a stretch to believe that he'd find a box of snuff films in his house and not call the police immediately.
The movie: The Awakening
The premise: In 1921 England, an expert on supernatural hoaxes visits a gothic boys' boarding school to debunk its purported haunting — and stumbles into something she cannot explain.
Why we love it: Atmospheric, romantic, and skewing creepy rather than gory; can anyone say, "date movie"?
The movie: The Uninvited
The premise: A girl (Emily Browning) returns home, having spent a year institutionalized following the death of her mother. But mysterious events continue to plague her, and there's something sinister about her father's new girlfriend...
Why we love it: It's terrifying, but more importantly, it's Elizabeth Banks (as in, Effie from The Hunger Games!) in the role of the evil stepmother.
The movie: Quarantine
The premise: A reporting team doing a ride-along with the local fire department find themselves locked into an apartment building, where the residents have turned violent and psychotic after infection with an unexplained virus.
Why we love it: No spoilers, but let's just say that the final scene in the building's attic will haunt you for weeks.
The movie: The Cabin in the Woods
The premise: A shy girl, a stoner, a jock, a nerd, and a sorority queen head for a remote cabin in the woods where nothing bad could possibly happen… right?
Why we love it: Joss Whedon's entry into the "summer slasher" genre, this movie is wildly inventive, funny, and full of expert winks and nods to its various predecessors. Also, MERMAN.
The movie: Dead Snow
The premise: Two words: Nazi zombies.
Why we love it: Two words: NAZI ZOMBIES.
The movie: The Woman in Black
The premise: A young, widowed lawyer is sent to a remote English village in order to put the affairs of the recently-deceased Mrs. Drablow in order. But when he arrives, he finds the villagers prickly and the house apparently occupied by an angry ghost.
Why we love it: Harry Potter, all grown up and hunting ghosts in Edwardian dress? If there's anything better than this, we don't want to hear about it.
What's YOUR favorite scary movie from the past five years?