The Scariest Movies Ever Made

242k votes 12k voters 476k views 521 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only major releases - no made-for-TV or direct-to-video. May include movies outside the straight horror genre.

These are the all-time scariest movies ever made. Many of these movies have become part of the pop culture lexicon due to their popularity. This list features movies from across the horror spectrum. The definition of "scary" isn't restricted or limited to a specific type of horror movie For example, The Exorcist, a supernatural horror movie would be on here similarly to serial killer movies like Halloween, The Amityville Horror and Saw. The same goes for psychological thrillers like Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, which is one of the scariest movies of all time.

Some of these films are considered the best of all time, while others feature some of the greatest actors and best directors of all time.

Vote for the movies you think deserve the highest ranking, vote down any you don't like and be sure to rerank this list anyway you like - your reranks will affect the final tally.
  • 79 ReRanks
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    • Region
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  1. 1
    + 4,238
    - 1,276


    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

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  2. 2
    + 3,268
    - 1,443


    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  3. 3
    + 2,720
    - 1,425

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

    ;
  4. 4
    + 3,189
    - 1,526


    Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox

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  5. 5
    + 2,676
    - 1,275


    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

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  6. 6
    + 2,727
    - 1,199


    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

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  7. 7
    + 2,346
    - 1,222


    Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,778
    - 1,203

    often listed
    Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

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  9. 9
    + 2,233
    - 1,357


    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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  10. 10
    + 2,067
    - 1,155

    often listed & added by RobertPugliese
    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

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  11. 11
    + 2,940
    - 917

    ranked low on reranks & added by carlybobarly
    Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King

    ;
  12. 12
    + 2,287
    - 955

    ranked low on reranks & added by ChadrickH
    Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter

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  13. 13
    + 2,165
    - 1,379

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider

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  14. 14
    + 2,278
    - 944


    Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

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  15. 15
    + 2,429
    - 1,125


    Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,870
    - 934


    Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner

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  17. 17
    + 1,802
    - 1,243

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,610
    - 1,177


    John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,366
    - 1,098

    often listed
    Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,704
    - 886

    ranked low on reranks & added by TheAntiochGhost
    Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1,745
    - 759


    James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

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  22. 22
    + 1,600
    - 1,026


    Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,261
    - 1,185

    often listed & added by wiabux
    Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,747
    - 1,339


    Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,795
    - 1,124


    Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1,641
    - 1,056

    added by AnnyMouso
    Sarah Michelle Gellar, KaDee Strickland, Bill Pullman

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,434
    - 711

    ranked low on reranks & added by e61121169
    Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

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  28. 28
    + 1,381
    - 1,006


    George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman

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  29. 29
    + 1,286
    - 928


    Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,401
    - 1,361

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams

    ;
  31. 31
    + 720
    - 647

    often listed & added by e61121169
    Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,014
    - 705

    added by e61121169
    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1,223
    - 624

    added by jennifer626
    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,557
    - 1,082


    Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Randy McDowell

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,395
    - 986


    Rosario Dawson, Spencer Grammer, Vanessa Ferlito

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,193
    - 789


    Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman, John Steadman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1,231
    - 887


    Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1,068
    - 579

    added by cmandda2
    Justin Long, Eileen Brennan, Victor Salva

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1,266
    - 782


    Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,084
    - 803


    Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,103
    - 889


    Eli Roth, Ashley Robbins, Jay Hernandez

    ;
  42. 42
    + 968
    - 689

    added by jennifer626
    Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

    ;
  43. 43
    + 943
    - 794


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1,077
    - 767

    added by wiabux
    Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Scott Speedman

    ;
  45. 45
    + 838
    - 600

    added by ting seyer
    Laura Linney, Jennifer Carpenter, Tom Wilkinson

    ;
  46. 46
    + 968
    - 507

    ranked low on reranks & added by e61121169
    Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fred Thompson

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,096
    - 795


    Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

    ;
  48. 48
    + 789
    - 511

    added by willyboymcoy
    Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas, Shiloh Fernandez

    ;
  49. 49
    + 964
    - 797


    Martin Kove, Steve Miner, Fred J. Lincoln

    ;
  50. 50
    + 967
    - 977


    Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette

    ;
522 +

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