Watchworthy

We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results 

Bailey Benningfield
Updated June 2, 2019 60.3k votes 6.7k voters 76.3k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the horror movies so scary, you can't watch them to this day.

Even if you're a horror movie fanatic, some films are difficult to watch. Several of the best horror movies feature scenes terrifying enough to stick with us forever, creating irrational, yet wholly understandable fears. To discover the worst of the worst, Graveyard Shift asked horror movie junkies which flicks are a little too frightening to handle.

Whether the movie scared you as a child, or you simply can't deal with creepy dolls, here are some of the most fascinating and hilarious reasons why people can't watch particular films.

Vote up the horror films so scary you can't make it to the end.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

Released: 1973

Directed by: William Friedkin

"The Exorcist. I watched it way too young - around 12, I think. I genuinely turned into a freak who only slept in the day, as I was too terrified to sleep at night! Sleep therapy and a counselor sorted me out, but I still to this day feel physically sick if I see a picture of her face."

More The Exorcist 

The Story Of Roland Doe Inspired The Exorcist – But It's Way More Terrifying Than The Movie #16 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Insidious is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson

Released: 2010

Directed by: James Wan

"The Insidious movies actually scare me. And I'm a hard one to scare with movies."

More Insidious 

#110 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #20 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #1 of 15 Non R-Rated Horror Movies As Scary As Anything

3
The Grudge is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Sarah Michelle Gellar, KaDee Strickland, Bill Pullman

Released: 2004

Directed by: Takashi Shimizu

"Laugh all you want, but The Grudge movies scarred me for life. I was forced to watch the first one when I was... about 8 if memory serves me right, and I still have nightmares to this day. Can't hear that noise without freaking out, and [I can't] look into a closet if it has an attic space."

More The Grudge 

#65 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #4 of 15 Non R-Rated Horror Movies As Scary As Anything #42 of 115 The Best Horror Movie Franchises

4
The Ring is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox

Released: 2002

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

"The Ring traumatized me so badly when I saw it in theaters almost 16 years ago, and I haven't been able to watch it since."

More The Ring 

15 Things You Didn't Know About the American Version of The Ring #19 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #1,170 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

5
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby

Released: 1989

Directed by: Mary Lambert

"Pet Sematary. The Gage scene freaked me out after having kids because it's every parent's worst nightmare. Plus, I live on a road where logging trucks go by constantly."

More Pet Sematary 

Real Burial Grounds And Locations That Could Have Inspired 'Pet Sematary' #186 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #155 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

6
The Fourth Kind is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton

Released: 2009

Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi

"Anything to do with aliens sh*ts me up. It's just how it's made to look like a true story, with 'parallels' to 'original footage;' while part of my brain knows it's not real, part of it finds the whole thing far too real, and far too terrifying! Milla Jovovich should stick to zombie films... I love a good zombie film!"

More The Fourth Kind 

#407 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #104 of 181 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #14 of 86 The Most Horrifying Found-Footage Movies

7
The Hills Have Eyes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman, John Steadman

Released: 1977

Directed by: Wes Craven

"Don't get me wrong - I'm a horror movie fanatic. I'm not scared of horror movies, but I cannot watch The Hills Have Eyes. It's just too much."

More The Hills Have Eyes 

#124 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #212 of 554 The Best '70s Movies #1 of 20 20 Horrifying Crime Movies Whose True Stories Are Way More Terrifying

8
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

"When I was 16, I was introduced to Freddy Krueger. I spent the next three nights in my parents' room. Then I made myself watch it until I wasn't scared."

More A Nightmare on Elm Street 

Ranking Freddy Krueger's Best Kills from A Nightmare on Elm Street #197 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #186 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

9
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris

Released: 2002

Directed by: Danny Boyle

"28 Days Later got my heart racing. That wasn't the first movie to have running zombies, but it was the first movie I saw on the big screen that had them."

More 28 Days Later 

The Best '28 Days Later' Quotes Will Bring You Out Of A Coma #68 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #238 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

10
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Carpenter

"I'm sorry, but Michael Meyers gives me so much anxiety I feel nauseous. I have a serious fear of being chased, and the way Michael stalks and chases is overkill. If I watch a Halloween movie, I ALWAYS have the same dream where he chases me 'til he stabs me, and I wake up crying. How lame, but so scary."

More Halloween 

Stories About Jamie Lee Curtis From Behind The Scenes Of The Original ‘Halloween’  #166 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #4 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

11
Annabelle is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Alfre Woodard, Annabelle Wallis, Brian Howe

Released: 2014

Directed by: John R. Leonetti

"I watched Annabelle when I was pregnant. That scared the crap out of me. Not the demonic doll part, the very beginning when the psycho couple sneak into the main character's [place] and proceed to stab the woman in her pregnant belly. That messed me up for the rest of my pregnancy."

More Annabelle 

#116 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #74 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies #11 of 67 The Best Demonic Possession Movies

12
The Blair Witch Project ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams

Released: 1999

Directed by: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

"Some of y'all might find this funny, but The Blair Witch Project scared me the first time I watched! Anything unseen in some creepy woods scares me! Once I went camping, and some people in the area who were camping as well yelled at us for being loud at 8 pm. I snuck [up to their campsite] in the middle of the night... put all kinds of rocks and sticks cobbled together around them, Blair Witch-style. Always wondered what they thought when they woke up in the morning."

More The Blair Witch Project 

Decoding The Backstory Of 'The Blair Witch Project' #140 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #66 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

13
Darkness Falls is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Emily Browning, Emma Caulfield, Sullivan Stapleton

Released: 2003

Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman

"I was flipping through channels and came across [Darkness Falls]. I remember... this little boy with covers over his head, and when he took them down, there was this black, shadowy woman hovering above them. I immediately turned the channel saying, 'Nope nope nope.'"

More Darkness Falls 

#188 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #236 of 487 The Scariest Movies Ever Made #24 of 48 Horror Movies with the Most Satisfying Endings

14
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider

Released: 1975

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

"Mine isn't much of a horror film, but Jaws. To this day, I cannot watch anything with sharks in it. And my family lives for Shark Week. Can't handle it. Turns my stomach and freaks me out!"

More Jaws 

Surprising Facts, Small Details, And Trivia Most People Don't Know About 'Jaws' #16 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
David Soul, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres

Released: 1979

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

"The kid outside the window. Then there's the same thing in the corner in the dark, and it opens its eyes. Creepy."

More Salem's Lot 

#60 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #111 of 554 The Best '70s Movies #18 of 49 The Best Movies Based on Stephen King Books

16
Suspiria is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Udo Kier

Released: 1977

Directed by: Dario Argento

"It's really weird, and I'm not sure why, but to this day there's something about Suspiria that freaks me out to no end. The Exorcism of Emily Rose used to scare the sh*t out of me as well."

More Suspiria 

#167 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #108 of 554 The Best '70s Movies #316 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

17
Mother is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Kim Min-jung

Released: 2009

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

"I don't even know if it's a horror movie - it just really got to me. Had to turn it off, which was weird. I freaking love scary movies!"

More Mother 

#9 of 129 The Best Korean Movies Of All Time #247 of 334 The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History #13 of 29 The Best Foreign Movies Streaming on Hulu

18
Dolls is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Guy Rolfe, Stephen Lee, Hilary Mason

Released: 1987

Directed by: Stuart Gordon

"When I was about 18, I watched Dolls the night before my trip to visit my grandma. She said she didn't have room at her place, so I had to stay with my aunt and uncle. They showed me my room, and I instantly freaked out - my auntie collected antique dolls! I stayed at my grandma's home and slept on a cot."

19
The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane

Released: 2000

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

"I still can't sit through the storm sequence in The Perfect Storm. It absolutely terrifies me. Ocean disaster movies - can't do them, except Poseidon. Can't bring myself to watch The Finest Hours either."

More The Perfect Storm 

Tragic Facts About The Perfect Storm, The Shipwreck Story No One Lived To Tell #426 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #13 of 406 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

20
Kill Bill Volume 2 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list We Asked Which Horror Movies Are So Scary You Still Can't Watch Them, And Here Are The Results
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Samuel L. Jackson

Released: 2004

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

"That scene in Kill Bill: Volume 2 where Kiddo plucks out the woman's eye. The acting out of flailing and screaming in agony made my skin crawl and stuck in my mind. Wasn't scary, but it disturbed me enough not to want to watch that scene again."

More Kill Bill Volume 2 

#234 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #201 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #203 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies