100 Scariest Movies of All Timeby KingAnthrax | created - 02 Feb 2017 | updated - 08 Dec 2020 | Public
Want a thrill? Draw your curtains and settle in for a list of the greatest fright films sure to keep you up at night.
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1. The Exorcist (1973)
R | 122 min | Horror
When a 12-year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.
Votes: 381,907 | Gross: $232.91M
The scariest movie of all time. It will scar you for life, and leave you haunted by the effects.
2. Hereditary (2018)
R | 127 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences.
Votes: 277,173 | Gross: $44.07M
Hereditary is a new horror landmark that puts a unique face on things that go bump in the night.
3. The Witch (2015)
R | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.
Votes: 228,749 | Gross: $25.14M
This movie combines classic horror and generally scary arithmetic to create a NEW and great film. The Witch is a really atmospheric film with an elaborate build-up of suspense and eerie themes throughout; it's not like other horror films because the characters are rich in depth and their personalities are more complex for a horror movie character.
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
R | 83 min | Horror
Five friends head out to rural Texas to visit the grave of a grandfather. On the way they stumble across what appears to be a deserted house, only to discover something sinister within. Something armed with a chainsaw.
Votes: 149,455 | Gross: $30.86M
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is by far one of the SCARIEST movies I've seen. This horrific film is very gory and disturbing and very chaotic and suspenseful. The film exhausted me, as the chase scenes are really intense and are part of a lot of the film.
5. The Babadook (2014)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children's book titled "Mister Babadook" manifests in their home.
Votes: 211,048 | Gross: $0.92M
The Babadook is dark, eerie, creepy, and scariest of all, metaphorically psychological. It's the looming threat of insanity that drives this film. This movie is extremely well made, and is extremely twisted.
6. Midsommar (2019)
R | 148 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A couple travels to Northern Europe to visit a rural hometown's fabled Swedish mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Votes: 265,824 | Gross: $27.33M
Set in broad daylight, during the time of Northern Europe's midnight sun, this horror movie isn't about getting the creeps so much as it is about the slow, methodical unmasking of horrors most human.
7. Mientras duermes (2011)
Not Rated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
You wake day after day to the comfort and security of your home. But how safe is it really?
I don't think I've ever hated a character more than I hate the concierge. And considering this is a "horror" movie, that's a good thing! I didn't find it to be over the top in any way; the film was extremely tense. Not typical horror, but definitely unsettling. Good acting and unique storyline.
9. High Tension (2003)
R | 91 min | Horror
Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.
Votes: 70,496 | Gross: $3.68M
"Haute Tension" is appropriately gruesome and shocking and does not take the wise cracking, action movie based horror movie approach that so many recent horror films have taken. The film is well made and paced and builds up the suspense to a crescendo and does not overstay it's welcome.
10. The Lighthouse (I) (2019)
R | 109 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.
Votes: 178,315 | Gross: $0.43M
Driven by its stars' maniacal performances, The Lighthouse makes for an impeccably crafted, though thematically uneven, blend of horror and humor.
11. Friday the 13th (1980)
R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of camp counselors trying to reopen a summer camp called Crystal Lake, which has a grim past, are stalked by a mysterious killer.
Votes: 132,351 | Gross: $39.75M
This is a classic film, put in theaters in the 1980's; this is what horror film was all about back in the day! It demonstrated the importance of setting the tone in horror movies, making the audience themselves feel as if they too were being stalked.
12. Evil Dead (2013)
R | 91 min | Horror
Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.
Votes: 164,707 | Gross: $54.24M
This remake finds many way to bow to the original, aside the obligatory visual quotes. The use of practical effects, notably, in an era of CGI- filled movies, is extremely refreshing. The gore feels painful, makes you cringe, churned my stomach. It successfully palliates a somewhat shallow characterization that makes it difficult to root for the characters.
13. Goodnight Mommy (2014)
R | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Twin boys move to a new house with their mother after she has face-changing cosmetic surgery, but under the bandages is someone the boys don't recognize.
Votes: 49,178 | Gross: $1.17M
A creepy little horror-thriller for the discerning horror fans who don't crave cheap, gimmicky thrills!
14. 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.
Very tense, uneasy and suspenseful, especially if watched alone at night. Great use of environment to terrify you. I'm interested in researching to see what real life case this is based. Ending was great.
15. Martyrs (2008)
R | 99 min | Horror
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
Intense, disorienting, unsettling, upsetting, polarising - Martyrs is all these things, but it is also intelligent, moving and strangely transcedent. If you want to be put through the wringer by a film, make it this one. This is not an easy film to watch, but it is a valuable film to watch.
16. Halloween (2007)
R | 109 min | Horror
After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution and immediately returns to Haddonfield to find his baby sister, Laurie.
Votes: 116,531 | Gross: $58.27M
Rob Zombie is a die-hard, old school horror/exploitation fan of all the original horror films that paved the way to today's disturbing and desensitized Internet and television generation.Zombie goes for stark reality and exposes a statement on the worst of our twisted society, merging that concept with Carpenter's original tale of "pure" evil incarnate about a little boy transformed into a mindless but calculated killing machine without motive or purpose. A frightening concept indeed, and its handled by a cast of genre veterans as well as talented newcomers in a modern day exercise of murder and mayhem.
17. Open Water (2003)
R | 79 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left.
Votes: 52,844 | Gross: $30.61M
Open Water is a film that asks its viewers to place themselves at the heart of the movie; to feel the desperation, the hopelessness and the absolute terrifying ordeal. And for a change the movie is shot in a way that allows the viewer to feel as if truly there.
18. It Follows (2014)
R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.
Votes: 226,314 | Gross: $14.67M
It Follows is subtle and thought provoking - you never know where this thing is and it moves so slowly that you don't know when it will appear, and this uncertainty in waiting is what real suspense is all about.
19. 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: 214,313 | Gross: $26.02M
It's a roller coaster ride of tension and fear. So often these days horror movies just aren't scary, they make you jump they have a little bit of atmosphere and that's it, well this film was scary. It was tense, well acted, and the director made great use of the setting to scare the hell out of you.
20. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Votes: 638,163 | Gross: $32.00M
"Psycho" has one of the best scripts you'll ever find in a movie. The domestic conflict is well-known. But nothing shocks like the experience itself. Anthony Perkins' skillfully crafts his performance as Norman Bates, avoiding a ranting, raving, drooling, murder-happy, manic characterization; instead his performance as Norman is subtle, creepy, cool, and unsettling.
21. Get Out (I) (2017)
R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.
Votes: 540,091 | Gross: $176.04M
22. The Shining (1980)
R | 146 min | Drama, Horror
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.
Votes: 957,327 | Gross: $44.02M
This is Stanley Kubrick's classic vision of Stephen King's horror tale of madness and blood.
23. 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.
This is an excellent example of how found footage films should be done. Totally uses the instant and immersive quality of the medium to its full potential. What's more, it's a movie that makes a late game turn that takes it from "very good" to "very great." The last ten minutes elevate the movie to a whole new level of creepy.
24. The Devils (1971)
R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually-repressed nun.
Votes: 15,252 | Gross: $1.13M
This film is the only film I've ever seen, regardless of genre, to take the viewer into the pit of hell and to hold her/him there unrelenting, uncompromising, and to make the viewer feel as s/he has actually experienced hell. It's bleak, horrifying, shocking, disgusting and thoroughly delicious.
25. Repulsion (1965)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.
"Repulsion" is a great example of how to make a truly scary movie: The trick is not to fill the screen with monsters or indestructible serial killers, it is to portray fear in a way that will be familiar to the audience. It is clear from early on in the film that the lead character, Carol, played brilliantly by an extremely young-looking Catherine Deneuve, is not exactly normal.
26. Children of the Corn (1984)
R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller
A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believes that everyone over age 18 must be killed.
Votes: 50,703 | Gross: $14.57M
There is not a boring moment in this film that would put you to sleep. There are many jolts, winces and frights. And even though the "He Who Walks Behind The Rows" fella never shows his face, you will definitely feel it's presence.
27. Maniac (1980)
R | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
A psychopathic man goes on a killing and mutilation spree in New York City.
A well-crafted and disturbing movie. Mind blowing in the 80's. A New York City that we will never see again. Solid slasher flick.
28. Baskin (2015)
Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy
A squad of unsuspecting cops go through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.
Baskin is a passionate and well-made horror. It is an ultra-violent and bizarre descent into Hell
29. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
R | 89 min | Horror
Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.
Votes: 82,927 | Gross: $12.63M
Rob Zombie has created a homage to 1970's exploitation/horror films, and he has been extremly successful in achieving that goal. The film borrows largely from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left, with his own little bits of original demential thrown in and an assortment of other horror film references.
30. V/H/S (2012)
R | 116 min | Horror, Thriller
When a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, Adam Wingard | Stars: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Hannah Fierman
Votes: 60,276 | Gross: $0.10M
A nightmare world on videotape. A terrific collection of "found footage" horror!
31. Se7en (1995)
R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.
Votes: 1,536,809 | Gross: $100.13M
Se7en is by far one of the most inventive, well-written, and cerebral films in recent history. The film, blending a well put together combination of dark visual style, intense plot development, and polished acting, remains tight and focused throughout, from beginning to end, never straying outwards into unimportant issues, or resorting to typical Hollywood clichés.
Not Rated | 91 min | Horror
Inspired by the fictional Dr. Heiter, disturbed loner Martin dreams of creating a 12-person centipede and sets out to realize his sick fantasy.
Votes: 37,686 | Gross: $0.12M
This movie is depraved and sick. One of the grossest movies I have ever seen. Far better than the original. The actor that plays Martin had the perfect look and demeanor for the role and really did a fantastic job. A new breed of super villain.
33. Bug (2006)
R | 102 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.
Votes: 34,524 | Gross: $7.01M
A completely unique and intense cinema experience. The film is very disturbing...I would describe it as a dark comedy that gets darker and darker and darker...calling it horror is too limited although there are horror elements to it. It reminds me of Cronenberg or early Polanski (Repulsion). But comparisons don't really do it justice. It's exciting to see that there are directors that still have guts. I was exhilarated and disturbed by the end of this film.
34. Funny Games (2007)
R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.
Votes: 94,530 | Gross: $1.29M
So many horror movies are predictable and formulaic that it's a pleasant surprise to come across one that actually makes an effort to break free of its bonds and make its own way in the world. And, indeed, "Funny Games" busts through the horror movie conventions with an almost ruthless determination.
35. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
R | 107 min | Horror, Thriller
A traveling family falls victim to a group of mutated cannibals in a desert far away from civilization.
Votes: 165,753 | Gross: $41.78M
Shocking. Disturbing. At times hard to watch. All words to describe the horror of being forced to watch Michael Moore take his shirt off. But these terms also accurately describe this brutally vicious upgrade on Wes Craven's 1977 low-budget horror classic.
36. Hostel (2005)
R | 94 min | Horror
Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.
Votes: 175,635 | Gross: $47.33M
This movie dispenses with much of the clever, self-congratulatory repartee made so popular in horror films since Scream and its imitators. It opts instead for the old fashioned horror staples of nudity, terror, blood and tension.
37. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
R | 98 min | Crime, Horror
After picking up a traumatized young hitchhiker, five friends find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chainsaw-wielding loon and his family of equally psychopathic killers.
Votes: 136,575 | Gross: $80.57M
this is a terrifying, shocking, emotional thrill of a movie. It may not be up to the standards of the 1970s version, but to be fair, nothing is. The acting is quite well done. The film takes advantage of the time its being made in and the budget, with this version having much better production values, its much more gory but not at the cost of story telling.
38. Jaws (1975)
PG | 124 min | Adventure, Thriller
When a killer shark unleashes chaos on beach community off Long Island, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.
Votes: 569,777 | Gross: $260.00M
'Jaws' is the original summer blockbuster, setting the standard by which all others are measured. It's the Michael Jordan of cinema: there will never be another 'Jaws,' simply because the film so profoundly changed the way movies are made and marketed.
39. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Five years after the events of the first film, a summer camp next to the infamous Camp Crystal Lake is preparing to open, but the legend of Jason is weighing heavy on the proceedings.
Votes: 65,015 | Gross: $21.72M
Friday the 13th part 2 is a great horror film and is the best in the series. Has its share of sex drugs and blood easy to follow with a great opening. Amy Steel gives a good performance as our heroine and the rest of the cast is fine as well.
40. Halloween II (2009)
R | 105 min | Horror
Laurie Strode struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael's deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister.
Votes: 52,517 | Gross: $33.39M
A very well executed horror film from the visionary director Rob Zombie. It contains strong, sadistic violence and anti- characters, recommended for exploitation.
41. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
R | 91 min | Horror
The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.
Votes: 224,471 | Gross: $25.50M
A Nightmare on Elm Street, one of the scariest movies of all time, and one of the scariest in the 80's. It also introduced one of the scariest villains of all time, Freddy Krueger, one of the ultimate boogeymen that you know who he is just by his name. Wes Craven brought us one of the most terrifying ideas, what would happen if your nightmares were real? That if you died in your dream, you died in real life?
42. Alien (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Votes: 832,975 | Gross: $78.90M
This is one of the finest science fiction films ever made. Everything is so carefully and expertly constructed to the point that repeated viewings are just as good as the first. Also, the atmosphere, along with the amazing sets, is real shocker and few movies have managed to create the same kind eerie feeling.
43. Frailty (2001)
R | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A mysterious man arrives at the offices of an FBI agent and recounts his childhood: how his religious fanatic father received visions telling him to destroy people who were in fact "demons."
Votes: 81,527 | Gross: $13.10M
This is a great movie with an awesome twist. A great and really eerie psychological thriller.
44. 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: 247,348 | Gross: $140.54M
This might be one of those "You had to be there" type of films that younger viewers may take for granted. When I saw this in '99 I left the theatre terrified (which rarely happens to me, then or now) and it still packs quite a punch.
45. The Thing (1982)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi