It’s Friday the 13th and there’s no better way to celebrate the unofficial holiday by getting your spook on and binge-watching horror movies in a row. But narrowing down which movies to watch can be difficult so we decided to broadly divide the genre into five distinct categories that will cover all the best horror movies of all time.
From movies that will make you question reality to classic tales of posessions and hauntings, these categories have something for everybody. It goes without saying that some movies fall under multiple categories and can’t be boxed into one, so we advise you to exercise discretion and enjoy a spooky movie night in with your best friends or SO.
So, without further ado, here are some of our top picks for the horror movies you can watch on Friday the 13th, or later as well because Friday the 13th is not just a date on the calendar, but a state of mind.
The ones that will make your mind melt
While there might be a few jump scares here and there, these movies target mostly on mental and emotional fear. These are, perhaps, the scariest amongst all sub-genres of horror movies as they feature actual human beings as the monsters and that could very well be real. Keep in mind that the purpose of these movies might not necessarily be to scare the living daylights out of you, it’s to make you feel unsettled and uncomfortable.
What to watch: If you want to give this one a go, then make sure you have zero interruptions around you because some of these can get a bit mind bendy. You can watch mother!, Psycho, Get Out, The Shining, 1408, Anurag Kashyap’s short from Netflix’s Ghost Stories, the critically-acclaimed Indian-Assamese language film Kothanodi, Aamis, and Midsommar.
The ones with the classic ghosts
You can never go wrong with the classics and garden variety paranormal scares can be effective too. These movies feature scary stuff that we might not necessarily be able to see, but is terrifying nonetheless, think ghosts and spirits. Some of the elements characteristic of this genre are possessions by vengeful ghosts, haunted houses, jump scares, and exorcism.
What to watch: This sub-genre is filled with great examples that you can binge watch, even though they tend to feature familiar themes and that can get repetitive. You can go for The Conjuring series and its spinoffs, like Annabelle or The Nun, there’s the classic The Exorcist, The Omen, The House Next Door, or the Paranormal Activity series.
The ones with a lot of blood and guts
These movies are not for everyone else. While other sub-genres can feature blood and guts, gore is at the center of what makes these movies terrifying to watch. An off-shoot of this is the ‘Slasher’ genre, which features serial killers murdering humans in increasingly horrid ways.
What to watch: Some of the most popular titles of this genre are Saw, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel, The Fly, and The Thing. Some might even characterise The Final Destination series into this sub-genre.
The ones with monsters and other scary creatures
These movies rely on classic terror-inducing creatures and a general fear of the unknown like zombies, aliens, embalmed Mummys, and vampires and werewolves but not of the sexy kind. The undead are the go-to of this category, be it in zombies, immortal and hard-to-kill vampires, or reawakened Egyptian rulers. Though it’s debated within the community, movies with breakouts of disease that cause rabid, cannibalistic tendencies amongst people also count as ‘Creature Horror’ films.
What to watch: This is perhaps the most popular category of horror films with so many good zombie films populating the genre that they can form a sub-sub-genre of their own. Some of our top favourites include Korean hit Train to Busan, Evil Dead, Dawn of the Dead, the brilliant Spanish horror film rec, #Alive, Tumbbad, Dracula, Frankenstein, Pari, The Mummy, and Night of the Living Dead.
The ones that will make you laugh (while also being scared)
There are some movies that can make you laugh as you clutch the ends of you seat in terror. Yes, that’s absolutely possible. The horror-comedy genre is filled with great examples of movies that pay homage to the classic tropes of the genre while making you laugh at the same time. If you’re not a complete horror buff, or your movie date is someone who scares easily, this genre is perfect for you.
What to watch: You can give Shaun of the Dead, Warm Bodies, Zombieland, What We Do In The Shadows, Stree, and Jennifer’s Body a go.