1. THE EXORCIST (1973)

The Exorcist is the scariest film ever, but it possibly also isn’t tons of a marvel to peer it at the pinnacle of our listing. William Friedkin’s adaptation of the eponymous novel about a demon-possessed toddler and the tries to banish said demon became the best-grossing R-rated horror movie ever and the first to be nominated for the pleasant picture on the Oscars (it earned 9 different nominations and took home trophies). however out of doors of its critical and industrial bona fides, the movie is well known for the mass hysteria it stimulated throughout the usa, from protests over its controversial subject matter to extensive reports of nausea and fainting in the target audience. Its dramatic pacing and relatively dated consequences may additionally appear quaint compared to a few cutting-edge horror, but there’s no denying the strength the film maintains to have over individuals who see it for the first time.

2. HEREDITARY (2018)

Writer-director Ari Aster made a massive splash with his function directorial debut, a dark circle of relatives drama approximately the character of grief couched within a supernatural horror film. Toni Collette earned a gap inside the pantheon of super Oscar snubs with her slowly-ratcheted-up-to-eleven overall performance as bedeviled mom Annie, however the movie’s biggest shock got here courtesy of… well, we received that smash right here. Suffice it to say Hereditary struck the sort of nerve with moviegoers that it instantly turned Aster right into a director to watch and shot up to 2nd ranking on our list.


James Wan has staked out a place among the modern masters of horror, directing films like SawDead SilenceInsidious, and this inspired-by-true-events chiller based on the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens, best known for their work on the strange case that inspired the Amityville Horror movies (which played a part in The Conjuring 2), were portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who grounded the effective jump scares and freak-out moments with a believable world-weariness. Together, Wan and his co-leads found fresh terror in familiar genre tropes, and the end result is a sprawling cinematic universe that only continues to grow.

4. THE SHINING (1980)

Literally dozens of Stephen King’s novels and testimonies had been tailored for the huge display screen, and numerous of those movies are considered classics nowadays, like Carrie, misery, and pet Sematary (and that doesn’t even account for non-horror stuff just like the Shawshank Redemption and Stand by means of Me). but the mom of all of them is without difficulty Stanley Kubrick’s variation of The Shining. A marvel of set and manufacturing design and a truly unnerving take at the traditional haunted residence story, The Shining capabilities a host of memorable images and an iconic Jack Nicholson overall performance. The movie’s enormously few jumps scares are still absolutely chilling, however its real strength lies in the manner it crawls underneath your pores and skin and makes you enjoy Jack Torrance’s slow descent into insanity. It’s rightfully taken into consideration one of the greatest horror films ever made, and it ranked fourth in our voting.


Even as the top four films in this list together garnered 42% of the whole votes counted, they were accompanied via six films that every one earned round 3% of the vote each. In different phrases, these final six films had been separated by way of no more than 60 votes. the primary of them is that this low-budget slasher directed and co-written through Tobe Hooper, very loosely stimulated by way of the crimes of Ed Gein. Texas Chainsaw’s dirty aesthetic helped lend it an air of authenticity, which made it all of the extra frightening (“this will actually manifest, you men!”), and the huge, menacing presence of Gunnar Hansen’s Leatherface paved the manner for different brutes like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. more than one tries had been made to breathe new life into the franchise — and we’ve got some other one on the manner — but none have equaled the original in sheer, over-the-pinnacle, energy device-inspired terror.

6. THE RING (2002)

It’s always a tricky proposition to take something that works well for one culture and try to translate that formula successfully for another, but Gore Verbinski managed that with The Ring. A remake of Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s acclaimed thriller about a cursed videotape, Verbinski’s take kept the original film’s striking visual imagery — the  ghost of a young girl in a white dress with long black hair covering her face — and found that it scared the hell out of audiences no matter where they were from. While the film wasn’t as well-regarded as its predecessor, it features a committed performance from a then up-and-coming Naomi Watts, and for many, it served as an introduction to East Asian horror cinema.

7. HALLOWEEN (1978)

Coming in at the seventh spot on our list is the film that introduced the world to all-time scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and put John Carpenter on the map. Halloween is frequently cited as one of the earliest examples of the slasher genre as we know it today, and while it may not feature the same kind of realistic gore we’ve come to expect of films in that category, it packs a lot of tension and some inventive thrills in a relatively small-scale package. The film’s legacy is also fairly untouchable: Michael Myers’ mask has become the stuff of legend, and the giant, unstoppable killer and the “final girl” have become ingrained in the horror lexicon. There’s a reason the franchise is still going after more than 40 years.

8. SINISTER (2012)

For those who didn’t read the “scientific examine” cited on the top, we’ve eventually come to the movie it topped the scariest. earlier than he joined the MCU with 2016’s medical doctor strange, director Scott Derrickson had racked up a few horror films, multiple which earned cult followings. one of them changed into this small-scale haunted house/possession story about a true-crime creator (Ethan Hawke) who moves his spouse and children right into a house wherein a own family changed into murdered, simplest to find out the new place would possibly have already got a as an alternative evil tenant. writer C. Robert Cargill turned into reportedly stimulated to pen the script based on a nightmare he had after watching the hoop, and the story does percentage a minor similarity with that movie, what with the creepy snuff film attitude. however for those who saw it, the dramatic famous and creepy set pieces some distance outweighed any recycled genre tropes that could have been gift. Plus, there’s at least one document accessible that asserts it’s the scariest movie ever made, so that need to count number for some thing.

9. INSIDIOUS (2010)

James Wan has already shown up higher on the list, but before he and Patrick Wilson made The Conjuring, they worked together on this supernatural thriller about a young boy who falls into a coma and begins to channel a malevolent spirit. The bare bones of the story weren’t the most groundbreaking, but frequent Wan collaborator Leigh Whannell infused it with a compelling enough mythology that it spawned three more installments. Wan also stated that Insidious was meant to be something of a corrective to the outright violence of Saw, which compelled him to craft something on a more spiritual level, and the end result is an effective chiller featuring what is frequently regarded one of the best jump scares ever put on screen.

10. IT (2017)

The fear of clowns is a very real thing, even if it’s become so commonplace to announce it that it feels disingenuous. If you needed any further evidence, we direct you to the box office haul of 2017’s IT, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, which went on to beat The Exorcist’s 44-year record as the highest-grossing horror film ever. Oh, and of course, its 10th-place finish on this list. Andy Muschietti’s big-budget adaptation drew on nostalgia to tell its story of children scarred by trauma, while Bill Skarsgard’s take on Pennywise the evil, shapeshifting clown was bizarre and unsettling in all the right ways. Add a healthy dose of jump scares, a handful of impressive set pieces, and some top-notch CGI, and you’ve got a recipe for a horror film that’s both fun and full of scares.


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