10 of the Scariest Movies Ever

Scary movies don’t rank good. If you search any list of the best movies of all time, there are just few horror movies which will enter this list. I don’t know what is it about, but the true fear and most secret part of us is hard to be put on the screen. There are just few of directors who managed to catch that primal fear and make us tremble.

There must be something wicked in every man, because no matter how the movie is repulsive or if there will be no sleep for nights, people still will come and watch it, again and again. It is something like those terrible car accidents, where you know you shouldn’t be looking, but you can’t take your eyes off it. The grosser the film is and twisted it gets people will love it better. Is this something to be feared or embrace it? This is my collection of 10 scariest movies ever.

10. Eraserhead

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Eraserhead‘ is nauseating without motive, dank for the sake of it, an ordeal with nothing to make it worthwhile. It makes the mistake of depressing and repelling you not because you identify or feel sorry for the characters and their situation, but because it’s such an ugly, stagnant, miserable, boring movie. It uses shock tactics without giving you a single good reason why they should shock. This is the kind of film you want to plead with. Why are you so BORING? Why does it take so long to tell this story? Why should I care about a single thing that’s happening? Why is that guy staring at the radiator for what seems like TEN MINUTES? Please, PLEASE, just stop killing my brain, shut the hell up and quit with the monotonous gooey imagery, you seriously sickening movie. It is all David Lynch! This is how you feel, more or less after watching any of his movies. Slightly¬†uncomfortable with everything.

9. Hellraiser

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Instead of some maniac ripped from Halloween, we get a simple wooden box. Simple, or so Frank thought. What results is a cinematic masterpiece, a great mix of gore and violence, as well as a great musical score and some nice drama. The acting is fine, but there are imperfections. One common complaint: The characters are not pleasant enough we can latch onto them. Maybe that’s because these seem more realistic than the characters we CAN latch onto. Just a thought, don’t jump on this.

8. Rec

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Now.. Not being a fan of “home-made” cinema I was extremely suspecting about this film. The first 5 minutes really put you down.. I was thinking “Oh no.. Not another amateur experiment please!”.. But that’s exactly what they are meant for.

After you relax and even prepare for occasional laughter at how bad a film it is the story slowly swirls and sinks in you with pulsating intensity and believe me: You are going to jump all over your seat for the rest of the film.

Please: Do not take kids with you unless they are grown up enough to deal with horror movies or you are up to a few non-sleep nights full of tears and nightmares.

7. A Tale Of Two Sisters

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A Tale of Two Sisters‘, or ‘Janghwa, Hongryeon‘, is a true masterpiece. Brilliant psychological thriller, heart-wrenching drama, and gripping horror all wrapped up in one beautifully orchestrated package. From the intricate plot, to the beautiful cinematography, to the absolutely perfect casting, every aspect of this film is extraordinary.

For fear of revealing too much concerning the plot, I will just say it is very satisfying. While it may appear to be a little difficult to understand at first, it does a good job of explaining things in the end. And whether you prefer psychological thriller, drama, or horror, I promise you will not be disappointed.

From a technical standpoint, its nearly flawless. The set, the cinematography, lighting, and especially the soundtrack, all are captivating. The waltz seemed an odd choice at first, but proved to be an ingenious choice.

6.Poltergeist

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Horror films often do not get their do, and the 7.1 rating for Poltergeist shows that this trend will most likely continue. Clearly an influential film by Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist reached for, and achieved, everything that the earlier Amityville Horror failed to be; namely, scary, credible, and well acted.

Poltergeist, in a nutshell, is a story of suburban California family that discovers the darker side of the American Dream when their youngest daughter, Carol Ann, makes contact with evil spirits through the family television set. “They’re here”, never fails to send chills down my spine as I recall seeing this film for the first time as a teenager.

5. The Omen

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This movie plays with the intellect. It is frightening for what is not seen. From the grey overcast that blurs the skies of London and the dead stillness of the great Pereford mansion that houses the ill-fated Thorn family to the deepest recesses of civilization in the hollow underground of an ancient excavation site, the film effectively captures the viewer’s interest and draws them into a world that is on the verge of the ultimate disaster – the birth of the anti-Christ.

Born into the world of politics and wealth, little Damien Thorn is the darling of the beautiful and privileged Robert and Katherine Thorn. Mysterious accidents and the overall feeling of death begin to shadow their lives until the horrifying truth of Damien’s birth is uncovered millions of miles away in a grave in a decaying pagan cemetery in Italy. Gregory Peck gives a fine performance as ambitious politico Robert Thorn, a man who slowly discovers that his fate is interlinked in ancient biblical prophecy. With escalating horror, he uncovers a grand design that’s unfolding under the unsuspecting eyes of the entire world – and he and his perfect family are at the centre of it. His search for the truth is one of the best in films, taking him to the farthest reaches of the globe and climaxing in an exciting and bizarre confrontation between himself and the face of evil.

Lee Remick is ethereal as his beautiful and tragic wife. The rest of the cast – Billie Whitelaw as the creepy Mrs. Baylock, David Warner as the doomed Jennings and Leo McKern as the mysterious archaeologist Bugenhagen – give the movie its singular dark and moody quality. THE OMEN has a few disturbing moments that shock rather than disgust, but the film is loaded with memorable scenes that are ingenious. It’s the ‘feeling’ that the film incites that makes this movie unique. The haunted performances of the actors, the creepy-crawly musical score, the insinuation that doom is slowly creeping into the world with the birth of one lone child, all succeed in making THE OMEN one of the truest horror films.

4. Ju On (The Grunge)

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Rika Nishina (Megumi Okina) works for a social services agency in Tokyo, although she’s never seen any clients. When a new case comes in and they’re short on staff, her boss has to send her out. Her first case is a doozy. When she enters the client’s home, no one seems to be there, and the house is a mess. She hears scraping on a door–the old woman she is to care for is there, but in a semi-catatonic state. Soon after, she learns that there is much more wrong than bad housekeeping and a neglected old woman. There just may be threatening supernatural forces behind the scenes. There are things that writer/director Takashi Shimizu does better in this version, and things he does better in the American version. In this version, I loved the brutal opening sequence. If you are a true fan of horrors, the Japanese version will suit you better than the America ” Grunge“.

3. Rosemary’s Baby

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When people talk about perfect films I don’t actually know what they mean. Perfect for whom? Perfect compared to what? I think that perfection is in the brain and heart of the beholder. “Rosemary’s baby” is a perfect film to me. Scary in a way that makes you breathless. You’re thinking and feeling throughout the film. One of the many sides of Polanski’s genius is to suggest. And what he suggest is so monstrous that we don’t want to believe it, but we do. The characters are so perfectly drawn that there is no cheating involved. John Cassavettes’s superb study in selfishness and egomaniacal frustration is so real that comes to no surprise that he could do what he does to advance his career, but we are surprised, we’re horrified. The spectacular Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer are not Deborah Kerr and David Niven, are they? So that they turn out to be what they turn out to be is totally believable, but Polanski presents it in such a light of normality that you can’t believe it. Mia Farrow’s predicament is as classic as the boy who cried wolf tale and yet, as told by Roman Polanski in the wonderful face of Mia Farrow, is as if we’re hearing it, seeing it and living it for the first time. Every silence, every voice in the distance, every door opening. Your heart is always in your throat. There is something there that accelerates a constant state of dread.

2. Psycho

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Psycho” has one of the best scripts you’ll ever find in a movie. The movie’s only shortcoming is that one of the characters seems to have little motivation in the first act of the movie but as the story progresses, you realize that Hitchcock (GENIUS! GENIUS! GENIUS!) in a stroke of genius has done this on purpose, because there is another character whose motivations are even more important. Vitally important. So important that you totally forget about anything else. I was lucky enough to have spent my life wisely avoiding any conversation regarding the plot of this movie until I was able to see it in full. Thank God I did! The movie has arguably the best mid-plot point and climactic twist in thriller history, and certainly the best-directed ending. The last few shots are chilling and leave a lingering horror in the viewer’s mind.

Just as good as the writing is Hitchcock’s direction, which is so outstanding that it defies explanation. Suffice it to say that this movie is probably the best directorial effort by film history’s best director. I was fortunate enough to see this movie at a big oldtime movie house during a Hitchcock revival. Janet Leigh, still radiant, spoke before the film and explained how Hitchcock’s genius was in his ability to 1) frighten without gore and 2) leave his indelible mark on the movie without overshadowing his actors (like the great Jean Renoir could never do). “Psycho” is clearly its own phenomenon, despite all the big-name talent involved.

1. Exorcist

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In late 1973 and early 1974, women and men were lined up for blocks. People were known to become ill watching it. Some fainted. Some ran out of the theater in tears. There were reports of people having to be institutionalized, and at least one miscarriage was attributed to viewing it. No, it wasn’t a Rolling Stones Concert. It was a film called The Exorcist.

For me, The Exorcist has always been more about the never ending conflict between pure evil and pure innocence than about being an average horror story. There are many more levels to this film than what initially meets the eye. There is no doubt that while the main story revolves around an innocent young girl, Regan McNeil (Linda Blair), being inhabited by Satan himself, Blatty enhances it greatly by adding different characters in various stages of conflict. Regan’s mother, Chris McNeil (Ellen Burstyn) obviously cares deeply for her daughter. Yet she is not beyond reproach. In one scene when Reagan’s father hasn’t called on Regan’s birthday, we see her desperately on the phone doing battle with an overseas operator. The problem is not how vicious the phone call is, but that she does it within ear shot of her daughter as if to drive the point home to Regan how worthless her father is. When, she finally does seek the aid of Father Damian Karras, we don’t feel that she believes in exorcism anymore than he does, but is desperate enough to accept the fact that it is possible and will take any and all measures to save her daughter.

Father Karras (Jason Miller) is a priest torn by conflict. He is ridden by overwhelming guilt for having abandoned his mother to enter the priesthood. He is torn spiritually by the confessions of those priests who seek his help as a psychiatrist, so much so that he now questions his own faith. When he states to the Bishop that `Regan’s case meets all the criteria,’ we know that even more than Chris, he doesn’t really believe in the power of Satan to inhabit a living being in the manner that it has taken over Regan. Yet, he will do what is required of him as a priest concerned about the health of a child.

Call it a horror film, call it a religious film, call it what you want. For me, The Exorcist is and will always remain a classic in every sense of the word.

2 Responses to “10 of the Scariest Movies Ever”

  1. You need to brush up on your ‘scary movie list’
    number one to 6… is anything but the top ten scary films…. they’re laughable.

  2. If you had to narrow the greatest horror movies down to 10….I think it would be an impossible task. One could include classics like “Frankenstein”, “Freaks”, “Dracula”, “King Kong”, “The Bride Of Frankenstein”, etc.

    John Carpenter made at least half a dozen films that would make a “greatest” list if it was long enough.

    I would put “The Shining” and “Deliverance” right alongside “The Exorcist” and “Psycho”. And a lesser-known classic, “Frailty”, which might have one of the best twist endings ever, but provides horror and suspense up to the very end, all without a drop of blood.

    If you want to talk about “J-Horror” films, the original of “The Ring” (both Japanese and American versions) is a heart-pounder all the way. I wouldn’t put “The Grudge” even in the same ballpark. Another Japanese film, “Dark Water”, is thoroughly creepy, as is “The Eye”.

    Oh, by the way, what about “The Silence Of The Lambs”?

    The problem we have, in trying to compile a top 10 list is that it is not longer possible to see “Dracula” through 1931 eyes, or “The Exorcist” through those of 1973. One could, perhaps, make a Top 10 list for each generation with reasonable results. But I just don’t think one can narrow the entire genre down to ten masterpieces.

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