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5 Classic thrillers to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Copywriter by day, blogger by night, I'm a reserved thinker and lover of language with a perpetual passion for Old Hollywood.

Start a Halloween countdown with five scary movies to make your heart pound

Shadows. Shocks. Screams.

My classic movie picks for October have all of them. Halloween is around the corner, and there’s no better way to get into a spooky mood than seeing some suspense.

From thrilling, heart-pounding horrors to mysterious, swoon-worthy romances, these unforgettable fright flicks have it all.

Suspicion (1941)

Start a Halloween countdown with five scary movies to make your heart pound
Image: TCM/IMDb

Anxiety runs high when reserved heiress Lina (Joan Fontaine) marries Johnnie (Cary Grant), a charismatic gentleman of questionable morals. After his best friend mysteriously dies, Lina becomes increasingly suspicious about Johnnie's love for her. Grant’s bone-chilling suaveness will keep you guessing if he's good or evil through every second of Suspicion.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Start a Halloween countdown with five scary movies to make your heart pound
Image: Warner Bros./IMDb

Solve a madcap mystery with Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), a newly married man who learns some scary secrets about his adorably nutty aunts. An unpredictable plot with skeletons coming out of the closets — literally — Arsenic and Old Lace is a dark but lighthearted comedy that is crazily insane and always entertains.

The Birds (1963)

Start a Halloween countdown with five scary movies to make your heart pound
Image: Universal Studios/IMDb

Nature runs amok when San Francisco socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) follows a handsome man she’s met only once, Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), up the coast to give him a gift. Once she’s there, the scenic little town becomes victim to a series of vicious bird attacks in the ominous apocalyptic nightmare, The Birds.

Charade (1963)

Start a Halloween countdown with five scary movies to make your heart pound
Image: Stanley Donan Productions/IMDb

Suspense meets romance when newly widowed Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) discovers her estranged husband left behind a stolen fortune wanted by several men. Now, they’re after her — including the handsome Peter Joshua (Cary Grant). But whom can she trust? Stylish and fast moving, Charade mixes mystery, comedy and romance in all the right amounts.

Wait Until Dark (1967)

Start a Halloween countdown with five scary movies to make your heart pound
Image: Warner Bros./IMDb

You can cut the tension with a knife after recently blinded Susy (Audrey Hepburn) inadvertently comes into possession of a heroin-stuffed doll. Targeted and terrorized by a trio of men, she uses her heightened sense of awareness to try to outsmart them. But does she? Her fight to survive in Wait Until Dark will make you see Hepburn in a new light.

Did your favorite classic thriller make the list? If not, I'd love to know what it is. Share your choice in the comment section below.

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