Top 5 Scariest Movies of All Time

Horror, suspense and thrillers are some of the most fun movies to experience, but some films break new ground with shocking stories, visuals and memorable characters that stay with us. Here are our Top 5 scariest movies of all time — not necessarily horror. That’s a whole different debate. These are judged on quality of the filmmaker, writing, and, of course, how scary they are.

Matt

5. Wolf Creek: This movie is great because it breaks the mold of many horror movies — it actually develops the characters. When things start going wrong for three college students after a frightening bushman in the Australian outback starts torturing and hunting them, you actually care about them. The villain is wicked and cruel and the victims actually react how people really would. They don’t go into the dark room where they just saw the killer go. They run away, and the bad man chases them. A great horror movie.

4. The Ring: This feels like an urban legend coming to life. You watch a video. Right after you watch it, the phone rings. When you answer, you will die in the next 24 hours after the girl from the video comes out of the TV and kills you. Sounds simple, but with great acting by Naomi Watts, and a chilling story that leads her into the life and death of the girl in the video.

3. The Silence of the Lambs: Anthony Hopkins is dark, funny, and insightful in his portrayal of the serial killer Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter. Jodie Foster plays a complex role of a strong-willed but fragile FBI agent hunting down Buffalo Bill, a serial killer on the lose who skins his victims to make clothing with it. This movie plays with your mind and keeps you on the edge of your seat and never makes an easy choice for the story line. There’s never been a movie with such quality actors with a director who weaves the audience through a chilling and suspenseful movie. On a side note, this movie goes wonderfully with Chianti and fave beans.

2. Se7en: This is a brilliant script with fantastic acting from Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey. The story weaves around Pitt and Freeman, two detectives tracking down a killer who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins. The film takes some shockingly dark turns that make the hair on your body stand erect. It’s a bold, daring movie that pulls no punches. Whatever you do, don’t open the box.

1. The Exorcist: I saw this movie when I was 8 — not recommended. My older sister rented it when she was babysitting us, but she didn’t really know what she was getting into. The next morning I asked my Catholic mother over breakfast if the movie was real. “Yes dear, it is,” she said in a somber tone. It only frightened me worse. This movie was shocking —  a villain that can’t be seen in any way other than the face of a twisted child. The acting is superb, as is the directing from William Friedkind, an Academy Award-winning director for “The French Connection.”

Brian

5. Silence of the Lambs:
Jonathon Demme crafted a scare masterpiece with this film.  Anthony Hopkins is absolutely unforgettable as Hannibal Lecter in a role that defined his career and earned him an Oscar.  But, it’s Jodie Foster, also in an oscar winning performance, that is the glue that holds our attention and provides the greatest scares.  We walk the movie side by side with her and because she’s a rookie FBI agent, the audience and Clarice Starling are discovering the most macabre and disgusting behavior that humans are capable of for the first time together.  It will leave chills up your spine! See it!
4.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
A super low budget gem from director Tobe Hooper that is still just as terrifying as it was 35 years ago.  After a slow start, this film turns into a 1 hour adrenaline rush where the lead heroine is put through a torture machine with the most disgusting “family” in cinema history.  Years later, its documentary style and raw energy have yet to be recreated.
3.  The Shining:
I’m not going to shy away from saying this.  Stanley Kubrick is the greatest director in the history of cinema.  I say that not only because the craft of his films are absolutely spellbinding but the diversity of his work.  He worked within almost every genre and his turn at horror is a masterpiece.  The tension through Kubrick’s use of sound is amazing.  Heartbeats, droning music, and harsh dialogue raise the adrenaline level to a very satisfying conclusion.
2.  Jaws:
I saw this movie when I was 8 years old and to this day I will not swim in natural bodies of water.  I don’t care if it’s a pond in North Dakota, I’m not going into anything that I don’t know what’s in there with me.  Never mind that the acting is brilliant, the direction superb, and the pace perfect, this film will frighten you to whits end when you realize you’re not alone in the water.
1.  The Exorcist:
I’m 34 years old now and this film still scares me.  It’s a deep, dark, and disturbing tale.  I suppose my fear is drawn from Friedkin’s amazing ability to treat this as completely believable.  This IS what pure evil must be like.  The demon’s psychological attacks are far more powerful than any gory film could ever dream to be.  And, for that, it is my pick as the most frightening film of all time.
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18 responses to “Top 5 Scariest Movies of All Time

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  8. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person who enjoyed Wolf Creek. I liked The Ring too and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t refuse to answer the phone when it rang mid-movie.
    Seven is practically one of my favorite films, so yeah.
    I’m very embarrassed to say this but I have yet to see The Exorcist (I know I should be slapped across the face)

  9. You should see The Exorcist. It’s a very well made movie. I don’t want to over-hype it — hard to do — but you should definitely see it. It’s an important film.

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  14. Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your
    blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Thanks!

  15. braydon patzel

    thanks guys this really was helpfull im 14 yrs old and live in Australia and it looks like im going to have to buy or rent the exorcist

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