'Phantom of the Opera' pumpkin
A pumpkin decorated with the image of the Phantom of the Opera is seen at the Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns event at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois, US. Reuters/Jim Young

Halloween is around the corner, and it’s the perfect season – and reason – to get scared. Why not enjoy the annual period of fright with the best horror flicks the country has to offer?

Australia is no stranger to scary movies, and many locally made films have gained international spotlight. There’s just something about the barren and hostile atmosphere of the outback that resonates nightmarish sensations.

Pumpkin spice up Halloween with these tricks and treats from the Land Down Under. These are the best Australian horror movies of the last 20 years:

1. “Rogue” (2007)

A number of thrill-seeking tourists including an American journalist get more than they signed up for when they encounter an enormous man-eating crocodile in the Australian outback. The film is one of the better “croc” films out there, riveting from the get-go.

2. “The Babadook” (2014)

Amelia is struggling to keep up with her seemingly destructive son, Samuel, after her husband dies. Samuel is haunted by a monstrous creature that he thinks is trying to kill him and his mum. His nightmares become a reality when a strange storybook, “The Babadook,” shows up at their home. Amelia is initially in denial of the supernatural occurrences until she experiences them herself. One of the highest rated Australian horror films, “The Babadook" will rhyme its way into trembling hearts everywhere.

3. “Wolf Creek” (2005)

Three vacationers find themselves stranded in the Australian outback after their car battery dies. A local Samaritan lends a helping hand, but he turns out to be a torturous lunatic who unleashes nightmarish acts of torment on them. The unadulterated brutality of “Wolf Creek” makes it one of the most disturbing Australian movies ever made.

4. “The Loved Ones” (2009)

Brent’s life turns upside down when Lola sets her revenge on him for turning down her prom invitation. He goes through a dreadful cycle of physical misery as Lola and her father have their way with him. This Australian horror masterpiece will draw out endless cringes and trembles. It’s that bothersome.

5. “The Reef” (2010)

A sailboat capsizes by the Great Barrier Reef, leaving the crew on their own as a great white shark wanders about. “The Reef” may incorporate an already generic movie formula, but it delivers plenty of thrills. Look out for everyone’s limbs.

6. “Lake Mungo” (2008)

After 16-year-old Alice Palmer mysteriously dies, her family seeks a psychic and a parapsychologist to look into her death. Not long after she had been laid to rest, the Palmer family experiences a number of strange happenings at home. The Palmers later discover that Alice had kept secrets from them and lived a double life. Set in a pseudo-documentary manner a la “The Blair Witch,” “Lake Mungo” is alarmingly creepy. Watch out for the mid-movie twist.

7. “Snowtown” (2011)

Based on one of the longest and most publicised cases in Australian history, “Snowtown” dwells on the murderous spree conducted by John Bunting and his accomplices. The controversial film is very well-made just as it is equally disturbing. The film is not for everyone and it may be extremely difficult to watch certain scenes.

8. “Wyrmwood” (2014)

This movie is about a gifted grease monkey fighting off swarms of flesh-eating monsters to find his sister in the middle of an outback zombie apocalypse. “Wyrmwood” is sort of a cross between “Dawn of the Dead” and “Mad Max.” The film contains an abundance of electrifying nail-biters and just the right amount of laughs.

9. “Dying Breed” (2008)

A zoology student leads an expedition into the wild to prove that the supposedly extinct Tasmanian Tigers still exist, only to discover that they’re the endangered ones. The movie is all about carnage, cannibalism and annihilation; a perfect Halloween treat.

10. “Van Diemen’s Land” (2009)

Another Australian film based on a true story, “Van Diemen’s Land” tells the tale of Alexander Pearce, Australia's most notorious convict, and his escape from the brutal Macquarie Harbour Penal Settlement along with seven other prisoners. Their fervour after the breakout quickly fades as they realise the Tasmanian wilderness to be unforgiving. The eerie outback turns them against each other as human nature takes over in this beautifully crafted thriller.