The Scariest Movies Of All Time

Over 29.2K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Scariest Movies Of All Time
Voting Rules
Vote up the most terrifying films you've ever seen.
Latest additions: No One Will Save You, El Conde, The Nun II
Most divisive: The Blair Witch Project

Hell hath no fury a film looking to terrify its audience. The scariest movies of all time encompass some of the most well-crafted, brilliantly executed, and downright dreadful films to ever grace the silver screen. These terrifying films elevate cinema into something almost unrecognizable. Yes, these are simultaneously some of the best films of all time with some of the greatest actors and best directors at the helm, however, these films stay with audiences more than any other before them for one simple reason, they terrify them. The definition of "scary" isn't restricted or limited to a specific type of film, for example, The Exorcist, a supernatural horror movie could be just as scary as serial killer movies like Halloween. The same goes for psychological thrillers like Stanley Kubrick's The Shining or crime dramas like Se7en There are also horror movies from all over the world on this list like 28 Days Later. Terror takes many shapes, but it always achieves the same goal.

When the public closes their eyes, hears a bump in the night, or sees a shadowy figure in the hall, suddenly all the horrifying and vile images they were just subject to come rushing back and leave them stricken in fear. The best scary movies of all time do this effortlessly and will leave those who dare to watch them in terror for the rest of their lives. 

Be sure to vote up the scariest movie of all time, and whenever the mood arises for a scare, you know exactly where to come to get your next fix of fright!

Ranked by
  • The Exorcist
    14,347 votes
    William Peter Blatty

    In a heart-stopping tale of demonic possession, a young girl's body and soul become the battleground for a war between good and evil. With spine-chilling performances and jaw-dropping special effects, this classic horror flick has left audiences sleeping with the lights on since its release.

  • The Conjuring
    11,159 votes
    Tony DeRosa-Grund, Peter Safran, Rob Cowan

    This bone-chilling story follows a pair of paranormal investigators as they attempt to help a family terrorized by an insidious force in their secluded farmhouse. A horrifying blend of supernatural suspense and hair-raising scares makes it a must-watch for any horror fan.

  • Insidious
    9,244 votes
    Jason Blum, Steven Schneider, Oren Peli

    This spine-tingling film follows a couple as they uncover a terrifying truth about their comatose son – that he’s become a conduit for malevolent spirits. The suspenseful story and eerie atmosphere have had audiences jumping out of their seats since the movie's release.

  • Sinister
    5,233 votes
    Jason Blum, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones

    A pulse-pounding tale of a true-crime writer who stumbles upon a series of snuff films in his new home, only to find himself entangled in the supernatural web of a pagan deity. As paranoia and terror permeate every scene, this haunting film will leave viewers questioning their own sense of reality.

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
    8,747 votes

    With unfathomable brutality and a relentless killer, this legendary slasher film still manages to terrify audiences to their core. The chilling atmosphere and intense performances make it an essential watch for any horror aficionado.

  • The Amityville Horror
    6,739 votes
    Ronald Saland, Elliot Geisinger

    In this harrowing tale based on a true story, a family discovers their dream home is tainted by a deadly history and sinister forces. As fear saturates each moment, viewers are left white-knuckled, wondering what horrors wait around every corner.