Halloween is nearly here — that time of the year where we don frightening costumes and eat way too much candy. And as movie lovers, there's no better time to turn our viewing attention to the horror genre. The upcoming Halloween weekend will feature plenty of scary movies to choose from. Way too many — 50 plus, by our count. From that mix, our staff horror maven has picked your 10 best viewing (or DVR) bets.
Looking for more scares, or don't see your favorite? Vote for your 10 scariest movies.
10. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Jason was finally killed by Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter. However, years later Tommy's still obsessed and tormented by the whole incident. In true horror movie fashion, he decides to visit Jason's resting place to dig up his grave and make sure he is really dead. His discovery leads to the next chapter of this bloody nightmare.
Why you should watch: Jason Lives is a classic, old school Halloween flick. It may not have the advanced special effects of today's horror movies, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering when Jason will pop up again.
9. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The recent dead become the walking dead, back to attack and eat the living. The cause? Radiation from a fallen satellite. A group of people, cut off from civilization, seek shelter together in a farmhouse in hopes they don't become victims.
Why you should watch: George A. Romero's 1968 classic set the stage for all the zombie movies that have been produced since. Watching Living Dead makes you feel like you are right inside that farmhouse fighting for your life with the other characters. The zombies are plenty creepy and the black-and-white adds the skin-crawl factor to this flick.
8. Fright Night (1985)
Teenager Charley Brewster has a sneaking suspicion that the new neighbor next door is a vampire, but nobody believes him. So he begins his own investigation, which alerts the bloodsucker. Charley enlists the help of a television horror host, who is well past his prime, to help his quest to stop the vampire.
Why you should watch: If you are looking for an '80s cult vampire movie that's a mixture of The Lost Boys and The Goonies, then Fright Night is for you. The movie's antics are low on the serious horror scare factor, but the plot line sucks you in and the characters are unforgettable.
7. Saw (2004)
What would you do to stay alive if a serial killer abducted and trapped you in a room with no exits and made it so the only escape was to play his sick and fatal games? This is the question that Adam and Gordon are faced with when they are held prisoner by Jigsaw. Who will play his game and survive to escape this horrific journey?
Why you should watch: Saw is like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle. In the beginning, no one knows who Jigsaw is. Moreover, the movie keeps you guessing what the villain's next step will be. Saw is a great plot-twisting movie with plenty of gruesome horror.
6. The Strangers (2008)
After attending a wedding reception, a young couple retires to an isolated vacation house hoping to have a quiet night. Little do they know that a knock on the door will turn their evening into a hellish nightmare.
Why you should watch: The suspense levels are so ratcheted up in this movie you'll be exhausted between gasps for air and holding your breath. There are plenty of startling moments in the movie, courtesy of the creepily masked strangers lurking in the house and their psychotic actions. If the Manson Family went on vacation to the Hamptons, this would be their home movie.
5. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The world has been hit by a strange plague that's turned the dead into flesh-eating zombies. A group of survivors, trying to stay alive, shutter themselves up in a shopping mall. They concoct a plan to escape, but first they must overcome the thousands of zombies waiting for them outside the mall.
Why you should watch: This movie is a remake of Romero's original Dawn of the Dead. The makers stayed true to the story but cranked up the scares and incorporated more violence and gore than the original. The zombies are angrier, scarier, and much faster. And (spoiler alert!) the zombie newborn is most certainly a new twist.
4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995)
This movie is a semi-sequel to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A group of young travelers decide to take a detour, only to find themselves in contact with a family of psychopaths whose son is a crazed, cross-dressing, chainsaw-wielding murderer.
Why you should watch: The level of chaos in The Next Generation is overwhelming, but that's its appeal. The fear comes from brutal acts and very bizarre scenarios — plus Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey star. Seriously.
3. 28 Days Later (2002)
The outbreak begins when animal rights activists break into a laboratory. They try to free a group of caged chimpanzees that were being used for medical testing, but little do they know the chimps are infected with a disease called "Rage."
Why you should watch: Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later gives us a zombie movie for the art house crowd. Zombies that run rather than crawl are shot against the beautiful English countryside. So contemporary, 28 Days Later feels like it could happen tomorrow.
2. Resident Evil (2002)
A deadly virus escapes a secret facility called "The Hive." As the outbreak spreads, people are coming back to life as zombies. The Umbrella Corporation sends one of its military units to investigate the outbreak. Turns out the unit needs to fight its way through the flesh-eating creatures to shut down the computer system in order to prevent future infection.
Why you should watch: This is the one of the best video-game-to-movie adaptations, with an action-packed plot and a nod to Alice in Wonderland. That's topped off with a soundtrack by none other than Marilyn Manson. The story gets a little thin here and there, but it's a fun movie that will have you rooting for Milla Jovovich's character Alice.
1. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Christine Brown has a good life and a good position at a local bank as a loan officer. One day a mysterious customer arrives at the bank, hoping to receive an extension on her home loan. Christine refuses to grant it. Little does she know that this decision will leave her fighting for her life and her soul.
Why you should watch: The unexpected amount of torment and torture this person causes in Christine's life is horrifying. Director Sam Raimi truly brings a suspense/thriller feel to this twisted morality play.
There are so many great horror movies; let us know what movies you've got on your must-watch list this Halloween weekend.