5 Horror Movies Guaranteed to Make You Afraid of the Dark

Image credit: Legion-Media

Darkness is a key attribute of horror.


Single mother Chloe moves from the city to the countryside with her deaf-mute son Jules, hoping to start a new life with a clean slate. But things don’t go according to plan: an elusive predator wipes out local livestock and then turns on young children. Jules is convinced that a vicious ogre is to blame, but his mother refuses to believe in the monster's existence until the very last moment.

Written and directed by the young Arnaud Malherbe, this French horror film is reminiscent of many of the films of the dark storyteller Guillermo del Toro; particular, the iconic Pan's Labyrinth, in which the story of a child's encounter with a forest monster is a parable for family drama. In addition to the great plot, the movie also treats audiences to mesmerising wide shots of the French countryside beautifully filmed by cinematographer Pénélope Pourriat, as well as brilliant sound.

The Babadook

Amelia is raising six-year-old Samuel on her own. One day the boy starts behaving strangely, claiming that a monster from a children's book has come to life and is walking around the house at night. Slowly, life turns to hell for the mother and son.

The Babadook, Australia's acclaimed indie horror film, blurs almost completely the line between fantasy and reality. Although seemingly unbelievable, the story has a more mundane and plausible explanation: a single mother becomes a widow and gradually loses touch with reality as problems with her growing boy exacerbate her condition.

The lack of genre-defining shock scenes does not prevent The Babadook from remaining one of the scariest films of our time.

Paranormal Activity

A young couple move into a new house where weird things happen at night. To get an insight into the situation, the new tenants install a video camera in their bedroom, and it captures something sinister.

Paranormal Activity is a found-footage mockumentary in the style of the acclaimed Blair Witch Project. A few enthusiastic amateurs made it on a shoestring budget to go on and gross millions at the box office. The phenomenal success of the horror flick spawned a long-running franchise, but no sequel has ever managed to hold a candle to the original.

Lights Out

When single mother Sophie develops mental health problems, her daughter Rebecca leaves home to strike out on her own. Soon after, she marries Paul and gives birth to Martin. The idyllic family life comes to an abrupt end when Sophie goes off her meds and loses all sanity while her husband dies under strange circumstances. To protect Martin, Rebecca returns to her parents' home where she must confront her childhood fears.

David F. Sandberg's directorial debut, based on his own short story, follows in the best tradition of James Wan's horror franchises The Conjuring and Insidious. It was no coincidence that James Wan wrote the sequel to Annabelle and then hired Sandberg to direct it. Fans of the genre will no doubt be thrilled.

Don't be Afraid of the Dark

A horror film with a catchy title, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, is a remake of a 1973 TV movie of the same name.

The new version tells the story of 8-year-old Sally Hurst, who moves into her father's old mansion, where a famous artist once disappeared. While exploring the grounds, the girl encounters tiny creatures that pose a deadly threat. Nyctophobia is guaranteed not only for the protagonist but also for the audience!