13 bloody good films for Halloween

Some horror movies are just a little spooky, while others are filled with dread and psychological scares. Then there’s the gory horror films- the slashers, the zombie films, the vampire films. 

If you don’t mind your horror films with a side of blood, here are 13 films to check out:

“Friday the 13th” (1980) 

The one that started it all. The “Friday” franchise has gone through its fair share of sequels, remakes, reboots and imitators over the years. (There’s even a video game where you can be Jason Voorhees and terrorize teenagers.) But this film helped revitalize the teen slasher genre in the 1980s, and it doesn’t let up on the scares, or the kills.

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Another first entry into a franchise that would stand the test of time, this psychological horror-fest about two strangers who wake up in a room with no memory of how they got there and who must escape the clutches of a deadly serial killer is less bloody than many of the seven(!) sequels that followed it, but it more than earns that “R” rating. A new entry into the “Saw” canon, “Jigsaw,” is due later this month. 

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

R.I.P., Tobe Hooper. The Austinite’s first film and magnum opus has horrified generations since the gruesome tale of cannibalistic psychopaths first hit the big screen in 1974. For Texans in general and Austinites in speciific, the film is especially creepy— most of it was filmed in Smithville. And that meat hook scene makes me shudder just thinking about it. 

“Let the Right One In” (2008)

Think a foreign film can’t scare you? Think again. Modern-day vampire tale “Let the Right One In” was remade in America in 2010 as “Let Me In.” The Swedish original is more moody than the remake, and only uses blood and gore when it absoultely has to. But when it does, it packs a punch, and adds to the film’s emotional core.

“Oldboy” (2003)

No, not the Spike Lee remake from 2013 (although that one is plenty violent and bloody in its own right). The South Korean original, from director Chan-wook Park, is absolutely brutal, both emotionally and physically. And it features a hallway fight tracking shot scene that Marvel’s Netflix properties probably used as an inspiration. 

The “Final Destination” series

What started as a riff on the teen slasher genre in 2000 slowly became a huge franchise hit, spawning four sequels (one of which was entirely in 3D!). The twist: The slasher in these films is Death, and in “Final Destination,” Death comes for everyone. Watching these films isn’t about rooting for the teens to stay alive; it’s about predicting the insanely macabre ways they’ll die. 


Wes Craven’s 1996 homage/send-up of the slasher genre worked because it was both snarky AND scary. And it was plenty bloody, too, especially at the beginning, where Craven lulls the audience into a false sense of security before pulling the rug out from under them with the killing of Drew Barrymore’s character.

“Cannibal Holocaust”

A found footage film from 1980 about a trip to the Amazon. This film caused an uproar upon its release for its abuse of animals and excessive violence and was banned in several countries.

“The Evil Dead”

So gory and violent, it got slapped with an “X” rating in 1981 and was later revised to an “NC-17” in 1994. “Evil Dead” was the film that put Sam Raimi on the horror film map, and further elaborated on the “cabin in the woods” trope. A classic. 

“Dawn of the Dead” (1978)

Sure, Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake is great, and it’s got that trademark Snyder violence going for it. But the original “Dawn” is a master class in makeup, special effects, suspense and social commentary. It will also make you deathly afraid of malls for the rest of your life (or maybe that’s jsut me). 

“The Thing” (1982)

I know, I know. This isn’t the orignal. (That honor goes to “The Thing From Another World” from 1951.) But John Carpenter’s remake, starring Kurt Russell, is a classic full of blood and gresome body horror. 

“The Ruins”

A perfect movie to yell “No! Don’t go down there alone!” at the screen. Also a prefect movie to squirm away from once the killing starts to go down. 

“The Hills Have Eyes” (1977)

Another Wes Craven scarefest and every vacationing familiy’s worst nightmare. Just don’t go off the road, and always remember to stock up on gas.

If any of these aren’t your speed, you can check out our lists of spooky Disney movies to watch and creepy podcasts to listen to to get you through October.

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