Graveyard Shift

The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated February 11, 2020 1.6k votes 130 voters 2.8k views 58 items

The greatest small town horror movies offer something special for people who like to be scared. In these settings, there are fewer places for characters to hide from whatever evil is lurking. Because the best locations are often remote, help isn't necessarily nearby, either. That makes the stories inherently frightening to watch. The peril for the characters seems all that more real. The scariest movies about small towns include classics such as The Amityville Horror and Halloween, but there are many others. So if you are into terrifying movies that take place in an isolated or seemingly picturesque setting, this list is for you.

Vote up your favorite small town horror films and help them get to the top of the list. If you don't see your favorite scary movie, add it and then check back later to see how other users are ranking your pick.

list ordered by
1
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Carpenter

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
2
Jeepers Creepers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Justin Long, Eileen Brennan, Victor Salva

Released: 2001

Directed by: 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.
3
The Texas Chainsaw Massa... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jessica Biel, R. Lee Ermey, Mike Vogel

Released: 2003

Directed by: Marcus Nispel

This film is a 2003 American horror film, and a remake of the 1974 horror film of the same name. It is a reboot of the franchise, marking its fifth installment, and was directed by Marcus Nispel ...more
4
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow

Released: 2019

Directed by: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer

Pet Sematary is a 2019 American supernatural horror film directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, based on the novel by Stephen King. When his toddler son is killed in an auto accident, ...more
5
Jeepers Creepers 2 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Justin Long, Nicki Aycox, Ray Wise

Released: 2003

Directed by: Victor Salva

Jeepers Creepers 2 is a 2003 American horror film written and directed by Victor Salva, produced by American Zoetrope, Capitol Films, Myriad Pictures and distributed by United Artists, a ...more
6
30 Days of Night is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Ben Foster

Released: 2007

Directed by: David Slade

For centuries, vampires have stayed in the dark, forced to hide each morning or else be destroyed by the burning power of the sun. But in Columbia Pictures' 30 Days of Night, based on the ...more
7
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fred Thompson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Scott Derrickson

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 writer Ellison Oswalt who ...more
8
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider

Released: 1975

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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
9
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

Released: 1984

Directed by: Joe Dante

Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more
10
It is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
It Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor

Released: 2017

Directed by: Andy Muschietti

It (also known as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King. In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied ...more
11
John Carpenter's The Fog... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

Released: 1980

Directed by: John Carpenter

The Fog is a 1980 American horror film directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and composed the music for the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, ...more
12
Halloween III: Season of... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Dan O'Herlihy

Released: 1982

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 American science fiction horror film. The film is the third installment in the Halloween franchise and notable for being the only entry in the series ...more
13
Lake Placid is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Betty White, Mariska Hargitay, Bridget Fonda

Released: 1999

Directed by: Steve Miner

Lake Placid is a 1999 American monster horror comedy film. The film was written by David E. Kelley and directed by Steve Miner, starring Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan ...more
14
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

Released: 1976

Directed by: Brian De Palma

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
15
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Phantoms Ben Affleck, Rose McGowan, Liev Schreiber

Released: 1998

Directed by: Joe Chappelle

Phantoms is a 1998 American-Japanese science fiction horror film adapted from Dean Koontz's 1983 novel of the same name. Directed by Joe Chappelle with a screenplay by Koontz, the film stars ...more
16
Crawl is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson

Released: 2019

Directed by: Alexandre Aja

Crawl is a 2019 American horror film directed by Alexandre Aja. A young woman (Kaya Scodelario) becomes trapped in a flooding house trying to save her father (Barry Pepper) during a Category 5 ...more
17
Slither is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Elizabeth Banks, Jenna Fischer, Rob Zombie

Released: 2006

Directed by: James Gunn

Slither is a 2006 American science fiction-comedy horror film written and directed by James Gunn in his directorial debut, and starring Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, and Michael ...more
18
The Faculty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Salma Hayek, Usher, Famke Janssen

Released: 1998

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

The Faculty is a 1998 science fiction horror film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The film stars Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Shawn Hatosy, Jordana Brewster, Clea ...more
19
The Texas Chain Saw Mass... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

This movie 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 Siedow and Gunnar ...more
20
The Gift is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Katie Holmes, Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves

Released: 2000

Directed by: Sam Raimi

The Gift is a 2000 American supernatural thriller film directed by Sam Raimi, written by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson and based on the alleged psychic experiences of Thornton's mother. ...more
21
The Mist is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden

Released: 2007

Directed by: Frank Darabont

The Mist is a 2007 American science fiction horror film based on the 1980 novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont, who had previously ...more
22
Children of the Corn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R. G. Armstrong

Released: 1984

Directed by: Fritz Kiersch

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
23
Pumpkinhead is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower

Released: 1989

Directed by: Stan Winston

Pumpkinhead is a 1988 American supernatural horror film. It was the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston. While Pumpkinhead received mixed reviews, the film has built up a ...more
24
It Follows is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Linda Boston

Released: 2014

Directed by: David Robert Mitchell

It Follows is a 2014 supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake ...more
25
The Town That Dreaded Su... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Dawn Wells, Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine

Released: 1976

Directed by: Charles B. Pierce

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a 1976 American horror film by producer and director Charles B. Pierce who also co-stars as a bumbling police officer named A.C. Benson, also known as ...more