Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a great starter horror movie, especially when you consider the fact that Alvin Schwartz's original series has been terrifying kids for years. Set in 1968, to the nostalgic backdrop of George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead's premiere in theatres, Scary Stories definitely maintains a vibe of good old-fashioned horror camp.
The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes describes Scary Stories To Tell in The Dark as being "a creepy gateway into horror for younger genre enthusiasts." The film is also certified fresh at 79%. If you liked Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and would love to delve into more classic, campy horror films that give off similar vibes, here are 1o spooky flicks that are well worth the time investment.
10 The Evil Dead (1987)
It's probably safe to say that no one—including writer/direct Sam Raimi himself—foresaw the significant success that The Evil Dead would go on to garner after its initial release in 1987. What was first viewed as being somewhat of a "video nasty" and shamelessly gruesome to the point of appearing satire, The Evil Dead was overlooked before it eventually achieved cult classic status.
Today, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell's low-budget film is considered a much-watch for horror enthusiasts, and its legacy continues to live on.
9 A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare On Elm Street is probably Wes Craven's most well-known, revered horror films. It's one of the most famous movies ever made and is fondly remembered for absolutely terrifying audiences when it was released in theatres in 1984.
The concept of an obscure, elusive, mangled man preying on teenagers while they were at their most vulnerable—sleeping—was a fresh, eerie one at the time. Breaking the mold of other horror films that dominated the decade, A Nightmare On Elm Street has definitely earned its status as classic horror.
8 IT (1990)
Before Andy Muschietti's rendition of Stephen King's classic novel became a blockbuster smash hit, an adaptation of It (1990) was created on a much smaller scale. Originally set to be a ten-part mini-series helmed by none other than George Romero, It (1990) went through some rather unfortunate changes before production kicked off, and thus, is often overlooked today.
Infamously starring Tim Curry as Pennywise, this two-part mini-series undeniably looks rather lackluster when compared to its more modern counterpart. That doesn't necessarily mean that It (1990) shouldn't be given a watch, though. And, being set back in the '50s—as King's original novel was—it has a much more retro vibe about it.
7 The Hole In The Ground (2019)
The Hole In The Ground premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January of 2019 and has since become one of the most overlooked films of the year. The supernatural horror movie had a limited release after Sundance and thus is easy to disregard.
The Hole In The Ground revolves around a young woman who flees to the rural Irish countryside with her son. They rent a house by the woods but soon discover that their new home was actually built on a mysterious sinkhole. Themes like doppelgangers and changelings are heavy in this film, making for a fun and spooky watch.
6 The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Although The Conjuring (2013) was the film that started it all for this massively successful horror franchise, the sequel that would be released three years later is not to be overlooked. This film revolves around the story of the Enfield poltergeist, a case that Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated in 1977.
The Conjuring 2 takes one of the Warrens' most harrowing cases and brings it to life in a way that manages to feel undeniably real. This film has a quality that most of the others in its franchise lacked; it's grounded in reality. As a result, the horror feels gritty, unsettling, and completely eerie.
5 Misery (1990)
The character of Annie Wilkie is one of Stephen King's most famous and would later become veteran actoress Kathy Bates' most well-known role. In 1990, Misery was released in theatres to significant success. It quickly established horror classic status and is now cited as being one of the most notable psychological thrillers in history.
Misery is the only film based on a Stephen King book to win an Oscar. Starring James Caan and Kathy Bates as its leads, the disturbing thriller is completely unforgettable and definitely a must-watch.
4 Gremlins (1984)
Gremlins is pure retro 80s horror fun. It's usually regarded as being more comedic than scary, but it is one of the most prominent films in the horror-comedy genre. Gremlins immediately saw significant critical and commercial success and is one of those PG-13 horror films that absolutely demands a watch.
Gremlins is about strange little creatures call mogwais who hold the ability to spawn and create evil little destructive armies. Gremlins is an absolute classic that inspired a successful sequel, a novel, and several videogames, and it should not be overlooked.
3 Poltergeist (1982)
In the 80s, Stephen Spielberg was certainly dominating the film industry. With smash hits such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back To The Future, The Color Purple, and The Goonies, Spielberg was one of the most prolific filmmakers of his generation. and undoubtedly the most successful.
Poltergeist is definitely a classic horror film, despite initially being overshadowed by some of Spielberg's more influential hits. Poltergeist has camp, scares created primarily with practical effects, and a spooky quality that will not be replicated.
2 Silver Bullet (1985)
One of Stephen King's lesser-known books is titled Cycle Of The Werewolf. In 1985, it was adapted for the big screen by director Dan Attias and renamed Silver Bullet. Stephen King wrote the screenplay, so it definitely holds an authentic quality.
Silver Bullet did not receive much success upon its initial release—neither critical or commercial. Despite being so overlooked in its day, the film is a rather fun, gory, unsettling experience, and is highly underrated to this day.
1 The Craft (1996)
The Craft was basically a flop when it hit theatres in 1996, which is why it's so often forgotten today. Featuring an all-female lead cast that included Neve Campbell, this supernatural thriller was ahead of its time in several aspects.
The Craft revolves around a group of "wannabe witches." It features themes such as telekinesis and other supernatural powers and is rooted deeply in the complex dynamics between its main characters.