Since society reinforces positive emotional behavior like generosity and love, he says, movies and books with violence give us an opportunity to explore our dark sides. When we get to movies, we get to examine things we’re afraid of, but in a safe environment. So sit back and read about the scariest ones out there. Choosing which ones to watch later if any? That’s on you!
This 2017 horror movie covers the story of Chris, a black man who discovers disturbing facts about his white girlfriend's family. It might not look that horrifying to some viewers, but, as with most great horror films, it really depends on your ability to relate to the subject matter. "Get Out" is a culturally significant film with good acting performances that touches on the important topic of inequality.
It terrified us, but we do get those who said there was something comical about it. Who said horror and comedy can't go together and enhance each other?
Nightmare on Elm Street
Wes Craven’s "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is arguably one of the best horror movies ever made. It is the ultimate cult classic that launched an incredible franchise — and Johnny Depp’s career. If you haven’t seen the classic and you actually needed another reason, there it is!
The film, which centers around a madman who takes the lives of teenagers in their dreams, grossed over $25 million after its release in 1984. The movie forever solidified Wes Craven’s place in the horror hall of fame as one of the greatest (and most twisted) minds of all time.
1976's "Carrie" is a well-referenced classic in American TV and film, and for a good reason. The famous pig blood scene in the film brought in a new era of horror, using not only magic and mystery but also bullies and toxic relationships.
Based on Stephen King's first book, it tells the story of Carrie who stalks the town, destroying everything as blood drips from her prom dress. If you haven't seen it yet, you have to!
"Insidious" is a $555 million horror movie franchise that started with a single movie on a shoestring budget. The first installment of the paranormal thriller film did extremely well. It collected an eye-popping $99.5 million at the box office.
The supernatural elements of the story revolve around a boy who falls into an apparent coma and is inhabited by various spirits. The boy has psychic abilities and is able to travel the astral world, but he strays too far into the purgatory realm of lost souls. This one is not for the faint-hearted!
As Above, So Below
The 2014 horror film, which was written and directed by John Erick Dowdle, is presented as found footage of a documentary crew's experience as they explore the Catacombs of Paris. Though critics gave the film mixed reviews, we think it deserved a better fate.
Entertainment Weekly testified that this movie has some really good scare moments. If you want to check it out for yourselves, it's available on Netflix, but it will provide a different type of Netflix and Chill.
Those who haven't heard of the smash-hit Netflix Original, "Bird Box," may as well have been living under a rock for the past few years. Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock plays a woman who survives the apocalypse, which begins when people start to see something and, in turn, lose their minds.
"Bird Box" has become one of Netflix's most-streamed movies, and for a good reason! This post-apocalyptic horror movie will keep you glued to your seats.
"Cargo" stars Martin Freeman as a man who has just lost his wife to disease and who is also staring down his own violent fate. He has 48 hours until he turns into one of the walking dead roaming Australia, the same pressing time in which he must find a suitable safe refuge for his baby daughter.
The film isn't just terrifying, Martin Freeman's acting adds emotional depth, and critics praised it for being a character-driven zombie movie.
Friday the 13th
The original "Friday the 13th" is definitely a classic horror movie and arguably one of the best slasher films ever made. It changed the genre by focusing on the history of the killer and not of the victims, this reflected the growing fear of violent crimes. This picture hit nearly $60 million at the box office and turned into an extremely successful franchise.
Now, there are loads of Friday the 13th movies, including "Freddy vs. Jason," which combines this franchise with "Nightmare on Elm Street"’s Freddy Kruger.
"The Exorcist" is one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Linda Blair's character's transition from a sweet innocent girl into a fully possessed demon is disturbing. She's one of the scariest children of the genre.
The possessed Regan twists her head completely around while a priest is incanting the exorcism spell. That spinning head left a lasting impression in cinema, and the film did too. “The Exorcist” was the first horror movie to receive a Best Picture nomination, and it received nine other Oscar nominations to boot.
This David Lynch piece was a feature film, and in true Lynchian fashion, it was, of course, an experimental-style horror film. The tiny budgeted movie initially took some time to gain attention, but by the time it did, it had become an unstoppable cult hit.
In 2004, the United States Library of Congress entered it into the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film is a fixture in film schools and collections of budding film enthusiasts to this day.
The 2001 cult film “Session 9” was shot at the Danvers State Mental Hospital in Massachusetts. Most of it is still standing, which means you could give it a visit after watching the film if you dare! The film tells the story of a crew sent to clean an abandoned mental hospital. Creepy, mysterious events ensue.
This was Anderson's first horror film after a string of rom-coms. The film doesn't feature too much gore, but it's the atmosphere that makes it scary.
"Halloween" is a cult classic in the horror industry. The 1970’s film that was created by John Carpenter revolves around a deranged psychopath in a mask that’s obsessed with finding and brutally murdering his sister (Jamie Lee Curtis). The movie set the bar for slasher films and became enormously successful, all with only a $300,000 budget.
Michael Meyer’s “Halloween” mask is one of the most terrifying movie props ever. If you think you can handle it, give this one a watch!
Perhaps Alfred Hitchcock’s most widely known and recognized film, "Psycho" is a classic horror thriller that still gets played today around every Halloween. The film stars Anthony Perkins as a mentally unstable owner of a hotel who has a ton of dark secrets hidden within the building where he works.
"Psycho" became the pioneer title when it comes to the genre of horror films. In many ways, the 1960 film has become the standard for how these movies would be made.
The Evil Dead
"The Evil Dead" is a creepy cult classic that began as a short film back in 1981. The movie made nearly $30 million at the box office — quite a feat for a movie that was made in the early ’80s! The king of horror himself, Stephen King, absolutely loved the movie and helped the creators land an awesome distribution deal with New Line Cinema.
If Stephen King is so passionate about it, you know that it's a must-watch!
Stephen King’s short stories and novels have been adapted for the screen numerous times. "The Shining" was arguably one of the most famous adaptations. King reportedly hated the film. Regardless, "The Shining" goes down in horror film history as one of the best ones ever made.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the story revolves around Jack Torrance (played by the inimitable Jack Nicholson), caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. He has a wife, Wendy, and a son named Danny who’s also psychic. The film remains a chilling portrayal of a man’s slow descent into madness.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Making a good horror film is like striking gold. This was certainly the case for "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre," as it brought in $30.9 million in the U.S. alone. The film became an instant classic and the template for the gory slasher film. The film also spawned a series of sequels, making it an obvious choice for horror nights around the world.
The film, according to Entertainment Weekly, has been listed as the second scariest film of all time, following "The Ex." Thanks, Leatherface. This character will forever be burned into our minds.
Demonic dolls are downright frightening as a horror trope. While Annabelle may be leading in that aspect today, how can anyone forget Chucky? Part of the "Child’s Play" series, the menacing Chucky set a precedent for nightmarish toys that are out to get you.
The original film directed by Brad Dourif used puppets to give life to Chucky’s character. Even today, it remains deeply unsettling, even to adults, but especially to children.
"Creepshow" was an homage to DC and EC horror comics from the ‘50s. It was both a full-length feature film and an anthology with five spine-tingling stories. The movie was written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero. Created by two greats, there's no excuse to skip this one!
It features everything from mysterious alien meteorites and ape-like creatures to creepy bugs. So there's something in there to scare everyone!
"Cannibal Holocaust" is one of the most horrifying controversial films produced during the time. Its content was so graphic that audiences were convinced the deaths were real.
The actors reportedly signed a contract saying they would disappear. They did so to keep up the appearance of the film being a documentary. The 1980 Italian film isn't as well known in America, and maybe that's for the best? Viewer discretion is seriously advised with this one.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Tobe Hooper’s "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" is a classic horror film. But it’s the 1986 sequel that amassed a cult following. The plot sees the Sheriff on a vengeance mission against the Swayer family. Meanwhile, the cannibalistic family set their sights on a radio host.
Leatherface steals the show, but audiences also get to meet Chop-Top Sawyer who’s equally depraved. Part 2 of the franchise contains violent scenes that have scarred imaginations since. Would you dare to watch it yourselves?
In 2014, the mastermind director behind several of the most terrifying horror movies, James Wan, struck again. This was when he produced the incredibly creepy prequel to "The Conjuring" — "Annabelle", a movie about a possessed doll directed by John Leonetti.
The film grossed nearly $260 million, which is even more impressive than it sounds when you factor in its $6.5 million budget. It was such a hit that it spawned the release of a prequel in 2017 and a sequel in 2019. Still, if you find dolls even a little bit creepy, stay away!
Night of the Living Dead
When you ask someone to tell you what they consider to be the original zombie movie, 9 out of 10 times, they are probably going to say "Night of the Living Dead." The horror classic was directed by George Romero. The zombie thriller was so well received that Romero went on to direct 5 more of them.
The original movie was done in black and white in 1968, and in 1990, Tom Savini debuted a color remake.
The Grindhouse film brings all the action and horror possible. The Tarantino-directed film stars Kurt Russell, as stuntman Mike McKay, and his evil pursuits of murdering young women in staged car accidents in his"death proof" car.
Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Kim (Tracie Thomas), and Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) try to survive the attack from the homicidal madman in this new wave exploration thriller. If you want to watch a scary movie that's trying to achieve something different while still being scary, this one is for you!
The seminal horror flick “The Thing” will make it hard to trust your friends. It’s an exploration of paranoia and loneliness set inside of a terrifying scenario. As an alien creature wreaks havoc on a team of researchers in the arctic, it transforms into friends and foes at the drop of a hat, which not only creates some wonderfully disgusting scenes but makes every character fear for his or her life.
In the end, as the survivors fly away in a helicopter, it’s never made clear whether or not the alien menace was actually destroyed. To the characters — and the viewers — it’s all-too-possible for the creature to still be alive.
Alfred Hitchcock's famous horror-thriller “The Birds” fills uncertainty with fear. It is the ending scene that does this best. After surviving a movie's worth of vicious bird attacks, Melanie (Tippi Hedren) is injured and nearly comatose. Mitch (Rod Taylor) has to drive her and a few children to San Francisco. As they drive, birds are everywhere, watching the car roll.
The radio tells them that the attacks are spreading, and the military is even getting involved. The movie comes to a close, and credits roll, leaving us to wonder if the characters will survive when the horror ends and why it started in the first place. Creepy!
The Blair Witch Project
Low-or-no-budget horror movies are becoming more and more popular, regardless of their quality. There are plenty of good ones to choose from, but the one that started it all was “The Blair Witch Project,” which still holds the record for high box office based on budget.
As one of the very first found-footage films, it follows a group of students who go looking for the “Blair Witch,” a being of myth and legend. To their horror, they find her and find themselves picked off one-by-one until the final shot reveals that no one is safe.
"Split" is a strange and yet very interesting movie, which received somewhat mixed reviews among some critics and audiences. The dark and twisted movie stars James McAvoy as the mind of more than 20 different people living inside one body (with multiple personality syndrome, aka split personality disorder). He kidnaps a few teenage girls, and chaos ensues as his personalities battle each other.
The drama/thriller was created by horror master M. Night Shyamalan, which explains why it’s so creepy and odd but also unquestionably brilliant. And McAvoy’s performance alone is worth watching the film for.
The Witch follows a Puritan family who settles at the edge of a forest. Throughout the film, supernatural horrors affect each member of the family, as they slowly succumb to the witchcraft that dominates the forest.
By the end of the movie, the eldest daughter (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) is the only one left. She’s forced to kill her own mother in self-defense, and the rest of her family members have been taken away by supernatural forces. Although she manages to survive, she still steps into the forest, proving that no one can truly escape the witchcraft that resides there.
The sequels were way too gory for us, but everyone knows that the original "Saw" movie is just an amazing horror film! The movie uses an interesting tactic. By being more restrained and less graphic, it allows most of the real horror to happen in our wicked minds!
"Saw" also has one of the best jump-scare sequences. If this one didn't frighten you, you should get that checked out. The movie poses a terrible question, how far would you be willing to go to save your own life?
Dawn of the Dead
The movie follows four apocalypse survivors who find themselves in a mall filled with zombies. They realize the mall isn't the safest place for them and while they try to find a way out, all hell breaks loose.
It's not the zombies themselves that make this film so delightfully horrific, it is actually the fact that even after they have died, they are all heading towards the mall. The horror here is that of knowing that this is probably what we look like on Black Friday.
Shaun of the Dead
This horror flick follows our hero, Shaun, as he learns that most of his town's population has been turned into flesh-eating cannibals.
He plans on saving his mom and girlfriend, but things don't really go as he planned them to. If you appreciate comedy you'll be delighted to know this movie is funny at times! Still, this movie isn't just a parody of the genre, it also manages to scare us to the core.
Take a candle-light Victorian mansion and throw in a bewildered governess and possessed children and you've got yourself some guaranteed goosebumps. This film presses all the right terror buttons and leaves you with nightmares for weeks after watching.
We have to admire the governess's dedication to her duty — we would've run for the hills on day one! If you haven't gotten around to watching this one yet, you really have to!
"Scream" might be the most viewed horror film out there. Even those who are not fans of the genre have probably found themselves watching it. The movie that was meant to laugh at horror films actually ended up being the one that made them relevant again.
People enjoyed the combination between laughing and screaming, not to mention the spectacular cast! Still, the scares in this film can be unpredictable and they land every time.
The Cabin in the Woods
"The Cabin in the Woods" was a 2011 horror flick written and produced by "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" creator, Joss Whedon. The plot sounds the same as the plot of many movies that came before — a group of youngsters decides to head off to a cabin in the woods, for a relaxing vacation.
Despite keeping a comedic tone, the movie manages to reference almost any phobia out there, and these scare the hell out of us!
A Quiet Place
You'd be surprised to hear that the film's star is also its director and writer. Yes, "The Office" actor John Krasinski wrote a horror movie! He stars it alongside his IRL wife, Emily Blunt. You know John as a funny guy, but this film is terrifying.
It follows a family that has to flee from monsters with extremely good hearing. They had to run, but they can't talk to each other, laugh, cry or make a sound. The quiet in this movie is one of the scariest things about it!
If you have not heard of "Paranormal Activity" it means you've been living under a rock. Simply put, this movie is similar to "The Blair Witch Project," as it pseudo-security footage, which makes the movie seem more real than you would have liked it to be.
The movie preys on one of our first fears — a fear of the dark. Who isn't scared of monsters under the bed? We know we still are.
While a creature wearing a top hat from a pop-up book may not be a terrifying thought, do not underestimate "The Badadook." This Australian horror flick certainly gets the goosebumps rising. We follow a widowed mother and son who are plagued by the Badadook, a creepy creature from her son's favorite tale.
Apart from the classic tropes of a haunted house, the film also delves deep into equally terrifying emotions such as grief and loss. A true terror indeed!
Evil Dead 2
"Evil Dead 2" has all the ingredients of a textbook horror film. Secluded cabin in the woods? Check. Evil Spirits? Check. Excessive blood and gore? Check. Comedy? Check...wait what? You read that right. "Evil Dead 2" is a genre-bending horror-comedy flick that has as many horrific moments as humorous.
Director Sam Raimi somehow manages to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, not knowing whether to scream in fear or in laughter at the chainsaw limbs, demons, and gore galore on screen.
Known as one of the original slasher films, 1974's "Black Christmas" depicts (the now over-saturated) horror trope of a group of young women being stalked and attacked by a stranger one fateful night.
The film is set in a sorority house over Christmas break. You wouldn't usually associate Christmas with terror. Well, prepare yourself! This film, with its multiple shots from the perspective of the killer, will leave you trembling even under the mistletoe. The film also introduced the ever terrifying realization that the "call is coming from inside the house." Eek!
Now, this is an invitation we certainly would not want to receive. Director Karyn Kusama's terrifying tale takes place over a rather deadly dinner party between friends. The film intricately weaves together themes of grief and despair with horror and gore.
Not to mention the slow build-up of the film only makes the climactic reveal of the characters' sick secrets all the more horrific. We'll just order in tonight, thanks.
This movie is enough to give even the most style-savvy of people some fashion phobia. "Fabric" answers the question (you likely never thought to ask) "What would happen if my dress was haunted?" The answer? Well, it wouldn't be pretty.
Wearers of the firey (pun very much intended here) red frock face horrific fates. As the pages of "Vogue" will tell you, fashion is pain! The most frightening part of the film is finding out what the fabric of the dress is made out of. That we'll let you discover on your own...
When you think of summer camp, we hope the sound of campfire songs and the smell of oozing s'mores come to mind — not the sight of a deranged zombie camp counselor. If you want to keep your summer camp memories intact, then avoid this spooky movie at all costs.
What makes this film all the more terrifying is that it's based on an urban legend. You know what they say, don't you? Where there's smoke, there's fire...
"Based on true events." What a stomach-turning sentence to read when watching "The Conjuring." Sure, this movie follows the arguable cliche horror trope of a family stuck in a haunted house, but it conjures up some true terror even in the most experienced of horror enthusiasts.
Add a splash of paranormal paranoia in the mix and you've got yourself some nightmare fuel for the next few weeks. Director James Wan knows what he's doing when it comes the scaring the living daylights out of an audience. You've been warned...
The story of this film is simple and straightforward — Sarah loses her family, and in order to help her cope, her girlfriends take her to explorer caves together. Yeah, we don't understand how this is supposed to help either. The movie manages to make us feel claustrophobic even though we are watching it from the comfort of our roomy home.
While horror movies don't tend to be the best at depicting strong, interesting female characters this one actually does a great job at that.
Here's the thing...you don't need fancy CGI and a green screen to scare the pants off an audience. Director John Carpenter's "The Thing" is the perfect example of how powerful old-school Hollywood practical effects can be. The film is based on a novella titled "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell Jr. and drops you into the icy and isolated setting of Antarctica.
A group of American researchers is tormented by a parasitic alien that happens to be astute at imitating humans. Yikes. It leaves the group constantly on edge wondering who is human and who is alien...
The Silence of the Lambs
This Oscar darling certainly sings for its supper. For animals lovers out there, don't fret! No lambs were involved in the making of the film. Instead, the true terror is focused on unlucky humans. Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee and the protagonist of the film, takes us on a quest to catch a serial killer with the help of none other than...Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who's, himself, a serial killer.
Clarice gets up close and personal with the skin-crawl-causing cannibal. The film appears on various "greatest films of all time" lists, so not only will it frighten you, but it will also impress your cinephile friends.
Bride of Frankenstein
"Bride of Frankenstein" could be labeled a star-crossed love story just as much as it's labeled a horror film. As a sequel to "Son of Frankenstein, "this film digs a little deeper into the troubled psyche of the monster as he tries to grapple with his own existence and the terror he's caused.
For its time, the practical effects of this film certainly terrified viewers, however nowadays, Frankenstein's futile attempt to find love is perhaps what's most frightening.
"It Follows" follows Annie who is seen running away from home, but there is no apparent reason as to why she does that. Later we learn that she was killed. This movie excels when it comes to jump-scares and it also has a brilliant score that makes it feel even creepier than you thought was possible.
Some of the scenes might trick you into thinking you can sit back and relax for a couple of minutes, but there's always something about to happen.
An American Werewolf in London
The title is iconic enough, but the movie also does a great job at living up to its name. Some people claim that the best horror movies are the ones that have a comic aspect to them, as you can never know what to expect. "An American Werewolf in London" is exactly for those people!
It tells the story of two Americans backpacking in Yorkshire, but when they end up being attacked by a werewolf, well, chaos ensues.
The Wicker Man
This Nicholas Cage remake suffered a lot of backlash for being laughable at best. Still, there is something scary in the film's simplicity. They were not trying to reinvent the wheel, the plot is straightforward and follows a policeman who searches an island for a girl that went missing.
But what makes this movie stand out is the fact that the real monster here is other people. There's nothing scarier than feeling like you can't trust anyone.
Return of the Living Dead
Described as a "mordant punk comedy" and "undoubtedly one of the most significant zombie films ever," this film is certainly a head-scratcher for some (or, should we say, a brain scratcher).
The film famously introduced the now-cliched trope of zombies preferring to snack on human brains over any other body part. As a long-awaited follow-up to the original "Night of the Living Dead," the film definitely delivers when it comes to zombie gore and giggles. We recommend a "Living Dead" movie marathon!
Steven Spielberg really needs no introduction. He is responsible for so many classics, some of them scarier than others. Jaws is definitely at the top of our list, even though some people claim this isn't even a horror movie! What can be more horrifying than sharks?
Spielberg goes hard on this one, and when the revengeful shark is around, no one is safe! Not even moviegoers, who, when the film was released, fled the cinema in terror.
A poltergeist is, at its core, a very annoying ghost. You know, the type of ghost that breaks your furniture and kidnaps your children into other realms.
The frightening film also managed to do the impossible... make people fear their television sets (which would only be further entrenched by "The Ring" in 2002). Watch the Freeling family's suburban bliss plunge into pure ghostly terror as they battle disgruntled spirits from other realms.
28 Days Later
"28 Days Later" takes place in Great Britain. After an ape runs away from a lab, a contagious virus spreads across the kingdom. The virus is conveniently called "Rage." 28 days after, Jim, portrayed by Cillian Murphy wakes up in a hospital.
This horror flick scares us because of one simple reason, it feels like its plot was taken out of our nightmares!
If you don't want to have to sleep with the light on for the next few months, just say "No" to "Nosferatu." The film has been hailed as the "birthplace" of the art of horror filmmaking. What's even more impressive, is that as a silent film, there is no reliance on loud bangs and jump scares to get your heart racing.
The terror that the viewer experiences is derived solely from the grotesque Count Orlock's appearance and movements. If you're unlucky enough, you'll most likely recognize the iconic shadowy shot of Count Orlock climbing a staircase to prey on his victims.
"Re-Animator" is a horror/comedy 80's staple. There's no argument there! On their best days, college students can be a nightmare, but in this film, student Herbet West takes the cake. Instead of attending parties and making friends, he becomes transfixed on bringing his dead professor back to life.
Talk about trying to get extra credit! Obviously, his attempts go grotesquely wrong and he creates more of a zombie than a revived human. Chaos ensues as a cycle of death and botched re-animation spirals out of control.
This Spanish masterpiece had an English remake that we are going to ignore. But, while the remake was terrifyingly bad, the original is one of the best "found-footage" horror films. Despite technically being a zombie movie, it feels painfully real.
It tells the story of a morning show crew who follow firefighters as they receive a call about a woman acting strange. Sounds basic but there's no way you could get through this one without screaming.
Something about the name is just creepy even before we know what the movie is about. It tells the story of a perfect family. But, the death of the mother's mother shocks her, and while she's trying to come to terms with her death, something terrible happens.
While home is where most of us feel secure, there is no moment when you feel safe and sound in this film. One of the scariest things about this film is that it's very hard to put a finger on why it's so terrifying.
Day of the Dead
Zombie-d out? Think again! "Day of the Dead," the third installment of the "Living Dead" franchise drops you right back into zombie zone.
In this post-apocalyptic horror, we're taken into an underground bunker where a few (lucky?) humans are trying to survive. As you'd come to expect from a film about the undead, there's plenty of guts and gore to feast your eyes upon. It seems that this film (zombie) walked so the hit TV show "The Walking Dead" could...well...also walk.
While alien is technically a science fiction film, it is also one of the most unnerving movies ever made. In this film, a Nostromo crew is sent to investigate an alien spaceship that was mysteriously abandoned. Right off the bat, this movie nails it with a scary location.
Being in space is already an isolating experience, but anything that's been abandoned is automatically creepier. What really seals the deal is that the creature here is both physically and metaphorically threatening.
The Sixth Sense
This 1999 masterpiece is a supernatural thriller. It follows a psychologist who has a patient who can talk to the dead. Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment are amazing in their roles. The film is known for its surprising ending, which we assume you already know, but just in case you don't — we won't tell you.
While this flick can't be called gory, it has a lot of jump scares. If you haven't seen it for some reason, you have to, it's a classic.
Director Michael Powell's violent voyeuristic film captures the age-old fear of being watched by a stranger. Mark Lewis, aka "Peeping Tom" gets his fix from filming and then murdering unassuming women in their own homes. Nowadays, where cameras can be found in everyone's pocket at all times, this film is particularly relevant and poignant.
While Powell's work wasn't appreciated at the time of its release, "Peeping Tom" has since cultivated a cult status among movie buffs.
We know what you're thinking — there's no way a film from 1959 can be scary. When it first came out, the film wasn't that well-liked by critics, but today it is considered a cult classic. This creature feature is so scary because it tackles the notion of fear itself. The tingler is a virus that preys on those who feel fear.
If watching it today doesn't give you the desired effect, you should try and watch it the way they did back then. The director installed little buzzers in the theater sits that made viewers feel like the creature was about to get them!
The Devil’s Backbone
Guillermo Del Toro is one of the most underrated directors living today. We know he's admired by many, but we feel like he doesn't get talked about enough. One of his earlier films, a film titled "The Devil's Backbone" is actually the spooky sibling of "Pan's Labyrinth".
Just like Del Toro's most known film, this one is also set in the Spanish Civil war and follows a young child. This helpless child has to comfort a ghost that haunts his orphanage, and nothing is more heartbreaking than the helplessness of children in the face of evil.
When legendary director Martin Scorsese ranks your film as one of the scariest of all time, then you know you've done something right! It's not just Scorsese who was terrorized by Director Robert Wise's "The Haunting." Audiences across the board found the film's paranormal premise to be frightening.
The film keeps you guessing whether what the characters are experiencing is indeed ghostly or concoctions created in their own minds. If you enjoyed the most recent TV show adaption of the story "The Haunting of Hill House" then you're sure to enjoy its predecessor.
The 1987 British film "Hellraiser" is based on a story called "The Hellbound Heart." At the center of the movie are extra-dimensional creatures who enjoy hurting others and can't tell pain from pleasure. This one was so successful that it got no less than nine scary sequels.
The special effects that were used might not stand the test of time, but one thing that will always remain dreadful is seeing creatures who love inflicting pain.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
It's really all in the title. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is well... about an invasion of a body-snatching alien species. At first, they appear non-threatening in the form of flowery pods. Unfortunately, as the film progresses, we learn that the aliens assimilate into duplicate humans, killing the original hosts in the process.
The film ends on a rather bleak note, with an entire city filled with alien duplicates and Nancy, the last human, screaming in terror as she realizes her duplicated fate.
Canadians can create magnificently terrifying horror films too! "The Changeling" is a 1980 psychological horror movie that follows a composer who grieves the death of his wife.
He moves into what he believes is a mansion haunted by ghosts. Martin Scorsese called this one of the scariest films he's ever seen and that means something coming from him! It is our dread of the unknown that makes this 80s movie a classic horror flick.
Ballet student, Suzy Bannion, performs a delicate dance with death in "Suspiria." Suzy initially thinks she's attending a "normal" dance academy, but unbeknownst to her, she pirouettes straight into a witchy trap.
She manages to narrowly escape becoming a coven's human sacrifice and destroys the entire cursed academy in the process. Someone give her an A+ and a standing ovation!
The Girl With All the Gifts
This is the best zombie movie you have probably never heard of. We're glad to be the ones to let you in on this masterpiece. This is a post-apocalyptic British film that was released in 2016. It follows the survival journey of a few different characters, including a special young girl called Melanie.
Trust us when we say it's worth the watch! The movie is both scary and thought-provoking, and isn't that the best thing about Horror movies?
Clowns are pretty creepy, right? Did you know it’s commonly listed as a top fear for many people? That obviously was the inspiration for Stephen King to write a book that was exactly about that. The 2017 film ups the horror scale, and Bill Skarsgård does a spectacularly creepy job.
The actor said that becoming a psychotic killer clown for the movie took all of his energy and he admitted he had nightmares after the film was released. Watch at your own discretion!
This brilliant film is as terrifying today as it was in the 80s. What is the monster in the film? No, it isn’t the “stuff”, tasty alien goo that bursts out of people and transforms into a sentient being. It’s toxic and excessive consumer culture!
It ought to strike a chord of fear in all of us as advertisements and targeted marketing becomes a more and more inescapable reality as our lives move online. Relax! It’s just a movie…right?
They Look Like People
Director Perry Blackshear of “They Look Like People” keeps the film teetering on the edge between a psychological thriller and a pure horror film. We are introduced to two friends, Chriss and Wyatt, who are both battling their own emotional inner demons.
Due to a series of bone-chilling phone calls, Wyatt becomes convinced that New York City, his home, is about to be overtaken by demons. This film will keep your heartbeat racing for its entire 80-minute runtime.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Anthony Perkins directed this excellent, disturbing film starring Kiernan Shipka, Emma Roberts, and Lucy Boynton. Shipka and Boynton play two girls that were left at their boarding school during winter break.
Things gradually start going wrong on a supernatural level, and the two are sucked into their worst nightmare. Meanwhile, Roberts has her own plotline, working her way to the school. The two arcs meet in a memorable final act.
Let the Right One In
This vampy horror will petrify you and pull on your heartstrings at the same time. Trust us. “Let the Right One In” has all the elements necessary for a traditional blood-sucking tale — you know, vampiric violence and gore — but it’s layered with the magic of falling in love for the first time.
Critics overwhelmingly agree that the only thing that sucks about this film is the vampire.
What’s scarier than a ghost story? Four ghost stories! Using a mix of Japanese myths and folklore, director Masaki Kobayashi expertly immerses the audience in an anthology horror masterpiece.
Prepare to be unsettled and for your nerves to be rattled with each new tale, from “The Black Hair” and “The Woman of the Snow” to “Hoichi the Earless,” and “In a Cup of Tea.”
This cult-classic horror expertly depicts a petrifying paranoia-fueled pregnancy. The film's artistic genius and subliminal themes of women's liberation even earned it a place in the United States National Film Registry.
Mia Farrow shines as the film's young protagonist, terrified under constant threat from her creepy cult-member neighbors and by her own growing belly. The film builds to a climax where Rosemary realizes that she's given birth to none other than Satan's son. We've heard that pregnancy can be tough but this is just ridiculous!
This 2020 horror movie drew its inspiration from real-life events — it takes place in a Zoom call. That's already horrific, right? Well, the movie tells the story of friends who try to do a seance over Zoom. It's clear this movie was inspired by some of the classics like "Paranormal Activity" and the iconic "The Blair Witch Project".
It might be hard for you to imagine how a movie that takes place on a computer screen can be scary, but Director Rob Savage (in the picture above) just made it work. It's amazing how innovative a movie that was shot remotely can be!