Top 10 Horror Movies For Halloween From Scott Derrickson

Marvel's Doctor Strange director reveals his list of scary and spooky flicks.

Marvel's Doctor Strange director reveals his list of scary and spooky flicks.

Top 10 Horror Movies For Halloween From Scott Derrickson

If you’re looking for movies that will scare the pants off you this Halloween, look no further than the top ten horror movie picks from Scott Derrickson.

Derrickson is known for directing Marvel’s first Doctor Strange, and the director is no stranger to horror having been behind the camera on flicks such as Hellraiser: Inferno, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil, The Black Phone, and a segment in V/H/S/85.

Scott Derrickson posted his top ten list of horror movies for Halloween on Twitter, and we’ve added comments he made about the movies via searching his tweets as well, where applicable.

Also check out the movie posters, Rotten Tomatoes scores, IMDb ratings, and plots for each flick.

Have a favorite of your own that is missing? Drop the film in the comments below. Happy Halloween!

28 days later movie poster

10. 28 Days Later (2002)

Rotten Tomatoes: 87% critics score / 85% audience score

IMDB rating: 7.5/10

What is it about:

A group of misguided animal rights activists free a caged chimp infected with the “Rage” virus from a medical research lab. When London bike courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up from a coma a month after, he finds his city all but deserted. On the run from the zombie-like victims of the Rage, Jim stumbles upon a group of survivors, including Selena (Naomie Harris) and cab driver Frank (Brendan Gleeson), and joins them on a perilous journey to what he hopes will be safety.

martyrs 2008 movie poster

9. Martyrs (2008)

Rotten Tomatoes: 65 / 69

IMDB rating: 7.0

What is it about:

Two young women who were both victims of abuse as children embark on a bloody quest for revenge, only to find themselves plunged into a living hell of depravity.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

Today I had lunch with an old friend at Musso & Franks in Hollywood. I got him super excited about doing a back to back screening of A Dark Song and Martyrs, soon after which I expect to eulogize him at his funeral.

Just watched A DARK SONG on Netflix. Astonishing, harrowing, disturbing and sublime. Reminded me of Martyrs in how far it was willing to go with its uncommonly dark spirituality.

onibaba 1964 movie poster

8. Onibaba (1964)

Rotten Tomatoes: 90 / 90

IMDB rating: 7.9

What is it about:

While her son, Kichi, is away at war, a woman (Nobuko Otowa) and her daughter-in-law (Jitsuko Yoshimura) survive by killing samurai who stray into their swamp, then selling whatever valuables they find. Both are devastated when they learn that Kichi has died, but his wife soon begins an affair with a neighbor who survived the war, Hachi (Kei Satô). The mother disapproves and, when she can’t steal Hachi for herself, tries to scare her daughter-in-law with a mysterious mask from a dead samurai.

carrie 1976 movie poster

7. Carrie (1976)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93 / 77

IMDB rating: 7.4

What is it about:

In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

poltergeist 1982 movie poster

6. Poltergeist (1982)

Rotten Tomatoes: 88 / 79

IMDB rating: 7.3

What is it about:

Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings — Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O’Rourke) — when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

The best PG rated horror film is Poltergeist. Unless you include Jaws.

i saw the devil movie poster

5. I Saw The Devil (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes: not rated

IMDB rating: 7.8

What is it about:

 A school-bus driver named Jang Kyung-chul encounters a woman named Jang Joo-yun and offers to fix her flat tire. After beating her unconscious and bringing her to his home, Kyung-chul methodically dismembers her, unaware of her ring dropping and getting stuck in the drain.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

I think of Korean revenge films as tending toward a much more anti-revenge ethic, showing how vengeance destroys the avenger. I Saw the Devil gets my vote for the greatest revenge film ever made.

silence of the lambs movie poster

4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Rotten Tomatoes: 95 /95

IMDB rating: 8.6

What is it about:

Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

Just read a review for #TheBlackPhone that called it “an unholy cross between THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and THE KARATE KID.” Hell yeah.

the shining movie poster

3. The Shining (1980)

Rotten Tomatoes: 83 / 93

IMDB rating: 8.4

What is it about:

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

the exorcist 1973 movie poster

2. The Exorcist (1973)

Rotten Tomatoes: 78 / 87

IMDB rating: 8.1

What is it about:

One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

Years ago, I saw @WilliamFriedkin present The Exorcist at The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. When asked if he actually believes in the demonic, he spoke extensively about the profound inhumanity and inexplicable mystery of Nazi Germany evil.

One other thought: if you ever heard him speak in public about his films (I heard him introduce The Exorcist, Sorcerer and To Live and Die in LA) then you know that Friedkin was perhaps the greatest raconteur director ever. His wit and insight were spellbinding to behold.

The Exorcist reached a depth of scariness no other film has reached. Just watch that trailer has left me feeling uneasy.

In the end, The Exorcist is a profound meditation on the mystery of faith.

suspiria 1977 movei poster

1. Suspiria (1977)

Rotten Tomatoes: 94 / 83

IMDB rating: 7.3

What is it about:

Suzy (Jessica Harper) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no one lets her in, and she sees Pat (Eva Axén), another student, fleeing from the school. When Pat reaches her apartment, she is murdered. The next day, Suzy is admitted to her new school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place.

Scott Derrickson’s take:

suspiria 2018 movie poster

Bonus: Suspiria (2018):

Rotten Tomatoes: 65 / 73

IMDB rating: 6.7

What is it about:

Young American dancer Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson) arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Co. When she vaults to the role of lead dancer, the woman she replaces breaks down and accuses the company’s female directors of witchcraft. Meanwhile, an inquisitive psychotherapist and a member of the troupe uncover dark and sinister secrets as they probe the depths of the studio’s hidden underground chambers.

      Scott Derrickson’s take:

      Went to the SUSPIRIA remake tonight and left halfway through. During such a disorienting week, and being so personally attached to the original, my negative experience was likely more about me than the film. I’ll see it when my mind is clear. Film experiences are never objective.

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