“What’s your favorite scary movie?” is not only an iconic line from arguably one of the best horror movies of the last 25 years (1996’s Scream), but it’s also a question that I, Allie Gemmill, freelance assistant entertainment editor here at SheKnows, wanted to pose to my fellow SheKnows and StyleCaster editors, because I’m a horror movie fan who loves to hear what horror movies folks are into!
For me, one of the best scary movies of all time is 2008’s Paranormal Activity. Not only is it a found-footage film, which adds another layer of legitimacy to it that makes the scares feel extra-spooky, but it also reinvents the haunted house story we see time and time again in horror. Who doesn’t want to watch something that feels different yet still familiar enough that it’s easy to get into?
And so, without further ado, here’s what the rest of the team told me when I asked them what they’re favorite scary movie is.
Kenzie Mastroe (lifestyle editor, SheKnows)
“Dark Skies. Aliens legitimately terrify me, and Dark Skies is one of the most underrated alien movies of all time. It’s suspenseful, has great characters and is spooky without being gory.”
Amelia Edelman (senior parenting editor, SheKnows)
“Psycho. I can handle Hitchcock, but pretty much nothing scarier than that! I like old scary movies because I can convince myself it’s not going to happen to me. If any scary movie at all resembles my life or house or neighborhood, later on I’m like, ‘OMG, there’s someone in my car. I know it!“
Elizabeth Yuko (health & sex editor, SheKnows)
“I’m not really a horror movie person, so I’ll go with my least-favorite scary movie: 27 Dresses. The idea of having to be a bridesmaid 27 times sends shivers down my spine, but what’s truly terrifying about the movie is how it perpetuates the idea of romantic love as the ultimate — and only — happy ending for women.”
Alana Altmann (senior entertainment editor, SheKnows)
“Scream. This is a horror flick even casual fans and skeptics of the genre can get behind. Not only does Scream serve up solid scares, it’s a teen movie, comedy, slasher and satire all rolled into one deliciously ‘90s package. Bottom line: Drew Barrymore, ribbed V-necks and movies about high schoolers being chased by a masked serial killer are pretty much timeless.”
Jason Pham (entertainment editor, StyleCaster)
“It (1990). I credit this movie to my fear of clowns. I first watched it on TV when I was in the third grade, and I remember I had nightmares for months. There were a couple of scenes that replayed in my mind: when It is in the library, and his balloon pops, and blood splatters everywhere; when the bathroom floods with blood; and of course, when It lures a little boy into the sewer and kills him. Even now, I can’t think of the movie before I sleep. Otherwise, I’ll imagine It in the corner of my room or in my closet. The 2017 remake was scary, but nothing compares to the original.”
Jane Asher (social media & content marketing manager, StyleCaster)
“My favorite scary movie of all time is The Shining. I never considered myself a scary movie person, so I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. The psychological nature of the thriller kept me on the edge of my seat instead of hiding behind my hands, plus this movie isn’t just another horror flick, it’s an iconic film with what I think is one of the most famous one-liners of all time, ‘Hereeeeee’s Johnny!!'”
And finally, because scary movies not only thrill us but have the capacity to imprint on us in ways that we will forever never want to watch them again, consider this response from daytime copy editor Heather Barnett, who first told me she doesn’t like scary movies at all. When I asked her if there was a scary movie she watched that totally turned her off for good, she replied with the following (and honestly, I totally get it):
Heather Barnett (daytime copy editor, SheKnows)
“The Exorcist. When I was little, I was brushing my teeth, and my parents made me keep the door closed because they were watching Exorcist. I decided to peek out the door to see what the big deal was — right at the time of the iconic pea soup scene. I was so scared, I had trouble sleeping for days and kept waking my parents up. Finally, I confessed what I’d done, and they said that’s why they told me to close the door. They tried to explain it was fake, but I still never wanted to watch a horror movie again. When my S.O. watches them, I make him wait until I go to sleep.”