The feel of cool air and turning leaves means that fall has arrived, which also mean that Halloween is on it’s way. Besides trick or treaters and dressing up, it’s also the best time of year to scare yourself with some classic movies that will make you scream out loud or keep you up at night.
Of course, there are plenty of movies that have been made just to give you a cheap and quick jump. We also love the ones that are campy and just for fun, but, we’ve come up with the 13 scariest movies of all time. Not only are they classic films, they’ve stood the test of time as movies we return to when we really want a good scare.
13. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
You have to remember, that when this was released, no one was really sure if it was real or staged, which made for some great cinematic fright. Now, found footage films, like Paranormal Activity, are common. But, The Blair Witch Project paved the way for those sort of flicks.
12. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Not only is Freddy Krueger one of the most iconic monsters on film, his character proved that no one is really safe from danger. Even when they’re sleeping in the comfort of their bed.
11. The Omen (1976)
Any time a movie casts a creepy kid as a major character, you know it’s going to be chilling. So, let’s introduce Damien, who also just so happens to be the Antichrist.
10. Suspiria (1977)
The plot may be extremely difficult to follow, but that doesn’t mean that horror master Dario Argento doesn’t deliver a terrorizing experience. In fact, someone has said that Suspiria is “the cinematic equivalent of an anxiety attack.”
9. The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick wanted to take Stephen King’s novel and make it into the definitive horror film. While that may not have actually happened, the movie still has it’s share of frightening and creepy moments, i.e. the twin girls in the hallway. And, Jack Nicholson, despite some overacting, showed us all that he’s a damn good psychopath.
8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
What’s scarier than a redneck family from Texas chasing you with chainsaws?
7. Halloween (1978)
John Carpenter’s classic paved the way for future slasher films, like Friday The 13th. But, none of them had the suspense that Halloween gave audiences. Instead of showing us every shocking moment, Carpenter let our minds fill in the blanks. Sometimes that’s the scariest place to be.
6. Stephen King’s It (1990)
We’re thinking that a countless number of people developed their fear of clowns after watching Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise in the 1990 miniseries.
5. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Zombies may be “in” right now, but it was revolutionary when George Romero unleashed Night of the Living Dead in 1968. The most frightening thing about the original, as in most zombie flicks, is that there is no hope of escape from the hordes of zombies overtaking the world. In short, the sun will not come out tomorrow.
4. Psycho (1960)
Hitchcock’s masterpiece laid the framework for future psychological thrillers. Plus, we’re pretty certain that people didn’t take a shower in a motel/hotel for years after watching Psycho.
3. The Haunting (1963)
Despite a horrid remake in 1999, The Haunting remains one of the most unforgettable and scariest movies of all time. Seriously. What’s more eerie than a house literally coming to life?
2. The Ring (2002)
Based on the novel and 1998 Japanese film Ringu, The Ring was the first so-called J-horror film. The Grudge and Dark Water would soon follow, but there’s something extremely spooky about getting haunted after watching a videotape.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
Did you know that The Exorcist was actually nominated for best picture? That’s how good of a movie it is. This is quintessential scary movie because it has everything. Great performances. Plenty of shock value. The perfect score to accompany the film, and some of the most wicked moments in cinematic history.
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