Get that blanket out, microwave some popcorn and start scream-gasping your way through a movie that scares the pants off you. Whether you are a horror connoisseur or a scaredy-cat novice, this list of the most terrifying movies ever made is for you. Classic cult films, films with a slow burn and mind-bending psychological torture, gory films, jump scares, hauntings, and more – these films are high on plot, high on tension, and high on scream power.
The Orphanage/ El Orfanato (2007):
This movie by Guillermo del Toro isn’t for the faint-hearted. A woman returns to the orphanage she grew up in and a mysterious series of spine-chilling events unspool. The plot wanders down unexpected avenues and leads you to a finale that will leave you sleepless for nights.
Let the right one in (2008):
Before the Twilight series ruined Vampires forever, there was Let the right one in. This Swedish masterpiece by filmmaker Tomas Alfredson is an intelligent, well-paced vampire genre classic that deftly weaves together themes of friendship, adolescence, and hopelessness.
The Witch (2015):
You’re pulled into the world of this film from the very first scene. Set in 1630’s New England, Robert Eggers’s film follows a Puritan family as they succumb to the horrors of the occult.
Get Out (2017):
Jordan Peele’s debut film ‘Get Out’ uses the abduction theme we’ve seen in ‘The Stepford Wives’ but has refreshing originality. The movie builds on atmospheric uneasiness and leads to a shocking revelation that combines heart-in-mouth terror and a smart, incisive social commentary on race.
The Shining (1980):
There has never been a movie adaptation so loved by horror fans as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The screenplay, adapted from the famous novel by Horror master Stephen King, moves between creepy and flat-out frightening. Watch it for Jack Nicholson’s powerful and iconic performance as Jack Torrance, a moody writer who moves to a deserted hotel and slowly spirals into murderous insanity.
Nobody does horror like Alfred Hitchcock and his Psycho is truly an American classic. Anthony Perkins plays Norman Bates, the proprietor of the creepy Bates Motel to perfection. The terrifying shower scene is a golden moment in American cinema and remains timeless and fresh to this day.