Best Movies The Scariest Movies Ever Made  

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List Rules 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 best horror 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.

1
6,912 2,569
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Exorcist Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more

2
5,439 2,805
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

3
4,503 2,682
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more

4
4,459 2,385
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

5
5,043 2,860
The Ring is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Ring Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring ...more

6
4,588 2,298
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

7
3,873 2,290
Poltergeist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Poltergeist Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more

8
5,367 1,556
The Conjuring is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
carlybobarly added The Conjuring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were American paranormal investigators and ...more

9
2,926 2,216
Friday the 13th is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Friday the 13th Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are murdered one by one while attempting ...more

10
3,299 2,126
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
RobertPugliese added Psycho Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins Psycho is a 1960 Psychological thriller and horror film written by Joseph Stefano and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

11
3,720 2,414
Alien is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

12
3,902 1,559
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim ...more

13
4,196 1,785
Insidious is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Insidious Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson Insidious is a 2011 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan, written by Leigh Whannell, and starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey. It is the first installment ...more

14
4,073 1,821
It is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
ChadrickH added It Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

15
3,453 2,415
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Jaws Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

16
2,934 2,013
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

17
3,048 1,578
The Omen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Omen Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner The Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Spencer Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick ...more

18
2,994 1,280
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Amityville Horror James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film, directed by Stuart Rosenberg, based on Jay Anson's bestselling 1977 novel of the same name. It is the first film in the ...more

19
2,280 1,834
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Rosemary's Baby Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia ...more

20
2,669 1,743
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
28 Days Later Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris 28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The screenplay was written by Alex Garland. The film stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, ...more

21
2,570 1,985
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Carrie John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more

22
2,924 1,461
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
TheAntiochGhost added Pet Sematary Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby Pet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King, the film features Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, ...more

23
2,096 2,124
Scream is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
wiabux added Scream Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

24
2,945 1,793
Saw is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Saw Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more

25
2,420 1,292
The Evil Dead is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
e61121169 added The Evil Dead Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi The Evil Dead is a 1981 American horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi and executive produced by Raimi and Bruce Campbell, who also stars alongside Ellen Sandweiss and Betsy Baker. The ...more

26
2,725 2,169
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Sixth Sense Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear, a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and ...more

27
2,607 1,717
The Grudge is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
AnnyMouso added The Grudge Sarah Michelle Gellar, KaDee Strickland, Bill Pullman The Grudge is a 2004 American horror film and the first installment in The Grudge franchise. It is a remake of the Japanese film Ju-on: The Grudge. The film was released in North America on ...more

28
2,361 1,551
The Descent is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
liplip added The Descent Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid The Descent is a 2005 British adventure horror film directed by Neil Marshall. Six women enter an unmapped cave system, become trapped, and are hunted by flesh-eating subterranean humanoids.

29
2,148 1,456
Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Hellraiser Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based upon his own novella The Hellbound Heart. The film spawned a series of sequels.

30
2,132 1,558
Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and ...more

31
2,336 2,237
The Blair Witch Project is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Blair Witch Project Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American found footage horror film written, directed and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. The film was produced by the Haxan Films production ...more

32
1,384 1,378
Child's Play is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
e61121169 added Child's Play Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon Child's Play is a 1988 American horror film directed by Tom Holland, written by Tom Holland, Don Mancini, and John Lafia, and starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad ...more

33
2,578 1,772
Paranormal Activity is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Paranormal Activity Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Randy McDowell Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American supernatural horror film written, co-produced, photographed, edited, and directed by Oren Peli. The film centers on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who ...more

34
2,042 937
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
e61121169 added Sinister Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fred Thompson Sinister is a 2012 supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Ethan Hawke as fictional true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt who ...more

35
1,992 1,270
The Hills Have Eyes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Hills Have Eyes Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman, John Steadman The Hills Have Eyes is a 1977 American exploitation-horror film written and directed by Wes Craven and starring Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace. It is about a suburan family on a ...more

36
2,142 1,180
Seven is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
jennifer626 added Seven Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

37
1,980 1,445
Silent Hill is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Silent Hill Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden Silent Hill is a 2006 psychological horror film directed by Christophe Gans and written by Roger Avary, Christophe Gans and Nicolas Boukhrief. The film is an adaptation of Konami's survival ...more

38
1,725 1,272
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
e61121169 added Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

39
1,988 1,082
Jeepers Creepers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
cmandda2 added Jeepers Creepers Justin Long, Eileen Brennan, Victor Salva Jeepers Creepers is a 2001 American horror film written and directed by Victor Salva. The film takes its name from the 1938 song "Jeepers Creepers", which is featured in the film.

40
1,810 1,402
Hostel is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Hostel Eli Roth, Ashley Robbins, Jay Hernandez Hostel is a 2005 American horror film written, produced, and directed by Eli Roth and starring Jay Hernandez. It is the first installment of the Hostel film series, followed by Hostel: Part II, ...more

41
1,919 1,171
The Strangers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
wiabux added The Strangers Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Scott Speedman The Strangers is a 2008 American horror film written and directed by Bryan Bertino and starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a young couple who are terrorized by three masked assailants, who ...more

42
1,557 1,102
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
ting seyer added The Exorcism of Emily Rose Laura Linney, Jennifer Carpenter, Tom Wilkinson The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a 2005 American courtroom drama horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson. The film is loosely based on the story of ...more

43
2,025 1,306
Misery is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

44
1,637 1,288
Dawn of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Dawn of the Dead Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico Dawn of the Dead is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero's Living Dead series, but contains no characters or ...more

45
1,424 956
Evil Dead is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
willyboymcoy added Evil Dead Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas, Shiloh Fernandez Evil Dead is a 2013 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Fede Alvarez. It is the fourth installment of the Evil Dead franchise, serving as both a reboot, a remake and as a ...more

46
1,520 1,272
Halloween II is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Halloween II Jamie Lee Curtis, Dana Carvey, Kyle Richards Halloween II is a 1981 slasher horror film directed by Rick Rosenthal, and written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. It is the second installment in the Halloween series and is a ...more

47
1,604 1,213
The Others is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
jennifer626 added The Others Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for ...more

48
1,517 1,203
The Last House on the Left is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Last House on the Left Martin Kove, Steve Miner, Fred J. Lincoln The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish ...more

49
1,475 1,484
The Birds is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
The Birds Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California, which is, ...more

50
1,724 1,238
Children of the Corn is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Movies Ever Made
Children of the Corn Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong Children of the Corn is a 1984 supernatural horror film based upon the 1977 short story of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Fritz Kiersch, the film stars Peter Horton and Linda ...more