Looking for a good summer scare? Check out these 10 great horror movies | Entertainment
Of course, spooky season technically isn’t until October. But for some moviegoers, it’s horror season all year round.
As the summer heats up, it’s important to remember that while Michael Myers only stalks Haddonfield on Halloween, there are plenty of other scares to be had during the warmer months. From classic movie scares to more recent entries in the horror movie canon, there’s something deliciously spooky about summertime scares.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best summer horror movies to watch while taking a break by the pool. Get your popcorn ready – things are about to get spooky.
Often cited as the first blockbuster of the summer, Steven Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece took inspiration from classic monster movies of the past and bumped the scare factor up to 11. Aided by the iconic score from John Williams and terrific performances from Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, “Jaws” helped establish the potential (and our expectations) for huge summer movies.
Where to stream: Peacock
It’s rare for a horror movie to be shot almost entirely in bright sunshine or with such stunningly colorful cinematography. Ari Aster’s 2019 film starring a terrific Florence Pugh is set at a twisted Swedish summer festival that turns deadly. But this chilling slow burn touches on emotional themes such as grief, deception and revenge. Hope this won’t scare you on your next vacation in Europe.
Where to stream: Showtime, Kanopy
The famous slogan for “Alien” is: “In space, no one can hear you scream”. Well, there are no seasons in space either, and since this movie was originally released on May 25, 1979, we’ll unofficially classify it as a summer horror movie. Some people will say that the action-packed 1986 sequel “Aliens” is superior. Do not listen to them. If this movie doesn’t make you tense, you probably don’t have a pulse.
Where to stream: Hulu
A family goes on a summer vacation to Santa Cruz, California, and is harassed by…themselves? Director Jordan Peele followed up his Oscar-winning debut “Get Out” with this 2019 puzzler. The violence is brutal at times, but “We” will keep you guessing and asking questions even on repeat viewings. Oh, and it includes one of the best choreographed fight scenes set to music to appear in a horror movie.
Where to stream: digital rental
‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’
The way this film has been turned into a franchise with multiple sequels and side stories continues to baffle and amaze. If you’ve recently watched the original 1974 Tobe Hooper movie, you probably haven’t slept much since. The bloody screams of Marilyn Burns at the end of the film, coupled with the cannibalistic themes throughout, are real nightmares – and then there’s the horror of Leatherface. This film is so scary that it has been banned in several countries, and the secretary of the British Board of Film Classification has described it as “terror porn”. So watch with caution.
Where to stream: Showtime, AMC+
Sometimes you find a movie that while you’re watching it, you can’t help but think, “Yeah. That’s why I love horror. David Robert Mitchell’s 2014 film about a relentless supernatural entity that just follows main character Jay (played by Maika Monroe) is one such movie. The simplicity of the premise (you can pass this terrifying thing on to another person like some kind of sexually transmitted disease) is a perfect summertime teen horror throwback, aided by an eerie, synth-heavy score reminiscent of ” Halloween” by John Carpenter.
Author’s Note: Upon closer examination, there is a fair amount of fall foliage in this movie. However, due to the inclusion of several pool/beach scenes, we’ll consider this a late summer movie.
Where to stream: Netflix
We couldn’t forget this quintessential 1980 slasher classic. Is it corny? Absolutely. But summer camp’s “have sex and you die” horror movie trope hit its unforgiving beat with the original “Friday the 13th.” To hell with blatant encampment, there’s something downright fun about watching the OG movie in a series that has spawned 11 sequels/reboots.
Where to stream: Paramount+
‘I know what you did last summer’
Released less than a year after Wes Craven’s “Scream,” 1997’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer” helped solidify a new era of slasher movies. With a cast full of late ’90s idols (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe) eliminated by a mysterious hook-and-loop killer, this time capsule of a movie is fun to stream by a hot summer night.
Where to stream: HBO Max
M. Night Shyamalan has had an interesting career, to say the least. The world learned his name after “The Sixth Sense” in 1999, but it was pretty mixed in the years that followed. In 2002, however, the director gave us an alien invasion classic with “Signs.” This summer thriller turns into a family drama as Graham Hess (played by Mel Gibson) desperately tries to protect his children from some not-so-peaceful aliens. And the tension is real. As Roger Ebert said in his review, “I can’t think of a movie where silence is more chilling and inaction is more disturbing.”
Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video
“A Quiet Place, Part II”
While the original film could possibly be considered a summer movie due to the time spent outdoors, the cast’s repeated wearing of sweaters eliminates it here. But 2021’s “A Quiet Place Part II” is all about t-shirts, sundresses, and monsters that will tear you to pieces if you make a sound. Bonus points for this John Krasinski-directed movie for being an early box office success after most Americans were able to get their COVID shots and head back to the theaters for a good scare.
Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video