Horror movies have had a hold on us for more than a century, providing us with jump scares, gut-wrenching gore, and spine-tingling tension. Yes, what puts you to sleep at night may be another person’s yawn fest, yet there are those sacred stones that give us all the chills and spend endless nights haunting our dreams.
This list covers the entire gamut of horror’s subgenres, from the unholy rites of The Exorcist to the sneaky dread that lurks in Hereditary: supernatural hauntings, knife-wielding slashers, edge-of-your-seat suspense, mind-bending mysteries, dystopian sci-fi, and soul-shattering psychological horror. Every movie on this list is a master of terror, whether it is via spine-tingling narratives, unsettling photography, or performances that are so unforgettable they’ve been inducted into the Horror Hall of Fame.
1 The Exorcist
I firmly believe that The Exorcist is the scariest film ever made. When I originally saw it when I was around twelve, I recall being completely horrified. I found it incredibly horrifying when she was poking the cross into her vagina and then completely turned her head around. The first time I saw this movie, it really startled me. That night, I was so troubled by the movie that I couldn’t sleep with the lights out and ended up praying to God. When this movie originally came out in 1973, I can only image how much more horrifying it would have been.
I’m glad you got it correct! These days, no picture could ever shock audiences the way The Exorcist did when it first came out thanks to modern effects. In theaters, people were fainting out or throwing up, or they were getting blessed before entering by priests or nuns. Nothing, in my opinion, can separate a film as much from its genre as The Exorcist did. No film since 1973 has been able to reach that standard. I can argue for The Exorcist, but there’s room for debate with all the other films after that!
2 The Illumination
The fact that many consider The Exorcist—a film in which a silly-looking child rotates her head 360 degrees—to be the scariest ever astounds me every time. However, a realistic movie about a person slowly going insane and attempting to kill his wife and child – while simultaneously boasting one of the best acting performances of all time – is not regarded scary at all. Nevertheless, this movie surpasses all others in the horror genre not just for its terrifying content but also for its superb pacing, acting, directing, and score. Of course, it’s the most beautiful horror film ever produced.
I am aware that some of you find this to be somewhat unsettling, and that is your perspective. However, consider how it would feel to have your own father attempt to kill you. He follows the instructions given by the voices he hears. He kills a man who tries to assist him after going insane. The realization that it might happen is the only thing this movie has ever done for me. This may actually happen, and it’s not always with a voice-talking dude. A man is capable of arranging the murder of his family and not caring what happens after. This movie scares me because your own father, who is meant to protect you, is the one doing the damage.
3 An Elm Street Nightmare
This is a timeless film that is exciting, unsettling, and thought-provoking. I’m definitely interested in this movie. It sends a chilling message: you die in real life if you die in your dreams. This is untrue, but it did cause me some nightmares. The things that frightened me the most about this film were Freddy’s fingernails and his voice when he threatened to kill the children. I was afraid when I viewed this movie for the first time. But after a few viewings, it became more fascinating rather than terrifying.
I adore this movie because of its intriguing plot, which is both ominous and frightening. Nancy is my favorite character. She can scream really well and does a terrific job of acting afraid. Freddy is a comical yet deadly character that terrorizes teenagers. It’s neither a comedy nor a romance, in my opinion. Although it is undoubtedly a horror movie, there are some humorous lines said by the characters. It was, I believe, supposed to be a terrifying but humorous film.
I think I’ve seen this movie about fourteen times. I’ve seen it so many times that I can recall parts of the dialogue from the characters. I adore how the film opens with the teenagers dreaming about Freddy. However, as the story goes on, one of the characters sleeps and her bedroom is transformed into what appears to be a snow room. Though it is liked, I wouldn’t say it’s the most popular film. I believe the Nightmare on Elm Street film series has three or four more installments, but the 2018 release is the finest, in my opinion.
4 The Haunting
Not many horror films have I seen. I haven’t watched many movies at all, actually. However, for over a week after seeing The Conjuring during the day (12–14 PM), I had trouble falling asleep. This film truly very scary. This isn’t a gory horror movie with mutilated corpses. The movie’s true story is what makes it so terrifying. It involves more than just a lethal virus or serial killer. It tells the story of a witch who serves evil as her lord and a cursed house.
There aren’t many animation sequences or deaths in the film, but it’s still really disturbing because it plays with your head and your beliefs. It’s also unnerving to consider that it might happen to any of us. Ultimately, though, God intervenes to protect the protagonists from evil. You know, the only one who can save us is God.
My attachment to The Conjuring is strong. To find out the truth, I truly want to travel to the farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island, and stay there for a few days. I believed that all of the paranormal activity had happened to me the night I saw the movie. The most unexpected thing happened when I realized the story was true. I’ve been looking for the truth about what actually transpired in that farmhouse ever since I saw the movie. Hi there, I’m from India and I’m curious to know the truth about what actually happened to the Perrons.
I have always been afraid of masks. I freeze, and I detect a heaviness in my chest. I force myself to gaze at them. I also detest Halloween because I would hate to see someone wearing such mask. You head out to get some sweets, and then—whoa! When you see someone who is wearing the mask, you get permanently scared and traumatized. I have to admit that I’m having a slight panic attack in order to comment. I still have not brought myself to view all those movies, even though I possess them.
It was really spooky for a 1978 film! It had never been seen before how Carpenter employed shadows, wide shots, long lens shots, and camera angles. People like Michael can have tremendous strength and be unaffected by pain, thus it felt quite believable. I was terrified for two weeks after the movie ended when he vanished. It’s also worth giving Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter some attention. It’s the series’ darkest and most skillfully directed movie.
I had never seen an American horror film before, and this one was very unsettling. I had a lot of scary dreams about various things for several nights after that. I can vividly picture myself being so frightened that I had to turn on every light in our home. However, I had the best horror movie experience ever during that time. Even scarier and more disturbing horror films haven’t bothered me as much since I watched it.
The first time I saw this movie, I was perhaps 10 or 11. My sister and I were in my mother’s room together. This movie’s title was on the bootleg CD that we received from a buddy. I was terrified as soon as the title card appeared on the screen. I stayed beneath the covers throughout the entire film, save for the final fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, the video froze on us, so I missed the last fifteen minutes. That said, I was glad because the conclusion included one of the scariest twists found in horror films.
7 The Grudge
Because The Grudge so expertly captures my major fear factor aspects, it will probably always have the scariest premise for me:
- You cannot overcome the entity in any way, not even physically.
- There is no way out of the entity. It always manages to track you down, no matter where you go.
- It is not rationalizable. Until it gets you, it won’t stop.
Basically, all you can do is wait for it to come for as long it chooses to. When it finally happens, it will be terrifying because you’ll realize with horror that she’s here when you see that slight movement in the corner.
For everyone over 40 who grew up seeing “classics” like The Exorcist and The Shining, let me say this: sure, those films had their moments—well, The Shining had. In reality, The Exorcist is a comedy. This is far, far more terrifying. Horror movies have been scarier by an exponential amount, much as technology has made computers exponentially faster. This is terror on the psychological level. The goal is to control you. Every button is pressed at precisely the perfect moment to shake you to your very core. It is possible to watch The Exorcist alone, but doing so will leave you feeling paranoid for weeks afterwards.
8 The Ear
That night, I had trouble sleeping. The longest night ever was that one. Guys, view it by yourself without lights if you want to have some pleasure. You’ll get scared of it. I’ve watched every horror film ever made, including Blair Witch, The Conjuring, Paranormal Activities, and others. This is not a sentimental matter. The Ring is just the greatest. Particularly if you’re sick of those formulaic, blood-splattering horror flicks. There’s a constant sense of gloominess in the film. Fantastic idea, thrilling, and I adored the eerie tape’s background music.
It is important for people to understand that this is a psychological horror movie. This is not the movie for you if you want jump scares, spooky visuals, or gore to heighten the tension when viewing a horror movie.
The Ring’s ominous, gritty ambiance, the pervasive sense of dread it conveys throughout, and Hans Zimmer’s dramatic soundtrack ingrain themselves into your consciousness. It’s a psychological movie that is quiet but powerful.
9 Friday the 13th
The best movie is the first one. A camp counselor watches in horror as each of her friends and coworkers perishes in a more gory and horrific way. When she eventually finds out who is torturing her, the villain uses his own axe to decapitate her, one of the most memorable killings in horror cinema history. The film also establishes the series, which did get stale over time. However, this movie continues to be the cause of superstitious people’s fear of Friday the 13th.
That’s right, I was only 11 when I viewed this! Particularly when the girl—I can’t remember her name—is merely making her way to her cabin, it’s so suspenseful. It’s terrifying when she encounters hanging corpses with slit throats!
Not even Pamela was a villain! She was merely a protective mother who lost it when her only son drowned due to careless camp counselors.
Although Saw isn’t the scariest film on this list, it is still a really enjoyable watch. The outstanding script was all that was needed to create such a memorable horror movie. It shouldn’t be connected to any of the other movies in the series.
I get chills writing my review of this movie. I remember seeing it in the dark for the first time in the fourth grade. I still recall the tears and the restless nights. I hated the evening. When I was older, I saw the film again in the hopes that I would get past it, but I never did. I become scared just by looking at the disc cover. I picture Jigsaw’s face appearing on the TV in my living room every time I glance at it. I’m incredibly motivated to improve myself after watching this film, if only to avoid getting into that situation in the future. Please vote for this as the top choice if you are reading this. I’m grateful.
I’m not scared of the doll or the gore. It’s all in my head. I consider the sacrifices I would have to make if I were in their shoes in order to survive. I was less afraid of the first one, but the others were extremely vicious. Imagine wearing a nail-filled mask and chopping open your eye to prevent yourself from dying. I continue to watch survival videos on YouTube to this day. To be honest, the scariest thing is in my imagination.