Satan, Scarecrows, and Skin

Thirty Horror Films That Are Actually Scary

Comments

1
TCM, Poltergeist, The Omen and Hellraiser are all screening in Seattle this week. Maybe you should add that info to this article?
2
Good choices!

I'd also add:

Insidious
The Pact
The Descent
Rec
House of the Devil
Trick R Treat
3
@1 - YES! I will compile a list of the weeks' spookers, absolutely
4
@2 - There's definitely some categories that are sorely missing!

Like, perhaps "So you're afraid of CAVES, AND/OR CLAUSTROPHOBIA" -
"The Descent," "Primal" (from Australia), and "Poltergiest II" when creepiest old man, ever, Henry Kane, buries all the settlers inside the cave, while singing "God is in his holy temmmm'ple!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlDH8jaQZ…

5
Audition is the scariest horror movie I've ever seen. It's maybe the only one I ever watched mostly through my fingers.

I'd also add:
Wicker Man (the original - I like movies where the entire town is in on something)
Borderland (Satanic New Mexican drug cult torture film based on a true story)
REC just for the last ten minutes featuring that horrible thing.
6
In Hellraiser, it was Frank, the creepy S&M brother of Andrew Robinson's idyllic milquetoast dad, who ends up wearing his bro's skin. Julia begins the process anew in Hellbound: Hellraiser 2.
7
@5 - agreed on Audition! Director Takashi Miike = Not a Wuss

re: Wickerman: Another "the entire town is secretly in on it" was "Halloween III, Season of the Witch." This song gets stuck in my head for weeks, every year whenever I see trick or treaters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIHUv2ooG…
8
#7, I don't remember seeing that one, but that song is creepy. It reminds me of the soundtrack to Funhouse.

I picked up a book by Ryu Murakami this weekend and when I saw that he wrote Audition (which I didn't know was based on a book), I decided I was too afraid to read it.
9
Per @1 - here are some links to films and more, in Seattle in the next week or so...

Cinerama is hosting "Horror Week" with a killer lineup of films, plus a Q&A with Bruce Campbell before the screening of "Army of Darkness"
http://bit.ly/HpfkLb

The Grand Illusion has an A++ incredible lineup!
"Birth of the Living Dead," (George Romero!) "Hellraiser," a Horror Anthology Triple Feature Pizza Party, "Deep Red (Profondo Rosso)" (Dario Argento!!!) "The Visitor," and also, "Scarecrow Video presents The VCR That Dripped Blood 2: Undead Media"
http://www.grandillusioncinema.org/

Video-magic-makers Collide-O-Scope have a special Halloween film presentation:
http://www.thestranger.com/suggests/1793…

The EMP has a "Creature Feature Screening," and an "Are You Afraid of the Dark" marathon, among lots of other neat things:
http://www.empmuseum.org/calendar/events…

There's Hitchcock's "Psycho" at the Seattle Symphony:
http://www.seattlesymphony.org/symphony/…

And official Movie Time listings, of other screenings here:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Movie…

Ooh, and check out additional Halloween funtime events right here:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/hallo…
10
Jeff Goldblum as the devil in 'Mr. Frost' was spectacularly spooky.

But jeez not even a mention for the 'Chucky' movies? those scared the pants off me 20 years ago.

Also slightly weird and freaky is an Australian movie called 'Paperhouse'. Oh my gosh when the Dad shows up in the dream world with the xed out eyes I jumped a mile!
11
"The Car" scared the hell out of me when I was 10. In fact there could be a AUTOMOBILE category here, with "Christine" and "Duel" also included.
12
The only movie I genuinely got freaked out by as a kid was Pet Semetary.

Lived in the country, knew there were cats and dogs would had died on a nearby acreage and were buried there. Dark autumn night with a shed underneath my window for easy access to my bedroom...with tree branches to scratch against the window. Yup. No sleep for me!

I was quite aware how irrational I was being but still couldn't shake the fear.

As for my adult self, I thought Paranormal Activity was a pretty effective spooker...
13
Van Helsing was awesome vampires! Best-vampires-ever!
14
For Ghosty movies, Guillermo Del Toro's The Orphanage (El Orfonato) freaked me the F out.

Seemed like Conjuring borrowed from it.
15
@7 - ALWAYS. I can't believe how many people don't know it when I try to hum out my grief. The all Moog soundtrack, besides that particular song, kinda kicks ass though.
16
Robert DeNiro was fantastic and a natural as Lucifer in the movie Angel Heart.
17
Seems like the only horror films that still have the possibility of scaring me anymore are ones that avoid any supernatural explanations, since ghosts, zombies, vampires and the like aren't real, and never were. I just can't get worked up about what amounts spooky fairy tales when the actual world contains so much actual awfulness.

Possible exception: films with an unreliable narrator, who rather than being possessed/haunted/chased by horrors might just be crazy instead.
18
A thousand yeses on The Changeling! The seance scene and its aftermath make the movie worth checking out, and the extraordinary events are grounded by George C. Scott's gravitas. Love it.
19
@9 - Ya bonehead. You forget to include "Cabin in the Woods" "Lost Boys" and the Creepy Killer Clowns Fest at Central Cinema!
https://central-cinema.com/calendar/
20
The Night of the Scarecrow was one of the movies that scarred my sister and me.
Another TV movie that did me in as a child was This House Possessed. It's not so scary now, in fact the plot holes and the stupid are pretty glaring, but it was pretty horrifying to an impressionable little kid
21
The Serpent and the Rainbow. Both for the buried alive parts and the nail through the scrotum.
22
Prince of Darkness
Jacob's Ladder
23
Great list, with huge kudos to two of the more obscure titles--THE CHANGELING and THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW. Weird coincidence is that I watched DARK NIGHT--alone--literally last night. Left me scurrying for the light switch. Some other, obscure worthy views: THE INNKEEPERS, THE INNOCENTS, SESSION 9, and MY BLOODY VALENTINE (original, not remake).
24
@The Changeling - Empty wheelchair that seemed to be watching us. Empty wheelchair that rolled on its own. Empty wheelchair with a hidden agenda. Never been able to turn my back on an empty wheelchair since then.
25
yeahhhh, the changeling scared the bejesus out of me. i was just a lil kid when i saw it. i've thought of it with frequency throughout my life but have never gotten up the nerve to watch it again.

ghost children, dolls and masks are probably my top three freakout-inducers, generally speaking.

i'm such a chicken, i LOVE scary movies but i'm such an easy target. even stuff for kids can get me :)

that one with jodie foster - little girl who lived down the lane? that one freaked me out a LOT as a kid. just one of hundreds. i used to watch anything and everything scary but not that much anymore. i really want to see the conjuring.

the exorcist, the omen, the shining - the originals are all amazing.
26
there was a movie i started to watch, not sure the year, but my friend and i rented it probably 1985 or 86 - there was a little boy, he rolled his tennis ball into a dark closet or basement, i think he'd been hearing things in there - then the ball came rolling back all bloody a few moments later? i never finished that movie because my friend and i got too psyched out and shut it off at that point. any ideas what it was? i kinda want to revisit it, just to see why it sent me over the edge the way it did at the time.

i know that's probably happened in a zillion movies, but i'm optimistic that one of you will magically know which one i mean!
27
@26 - Was it "A Blade in the Dark"?
http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/2011/11/a-b…

Ugh. Why do people always have to go in the frickin' basement?!?

That should also be a category: so you're afraid of BASEMENTS, ATTICS, and CELLARS
28
YES!!!! THANK YOU!!!!
29
SO you're afraid of THE SUSCEPTIBILITY OF OTHERS:

Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer
30
@12 - I have to second that nod to Pet Semetary. So many things in that movie terrified me when I was a kid. The deranged sister, the achilles tendon, AWWWWW!!!!

31
Also gotta give a nod to Raising Cain.
32
@27 - The basement in the mental hospital in SESSION 9 is the more terrifying I've ever seen in a movie.
33
The two that stick out for me, probably because I was far too young to have been watching them, was the first Phantasm and Happy Birthday to Me (with the girl who played Mary on Little House on the Prairie.)

I remember my folks bringing me to Student Bodies at the drive-in once, around the time when Porky's came out.
34
Drive-in's are the SCARIEST BEST!!!

2003's French horror film "Haute Tension" should've be on this list somewhere (and it has a bonus sexy [creepy] masturbation scene)

I saw it at the Auburn Drive-In, when it was part of a SIFF/Seattle International Film Fest's 3-Movie Drive-In event, one year. "Haute Tension" was the last film, and I couldn't get out of the car to pee, until it it's credits were running. SO SCARY.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfPiyXR2_…
35
For me, The Blair Witch Project is a triple threat: rednecks, the woods at night, and abandoned houses. Thanks to the shakycam it didn't really faze me while I was in the theater, but after I left? And started thinking about that last scene? Oh hell no. I had the same Z-Rest camping mat as Josh's in the movie, and I couldn't even LOOK at that thing, not even in the daytime.
36
"Jaws" at the Kenmore drive-in. "Bug" featured fire starting cockroaches. OMG! One got in that lady's hair and set her head on fire! "Race with the Devil" made me uncomfortable with motorhomes and West Texas. Nice job Kelly OOO!
38
Awesome list, Kelly O! Is "Aliens" not included because it's more of an action film? Because I remember pretty much screaming my head off, along with the rest of the audience, when that film came out. Also, I didn't sleep a wink the night I saw the 1978 version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." The final shot freaked me the hell out.
39
'In the mouth of madness', 'The Thing' (original and remake),
Evil Dead (remake)
40
Dead Calm is a 1989 Australian thriller film starring Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane. It was based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Williams.
[Wikipedia]
42
Seriously!? No mention of Roman Polanski's "The Tenant," one of the creepiest horror movies ever. Seriously!
43
So you're afraid of CHAFFEURS: Burnt Offerings (with the late great Karen Black) scared the crap out of me.
44
Martyrs. Not only depraved, horrific and cruel but also genuinely sad. Nothing quite like it.
45
Not in the same league as many of those listed, but the 1970s made-for-TV version of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot' freaked me the fuck out when the boy was floating outside the bedroom window tapping on the glass....
46
Need to add the far right religious fanatics, Republican and Tea Parties. They scare the hell out of me