Suspense, Horror, Thriller: these are the kinds of movies that leave you either on the edge of your seat or cowering behind a blanket.  For me, it usually leaves me very irrational and sleeping facing away from the bedroom door.  Happy watching.

  1. Silence of the Lambs


Ah, cannibalism, every serial killer’s favorite past-time. The movie opens on a young Jodie Foster walking through the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.  She passes a few extremely creepy men, only to reach the last cell.  There, behind a pane of glass that she was explicitly told not to get near (and then she does because it wouldn’t be a horror movie without a very dumb female lead), stands Hannibal Lector, cannibal extraordinaire.  Then, in another very stupid move, Foster’s character, Clarice Starling, gives Lector information about her life and childhood in exchange for (bogus) information on another case the FBI is trying to solve.  This is must-watch, but try not to “have an old friend for dinner” after. Oh, and don’t get in vans with creepy men (which you think would be understood, but apparently not).

2. The Shining


REDRUM…REDRUM…this phrase only becomes creepier when uttered by a small child (shudders) standing over his mother with a knife. What a happy family vacation.  This movie has effectively ruined hotel hallways for me.  Anyways, Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, a writer who chooses a hotel in the middle of nowhere that was built over a Native American burial ground; what could go wrong (*rolls eyes*)?   The family gets snowed in at this hotel wherein the son develops these terrifying visions and starts believing he has become his imaginary friend, Tony.  Then, Jack, under the guise of cabin fever (which is really him seeing ghosts everywhere and not saying anything about it), flips out.  I won’t give away the ending, but it’s relatively violent.

3. The Sixth Sense


Do you see dead people? I sure hope not.  Nine-year-old Cole starts seeing a therapist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe (played by Bruce Willis) to deal with his hallucinations.  Crowe is also dealing with his failing marriage and this kid, who legit sees dead people, and the fact that he can’t seem to open doors anymore (hmmm…).  I’m not gonna give away the ending (even though everyone should have already seen this movie), but it’s really good.  What a twist.

4. Poltergeist


I fully blame my parents for my fear of the closet and my outrageous fear of clowns because they made me watch this movie when I was seven (!!!).  “But it’s rated PG,” they said.  “You’ll love it,” they said.  They were wrong.  Extremely poor parenting on their part.  Anyways, there is this little blonde girl who gets sucked into the TV by a poltergeist.  She says “They’re here,” she has a clown doll, she’s Aryan-looking, it’s all very creepy.  I know this movie was made in the 80s so it shouldn’t be scary anymore, but I still can’t sleep with the closet door open.  It’s been 12 years.  Watch it.

5. Cujo


Hey parents, if your kid ever asks for a dog for Christmas, make them watch this movie.  It will save you from inevitably having to adopt what is essentially another child into the house. You’re welcome.  Stephen King wrote this book (of course, flipping Stephen King) in 1981 and it was adapted into a movie two years later (hey the 80s did horror movies right).  The gist of it is a rabid dog attacks a mom and son in a broken-down Ford Pinto in the sweltering heat.  I know that doesn’t sound so scary, but trust me, the dog is downright frightening.  (P.S. the dog dies, I usually like to know this before watching animal movies)