Graveyard Shift

The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies  

Ranker Film
1.3k votes 113 voters 2.2k views 57 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
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
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
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
3
Jeepers Creepers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
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.
4
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
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 writer Ellison Oswalt who ...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
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
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jessica Biel, R. Lee Ermey, Mike Vogel
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
7
30 Days of Night is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Ben Foster
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
8
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
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
9
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates
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
John Carpenter's The Fog is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling
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
11
It is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
It Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor
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
12
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Phantoms Ben Affleck, Rose McGowan, Liev Schreiber
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
13
Halloween III: Season of the W... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Dan O'Herlihy
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
14
The Gift is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Katie Holmes, Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves
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
15
Crawl is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson
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
16
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
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
17
Lake Placid is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Betty White, Mariska Hargitay, Bridget Fonda
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
18
The Hole in the Ground is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Seána Kerslake, James Cosmo, Kati Outinen
The Hole in the Ground is a 2019 Irish horror thriller film, directed by Lee Cronin. An unpleasant encounter with a mysterious neighbor throws Sarah O'Neill (Seána Kerslake) into an ...more
19
Polaroid is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Kathryn Prescott, Tyler Young, Samantha Logan
Polaroid is a 2019 American horror film directed by Lars Klevberg, based on his 2014 short film of the same name. High schooler Bird Fitcher (Kathryn Prescott) stumbles upon a vintage Polaroid ...more
20
Slither is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Elizabeth Banks, Jenna Fischer, Rob Zombie
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
21
The Faculty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Salma Hayek, Usher, Famke Janssen
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
22
Rattlesnake is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell
Rattlesnake is a 2019 American crime drama mystery film directed by Zak Hilditch. A single mother (Carmen Ejogo) accepts the help from a strange woman after her daughter is bitten by a
23
Sssssss is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Strother Martin, Dirk Benedict, Heather Menzies
Sssssss is a 1973 horror film starring Strother Martin, Dirk Benedict, and Heather Menzies. It was directed by Bernard L. Kowalski and written by Hal Dresner and Daniel C. Striepeke, the latter ...more
24
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal
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
25
The Mist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Small Town Horror Movies
Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
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