Check under your bed, you may not be alone! It feels a little chilly nowadays and that’s because the greatest time for a horror movie marathon is here again! While Halloween is a good occasion to put on a scary costume, Hungry Ghost Festival is on a whole different level. Feeling brave? We’ve put together a list of horror movies that are bound to send a chill down your spine!
1. For the silent killer: A Quiet Place (2018)
Turn off the lights and put on your headphones (they are a MUST), this is a horror movie that will pique your senses to the extreme this Hungry Ghost Festival. Starring celebrity couple, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place is about a small family who lives in a town of dead silence. They must not make any sound or a mysterious creature will hunt them down. However, how do they hide from death when Evelyn goes into early labour?
While many horror movies depend on loud sound effects and jump scares, A Quiet Place induces true fear with 90 minutes of eerie silence. You’ll find the need to hold your breath throughout.
Watch it on Netflix.
2. For the K-Pop fanatic: Train To Busan (2016)
Starring popular Korean actors, Gong Yoo and Ma Dong-seok, this tear-inducing horror-thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. In Train To Busan, passengers board a bullet train to Busan in hopes of hiding from a countrywide zombie apocalypse. Little do they know there’s horror lurking in the carriages.
Besides the effective and tasteful frightening elements, what really shines in this movie are the well-developed characters. It doesn’t take long for the audience to develop a connection with the characters and even fear for their survival. This a must-watch horror movie during the Hungry Ghost Festival even if you’re not a K-Pop fan. Bring a box of tissues, it’s zombie time!
3. For the wanderlust: Long Weekend (2013)
With a nice blend of comedy and horror, Long Weekend is a great movie for novice horror movie-goers. An outcast teenager is dragged on a vacation to an infamous cursed island against his will. While on an expedition, he gets locked up in a haunted cell overnight by his friends. Things start to go awry as his friends eventually pay the price for their ruthless pranks.
While the movie doesn’t offer anything we’ve never seen before, it manages to take its audience on a roller coaster ride with nerve-wrecking plot twists at every corner. Pack your bags and go on a vacation with these youngsters this Hungry Ghost Festival. But remember, always watch out for evil lurking in the darkness.
4. For the steel hearted: The Conjuring (2013)
We all love a good ol’ haunted house tale during Hungry Ghost Festival, don’t we? That is until we’re told the hauntings in The Conjuring are based on true events. Directed by James Wan, the brains behind other famous horror movies such as Saw and Insidious, The Conjuring follows two famous paranormal investigators and their horrifying experience at the Perron’s family home.
Embark on this movie journey with caution, for the mention of hide-and-seek will have you breaking out in cold sweat.
Watch it on Netflix
5. For the coulrophobia: It (2017)
Based on Stephen King’s novel, It is a petrifying movie disguised as a harmless little coming-of-age film. A shapeshifting monster haunts the town every 27 years, taking on the form of a clown named Pennywise. On a brief encounter with the clown, young Georgie gets dragged into a sewer, never to be seen again. Traumatised by his brother’s disappearance, Bill sets off with his group of friends to investigate the hauntings.
This movie will undoubtedly have you gripping your seat, whether you suffer from coulrophobia (fear of clowns) or not. We’ve got to applaud the realistic movie effects and creepy face paint which brings the sinister plot up a notch. This is definitely not a film to watch with your children unless you want to send them screaming in fear the next time they eat at McDonald’s.
6. For the unexpected: Get Out (2017)
Get Out is a horror movie that’s as dark as racism can get. In a sweet interracial relationship with his white girlfriend, Chris embarks happily on a weekend getaway with his future in-laws. However, things seem amiss when the family takes extra interest in Chris, who’s about to find out their disturbing secret. Besides addressing one of the most common social problems we face in our daily lives, Get Out manages to blend light comedy with bizarre horror.
True darkness lies in our hearts and the director conveys this message with incredible wit. This is a great horror movie to watch with your friends and family during the Hungry Ghost Festival. You’ll definitely appreciate having company to discuss everything you’ve just witnessed at the end of the reel.
7. For the Superstitious: The Maid (2005)
It’s not hungry ghost festival until you’ve watched The Maid. Released in 2005 in Singapore, The Maid is set in the context of the Chinese Seventh Month and tells a story about a Filipino woman who arrives in Singapore to work as a domestic helper. Unaware about the superstitions and terrifying tales about the lower realm, Rosa carelessly breaks the rules intended to keep the living safe from the evil spirits of the underworld.
This movie will keep you at the edge of your seat with the abundance of plot twists and jump scares. Director Kelvin Tong, builds on the story with the use of superstitions and eeriness inherent in the Hungry Ghost month and provides the audience with quiet moments of uncertainty until it brings us to an unexpected surprise in the plot. If you’re up for a real scare this Hungry Ghost Festival, The Maid is a movie you should not miss!
8. For the strong stomach: Saw (2004)
Fair warning, this is not for the faint-hearted (or those with a weak stomach). In Saw, you’ll get to witness how far humans will go when forced into desperation. Two seemingly unrelated men are chained to pipes in a filthy toilet. The only way out? To complete the bizarre puzzles posed by the sadistic killer, Jigsaw.
As the directorial debut of horror filmmaker, James Wan, this crafty and gory film will make you squirm in your seat while you pray for the wellbeing of the two main leads. We honestly believe it’ll take quite a while before you can finally get Jigsaw out of your head during this Hungry Ghost Festival period.
9. For the sadistic movie-goer: Final Destination (2000)
Final Destination is a great horror film that’ll get your adrenaline pumping this Hungry Ghost Festival. Hold your breath as you nervously anticipate for the next unexpected turn of events — they are waiting for you at every corner. It all began when Alex had a premonition that the plane he and his classmates were boarding would explode in mid-air. After a series of events, Alex and his friends were kicked off the plane moments before it blew up — as predicted.
After cheating death once, the students are swirled into a series of unfortunate events that lead to their gruesome deaths, one by one. The suspense builds up as viewers try to figure out who’s next on Death’s list. What’s more frightening is how an unsuspecting flow of events could lead the characters to their literal final destination.
10. For the photography enthusiast: Shutter (2004)
Gather your shutterbug friends this Hungry Ghost Festival for a night of hair-raising horror as you unveil darkness behind the plot! Involved in a hit-and-run accident, a photographer and his girlfriend began noticing a mysterious figure in the background of their photographs. After several spooky accounts, they finally uncover the dark truth behind the hauntings.
While the movie indulged in several horror cliches, the smart twist towards the end will leave this film etched in your heart. If you’re experiencing neck pains after the screening, it may be the Shutter effect. You’ve been warned!
Watch it on Netflix
11. For the jump scare prognosticator: Drag Me To Hell (2009)
This is a movie that truly challenges your cardiac health and bravery with endless jump scares lined up to spook you off your seat. In Drag Me To Hell, Christine heartlessly evicts an old lady from her home to gain the upper hand at a job promotion. As revenge, the old lady places an evil curse on Christine’s button, causing her great distress. Christine has to find a way to lift the curse within three days. If unsuccessful, she’ll be dragged to hell for eternity.
Besides the frightening jump scares, this movie features realistic graphic effects that are bound to leave you feeling spooked. Drag Me To Hell breathes new meaning into the quote, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.
12. For those seeing double: Us (2019)
Looking for good horror movies with mind-boggling plots this Hungry Ghost Festival? You won’t go wrong with Us, another great work from Jordan Peele who also directed Get Out. The film opens with a family of four who embarks on a breezy road trip back to the protagonist, Adelaide Wilsons’s, childhood beachfront home. However, Adelaide isn’t as keen on the trip as she recalls a traumatic childhood experience. Her fears aren’t exactly unfounded when four masked strangers attack the Wilsons. The worst part? The masked strangers looked exactly like the Wilsons.
Us lives up to our expectations of a Peele film, dabbling in several grand narratives revolving around identity, race, capitalism and more. Now, don’t just listen to us (ha!), watch the movie for yourself!
13. For the art collector: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)
Calling all culture vultures, Velvet Buzzsaw is one of the rare artsy-fartsy horror movies that will hit close to home this Hungry Ghost Festival. Josephina, an art gallery staff, discovers a huge collection of paintings in her dead neighbour’s house. Thinking they’d be worth a fortune, she smuggles them to an art critic and gallery owner. But little did the trio know that they are about to be punished horrifically for their greed.
This film is a thrilling ride into the pretentious world of art, where each masterpiece is seen for its value rather than appreciated for its beauty. Catch this psychedelic horror film on Netflix and calm your nerves thereafter with some Netflix Asian dramas or Netflix documentaries!
Watch it on Netflix.
14. For the young at heart: Ma (2019)
Ma may seem like another one of those cliched teenage horror movies but it’s actually much more frightening than it seems. Step into the life of Sue Ann. Played by Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, a middle-aged woman whose loneliness pushes her into befriending a bunch of alcoholic teenagers. However, Ma’s hospitality and patience begin to run dry as she unveils her dark side.
Ma is a surprisingly good choice of film to play at a family night, as audience of all ages will find no problem relating to the characters. You’ll be rewarded for your patience through the slow burn at the beginning of the film when the plot thickens. Spencer’s world-class acting shines brilliantly through Sue Ann’s unsettling personality.
15. For the escape artist: Escape Room (2019)
Love racking your brains over puzzles and mysteries? Then you mustn’t miss out on Escape Room, a psychological thriller that’ll have your heart racing. Similar to the popular Japanese series Liar Game, the film starts off with the gathering of six unrelated individuals after they’ve each received an invitation to the Minos Escape Room Facility. Unbeknownst to them, the squad is now trapped in the premise. The only way out is by solving a series of inter-connected deadly puzzles or die trying.
While this PG-13 movie may not be the scariest one this Hungry Ghost Festival, it sure leaves a mark, especially on escape room goers. What’s more, the sets of the show are so well done, you’d wish the facility actually exists. Once you’ve watched the film, relive your fears at the best escape rooms in Singapore!
Watch it on Netflix.
16. For the family-oriented: Ladda Land (2011)
Always known Thai movies to be one of the scariest? Well, Ladda Land is not different. Ladda Land is one of many Thai horror movies centred around a Thai family who moved from Bangkok to Laddaland. While this neighbourhood seemed to be no different from any other, something seemed a little off about the surroundings. This is because this place seems to sow discord on families to commit violence. As we dive deeper into this movie, expect elements of family drama, gruesome murders and suicide all wrapped into one. After barely surviving through this movie filled with numerous paranormal events, why not satisfy your Thai food cravings with some of the best mookata places in Singapore!
Watch it on Netflix.
17. For the party people: Truth Or Dare (2018)
What happened to the simple game of truth or dare that you are used to playing with your friends? Truth Or Dare brings a whole new perspective on the usual party game that we all know. In the film, a group of college seniors gathers in Mexico during spring break. They were invited to go drinking at an abandoned church by someone named Carter where they played a game of truth or dare. Little did they know that Carter had tricked them into playing a supernatural and haunted version of the game. He then warns them that they ought to do whatever the game asks or they will die.
As the movie goes on, the game follows them and hallucinations call them to pick between truth or dare. The truths and dares become more extreme and these college seniors begin to do unimaginable things including threatening someone with a gun. Now that you’ve heard of the haunted version of this game, would you still play the game of truth or dare during Hungry Ghost Festival? Or would you just stick to fun drinking card games during your chill drinks night with your friends?
Watch it on Netflix.
18. For the Netflix addict: Bird Box (2018)
If you are looking for a chaotic and thrilling movie with a tinge of goofiness, Bird Box is a good choice. A post-apocalyptic horror film, Bird Box features a lady, Malorie, together with two young children, all blindfolded, and their pet birds going downstream on a river. Malorie firmly instructs the children not to remove their blindfolds or they will die. The idea behind the blindfold stems from the fact that what drives people to self-destruction is seeing supernatural entities. The only safe way to survive in this world is to not see anything.
The film alternates between Malorie’s life five years ago and the current situation, jam-packed with violence until they conjoin. What is interesting is the fact that this movie hinges greatly on sensory deprivation, which is a switch from the usual. Add Bird Box into your Netflix horror movies list to find out how this movie ends and try out some Netflix hacks while you’re at it.
Watch it on Netflix.
19. For the gory-loving film critic: The Invisible Man (2020)
The Invisible Man starts off with a woman, Cecilia, who escapes a controlling and violent relationship with her boyfriend by drugging him. She then hides away by staying with her and childhood friend only to find out that her boyfriend had committed suicide and left her a great fortune. Soon after the death of her boyfriend, Cecilia and those close to her started to experience a series of paranormal events. She was then convinced that she was haunted by her boyfriend, who had acquired the ability to become invisible.
20. For the futurist: The Platform (2019)
Interested in what the future will look like? Watch The Platform this Hungry Ghost Festival to see how the futuristic society falls apart because of reasons like greed and selfishness. Set in a ‘vertical self-management centre’ where residents are fed via a platform. This platform is initially filled with food at the top floor and gradually descends through the levels such that there’s not much food left by the time it gets to the bottom. As this system is bound to cause conflict, this movie is filled with lots of human cannibalism and grisly scenes that will have you covering your eyes half the time.
Watch it on Netflix.
21. For the realist: The Eye (2002)
Inspired by a true event of a 16 year-old girl who committed suicide soon after her corneal transplant, The Eye (2002) tells the story about a girl whose joy soon turns into a series of paralyzing fear upon having a corneal transplant. After the transplant, violinist Wong Kar Mun starts to see ghosts and foreshadow deaths with her new pair of eyes. For those who enjoy real life stories and mysteries, The Eye will definitely send chills down your spine with the interesting plot and excellent cinematography.
22. For the folklore fanatics: Gretel and Hansel (2020)
As the title suggests, the movie is taken from the well-known fairy-tale – Hansel and Gretel. A stylish yet eerie visual throughout the film allows us to fully immense ourselves into the setting of the story and feel the panic and fear of the characters in the movie. Alongside the genre of horror, the movie was also said to fit under the category of a coming-of-age tale of a young woman who reaches an age to be in the power of choosing her own path. If you’re looking for something different and off the beaten path, Gretel and Hansel is a movie you should strike off the list.
23. For the thought provokers : Relic (2020)
With slow, escalating terrors that build up throughout the movie, Relic is a perfect combination of unbearable stillness and intense action. The movie is centralized around the theme of dementia. We also witness the pain and guilt felt by the protagonist as she neglects her elderly mother and leaves her alone in an empty house. A note (“do not follow it”) that was written by her mother, leaves the characters and the audience frightened and uncertain.
Relic is a thought-provoking, yet thrilling movie that explores the issue of Alzheimer’s Disease. We also see the harrowing experience felt by the patient and his/her family. A perfect metaphor of a deteriorating house is aligned to the mental state of the main characters in the movie is seen as the movie progresses. If you’re in for a slow scare and some mind-boggling mystery, be sure to watch Relic.
There is definitely a horror movie for everyone this Hungry Ghost Festival
Watching horror movies with friends or loved ones can be a great bonding activity! Find out how you can plan a Netflix party with horror movies lined up with your friends! After you’ve had your fill of spooky plotlines, remember to check out this list of Hungry Ghost Festival taboos to avoid too!
Psst, if you’re looking to get your Hungry Ghost Festival (aka 7th month) essentials, you can now get them on Shopee too. Additional $12 off vouchers are up for grabs!
This article was updated on 25 July 2020. Additional research done by Carrie Foong.
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