Fear of the Unknownby Harry-Hood | created - 15 Nov 2011 | updated - 20 Mar 2012 | Public
Who or What is the killer? If you like mysterious horror films, particularly where the killer is not a zombie or vampire yet a scary shadow ("The Haunting", "Cat People") or shape-shifting menace ("The Thing", "The Mist"). In short: Scary films that never (or rarely) show the 'monster' or antagonist.
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1. 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.
Votes: 207,776 | Gross: $140.54M
Not my favorite but a good place to start such a list...
2. The Thing (1982)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 307,635 | Gross: $13.78M
3. Tartarus (2010)
106 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
Austria-Hungary 1813: Jacob and Veith return home from the Napoleonic war. Their road leads to the remote mountain village Pahlbach. The two newcomers encounter a frosty reception - and as ... See full summary »
4. Alien (1979)
R | 116 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Votes: 668,463 | Gross: $78.90M
6. The Mist (2007)
R | 126 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
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.
Votes: 248,621 | Gross: $25.59M
7. R-Point (2004)
R | 107 min | Action, Horror, War
During the Vietnam War, a South Korean base receives a radio transmission from a missing squad, presumed dead, and sends a platoon to rescue the lost squad from the R-Point.
8. The Haunting (1963)
G | 112 min | Horror
A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.
Votes: 29,376 | Gross: $2.62M
9. 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.
10. Predator (1987)
R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.
Votes: 323,880 | Gross: $59.74M
12. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973 TV Movie)
Unrated | 74 min | Horror
A young couple inherits an old mansion inhabited by small demon-like creatures who are determined to make the wife one of their own.
13. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
R | 99 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend believes that she has released creatures from a sealed ash pit in the basement of her new home.
Votes: 43,383 | Gross: $24.04M
16. Wendigo (2001)
R | 91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
George is a high-strung professional photographer who is starting to unravel from the stress of his work with a Manhattan advertising agency. Needing some time away from the city, Jake, his... See full summary »
Votes: 3,440 | Gross: $0.10M
17. The Abyss (1989)
PG-13 | 145 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.
Votes: 144,904 | Gross: $54.46M
18. 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.
Votes: 175,095 | Gross: $26.02M
19. The Last Winter (2006)
Not Rated | 101 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
The American oil company North Corporation is building an ice road to explore the remote Northern Arctic National Wildlife Refuge seeking oil. The independent environmentalists together ... See full summary »
Votes: 7,892 | Gross: $0.03M
20. Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
R | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
In 18th century France, the Chevalier de Fronsac and his native American friend Mani are sent by the King to the Gevaudan province to investigate the killings of hundreds by a mysterious beast.
Votes: 56,483 | Gross: $11.26M
21. Silent House (2011)
R | 86 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A girl is trapped inside her family's lakeside retreat and becomes unable to contact the outside world as supernatural forces haunt the house with mysterious energy and consequences.
Votes: 20,062 | Gross: $12.56M
22. The Call of Cthulhu (2005)
Not Rated | 47 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
While sorting the affairs of his late Uncle, a man accidentally stumbles across a series of dark secrets connected to an ancient horror waiting to be freed.
23. The Bunker (2001)
R | 88 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Seven German soldiers are enclosed in one bunker during the Second World War. They soon feel surrounded by enemies. When they hear about the tunnel-system beneath the bunker and some mystic... See full summary »
25. [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.
26. Altitude (2010)
R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller
After a mysterious malfunction sends their small plane climbing out of control, a rookie pilot and her four teenage friends find themselves trapped in a deadly showdown with a supernatural force.
27. Halloween (1978)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.
Votes: 181,123 | Gross: $47.00M
30. Apollo 18 (2011)
PG-13 | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Decades-old found footage from NASA's abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon.
Votes: 49,973 | Gross: $17.69M
GREAT premise, TERRIBLE movie experience. It makes this list for the premise alone, and as a good example of how a good concept does not make a good movie, and demonstrates the limitations of the POV/"found footage" game.
31. Cloverfield (2008)
PG-13 | 85 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack.
Votes: 336,392 | Gross: $80.05M
A more successful attempt at the tired "found footage" movie.
32. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
PG | 95 min | Horror
Physicist Lionel Barrett and his wife lead a team of mediums into the Belasco House, which is supposedly haunted by the victims of its late owner, a six-foot-five serial killer.
34. The Objective (2008)
Not Rated | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A military special operations team, led by a CIA case officer, are on a mission in the harsh and hostile terrain of Afghanistan where they find themselves in a Middle Eastern "Bermuda Triangle" of ancient evil.
Votes: 7,354 | Gross: $2.25M
37. The Hole (2009)
PG-13 | 92 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller
A pair of brothers stumble upon a mysterious hole in their basement that leads to the darkest corridors of their fears and nightmares.
38. YellowBrickRoad (2010)
R | 98 min | Horror, Thriller
1940: the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire walked up a winding mountain trail, leaving everything behind. 2008: the first official expedition into the wilderness attempts to solve the mystery of the lost citizens of Friar.
39. Djinns (2010)
103 min | Horror, Mystery
A platoon of French soldiers on a rescue mission in North Africa confront invisible evil creatures.
40. Curse of the Demon (1957)
Approved | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.
41. The 13th Warrior (1999)
R | 102 min | Action, Adventure, History
A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
Votes: 107,554 | Gross: $32.70M
43. Skyline (2010)
PG-13 | 97 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth.
Votes: 81,557 | Gross: $21.37M
Not really scary, but great Spec. FX.
44. A Chronicle of Corpses (2000)
83 min | Drama, Horror
American Gothic horror story, but then different. Severe camera and shadowy lighting dominate in this story about a family of poverty-stricken nobility that takes it all out on a ... See full summary »
45. Signs (2002)
PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come.
Votes: 299,757 | Gross: $227.97M
46. Jaws (1975)
PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.
Votes: 479,686 | Gross: $260.00M
47. Deep Rising (1998)
R | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Horror
A group of heavily armed hijackers board a luxury ocean liner in the South Pacific Ocean to loot it, only to do battle with a series of large-sized, tentacled, man-eating sea creatures who have taken over the ship first.
Votes: 28,948 | Gross: $11.20M
48. The Caller (2011)
R | 92 min | Thriller
A young divorcee is getting her life back together by moving into an apartment. But what will she do when a strange person repeatedly calls her, and threatens to change her new life around?
49. The Woman in Black (2012)
PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.
Votes: 158,527 | Gross: $54.33M
One of my favorite ghost stories at this time. I love the atmosphere, the concept, the resolution.... and the increased production values make it an improvement over the 1989 TV movie.
50. The Orphanage (2007)
R | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery