From the Headless Horseman of “Sleepy Hollow” to the Dragon Coaster scene in “Fatal Attraction,” the Hudson Valley has had its share of the spotlight when it comes to pulse-pounding movies.
Starting with the most recent, here are 10 spooky movies filmed in Westchester County in the past 25 years.
“Black Swan” (2010)
Stars: Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis
Local connections: Parts filmed at Purchase College
Summary: A ballet dancer snags the lead in a production of “Swan Lake,” and proceeds to lose her mind.
How good is it? This Academy Award nominee for Best Picture also scored actress Natalie Portman an Oscar for her performance.
Ideal for: Birds of a feature who are disturbed together.
“I Am Legend” (2007)
Stars: Will Smith
Local connections: Parts filmed at Yonkers Stage
Summary: The survivor of a plague sets out to find a cure while trekking through a desolate world of monsters.
How good is it? Earning mostly positive reviews, this Smith vehicle allows him to save the world once again, but do it in a darker, eerier setting than, say, “Independence Day” or the “Men in Black” trilogy.
Ideal for: Survivalists who seek a post-apocalyptic alternative to zombies and vampires
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, David Morse and Carrie-Anne Moss
Local connections: Parts filmed at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, the Port Authority Industrial Park and Yonkers Stage in Yonkers and along Interstate 287 in Harrison.
Summary: A homebound teenager and the girl next door investigate his hunch that the next-door neighbor is a serial killer.
How good is it? It’s hard not to compare this one to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (more on that in a bit). But it got more good reviews than bad, and it’s a big reason LaBeouf is now a household name.
Ideal for: Those who are a little too afraid to trick-or-treat at that creepy house down the block.
“Dark Water” (2005)
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly and Tim Roth
Local connections: Parts filmed in Pocantico Hills
Summary: This American remake of a Japanese film casts Connelly as a single mom with a history of mental illness and the ghost of a girl who is haunting her new apartment.
How good is it? Critics weren’t wishy-washy with their complaints about the American version, but hopefully Connelly cashed in following her Oscar-winning turn in “A Beautiful Mind.”
Ideal for: Anyone who wants to remember what John C. Reilly was like when he was primarily a dramatic actor — not that either genre for him is a bad thing.
“War of the Worlds” (2005)
Stars: Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning
Local connections: Parts filmed at Croton Point Park; features a cameo by former Pound Ridge resident Tim Robbins
Summary: Aliens attack with their tentacles, and the whole planet freaks out even more than the way the real-life radio audience did when many listeners didn’t realize the adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel was fictional.
How good is it? The better of two Dakota Fanning entries on this Hudson Valley list, this thriller with director Steven Spielberg’s distinctive touch is moody, harmless fun (unless you’re one of the aliens’ victims).
Ideal for: Optimists who’d like to think their common cold could come in handy someday.
“Hide and Seek” (2005)
Stars: Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning
Local connections: Parts filmed in Ossining
Summary: A widower and his daughter try to cope with life after the death of her mother, but struggle to do so when the daughter acts up with her imaginary friend.
How good is it? Well, it’s only got a 13 percent rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. And, yes, that’s out of 100.
“Lost Souls” (2000)
Stars: Winona Ryder
Local connections: Parts filmed on the Taconic State Parkway in Mount Kisco
Summary: Worried that Satan might take the form of man, a group of people investigate a patient at a mental hospital as a possible lead.
How good is it? Well, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 7 percent rating, making “Hide and Seek” a veritable “Citizen Kane” by comparison.
Ideal for: No souls.
“Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
Stars: Parts filmed in Yonkers
Local connections: Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci
Summary: Take Tim Burton’s brooding style and apply it to Washington Irving’s classic tale of the Headless Horseman, and voila.
How good is it? Reviews were mixed, tilting toward mildly positive, but it gets the Newsday Westchester benefit of the doubt because the title is the name of a Hudson Valley location.
Ideal for: Fans of the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp bromance who also want to watch a legendary tale unfold in Westchester, even if it wasn’t filmed in the actual Sleepy Hollow.
“Rear Window” (1998)
Stars: Christopher Reeve and Daryl Hannah
Local connections: Parts filmed at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, on Interstate 287 in Harrison and at Port Authority Industrial Park in Yonkers; Reeve was a long-time Pound Ridge resident
Summary: Reeve’s remake of Hitchcock’s 1954 movie of the same name has his character trying to figure out if the guy in the apartment next door is up to no good. (You know, like “Disturbia,” except this one happened first.)
How good is it? The TV movie received mixed reviews, but many viewers applauded the on-screen work of Reeve, who scored a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
Ideal for: Anyone who prefers Reeve to LaBeouf.
“Fatal Attraction” (1987)
Stars: Michael Douglas and Glenn Close
Local connections: Parts filmed in Bedford and at Playland in Rye; Douglas and Close live (separately) in northern Westchester
Summary: A married man’s affair comes back to haunt him, reminding everyone in the real-life audience not to cheat, because yikes.
How good is it? It’s a classic, one that earned six Oscar nominations (including the fourth of six for Close) and still resonates 2 1/2 decades after it premiered. There’s a reason crazy exes are compared to the one who felt the need to prepare a little rabbit stew.
Ideal for: Anyone who “won’t be ignored.”