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Scary Movies

Top 10 Most Scary Movies Ever

Scary movies have always been a popular genre, with audiences eager to see films that will make them jump out of their seats. While some movies may be scary for one person and not another, there are certain horror movies that are undeniably among the most spine chilling ever made. Here are the top 10 most scary movies of all time.


#1 -The Exorcist (1973)

About:

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin and written for the screen by William Peter Blatty, based on his 1971 novel of the same name. The film stars Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran (in his final film role), Jason Miller and Linda Blair. It is the first installment in The Exorcist film series, and follows the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s attempt to rescue her through an exorcism conducted by a pair of Catholic priests.

Why Scary:

Much like The Shining, The Exorcist is not safe. Unpredictable, visceral, and primeval, this is a movie based on the simplest of premises but even in its happiest moments, is absolutely anxiety-inducing. With a now near-mythical production, William Friedkin’s relentlessness for ‘authenticity’ meant his actors were frozen in a refrigerated bedroom, physically pulled across sets to replicate the demon’s physical prowess, and, of course, splattered with warm pea soup. The result is a horror movie that you’ll probably never say you actively enjoy, but will find yourself rewatching, just to feel the sheer terror of Friedkin’s battle of good vs evil in all its disturbing glory once again.

Director: William Friedkin

Release Date: December 26, 1973

Critic Comments: Rating: 4.2 Star
one of the comments, from Akashat: The Exorcist is always considered as a horror masterpiece. I went to watch this movie after listening so much about it. I accept that movie was made in nice manner but I may not call it best horror movie.

Where to Find: Link here

A man with a hat on his head, holding a suitcase, arrives in from of a house in the night

 


#2 – The Thing (1982)

About:

The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter from a screenplay by Bill Lancaster. Based on the 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. novella Who Goes There?, it tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who encounter the eponymous “Thing”, a parasitic extraterrestrial life-form that assimilates, then imitates, other organisms. The group is overcome by paranoia and conflict as they learn that they can no longer trust each other and that any of them could be the Thing. The film stars Kurt Russell as the team’s helicopter pilot, R.J. MacReady, and features A. Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis, and Thomas G. Waites in supporting roles.

Why Scary: It’s fair to say that at no point does Hereditary feel safe. Nowhere during its two-hour run time do you feel like you can stop and take a breath, or even make a guess as to what’s coming next. Is this a supernatural movie? Is this an exercise in grief, similar to the Babadook? Is there even a difference between these two ideas? Every shot of Collette’s artist painstakingly creating miniature dioramas feels like a threat and every awkward conversation between the two teenagers of the family leaves a sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach. Why? There’s no putting your finger on the exact reason. It might have split cinema audiences but Hereditary is a tour de force of modern horror that will leave you reeling long after its grueling third act. We’re just not going to tell you why.e Thing is a movie of physicality. There’s intense paranoia and horror sprinkled in as the party begins to fall apart as the infection spreads but it’s the very real, oh-so-touchable nature of the nasties at work here that’s so disturbing. The practical effects – the responsibility of a young Rob Bottin and uncredited Stan Winston – are the true stars as arms are eaten by chests, decapitated heads sprout legs, and bodies are elongated and stretched. The macabre vision of these murderous monsters at work is never anything less than true nightmare fuel.

Director: John Carpenter

Release Date: June 25, 1982

Critic Comments: Rating: 4.7
one of the comments, from Ethan: My personal favorite horror movie of all time! The atmosphere and story are intense, the practical effects are top of the line, and the characters are each interesting and engaging! I especially love how smart The Thing is for a horror movie. 

Where to Find: Link here

A human silhouette wearing a thick coat and hood stands against a white background. Beams of white emanate from the hood opening, obscuring its identity.

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#3 -Hereditary (2018)

About:

Hereditary is a 2018 American supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by Ari Aster in his directorial debut. It stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, and Gabriel Byrne as the members of a family haunted by a mysterious presence after the death of their secretive grandmother.

Why Scary:

Peter is invited to a party, and Annie insists on Charlie going with him. At the party, Peter leaves Charlie unattended and Charlie, who has a severe nut allergy, eats chocolate cake containing walnuts and goes into anaphylactic shock. As Peter drives Charlie to the hospital, she leans out of the window for air; when Peter swerves to avoid a dead deer, she is decapitated by a telephone pole. In shock, Peter drives home and leaves Charlie’s body in the car, where it is discovered by Annie the following morning. The family is fractured following Charlie’s death: Peter becomes reclusive and wracked with guilt, Annie becomes angry and resentful towards Peter, and Steve tries to mediate peace between the two.

Annie befriends support group member Joan. Joan teaches Annie to perform a séance to communicate with Charlie, and later that night, Annie convinces her family to attempt the séance. Objects begin to move and break, and Peter is petrified when Annie begins speaking in Charlie’s frightened voice until Steve douses her with water. As Peter begins to be plagued by supernatural forces, Annie suspects Charlie’s spirit has become malevolent. When she sees images in Charlie’s sketchbook that appear to threaten Peter, she throws the book into the fireplace, but her clothes start to burn along with the book, only extinguishing when she removes the book from the fire.

Annie goes through her mother’s old belongings and finds a photo album featuring pictures of Joan and Ellen together, despite Joan claiming she never knew Annie’s mother. Ellen is revealed to be ‘Queen Leigh’, the leader of a coven. Annie also discovers a book with information about a demon-king named Paimon which states that Paimon wishes to inhabit the body of a male host and the person who summoned Paimon will be given riches and rewards. Annie then finds Ellen’s body in the attic, along with occultist symbols.

Director: ri Aster

Release Date: January 21, 2018

Critic Comments: Rating 3.5
one of the comments, from Hagram: An incredible horror movie that although does fall off a bit in the final act story-wise with a supernatural element that didn’t work perfectly but still made sense Hereditary had some of the most shocking and near vomit-inducing scenes ever put to screen.

Where to Find: Link here

Hereditary.png

 


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#4 – The Shining (1980)

About:

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and co-written with novelist Diane Johnson. The film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name and stars Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd. The film’s central character is Jack Torrance (Nicholson), an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the isolated historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies, with his wife, Wendy Torrance (Duvall), and young son, Danny Torrance (Lloyd). Danny is gifted with psychic abilities named “shining”. After a winter storm leaves the Torrances snowbound, Jack’s sanity deteriorates due to the influence of the supernatural forces that inhabit the hotel. 

Why Scary:

There’s a reason that this is the top of this veritable pile of screams. The Shining feels evil. From Jack Nicholson’s deranged performance as a man descending into murderous insanity to Kubrick’s relentless direction as we hypnotically follow Danny navigating the hotel corridors on his trike, this is a movie that never lets you feel safe. Like Hereditary earlier in this list, The Shining is like being driven by a drunk mad man. What’s coming next? Lifts of blood? Chopped up little girls? The terror that lurks in the bath of room 237? This is not a horror movie made of boo scares or cheap tricks, Kubrick’s film is a lurking, dangerous beast that stays with you long after your TV has gone dark. 

Director: Stanley Kubrick’

Release Date: May 23, 1980

Critic Comments: Rating 4.3
one of the comments, from Josh: I went in thinking that this was going to be an over-rated, cheesy 80’s horror flick that had aged poorly but upon watching my expectations were blown

Where to Find: Link here

The Shining (1980) U.K. release poster - The tide of terror that swept America IS HERE.jpg

 


#5 – Alien (1979)

About: Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O’Bannon. Based on a story by O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, it follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who encounter the eponymous Alien, an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial set loose on the ship. The film stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto. It was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler, and Walter Hill through their company Brandywine Productions, and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill revised and made additions to the script; Shusett was executive producer. The Alien and its accompanying artifacts were designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the more human settings.

Why Scary:

There’s nowhere more horribly isolated than a spaceship light years away from home and Giger’s alien is as terrifying a monster as you could wish for. The dread goes much deeper than teeth and claws though. This creature represents a multilayered, bottomless pit of psychosexual horror, its very form praying on a raft of primal terrors. Plus, the visual ambiguity of Scott’s direction during the final act is an absolute masterclass in ‘What’s that in the shadows?’ tension. Ignore the recent xenomorph-packed movies, turn off the lights and watch this and Aliens to reignite your passion for the true horror of Scott’s vision. 

Director: Ridley Scott

Release Date: May 25, 1979

Critic Comments: Rating 4.5
one of the comments, from Amanda: One of the top horror movies of the 70s and one of the best sci fi films ever made. The movie is about a space crew picking up an SOS signal from another planet 

Where to Find: Link here

A large egg-shaped object that is cracked and emits a yellow-ish light hovers in mid-air against a black background and above a waffle-like floor. The title "ALIEN" appears in block letters above the egg, and just below it, the tagline appears in smaller type: "In space no one can hear you scream."

 



#6 – Jaws (1975)

About:

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the 1974 novel by Peter Benchley. In the film, a man-eating great white shark attacks beachgoers at a summer resort town, prompting police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) to hunt it with the help of a marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and a professional shark hunter (Robert Shaw). Murray Hamilton plays the mayor, and Lorraine Gary portrays Brody’s wife. The screenplay is credited to Benchley, who wrote the first drafts, and actor-writer Carl Gottlieb, who rewrote the script during principal photography.
Shot mostly on location on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, Jaws was the first major motion picture to be shot on the ocean, and consequently had a troubled production, going over budget and past schedule. As the art department’s mechanical sharks often malfunctioned, Spielberg decided mostly to suggest the shark’s presence, employing an ominous and minimalist theme created by composer John Williams to indicate its impending appearances. Spielberg and others have compared this suggestive approach to that of director Alfred Hitchcock. Universal Pictures’ release of the film to over 450 screens was an exceptionally wide release for a major studio picture at the time, and it was accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign with a heavy emphasis on television spots and tie-in merchandise.

Why Scary:

The reason that Jaws haunts you long after the credits roll is simple. One viewing and this particularly vindictive shark can potentially ruin every trip to the seaside. Every gentle paddle as waves lap at your toes. Every skinny dip. Every precarious trip out onto the ocean wave on anything smaller than the Titanic. Spielberg doesn’t pull any punches either. Dogs die, children die, heads float out of sunken boats. No one is guaranteed to see the credits here, especially not the three men who head out to sea to slay the beast. With legendary performances and a monster that will never leave you, Jaws is the ultimate creature feature. 

Director: Steven Spielberg

Release Date: June 20, 1975

Critic Comments: Rating 4.5
one of the comments, from James: One of the greatest and most harrowing adventures in motion picture history. Jaws is a lot of things.

Where to Find: Link here

Movie poster shows a woman in the ocean swimming to the right. Below her is a large shark, and only its head and open mouth with teeth can be seen. Within the image is the film's title and above it in a surrounding black background is the phrase "The most terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No. 1 best seller." The bottom of the image details the starring actors and lists credits and the MPAA rating.

 


#7 – It Follows (2015) 

About:

It Follows is a 2014 American supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. It stars Maika Monroe as a young woman who is pursued by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter and must have sex with another individual to avoid it.[4] Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe appear in supporting roles

Why Scary:

It Follows isn’t just scary. It’s chilling with jump scares that might mean you’ll need to remove yourself from your ceiling with a spatula. With an unsettlingly brilliant synth score from Disasterpiece – seriously, let’s put that in your headphones all day and see how it feels – Jay’s battle against those following her is shot in a way that never feels like you can settle. Like Jay, we can never relax, and while a scene might look peaceful, it never is. The most effective scares come from the relentlessness of these pursuers, dead-eyed, and unblinking with one mission.  It Follows is a modern masterpiece, not to mention an effective one night stand deterrent. 

Director: David Robert Mitchell

Release Date: May 17, 2014

Critic Comments: Rating 2.9
one of the comments, from ink: This movie is genuenly boring. I couldn`t even make it to the end on my first watch, but I did finish it and left unsure about what to think.
Even though it`s not exciting or touching or scary, it`s very creative.

Where to Find: Link here

Retro Poster

 

#8 – Halloween (1978)

About:

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut, with P. J. Soles and Nancy Kyes appearing in supporting roles. The plot centers around a mental patient Michael Myers who was committed to a sanitarium for murdering his babysitting teenage sister on Halloween night when he was six years old. Fifteen years later, he escapes and returns to his hometown, where he stalks a female babysitter and her friends, while under pursuit by his psychiatrist.

Why Scary:

Pretty much the original stalk-and-slash, Halloween set standards that have rarely been matched. Carpenter composes his shots to keep you constantly guessing, blending both claustrophobia and fearful exposure, often at the same time, to create a deeply uneasy sense of vulnerability wherever you are and whatever is happening. Also, that soundtrack. Composed by Carpenter himself. there is a reason that pounding doom-synth is still the soundtrack for oppressive horror. As a great follow up too, get the 2018 sequel into your eyes. The new Halloween removes all those messy other sequels and does a perfect job of showing the real trauma of growing up as a victim of The Shape himself. 

Director: John Carpenter

Release Date: October 25, 1978

Critic Comments: Rating 4.4
one of the comments, from Rad: One of the greatest horror movies of all time and as close to perfect as a film can get. From the acting to the cinematography this movie hits all the right notes

Where to Find: Link here

Halloween (1978) theatrical poster.jpg

 


#9 – Get Out (2017)

About:

Get Out is a 2017 American horror film written, co-produced, and directed by Jordan Peele in his directorial debut. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, and Catherine Keener. The plot follows a young black man (Kaluuya), who uncovers shocking secrets when he meets the family of his white girlfriend (Williams).
Principal photography began in February 2016 in Fairhope, Alabama, then moved to Barton Academy and the Ashland Place Historic District in Mobile, Alabama. The entire film was shot in 23 days.

Why Scary:

Bubbling with resonant social commentary, layered with hard-hitting goosebumps, and sprinkled with uncompromising humor, Get Out is a modern horror masterpiece in every sense of the word. Not content with scaring you just for its 90-minute run-time, director Jordan Peele wants to draw your attention to the real frightening truths rooted deep in the identity politics of contemporary America, and his grand reveal is more horrific than any jump scare could ever hope to be. 

Director: Jordan Peele

Release Date: January 23, 2017

Critic Comments: Rating 4.5
one of the comments, from Ananya: A fabulous work which doesn’t disappoint movie lovers. Get out is an amazing thriller..having a really different and creative plot as compared to thriller movies I have watched till now. 

Where to Find: Link here

Get Out poster.png

 


#10 – The Blair Witch Project (1999)

About:

The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American supernatural horror film written, directed and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. It is a fictional story of three student filmmakers—Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard—who hike into the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland, in 1994 to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. The three disappear, but their equipment and footage are discovered a year later. The purportedly “recovered footage” is the film the viewer sees.
A sleeper hit, The Blair Witch Project grossed nearly $250 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful independent films of all time, as well as the 41st most profitable horror film. The film launched a media franchise, which includes two sequels (Book of Shadows and Blair Witch), novels, comic books, and video games. The film is credited with reviving the found-footage technique which was later used by similarly successful horror films such as Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield.

Why Scary:

What’s waiting for Heather and co in the woods is terrifying enough, as strange noises drift through the trees and they descend into a directionless spiral of madness and anger, but what’s equally scary about The Blair Witch Project is the perfect blurring of reality and fiction. This is Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Joshua Leonard. These actors were sent out into the woods and their horrifying ordeal is thanks to the filmmaker’s insistence on mentally torturing them every night. Released in 1999 and reigniting the popularity of the now horror staple found footage genre, the movie’s marketing even touted it as real. Every wobbly shot, every scream, and every stick figure that the three find are there to tell your brain that these people really went into the woods and never came back. Oh, and the ending is like being punched in the gut by nightmares. 

Director:Daniel Myrick , Eduardo Sánchez

Release Date: January 23, 1999

Critic Comments: Rating 3.4
one of the comments, from Evan: easily should be considered a classic 90s and the most original of its time and original found footage movie. creating a whole new subgenre for horror movies which inspired movies about witchcraft and other shaky camera films like paranormal activity and more.

Where to Find: Link here

Theatrical poster for The Blair Witch Project

 


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