Scariest Movies

by Alex Smith | created - 04 May 2011 | updated - 7 months ago | Public
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1. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

82 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 314,653 | Gross: $232.91M

2. The Ring (2002)

PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

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

Votes: 284,860 | Gross: $129.13M

3. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 723,632 | Gross: $44.02M

4. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery

81 Metascore

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: 208,163 | Gross: $140.54M

5. Dark Water (2002)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A mother and her 6 year old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water.

Director: Hideo Nakata | Stars: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa

Votes: 26,703

6. The Exorcist III (1990)

R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A police lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased Gemini serial killer, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

Director: William Peter Blatty | Stars: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller

Votes: 20,318 | Gross: $26.10M

7. Candyman (1992)

R | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth.

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Tony Todd, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 55,758 | Gross: $25.79M

8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,050,335 | Gross: $130.74M

9. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

R | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Robert Carlyle, Harold Perrineau

Votes: 232,793 | Gross: $28.64M

10. Night of the Living Dead (1990)

R | 92 min | Horror

The unburied dead return to life and seek human victims.

Director: Tom Savini | Stars: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles, McKee Anderson

Votes: 34,296 | Gross: $5.84M

11. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

86 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 568,737 | Gross: $85.16M

12. Insidious (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye

Votes: 237,834 | Gross: $54.01M

13. The Thing (1982)

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

57 Metascore

A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.

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

Votes: 308,864 | Gross: $13.78M

14. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross

Votes: 99,141 | Gross: $5.10M

15. The Changeling (1980)

R | 107 min | Horror

A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh

Votes: 24,447

16. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

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

Votes: 87,082 | Gross: $14.56M

17. The Mist (2007)

R | 126 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

58 Metascore

A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher

Votes: 249,161 | Gross: $25.59M

18. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

53 Metascore

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner

Votes: 49,808 | Gross: $8.95M

19. Open Water (2003)

R | 79 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

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: 46,392 | Gross: $30.61M

20. Pet Sematary (1989)

R | 103 min | Horror, Thriller

38 Metascore

Behind a young family's home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.

Director: Mary Lambert | Stars: Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne, Brad Greenquist

Votes: 73,850 | Gross: $57.47M

21. The Orphanage (2007)

R | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

74 Metascore

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.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Príncep, Mabel Rivera

Votes: 132,290 | Gross: $7.16M

22. The Children (2008)

R | 84 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A relaxing Christmas vacation turns into a terrifying fight for survival as the children begin to turn on their parents.

Director: Tom Shankland | Stars: Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelley

Votes: 15,689

23. The Descent (2005)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

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: 175,640 | Gross: $26.02M

24. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

79 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 121,351 | Gross: $76.61M

25. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

R | 83 min | Horror

59 Metascore

In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman | Stars: Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner

Votes: 83,014 | Gross: $104.01M

26. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

83 Metascore

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: 170,844 | Gross: $42.10M

27. Outlast (2013 Video Game)

M | Adventure, Horror, Mystery

Freelance journalist, Miles Upshur, is requested by an anonymous individual to investigate the Mount Massive Asylum, only to find it overrun by the asylum's deranged patients.

Stars: Shawn Baichoo, Chimwemwe Miller, Andreas Apergis, Alex Ivanovici

Votes: 2,125

28. The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (2015)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery

83 Metascore

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: 127,475 | Gross: $25.14M

29. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

R | 134 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to North London to help a single mother raising 4 children alone in a house plagued by a supernatural spirit.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Frances O'Connor

Votes: 168,008 | Gross: $102.47M

30. Don't Knock Twice (2016)

R | 93 min | Horror

45 Metascore

A mother desperate to reconnect with her troubled daughter becomes embroiled in the urban legend of a demonic witch.

Director: Caradog W. James | Stars: Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Boynton, Richard Mylan, Nick Moran

Votes: 8,694