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Trick R Treat

The 11 spookiest horror anthology movies

Horror author Simon Crook selects cinema’s finest omnibus horrors

Matthew Singer

Horror anthologies have existed from the earliest days of the movies. In 1919, Austrian director Richard Oswald bundled together a series of, well, eerie tales, inaugurating a subgenre that persists today. It can be a brilliant way to experience a good cinematic scare – in short, quick shocks, like picking a spiked treat from a box of cursed chocolates, popping it in your brain, then moving to the next one.

Of course, in some instances, episodic horror can amount to half-assed vignettes tossed off by directors in between longer, more serious projects. In the best horror anthologies, though, each story is a tight, tense nightmare, packing enough scares into scant runtime to rival any feature-length fright. Here are 11 of the best collections, as chosen by horror author Simon Crook.


😱   The 100 best horror movies of all time 🩸 The 15 scariest horror movies based on true stories 🎃   Best Halloween Movies 🤔   The 20 best movies based on true stories

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Best Anthology Horror Movies

Black Sabbath (1963)

1.  Black Sabbath (1963)

Of psychos, vampires and haunted rings... Mario Bava, the godfather of Italian horror, uses the anthology format to display his range. There’s classic giallo (‘The Telephone’) and an ethereal ghost story (‘The Drop of Water’). But ‘The Wurdulak’ is another beast entirely. Adapting Tolstoy’s novella, Bava masters the realm of gothic horror: all howling winds, pulsing doom and a gaunt Boris Karloff as its glowering vampire. It’s Bava’s haunted bonsai: a masterpiece in miniature. The film went on to inspire Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and the name of a certain Brummie metal band.

Kwaidan (1965)

2.  Kwaidan (1965)

Kwaidan is not a frightening film. Its images, however, will return to haunt you, again and again. Over its epic three hours, experiencing Masaki Kobayashi’s quartet of folk tales is like a long, slow transfusion of ice-cold blood. While the sparse score and eerie visuals unite Kwaidan ’s stories, its parables of snow spirits and haunted samurais eventually combine into something bigger: a ghostly vision of feudal Japan, the past distant, but not yet dead. Kobayashi is one of the dons of Japanese cinema, and his sombre, bewitching anthology casts an unbreakable spell.

Dead of Night (1945)

3.  Dead of Night (1945)

Strangers gather at a country cottage, each with an uncanny tale to tell. Ealing horror Dead of Night helped establish the anthology template cloned countless times since. There’s the framing story, the multiple directors, even the ‘funny one’ to sweeten the dread (here it’s ‘The Golfer’s Story’ with Basil Radford). Possessed by his own rictus dummy, Michael Redgrave’s ventriloquist still chills the marrow, but it’s your sanity you should be worrying about. The looping nightmare of its Möbius strip climax sends the brain spinning like a crocodile’s death roll. The ending, like its influence, is timeless.​​

Creepshow (1982)

4.  Creepshow (1982)

A longtime rite of passage for teenagers in search of transgressive shocks, Creepshow comes across quite a bit sillier seen through adult eyes, but it’s still a damn lot of fun decades down the road. Based on the EC Comics of the 1950s, directed by George A Romero with a screenplay by Stephen King, it does indeed feel like a comic book come to life, with animated interstitials, a garish colour palette and general parent-prodding attitude. (In fact, the wraparound story involves an aggrieved boy getting revenge against his abusive, comics-hating father.) The most famous of its five shorts is probably ‘They’re Creeping Up On You’, in which a germaphobic businessman’s hermetically-sealed apartment is besieged by cockroaches. But each entry contains imagery that burns into the adolescent memory, from a murdered patriarch of ‘Father’s Day’ rising from the grave to demand a slice of cake, to the Tom Savini-designed yeti of ‘The Crate’, to King himself as a lonesome redneck transforming into a human Chia Pet in ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’. Best of the bunch, though, is ‘Something To Tide You Over’, starring Leslie Nielsen as a millionaire extracting sadistic revenge against his wife’s lover, played by Ted Danson. 

Wild Tales (2014)

5.  Wild Tales (2014)

Revenge is a dish served flaming hot in Damian Szifron’s anthology: the biggest Argentine hit of all time. No monsters here: just toxic wrath burning through its veins. Fuelled less by twists than outrageous gotchas, Wild Tales ’ wicked yarns spin from bridezillas to maniac pilots to road-rage berserkers (a dialogue-free sketch with the demented zip of an ultraviolent cartoon). Szifron’s view of humans as feral beasts howling at a capitalist system is borderline misanthropic, but gasps of scandalised laughter sugar the bitter pill. Essential viewing and (whisper it) the best anthology of the 21st century.

Southbound (2015)

6.  Southbound (2015)

On a forsaken stretch of desert highway, travellers drive the road to hell as cryptic wraiths stalk the wastelands. Or is it purgatory? Southland blurs the boundaries of anthology horror by feeding a disorientating nightmare logic into its framing device: its five stories link like Chinese whispers. Standout segment ‘The Accident’, from The Night House director David Bruckner, spins off the tarmac into an abandoned hospital. 911 turns 666. And then the screaming starts. It’s well worth hunting down. 

Scare Package (2019)

7.  Scare Package (2019)

The stories here spill from the tapes of Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium: a video store owned by Jeremy King’s know-it-all horror nerd schooling his newbie employee on the genre’s cheesiest tropes. Cursed dolls, FUBAR camping trips, unkillable slasher maniacs: every chestnut’s roasted here. With its seven directors and eight shorts, it’s over-stuffed, and it winks so hard it sprains an eyelid, but the parody’s staged with infectious enthusiasm. Splatty, gooey practical FX, too.

Trick ’r Treat (2007)

8.  Trick ’r Treat (2007)

Cursed to DVD limbo on its release, Trick ‘r Treat has ripened into a cult classic over the years, and deservedly so. Horror-comedy is a tricky juggling act. Director Michael Dougherty gets the balance between gore and guffaw just right. Over one chaotic night in Warren Valley, wild tales of serial-killer teachers and werewolf cliques interweave, each segment witnessed by a sinister imp in a burlap sack mask. Brian Cox gets impaled by a candy bar. It’s that kind of movie. At a pithy 82 minutes, it’ll have you grinning like a freshly carved jack-o-lantern. 

V/H/S/2 (2013)

9.  V/H/S/2 (2013)

Riding the found-footage boom, 2012’s V/H/S reimagined the anthology as a cursed mixtape. This is the best of its four sequels, thanks to the directing talent involved. Adam Wingard’s opener is a Google Glass nightmare as a patient experiences ghouls through an ocular implant. Ed Sanchez envisions a zombie apocalypse via a cyclist’s GoPro. And ‘Safe Haven’... oh, boy. As a film crew infiltrate an end-times cult, co-directors Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto judder the senses with shaky-cam GBH. An urgent, shrieking cinematic siren, it could easily have been a standalone feature.

Three... Extremes (2005)

10.  Three... Extremes (2005)

What links these disconnected stories is ambition. Given total freedom, three of Asia’s spikiest auteurs show Hollywood how it’s done. The results will cattle-prod the nerves of even the most jaded horror fan. Japan’s Takeshi Miike offers a savage yarn of doppelgangers. South Korea’s Park Chan-wook applies piano-wire tension to his tale of a sadistic film extra booby-trapping a director’s home. Stealing the show is Hong Kong’s Fruit Chan, whose horrific entry dines out on a shocking dumpling ingredient that goes way beyond the title’s promised extremes. Transgressive, unforgettable and best consumed on an empty stomach.

Asylum (1972)

11.  Asylum (1972)

Seen, rather unfairly, as a wonky rubber mallet compared to the mighty Hammer, Amicus Productions’ ‘Fear Factory’ churned out seven very British omnibus horrors from 1965 to 1974. All campy doom and black laughs, they’re the definition of comfort horror. Scripted by Robert Bloch, the novelist behind ‘Psycho’, Asylum has the spookiest framing story, sending Robert Powell’s doctor to interview the inmates of a gothic institution shrouded in fog. Bloch’s stories throw up twisted imagery: parcelled body parts shiver into life on a cellar floor; a flickering Technicolor suit reanimates a corpse; and in its bonkers climax, Herbert Lom mind-controls a murderous mini-Lom doll. Classic Amicus: you’re not sure whether to laugh or scream.

‘Silverweed Road’ is out now on HarperVoyager .

Halloween 2022: Monster Month

The 66 Greatest Movie Monsters

The 66 Greatest Movie Monsters

From Dracula to the Blob, the creatures that haunt our subconsciousness

The 50 best monster movies ever made

The 50 best monster movies ever made

Stalkers, graboids, aliens and many men in rubber suits unite for the ultimate monster mash

The 100 best horror movies of all time

The 100 best horror movies of all time

Get a fright with our list of best horror movies like The Exorcist  and Get Out , as chosen by Time Out writers and horror experts

The 11 spookiest horror anthology movies

Simon Crook, author of terrifying new anthology horror novel ‘Silverweed Road’, select cinema’s finest omnibus horrors

The 10 best werewolf movies

The 10 best werewolf movies

Claw your way through horror history with these essential lycanthrope thrillers, the hairiest of the bunch

The best Halloween movies of all time

The best Halloween movies of all time

From hardcore horrors to squeamish giggles, these Halloween movies will set the mood for the season

The best scary movies for kids of all ages

The best scary movies for kids of all ages

  • Family and kids

From macabre animation to PG horror classics, these are the best horror(ish) films for young audiences

The 15 scariest horror movies based on true stories

The 15 scariest horror movies based on true stories

In these movies, truth is scarier than fiction...

The best Halloween movies on Disney+

The best Halloween movies on Disney+

Grab the candy corn and marathon the best Halloween movies on Disney+, from Halloweentown to Maleficent !

The 24 best horror movies streaming on Netflix UK

The 24 best horror movies streaming on Netflix UK

From cult classics to scary slashers, these are the best horror movies streaming on Netflix UK now

The 25 best horror movies to stream on Halloween in the US

The 25 best horror movies to stream on Halloween in the US

Any time is a good time to watch a scary movie, but let’s be real – there’s just something incredibly satisfying about watching a horror flick in October. It’s a bit of social conditioning, sure. Most of us have been told since we were children that October is Spooky Season, and for the rest of our days, the month will always represent frightful fun, even when we’ve long outgrown the ritual of dressing up and going begging for candy around the neighbourhood. But early fall itself also just feels spooky – a time when the air gets crisp, the days get darker and the spices more pumpkin-flavoured. It’s probably too cold and rainy to go outside, anyway. So why not curl up and give yourself a good scare?

With Halloween approaching, we’ve scanned five streaming services – Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max and dedicated horror streamer Shudder – to scare up a veritable pillowcase of amazingly terrifying films. In this grab bag you'll find everything from gruesome slashers to goosebump-raising ghost stories, wigged-out b-movies and more than a few that’ll keep you up at night. Here are the best horror movies to stream on Halloween – or any time you need a good shock to the system.

🎃  The best Halloween movies of all-time 👻  The best Halloween movies for kids on Netflix 😱 The 100 best horror movies of all-time 🧟 The best zombie movies of all-time

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The 75 Best Halloween Movies of All Time

Here's your one-stop-shop for all your spooky season needs!

Good news, friends! It's officially time to break out your best skeleton dance, carve up those pumpkins, and debate the merits of candy corn (ok, actually we don't have to do that last one, it's ok to like or dislike whatever candy you chose). The point is that spooky season is here at last! With Halloween on the way, now's the perfect time to brush up on your spooky, seasonal, and downright scary movies! But there's just so dang many to choose from, so to help you get your watchlist off to the right start, we put our heads together to come up with the ultimate list of the best Halloween movies of all time. From the classics to the new favorites, here are the 75 best spooky and scary movies we put on when we're in the mood for an All Hallows scream!

If you're looking for something to watch  right now , you can head over to the Best Halloween Movies on Netflix and check out which spooky movies are streaming on Disney+ right here .

The Addams Family (1991)

Bringing big dark gothic energy to a film that plays so well for young children is a feat for which Barry Sonnenfeld definitely deserved Oscar consideration. The first film about a spooky family living its best life in modern-day America, featuring unforgettable performances by the perfectly-cast Raul Julia and Angelica Huston as well as a young Christina Ricci and the always wonderful Carol Kane and Christopher Lloyd ... wait, is this entire cast perfect? Yes, yes it is. The only non-positive thing I have to say about The Addams Family is that its sequel is the rare example of a film that surpasses the original — which, is to be clear, a net positive. - Liz Shannon Miller

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

Technically only half of this svelte, 69-minute Disney package film will interest those celebrating Halloween. But the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” section of  The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad  contains some of the spookiest, most iconic imagery in Disney Animation and it’s still a total Halloween treat. Adapted from the classic  Washington Irving  story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” follows hapless schoolteacher Ichabod Crane as he battles a potential supernatural evil in upstate New York. All of the notes from the original story are hit, exceptionally well, too – Crane crossing a creaky bridge while the Headless Horseman, Jack o’ lantern ablaze, is truly terrifying stuff. It’s a moment that has been recycled in countless Disney specials and one that was borrowed liberally for  Tim Burton ’s live-action version of the tale. And if you haven’t watched it in a while (and, really, you should – it’s on Disney+), it’s probably a lot more fun than you remember (although, admittedly, it takes a little while to get going).  Bing Crosby is great as the crooning narrator (who also provides some voices) and the animation is absolutely superb. It can’t be Halloween without this version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” --  Drew Taylor

Army of Darkness (1992)

The third installment in Sam Raimi ’s Evil Dead trilogy sheds almost all of the genuine horror of the previous two films and steers completely into Three Stoogian slapstick absurdity. Endlessly quotable and inspiringly over-the-top, Bruce Campbell ’s adventure battling hordes of the undead in medieval Europe is so gleefully unserious that it’s hard to believe a major studio put it in theaters. It feels a little strange recommending a horror movie that does not approach actually being scary for one second of its breezy runtime, but then I remember this is Army of Darkness we’re talking about. If for some mind-boggling reason you’re here reading this list about Halloween movies and you’ve never seen it, stop what you are doing and watch it now. It’s like a grotesque Looney Tunes cartoon in which a man outfits a Delta 88 with helicopter blades and it deserves your consideration and attention. --  Tom Reimann

Beetlejuice (1988)

Before he had  Johnny Depp , director  Tim Burton ’s go-to guy was — checks notes — stand-up-comedian-turned-

serious-actor  Michael Keaton . And oh, what a great odd couple it was. The team’s great collab is 1988’s Beetlejuice which sees Keaton transform into the thoroughly odious yet very charming (and possibly bangable??) “bio-exorcist” Betelgeuse. Ol’ Beetleboy offers his services to the recently-deceased Maitlands ( Alec Baldwin  and  Geena Davis ), who find their home is now occupied by the Deetzes — Charles ( Jeffrey Jones ), Delia ( Catherine O’Hara ), and goth icon Lydia ( Winona Ryder ). Lydia is a quick ally of the Maitlands and starts working to get her family to move out of the seemingly haunted house.  Beetlejuice  is a pretty incredible early Burton entry if only because it so clearly establishes the director’s aesthetic and narrative interests early on, seeking to expose the grotesquerie of suburban life and the idiosyncrasies of the nuclear family through Gothic-leaning visuals. It’s also just a hella fun movie and, if you have any doubts about that, might I direct you to this scene . And this one . --  Allie Gemmill

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

There are few horror films as lavishly produced and deeply romantic as  Francis Ford Coppola ’s bold  Bram Stoker’s Dracula . The film, which kicked off a mini resurgence of big budget prestige horror movies like  Wolf ,  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein  and  Mary Reilly , luxuriates in its opulence – from the incredible make-up effects, to the optical effects which Coppola wanted to achieve through old-school techniques, to the costumes by  Eiko Ishioka  that are still being ripped off today, to the brilliantly over-the-top score by  Wojciech Kilar . Everything is ornate and highly detailed and even if you know the story, you never have seen it presented in such a way, with a movie that is equal parts bloodbath and bodice-ripper. The cast, which includes  Gary Oldman  as the titular vampire and  Anthony Hopkins  as Van Helsing, is uniformly excellent, with great performances by  Winona Ryder  (seemingly making up with Coppola after the debacle of  Godfather, Part III ) and future Rocketeer  Billy Campbell . (Sadly,  Keanu Reeves  is a weird dud.) It’s hard to pick a favorite version of Bram Stoker’s immortal tale, but this one is a solid contender. It’s a bloody blast.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

I'm not going to sit here and argue that the 1992 film directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui is on the same level as what Joss Whedon would eventually transform his screenplay into for television. Those seven seasons are more than able to speak for themselves. However, to totally discount the film is to totally overlook Kristy Swanson 's spirited performance as a teenager who also happens to slay vampires, the incredibly charming way in which Luke Perry leant into his role as, ultimately, a dude in distress, and Paul Reubens hamming it up as a vamp henchman. And that, quite frankly, is bogus. Also, baby Ben Affleck makes an appearance. Buffy the TV show, of course, better represents Joss Whedon's intentions for the original premise. But even in this rough form, the idea is wonderful and supported with some great performances. - Liz Shannon Miller

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The modern wave of found-footage horror begins, arguably, with  The Blair Witch Project Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe a movie starring three unknowns at the time ( Josh Leonard  would eventually breakout into bigger projects) would become one of the biggest movies of 1999, grossing nearly $140.5 million domestic on a $60,000 budget. But we don’t just remember  The Blair Witch Project  for its box office impact; we remember it for the way it profoundly changed the found-footage game. From the premise to the execution to the final gut-punching shot,  The Blair Witch Project  knows how to worm its way deep into your psyche and prey on you. The story of three college students traveling to a rural Maryland town to document (and possibly experience) the local legend of the Blair Witch quickly transforms into a horrifying survival story. There are no special effects, no flashy gimmicks — just shaky camera footage of three grown adults slowly losing their minds as a 100-year-old witch preys on them in the dark. It’s easy to point to  The Blair Witch Project ’s thoroughly affecting finale sequence as the reason the movie now lives in horror movie infamy. However, I’d also like to submit the consistent and insidious psychological torture the Blair Witch enacts on her prey as she keeps moving the landscape around to get the lost, leads one member of the group to destroy their map, and quickly assembles dozens of weird stick figures for the trio to discover in the daylight as some of the reasons  The Blair Witch Project  just keeps working and makes it a truly great Halloween movie. --  Allie Gemmill

Candyman (1992)

One of the greatest modern gothic ghost stories, Candyman is often unfortunately mislabeled as a slasher movie. I love slasher movies, but that's not exactly giving the film credit for the literary nuance and well-implemented tradition it so richly deserves. Inspired by a story by Clive Barker and repurposed with a story rooted in America's great national sin of slavery, Candyman absolutely holds up as a still-relevant reinvention of a gothic tragedy. Trading the gothic mansion for the projects and embracing the gothic genre's focus on the vengeful oppressed, Candyman stars Tony Todd as the imposing, elegant spirit who returns from an unspeakable past to exact his justice and revenge. Candyman doesn't often get the credit it deserves as one of the all-time greats, carried by Todd's magnetic and commanding performance, and executed with classy precision, from Todd's regal poise to Philip Glass ' hypnotic score. -- Haleigh Foutch

Casper (1995)

Casper   was telling tweens it was okay to think a ghost was cute boyfriend material long before Netflix’s  Julie and the Phantoms.  A blend of horror, drama, and comedy,  Casper  is the perfect movie to entertain kids with frothy Halloween thrills and thoroughly depress their Millennial parents with Casper’s grim backstory. What is that backstory? Well,  Casper  follows Kat ( Christina Ricci ) and her dad, Dr. Harvey ( Bill Pullman ). The father-daughter duo finds themselves entwined with a spoiled heiress ( Cathy Moriarty ) who has inherited a decrepit manor inhabited by Casper (voiced by  Malachi Pearson , embodied by  Devon Sawa ) and Casper’s three awful uncles ( Joe Nipote ,  Joe Alaskey , and  Brad Garrett ). Casper — who is very much a dead child — and his uncles have been trapped in said mansion since their untimely demise and it is Dr. Harvey’s job to exorcise them from said mansion. And while Harvey is busy doing that, Kat and Casper become close friends and, uh, a couple. Kinda. Look,  Casper  is a total trip  and  a wonderful trip down memory lane. It’s the kind of throwback Halloween movie that’ll positively tickle Millennials and probably weird out Gen Z’ers. Then again, who cares! Casper the Friendly Ghost is #AnIcon and so is  Casper the live-action movie. --  Allie Gemmill

The Conjuring (2013)

Sometimes to go forward, you gotta go back. From its imposing “based on a true story” opening title crawl to its literal period setting, The Conjuring is here to tell you, in ways both subtly classy and muscly blunt, that our golden age of 1970s filmmaking has plenty of influential meat on the bones. James Wan , whose Saw is also a perennial favorite in my Halloween household (yes, I have a different household for Halloween; yes, I am doing poorly financially), directs the absolute hell out of this sucker, using long lens, long take, Steadicam-aided photography to absolutely play his audience like a damn fiddle. Combine these expertly rendered haunted house thrills with atypically emotional performances from folks like Patrick Wilson and Lili Taylor , and you’ve got a crowd-pleasing horror flick you’ll wanna revisit again and again. --  Gregory Lawrence

Coraline (2009)

For my money, Coraline is the spookiest animated kids' movie out there. I was a full-grown adult when I saw it for the first time and those button-eyed folks from the Other realm still got all the way under my skin. Directed by The Nightmare Before Christmas helmer Henry Selick with the incredible artists at Laika providing groundbreaking stop-motion animation, Coraline is gorgeous and stylishly made, pulling from Neil Gaiman’ s dark fantasy novella to build an immersive and unnerving parallel world. Dakota Fanning lends her voice as the title character, a young girl who discovers a door to another world, where she finds an idealized version of her life… almost. While Other Mother ( Terri Hatcher ) seems like a dream at first, there are sinister and strange overtones lingering in every frame, and when Coraline realizes she could get stuck there forever, she has to fight for the real family she took for granted. – Haleigh Foutch

The Craft (1996)

A newcomer’s arrival at a Catholic prep school leads her down some strange and wondrous roads in The Craft .‘90s icons  Robin Tunney ,  Fairuza Balk ,  Neve Campbell , and  Rachel True  make up the awe-inspiring quartet of high schoolers at the center of this teen movie with a twist and live on as one of the most powerful groups of onscreen witches in recent memory.  The Craft  blends a traditional high school-set story with its various teen dramas — a popular boy who turns out to be a snake, the pretty blonde who’s really a bully, the outsiders looking to reclaim their power — with the supernatural. The result is four young women who not only discover their magic but learn how to wield it both effectively and not-so-effectively when it comes to getting revenge on the people traumatizing them. Watching  The Craft  during the Halloween season is an instant level-up. From the soundtrack to the performances — Balk is especially enjoyable because she truly gives no fucks and lets it all hang out — to the ways in which the movie depicts magic,  The Craft  is eminently watchable and very much a product of the mid-90s. I mean, what’s not to love? --  Allie Gemmill

The Crow (1994)

The Crow is technically the very first movie you should watch on Halloween, because it actually takes place the night before on Oct. 30 -- Devil's Night. I typically watch it every year on that night around 11 pm so it doesn't end until after midnight and I can start the holiday on a high note. Based on the violent yet poetic graphic novel by  James O'Barr , the gothic action film follows a musician who is murdered along with his fiancee, and is brought back to life one year later by a mystical crow to avenge their deaths and "put the wrong things right."  Brandon Lee  was tragically killed during filming, and that accident has hung like a dark cloud over The Crow's legacy, but the film itself is hugely influential, and I believe that Lee would be one of the biggest stars in the world today had he survived -- that's how charismatic he is as Eric Draven. Director  Alex Proyas  does a fantastic job behind the camera, and the supporting cast is incredibly memorable, from  David Patrick Kelly 's T-Bird and  Michael Massee 's Fun Boy to their boss, Top Dollar, played by the great  Michael Wincott . The soundtrack is a standout of the '90s, with early tracks from Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots and Rage Against the Machine, not to mention The Cure's epic song "Burn" and "Color Me Once" by Violent Femmes.  The Crow  has endured as a vigilante superhero, and fans still paint their faces and throw on a black trench coat every Halloween in tribute to Lee's memory. The sad truth is that in real life, there are no mystical birds that resurrect the dead, but at least for one night, we're allowed to believe it's possible. Don't miss that opportunity this year. -  Jeff Sneider

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon is sometimes considered the ugly stepchild out of the classic Universal Monsters, seeing as how it debuted three decades after Phantom of the Opera and is, uh, literally about an extremely ugly fish monster who can’t say real human words. But you simply cannot throw a monster mash without inviting the Gill-Man, inarguably one of horror’s most iconic creatures. The film follows a team of scientists who board the steamship “Rita” for exploration deep into the Amazon jungle, hoping to discover the remains of a human/amphibian hybrid. Instead of a skeleton, the crew finds a whole-ass river-creature, who becomes horrifically infatuated with scientist Kay Lawrence ( Julie Adams ). Has time and technology dated the Gill-Man suit a bit? Sure, but there’s also something both timeless and inimitable about the creature design by Millicent Patrick , plus the underwater footage from cinematographer Ted Kent remains dreamlike and mesmerizing almost 70 years later.

(Note: Black Lagoon spawned a few sequels, but only one, The Creature Walks Among Us , features the Gill Man hilariously wearing a tracksuit.) -- Vinnie Mancuso

Creepshow (1982)

Directed by the great George Romero from an original screenplay by Stephen King himself (who also delivers one of his few film performances here), the 1982 horror anthology Creepshow is a campy, loving homage to the pulpy pages of EC Comics that's witty, weird, and willing to be very silly in all the best ways. Featuring a cast that includes Adrienne Barbeau , Hal Holbrook , and Leslie Nielsen , Creepshow features spot-on effects from Tom Savini and is easily one of the best horror anthology movies out there. The result is a film that feels like settling 'round the campfire for some spooky tales, topped off with an added flourish of cinematic showmanship. -- Haleigh Foutch

Dracula (1931)

If you’re curious to know what a “serve” is defined as, may I point you in the direction of  Bela Lugosi ’s performance in Dracula ? Redefining romance with its February 14, 1931 release, Universal’s  Dracula  is also responsible for making audiences fall in love with movie monsters. Dracula is one of the great daddies of horror movies, with Lugosi’s version in particular inspiring sequels, riffs, remakes, spinoffs, and dang near anything worthy of being through into the  Dracula  cinematic canon. Lugosi’s performance as the immortal Transylvania bloodsucker may seem quaint nowadays, but he’s inspirational for generations of Drac’s who’s follow in his footsteps. The calm, cool, collected, dare I say sexy Dracula you see in the 1931 movie (the first of many great entries in Universal’s “Monsterverse”) is one of the biggest and best reasons to check out this Halloween classic ASAP. Yeah, you might not get a true fright by 1931 horror standards, but you will get a thrill. --  Allie Gemmill

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Did you forget that Steven Spielberg ’s sci-fi classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is also a bona fide Halloween movie? Because it most certainly is. While this heartbreaking tale of a young boy befriending a stranded alien orphan is certainly science-fiction in nature, the action all takes place against the backdrop of fall in the Californian suburbs. The Halloween costumes, the leaves, the bike rides in costume – it’s all there, it just takes a backseat to the humor and emotional turmoil that are probably front of mind when you think of E.T. But truly this movie is a great Halloween watch if you want something more treats than tricks. The spook factor on E.T. is low, but it’s got that Halloween vibe all the same. It’s also, you know, one of the greatest movies ever made. – Adam Chitwood

The Evil Dead (1981)

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell brought a bunch of their friends into a cabin in the Tennessee woods and emerged with a low-budget horror masterpiece. The Evil Dead is a jolt to the system, a gnarled, rotted, nasty piece of horror that unleashes a book of the dead and all its demons among a hapless group of teens (and one helluva chin). And yet, despite its noticeable nastiness, the first Evil Dead remains fun, audacious, and stuffed to the gills with bravura energy. It’s an ideal Halloween movie for the roller coaster it takes you on; you’ll be laughing uneasily one moment and earnestly shocked to your core the next. A horror classic that will cast its spell on anyone who watches it. --  Gregory Lawrence

The Faculty (1998)

"We don't need no education!" Oh, but it seems some of you  do , as I learned during an alarming Slack exchange here at the virtual office this week. Apparently, there are people out there who don't like  The Faculty ! Are they hooked on scat or something? I don't really know the difference between a cult classic or a camp classic, but I suspect that  The Faculty  is actually both. Playing like a teenage take on  Invasion of the Body Snatchers  had it starred the kids from  The Breakfast Club , this throwback film follows a bunch of high school outcasts who come to discover that their teachers are being controlled by parasites and trying to infect the entire student body.  The Faculty  made  Josh Hartnett  a star, led to  Elijah Wood 's role in  Sin City , and marked early turns from  Jordan Brewster ,  Clea DuVall ,  Shawn Hatosy  and  Usher Raymond . Director  Robert Rodriguez  has always been a talent magnet, and teachers lounge is packed with stars ranging from  Jon Stewart  and  Salma Hayek  to  Robert Patrick ,  Piper Laurie  and  Bebe Neuwirth .  The Faculty  may get a little goofy in its third act, but it's mostly a blast, and the kind of fun sci-fi movie that studios just don't make anymore. Oh, and the soundtrack boasted major bands such as The Offspring, Creed, Oasis, Garbage, Sheryl Crow and Soul Asylum, but the best tracks are "Maybe Someday" by Flick and "It's Over Now" by Neve, and you'll just have to trust me on that. -  Jeff Sneider

Frankenstein (1931)

Another prong in the legendary Universal “Monsterverse” is 1931’s Frankenstein . Given its early release and its impact on the horror genre, having spawned more sequels, spinoffs, riffs, homages, remakes, and more over the years,  Frankenstein  is one of the granddaddies of Halloween movie category. Adapted from the 1927  Peggy Webling  play which was, in turn, adapted from  Mary Shelley ’s 1818 novel  Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus ,  Frankenstein  is simply iconic. This is mostly thanks to Karloff’s legendary performance of the reanimated antihero made of spare parts sprung from the grave and made living thanks to the wonders of lightning and Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s (Clive) genius. It seems only right  Frankenstein  would be a trendsetter and gold standard for horror movies in the ensuing years; Shelley’s work was equally as impactful on the horror and science fiction genres upon release in the early 19th century. Seeking out  Frankenstein  today means you’re seeking out horror history. Sure, you may not be scared in the way you’re used to, but you might be fascinated to see what  did  pass for a scary, even transgressive, movie nearly 90 years ago.  --  Allie Gemmill

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The Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

No, really—these films aren’t messing around

Headshot of DeAnna Janes

She’s autonomous. She’s lethal. She’s got a killer wardrobe. Her name is M3gan, and she’s the closest thing to a best friend and confidant a little girl can have. So goes the case of Cady, an orphaned eight-year-old who’s put in the care of her Aunt Gemma (Allison Williams), a robotics whiz on the verge of a major invention. Not ready for children and feeling the squeeze at work, Gemma pairs M3gan with Cady, unaware of the deadly consequences that come with trusting artificial intelligence.

Huesera: The Bone Woman

scariest horror movies

The journey to motherhood can be stressful. In the case of the scream queen at the center of Michelle Garza Cervera’s bone-chilling debut, that’s an understatement. A first-time mother, Valeria’s pregnancy is riddled with black widows, hallucinations, and phantasms. But this is no typical ghost story. Rather, it’s a multilayered horror tale whose purpose goes beyond just delivering a good scare, offering a stellar twist on the Mexican folktale La Huesera . And once it breaks inside your psyche, it’s not going to leave.

Evil Dead Rise

scariest horror movies

Sometimes you just want good, old-fashioned horror with a bloated budget blown on buckets of gore. That’s exactly what you get with Warner Bros.’ Evil Dead Rising . The fifth installment of the series, this one follows the reunion between two estranged sisters—one unattached, the other raising three kids in a cramped apartment—and the demons who make themselves at home. There’s no cabin, and no Ash. But there are demonic forces and a visceral buffet of blood and guts that would make Sam Raimi proud.

scariest horror movies

You’ve heard it before: What you see online is not truth. Social media is a digital jungle, where likes and shares are the bait, and misinformation and lies are the traps, and it requires one to proceed with caution. In this getaway horror flick about a woman who goes missing during her solo vacay in Thailand, we get a firsthand look at the dangers of living life online. Though far-fetched and unlikely at times, Influencer makes a solid point: The selfie you take today could be the life you lose tomorrow.

scariest horror movies

This Hebrew horror romance about two women whose meet-cute leads to a relationship rocked by rituals and black magic is a Shudder Original—which is just code for “really good stuff.” After Leah suffers a horrifying seizure, the two head to Leah’s childhood home in London; it’s here where things get weird. Not only does Leah’s mother reveal herself to be an overbearing, spell-chanting parental unit, but her uncle keeps pushing dybbuks. As charming as it is scary, Attachment has a way of sticking with you.

scariest horror movies

A remake of his 2014 cult horror, Last Shift , Anthony DiBlasi’s Malum is a gruesome mix of demonic imagery and supernatural horror. Working with a crippling screenplay, DiBlasi introduces a little more backstory here, pumps up the volume of his cast, and widens the scope of his lens—this time we get to leave the station if only for a little while. Split ’s Jessica Sula takes the lead as the rookie officer whose late-night shift turns into a bloodbath. And, yes, it’s another panic attack of a movie, but totally worth it.

scariest horror movies

From Nikyatu Jusu, a Sierra Leonean American filmmaker with much festival clout, comes a domestic thriller about a Senegalese babysitter (Anna Diop) who takes a job caring for the daughter of a white Upper East Side family. She hopes the gig will be the bridge she needs to bring her son to America. However, the further she becomes entwined with this family, the more her own maternal sacrifice haunts her. A welcome addition to the Blumhouse catalog, this is psychological horror at its finest.

scariest horror movies

Jenna Ortega and Melissa Berrera head to NYC in the latest installment of the Ghostface saga. As sisters Tara and Sam, the two leave Woodsboro for a fresh start but, of course, soon find they’re the targets of a psycho in a costume wielding a very sharp knife. Writer Kevin Williamson works with a team to pen a script worthy of this enduring franchise, while veterans like Courteney Cox, Hayden Panettiere, and Skeet Ulrich reprise their roles for old time’s sake. Totally worth the sleepless night that might follow.

scariest horror movies

Escaping to a lakeside cabin to ride out quarantine during a pandemic might sound like a bright idea. That is, until you learn there’s a hooded madman, or several, in the woods and no one can hear you scream. If anything, this home-invasion horror flick from masterful writer Kevin Williamson, of Scream fame, and his writing partner, Katelyn Crabb, will induce those shivers you want from a horror flick. But under its slash-happy varnish, there’s a serious message to spread: Politics can make people sick.

Soft & Quiet

scariest horror movies

One of the most disturbing films on record comes from Beth de Araújo, a Chinese American filmmaker whose debut feature film was inspired by the “Central Park Karen.” Intrigued by commonplace racism, Araújo recruited a cast of “nice white women” to explore just how deep that well of fear and ignorance goes. And trust us, it’s deep. And it’s dark. A rattling nightmare that will make you feel like a fly on the wall of the scummiest far-right girls’ night out, this one is a brutal watch with a booming message.

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster

scariest horror movies

Death is a disease. And Vicaria, a 17-year-old prodigy suffering the loss of her brother, knows the cure. So goes the story of this contemporary creature feature from writer/director Bomani J. Story. A twisted take on the mad-science subgenre, this reimagined Frankenstein follows Vicaria, played brilliantly by Laya DeLeon Hayes ( The Equalizer ), as she resurrects the soul of her murdered brother, unleashing a string of terrifying consequences she can’t put back into Pandora’s box.

scariest horror movies

Before Parasite , director Bong Joon Ho was unleashing another parasitic feat on film buffs. This one, a creature feature about a mutant squid—the result of toxic chemicals poured into the Han River—that emerges from the depths of Seoul’s water supply, attacks those on the shoreline, and abducts a little girl whose family stops at nothing to save her, is an intoxicating potion of horror, drama, and even humor. But best of all, The Host has so much heart.

scariest horror movies

Justin Long, the quietly brilliant genre actor celebrated by indie fans for his surprising performances in projects like Tusk, The Wave, House of Darkness, and Creepshow, gets punished again in this wickedly fun viral gem from Zach Cregger. The film’s primo star, however, is final girl Georgina Campbell, the actress who plays Tess. As a woman who’s booked the world’s most disturbing Airbnb, she comes toe to toe with monsters both real and imagined. And the results are nerve shattering.

scariest horror movies

If you thought The Exorcism of Emily Rose delivered some crazy scares, let us introduce you to Saint Maud . A simple though seriously effective character study blending demonic and psychological terrors, Rose Glass’s bold vision paints the former as child’s play. Her story focuses on a young nurse, Maud, and her self-assigned task of saving the soul of her dying patient. And before the title screen even hits, you’ll be begging for mercy. Ominous, bold, and hella disturbing, this one is an impressive debut.

Shrew’s Nest

scariest horror movies

In the mood for películas de terror ? Look no further than Shrew’s Nest, a gory 2014 addition to the agoraphobia subgenre that scored an endorsement from legendary Spanish helmer Álex de la Iglesia. Making their feature debut, directing team Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel spin a yarn about two recluse sisters and one very unlucky man that will remind of Misery and shock like Inside . That’s just to say this claustrophobic journey through madness and dysfunction ends in one over-the-top bloodbath.

scariest horror movies

A truly unsettling watch from Aussie directing pair Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, Sissy fuses dark humor with genre carnage to unpredictable effect—and it’s just the intoxicating blend you want in a horror flick. The film follows Aisha Dee’s Cecilia, a.k.a. Sissy (a nickname she despises for reasons you’ll soon learn), on a bachelorette trip from hell. A good-vibes social media influencer, Cecilia’s mantras and meditations are then put to the ultimate test: being holed up with her childhood bully.

scariest horror movies

Sosie Bacon is a revelation . Starring in this relentless genre debut from director Parker Finn, she takes audiences on a horrifying journey riddled with trauma and grief, nearly losing herself to her character, Rose Cotter. It all begins when Rose, a psychiatrist in New Jersey, witnesses a patient’s brutal suicide—it’s an act that triggers some visceral supernatural terrorizing and also forces Rose to confront her own childhood trauma. Genre buffs, you will be very happy you watched, but this one will definitely not make anyone crack a smile.

Speak No Evil

scariest horror movies

Good manners are essential in social situations. But just how much is one willing to politely take? That’s the question posed to Bjorn and Louise, the couple at the core of Christian Tafrup’s Danish slow burner. And the answer? Well, it’s far more sinister than you could ever imagine. After meeting another couple on holiday in Tuscany, Bjorn and Louise agree to spend a weekend with their new “friends” at their home in the country. Slowly and methodically, the reason for the invite becomes excruciatingly clear.

The Wailing

scariest horror movies

Just a warning: Whatever your coping behavior—chewing on your fingernails, gnawing at your cheek, ripping off your cuticles—take caution when watching The Wailing, or you’ll have nothing left. So rattling, Na Hong-jin’s masterpiece is like nothing you’ve ever seen. A mix of demonic, epidemic, and psychological horror, it unfurls through Jong-goo, a policeman who gets tangled up in a mystery plaguing his village and his daughter, and trust us when we say the film is aptly titled.

The Night House

the night house, rebecca hall, 2020 © searchlight pictures  courtesy everett collection

Hear this now: The frights delivered in David Bruckner’s chiller are not your amateur scares. The ominous atmosphere set under a dense layer of lakeside fog, and the way the vast darkness behind our scream queen, played brilliantly by Rebecca Hall, subtly shifts and moves before our very eyes—like a specter we know isn’t there, and yet it is—make this contemporary horror an enthusiastic entry for our list. On the surface, it’s a ghost story about a grieving woman trying to unlock the secrets of her husband’s suicide, but beneath the surface, it’s a wrenching tale of love and possession. Watch Now

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The 88 Scariest Movies of All Time

From classic jump scares to psychological horror, these films are sure to keep you awake at night.

preview for The Best Horror Remakes of All Time

We know you’re not here for a mild thrill ( that’s another list ), so I’ll cut to the chase. Below, we’ve rounded up the scariest movies of all time. You'll see ill-fated camping trips, grizzly home invasions, sadistic killers, terrifying ghost stories , and even a haunted embalmed hand . Every film comes from a league of talent directors whose projects will make you question their sanity. With a plethora of haunting themes and terrifying imagery, these 88 films are sure to impress even the toughest viewers. Don't believe us? Take a scroll, pick one, and find out for yourself. But don't say we didn't warn you.

The Strangers

Director: Bryan Bertino

With the help of some truly ruthless intruders, The Strangers takes the bones of every home-invasion story and kicks it up a notch. When Kristen and James head to their vacation home in (of course) the wilderness, they expect to have a relaxing retreat. Instead, they’re forced to fight for their lives when a strange woman knocks on their door.

Director: Scott Derrickson

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t buy a haunted house. But in Sinister , true-crime writer Ellison Oswald (Ethan Hawke) thinks it’s a perfectly rational idea. In hopes of writing a bestseller, he moves his family into a home where an unsolved murder took place. But he soon learns that curiosity comes at a price.

Fubu TV Amazon Prime

Goodnight Mommy

Directors: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala

Goodnight Mommy follows two young boys who are reunited with their mom after she has a mysterious surgery. They’re initially overjoyed to see her, but their excitement turns to fear when she sets strange house rules. Is the woman they’ve been sent to really their mom, or someone else?

Tubi Amazon Prime

Talk to Me (2023)

Director : Danny and Michael Philippou

Did you go to a party and the hosts brought out a severed dead hand that they play a weird Quija -like ritual with as the main attraction? Definitely do not ask it about your mother's suicide! "All throughout the film, I was drawing from things that scare me personally," Danny Philippou told Esquire.

Hellraiser (1987)

Director : Clive Barker

Hellraiser kicks off with two classic horror tropes you should avoid at all costs: moving into an old, scary house where a murder occurred, and buying a mystical puzzle box. I'm so glad they did, though—because it gave us Pinhead.

Skinamarink (2023)

Director : Kyle Edward Ball

Skinamarink is an entirely new kind of found-footage horror film, delighting fans of the genre looking for the next boundary-pushing thrill. The film follows two young children, alone and afraid, looking for their parents as parts of their house disappear.

Poltergeist (1982)

Director : Tobe Hooper

Before creating The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg gave us the family horror classic, Poltergeist . The "They're here..." scene went on to inspire countless horror filmmakers.

Amazon AppleTV+

M3GAN (2023)

Director : Gerard Johnstone

What M3GAN lacks in horrifying frights it gains in fun, as the AI doll slays victims, both literally and on the dance floor. Don't walk— run on all fours to the theaters to catch this early 2023 hit.

Barbarian (2022)

Director : Zach Cregger

If your Airbnb has a series of secret tunnels in the basement, I recommend not following them to see what's down there. Thankfully, we have the indie delight Barbarian to back us up on that worldly wisdom, as you could never guess what monstrous entity is waiting down there for you.

Pearl (2022)

Director : Ti West

The one person who had a better 2022 in the horror genre than director Ti West? His leading star, Mia Goth. Let her creepy, wide-eyed smile—which she holds for eight minutes without blinking during the end credits!—be her ticket to horror Valhalla.

Amazon Apple TV+

The Orphanage (2007)

Director : J. A. Bayona

Relying on suspense rather than plain shock, The Orphanage makes it difficult to distinguish reality from illusion. Taking place at the orphanage where Laura grew up, her son, Simon, plays with an imaginary friend—who may or may not be make-believe after all.

Split (2017)

Director : M. Night Shyamalan

A man with 23 personalities manages to kidnap three teenage girls in broad daylight. Locked away from the outside world, the girls do everything they can to escape before his 24th personality makes its horrifying debut.

His House (2020)

Director: Remi Weekes

Adjusting to a new country isn't easy. With menacing spirits lurking around? Forget about it. When you’ve fled a war-ridden country, only to encounter otherworldly horrors, where do you go?

The Conjuring (2013)

Director : James Wan

Paranormal investigators finally meet their match in The Conjuring , one of the most horrifying films of all time about demonic possession. Top 10 scariest movie moments: when the ghosts join in on a children's hide and seek game by mimicking the kids' clapping.

HBO Max Amazon Apple TV+

Director : Andy Muschietti

Clowns aren't scary enough? Do they also have to trick us into following them down into the sewers where they transform into our greatest fears? Leaves those kids alone Pennywise!

HBO Max Netflix Amazon Apple TV+

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Director : Drew Goddard

Starring a young Chris Hemsworth, The Cabin in the Woods follows a group of college students who spend the weekend at a remote cabin only to find that they are surrounded by horrors beyond their wildest dreams. As always, everything is not as it appears.

Insidious (2011)

Insidious not only broke horror rules by scaring viewers during the day, but also by doing it constantly throughout the film's runtime. This horrifying demonic possession movie is jump-scare heavy, so get ready.

Signs (2002)

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Under-appreciated at the time of its release, alien flick Signs has risen in critical popularity in recent years for being one of the best crop-circle horrors ever presented on screen. Signs may not be as twist heavy as M. Night's other work , but bits like the kitchen pantry scene (if you know you know) have been nestled in our minds since first-watch.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Director : Oren Peli

Paranormal Activity brought found-footage horror to a whole new level, spawning an entire franchise of spinoffs and reinvigorating the genre. Filmed almost entirely from the perspective of a camcorder, a couple tries to videotape some demonic entity that they believe is terrorizing them while they sleep.

Amazon Apple TV+ Paramount+

The Ring (2002)

Director: Gore Verbinski

A remake of the Japanese horror film of the same name, The Ring follows a haunted videotape that kills the viewer after they watch it. Samara, a girl who climbs out of a well and then crawls through your television to kill you, was one of the scariest horror monsters of the early 2000s—and her ability to terrorize hasn't waned.

Headshot of Josh Rosenberg

Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at

Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5's revival. When she's not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.  

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10 horror directors reveal the scariest movies they ever saw

‘Only time in my movie-watching career that I bailed out. […] I was like, Oh fuck , and I just turned it off’

Two Korean women in white dresses covered in blood sit side by side on a brocade couch, one with an unseen figure standing behind and above her, hands firmly on her shoulders, in A Tale of Two Sisters

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One of the thrills of the annual Fantastic Fest movie festival in Austin, Texas, is the chance to see back-to-back new and upcoming horror films, with the directors usually on site for Q&As and interviews after screenings. At this year’s Fantastic Fest in September, Polygon spoke to a number of directors whose movies are out now, coming soon, or on the far horizon for release next year. And we asked all of them the same question: “What’s the scariest horror movie you’ve ever seen?” Here’s a roundup of their responses.

Demián Rugna

Demián Rugna is the director of the terrifying new possession movie When Evil Lurks , currently in theaters and coming to Shudder on Oct. 27. He’s also known for previous horror movies, including Terrified and You Don’t Know Who You’re Talking To .

Linda Blair as Regan in The Exorcist, screaming with her hair wild and her eyes completely white

The Exorcist . I was in the bedroom with my mother with a blanket. [ gestures as if pulling a blanket up to his eyes ] She’d say, Yeah, it’s OK, you can see this, you can see this. [ gestures at lowering the blanket, then pulling it up over his eyes again ] I remember that my mother [talked me through it], but it was horrible. Horrible! I saw it twice the same way, with a blanket over the head. I think I was just 8 or 9.

I don’t know how much that movie influenced my work, but the realism of that horror movie — [I’ve been] trying to reach the realism of the drama. When you see The Exorcist , it’s a drama. If you see Terrified , it’s a drama. I think the way to make an audience say This could happen to me is with drama. I love a horror-comedy. I even made a horror-comedy. But if I want to really scare you, I need to go with drama, like The Exorcist .

David Bruckner

David Bruckner is the director of The Night House , The Ritual , and the 2022 Hellraiser remake . He produced V/H/S/94 , V/H/S/99 , and the new V/H/S/85 , now streaming on Shudder. He also directed “Total Copy,” the V/H/S/85 story wrapper.

Jeff Goldblum, naked and harshly lit, crouches in a ominous, futuristic looking metal pod in a scene from the 1986 film The Fly

I didn’t watch horror films when I was a kid. It took me a long time to be able to watch them, because I was so easily frightened. So the things I saw when I was young — I saw David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly way too young. Full-on body horror, and I couldn’t watch a Jeff Goldblum movie for about 10 years. I remember when Jurassic Park came out, and every time he came on screen, my stomach would be in knots.

Mike P. Nelson

Mike P. Nelson is the director of Wrong Turn , The Domestics , and the V/H/S/85 segments “No Wake”/“Ambrosia.”

A human figure lies on a table and screams, completely blanketed in a yellow-white sheet-like cover that clings closely to his chest, legs, and open mouth in Fire in the Sky

There’s definitely a few for me, in different genres. I was not allowed to watch any real hardcore horror. Like, I grew up with the Universal Studios monsters. I grew up watching stuff from the early ’50s and ’60s, so that was my palate, even though I wanted so badly to sneak into something [scarier]. But I do remember going — I wasn’t even that young, but I was still under 18. And my dad and I rented Fire in the Sky .

One of my favorite things to watch growing up was shows like Unsolved Mysteries and Sightings , which had that feeling of This isn’t real, but… They were presented like news broadcasts — “They just saw a sighting of Bigfoot down in Tennessee!” — and they tried to make it feel as believable as possible. So when Fire in the Sky came out, it was an alien abduction story, which is what a handful of those shows and the Twilight Zone episodes I was watching were about, so my dad and I said, “We have to see this.” I remember being at SuperAmerica, which had a video rental store called SuperVideo. I saw the case and said, “I want to see this!” and my dad was like, “Absolutely,” because it was PG-13, it wasn’t R.

So we brought it home, and my dad and I were both absolutely petrified. I had never seen my dad so unnerved and on edge after watching a movie. Feeling the same way he did was a real shared experience. I will never forget that. It made me fear what’s out there — not that it’s necessarily bad, but even if it’s good, I’m still a little bit nervous. The plastic over the face, and taking the scalpel and cutting the slit in the mouth — that was even worse for me than the thing going into the eye. I was just like, Don’t cut the edges of his mouth! Oh my God, I fucking love that movie, and it’s still ingrained in me.

Gigi Saul Guerrero

Gigi Saul Guerrero is a horror actor ( Into the Dark , Re-Home , Trap House ) and Blumhouse director ( Culture Shock , Bingo Hell ). She directed the V/H/S/85 segment “God of Death.”

Regan (Linda Blair), a tousle-haired young girl snarling and covered with blood, in The Exorcist

Being not allowed to watch anything scary, I was very excited for my 10th birthday, when The Exorcist was remastered and was re-released in Mexico with deleted scenes, recolored, new sound design. I remember telling my mom, “I’m turning a two-digit number! You can’t tell me what to do! This is what I want for my birthday!” You know, being a total brat.

So my mom still to this day remembers she [initially] went to see it around 13, 14 years old, and it still is the most traumatizing thing she’s ever watched. She puts holy water under her bed still. It was too real for her. That’s what I wanted for my birthday, was to go to the movies and see my first horror film. So my mom, thinking it’d work to take me there so I’d never watch these movies again, she said, “OK, bring your cousin too,” because we were really bad kids.

And we walked out crying so much. But I was crying and smiling, like the demon. I was so happy about how scared I was. I’d never seen anything like that. Growing up religious, I felt like the power of Christ compelled me, if you know what I’m saying. That was still to this day the best experience I’ve had with a horror movie. Tons of scary movies out there, but that’s throwing out a classic.

Natasha Kermani

Natasha Kermani is the director of Lucky , Imitation Girl , and the V/H/S/85 segment “TKNOGD.”

Two figures in stylized girl masks with blush on the cheeks and faint smiles loom alarmingly in a cluttered cabin room in The Strangers

The Strangers . I was also a big scaredy-cat for a long time. Until basically I was an adult, every horror movie I ever saw was the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. I was very scared all the time with horror movies. So The Strangers , I always think about because it’s the one I saw once I was already a horror person. And I was like, I got this, no big deal. Like, how bad can it be? And it’s horrible. It’s so good! It just makes you feel really terrible about the state of the universe. Those kinds of movies — Funny Games , those kinds of really nihilistic films, that really gets to me.

Scott Derrickson

Scott Derrickson is the director of Doctor Strange , The Black Phone , Sinister , The Exorcism of Emily Rose , and the V/H/S/85 segment “Dreamkill.”

A Korean woman with bloody hands and spots of blood on her dress lies on her back on the floor, hair spread around her in a halo, as a figure with bare, bloody feet stands over her in A Tale of Two Sisters

I think there’s different kinds of scary — it’s different being scared by movies and being disturbed. The most disturbing experience I had watching a movie — I had a panic attack after I saw Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer . I was not well after that movie for a while, for hours.

But scariest scene I’ve ever seen, I was alone when I was in film school, at night, watching A Tale of Two Sisters. And the scene when the old hag comes around the corner of the couch and comes up on the bed — first time, only time in my movie-watching career that I bailed out. It was going up on the couch and I was like, Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck , and I just turned it off. And I immediately felt so much shame. I was like, Oh nooooo, oh my God, I turned it off!

Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan is a director known for disturbing, thrilling shorts often incorporating stop-motion animation, including The Cat With Hands and Tomorrow I Will Be Dirt . His feature debut, Stopmotion , will be in theaters in 2024.

Jamie Lee Curtis, cigarette dangling from her lips, sits calmly in a car with the window smashed out in John Carpenter’s The Fog

I don’t get scared by movies anymore, because I’m too imbued with watching horror films all the time. But when I was a kid, a film that really traumatized me was John Carpenter’s The Fog . I saw that when I was 7 or 8 or something, and it totally traumatized me. That and Bob Clark’s Black Christmas — the ’70s style of pre- Halloween slasher movie, which is still really effective. I saw those movies at a totally incorrect age, and they traumatized me.

I was simultaneously attracted and repelled. I imagine that’s probably the case for a lot of people who grew to be horror fans. They saw something that freaked them out so much that they were fascinated. And then you go back for more. It’s a weird sort of perverse attraction, especially when you’re a kid. So I started gradually, bit by bit seeking out more and more horror films. The Fog was like a gateway drug to darker horror films, and weirder horror films. I ended up going down rabbit holes of weird subgenres, and then it became a lifelong obsession.

Jenn Wexler

Jenn Wexler is the director of The Ranger and shorts including Slumber Party and Halloween Bash . Her horror feature The Sacrifice Game will stream exclusively on Shudder starting Dec. 8.

A naked, bloodied man kneels on the floor in front of a dark-haired woman who’s pressed up against the wall of an underlit bedroom in Netflix’s Marianne

I’m going to cheat and give you a TV show. Marianne , on Netflix . It came out a couple of years ago, and it’s so scary , it still scares me to this day. It’s the director who directed Cobweb , which came out recently. It’s in French, and it’s demonic, a demon’s story. Just the atmosphere of it — they pull off some incredible, incredible jump scares. Not cheap jump scares. The imagery is amazing. There’s one specific line — I won’t say it, but sometimes [her husband and Sacrifice Game co-writer] Sean will say it to me, just to fuck with me. And suddenly I’m scared again. So definitely check out Marianne . I watch lots of horror movies, and I’m obviously a horror movie filmmaker, but this trumps everything else I’ve watched.

Heather Buckley

Heather Buckley, a producer on The Sacrifice Game , has produced more than 250 movies and videos, including The Ranger and Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson .

A toddler with a sneer on his face, a livid scar running down his forehead, and a scalpel in his head from the 1989 movie Pet Sematary

[1989’s] Pet Sematary by Mary Lambert. It’s disturbing, because the idea is that grief drives you to try to solve death and bring back your loved ones, and you can’t. I feel there’s something incredibly tragic about every frame of Pet Sematary . With the book and the movies, even the 2019 remake, I felt the same.

The most frightening part of King’s book was not that Louis resurrected his family — that’s not the horror. The horror is that he might have to live with his dead family for the rest of his life. In the remake, which our friends directed, I felt like the scene with the little girl in The Ranger — that was so disturbing and so sad. To sit there with a dead child and even brush her hair? It’s like, that’s not your child. It’ll never be your child.

Joe Lynch is the director of Knights of Badassdom , Wrong Turn 2: Dead End , and the 2019 crime thriller Point Blank . His new movie, Suitable Flesh , premieres in theaters and digitally on Oct. 27.

George C. Scott walks around a hospital, oblivious, as a gray-haired woman crawls across the ceiling above him in Exorcist III

There are all the ones that everybody goes to, but honestly, the one I remember affecting me most in the theater was Exorcist III . I love that movie. I saw it opening weekend. Everybody else went to go see Ghost , which is fine. I mean, come on, Patrick Swayze. But Exorcist III wrecked me. I had nightmares for days after. There’s something about the kind of procedural police slasher film, but also embedded with all of the language of the Exorcist films that [William] Friedkin established, that [William Peter] Blatty ported over. You know, everybody talks about the shot . The zoom-in shot. Being in that theater for that moment — that audience went Nah on Ghost , I want to see an Exorcist movie. And that’s not what we got! We didn’t get that type of movie!

But Blatty created something so tense and so disturbing, with some incredible scares in it that no one saw coming. Especially that shot, but I can pinpoint four or five other scenes — the woman crawling on the ceiling. The jump-cut moments from Jason Miller to Brad Dourif, where he would scream into the camera. And then cut to George C. Scott, just kind of falling asleep in the background, going, What the fuck was this movie for? There’s something that still works about that film. I don’t know if I would have had the same experience if I saw it at home, on home video at the time. But being in that theater… [ mimes jumping out of his seat ] multiple times.

This was at a point where I still had to sneak into movies. My technique was, I would take my dad’s jacket with me and plop it on the seat next to me. And anytime some pimply usher would come by, like [The Simpsons -style warbly teenager voice ], “Excuse me, where’s your ticket?” I’d be like, “Oh, my dad’s in the bathroom. He’s got the tickets. I swear to God, he’s here.” And they’d be like, “OK,” and they’d never come back. So for this movie, I’m sitting by myself in a pretty full house. You could tell midway through the movie, the audience wasn’t quite sure what kind of movie they’d gotten. Now, I make those movies too, where people, in the middle, are going, What are we watching? But in this case, the audience was engaged enough. And then the shot happens.

No one saw it coming. Everyone is sitting there going, Why are we holding on to this one shot for so long? And then what happens, happens. And the entire crowd jumped up. Here’s the worst part — someone grabbed me from behind! And went [ choked fear noise ]. And I jump up and turn around, and there’s this old lady behind me. I’m like, “Lady, what are you doing?” And she’s like, “I didn’t have anyone else to hold on to!” So I go, “Do you want to sit with me?” She sat down next to me, and we watched the rest of the movie together. Horror movies bring people together!

The Lost Boys paired vampire camp with real teenage fears

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The Spookiest Horror Movies to Stream on Paramount Plus This Halloween

All products and services featured by Variety are independently selected by Variety editors. However, Variety may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

Spooky season is upon us, meaning it’s officially time to indulge in all your bloody and gory cravings. And what better way to induce some much-desired fear than with a spine-tingling horror movie?

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There’s no shortage of thrilling and creepy films for horror buffs to binge through the month of October, and luckily streamers such as Paramount Plus make it easier than ever to stream some of the best ones. From violent slashers and sinister classics, to high-speed blockbusters and hair-raising vampire flicks, there’s a wide range of scary movies in Paramount’s library for every type of person.

Here are the best, spooky horror movies to get you into the Halloween spirit.

‘ A Quiet Place II’

The sound-hating monsters from the first “A Quiet Place” movie get more screen-time in the sequel, making for a faster-paced hour-and-a-half. The 2021 film, which came out in May, picks up where the first left off, following a widowed Evelyn (Emily Blunt) as she attempts to bring herself, two children and newborn to safety in a world taken over by death Angels that will kill anyone that makes a sound. Amidst the suspense and jump scares that make for an enthralling horror movie, the film also digs deep into the meaning of sacrifice and bravery, just like the one before it, particularly in Cillian Murphy’s Emmet who uses his cochlear implant to ward off the blood-thirsty monsters.

BUY NOW: $4.99/Month Buy It

‘Night of the Living Dead’

Horror fans with a penchant for zombies are in luck. The streamer has dozens of zombie films but “Night of the Living Dead” might be one of the best. The 1968 film was one of the first to introduce the signature slow shuffle of the undead, as a group of strangers on a remote farmhouse band together to escape the clutches of cannibalistic corpses come to life.

There’s nothing creepier than a homicidal child, particularly one whose main targets are his own loving parents. “The Omen” is an early example of the possession genre that gave way to classics such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist,” in which a devil child (and in this case the literal son of Satan) wreaks havoc to all those around him. The best part of this movie are the eerie surprises that Harvey Stephen’s Damien brings to every scene.

‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’

Don Siegel’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is a must-watch horror film that’s always worth a re-watch when you’re in the mood for a good scare. The 1977 film transports viewers to San Francisco where Matthew Bennell begins to notice that his friends have begun to lose their sense of individuality. As it turns out, his friends are among millions of victims of a catastrophic epidemic slowly turning the population into intolerant and aggressive drones.

Nothing promises the fright you might be craving quite like “The Ring,” whose entire premise centers around one grisly videotape whose contents are so sinister that it kills anyone who watches it. The 2002 film, a remake of a 1998 Japanese horror film, follows Naomi Watts’ Rachel Keller, a Seattle newspaper reporter on a mission to find out whats on the mysterious, deathly cassette.

‘Cry of the Banshee’

“Cry of the Banshee” offers all the folksy galore of the supernatural for the witchy horror fans among us. The Elizabethan-era set tale follows one ruthless witch hunter whose dark magic and madness spark a devilish retaliation from his own family.

‘Fright Night’

Charley is a happy-go-lucky senior in high school when his new next door neighbor’s suspicious activity makes him conclude that he’s a vampire. This 2011 remake, based on the original 1985 film of the same name, follows the same major plot points as Charley unsuccessfully tries to expose his blood-drinking neighbor only to set out to destroy him on his own.

Named after the highly-classified U.S Air Force facility that many believe to be a meeting ground for aliens. In the 2015 film, a group of UFO-obsessed friends and wannabe journalists travel to the mysterious and remote military site to find out what’s actually there.

‘Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?’

Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Shelley Winters star in this classic horror film, in which a wealthy widow (Winters) invites a pair of local orphans to spend the holidays at her house. But as the movie goes on, the siblings begin to suspect that the unassuming Ms. Roo isn’t what she seems.

‘Halloween V1: The Curse of Michael Myers’

It isn’t October until you’ve invited Michael Myers into your home, at least through the screen. This 1995 Halloween movie centers around everyone’s favorite maniacal mass murderer, who visits the quiet town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween to celebrate the festivities. This chapter in the Myers saga introduces Tommy Doyle, a reclusive adult who saw the masked murderer battle his babysitter when he was a child, and is now determined to figure out the famous killer’s motive.

After an intense storm derails the plane that Marquis and his family is on, he wakes up wounded and alone in Ms. Eloise’s attic. The unassuming woman claims she can bring him back to health using a voodoo figured made from his own skin and blood. With no way to reach his family, Marquis is left trying to break free from Eloises’s dark magic and a sinister ritual that he knows is waiting for him.

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The 200 Best Horror Movies of All Time

New year, new boo! We’ve re-vamped, fangs and all, our guide to the 200 best horror movies of all time, with critics and audiences now coming together in hellacious harmony to pick the freakiest, frightiest, and Freshest from horror movie history!

To assist in scheduling your film fright night, we guide you through German expressionism ( Nosferatu , The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari ) and Universal monsters ( Dracula , The Wolf Man ). Creature features ( King Kong , The Fly ) nestle with Best Picture nominees ( The Exorcist , Get Out ). Slashers ( Scream ), zombies ( Dawn of the Dead ), vampires ( Let the Right One In ) abound with terror of the more psychological persuasion ( Don’t Look Now , The Innocents ). Plus, we honor the recent stabs and strides made by female horror directors ( A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night , The Babadook , The Invitation ) and directors abroad ( Under the Shadow , The Wailing ).

To sort the list, we’re using our recommendation formula, which calculates a movie’s Tomatometer rating AND its Audience Score , along with the film’s number of reviews and year of release. And how did we pick what to initially throw into our bubbling recommendation cauldrong? We hand-picked only Certified Fresh movies with a positive Audience Score, with recent movies needing at least 100 critics reviews. What’s recent? Anything after 2016, which is when we expanded our critics pool and criteria.

Ready to settle in for dark nights of Fresh fear? Then flip the switch on the 200 best horror movies of all time. It’s alive! It’s alive!!

' sborder=

Alien (1979) 98%

' sborder=

Let the Right One In (2008) 98%

' sborder=

Aliens (1986) 98%

' sborder=

Jaws (1975) 97%

' sborder=

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 95%

' sborder=

Get Out (2017) 98%

' sborder=

Psycho (1960) 97%

' sborder=

One Cut of the Dead (2017) 100%

' sborder=

King Kong (1933) 97%

' sborder=

A Quiet Place (2018) 96%

' sborder=

Halloween (1978) 96%

' sborder=

Shaun of the Dead (2004) 92%

' sborder=

What We Do in the Shadows (2014) 96%

' sborder=

Diabolique (1955) 95%

' sborder=

The Invisible Man (2020) 92%

' sborder=

Nosferatu (1922) 97%

' sborder=

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) 98%

' sborder=

Rosemary's Baby (1968) 96%

' sborder=

The Wailing (2016) 99%

' sborder=

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 98%

' sborder=

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) 96%

' sborder=

The Devil's Backbone (2001) 93%

' sborder=

Eyes Without a Face (1960) 97%

' sborder=

A Quiet Place Part II (2021) 91%

' sborder=

The Babadook (2014) 98%

' sborder=

Train to Busan (2016) 95%

' sborder=

The Ring (1998) 98%

' sborder=

His House (2020) 100%

' sborder=

Night of the Living Dead (1968) 95%

' sborder=

Talk to Me (2023) 94%

' sborder=

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) 97%

' sborder=

Repulsion (1965) 96%

' sborder=

Frankenstein (1931) 94%

' sborder=

Vampyr (1932) 98%

' sborder=

Freaks (1932) 95%

' sborder=

The Night of the Hunter (1955) 93%

' sborder=

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) 95%

' sborder=

The Innocents (1961) 95%

' sborder=

Prey (2022) 94%

' sborder=

Under the Shadow (2016) 99%

' sborder=

Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) 95%

' sborder=

Border (2018) 97%

' sborder=

M3GAN (2022) 93%

' sborder=

Dawn of the Dead (1978) 93%

' sborder=

Godzilla (1954) 93%

' sborder=

Peeping Tom (1960) 95%

' sborder=

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) 96%

' sborder=

Re-Animator (1985) 94%

' sborder=

The Fly (1986) 93%

' sborder=

Suspiria (1977) 94%

' sborder=

Pearl (2022) 93%

' sborder=

Zombieland (2009) 89%

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The Birds (1963) 94%

' sborder=

The Innocents (2021) 97%

' sborder=

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) 92%

' sborder=

X (2022) 94%

' sborder=

Misery (1990) 91%

' sborder=

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) 92%

' sborder=

The Amusement Park (1973) 96%

' sborder=

It Follows (2014) 95%

' sborder=

Raw (2016) 93%

' sborder=

Dead of Night (1945) 93%

' sborder=

Dracula (1931) 94%

' sborder=

Carrie (1976) 93%

' sborder=

The Host (2006) 93%

' sborder=

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) 90%

' sborder=

Kwaidan (1964) 91%

' sborder=

28 Days Later (2002) 87%

' sborder=

Don't Look Now (1973) 93%

' sborder=

Thelma (2017) 92%

' sborder=

Attack the Block (2011) 91%

' sborder=

The Orphanage (2007) 87%

' sborder=

Barbarian (2022) 93%

' sborder=

Werewolf by Night (2022) 89%

' sborder=

Us (2019) 93%

' sborder=

Upgrade (2018) 88%

' sborder=

Evil Dead 2 (1987) 88%

' sborder=

An American Werewolf in London (1981) 89%

' sborder=

Ready or Not (2019) 89%

' sborder=

The Lighthouse (2019) 90%

' sborder=

It (2017) 86%

' sborder=

Eraserhead (1977) 90%

' sborder=

Green Room (2015) 90%

' sborder=

Beast (2017) 92%

' sborder=

Hereditary (2018) 90%

' sborder=

Drag Me to Hell (2009) 92%

' sborder=

The Return of the Living Dead (1985) 91%

' sborder=

The Wicker Man (1973) 90%

' sborder=

Dead Alive (1992) 89%

' sborder=

You Won't Be Alone (2022) 93%

' sborder=

The Fly (1958) 95%

' sborder=

Let Me In (2010) 88%

' sborder=

Village of the Damned (1960) 93%

' sborder=

Don't Breathe (2016) 88%

' sborder=

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) 89%

' sborder=

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) 90%

' sborder=

The Conjuring (2013) 86%

' sborder=

Cat People (1942) 92%

' sborder=

Horror of Dracula (1958) 91%

' sborder=

The Blackening (2022) 87%

' sborder=

Grindhouse (2007) 84%

' sborder=

The Thing (1982) 85%

' sborder=

House of Wax (1953) 93%

' sborder=

The Shining (1980) 83%

' sborder=

The Love Witch (2016) 95%

' sborder=

Bone Tomahawk (2015) 91%

' sborder=

The Descent (2005) 87%

' sborder=

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) 91%

' sborder=

Mandy (2018) 91%

' sborder=

Duel (1971) 89%

' sborder=

The Cat and the Canary (1927) 93%

' sborder=

The Wolf Man (1941) 91%

' sborder=

Saint Maud (2019) 92%

' sborder=

Poltergeist (1982) 88%

' sborder=

House (1977) 91%

' sborder=

The Endless (2017) 92%

' sborder=

The Evil Dead (1981) 86%

' sborder=

Violation (2020) 88%

' sborder=

Martin (1978) 90%

' sborder=

Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010) 85%

' sborder=

Nanny (2022) 90%

' sborder=

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) 86%

' sborder=

The Witch (2015) 90%

' sborder=

Annihilation (2018) 88%

' sborder=

The Dead Zone (1983) 89%

' sborder=

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021) 87%

' sborder=

Island of Lost Souls (1933) 88%

' sborder=

The Others (2001) 84%

' sborder=

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) 89%

' sborder=

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) 86%

' sborder=

Hatching (2022) 93%

' sborder=

Santa Sangre (1989) 86%

' sborder=

Theater of Blood (1973) 88%

' sborder=

Gremlins (1984) 86%

' sborder=

The Haunting (1963) 87%

' sborder=

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (2021) 88%

' sborder=

The Night House (2020) 88%

' sborder=

Sputnik (2020) 88%

' sborder=

The Black Phone (2021) 81%

' sborder=

Cronos (1993) 90%

' sborder=

The Dark and the Wicked (2020) 91%

' sborder=

The Invitation (2015) 89%

' sborder=

Freaky (2020) 83%

' sborder=

Tremors (1990) 88%

' sborder=

The Exorcist (1973) 78%

' sborder=

Evil Dead Rise (2023) 84%

' sborder=

The Mummy (1932) 89%

' sborder=

Carnival of Souls (1962) 87%

' sborder=

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) 88%

' sborder=

Candyman (2021) 84%

' sborder=

Hounds of Love (2016) 88%

' sborder=

Audition (1999) 83%

' sborder=

Piggy (2022) 91%

' sborder=

Dead Ringers (1988) 85%

' sborder=

Nope (2022) 83%

' sborder=

Slither (2006) 87%

' sborder=

Crawl (2019) 84%

' sborder=

Doctor Sleep (2019) 78%

' sborder=

Day of the Dead (1985) 86%

' sborder=

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970) 85%

' sborder=

The Omen (1976) 84%

' sborder=

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) 86%

' sborder=

Scream VI (2023) 76%

' sborder=

Fresh (2022) 81%

' sborder=

Color Out of Space (2019) 86%

' sborder=

The Conjuring 2 (2016) 80%

' sborder=

Better Watch Out (2016) 89%

' sborder=

Scream (1996) 81%

' sborder=

Saw X (2023) 80%

' sborder=

The Girl With All the Gifts (2016) 86%

' sborder=

Predator (1987) 80%

' sborder=

Goodnight Mommy (2014) 85%

' sborder=

Fright Night (1985) 82%

' sborder=

Midsommar (2019) 83%

' sborder=

Warm Bodies (2013) 81%

' sborder=

Sisters (1973) 85%

' sborder=

Shadow of the Vampire (2000) 82%

' sborder=

I Walked With a Zombie (1943) 85%

' sborder=

Near Dark (1987) 83%

' sborder=

House of Usher (1960) 84%

' sborder=

Thirst (2009) 81%

' sborder=

Split (2016) 78%

' sborder=

The House of the Devil (2009) 85%

' sborder=

Smile (2022) 79%

' sborder=

Werewolves Within (2021) 86%

' sborder=

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) 79%

' sborder=

Halloween (2018) 79%

' sborder=

Videodrome (1983) 83%

' sborder=

Overlord (2018) 82%

' sborder=

Scream (2022) 76%

' sborder=

Come to Daddy (2019) 88%

' sborder=

Bones and All (2022) 82%

' sborder=

The Lost Boys (1987) 77%

' sborder=

Dawn of the Dead (2004) 76%

' sborder=

Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021) 84%

' sborder=

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) 78%

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Frailty (2002) 75%

' sborder=

1408 (2007) 80%

' sborder=

Little Monsters (2019) 80%

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) 77%

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spookiest horror movie

The Spookiest Horror Movies to Stream on Paramount Plus This Halloween

By Anna Tingley

Anna Tingley

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Halloween Movies

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Variety may receive an affiliate commission.

Spooky season is upon us, meaning it’s officially time to indulge in all your bloody and gory cravings. And what better way to induce some much-desired fear than with a spine-tingling horror movie?

There’s no shortage of thrilling and creepy films for horror buffs to binge through the month of October, and luckily streamers such as Paramount Plus make it easier than ever to stream some of the best ones. From violent slashers and sinister classics, to high-speed blockbusters and hair-raising vampire flicks, there’s a wide range of scary movies in Paramount’s library for every type of person.

Here are the best, spooky horror movies to get you into the Halloween spirit.

‘ A Quiet Place II’


The sound-hating monsters from the first “A Quiet Place” movie get more screen-time in the sequel, making for a faster-paced hour-and-a-half. The 2021 film, which came out in May, picks up where the first left off, following a widowed Evelyn (Emily Blunt) as she attempts to bring herself, two children and newborn to safety in a world taken over by death Angels that will kill anyone that makes a sound. Amidst the suspense and jump scares that make for an enthralling horror movie, the film also digs deep into the meaning of sacrifice and bravery, just like the one before it, particularly in Cillian Murphy’s Emmet who uses his cochlear implant to ward off the blood-thirsty monsters.

BUY NOW: $4.99/Month

‘Night of the Living Dead’


Horror fans with a penchant for zombies are in luck. The streamer has dozens of zombie films but “Night of the Living Dead” might be one of the best. The 1968 film was one of the first to introduce the signature slow shuffle of the undead, as a group of strangers on a remote farmhouse band together to escape the clutches of cannibalistic corpses come to life.

‘The Omen’

THE OMEN, Harvey Stephens, 1976, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

There’s nothing creepier than a homicidal child, particularly one whose main targets are his own loving parents. “The Omen” is an early example of the possession genre that gave way to classics such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist,” in which a devil child (and in this case the literal son of Satan) wreaks havoc to all those around him. The best part of this movie are the eerie surprises that Harvey Stephen’s Damien brings to every scene.

‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Don Siegel’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is a must-watch horror film that’s always worth a re-watch when you’re in the mood for a good scare. The 1977 film transports viewers to San Francisco where Matthew Bennell begins to notice that his friends have begun to lose their sense of individuality. As it turns out, his friends are among millions of victims of a catastrophic epidemic slowly turning the population into intolerant and aggressive drones.

‘The Ring’

THE RING TWO, Naomi Watts, Kelly Stables, 2005, (c) DreamWorks/courtesy Everett Collection

Nothing promises the fright you might be craving quite like “The Ring,” whose entire premise centers around one grisly videotape whose contents are so sinister that it kills anyone who watches it. The 2002 film, a remake of a 1998 Japanese horror film, follows Naomi Watts’ Rachel Keller, a Seattle newspaper reporter on a mission to find out whats on the mysterious, deathly cassette.

‘Cry of the Banshee’

CRY OF THE BANSHEE, Elisabeth Bergner, 1970

“Cry of the Banshee” offers all the folksy galore of the supernatural for the witchy horror fans among us. The Elizabethan-era set tale follows one ruthless witch hunter whose dark magic and madness spark a devilish retaliation from his own family.

‘Fright Night’

FRIGHT NIGHT, from left: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, 2011. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Charley is a happy-go-lucky senior in high school when his new next door neighbor’s suspicious activity makes him conclude that he’s a vampire. This 2011 remake, based on the original 1985 film of the same name, follows the same major plot points as Charley unsuccessfully tries to expose his blood-drinking neighbor only to set out to destroy him on his own.

‘Area 51’

Area 51

Named after the highly-classified U.S Air Force facility that many believe to be a meeting ground for aliens. In the 2015 film, a group of UFO-obsessed friends and wannabe journalists travel to the mysterious and remote military site to find out what’s actually there.

‘Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?’

WHO SLEW AUNTIE ROO?, Shelley Winters, 1971

Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Shelley Winters star in this classic horror film, in which a wealthy widow (Winters) invites a  pair of local orphans to spend the holidays at her house. But as the movie goes on, the siblings begin to suspect that the unassuming Ms. Roo isn’t what she seems.

‘Halloween V1: The Curse of Michael Myers’

HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS, George Wilbur (as Michael Myers), 1995. ph: Kent Miles / © Dimension Films/courtesy Everett Collection (image upgraded to 16.5

It isn’t October until you’ve invited Michael Myers into your home, at least through the screen. This 1995 Halloween movie centers around everyone’s favorite maniacal mass murderer, who visits the quiet town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween to celebrate the festivities. This chapter in the Myers saga introduces Tommy Doyle, a reclusive adult who saw the masked murderer battle his babysitter when he was a child, and is now determined to figure out the famous killer’s motive.


SPELL, Omari Hardwick, 2020. © Paramount Players /Courtesy Everett Collection

After an intense storm derails the plane that Marquis and his family is on, he wakes up wounded and alone in Ms. Eloise’s attic. The unassuming woman claims she can bring him back to health using a voodoo figured made from his own skin and blood. With no way to reach his family, Marquis is left trying to break free from Eloises’s dark magic and a sinister ritual that he knows is waiting for him.

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100 Scariest Movies of All Time

Want a thrill? Draw your curtains and settle in for a list of the greatest fright films sure to keep you up at night.

  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • Release Year

1. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

When a young girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two Catholic priests to save her life.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn , Max von Sydow , Linda Blair , Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 443,947 | Gross: $232.91M

The scariest movie of all time. It will scar you for life, and leave you haunted by the effects.

2. Hereditary (2018)

R | 127 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences.

Director: Ari Aster | Stars: Toni Collette , Milly Shapiro , Gabriel Byrne , Alex Wolff

Votes: 360,799 | Gross: $44.07M

Hereditary is a new horror landmark that puts a unique face on things that go bump in the night.

3. The Witch (2015)

R | 92 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.

Director: Robert Eggers | Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy , Ralph Ineson , Kate Dickie , Julian Richings

Votes: 289,317 | Gross: $25.14M

This movie combines classic horror and generally scary arithmetic to create a NEW and great film. The Witch is a really atmospheric film with an elaborate build-up of suspense and eerie themes throughout; it's not like other horror films because the characters are rich in depth and their personalities are more complex for a horror movie character.

4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

Five friends head out to rural Texas to visit the grave of a grandfather. On the way they stumble across what appears to be a deserted house, only to discover something sinister within. Something armed with a chainsaw.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns , Edwin Neal , Allen Danziger , Paul A. Partain

Votes: 178,840 | Gross: $30.86M

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is by far one of the SCARIEST movies I've seen. This horrific film is very gory and disturbing and very chaotic and suspenseful. The film exhausted me, as the chase scenes are really intense and are part of a lot of the film.

5. The Babadook (2014)

Not Rated | 94 min | Horror, Mystery

A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children's book titled "Mister Babadook" manifests in their home.

Director: Jennifer Kent | Stars: Essie Davis , Noah Wiseman , Daniel Henshall , Hayley McElhinney

Votes: 241,595 | Gross: $0.92M

The Babadook is dark, eerie, creepy, and scariest of all, metaphorically psychological. It's the looming threat of insanity that drives this film. This movie is extremely well made, and is extremely twisted.

6. High Tension (2003)

R | 91 min | Horror

Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.

Director: Alexandre Aja | Stars: Cécile de France , Maïwenn , Philippe Nahon , Franck Khalfoun

Votes: 76,442 | Gross: $3.68M

"Haute Tension" is appropriately gruesome and shocking and does not take the wise cracking, action movie based horror movie approach that so many recent horror films have taken. The film is well made and paced and builds up the suspense to a crescendo and does not overstay it's welcome.

7. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young African-American visits his White girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya , Allison Williams , Bradley Whitford , Catherine Keener

Votes: 669,100 | Gross: $176.04M

While the story does have its comedic aspects, it is well balanced with thrills, spooks, and mature storytelling with a very interesting and twisted plot.

8. Sleep Tight (2011)

Not Rated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

You wake day after day to the comfort and security of your home. But how safe is it really?

Director: Jaume Balagueró | Stars: Luis Tosar , Marta Etura , Alberto San Juan , Petra Martínez

Votes: 45,702

I don't think I've ever hated a character more than I hate the concierge. And considering this is a "horror" movie, that's a good thing! I didn't find it to be over the top in any way; the film was extremely tense. Not typical horror, but definitely unsettling. Good acting and unique storyline.

9. Evil Dead (2013)

Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.

Director: Fede Alvarez | Stars: Jane Levy , Shiloh Fernandez , Jessica Lucas , Lou Taylor Pucci

Votes: 193,847 | Gross: $54.24M

This remake finds many way to bow to the original, aside the obligatory visual quotes. The use of practical effects, notably, in an era of CGI- filled movies, is extremely refreshing. The gore feels painful, makes you cringe, churned my stomach. It successfully palliates a somewhat shallow characterization that makes it difficult to root for the characters.

10. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Five years after the events of the first film, a summer camp next to the infamous Camp Crystal Lake is preparing to open, but the legend of Jason is weighing heavy on the proceedings.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Betsy Palmer , Amy Steel , John Furey , Adrienne King

Votes: 75,985 | Gross: $21.72M

Friday the 13th part 2 is a great horror film and is the best in the series. Has its share of sex drugs and blood easy to follow with a great opening. Amy Steel gives a good performance as our heroine and the rest of the cast is fine as well.

11. Midsommar (2019)

R | 148 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A couple travels to Northern Europe to visit a rural hometown's fabled Swedish mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

Director: Ari Aster | Stars: Florence Pugh , Jack Reynor , Vilhelm Blomgren , William Jackson Harper

Votes: 377,352 | Gross: $27.33M

Set in broad daylight, during the time of Northern Europe's midnight sun, this horror movie isn't about getting the creeps so much as it is about the slow, methodical unmasking of horrors most human.

12. Suspiria (I) (2018)

R | 152 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

Director: Luca Guadagnino | Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz , Tilda Swinton , Doris Hick , Malgorzata Bela

Votes: 88,570 | Gross: $2.47M

Suspiria is incredibly well filmed with such a style that makes it feel old with an awesome soundtrack! Glorious eerie vibes in many parts which is nice. Very much reminds me of Black Swan just very different and more terrifying.

13. Goodnight Mommy (2014)

R | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Twin boys move to a new house with their mother after she has face-changing cosmetic surgery, but under the bandages is someone the boys don't recognize.

Directors: Severin Fiala , Veronika Franz | Stars: Lukas Schwarz , Elias Schwarz , Susanne Wuest , Hans Escher

Votes: 58,576 | Gross: $1.17M

A creepy little horror-thriller for the discerning horror fans who don't crave cheap, gimmicky thrills!

14. Martyrs (2008)

R | 99 min | Horror

A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.

Director: Pascal Laugier | Stars: Morjana Alaoui , Mylène Jampanoï , Catherine Bégin , Robert Toupin

Votes: 103,323

Intense, disorienting, unsettling, upsetting, polarising - Martyrs is all these things, but it is also intelligent, moving and strangely transcedent. If you want to be put through the wringer by a film, make it this one. This is not an easy film to watch, but it is a valuable film to watch.

15. Them (2006)

R | 77 min | Horror, Thriller

Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise... they're not alone... and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.

Directors: David Moreau , Xavier Palud | Stars: Olivia Bonamy , Michaël Cohen , Adriana Mocca , Maria Roman

Votes: 31,727

Very tense, uneasy and suspenseful, especially if watched alone at night. Great use of environment to terrify you. I'm interested in researching to see what real life case this is based. Ending was great.

16. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins , Janet Leigh , Vera Miles , John Gavin

Votes: 704,083 | Gross: $32.00M

"Psycho" has one of the best scripts you'll ever find in a movie. The domestic conflict is well-known. But nothing shocks like the experience itself. Anthony Perkins' skillfully crafts his performance as Norman Bates, avoiding a ranting, raving, drooling, murder-happy, manic characterization; instead his performance as Norman is subtle, creepy, cool, and unsettling.

17. The Lighthouse (I) (2019)

R | 109 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

Director: Robert Eggers | Stars: Robert Pattinson , Willem Dafoe , Valeriia Karaman , Logan Hawkes

Votes: 242,673 | Gross: $0.43M

Driven by its stars' maniacal performances, The Lighthouse makes for an impeccably crafted, though thematically uneven, blend of horror and humor.

18. Us (II) (2019)

R | 116 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A family's serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Lupita Nyong'o , Winston Duke , Elisabeth Moss , Tim Heidecker

Votes: 330,011 | Gross: $175.08M

A family's serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.

19. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson , Shelley Duvall , Danny Lloyd , Scatman Crothers

Votes: 1,080,367 | Gross: $44.02M

This is Stanley Kubrick's classic vision of Stephen King's horror tale of madness and blood.

20. The Devils (1971)

R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier's protection of the city of Loudun from the corrupt Cardinal Richelieu is undermined by a sexually repressed nun's accusation of witchcraft.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Vanessa Redgrave , Oliver Reed , Dudley Sutton , Max Adrian

Votes: 17,609 | Gross: $1.13M

This film is the only film I've ever seen, regardless of genre, to take the viewer into the pit of hell and to hold her/him there unrelenting, uncompromising, and to make the viewer feel as s/he has actually experienced hell. It's bleak, horrifying, shocking, disgusting and thoroughly delicious.

21. Mother! (2017)

R | 121 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence , Javier Bardem , Ed Harris , Michelle Pfeiffer

Votes: 243,221 | Gross: $17.80M

A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

22. The Dark and the Wicked (2020)

Not Rated | 95 min | Horror

On a secluded farm in a nondescript rural town, a man is slowly dying. His family gathers to mourn, and soon a darkness grows, marked by waking nightmares and a growing sense that something evil is taking over the family.

Director: Bryan Bertino | Stars: Marin Ireland , Michael Abbott Jr. , Julie Oliver-Touchstone , Lynn Andrews

Votes: 21,062

23. REC (2007)

R | 78 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

Directors: Jaume Balagueró , Paco Plaza | Stars: Manuela Velasco , Ferran Terraza , Jorge-Yamam Serrano , Pablo Rosso

Votes: 192,556

This is an excellent example of how found footage films should be done. Totally uses the instant and immersive quality of the medium to its full potential. What's more, it's a movie that makes a late game turn that takes it from "very good" to "very great." The last ten minutes elevate the movie to a whole new level of creepy.

24. Halloween (2007)

R | 109 min | Horror

After being committed for 15 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution and immediately returns to Haddonfield to find his baby sister, Laurie.

Director: Rob Zombie | Stars: Scout Taylor-Compton , Malcolm McDowell , Tyler Mane , Brad Dourif

Votes: 129,087 | Gross: $58.27M

Rob Zombie is a die-hard, old school horror/exploitation fan of all the original horror films that paved the way to today's disturbing and desensitized Internet and television generation.Zombie goes for stark reality and exposes a statement on the worst of our twisted society, merging that concept with Carpenter's original tale of "pure" evil incarnate about a little boy transformed into a mindless but calculated killing machine without motive or purpose. A frightening concept indeed, and its handled by a cast of genre veterans as well as talented newcomers in a modern day exercise of murder and mayhem.

25. Repulsion (1965)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Catherine Deneuve , Ian Hendry , John Fraser , Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 56,185

"Repulsion" is a great example of how to make a truly scary movie: The trick is not to fill the screen with monsters or indestructible serial killers, it is to portray fear in a way that will be familiar to the audience. It is clear from early on in the film that the lead character, Carol, played brilliantly by an extremely young-looking Catherine Deneuve, is not exactly normal.

26. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider , Robert Shaw , Richard Dreyfuss , Lorraine Gary

Votes: 644,727 | Gross: $260.00M

'Jaws' is the original summer blockbuster, setting the standard by which all others are measured. It's the Michael Jordan of cinema: there will never be another 'Jaws,' simply because the film so profoundly changed the way movies are made and marketed.

27. Barbarian (2022)

R | 102 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A woman staying at an Airbnb discovers that the house she has rented is not what it seems.

Director: Zach Cregger | Stars: Georgina Campbell , Bill Skarsgård , Justin Long , Matthew Patrick Davis

Votes: 165,936

28. Eraserhead (1977)

Not Rated | 89 min | Fantasy, Horror

Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Jack Nance , Charlotte Stewart , Allen Joseph , Jeanne Bates

Votes: 124,254 | Gross: $7.00M

Creepy, stylistic masterpiece! It's a descriptive story about a literal hell on earth, a "dream of dark and troubling things." The sounds, the texture and "the weirdness" all contribute to the sense of impending doom being trapped in the hell that is everyday life for some people.

29. Children of the Corn (1984)

R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller

A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believes that everyone over age 18 must be killed.

Director: Fritz Kiersch | Stars: Peter Horton , Linda Hamilton , R.G. Armstrong , John Franklin

Votes: 56,319 | Gross: $14.57M

There is not a boring moment in this film that would put you to sleep. There are many jolts, winces and frights. And even though the "He Who Walks Behind The Rows" fella never shows his face, you will definitely feel it's presence.

30. Maniac (1980)

18+ | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A psychopathic man goes on a killing and mutilation spree in New York City.

Director: William Lustig | Stars: Joe Spinell , Caroline Munro , Abigail Clayton , Kelly Piper

Votes: 19,639

A well-crafted and disturbing movie. Mind blowing in the 80's. A New York City that we will never see again. Solid slasher flick.

31. Baskin (2015)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

A squad of unsuspecting cops go through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.

Director: Can Evrenol | Stars: Mehmet Cerrahoglu , Görkem Kasal , Ergun Kuyucu , Muharrem Bayrak

Votes: 11,992

Baskin is a passionate and well-made horror. It is an ultra-violent and bizarre descent into Hell

32. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

R | 89 min | Horror

Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

Director: Rob Zombie | Stars: Sid Haig , Karen Black , Bill Moseley , Sheri Moon Zombie

Votes: 91,799 | Gross: $12.63M

Rob Zombie has created a homage to 1970's exploitation/horror films, and he has been extremly successful in achieving that goal. The film borrows largely from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left, with his own little bits of original demential thrown in and an assortment of other horror film references.

33. X (II) (2022)

R | 105 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.

Director: Ti West | Stars: Mia Goth , Jenna Ortega , Brittany Snow , Kid Cudi

Votes: 151,888

34. V/H/S (2012)

When a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin , David Bruckner , Tyler Gillett , Justin Martinez , Glenn McQuaid , Radio Silence , Joe Swanberg , Chad Villella , Ti West , Adam Wingard | Stars: Calvin Lee Reeder , Lane Hughes , Adam Wingard , Hannah Fierman

Votes: 66,967 | Gross: $0.10M

A nightmare world on videotape. A terrific collection of "found footage" horror!

35. It Follows (2014)

R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

Director: David Robert Mitchell | Stars: Maika Monroe , Keir Gilchrist , Olivia Luccardi , Lili Sepe

Votes: 261,669 | Gross: $14.67M

It Follows is subtle and thought provoking - you never know where this thing is and it moves so slowly that you don't know when it will appear, and this uncertainty in waiting is what real suspense is all about.

36. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

Directors: Daniel Myrick , Eduardo Sánchez | Stars: Heather Donahue , Michael C. Williams , Joshua Leonard , Bob Griffin

Votes: 279,027 | Gross: $140.54M

This might be one of those "You had to be there" type of films that younger viewers may take for granted. When I saw this in '99 I left the theatre terrified (which rarely happens to me, then or now) and it still packs quite a punch.

37. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell , Sarah Berry , Dan Hicks , Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 178,668 | Gross: $5.92M

This film, is without a shadow of a doubt, one of finest, most imaginative comedy horror films ever made. Raimi, has put all the aspects of the film together in masterful fashion. The camera work and sound effects are pulsating, and the timing is perfection. And in Bruce Campbell, the film as a lead actor who gives an exceptional performance.

38. The Descent (2005)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Shauna Macdonald , Natalie Mendoza , Alex Reid , Saskia Mulder

Votes: 241,131 | Gross: $26.02M

It's a roller coaster ride of tension and fear. So often these days horror movies just aren't scary, they make you jump they have a little bit of atmosphere and that's it, well this film was scary. It was tense, well acted, and the director made great use of the setting to scare the hell out of you.

39. Open Water (2003)

R | 79 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror

Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left.

Director: Chris Kentis | Stars: Blanchard Ryan , Daniel Travis , Saul Stein , Michael E. Williamson

Votes: 55,911 | Gross: $30.61M

Open Water is a film that asks its viewers to place themselves at the heart of the movie; to feel the desperation, the hopelessness and the absolute terrifying ordeal. And for a change the movie is shot in a way that allows the viewer to feel as if truly there.

40. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman , Brad Pitt , Kevin Spacey , Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,747,583 | Gross: $100.13M

Se7en is by far one of the most inventive, well-written, and cerebral films in recent history. The film, blending a well put together combination of dark visual style, intense plot development, and polished acting, remains tight and focused throughout, from beginning to end, never straying outwards into unimportant issues, or resorting to typical Hollywood clichés.

41. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (2011)

Not Rated | 91 min | Horror

Inspired by the fictional Dr. Heiter, disturbed loner Martin dreams of creating a 12-person centipede and sets out to realize his sick fantasy.

Director: Tom Six | Stars: Laurence R. Harvey , Ashlynn Yennie , Maddi Black , Kandace Caine

Votes: 41,911 | Gross: $0.12M

This movie is depraved and sick. One of the grossest movies I have ever seen. Far better than the original. The actor that plays Martin had the perfect look and demeanor for the role and really did a fantastic job. A new breed of super villain.

42. Bug (2006)

R | 102 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ashley Judd , Michael Shannon , Harry Connick Jr. , Lynn Collins

Votes: 37,244 | Gross: $7.01M

A completely unique and intense cinema experience. The film is very disturbing...I would describe it as a dark comedy that gets darker and darker and darker...calling it horror is too limited although there are horror elements to it. It reminds me of Cronenberg or early Polanski (Repulsion). But comparisons don't really do it justice. It's exciting to see that there are directors that still have guts. I was exhilarated and disturbed by the end of this film.

43. Funny Games (2007)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Naomi Watts , Tim Roth , Michael Pitt , Brady Corbet

Votes: 102,105 | Gross: $1.29M

So many horror movies are predictable and formulaic that it's a pleasant surprise to come across one that actually makes an effort to break free of its bonds and make its own way in the world. And, indeed, "Funny Games" busts through the horror movie conventions with an almost ruthless determination.

44. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

R | 97 min | Horror, Thriller

Kirsty is brought to an institution after the horrible events of Hellraiser (1987), where the occult-obsessive head doctor resurrects Julia and unleashes the Cenobites and their demonic underworld.

Director: Tony Randel | Stars: Doug Bradley , Ashley Laurence , Clare Higgins , Kenneth Cranham

Votes: 54,979 | Gross: $11.09M

The best Hellraiser of all! Kirsty is brought to an institution after the horrible events of Hellraiser (1987), where the occult-obsessive head doctor resurrects Julia and unleashes the Cenobites and their demonic underworld.

45. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

R | 107 min | Horror, Thriller

A traveling family falls victim to a group of mutated cannibals in a desert far away from civilization.

Director: Alexandre Aja | Stars: Ted Levine , Kathleen Quinlan , Dan Byrd , Emilie de Ravin

Votes: 180,425 | Gross: $41.78M

Shocking. Disturbing. At times hard to watch. All words to describe the horror of being forced to watch Michael Moore take his shirt off. But these terms also accurately describe this brutally vicious upgrade on Wes Craven's 1977 low-budget horror classic.

46. Hostel (2005)

R | 94 min | Horror

Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.

Director: Eli Roth | Stars: Jay Hernandez , Derek Richardson , Eythor Gudjonsson , Barbara Nedeljakova

Votes: 187,950 | Gross: $47.33M

This movie dispenses with much of the clever, self-congratulatory repartee made so popular in horror films since Scream and its imitators. It opts instead for the old fashioned horror staples of nudity, terror, blood and tension.

47. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

R | 98 min | Horror

After picking up a traumatized young hitchhiker, five friends find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chainsaw-wielding loon and his family of equally psychopathic killers.

Director: Marcus Nispel | Stars: Jessica Biel , Jonathan Tucker , Andrew Bryniarski , Erica Leerhsen

Votes: 150,346 | Gross: $80.57M

this is a terrifying, shocking, emotional thrill of a movie. It may not be up to the standards of the 1970s version, but to be fair, nothing is. The acting is quite well done. The film takes advantage of the time its being made in and the budget, with this version having much better production values, its much more gory but not at the cost of story telling.

48. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A group of camp counselors trying to reopen a summer camp called Crystal Lake, which has a grim past, are stalked by a mysterious killer.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer , Adrienne King , Jeannine Taylor , Robbi Morgan

Votes: 154,277 | Gross: $39.75M

This is a classic film, put in theaters in the 1980's; this is what horror film was all about back in the day! It demonstrated the importance of setting the tone in horror movies, making the audience themselves feel as if they too were being stalked.

49. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

The crew of a commercial spacecraft encounters a deadly lifeform after investigating an unknown transmission.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver , Tom Skerritt , John Hurt , Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 926,460 | Gross: $78.90M

This is one of the finest science fiction films ever made. Everything is so carefully and expertly constructed to the point that repeated viewings are just as good as the first. Also, the atmosphere, along with the amazing sets, is real shocker and few movies have managed to create the same kind eerie feeling.

50. Frailty (2001)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A mysterious man arrives at the offices of an FBI agent and recounts his childhood: how his religious fanatic father received visions telling him to destroy people who were in fact "demons."

Director: Bill Paxton | Stars: Bill Paxton , Matthew McConaughey , Powers Boothe , Matt O'Leary

Votes: 89,086 | Gross: $13.10M

This is a great movie with an awesome twist. A great and really eerie psychological thriller.

51. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell , Wilford Brimley , Keith David , Richard Masur

Votes: 453,229 | Gross: $13.78M

The Thing is a peerless masterpiece of relentless suspense, retina-wrecking visual excess and outright, nihilistic terror

52. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Horror

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Alison Lohman , Justin Long , Ruth Livier , Lorna Raver

Votes: 214,272 | Gross: $42.10M

It took Sam Raimi to bring fun back to the horror genre, and I'm so glad he did. In a sea of 'torture porn' and 'found footage' garbage, this is a rare jewel that makes you realize what you've been missing as a horror fan.

53. As Above, So Below (2014)

R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

When a team of explorers venture into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.

Director: John Erick Dowdle | Stars: Perdita Weeks , Ben Feldman , Edwin Hodge , François Civil

Votes: 107,408 | Gross: $21.20M

This film is fantastic; an epic journey through hell to purgatory and back again. It is filled with mythology, history, adventure, faith, demons, torture, religious awakenings & the repentance of sins.

54. Green Room (2015)

R | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

Director: Jeremy Saulnier | Stars: Anton Yelchin , Imogen Poots , Alia Shawkat , Patrick Stewart

Votes: 135,826 | Gross: $3.22M

Director Jeremy Saulnier exercises high pressure suspense and astonishing realism in this white-knuckle thriller.

55. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Gregory Peck , Lee Remick , Harvey Stephens , David Warner

Votes: 128,097 | Gross: $4.27M

This movie plays with the intellect. It is frightening for what is not seen. From the grey overcast that blurs the skies of London and the dead stillness of the great Pereford mansion that houses the ill-fated Thorn family to the deepest recesses of civilization in the hollow underground of an ancient excavation site, the film effectively captures the viewer's interest and draws them into a world that is on the verge of the ultimate disaster - the birth of the anti-Christ.

56. The Wicker Man (1973)

R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A puritan Police Sergeant arrives in a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl, who the Pagan locals claim never existed.

Director: Robin Hardy | Stars: Edward Woodward , Christopher Lee , Diane Cilento , Britt Ekland

Votes: 89,165 | Gross: $0.06M

There is a distinct air of menace flowing throughout The Wicker Man, a distinct feeling of unwelcome and unkind put across in the most brilliant of manners because everyone acts so nicely. Then there is the awful feeling you get at certain points when you realise the character of Sergeant Howie (Woodward) is in actual fact a policeman and what might happen if he hadn't been. The Wicker Man is really a mere exercise in suspense on the surface but I think it toys with other, more political ideas during the core of the film before substituting everything and just focussing very briefly on the religious aspects it raises.A puritan Police Sergeant arrives in a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl, who the Pagan locals claim never existed.

57. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery

A brother and sister driving home through isolated countryside for spring break encounter a flesh-eating creature which is in the midst of its ritualistic eating spree.

Director: Victor Salva | Stars: Gina Philips , Justin Long , Jonathan Breck , Patricia Belcher

Votes: 139,440 | Gross: $37.90M

"Jeepers Creepers" is supposed to be your average monster-movie but turns out to be a very scary and above all a very entertaining film, whose script ist cleverly written and which has some sharp and enjoyable dialogues. The cast is also stunning, especially Gina Philips and Justin Long in the leading roles of Trish and Darryl. "Jeepers Creepers" provides some terrific pictures you will not forget.

58. The Devil's Rejects (2005)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The murderous, backwoods Firefly family take to the road to escape the vengeful Sheriff Wydell, who is not afraid of being as ruthless as his target.

Director: Rob Zombie | Stars: Sid Haig , Sheri Moon Zombie , Bill Moseley , William Forsythe

Votes: 104,612 | Gross: $17.04M

"The Devil's Rejects" is a sick, ruthless, grab you by the throat and don't let go horror movie. Which is exactly what it sets out to do and it succeeds brilliantly. While the movie is sadistic and violent, the characters are extremely well developed and the movie is extremely well written.

59. Event Horizon (1997)

R | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A rescue crew is tasked with investigating the mysterious reappearance of a spaceship that had been lost for seven years.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson | Stars: Laurence Fishburne , Sam Neill , Kathleen Quinlan , Joely Richardson

Votes: 192,734 | Gross: $26.67M

'Event Horizon' is very much an atmospheric sci-fi horror. It does not rely on gore (although there is enough of that) but rather it is the creepy atmosphere that engages the viewer. Andersen successfully creates a tense, depressing, and claustrophobic atmosphere. The suspense and pace are well maintained.

60. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

R | 98 min | Fantasy, Horror

An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Bill Pullman , Cathy Tyson , Zakes Mokae , Paul Winfield

Votes: 27,258 | Gross: $19.60M

One of Wes Craven's best, "Serpent and the Rainbow" is as much a psychological thriller as a horror movie. Some horror fans may find it too slow (it takes its sweet time to come to a climax) but it's worth it... the journey is entertaining and interesting. This is a polished, professionally filmed movie with higher production values than the average for its genre.

61. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Teenager Nancy Thompson must uncover the dark truth concealed by her parents after she and her friends become targets of the spirit of a serial killer with a bladed glove in their dreams, in which if they die, it kills them in real life.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp , Johnny Depp , Robert Englund , John Saxon

Votes: 257,287 | Gross: $25.50M

A Nightmare on Elm Street, one of the scariest movies of all time, and one of the scariest in the 80's. It also introduced one of the scariest villains of all time, Freddy Krueger, one of the ultimate boogeymen that you know who he is just by his name. Wes Craven brought us one of the most terrifying ideas, what would happen if your nightmares were real? That if you died in your dream, you died in real life?

62. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Unrated | 95 min | Adventure, Horror

During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.

Director: Ruggero Deodato | Stars: Robert Kerman , Francesca Ciardi , Perry Pirkanen , Luca Barbareschi

Votes: 59,700

'Cannibal holocaust' is a haunting, beautifully filmed masterpiece. It is a spattering of mostly laughable eroto-horror, and it hits the mark. It contrasts powerful, horrific imagery with a gorgeous, melodic soundtrack. The most impressive aspect of the film, however, is it's remarkable super-realism.

63. The Fly (1986)

R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum , Geena Davis , John Getz , Joy Boushel

Votes: 197,131 | Gross: $40.46M

David Cronenberg redefined what we think of as creepy with this brilliant film. The makeup special effects and grossouts are top notch, but what is most surprising about The Fly is that it turns out to be a very well acted and emotional love story. It greatly surpasses the original '58 version.

64. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi , Eihi Shiina , Tetsu Sawaki , Jun Kunimura

Votes: 87,178

Beautifully shot and orchestrated, it is both a subtle personal drama and one of the most genuinely horrifying things I have seen.

65. 28 Days Later (2002)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy , Naomie Harris , Christopher Eccleston , Alex Palmer

Votes: 434,281 | Gross: $45.06M

It's true that sometimes minimalism can be more effective than overblown bravado, and it's definitely true for this movie. It's the scenes of complete silence which get to you the most; an entire metropolis empty. The grainy picture serves to add a documentary-style quality to the film, which makes the whole situation seem almost too real to bear. Definitely a wise choice to film this on digital video.

66. Vivarium (2019)

R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A young couple looking for the perfect home find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses.

Director: Lorcan Finnegan | Stars: Imogen Poots , Danielle Ryan , Molly McCann , Jesse Eisenberg

Votes: 70,278

67. Cabin Fever (2002)

R | 93 min | Horror

Five college graduates rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus, which attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals.

Director: Eli Roth | Stars: Jordan Ladd , Rider Strong , James DeBello , Cerina Vincent

Votes: 82,146 | Gross: $21.16M

Cabin Fever is a very good 80's style, Splatter, B-movie. It shies away from the self referencing humor plague that Scream started and succeeds in being a very strange splatter/comedy.

68. The Visit (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Olivia DeJonge , Ed Oxenbould , Deanna Dunagan , Peter McRobbie

Votes: 146,504 | Gross: $65.21M

This was one of the rarest horror movies that managed to keep me totally scared and mostly uncomfortable from start to finish in years and years. I don't get this new trend of hating everything Shiamalan does. This new movie is one of the best horror concepts I've come across in a very long time and uses simplicity to the best effect.

69. The Amityville Horror (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror

Newlyweds and their three children move into a large house where a mass murder was committed. They start to experience strange, inexplicable manifestations which have strong effects on everyone living in or visiting the house.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: James Brolin , Margot Kidder , Rod Steiger , Don Stroud

Votes: 43,482 | Gross: $86.43M

The movie remains a creepy gem from my young days... Everyone misses the point that the real 'star' of the movie is the house! The building is both attractive and sinister - truly gothic in the importance of the setting.

70. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: JoBeth Williams , Heather O'Rourke , Craig T. Nelson , Beatrice Straight

Votes: 176,300 | Gross: $76.61M

"Poltergeist" is a top of the pick, no holds barred, roller coaster ride through the supernatural world and back to ours.

71. Ichi the Killer (2001)

R | 129 min | Action, Crime, Drama

As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of achieving.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Tadanobu Asano , Nao Ômori , Shin'ya Tsukamoto , Paulyn Sun

Votes: 59,056 | Gross: $0.02M

Takashi Miike's "Ichi the Killer" is a masterpiece of insane cinema.This film is surely challenging-filled with enough sadistic violence and rape to satisfy fans of Japanese harrowing cinema.

72. Silent Hill (2006)

R | 125 min | Horror, Mystery

A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.

Director: Christophe Gans | Stars: Radha Mitchell , Laurie Holden , Sean Bean , Deborah Kara Unger

Votes: 240,098 | Gross: $46.98M

The atmosphere was perfect, the acting was on point, the creatures were amazing, well, everything was amazing.

73. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

R | 84 min | Horror

Angela Baker, a shy, traumatized young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions toward her gets their comeuppance.

Director: Robert Hiltzik | Stars: Felissa Rose , Jonathan Tiersten , Karen Fields , Christopher Collet

Votes: 36,911 | Gross: $11.00M

Really fun and over the top. This film is a classic and hard not to appreciate! Also loved the ending.

74. The Strangers (2008)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young couple staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants.

Director: Bryan Bertino | Stars: Scott Speedman , Liv Tyler , Gemma Ward , Alex Fisher

Votes: 140,332 | Gross: $52.60M

The suspense is wound like a tight wire and it just pulls more and more until you feel like it's going to snap right at you - and it does.

75. The Ring (2002)

PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Naomi Watts , Martin Henderson , Brian Cox , David Dorfman

Votes: 368,244 | Gross: $129.13M

This movie makes you realize why so many other movies fail to be scary...not enough psychological elements. What this movie does right is that it skips the gore, and blood, and over-the-top overacting crazed lunatics that seem the norm in horror movies.

76. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Director: Oren Peli | Stars: Katie Featherston , Micah Sloat , Mark Fredrichs , Amber Armstrong

Votes: 252,246 | Gross: $107.92M

What you can't see is always scarier than what you can.

77. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Tim Robbins , Elizabeth Peña , Danny Aiello , Matt Craven

Votes: 115,761 | Gross: $26.12M

Jacobs Ladder is one of those rare films that throws you and your mind about like a ragdoll before giving you a bitter conclusion that turns everything upside down again. Forget Donnie Darko, that was mere childs play, this film is something else. Jacobs Ladder provides an experience so intimidating, brutal, wonderful and beautiful unparalleled to this day. This is something you have never seen or experienced before in film, and will probably never experience again.

78. Raw (2016)

R | 99 min | Drama, Horror

A young woman, studying to be a vet, develops a craving for human flesh.

Director: Julia Ducournau | Stars: Garance Marillier , Ella Rumpf , Rabah Nait Oufella , Laurent Lucas

Votes: 86,545 | Gross: $0.51M

Deeply disturbing and hard to watch. That's why its so great!

79. Wrong Turn (I) (2003)

R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller

Chris and a group of five friends are left stranded deep in the middle of the woods after their cars collide. As they venture deeper into the woods, they face an uncertain and bloodcurdling fate.

Director: Rob Schmidt | Stars: Eliza Dushku , Jeremy Sisto , Emmanuelle Chriqui , Desmond Harrington

Votes: 128,681 | Gross: $15.42M

This movie WORKS on many levels. Good actors, a solid storyline that doesn't drag, great make-up and visual affects, and fast paced directing make this movie a must see for the serious horror fan. Wrong Turn is a great throwback to the classic horror movies of the 70's and 80's, with the an excellent production budget which a lot of the older classics simply could not afford to have.

80. Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

PG-13 | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

In 1967 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business by inviting an evil presence into their home, not realizing how dangerous it is.

Director: Mike Flanagan | Stars: Elizabeth Reaser , Lulu Wilson , Annalise Basso , Henry Thomas

Votes: 71,380 | Gross: $35.14M

Ouija (2014) was terrible, but this prequel takes off in an entirely new direction with its mesmerizingly weird compositions and rhythms and wicked humor. Stylistic.

81. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

R | 101 min | Action, Horror

A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Sarah Polley , Ving Rhames , Mekhi Phifer , Jake Weber

Votes: 267,174 | Gross: $59.02M

What is so amazing about this movie is that it's [re]creators have also managed to tap into what will surely be the unanimous expectations of the target audience. There are no unwanted and unnecessary messages of family values, cheese, cuddles, and love will conquer all, which is fabulous because it leaves far more room for classic lines like, "Tell him to shoot Burt Reynolds" and then the ketchup-tastic head shot that follows.

82. Pearl (2022)

R | 103 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

In 1918, a young woman on the brink of madness pursues stardom in a desperate attempt to escape the drudgery, isolation, and lovelessness of life on her parents' farm.

Director: Ti West | Stars: Mia Goth , David Corenswet , Tandi Wright , Matthew Sunderland

Votes: 79,268

83. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

Director: Drew Goddard | Stars: Kristen Connolly , Chris Hemsworth , Anna Hutchison , Fran Kranz

Votes: 441,572 | Gross: $42.07M

I've never seen anything like this movie before. It's a combination of everything. It's taken everything from every other Horror Movie and thrown it all into this movie. But what is really impressive is the fact that the movie has it's own (original) plot.

84. Saw (2004)

R | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, and soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Cary Elwes , Leigh Whannell , Danny Glover , Ken Leung

Votes: 456,601 | Gross: $56.00M

From the first minute to last this film twists and turns you till you feel rather poorly. Just like 'Se7en', the all-round Grittiness that director James Wan creates disgusts and enthralls. Just like 'Se7en', there is a H U G E twist that makes your blood curdle.

85. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton , Jenny Agutter , Joe Belcher , Griffin Dunne

Votes: 117,362 | Gross: $30.57M

Great 80's classic.Contains what is still the best werewolf transformation scene out there. Make-up was well done.

86. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

A woman discovers the newly resurrected, partially formed, body of her brother-in-law. She starts killing for him to revitalize his body so he can escape the demonic beings that are pursuing him after he escaped their sadistic underworld.

Director: Clive Barker | Stars: Andrew Robinson , Clare Higgins , Ashley Laurence , Sean Chapman

Votes: 137,330 | Gross: $14.56M

A great horror flick that'll send legit chills up your spine. This film not only marks Clive Barker's feature length debut but it introduces the world (and pop culture) to Pinhead!

87. Let the Right One In (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Kåre Hedebrant , Lina Leandersson , Per Ragnar , Henrik Dahl

Votes: 224,174 | Gross: $2.12M

Let the Right one In is like no other vampire movie that I have ever seen. It is smarter, scarier and more nuanced. It doesn't feel like a thriller, it feels like literature.

88. Cannibal Ferox (1981)

16 | 93 min | Adventure, Horror

Three friends set out to disprove cannibalism on a trip to the Amazonian jungle, where they meet two men trying to escape a vicious cannibal tribe.

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Giovanni Lombardo Radice , Lorraine De Selle , Danilo Mattei , Zora Kerova

Votes: 10,570

Director Umberto Lenzi pulls out all the stops in this barbaric,sadistic shocker.

89. Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | 84 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

After an odd new medical student arrives on campus, a dedicated local and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Jeffrey Combs , Bruce Abbott , Barbara Crampton , David Gale

Votes: 69,968 | Gross: $2.02M

finally a horror camp classic that deserves to be called a horror camp classic. Re-Animator is one of those fun horror movies that is so over the top that it is just a lot of fun to watch.

90. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets.

Director: André Øvredal | Stars: Brian Cox , Emile Hirsch , Ophelia Lovibond , Michael McElhatton

Votes: 133,383 | Gross: $0.01M

And a simply wonderful throwback to the 1970s when horror was, well, horror -- and not based on gimmicks like "found footage" but rather genuine scene-setting, story building, audience engagement, and full-tilt creepiness. Probably destined to become a classic.

91. 1408 (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A man who specialises in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström | Stars: John Cusack , Samuel L. Jackson , Mary McCormack , Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 288,066 | Gross: $71.99M

A truly great horror film, with outstanding performances by both Samuel L. Jackson and Cusack.

92. Mirrors (I) (2008)

R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery

An ex-cop and his family are the target of an evil force that is using mirrors as a gateway into their home.

Director: Alexandre Aja | Stars: Kiefer Sutherland , Paula Patton , Amy Smart , Cameron Boyce

Votes: 112,374 | Gross: $30.69M

It's one that gets better and better as the movie goes. It keeps you wondering and there is pretty much no foreshadowing at all. I really didn't know what was going to happen from minute to minute.

93. The Last Exorcism (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A troubled evangelical minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew.

Director: Daniel Stamm | Stars: Patrick Fabian , Ashley Bell , Iris Bahr , Louis Herthum

Votes: 51,636 | Gross: $41.03M

At the top of the basket of the "mockumentary".

94. Child's Play (1988)

R | 87 min | Horror, Thriller

A struggling single mother unknowingly gifts her son a doll imbued with a serial killer's consciousness.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Catherine Hicks , Chris Sarandon , Alex Vincent , Brad Dourif

Votes: 113,603 | Gross: $33.24M

"Child's Play" is wonderfully original-a great concept (the soul of a serial killer in the puppet)and villain(Chucky!)are perhaps the keys to it all. Plenty of shocks and scares,pretty good acting and lots of violence.

95. His House (2020)

TV-14 | 93 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface.

Director: Remi Weekes | Stars: Sope Dirisu , Wunmi Mosaku , Malaika Wakoli-Abigaba , Matt Smith

Votes: 46,845

96. The Last House on the Left (2009)

R | 110 min | Horror, Thriller

After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.

Director: Dennis Iliadis | Stars: Garret Dillahunt , Monica Potter , Tony Goldwyn , Michael Bowen

Votes: 98,602 | Gross: $32.75M

This was gruesome and twistedly faithful to the original in spirit and effect.

97. I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

R | 108 min | Horror, Thriller

A writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.

Director: Steven R. Monroe | Stars: Sarah Butler , Jeff Branson , Andrew Howard , Daniel Franzese

Votes: 90,780 | Gross: $0.09M

Anyone who watches the film with an open mind will indeed find a powerful and angry film, one that takes no prisoners, nor does it try to play it safe for the safety and comfort of the audience. It was meant to shock, horrify, and provoke strong reactions and discussions.

98. The Lords of Salem (2012)

R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

Radio DJ Heidi is sent a box containing a record--a "gift from the Lords". The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?

Director: Rob Zombie | Stars: Sheri Moon Zombie , Meg Foster , Bruce Davison , Jeff Daniel Phillips

Votes: 31,884 | Gross: $1.16M

A fun take on rock 'n' roll as the devil's music, with momentary flashes of brilliance.

99. The Howling (1981)

After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace , Patrick Macnee , Dennis Dugan , Christopher Stone

Votes: 39,318 | Gross: $17.99M

The original classic. A little dated in some respects, but you can't beat analog special effects!!

100. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos | Stars: Barry G. Bernson , Herb Caillouet , Bill Camp , Raffey Cassidy

Votes: 171,719 | Gross: $2.29M

They have you terrified at what was going to come out of someones mouth in just about every scene. I dont know if I liked it or hated it. I appreciated they made Me squirm for a couple hours.

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The 41 spookiest horror movies based on true stories, to creep you out just a little bit more.

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Let's face it— horror movies can be down right terrifying at times, but through all the ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, we've always been able to find solace in the fact that these films are just entertainment and not based on true stories. Right? Well, what if we told you that, perhaps, that sentiment isn't exactly true, and that some of these movies are indeed...based on true stories. True stories as in—these things actually did happen. Little bit more disturbing huh? If you think this reading this is going to cause some nightmares and looking over your shoulder slightly more than normal, then it might be wise to click off. However, if you're in the mood to find out which of these films were/are inspired by very real events, then stick around.

Below we've compiled a list of 41 spooky horror movies based on true stories for you to check out and learn more about.

RELATED: The 45 Best Sci-fi Horror Movies to Watch in Time for Halloween

1. Wolf Creek (2005)

  • Director: Greg McClean
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

Wolf Creek is based on the true stories of three individuals on a road trip to remote Australia with the goal of being able to hike the Wolf Creek National Park in the Australian Outback. However, things take a dangerous turn when run into car problems and a meet a shady bushman named Mick Taylor.

2. The Tool Box Murders (1978)

  • Director: Dennis Donnelly
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 13%

Released in 1978, The Tool Box Murders is based on the true story of serial killers Lawrence Sigmund Bittaker and Roy Lewis Norris who committed who committed a series of killings in Southern California while disguising themselves in ski-masks.

3. Angst (1983)

  • Director: Gerald Kargl
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Angst is based on the true story of a psychopath that escapes from prison, and starts taking out his sadistic fantasies on an unsuspecting woman, her daughter, and handicapped son who are living in an secluded house.

4. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

  • Director: Wes Craven
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

An anthropologist travels to Haiti to study a voodoo drug used in religious practices to help turn patients into zombies, and winds up being chased by Haitian authorities who view his research as a threat to uncover something much deeper going on.

5. Black Water (2007)

  • Director: Andrew Traucki
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

2007's Black Water is based on the real events of a pregnant woman, her sister, and boyfriend who decide to take a boat tour of a mangrove swamp. Upon touring the swamp, they get met and terrorized by a killer crocodile.

6. Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

At this point, it's probably a good idea to stay out of Wolf Creek as it seems to be place that attracts danger. Wolf Creek appear to be similar to Lake Lanier in Georgia where bad things are on record happening there, and yet people still choose to go. This time around, a young backpacker decides to tour Wolf Creek, and meets a killer who has essentially made the place full of sadistic booby traps. If you are reading this, stay out of Wolf Creek! And stay away from Lake Lanier too while we're at it. Please.

7. The Dentist (1996)

  • Director: Brian Yuzna
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A

If you have a dentist phobia, protect your peace and keep scrolling. The Dentist is about a man who absolutely loses it when he finds out his wife his cheating on him. You see, this dentist is obsessed with perfection, and his wife stepping out on him shows that his rich and successful Beverly Hills life isn't quite so perfect. He can't handle this, which is why flies off the deep end to become a killer.

8. Extra Ordinary (2019)

  • Director: Enda Loughman, Mike Ahern
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

A driving instructor that possesses supernatural abilities is requested by a father to help save his daughter who is apparently possessed. Now, we looked this up to see if this movie is indeed a true story, and we couldn't find the exact reference behind it, however the opening credits do state that it's a true story, so we'll trust that the directors are being honest on this.

9. Open Water 2: Adrift (2006)

  • Director: Hans Horn
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

Oh yeah, this is definitely a horror story. Six friends decide to jump off a yacht, and not one of them thinks to lower the ladder. As a result they end up plunged into a literal nightmare. The real story, however, is slightly different as it was actually two scuba divers who ended up stranded in shark-infested waters after their tour boat left them. So not a direct copy, but a slight inspiration rather.

10. Silent House (2011)

Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Silent House is based on a true story, and about a girl (Olsen) working with her father and uncle to renovate an old family home in preparation for a sale. Since the home is old, there are no lights built in, meaning that trio has to rely on lanterns to see properly. Some how, the girl ends up trapped inside with no way of escaping, and no contact with the outside world. Literal nightmare.

11. The Enfield Haunting (2015)

  • Director: Kristoffer Nyholm

You can describe The Enfield Haunting as a mini-series, or a very long movie. Either way, it's based on the real events that took place in a North London Home in 1977. Apparently a family that moved into the home was experiencing paranormal activities, which prompts a paranormal researcher who just experienced the loss of his daughter. Freaky enough, the paranormal events haunting the family just so happen to be at the hands of a young girl, and the whole thing kind of unravels from there.

12. Mercy Black (2019)

  • Director: Owen Egerton

Released in 2019, Mercy Black centers around a woman who was sent to a psych ward after stabbing her classmate. Fifteen years later she's released, and sent to live with her sister and nephew. The only problem is, her reason for stabbing her classmate was due to the desire to conjure up an evil spirit known as Mercy Black, and that fascination runs in the family as her nephew has now become obsessed with the same phenomenon, making him dangerous.

13. Bordeland (2007)

  • Director: Zev Berman

Three American college students decide to go to Mexico to party. After a night of clubbing one of the friends ends up missing, and the other two join forces with an ex-cop to help search for him. In the midst of that search, they encounter cultist group who practice human sacrifice.

14. The Utah Cabin Murders (2019)

  • Director: Andrew Jones
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17%

The Utah Cabin Murders is based on the 1990 home invasion by Von Taylor and Edward Deli of a family cabin in Oakley, Utah. Two sisters are staying at the cabin when Taylor and Deli break in, and they forced to fight for their survival.

15. An American Haunting (2005)

  • Director: Courtney Solomon

Inspired by events that took place in 1800s Tennessee, An American Haunting is about a verified case in which spirt caused a persons death. This spirit was haunting a family for over two years before the death was caused, which is just... disturbing.

16. Knife + Heart (2018)

  • Director: Yann Gonzales
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Set in Paris 1979, a Parisian filmmaker named Annie (whose work primarily consists of producing gay porn), tries to win her ex-lover back by making her most ambitious film yet. Things take a horrible turn, however, when one of her actors winds up murdered, leaving her in the middle of an investigation that wrecks her life.

17. Ted Bundy (2002)

  • Director: Matthew Bright
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%

A retelling of the Ted Bundy store, a law student who seemingly becomes a serial killer out of nowhere.

18. Psycho (1998)

  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Vince Vaughn stars as Norman Bates in 1998's Psycho in which a discovery of Bates Motel is made by a female embezzler (Anne Heche) after a murder. While investigating the thief (who is also accompanied by a detective), realize that there's a lot more to Bates Motel than meets the eye.

19. The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

Director: Mark Pellington Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

The Mothman Prophecies is a 2002 thriller about a journalist grieving the loss of his wife. Shortly before her passing in a tragic car accident she experienced visions of a strange moth. A couple of years after her passing, the journalist finds himself in a remote town while on assignment, and discovers that this town has been haunted by something called the "mothman."

20. Backcountry (2014)

  • Director: Adam MacDonald
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

2014's Backcountry is about a married couple named Alex and Jenn who go camping in the woods. As they're camping they realize not only that they have forgotten their phones, but they have also become lost. As if things couldn't get any worse, as they are searching for a way to get out they end up stalked by a man-eating bear. The literal definition of a series of unfortunate events.

21. The Amityville Horror (1979)

  • Director: Stuart Rosenberg
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31%

Honestly you can either choose to watch this version or the 2005 one as they are both practically telling the same story. Regardless, The Amityville Horror is about a couple haunted by supernatural upon moving into a new house in an uptown New York. Obviously the couple doesn't know that this home was the scene of a recent mass killing and owned by an 18th-century Satanist, so they end up experiencing terrible events such as the blood and slime coming out of the pipes and walls, and flies appearing out of nowhere.

Personally we would have had to break the lease and move, but instead they decide to call upon a priest to help exorcise the evil out of the house.

22. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

  • Director: Johannes Robert
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39%

A husband, wife, son, and daughter, decide to take a spur-of-the-moment road trip that quickly turns horrible when they arrive to a secluded mobile home park that it's deserted. The fact that it was deserted was a probably a clue that something wasn't quite right. Nonetheless they stay, and realize as they aren't alone as three masked psychopath's begin to haunt them.

23. Black Christmas (1974)

  • Director: Bob Clark
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Released in 1974, Black Christmas is about a group of sorority sisters who begin receiving harassing phone calls that ultimately leads to one of the girls going missing from the house. That combined with a local adolescent girl being murdered makes it clear that there's a serial killer on the loose, but nobody realizes just how close that serial killer is to them.

24. Primeval (2007)

  • Director: Michael Katleman
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 19%

Primeval is about veteran reporter and his team sent on the mother of all horrible news assignments when his station sends him to the African country of Burundi to locate and capture a crocodile. Why the news team felt he, a news reporters, possessed the skillset to capture a crocodile in the first place? We don't know, but it ends up going worse than expected when the reporter and his crew have to deal with both the crocodile and an African warlord who is even more vicious than the crocodile. That news station gets our nomination for worst ever.

25. Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman (2021)

  • Director: Daniel Farrands
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 20%

Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman is about the real-life story of American's most notorious female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Wuornos marries into a wealthy family in the mid-1970s, only to turn around and inflict mayhem on her new family and Florida's High Society.

26. The Quiet Ones (2014)

  • Director: John Pogue
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

A college professor with a rather unorthodox method of teaching, leads his top students to perform a dangerous experiment in the hopes of creating a poltergeist. They decide to use a series of tests on a young woman to prove that paranormal activity gets triggered through negative human energy. As a result, frightening consequences occur that are more damning than imagined.

27. The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019)

Starring Hilary Duff as Sharon Tate, The Haunting of Sharon Tate is based on a true story of the actress experiencing haunting premonitions of her fate, which ultimately ends up coming true when she encounter members of the Mansion Family Cult.

28. The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

  • Director: Tom Elkins

Released in 2013, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghost of Georgia is about a family that moves into a historic home in Georgia. It doesn't take long for them to discover that they aren't the only ones maintaining a residence in the house as they find themselves face to face with a malevolent presence from underground threatening to bring any and everyone with them.

29. Cabin 28 (2017)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%

Cabin 28 is based on the true story of the Keddie murders, which involved four people being killed at what's now known as the Keddie Resort in Cabin 28 in April 1981. Labeled as the most horrific crime in Plumas County, California, the murders remain one of the most infamous unsolved cases in American history.

30. The Clinic (2010)

  • Director: James Rabbits
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%

The Clinic is every mother's worst nightmare. A young couple decides to stay in a motel on the Australian Outback after they are thrown off the road by a reckless driver. Upon stopping at the motel, pregnant Beth is abducted and wakes up in a clinic to find that her baby has been cut from stomach and taken. In a race for time, the mother goes to every length possible in order to save her baby.

31. The Host (2006)

  • Director: Bong Joon-Ho
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Wow at this actually being a true story. Here's the deal—a few members of the American military carelessly dump some chemicals into South Korea's Han River. Some years later (probably due to the chemicals), a creature emerges from the river and begins literally sinking its jaw into people. And as if that isn't enough, this creature is powerful enough to take people by force, and does so when it kidnaps a local residents daughter. The fact that is a true story is insane.

32. The Conjuring (2013)

  • Director: James Wan
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Alright we're going to start with the first installment of The Conjuring . Set in 1970, the film is about two paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farminga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) who are called to the home of Carolyn and Roger Perron to deal with a rapidly growing supernatural presence.

33. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Seven years later, Ed and Lorraine come out of their self-imposed sabbatical to travel to a North London borough called Enfield to help a single mother of four dealing with a an evil presence in her home. What's more, the youngest child is showing signs of possession, which leaves Ed and Lorraine with another difficult task.

34. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

  • Director: Michael Chaves
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Well we've done the other two, so let's just go ahead and put this one on the list too. In this third installment, Ed and Lorraine take on the most sensational case of their careers after a cop discovers a bloodied man walking down the road. As it turns out, he's just committed a murder, but he puts the blame on being possessed by a supernatural entity as his defense, leading and Ed and Lorraine to investigate.

35. An American Crime (2007)

  • Director: Tommy O'Haver
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

Released in 2007, An American Crime is about a divorced mother of several children agreeing to watch the daughters of a couple as they travel with a carnival. Despite her eldest child being the one with a behavioral problem, the mother decides to take out all of her frustrations on one of the daughters she's watching, eventually imprisoning and torturing her in a basement. Another horror story for parents. Be careful who you leave your kids with.

36. Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

  • Director: Scott Dickerson

NYPD Sgt. Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) has seen so many horrifying events that he believes his soul has been poisoned. This leads to him and his partner investigating a bizarre event, which in turn leads to him forming an alliance with a renegade priest who does his best to convince him that evil presences do exist.

38. From Hell (2001)

  • Director: Albert Hughes, Allan Hughes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

From Hell stars Johnny Depp as inspector Fred Abberline, and is based on his intent to catch Jack the Ripper, a serial killer who has been committing a series of brutal murders in the area. He also falls in love too, but that's kind of beside the point.

39. The Exorcist (1973)

  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

One of the prolific horror films ever made, The Exorcist is a loosely based but still true story about a 12-year-old girl who starts speaking in tongues, levitating, and acting odd. Her mother seeks medical help to no avail, and the only option is for the girl to be sent in for an exorcism.

40. Annabelle (2014)

  • Director: John R. Leonetti
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28%

Annabelle is reportedly based on a doll that was given to a student nurse in the early 1970s. According to the nurse the doll exhibited strange behavior, and was confirmed to be possessed by a psychic medium. Obviously the movie version of Annabelle has gone on to have a life and storyline of its own, but from as far as what we know, this film was indeed based on a true story.

41. The Girl Next Door (2007)

  • Director: Gregory Wilson
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

The Girl Next Door is a terribly sad story about a teenage girl suffering abuse at the hands of her caretaker and a bunch of neighborhood boys. The film is based on Jack Ketchum's 1989 novel of the same name, which itself was based on the real-life killing of Sylvia Likens, whom the movie is dedicated to.

How many of these films have you seen? Make sure to keep up with us for more entertainment content and updates.

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The Spookiest Horror Movies Coming Out This Fall: ‘The Nun II’ and More

Every Horror Movie Coming Out This Spooky Season The Nun II and More 268

Some people mourn the end of summer, but the rest of Us are looking forward to a chill in the air — and on the big screen .

The arrival of fall always brings at least a few new horror movies, but this year, purveyors of spooky entertainment have really outdone themselves. In addition to new entries in stalwart franchises like Saw and The Exorcist , the season brings a new Eli Roth slasher and the long-awaited adaptation of video game Five Nights at Freddy’s .

If you’re looking for new blood , then turn to It Lives Inside , the debut feature from writer/director Bishal Dutta . Starring Never Have I Ever ’s Megan Suri , the movie follows an Indian American high school girl who must embrace her family’s heritage in order to defeat a demon.

“It’s bringing those elements of our culture that we grew up with, these strange little superstitions, and now infecting the American public and the international public with these things,” Dutta told Collider in July. “I think that’s what’s so great about horror films. In a way, culturally, we’re sharing commonalities, but we’re also sharing these differences.”

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Keep scrolling for a complete guide to all the horror movies debuting this fall:

spookiest horror movie

Credit: EPK Tv ; James Dittiger/Prime Video ; Youtube

The Spookiest Horror Movies Coming Out This Fall: 'The Nun II' and More

spookiest horror movie

Credit: Courtesy of Vertical

‘All Fun and Games’

Spooky season kicks off with All Fun and Games , starring Asa Butterfield , Annabeth Gish and Stranger Things star Natalia Dyer . The film, which is produced by the Russo brothers’ production company, centers on a group of Salem, Massachusetts, teenagers who find a cursed knife that forces them to play twisted — and deadly — versions of childhood games. (September 1)

spookiest horror movie

Credit: EPK Tv

‘The Nun II’ 

The Conjuring Universe just won’t stop expanding, which is good news for those masochists who can’t get enough of the demonic nun Valak, who was first seen in 2016’s The Conjuring 2 . After getting her own spinoff, The Nun , Valak is back in The Nun II , which stars Taissa Farmiga , Storm Reid and Bonnie Aarons as the titular sister. Akela Cooper , who wrote last year’s megahit M3GAN , authored the screenplay. (September 8)

spookiest horror movie

Credit: Youtube

‘It Lives Inside’

Suri plays Sam, an Indian American teenager who tries to suppress her Indian American heritage to fit in better at school. But when her best friend gets possessed by a demon named Pischach, Sam must embrace the parts of herself she’s been trying to leave behind. (September 22) 

spookiest horror movie

Credit: Alexandro Bolaños Escamilla

Jigsaw just can’t get enough blood, can he? This time, he’s headed to Mexico to treat his cancer, but he returns to his villainous ways when he realizes his treatment center is a giant scam. Does this mean Jigsaw is the good guy in this one? (September 29)

spookiest horror movie

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ 

There have been many entries in The Exorcist franchise over the years, but none have starred screen legend Ellen Burstyn except the first one, which debuted nearly 50 years ago. Burstyn is finally back as Chris MacNeil, the understandably traumatized mother of originally possessed preteen Regan. Another bonus? Believer ’s director and cowriter is David Gordon Green , who revitalized Halloween with his 2018 take on the classic slasher movie. (October 6)

spookiest horror movie

Credit: Philippe Bosse/Paramount Players

‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ 

You can’t go wrong with a movie adapted from Stephen King . Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is a prequel to 2019’s Pet Sematary and follows a young Jud Crandall ( Jackson White ) as he discovers what’s really going on with that malevolent cemetery in the middle of his hometown. (October 6) 

spookiest horror movie

Credit: James Dittiger/Prime Video

‘Totally Killer’

For something a little lighter, Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan directs the horror comedy Totally Killer , which features a star-studded cast that includes Kiernan Shipka , Julie Bowen , Randall Park and Olivia Holt . Shipka plays Jamie, whose mother was murdered by a villain called the Sweet Sixteen Killer. Jamie travels back in time to 1987 to try to stop the crime from happening before she gets stuck in the past forever. (October 6)

spookiest horror movie

Credit: Courtesy of Lionsgate

‘Dear David’ 

Back in 2017, writer and illustrator Adam Ellis went viral for a lengthy Twitter thread about his belief that he was being haunted by the ghost of a dead child who was trying to kill him. The ghost failed in its mission, but Ellis got a movie deal, and now audiences everywhere can experience the terror of Dear David for themselves. (October 13) 

spookiest horror movie

‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ 

Imagine a Chuck E. Cheese where the animatronic creatures come to life. Now imagine they come to life at night and also try to kill anyone who crosses their paths — and that’s Five Nights at Freddy’s . Fans of The Hunger Games , rejoice, because this movie also heralds the return of Josh Hutcherson , who plays the unfortunate security guard tasked with not dying during his tenure at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. (October 27) 

spookiest horror movie


The year was 2007. Orange County was the only entry in the Real Housewives franchise, Donald Trump was just a reality TV star and Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez teamed up for a double feature called Grindhouse , which included trailers for a bunch of fake movies. Roth’s contribution, Thanksgiving , is now real, following the footsteps of 2010’s Machete and 2011’s Hobo With a Shotgun . Starring Patrick Dempsey , Gina Gershon and Addison Rae , the slasher movie follows a villain named John Carver as he wreaks havoc in Plymouth, Massachusetts, home of the first recorded Thanksgiving celebration. (November 17)

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The 30 best horror movies on Max right now

From serial killers to witches, monsters, and bloodsuckers, here's your guide to the scariest horror movies on Max right now — and why they give us the creeps.

Looking for movies to give you the chills? Max (the rebranded streaming service that now houses content previously available on HBO Max and Discovery+) is the home for many of the scariest horror movies in cinema history. From genre-defining classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street to modern favorites like Malignant , here's our guide to the best horror films on Max, as of October 2023.

Poltergeist (1982)

They're here . This declaration by little Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) became an instantly iconic line in this classic spooker, which was developed from a story by Steven Spielberg. The film follows the suburban Freeling family, whose lives are tormented by ghostly forces. The Freelings come to discover that their house was built on a former cemetery, with the graves having been moved — which caused a spiritual disruption. Hailed by EW as one of the best haunted house films of all time , Poltergeist is a dazzlingly effective thriller that features floating skeletons and a nightmare-inducing clown doll. — Kevin Jacobsen

Where to watch Poltergeist : Max

Director: Tobe Hooper

Cast: Craig T. Nelson , JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O'Rourke, Michael McManus

Related content: Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper 'deserved' directing credit, not Steven Spielberg, says filmmaker

Scream (1996)

"What's your favorite scary movie?" For many horror fans it's this loving satire of the genre, which has since spawned various sequels in classic horror movie fashion. But it's hard not to be nostalgic for the 1996 original, which centers on the inhabitants of the small town Woodsboro as they contend with a Ghostface mask-wearing serial killer. Featuring one of the most iconic openings in horror movie history, as well as the debut of ultimate "final girl" Sidney Prescott ( Neve Campbell ), the original Scream has cemented its place in the pop culture pantheon, but its brilliance also lies in just how rewatchable it is. From the garage incident with Tatum ( Rose McGowan ) to its killer reveal, it still doesn't lose its punch, which is more than can be said for some horror movies that rely solely on jump scares without making you really care about the characters. — K.J.

Where to watch Scream : Max

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, David Arquette , Courteney Cox , Matthew Lillard , Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich , Drew Barrymore

Related content: Scream : Why Wes Craven movie is perfect to watch this Halloween

The Shining (1980)

Regardless of Stephen King 's personal feelings on this adaptation of his 1977 novel, it's still one of the most terrifying, memorable horror movies ever made. Jack Nicholson is Jack Torrance, a writer who suffers a mental breakdown while working as a temporary caretaker for the swanky Overlook Hotel. Meanwhile, his young son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), experiences violent premonitions, brought about by ghosts that haunt the hotel. Packed with traumatizing sequences aplenty and highly debated symbology, The Shining is arguably Stanley Kubrick 's most fascinating movie to dissect, which is saying something in a filmography that also includes 2001: A Space Odyssey , A Clockwork Orange , and Eyes Wide Shut . — K.J.

Where to watch The Shining : Max

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, Danny Lloyd

Related content: The Shining producer explains ending changes

Carrie (1976)

Shy outcast Carrie White ( Sissy Spacek ) is mercilessly mocked by her high-school peers in this horror classic, adapted from Stephen King's first novel. Little do they know that she possesses telekinetic powers, and when she finally uses them to seek revenge on the bullies who wronged her, she makes their prom a night to remember, indeed. Featuring a sensitive turn from Spacek and a haunting Piper Laurie as Carrie's dangerously religious mother, Carrie remains a classic not only for its fiery prom scene and horror imagery but for its allegory of a girl growing up in small-town America. After all, discovering you have telekinetic powers is nothing compared to the terrors of high school — and those that await you at home. — K.J.

Where to watch Carrie : Max

Director: Brian De Palma

Cast: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, William Katt, John Travolta , P.J. Soles

Related content: The original Carrie is the movie that made me want to be a critic

Cat People (1942)

One of the more influential classic horror films proved to be a B-movie whose initial critical reception was mixed at best. This low-budget gem centers on Irena (Simone Simon), a fashion illustrator who believes she is a descendant of cat people who are able to transform into black panthers if aroused. Irena tries to contain the beast within after getting into a relationship with a man, though things become complicated when she fears he's cheating on her. Shrouded in atmospheric tension, Cat People finds its horror in blending then-contemporary life with the supernatural. As horror director Mickey Keating told EW , " Cat People creates the ultimate fear of walking home alone at night, but it's also magical and has this fantastic mythology." — K.J.

Where to watch Cat People : Max

Director: Jacques Tourneur

Cast: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt

Related content: Why Cat People is the perfect Halloween movie

The Exorcist (1973)

Based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, William Friedkin 's The Exorcist follows an actress ( Ellen Burstyn ) as she goes to extreme lengths to cure her young daughter ( Linda Blair ) of apparent demonic possession. The film also stars Max von Sydow and Jason Miller as Catholic priests who attempt to exorcise the evil within. The Exorcist marked a turning point for explicitly grotesque material in mainstream American entertainment. With infamously nasty flashes of gore, bodily fluids, and profanity, the film provided unprecedented disgust for morbidly curious audiences. "What The Exorcist really gave rise to was a demon of entertainment, an impulse of titillating blatancy that has bedeviled and outraged audiences ever since," an EW critic wrote in a 2000 retrospective . — Wesley Stenzel

Where to watch The Exorcist : Max

EW grade: N/A ( read the review )

Director: William Friedkin

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran

Related content: Exorcist star Ellen Burstyn to reprise role in sequel, first film in planned trilogy

Hereditary (2018)

Family trauma is taken to extreme new levels in Ari Aster 's auspicious horror debut. Toni Collette stars as Annie, a miniaturist grieving the death of her mother and whose family is subsequently haunted by a demonic presence. As she and her loved ones are plagued by misfortune after misfortune, Annie comes to understand how her deceased mother may have something to do with this curse. Filled with a perpetual state of dread, Hereditary is a genuinely unnerving experience, with Collette delivering a master class, should-have-been-Oscar-nominated performance at its center. As EW's critic wrote , "She's amazing, grounding what most people might dismiss as just a 'scary movie' with real dramatic power and force." — K.J.

Where to watch Hereditary : Max

EW grade: A– ( read the review )

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff , Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd , Gabriel Byrne

Related content: Chris Evans raving about Toni Collette in Hereditary to Toni Collette is all of us

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

One of the defining slasher movies of all time, A Nightmare on Elm Street expertly dwells in the hazy state between dreams and reality. This is where Robert Englund cemented his legacy as Freddy Krueger, an undead child-murdering entity who haunts the dreams of teenagers with the intent of killing them in the real world. His metal-claw glove and disfigured face remain burnt in the brains of generations of moviegoers, as do the gnarly deaths throughout the film, including a bloody dragging across the ceiling and a hanging by bedsheets. EW ranked it as the best film of the franchise , observing, "It cuts deep, tapping into our subconscious fears — and clawing long marks that will last forever." — K.J.

Where to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street : Max

Cast: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp , Ronee Blakley, John Saxon , Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri

Related content: A Nightmare on Elm Street star Heather Langenkamp would 'love' to reprise role of Nancy Thompson in another Freddy movie

The Conjuring (2013)

Despite positive reviews upon its release, few could have predicted that this supernatural horror film would launch a billion-dollar franchise. At the same time, the first Conjuring film has a winning formula for modern-day horror, combining demonic spirits, jump scares, and a chilling based-on-a-true-story hook. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are summoned to a seemingly haunted Rhode Island farmhouse in the hope of warding off a demon. While multiple sequels and spin-offs have spawned in the years since, nothing matches The Conjuring in providing genuine, classic horror for an era of jaded moviegoers. — K.J.

Where to watch The Conjuring : Max

EW grade: B ( read the review )

Director: James Wan

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston , Lili Taylor

Related content: The Conjuring house sue Warner Bros. over trespassing fans

Green Room (2015)

The eternal battle of ideologues vs. rebels is represented in bloody fashion in Jeremy Saulnier 's underrated horror-thriller. After a down-on-their-luck punk band plays at a seedy venue that turns out to be a bar for neo-Nazis, they quickly find themselves fighting for their lives. Confined to the bar's titular green room, the band is forced to use their limited resources to find a way out. Anton Yelchin , Alia Shawkat , Joe Cole, and Callum Turner make up the band, the cleverly named Ain't Rights, but it's Patrick Stewart who steals the show as the eerily calm skinhead leader. As EW's Chris Nashawaty wrote in his review , "Stewart is way scarier when he's neither barking nor biting but just purring controlled threats. Who knew he was so good being so bad?" — K.J.

Where to watch Green Room : Max

Director: Jeremy Saulnier

Cast: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots , Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Patrick Stewart

Related content: The 19 best A24 films to date

The Brood (1979)

David Cronenberg 's spin on the rise of psychotherapy in the late-'70s is a body horror classic. Samantha Eggar plays Nola, a mentally disturbed woman who is undergoing a controversial form of therapy under Dr. Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed). Nola's ex-husband is concerned with the doctor's techniques, especially when their young daughter is harmed after a visit with her mother. What unfolds from there is a wild trip through Cronenberg's imagination, with the writer-director penning the film following his own divorce. The Brood was released the same year as the Oscar-winning divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer , and while the former film plays within the world of science fiction, it may be even more illuminating about the discourse at the time surrounding the dissolution of marriage. — K.J.

Where to watch The Brood : Max

Director: David Cronenberg

Cast: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle Nuala Fitzgerald, Henry Beckman, Susan Hogan, Cindy Hinds

Related content: David Cronenberg says there is 'no such thing as body horror'

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

This clever deconstruction of slasher horror tropes plays like the best Scream movies, serving thrills of its own as much as it satirizes its genre. A quintet of college students staying at a remote cabin find themselves unwilling participants in a ritual beyond their control. Little do they know that they are being watched by engineers in an underground lab, who have assigned them classic horror character archetypes (the Virgin, the Athlete, the Whore, the Fool, the Scholar) and are able to surreptitiously manipulate the group's environment. As the friends are picked off one by one, the mystery of why this is all taking place comes into focus. The Cabin in the Woods received very positive reviews upon its release, with praise for its committed cast, unpredictable twists, and commentary on the state of horror in the early-2010s. — K.J.

Where to watch The Cabin in the Woods : Max

EW grade: B– ( read the review )

Director: Drew Goddard

Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth , Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz , Jesse Williams , Richard Jenkins , Bradley Whitford

Related content: Cabin in the Woods : Making the monsters

Eyes Without a Face (1960)

As most fans of the genre know, critical reception for horror films doesn't always get it right initially. Such is the case with Eyes Without a Face , which met a chilly response in its initial release in 1960 but has since earned a reputation as one of the best French horror films ever made . Pierre Brasseur plays Dr. Génessier, a physician racked with guilt over causing his daughter's disfigurement in a car accident. His guilt manifests in kidnapping young women, removing their faces through surgery, and attempting to transplant them onto his daughter. The haunting film may not have traditional jump scares but its disturbing plot is straight out of a Gothic fairy tale. No wonder Guillermo del Toro rates it as his favorite horror movie . — K.J.

Where to watch Eyes Without a Face : Max

Director: Georges Franju

Cast: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel, Alexandre Rignault, Béatrice Altariba, François Guérin, Édith Scob

Related content: 13 of the most disturbing — and critically acclaimed — movies to ever hit theaters

Jennifer's Body (2009)

Speaking of films that were misunderstood at the time, Karyn Kusama 's horror comedy has aged remarkably well since its 2009 release. Amanda Seyfried stars as Needy, a high school student whose popular best friend, Jennifer (a never-better Megan Fox ), becomes possessed by a demon. After Jennifer kills multiple male classmates, Needy hopes to put an end to the violence, while also trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened to her best friend. Though critics largely dismissed Jennifer's Body as disposable in 2009 (and audiences weren't much kinder), it has since earned cult classic status for its feminist themes; what was marketed at the time as a sexy dark comedy for teen boys to ogle at is actually an ahead-of-its-time revenge thriller. — K.J.

Where to watch Jennifer's Body : Max

Director: Karyn Kusama

Cast: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons , J.K. Simmons , Amy Sedaris , Adam Brody

Related content: Adam Brody says the negative reaction to Jennifer's Body 'felt s---ty,' film's poster 'missed the mark'

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

All these years later, the lambs still haven't stopped screaming, even if they have for Clarice. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins each deservedly won Oscars for their performances in this unforgettable psychological thriller, with their Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter ranking as one of the best heroes and villains, respectively, in movie history. The film follows FBI trainee Clarice as she interviews notorious criminal mastermind/cannibal Hannibal Lecter for help in tracking down another serial killer, Buffalo Bill ( Ted Levine ). The Silence of the Lambs got under the skin of moviegoers in 1991 and it still finds a way to do so with audiences today, thanks to Hopkins' chilling portrayal and the disturbing nature of its story. — K.J.

Where to watch The Silence of the Lambs : Max

Director: Jonathan Demme

Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine

Related content: Silence of the Lambs : Jodie Foster reveals she and Anthony Hopkins were 'really scared' of each other

We're All Going to the World's Fair (2022)

While most of Max's horror offerings contain old-school terrors, We're All Going to the World's Fair is of a decidedly newer age. Anyone who's spent too much time browsing the dark corners of the internet will recognize in this low-budget film the unique feeling of dread from which you can't look away, telling the story of Casey (Anna Cobb), a teenage girl who takes the online World's Fair Challenge. The challenge requires her to record herself reciting "I want to go to the World's Fair" three times, smear blood on her computer screen, and wait to see the effect it will have on her in the days to come. As she starts to exhibit strange behavior, she posts videos online that get the attention of a concerned user. Like the best online creepypasta , the line between fact and fiction is blurred, leaving it up to the viewer to decide what's really going on with Casey. — K.J.

Where to watch We're All Going to the World's Fair : Max

Director: Jane Schoenbrun

Cast: Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers

Related content: The best horror movies streaming on Shudder

The Fly (1986)

David Cronenberg's remake of 1958's The Fly contains some of the director's most gruesome body horror — and it continues to be one of his most popular works to date. The film explores the tragic romance between scientist Seth ( Jeff Goldblum ) and journalist Ronnie ( Geena Davis ), whose relationship becomes complicated when Seth accidentally fuses himself with a housefly while experimenting with a teleportation device. The strength of The Fly hinges on Goldblum's multifaceted performance. He naturally evolves from a socially awkward brainiac to a twitchy superhuman and eventually to a terrifying monster, all without losing the audience's sympathy despite his many flaws. Meanwhile, Cronenberg's direction successfully invests the audience in the central romance, presenting a bittersweet, melodramatic vision of human relationships, one where both parties are constantly craving complete connection but never fully attain it. It's a heartbreaking nightmare not fit for the faint of heart (or the weak of stomach). —W.S.

Where to watch The Fly : Max

Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

Related content: Mel Brooks came up with one of the most famous horror movie taglines of all time

Malignant (2021)

Saw and The Conjuring filmmaker James Wan returns to his horror roots with this underseen gem, in which a woman ( Annabelle Wallis ) investigates a mysterious string of killings around Seattle. The film teases elements from numerous horror subgenres, including haunted house stories, psychological thrillers, and slashers, before eventually delivering a gonzo third-act twist that transforms the movie into a bloody action spectacle. Wan created Malignant to cleanse his palette after making two billion-dollar blockbusters in a row — Furious 7 and Aquaman . "There's only so many PG-13 movies I can make before I get bored of that," Wan told EW . "I wanted to go back to the kind of movies I used to make." —W.S.

Where to watch Malignant : Max

Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White

Related content: Why James Wan's Malignant was too sick for the Oscars

Vampyr (1932)

Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer followed up his acclaimed The Passion of Joan of Arc with this transfixing early vampire film. Vampyr focuses on a young man and occultist (Nicolas de Gunzburg) who attempts to free a French village from the curse of a bloodthirsty fiend. Though the project was produced during the sound era, Dreyer still employed many silent film techniques to make it more accessible. The film features very little dialogue and still uses title cards. This also isn't a plot-heavy movie — instead, it elegantly builds a terrifying, dreamlike atmosphere through a series of hauntingly gorgeous images and surreal shots that'll stick with you long after the film ends. It's an exemplary mood piece that lulls you into a confounding trance as you try to make sense of its brooding imagery. —W.S.

Where to watch Vampyr : Max

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer

Cast: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Jan Hieronimko, Sybille Schmitz, Henriette Gerard

Related content: The 32 best vampire movies

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Being a bureaucrat is confounding enough, but when a San Francisco Health Department worker ( Donald Sutherland ) notices unusual changes in his peers' behavior, things only get more puzzling as he sets out to learn the truth. As the title implies, all signs in Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers point to aliens, who have been systemically replacing the people of Earth with otherworldly doppelgängers. Kaufman's tense alien paranoia film is based on Jack Finney 's 1955 novel The Body Snatchers , which has proven to be popular source material. The book has spawned numerous cinematic adaptations, including a 1956 version by Don Siegel, though EW's Glenn Kenny asserted that the 1978 film is the best of the bunch . "Kaufman's remake is more specifically satiric, placing the pods in groovy San Francisco and implying that Me Generation self-absorption has created a race of zombies without any alien intervention." —W.S.

Where to watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers : Max

Director: Philip Kaufman

Cast: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy , Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright

Related content: Six movie remakes that are worth watching

Kwaidan (1964)

Masaki Kobayashi, director of Harakiri and The Human Condition trilogy, crafted this three-hour anthology film, which tells four unrelated ghost stories based on the collections of writer Lafcadio Hearn. They're mysterious folktales that meditate on love, loyalty, and storytelling, where clear moral lessons are extracted from puzzling worlds. Kwaidan has a lot to offer besides its nightmarish atmosphere, delving into romantic tragedy, war narratives, and fantasy. It boasts incredible, hyper-stylized production design, with surreal backdrops and painterly attention to detail in every frame, and is scored by fantastic, disorienting music from composer Tōru Takemitsu, which, at its best moments, makes you feel as though you're being hypnotized. —W.S.

Where to watch Kwaidan : Max

Director: Masaki Kobayashi

Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai, Rentarō Mikuni, Tetsurō Tamba, Keiko Kishi, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Yoichi Hayashi, Katsuo Nakamura, Osamu Takizawa, Haruko Sugimura, Nakamura Kan'emon, Nakamura Ganjirō II

Related content: The 16 best Japanese horror movies

Child's Play (1988)

The film, which introduced the world to Chucky the killer doll with a plot that's as delightfully asinine as its antagonist, stars Catherine Hicks as a desperate mother trying to convince a detective ( Chris Sarandon ) that her young son (Alex Vincent) was framed for murder by his inanimate playmate. Brad Dourif provides the voice of Chucky, and also briefly appears as the human serial killer who transfers his spirit into the doll. Child's Play is as funny as it is scary thanks to the ridiculous image of its fun-sized killer. "All the long-repressed fears from sleepless childhood nights in my stuffed-animal-packed bedroom (is there something sinister behind Raggedy Ann's smile?) surge to the surface as Chucky morphs from cherubic toy to scowling sociopath and back again," wrote EW's Kristen Baldwin . —W.S.

Where to watch Child's Play : Max

Director: Tom Holland

Cast: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif

Related content: The strange story behind the two Child's Play franchises

Häxan (1922)

This Swedish silent film examines the history of witchcraft through a combination of documentary-style explanation and dramatized segments. It's partially inspired by director Benjamin Christensen's research on the German text Malleus Maleficarum , a guide to witchcraft for inquisitors looking to persecute its perpetrators. Häxan is so informative that it plays out like a brilliant college lecture, yet there's also immense artistry in all of its narrative moments. Thanks largely to gorgeous costumes and set designs, the beautifully grotesque renderings of witches and demons during the film's surreal moments are absolutely jaw-dropping, even if you think you're averse to silent movies (or the occult). The whole project ties together as a powerful critique of modern mental health stigmas and sexism, as history's witch hunts were byproducts of multiple layers of prejudice and misunderstanding. —W.S.

Where to watch Häxan : Max

Director: Benjamin Christensen

Cast: Benjamin Christensen, Clara Pontoppidan, Oscar Stribolt, Astrid Holm, Maren Pedersen

Related content: New report: 70 percent of America's silent films are gone forever

Sisters (1972)

When a Staten Island journalist (Jennifer Salt) witnesses a murder next door, she unfurls a dizzying mystery involving conjoined twins, a mental hospital, and a corpse stuffed in a couch. Sisters is an excellent showcase for director Brian De Palma 's unmistakable filmmaking style, as he employs dazzling split-screen compositions, impressive long takes, and complex camerawork to maximize the precision and clarity of the on-screen action. Like many of De Palma's other films, it feels heavily indebted to Alfred Hitchcock , drawing inspiration from Psycho , Rope , and Rear Window , while also featuring a score from Bernard Herrmann. Yet, its scariest scene — inspired by the unforgettable dream sequence in Rosemary's Baby — is a surreal flashback/hallucination that'll make your skin crawl. —W.S.

Where to watch Sisters : Max

Cast: Margot Kidder , Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley, Lisle Wilson

Related content: The movies of Brian De Palma

Carnival of Souls (1962)

After surviving a near-fatal car accident, a young church organist (Candace Hilligoss) tries to move on with her life, but remains haunted by visions of the undead. She also navigates an awkward romance, a strange employer, and an inconsistent but intense feeling that she doesn't exist at all. In the years since its release, Carnival of Souls has become one of the most influential and beloved independent horror films ever made. " Souls offers elegant black-and-white cinematography (by the director), a canny use of locations, a leading lady with an offbeat, saucer-eyed beauty, and a script that sustains its Twilight Zone -style mystery," EW's Steve Simels wrote . "[It] ultimately benefits from its rough-hewn amateurism. The fact that it couldn't look less Hollywood serves to make the supernatural elements that much more resonant. The picture finally draws you in; it's like watching someone else's nightmare." —W.S.

Where to watch Carnival of Souls : Max

Director: Herk Harvey

Cast: Candace Hilligoss, Sidney Berger

Related content: Carnival of Souls : The movie that inspired Insidious is the spookiest, weirdest, and maybe greatest horror film you've never seen

Cronos (1993)

The debut feature from Guillermo del Toro, Cronos tells the story of an older man (Federico Luppi) who discovers a mystical amulet that gives him a more energized, youthful demeanor — at a cost. The film explores mortality, addiction, and family with a story that fuses vampirism with Cronenbergian body horror. Cronos marries crowd-pleasing horror elements with highbrow filmmaking sensibilities into "an art-house flick that would be equally at home in the grind house," as EW's Chris Nashawaty wrote in his review . "Part Hellraiser , part The Name of the Rose … Cronos' shocks may be few, but its raw, bare-bones F/X and deliberate pacing make it a refreshing alternative to the typical Hollywood bloodsucker." —W.S.

Where to watch Cronos : Max

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman , Claudio Brook, Margarita Isabel, Tamara Shanath

Related content: The assorted works of Guillermo del Toro, ranked

Eraserhead (1977)

In David Lynch 's debut feature, a young man (Jack Nance) struggles to adapt to fatherhood as he cares for his unusual baby in a black-and-white, industrially dismaying world. The film is a harrowing, surreal dream of young adult anxiety, tensely contemplating marriage and parenting with off-kilter sets and swirling sound design that enhance the film's discomfort. As Lynch's career has evolved, his first film has gained a strong cult following, and many filmmakers cite it as a favorite, including Gretel & Hansel director Osgood Perkins. " Eraserhead is the most disturbing, beautiful, textural, silent nightmare that I think has ever been made," Perkins told EW in an interview . "I don't think that they will make another one like that any time soon." —W.S.

Where to watch Eraserhead : Max

Director: David Lynch

Cast: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates, Judith Roberts

Related content: David Lynch talks Inland Empire , sawing wood, and not bringing a new film to Cannes

Barbarian (2022)

Zach Cregger 's surprise hit begins with a brilliant two-pronged horror premise: What if there was a creepy stranger staying in the AirBnB you booked, and what if there was something lurking in the basement? Where it goes from there is impossible to predict, but Cregger's steady hand ensures that each of the film's surprising turns is ridiculously entertaining and visually precise. Barbarian is best enjoyed with as little knowledge as possible, as its narrative holds an unusual structure that keeps the audience on their toes. "I'm sorry to be cryptic but it's one of those movies you don't want to spoil, which is hard for me because I have such a big mouth, and I really like this movie," star Justin Long told EW . "I just want to tell everyone, but I'm not allowed to or an assassin in a Mickey Mouse outfit will shoot a poison dart in my neck." —W.S.

Where to watch Barbarian : Max

Director: Zach Cregger

Cast: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård , Justin Long

Related content: Why horror movies are killing it at the box office

The Witch (2015)

Robert Eggers ' slow-burning debut feature The Witch tracks the misfortune and misery of a Puritan family in 17th-century New England, where they experience inexplicable terrors that may have supernatural origins (and may be picking them off one by one). The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy as the family's eldest child along with Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie as her parents. Eggers strove for authenticity in his recreation of early colonial life, going to great lengths to study and adapt the foreignness of the characters' dialect and lifestyle, which makes it feel as though you're watching actual historical events. What's more, Taylor-Joy was so disturbed by the script that it impacted her sleep: "The words gripped my heart with an icy cold hand," she told EW . "I didn't sleep a wink." —W.S.

Where to watch The Witch : Max

Director: Robert Eggers

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson

Related content: The Witch : Horror movie is a Puritan's nightmare, says director Robert Eggers

House ( Hausu ) (1977)

A group of schoolgirls try to escape a demonic haunted house in this cult classic from Japan. The film from Nobuhiko Obayashi is as much a comedy as it is a horror movie, as the supernatural scares are so ridiculous and unpredictable that you can't help but laugh at the film's over-the-top style. House experiments with tons of surreal techniques that make the film feel like a bizarre dream — there are wacky transitions, stylized backdrops, bursts of stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, wild color filters, jarring soundtrack choices, and dizzying camera movements. Obayashi conceived of the film through conversations with his young daughter, who brought an unusual childlike perspective to his conception of a horror film. As a result, House is unlike any movie you've ever seen, and you're not likely to forget some of its most daring imagery. —W.S.

Where to watch House : Max

Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi

Cast: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Ai Matubara, Kumiko Oba, Mieko Sato, Eriko Tanaka, Masayo Miyako, Yōko Minamida

Related content: The 20 best haunted house films of all time

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The Devil’s Backbone.

Scariest ghosts in cinema – ranked!

From unexplained bumps in the night to creepy children and things without faces, here are some of film’s most terrifying spectres

20. Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The jokey sequels may have turned Freddy into a lovable goof, but in Wes Craven’s original supernatural slasher the razor-gloved ghost in a striped jersey who kills teenagers in their dreams is still a genuinely frightening bogeyman.

19. Daniel Robitaille in Candyman (1992)

With Nia DaCosta’s reworking stuck in Rona-limbo , it’s worth revisiting Bernard Rose’s transposition of Clive Barker’s short story from Liverpool to a Chicago public housing project. Looking into the bathroom mirror and saying “Candyman” five times will summon the hook-handed ghost of a black artist (Tony Todd) murdered by a lynch mob. Go on and say it, I dare you.

18. Emeric Belasco in The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Size does matter. If ever a ghost failed to live up to its reputation it’s the malevolent entity at the centre of John Hough’s screening of Richard Matheson’s haunted house tale (played by an uncredited Michael Gough) who has to delegate his havoc-wreaking to a black cat and unsecured chapel furniture. He still manages to rack up a body count.

17. Mitsuko Kawai in Dark Water (2002)

The damp stain on the ceiling is arguably scarier than the ghost of the little girl in the yellow raincoat, particularly when you learn why she is a ghost in the first place. But a sad backstory is no excuse for leaving the taps running and trying to drown living children in their bathtubs.

16. Delbert Grady in The Shining (1980)

There’s stiff competition from the scary twins and the woman in Room 237 of the uber-haunted Overlook hotel, but the alarming way the ex-caretaker’s ingratiating stain-sponging in the gentlemen’s lavatories slides into racist invective and brutal understatement (“I corrected them, sir”) gives Delbert the edge.

15. Yone and Shige in Kuroneko (1968)

A woman and her daughter-in-law, killed by marauding samurai, are reincarnated as feline spirits who seek revenge by tearing out the throats of random warriors. Hard not to have some sympathy for these two, but the eerie bamboo forests and somersaulting ghosts in Kaneto Shindô’s kaibyo (a subgenre of stories featuring cat demons) are reminders that no one depicts the supernatural quite as beautifully as the Japanese.

14. Tomás in The Orphanage (2007)

Tip: avoid games of hide and seek in big old orphanages, especially when your seven-year-old son claims to have made friends with a little boy with a sack over his head. The Spanish film-maker JA Bayona combines the terrifying and the tragic into a sad, scary fable with a heartbreaking ending, anchored by a brilliant performance from Belén Rueda as the haunted mother.

13. Mary Meredith in The Uninvited (1944)

For sale at a suspiciously low price: big old mansion on a Cornish clifftop. Liabilities include inexplicable draughts, nocturnal sobbing and the hovering phantom at the top of the stairs. This super old-school yarn has a lovely score by Victor Young (the song Stella by Starlight became a jazz standard ), some clever twists and a haunting performance by Gail Russell as the girl whose genealogy holds the key to the mystery.

12. Mrs Mills and Mr Tuttle in The Others (2001)

Spanish genre film-makers do it again with Alejandro Amenábar’s haunted house mystery that turns on nicely ambiguous performances from Fionnula Flanagan and Eric Sykes as the servants who know more than they’re saying about the creepy goings-on menacing Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her children in their creaky old house in Jersey, circa 1945.

11. Santi in The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

The orphanage kitchen is haunted by a pasty-faced little boy spectre with an upwards-gushing head wound. Just because he has a tragic backstory (and ultimately gets a satisfying revenge on the film’s villain, albeit only after the latter has murdered nearly everybody else) doesn’t mean he won’t scare the bejeesus out of you in Guillermo del Toro’s achingly sad ghost story set during the Spanish civil war.

10. The girl under the sink in A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Can the ghost of their late mother protect troubled teenager Su-mi and her little sister from their evil stepmother? You may think you have guessed what’s going on in Kim Jee-woon’s psychochiller, but odds are this Grimm-like spin on an old Korean folktale will still pull the narrative rug out from under your feet. And omigod, what’s that under the kitchen sink?

9. Melissa Graps in Kill, Baby … Kill! (1966)

Forget the Grady twins from The Shining – the scariest little girl ghost is the one with long blond hair (she is actually played by a little boy) who keeps peering through windows and making Carpathian villagers impale themselves in this chiller by Italian horror maestro Mario Bava. She must have made an impression on Federico Fellini, who “borrowed” her for Toby Dammit, his ultra-spooky segment of the 1968 Poe anthology, Spirits of the Dead.

8. Toshio in The Grudge (2004)

Hard to keep track of all the remakes and sequels in the Grudge franchise, but this is a rare case of Takashi Shimizu’s American reworking being even scarier than his own Japanese versions. Not so much a coherent story, more a series of spine-chilling set-pieces as doomed characters troop one by one into a cursed house in Tokyo, where they meet the obligatory scary broad with long black hair and Toshio, the small boy who miaows like a cat – and who somehow manages to commute all the way across town to a modern office block for the film’s most hair-raising episode.

7. The man in the lift in The Eye (2002)

The downside of a violinist’s sight-restoring cornea transplants is that they make her see scary ghosts in the Pang brothers’ Hong Kong/Singaporean ocular horror. And none scarier than the old man in the lift. She doesn’t need to turn around to know he’s behind her, gliding ever closer as the lift moves upwards so very, very slowly. And part of his face is missing! Next time, take the stairs.

6. Sadako in Ring (1998)

You think it’s all over! Well, it is now that Sadako has crawled up from her well and out of the TV screen to frighten everyone to death. But what’s to stop her from breaching the fourth wall and emerging into your living room? If ever a ghost needed a haircut and a manicure, it’s this one.

5. The old lady in Black Sabbath (1963)

Mario Bava certainly knew how to shred your nerves. In A Drop of Water, the final segment of this horror anthology, a nurse makes the rookie mistake of stealing a diamond ring from the finger of a dead medium. And, of course, the corpse comes a-visiting to reclaim it. The spooky old lady makeup may be panto level but, with a few sickly coloured filters and masterly command of ambience, Bava elevates this apparition to the stuff of nightmares.

4. The stumbling woman in Pulse (2001)

Japanese creep-meister Kiyoshi Kurosawa reinterprets the ghost story for the computer age in a story about mysterious disappearances on a university campus. It is probably a metaphor for alienation in the modern world, but don’t let that put you off. And don’t expect to be spoon-fed with reassuring logic; do expect an atmosphere of mounting apocalyptic dread, people fading into shadows, a soundtrack full of ominous rumbling and – scariest of all – the ghost who stumbles.

3. Jennet Goss in The Woman in Black (1989)

For chills that go all the way down to your marrow, forget the Daniel Radcliffe version of Susan Hill’s novel and go for the TV adaptation with a screenplay by Nigel Kneale. If you thought you couldn’t be frightened by such hoary cliches as old dark houses, foggy marshes and black-clad figures looking vaguely malevolent in graveyards – think again. And brace yourself for what devotees invariably refer to, with a shudder, as “ that scene”.

2. Abigail Crain in The Haunting (1963)

Maybe it’s the dead heiress haunting the house in Robert Wise’s film, the first and best adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic ghost story or maybe the malignant force is the house itself – but this is a ghost so scary you don’t even need to see it to be frightened out of your wits. Never underestimate the primal fear of unexplained noises, hammering at the door, the sort of overelaborate wallpaper you really do not want to examine too closely – and the realisation that the person whose hand you thought you were holding is on the other side of the room.

Deborah Kerr in The Innocents.

1. Peter Quint and Miss Jessel in The Innocents (1961)

Are the ghosts real, or figments of the febrile imagination of the governess who sees dead servants peering through windows or lurking on the far side of the lake in a fair approximation of an early Black Sabbath album cover? It doesn’t matter, because either way they will chill your blood in the first and still the best adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. Directed by Jack Clayton, every frame of Freddie Francis’s deep-focus black-and-white cinematography seems designed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

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The final scene of “Salome,” Richard Strauss’s 1905 opera, might contain the scariest music ever written, according to our classical music critic, Zachary Woolfe . He found it “totally terrifying” when he first heard it as a child, and its intensity still overwhelms him years later.

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Our cosmic affairs correspondent, Dennis Overbye , knows a lot of alarming things about the universe. But the one that haunts him most? At any moment, without warning, the whole thing could simply disappear.

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Jon Pareles , chief popular music critic, describes why “ The Downward Spiral ” by Nine Inch Nails, off the 1994 album of the same name, is “perfectly designed to make your skin crawl: structurally, sonically and psychologically.”

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Margaret Lyons , a television critic, dives into an episode of “The X-Files” so horrifying that executives felt compelled to pull it from syndication.

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César Vallejo’s “Piedra Negra Sobre Una Piedra Blanca,” or “Black Stone on a White Stone,” isn’t what you might think of as a traditional Halloween poem. There are no ghouls or goblins in it. But for Juliana Barbassa , deputy Books editor, reading this poem brings up a question that’s much more haunting: “When we consider our single life, our one opportunity to live well,” she asks, “are we doing that?”

The Scariest Horror Movie You (Probably) Haven’t Seen

You may know Freddy and Jason and Chucky, but Erik Piepenburg , who writes a horror column, would like to introduce you to “The McPherson Tape.” When you watch this 1989 movie, he says, “You’re watching the birth of a genre.”


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Utah found to be 13th deadliest state in U.S., according to horror movies

spookiest horror movie

For some students, Halloween is not complete without horror films. A number of these films were made in Utah, which ranks as the thirteenth deadliest state in the U.S., according to a horror film analysis by CableTV .

spookiest horror movie

BYU professor Marc Olivier, co-director of BYU International Cinema , said he is a horror movie fan. He talked about many things that may be what attracts moviemakers to Utah.

“Utah is a treasure trove of untapped spookiness. We have our own ghost lore, our own repressed memories, a huge variety of outdoor settings and creepy campsites, a pioneer heritage that could inspire period pieces,” he said.

Olivier himself experienced some spookiness when he first moved to Utah, he explained.

“Perhaps the spookiest thing to an outsider is how nice everyone is,” he said. “I had never encountered such spontaneous goodwill, and the horror movie fan in me thought, ‘OK, where are the bodies buried? This is too good to be true. Surely, there must be something sinister about to happen.’”

However, the latter may not be the reason Utah has been used for scary films, Olivier said.

“I know that there are many horror movies made in Utah, but they often do not use Utah as Utah. That is, a northern Utah location is often used as a generic middle-class town, or a southern Utah location is used for a small town western feel or as another planet,” Olivier said.

Joshua Garcia, a BYU alum who studied film, agreed that Utah is attractive to horror filmmakers.

“The initial impression of Utah is a recipe for horror,” he said. “We have deep woods, mountains, deserts, and the people here are majority part of the same, strange, often described as ‘cult-like’ religion. Even if it’s not accurate, that is the resting impression in the subconscious of a lot of filmmakers.”

Another reason that Utah is so popular is that it is a go-to place for horror movies with low budgets, which is the bulk of them, he said.

“We also have a history of real life serial killers like Ted Bundy, who did many of his horrible murders in this state,” Garcia said.

A number of horror movies have been filmed in Utah, including Hereditary , Midsommar and Halloween 4 , 5 and 6 .

spookiest horror movie

Hunter Sagapolutele, a BYU student from Provo, shared his thoughts about these scary movies in Utah.

“I know that parts of Hereditary were filmed in Utah, which is crazy because that movie messed me up for a while,” he said. “Besides Hereditary, I don’t know of any major horror movies that were filmed in Utah.”

Hinckley Kennach, a BYU senior and fan of scary films, talked about what he loves about these movies.

“I love the thrill of scary movies, especially when a jump scare is set up perfectly,” he said. “I love how the suspense builds and you don’t know what’s coming next.”

However, he would not recommend Hereditary, Kennach said.

“It was a super boring and slow movie, and part of the plot didn’t make sense,” he said.

Sagapolutele commented on what could make Utah a good place for these films.

“I would say something scary about Utah are the cities that don’t have a lot of streetlights,” he said. “There’s a lot of unpopulated areas in Utah and lots of urban legends that surround those areas. If you haven’t seen the documentary on Skinwalker Ranch , I would for sure recommend that.”

According to Olivier, Utah’s ranking as 13th deadliest state may not be completely true.

“Unfortunately, most statistical studies of horror use only the biggest earners at the box office,” he said.

To find accurate results, he said, the “blockbusters, the cult favorites, and the low-budget, drive-in and straight-to-video films” need to be considered.

“Even one low-budget movie like ‘ Don’t Go in the Woods ,’ filmed in Park City in 1981, would catapult Utah into the top 10,” Olivier said.

Garcia explained that it feels a little “skewed” to him that though horror productions come to Utah, the local filmmaking community has not used their “own lived experience” to “push the boundary of horror filmmaking.”

“The vehicle of horror is to process our primal and visceral fears and anxieties,” he said. “I believe Utahns, like all people, have those in spades, but with each a unique voice.”

He believes there may be “apprehensions in some pockets of the Utah filmmaking community” to show horror, especially in an “un-sanitized way.”

“I believe that’s due to the culture, but if we got rid of that apprehension, I believe some truly fascinating horror films can be homemade in the state,” Garcia said.

According to Olivier, local indicators of Utah, like the dominant religion, “rarely make their way into the script.”

“The movie ‘ Frozen ‘ — not that ‘Frozen,’ but one about people stranded on a chair lift at a ski resort — could just as easily be set in Colorado,” he said. “I don’t think any horror movie since ‘ Carnival of Souls ‘   has really exploited Utah to the fullest.”

Olivier finished with what he loves about scary movies.

“On a personal level, I think horror movies can be a space to experience fear in a safe environment,” he said. “We can identify with a character in horrible circumstances, but we can also survive our own fears because, after all, it’s just a movie.”

Horror films are very unique, in their visual language and tension, Garcia added.

“For me, when it does it right it plays like an experience more than a story,” he said. “I am very picky about my horror movies, and I tend to enjoy the ones that rely on more techniques than just jump scares and grotesque creatures.”

A complete list of all horror movies filmed in Utah can be found here .


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This Hidden Gem Is the Goriest, Most Depraved Horror Movie of 2023

Posted: November 11, 2023 | Last updated: November 11, 2023

  • When Evil Lurks is a gory and shocking Spanish-language horror movie set in a remote Argentinian village.
  • The film pushes the boundaries of horror by featuring intense body horror and exploiting the vulnerability of animals and children.
  • It subverts common horror tropes, such as a mother's love conquering evil, and culminates in a delightfully chaotic and gory ending.

Set in a remote Argentinian village, Shudder 's When Evil Lurks is a Spanish-language horror movie that follows a group of residents who realize a demon is about to be set loose upon their community. Brothers Pedro ( Ezequiel Rodriguez ) and Jaime ( Demian Salomon ), along with local farmer Ruiz ( Luis Ziembrowski ), try to get rid of the possessed villager — but that only makes things a hundred times worse. Despite earning an impressive half a million dollars during its theatrical release and securing a place on the horror streaming platform Shudder, it's fair to say When Evil Lurks is somewhat of a hidden gem. Many horror fans discovered the movie via word of mouth on Reddit's Horror sub, aptly nicknamed "Dreadit." In the month since its release, Dreadit posters have heaped praise upon When Evil Lurks , with one member going so far as to say they "haven't felt this moved since [ Ari Aster 's mind-blowing psychological horror] Hereditary ." As well as featuring blood, guts, and demons galore, When Evil Lurks preys upon the most innocent among us — animals and children — and succeeds in crossing the moral boundaries of horror. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the shocking scenes that firmly cement When Evil Lurks as the goriest, most depraved horror movie of 2023 .

Official warning: Spoilers abound, so if you think you're brave enough to watch this flick, come back to this page after.

'When Evil Lurks' Has Plenty of Body Horror

The first ten minutes of When Evil Lurks are, frankly, stomach-churning levels of disgusting. Immediately, viewers are thrown into the deep end when Pedro and Jaime discover the bottom half of a cleanly severed corpse — complete with the insides spilling out onto the grass — in the nearby forest surrounding their home. We're barely given time to catch our breath from the gruesome discovery before we meet Uriel ( Pablo Galarza ), the possessed villager harboring the demon. Uriel, or "The Rotten" as he's known to the locals, looks exactly how you'd expect a person who has an evil demon growing inside their stomach might look. Bloated beyond recognition, and weeping copious amounts of green puss out of every orifice in his body, the sickening sight of Uriel lying in his soiled bed will stay with you long after the credits roll. This scene depicts body horror at its best and makes it crystal clear that When Evil Lurks isn't the kind of movie to watch while eating dinner .

'When Evil Lurks' Uses Animals and Children to Elevate the Horror

The tropes of creepy kids in horror movies and animals on the attack are nothing new, but it's hard to think of a movie that pushes the boundaries on these well-known formulas to the extent that When Evil Lurks does. While the children in the film are shown perpetrating evil under the influence of the demon, some of them are also victims in the worst, most unimaginable ways . The same can be said regarding the animals in the movie, which, interestingly, often provoke an even more visceral audience reaction than children. Popular trigger warning database Does the Dog Die was initially founded due to the hatred of seeing an animal unexpectedly come to harm on screen. This universal terror of seeing innocents — whether it be animals or children — in distress is an ongoing theme throughout When Evil Lurks that adds a new layer to the bleak horror .

In one scene, farmer Ruiz and his pregnant wife realize the demon has transferred itself into the body of one of their goats. Overcome with desperation, Ruiz takes the demon's bait and breaks an important rule: never use a firearm on a demon, because the evil will be released once again. The goat presses its head to the gun barrel, and Ruiz pulls the trigger. After the goat meets its bloody end, Ruiz's wife knows that the demon will jump into the body of her unborn child if she doesn't take drastic action. She hits Ruiz over the head with an ax, killing him, and then hacks at her face before she succumbs to her self-mutilation. This scene is perhaps one of the bleakest in the movie, and it isn't easy to pinpoint whose fate is worse; the innocent goat, who had no choice over the demon inhabiting its body; Ruiz, who was so overcome with frenzied panic he acted on impulse and ended up being murdered at the hands of his wife; or the wife in question, who not only had to kill both her husband and herself, but her unborn child as well. The devastating farmland interlude is a shockingly stark message that showcases exactly what the audience can expect going forward: no one, not even children or animals, is off limits . It also sets the tone of hopelessness and plants the seed that no matter how hard these characters try, or the lengths they're willing to go to fight, their efforts will ultimately be futile. Honestly, the concept of wasted effort might be more terrifying than the idea of a body-hopping demon .

Another hair-raising scene that pushes the boundaries beyond anything seen in a horror movie before involves Pedro's stepdaughter, Vicky ( Lucrecia Niron Talazac ), who's nothing more than an innocent child. Without a host, panic sets in as the demon is once again free to hop into the body of any living thing. Pedro arrives at his ex-wife Sabrina's ( Virginia Garofalo ) house to collect her and their two sons, Jair ( Emilio Vodanovich ) and Santino ( Marcelo Michinauz ), as well as Sabrina's new husband Leo ( Federico Liss ) and daughter Vicky. While the adults argue, the family's dog begins acting strangely as he sits with the kids in a quiet corner of the house. Suddenly, he lunges, locking his jaw around Vicky's face and dragging her around the room like a rag doll before taking off into the street with Vicky's head still clamped in his mouth.

Leo finally notices and gives chase, and — despite being warned not to — shoots the dog after assuming his daughter has sustained fatal injuries. Seeing every unwavering moment of a child being violently attacked — as well as yet another innocent animal meeting an unavoidable end — this way is almost unheard of. Again, creepy kids in horror are nothing new, but they're usually the ones inflicting the evil, not the ones being so brutally subjected to it. The closest comparison that springs to mind is The Shining twins , who haunt the famous Overlook Hotel but who were initially the victims of their father's murder spree. With the twins, however, we don't see the attack happen, only the brief aftermath of them lying in the corridor. In When Evil Lurks , the audience is forced to watch every harrowing second of Vicky being mauled by the dog, inciting a cold, helpless feeling of nauseating dread that blows any cheap jump scare out of the water.

'When Evil Lurks' Subverts Common Horror Tropes

What Pedro's ex-wife Sabrina does under the demon's influence is easily the most jaw-dropping, insidious plot point in When Evil Lurks . In one of the best demonic possession scenes in a horror movie , Sabrina infiltrates the safe house and takes her youngest son, Santino. The boy's uncle Jaime drives into town to find them and spots Sabrina carrying Santino down an isolated road. However, when Jaime drives in front of the pair to get a better look at the situation, it's worse than anyone could've imagined. Sabrina has killed Santino in a bloody massacre and is casually taking bites out of her little boy's head as she walks along the road. Knowing that both of them are beyond help, Jaime drives over them with his car. This scene is the culmination of all the hopeless, depraved, stomach-churning moments sprinkled throughout the movie. The idea that a mother could act this way toward her child is unthinkable. In most horror movies featuring families, a mother's love is often the "magic ingredient" needed to destroy evil. Carolyn Perron ( Lili Taylor ) in The Conjuring , for example, is about to murder her young daughter after becoming possessed by an inhuman spirit. However, at the last moment, she snaps out of it by remembering the love she has for her child. This is a common theme in countless horror movies, with families overcoming evil by sticking together. In an original twist, When Evil Lurks flips this trope on its head .

What Is the Meaning of 'When Evil Lurks's Ending?

When Evil Lurks quite literally brings the horror from start to finish, with even the final, seemingly hopeful scene descending into delightfully gory chaos . Despite monumental losses, Pedro, his eldest non-verbal son, Jair, and his brother Jaime find themselves in a moment of peace after battling the evil that has torn their family apart. As Jair tucks into his favorite apple ice cream, however, he starts choking. Pedro warns Jair to take it easy but rushes over when the boy struggles to catch his breath. As Pedro checks for a blockage in his son's mouth, Jair coughs up a deluge of blood and stringy clumps of coarse hair. Slowly, the reason for this dawns on Pedro:

Earlier, we learned that a previous victim of the demon "puked up his family" after eating them while possessed. Throughout the film, Jair remains a mystery to us due to his muteness, but it's finally confirmed that he'd also briefly been under the influence of the demon . Towards the end of the film, Jair walks into the safe house and speaks with perfect ease to his grandmother, who'd never heard the teenage boy utter a single word before. Unlike the majority of the horrific events, what happens next isn't shown on screen, the scene ending with Jair slowly coming to stand behind his cowering grandmother.

Following Pedro's chilling realization, Jair chokes up his grandmother's necklace, spitting it into the ice cream and blood soup covering the floor, and a devastated Pedro rushes outside and collapses to his knees. This final shot of Pedro is the visual embodiment of the bleak and hopeless nature of When Evil Lurks . Every single expectation of how far a horror movie "should" go is stretched beyond imagination. No character remains unscathed, and the most innocent end up suffering the worst fate. When Evil Lurks is definitely a movie that will leave a stain on your psyche for years to come.

When Evil Lurks is available to stream in the U.S. on Shudder.

Watch on Shudder

This Hidden Gem Is the Goriest, Most Depraved Horror Movie of 2023

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Five Great Horror RPGs to Play During Halloween

Level up your horror game experience with these spooky rpgs..

Great horror RPGs are more difficult to find than you might think. Despite clever innovations like the sanity stat, role-playing designers still tend to favor swords and sorcery over everything else ( just ask sci-fi fans ). That doesn’t mean there aren’t some perfectly scary RPGs out there, though. Whether they feature raw psychological horror or more traditional werewolves and vampires, there’s plenty of spookiness to be found in the role-playing genre. So on this, the spookiest day of the year, here are five great RPGs to play on Halloween.

The Best RPGs to Play on Halloween


Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

Troika was an RPG studio that was aptly named. Led by Fallout developers Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, who would later go on to work on The Outer Worlds, Troika produced a trio of classic RPGs – Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, The Temple of Elemental Evil, and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

Bloodlines was barely more than half a game when it launched, rife as it was with bugs and hidden content. But what it lacked in polish it made up for in ambition, immersing you in vampiric politics, or allowing you to take on the role of a Nosferatu roaming the sewers beneath Los Angeles. The fans did the rest, producing a series of sprawling patches that addressed many of its most pressing problems.

Bloodlines’ creepiest quest is almost certainly The Ghost Haunts at Midnight, which sends players to explore the frightening Ocean House – a hotel haunted by a very active ghost. I won’t spoil it for you, but you’ll want to play this level with the lights off.

Parasite Eve answers the question, "What if Resident Evil were an RPG?"

Parasite Eve

The first five minutes of Parasite Eve features an opera performance in which everyone bursts into flame. It’s a mood that encapsulates the Square of that era rather well: dramatic, slightly unhinged, and wildly experimental. The game itself answers the question, “What if Resident Evil were an RPG?” A sequel to the novel of the same name, it stars rookie cop Aya Brea as she battles mutated monstrosities through New York, featuring a variant of the active time system that Square was famous for at the time..

To be clear, Parasite Eve is very much a product of its time. It’s stilted, awkward, and often struggles to mix survival horror and role-playing together, but it’s worth playing because it’s so evocative of Square Enix’s spirit circa the late 90s, and because there simply aren’t that many games like it. The aged graphics also belie some supremely creepy artwork. No one did “cinematic RPG” better than Squaresoft at the time, and Parasite Eve’s twisted mutations make for some great nightmare fuel during Halloween.

Omori is an RPG in which horror lies in memory, emotions, and a seemingly-joyful photo album that’s darker than it appaears. Based on a webcomic, Omori broadly resembles Earthbound, but with themes of guilt, isolation and depression. Put it this way: Earthbound is dark, but Omori is dark . It vacillates between pastel colored pencil-style art and real life, with lots of pun-based opponents as enemies. It seems innocent enough but even the happy moments are tinged with a sense of dread. If you want, you can have the main character retreat entirely into their own head. Omori isn’t the first game to follow in the tradition of Yume Nikki, the OG of surrealist horror RPGs, but it’s certainly one of the best.

What's the scariest RPG ever?

spookiest horror movie

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

Most Shin Megami Tensei games have at least a little bit of horror in them, but Strange Journey might be the most unsettling of them all. It embodies the existential horror of Annihilation and the paranoia of John Carpenter’s The Thing as a team of international scientists delve deeper and deeper into an apocalyptic phenomenon known as the Schwartzwelt. As you’d expect in an SMT game, the Schwartzwelt is swarming with all manner of demons, but the true monster is man. The original Strange Journey is harder to find these days — and Redux on the 3DS is far from an adequate replacement owing to its inferior art and simpler mechanics — but it’s well worth tracking down. With its striking visuals and outstanding dungeon crawling, it’s quietly one of the best – and one of the most disturbing – games in the series.


The other Pokémon Black

Long before the official release of Pokémon Black, there was Pokémon Black — the creepypasta story about a disturbing version of the beloved monster collecting RPG discovered at a flea market. It’s memorable because it seems so real, describing a version of the game that could be believably created using real game mechanics. If you haven’t read the story you should check it out here . It concludes:

I’m not sure what the motives were behind the creator of this hack. It wasn’t widely distributed, so it was presumably not for monetary gain. It was very well done for a bootleg.
It seems he was trying to convey a message; though it seems I am the sole receiver of this message. I’m not entirely sure what it was — the inevitability of death? The pointlessness of it? Perhaps he was simply trying to morbidly inject death and darkness into a children’s game. Regardless, this children’s game has made me think, and it has made me cry.

With the release of the real Pokémon Black , this version has come to be known as Pokemon Creepy Black, and has even been faithfully recreated by fans as a genuine ROM hack. It’s an excellent ghost story to chill your bones over the spookiest day of the year, and a testament to the creativity of Pokemon fans.

Kat Bailey is IGN's News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

In This Article


Experience Points Column

spookiest horror movie

Five Spooky RPGs to Play This Halloween

spookiest horror movie

Why There Aren’t More Space RPGs Like Starfield

spookiest horror movie

Baldur’s Gate 3 Is Proof That We’re In a Golden Age for RPGs

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