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Old Scary Movies That Are Worth Watching

Old Scary Movies That Are Worth Watching

By Alicia Thomas

WE CAN'T STAYYYYYAND when our parents make us watch movies that were popular when they were young. It's like they never stop gushing about how amazing it is when the "special effects" consist of cellophane and wire, and the acting is wretched. THIS times ten bajillion when it's a horror movie that you're watching, with a few exceptions! Some old horror movies are classics for a reason—they'll scare the pants off you as much as they scared the parachute suits and scrunchies off your parents in the past. Check out these oldie-but-goodies!

1. Friday the 13th (1980)

This film is responsible for the fear that strikes you in the dark middle of night at sleepaway camp. The movie starts off in 1958 at a campground, when two camp counselors sneak off to get freaky with each other and are murdered. Twenty-one years later on Friday, June 13th, 1979, a group of teen counselors return to Crystal lake in hopes of re-opening the camp ... BUT THE KILLER STRIKES AGAIN. We're not going to spoil anything, but we DO recommend that you cover your mouth at the end when a certain someone is on the lake in a boat on her way to the police (just in case your neighbors hear you screaming in terror and call the police themselves).

2. Suspiria (1977)

Don't even bother turning the lights off for this one, lest you start imagining pairs of eyeballs staring at you through the darkness of your living room. A poor American ballerina travels to Germany in hopes of attending a competitive dance academy, and is greeted with murders involving knifes, rope, and stained glass. Innovative? Yes. Horrifying? Also yes. Parts may have you scoffing at the over-the-topness of the plot, but you'll mostly just be squealing in fright like a hurt fan belt. Seriously, leave the lights on.

3) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Have you heard that creepy jump roping rhyme, "One, two, Freddy's coming for you..."? If hearing that song doesn't give you the heebie-jeebies, then you definitely need to watch this movie. Freddy Krueger, the seemingly unkillable killer (hence all the sequels), doesn't even wear a mask to hide his burnt-to-bits face, and utilizes his knife-fingers in the most sickening ways. Warning: The song will haunt your dreams. Thankfully, you won't ever be able to sleep ever again after watching this film.

4) Halloween (1978)

This is another one where the music alone will have you whimpering and peeking through your fingers to see what happens next. The killer wears a creepily blank and emotionless mask, which makes him all the scarier because HE COULD BE ANYBODY. Except he's not. He's Michael Myers, the guy who killed his babysitter as a child and just never stopped killing from then on. Good luck babysitting late at night any time after you watch this movie. It's the epitome of suspenseful, and no matter how old you get, you will still scream like a little girl when Jamie Lee Curtis tries to hide from the killer in the closet.

5) The Shining (1980)

If you never thought of little girl twins as creepy, you will now. Check into a remote, fancy hotel to write the Great American Novel and watch murder, psychic insight and evil spiritual presences run amuck in this terrifying film adaptation of Stephen King's novel. Do not write "RƎⱭЯUM" on your friend's bathroom mirror in lipstick after watching this movie, or you will scar them for life. (We're currently hiding in a closet, screaming like a fan belt.)

6) The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

"Clariiice." The movie's protagonist Clarice, an FBI agent, goes to an insane asylum to speak with Hannibal Lecter, a cannibal psychiatrist in solitary confinement, to help catch a killer currently on the loose. "Buffalo Bill" has been skinning women alive to wear them as clothing. If you decide to watch this movie, you should probably keep some dry pants nearby to change into.

7) Psycho (1960)

Don't let the fact that this movie is filmed in black and white dissuade you from watching it. This iconic movie has inspired countless thrillers and will scare the bejeezus out of anyone who watches it. Cue it up and become the victim of the "EEE! EEE! EEE!" music that you know shouldn't scare you but always will anyway (and never shower again for fear of being viciously stabbed).

8) The Exorcist (1973)

NEVER watch this at night, and NEVER watch it alone. If you must watch it, watch it surrounded by people and in broad daylight. Then don't be surprised when you pee and cry and scream your way through it as you watch a little girl become increasingly possessed by Satanic forces. This has been called The Scariest Movie of All Time by lots of people (see Entertainment Weekly and Movies.com), maybe because you can kill human killers, but you can't kill demons. And the song, "Tubular Bells," will haunt you forever.

9) It (1990)

Here is another Stephen King classic. If you aren't scared of clowns already, you will be. The scariest part is that "It" isn't just a clown. It's EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER BEEN AFRAID OF. It's like a Boggart in Harry Potter and manifests itself as its prey's phobia. When It is a clown, his name is "Pennywise the Wisecracking Clown," where "Wisecracking" is interchangeable with "Will Make You Afraid of Drains for Life." Avoid It at all costs.

10) Carrie (1976)

Once again we have a story written by the scream lord himself, Stephen King. Carrie is a high school outcast who is abused by her mother and by everybody at school, and happens to have telekinetic powers. Her powers tend to come out more when she's angry or upset—like when she's asked to prom by popular guy Tom and ends up being the victim of a cruel prank. RUE THE DAY THE POPULAR KIDS PRANK THE UNPOPULAR KIDS: Carrie uses her telekinetic magikkk to wreak havoc on the student body. There is pig's blood involved. You have been warned.

Which old scary movies did we forget?

Topics: Life, Entertainment
Tags: halloween, scary movies, stephen king, horror films, carrie

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About the Author
Alicia Thomas

Alicia Thomas is a novelist trapped in a college student's body. She was just accepted to La Universidad de Sevilla, so she'll be traveling and eating tapas for a while. She likes words. And tea. And you. Yes, you.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.