If you're anything like me, you probably stay far away from everything "horror." But Halloween is coming up and that means horror everything. If you love the holiday but hate to be scared, here's a list of 13 non-horror movies to satisfy everyone, from horror fanatics to scaredy-cats.
I watched this when I was 13, huddled under the blankets in the pitch-black family room. My sister had gone upstairs, my parents were out, and it was just me, myself and my determination that Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) would find the man who killed his wife. Memento is an older movie, but it's still refreshing and twisted — not only does Shelby suffer from anterograde amnesia, but his wife's killer may just be his friend …
The Prestige (2006)
I think it's established that any movie with Christian Bale or Hugh Jackman is a good one, and The Prestige — with both Bale and Jackman — is brilliant. Directed by Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, The Dark Knight trilogy), The Prestige is about two rival magicians who go to gruesome extremes to best the other. It's filled with suspense, depressing romance, impossible illusions and a shocking "WTF" ending that still has me rattled.
Gone Girl (2014)
One of my favorite books of all time, Gone Girl, became a mega-hit film, and for great reason. I mean, who doesn't love Amy Dunne? I think every girl has an Amy Dunne deep, deep inside. In the film, Rosamund Pike plays Dunne, the beautiful psychopath who mysteriously disappears. Her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck) is forced to handle the consequences. Just like the book, the movie is dark and quiet, and you're left confused (and a tiny bit guilty?) about who to root for.
The Gift (2015)
Joel Edgerton's (Zero Dark Thirty, Loving) directorial debut, The Gift challenges the impact human relations has on us. Simon and Robyn Callum (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, respectively) are a healthy, loving couple when their peaceful existence is shattered by a stranger, Gordon or "Gordo" (Edgerton). Gordo seems harmless, but secrets and painful pasts are revealed and threaten to tear the Callums apart. And that ending? Geez, I just got chills thinking about it.
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Hands down, one of my favorite films ever; seriously, I'd never laughed this hard at a movie before. What We Do in the Shadows is absolutely genius. Genius, I tell you! Directed and written by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Jemaine Clement, What We Do in the Shadows is a bloody comedy mockumentary of four vampires, Viago (Waititi), Vlad (Clement), Deacon (Jonny Brugh) and Petyr (Ben Fransham) who share a flat in the small city of Wellington. They struggle through everyday life until they meet humans, Nick and Stu.
American Psycho (2000)
I'm not sponsored by Christian Bale, I swear. He's just that good. And American Psycho Bale is abominable and devilishly charming. He plays Patrick Bateman, a well-to-do businessman who has more secrets (and deadly tricks) up his sleeve than he will ever admit. Not only that, the film touches upon themes such as jealousy and vanity that are all too relatable. (Psst! While we're on the topic of Christian Bale, another movie you should check out: The Machinist. You're welcome.)
Oldboy is a disturbing revenge thriller that borders on the line of horror. Director Chan-wook Park is hailed for his twisted subject matter in both his home country, South Korea, and abroad. Park isn't afraid to make his audience squirm, and for that reason, Oldboy is a must-watch. It's about a man, Dae-su (Min-sik Choi), who wakes up with no memories and is forced to eliminate his captor in terrifying circumstances. There's also an American remake by Spike Lee and yeah, don't bother.
Crimson Peak (2015)
I love me some creepy, supernatural/gothic shit and Director Guillermo del Toro delivers every single time. Crimson Peak is no exception because it's filled to the brim with gorgeous mansions, malevolent spirits, incest and murder. Lots and lots of murder. Plus: Tom Hiddleston, and who doesn't love Loki? This film is not necessary a thriller but with its graphics and subject matter, it's enough to haunt you (see what I did there?).
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Dr. Hannibal Lecter. 'Nuff said.
Hard Candy (2005)
My first exposure to Ellen Page was in Juno as the spunky and very-pregnant title-character, but after watching Hard Candy, I knew Page was someone you do not want to mess with. Unfortunately for Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson), that was not the case. Hard Candy focuses on a teenager, Hayley, who tracks down pedophiles on online dating sites. She meets her newest victim, Jeff, and together they hit it off, until only one is left hanging (literally). One of the most famous scenes in the movie is the infamous castration scene. Damn.
Love, love, love Dracula. I remember devouring the book within two days and watching all of the movies and its subsequent renditions. My favorite is the one with Bela Lugosi. He makes one sophisticated, manipulative and oh-so-handsome son of a bitch.
Shutter Island (2010)
This movie has three things that make it good to scary-good: insane asylum, creepy dreams and Leonardo DiCaprio. It's a film that feels like it could happen in real life but fortunately never has (and never will).
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Of course, this list would not be remotely complete without the mention of the father of psychological thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock! If you haven't heard of or watched him, what are you doing?! His movies paved the way towards modern thrillers, and they are so beautifully crafted that it's hard not to binge-watch once you start (and I highly recommend you do).
The Man Who Knew Too Much centers on the McKennas (James Stewart and Doris Day) who travel to Morocco only to meet a mysterious man involved in a murder and ultimate kidnapping of their son, Hank (Christopher Olsen). If this sounds familiar in any shape or form, it's where the song, "Que Sera, Sera" comes from!
Obviously, there are so many more amazing non-horror movies out there. Some honorable mentions include: Sixth Sense (1999), Black Swan (2010), Inception (2010), Donnie Darko (2001) and Fatal Attraction (1987).