Films can be scary for several different reasons. Some films use suspense for their scares others rely on psychological terror to elicit fear. Regardless of the methods a film utilizes it’s no secret that, as a society, fear is intriguing. If this wasn’t a fact the horror genre would be nonexistent. People like to be scared. Although what scares certain people is not universal there are some films that are more terrifying than others. In no particular order, these are some of the scariest and creepiest movies out there. Keep in mind that this is a personal list and that there are tons of other scary movies.
Jaws (1975) – It’s a simple film about a shark stalking an island that kept people out of the water for decades to come. This movie instills a primal fear about what is lurking underneath the depths of our oceans. A must see.
The Exorcist (1973) – This truly is a terrifying film. Dealing with the possession of a little girl this movie showed off some supernatural scares and some impressive effects for the time. One of the classics that still holds up today.
When a Stranger Calls (1979) – The first 10 minutes of this film are unrivaled in terms of terror and simply will never be matched. When a Stranger Calls is a creepy movie with a fantastic opening and closing.
Halloween (1978) – One of the most suspenseful films of all time this film proves to be engaging from opening to close. A movie about an escaped psycho who stalks a babysitter comes out being one of the scariest and strongest slasher films of all time.
Drag Me to Hell (2009) – In an industry flooded with remakes and sequels, this is the only recent horror film that has truly excelled in the genre. It’s original and very off putting. Sam Rami returns to his roots to deliver and honest and creepy film.
The Orphanage (2007) – There are several foreign films that are worthy of being on this list but this is the only foreign film to not have an American counterpart. It’s a creepy film best watched alone and late at night.
The Mothman Prophesies (2002) – Not really meant to be a horror film, Mothman Prophesies acts more as a thriller and does its job to a tee. Creepy and unsettling this film has some strong moments of terror.
Poltergeist (1982) – The best ghost movie ever made, period. It’s creepy, psychological, gorey and will leave audiences sleepless.
The Thing (1982) – Carpenter yet again posts another great suspenseful classic. This film works unease and distrust into the horror equation and makes for some tension filled moments.
It (1990) – Without a doubt the scariest clown film ever made. As a child, this film will give you nightmares and as an adult, this film will instill unease. A bit dated but still a strong piece of film making.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – A film about killing children where they are most vulnerable, in their dreams. This movie makes audiences really think about how safe they actually are when they lay their heads on their pillows.
Alien (1979) – A suspenseful, hunted house type monster movie. It’s a bit slow but that’s what makes the intense moments scarier. This film is worth watching if only for the tunnel scene.