Great scary movies that are not too violent/gory

If you like to be scared and kept on the edge of your seat but don't like the blood & guts slashers/torture porn etc here's a list of some great movies that should do the trick! Some of them have some violence but I've tried to pick those with minimal blood/gore/violence to none-at-all. These movies are more about the thrills and suspense, the atmosphere & psychological horror and less about visual blood baths and screaming teens getting killed for no apparent reason :)
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1.
The Hitcher (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes. (97 mins.)
Director: Robert Harmon
“ There is some violence in this one, most implied off-screen, but enough to warn that it might be too strong for kiddies. That aside this is one of the best thriller movies I've ever seen. There is something about the way this unfolds that grips you by the short and curlies right from the start and never lets go, despite having minimal blood & gore. A fast-paced thrill ride you will never forget. NB: The remake of The Hitcher is also good, nowhere near as good as the original but a decent thriller in it's own right. It also has more on-screen violence & gore than the original so I haven't included it on this list. But it's still above average and worth watching (after you watch the original) - as long as you don't think of it as a remake of this masterpiece. ” - daggersineyes
 
2.
Shutter (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past. (97 mins.)
“ The original and the best. You have to deal with subtitles but you will hardly notice. Gripping, spooky and one of the most frightening movies I've seen. Very clever use of camera shots to drive the suspense. If you like searching for ghosts in photographs you will love this. ” - daggersineyes
 
3.
Breakdown (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert. (93 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Mostow
“ This R rated suspense thriller is one action-packed, non-stop, adrenaline infused rush with minimal violence but some scary bad guys and adult themes!! Highly recommended. ” - daggersineyes
 
4.
The Orphanage (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend. (105 mins.)
Director: J.A. Bayona
“ Brilliant atmospheric thriller with stellar performances by all concerned. MUST SEE!!! ” - daggersineyes
 
5.
The Others (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted. (101 mins.)
“ Some might be put off by Nicole Kidman's starring role. Don't be. She is exceptional in this movie and really surprised me. As are all the actors including the young kids. This is a beautiful movie, with fantastic direction, editing & cinematography with suspense & chills galore in the tradition of well-crafted horror movies of old. If you like edgy dramatic thrillers with a surprise ending this is your kind of flick. DO NOT READ REVIEWS as many of them contain important spoilers. ” - daggersineyes
 
6.
Burning Bright (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A thriller centered on a young woman and her autistic little brother who are trapped in a house with a ravenous tiger during a hurricane. (86 mins.)
Director: Carlos Brooks
“ The star of the movie is the tiger and the movie is much MUCH better than you'd expect. They used real tigers (3 of them) not CGI. It's awesomely directed & has a great script & believable sympathetic characters. It's a movie about a nice, resourceful, underwear-clad hot girl & a cute autistic kid in a boarded-up house being terrorised by a tiger. What more do you need to know!! Go get it! ” - daggersineyes
 
7.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge. (99 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ This is probably more atmospheric & suspenseful than "scary" but is a brilliant movie that should satisfy anyone looking for a good drama with sinister overtones. The young stars (including a then unknown Kate Winslet) are astoundingly good. Based on a true story. ” - daggersineyes
 
8.
Paperhouse (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A young girl lost in the loneliness and boredom of reality finds solace in an ill boy, whom she can visit in a surreal dream world that she drew in her school composition book. (92 mins.)
Director: Bernard Rose
“ Delightful acting from the youngsters and beautifully directed/filmed this lovely fantasy story is for young and not so young. ” - daggersineyes
 
9.
The Frighteners (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
After a tragic car accident that kills his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people. However, when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead. (110 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ This awesome criminally over-looked horror-comedy is a must see. I can't describe it without giving away too much detail but think of it as a far more sophisticated, funny, engaging, scary, Ghost Busters for intelligent adults. There are some scenes in this that are not suitable for young viewers. ” - daggersineyes
 
10.
Pin (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Isolated by his strange parents, Leon finds solace in an imaginary friend, which happens to be an anatomy doll from his father's doctor office. Unfortunately, the doll begins to take over Leon's life, and his sister's life as well. (103 mins.)
Director: Sandor Stern
“ No blood & gore, just good old-fashioned Hitchcock style tension, mystery & thrills. Produced on a low budget this is an unpredictable chiller with beautiful direction and excellent acting. Highly recommended. (I see a remake is in production for 2014. I sincerely hope they don't wreck it) ” - daggersineyes
 
11.
The Skeleton Key (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A hospice nurse working at a spooky New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house's dark past. (104 mins.)
Director: Iain Softley
“ An fine engrossing gothic mystery thriller with excellent performances from all the cast. This is more like the horror movies of old where they relied on quality performances, acting, camera work and story to deliver rather than CGI FX or over the top blood & violence. NB Do not watch trailers or read too much about this flick as everyone wants to give away the awesome ending. ” - daggersineyes
 
12.
Darkness (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A teenage girl moves into a remote countryside house with her family, only to discover that their gloomy new home has a horrifying past that threatens to destroy the family. (88 mins.)
“ Anna Paquin carries the bulk of this well directed thriller and she does it well. It falls apart a bit at the end but still well worth watching. ” - daggersineyes
 
13.
Tower Block (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Several months after witnessing a murder, residents of Tower Block 31 find themselves being picked off by a sniper, pitting those lucky enough to be alive into a battle for survival. (90 mins.)
“ This is more a thriller than horror but it's still edge of your seat scary so I thought it should be included. It's one of those hidden low budget indie gems, this time from the UK, that deserves a better rating and to be more widely known. The plot has it's flaws but the movie succeeds despite that and you can more than happily overlook them. This is extremely well directed & acted & really worth seeing. I also see a couple of stars in the making in that young cast. ” - daggersineyes
 
14.
The Messengers (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
An ominous darkness invades a seemingly serene sunflower farm in North Dakota, and the Solomon family is torn apart by suspicion, mayhem and murder. (90 mins.)
“ not the most riveting story in the world & the plot has several flaws (like so many thrillers do). But it doesn't matter because in the hands of the skilled and wonderful Pang Brothers this taut little thriller still a far better movie than most and easily worth the rental. ” - daggersineyes
 
15.
The Woman in Black (1989 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When a friendless old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young solicitor is sent by his firm to settle the estate... (100 mins.)
Director: Herbert Wise
“ Classic spooky movie. One of the very best chilling suspense thrillers of it's era with an ending that genuinely shocked the critics. ” - daggersineyes
 
16.
The Woman in Black (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals. (95 mins.)
Director: James Watkins
“ A pretty good remake/re-imagining of the original with some differences in plot - particularly the ending which has audiences divided! (surprise surprise! LOL) I don't think it matters which you watch. If you're into the classics go for the 1989 version but if you can't stand watching movies from days gone by watch the 2012 one. Daniel Radcliffe does a decent job & the stories are pretty similar. Better yet, watch the original and then watch the remake. They're both good. ” - daggersineyes
 
17.
A Lonely Place to Die (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A group of mountaineers in the Scottish Highlands discover a kidnapped girl and are pursued by her captors. (99 mins.)
Director: Julian Gilbey
“ Although the second half of this movie lets it down somewhat the first half has some of the most intense suspense you'll ever see. The movie is very good despite the flaws and deserves better ratings than it's currently receiving. Not sure if this has any graphic violence (don't recall it but I recommend caution with this one if you're looking for something younger family members can watch) but it IS thrilling and worth a rent. ” - daggersineyes
 
18.
Devil's Pond (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
What starts out as a romantic honeymoon on a deserted island turns into a horrible nightmare as Julianne discovers that her new husband is psychotic... (92 mins.)
Director: Joel Viertel
“ Good psychological thriller that really only has two characters in the entire movie. Despite this the movie delivers. ” - daggersineyes
 
19.
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
During a rural summer picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind. (115 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ An oldie but an absolute classic from Australia's Peter Wier. This is a slow burner eerie story and is not for fans of fast action, MTV jump-cut, thrill-a-minute movies. PAHR is adored by all Australians & is an integral part of our film culture. I'm still not sure if it's truly based on a real story or not. Tho I grew up convinced it was! MUST SEE. ” - daggersineyes
 
20.
The Innocents (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted. (100 mins.)
Director: Jack Clayton
“ This movie is old but stands up well even today. Good for a quiet afternoon as it's not very scary. Just a bit spooky. ” - daggersineyes
 
21.
Black Christmas (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger. (98 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
“ Apparently Halloween was originally intended as a sequel to Black Christmas but ended up changing it's name and focus and creating an actual villain. That worked well for Halloween commercially but it took away one of the most significant attractions of this classic movie - the terror of the "nameless & faceless killer". This is just one of the aspects of BC that works so well in generating an atmosphere of menace & suspense. Many of the horror "cliches' we now know and love began with this movie. It's brilliant in it's own right but wont be everyone's cup o' java. It doesn't have today's blood & gore & thrill-a-minute scares, despite being an early slasher flick, but it is still a fantastic movie for so many other reasons. But it's also worth watching for the historical perspective - to see where all those horror traditions originated. (PS DO NOT BOTHER WITH THE REMAKE!!) ” - daggersineyes