13 Insanely Scary Movies That Freaked Out HONOLULU Magazine Staffers

These horror movies kept HONOLULU staffers awake. Add these movies to your watch list if you’re looking for a good scare.

1. 28 Days Later

“I love 28 Days Later. Not only were the fast-moving zombies a terrifying new idea at the time, the thought of being alone in a post-apocalyptic world, and the threat of death a hair away at any moment (I mean, a drop of infected blood landed in one guy’s eye and BOOM, soldiers killed him seconds later), are just nerve-wracking. I still can’t watch the part where they gouge the guy’s eyes out.” 

—Katrina Valcourt, associate editor 


2. Food Inc. 

“I don’t watch scary movies, but Food Inc. really freaked me out. Does that count?”

—Catherine Toth Fox, food and dining editor 


3. Halloween

“Boo! One of my childhood favorites.”

—Stephen Guzman, art director 


4. Haxan

Häxan. 1922. Not often seen on YouTube, and Turner Classic runs it around Halloween. It presents itself as a research project into superstition, sort of like Mondo Cane or even The Blair Witch Project. Lot of early special effects. Silent. Banned in the U.S. for decades … Fun! (But it will scare children).” 

—Don Wallace, senior editor 


5. Hush

“I just watched Hush on Netflix. It’s about a deaf girl alone in a cabin in the woods 😱 Enough said. It’s not my favorite scary movie, but it’s definitely scary!”

—Keli Steiner, account coordinator 


6. It Follows 

“My favorite right now is It Follows. The idea of being pursued by a relentless, shapeshifting killer that takes the form of your closest friends and family is completely terrifying. I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights after I saw it. And the cinematography is both beautiful and ingenious: You’re always scanning the background of each shot to spot potential monsters approaching in the distance.”

—Michael Keany, executive editor 


7. Psycho

“Seeing the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho when I was a kid traumatized me for life. It’s a good thing I didn’t start avoiding showers after that. Reason it scared me: You’re exposed/vulnerable and soap could be in your eyes and the shower’s loud and basically it’s the best time for someone to strike.”

—Enjy El-Kadi, web producer 


8. Session 9

“My favorite is Session 9 (2001). I always tell people it’s the best horror film you’ve never seen. It’s about a company of asbestos removers hired to work on a huge, abandoned psych ward. While there, one of the workers discovers a set of tapes with recorded therapy sessions between one of the resident psychiatrists and a patient diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. As each tape is played, the sessions—as well as the events happening in real time—slowly get a little stranger.” 

—Marisa Heung, special projects editor 


9. The Babadook

“The Babadook is my most recent favorite. At first it seems really corny, but I couldn’t sleep well for a week after watching it. It reminded me of a bunch of my childhood fears. Highly recommend! Used to be on Netflix.” 

—Kelsey Ige, art director 


10. The Skeleton Key

The Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson. Super spooky and hard to figure out. The twist at the end is one you don’t really see coming.” 

—Alyson Helwagen, publisher 


11. The Others 

“I can say that The Others completely freaked me out. I often barter with ghosts that may be around. I tell them that I accept them and just ask that they please not show themselves to me. So this was not so fun.”

—Christi Young, HONOLULU Family editor 


12. The Untold Story 

“I couldn’t stomach the 1993 horror movie The Untold Story about a creepy restaurateur who turned humans into roast pork buns. He was the Chinese version of Hannibal Lecter. I never wanted to eat another char siu bao again.” 

—Diane Lee, digital media manager


13. Young Frankenstein 

“My favorite spooky movie is Young Frankenstein, not because it’s scary but because this Mel Brooks’ classic makes me laugh so hard every time I see it! I prefer humor to horror so everything from pronouncing the famous name Fronkensteen to actress Teri Garr’s famous “roll in ze hay” makes this movie worth watching at least once a year.”

—Robbie Dingeman, editor in chief