What one person calls scary another may think of as simply being silly. These differences in opinion make it very difficult to correctly rank the scariest movies of all time. To be fair to all contenders each movie was considered in the time it was originally released. Another criteria was the effect, if any, the film had on society. A movie such as Jaws had an economic impact on ocean side vacation spots as people were scared to go into the water.
Out of all the horror movies filmed, the top 14 scariest movies of all time are listed here. The oldest movie in the countdown was from 1963, the newest from 2002. There are all types of movies included from strictly horror to some great thrillers, and some which fail to fit comfortably into any category.
Best Horror Movies
A horror movie is made with one thing in mind, to scare the audience as much as possible. This can be done in a variety of ways as these contenders for the scariest movie of all time demonstrate. Halloween and Friday the 13th were not only scary, they also enjoyed box office success. So much so that there were eight Halloween sequels made and Friday the 13th spawned nine sequels plus a re-make in 2009.
These two movie series along with A Nightmare On Elm Street personify the modern horror movie. Others in this area include Dawn of the Dead which when released in 1978 was banned in 17 countries. The Blair Witch Project was not exactly what it claimed to be, but it succeeded in frightening movie audiences around the world.
The transformation scenes in the 1982 film The Thing terrified movie goers as did The Ring. One of the scariest movies of the 1980’s was The Shining. Who can forget Jack chopping through the door, or the little boy riding his tricycle down the hall?
Other movies on our list intended to scare their audiences, but they were also trying to make a greater cinematic event. Many of these movies changed society, at least for a short time. In 1960 Psycho had people afraid to take a shower. Jaws had people staying out of the water and the 1963 movie The Birds had many people watching their twitty bird a little more closely.
In space no one can hear you scream was the tag line for the 1979 film Alien in which a very young Sigourney Weaver did battle with a nasty space alien. One of the best movies of all time, Silence Of The Lambs, reminded us there are true monsters living among us which as are as deadly and as terrifying as anything the movies can make up.
This list is certainly not all-inclusive and the order in which the movies which do appear on the list is certainly debatable. For a movie to truly scare us it has to touch on some basic fear, something inside us that will be different for each person. While some will argue the contents of this list, each movie listed here touched a great many people in a most terrifying way.
List Of The Scariest Movies Of All Time
- Friday the 13th
- A Nightmare On Elm Street
- The Thing
- The Exorcist
- The Blair Witch Project
- The Ring
- The Shining
- The silence of the Lambs
- Dawn of the Dead
- The Birds