Halloween-inspired tales have shaped much of the American film noir and horror landscape of today. From Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, the human imagination continues boundlessly to explore the savage depths of human nature — while considering the shrouded influences of specters and devilish forces all around us. To celebrate this unhallowed of seasons, the Keys Weekly team recommends time-honored films that are sure to make you leave a light on at bedtime with our…

Top 10 terrifying movies

10. “The Blair Witch Project” (1999): A film project about a legendary local murderer takes on a deadly life of its own in this film made to look like raw footage of a doomed documentary. 

9. “The Ring” (2002): It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Those images stayed with us much longer than seven days.

8. “Saw” (2004): And we thought we’d seen some nasty bathrooms before. “Saw” opens with two men chained inside a filthy bathroom, and at the mercy of a sadistic serial killer named Jigsaw who films their torture and live streams it for the men’s families. 

7. “Psycho” (1960): Still one of the top suspense thrillers of all time, “Psycho” introduced the world to Norman Bates, his mother and the grisly Bates Motel. 

6.  “The Shining” (1980): Another Stephen King classic starring everyone’s favorite mad man, Jack Nicholson with some creepy kids and an even creepier old hotel. 

5.   “Carrie” (1976): The sight of Sissy Spacek covered in blood on a prom night no one will forget should be enough to end bullying forever. And don’t forget the freakish finale scene.

4.  “IT” (2017): Stephen King has become a wealthy man by scaring the pants off people with his books that inevitably become movies. “It” brought the monster to life in ways no one had imagined while reading the book.

3. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974): “Disturbing.” How else can one describe a family of cannibals led by the infamous Leatherface? Banned in several countries upon release, the film has since evolved into a movie franchise, but the grainy effects of ’70s culture and low-budget cinematography offer an unsettling experience every time.

2. “Halloween” (1978) : No Halloween season is complete without a terrifying trip to the small town of Haddonfield, the fictional home of horror icon Michael Myers and a young babysitter named Jamie Lee Curtis. The film has been retold numerous times, but it’s the original version that remains a timeless “must watch” during the Halloween season.

1. “The Exorcist” (1973):  Everyone remembers precisely where — and when — they first experienced this realistic realm of demonic possession. Like many horror classics, “The Exorcist” was a book adaptation, but it changed the horror genre as we know it today. “Merrrrrinnn….

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