CATEGORIES HalloweenDo we like scary movies? Hell yeah! That's why we've picked the 31 best scary movies of all time. And it's why we're at it again, counting down the 31 most twisted and terrifying moments ever filmed by Hollywood.
We've got scenes that'll make you scream and shots that'll make you jump. Check out our countdown -- and you might just live to see another sunrise.
Do we like scary movies? Hell yeah! That's why we've picked the 31 best scary movies of all time. And it's why we're at it again, counting down the 31 most twisted and terrifying moments ever filmed by Hollywood.
We've got scenes that'll make you scream and shots that'll make you jump. Check out our countdown -- and you might just live to see another sunrise. -- By Ed Tahaney
31. 'The Sixth Sense' (1999)
Moment: Ghostly Mischa Barton under her bed
Why It Scares Us: These days, actor Haley Joel Osment would probably be excited to find Mischa Barton in her bedroom. But when she materializes in this 1999 ghost story, the sight of her sickly apparition hiding under the bed was the kind of movie moment that made every theater-goer jump. Or maybe even wretch. Writer-director M. Night Shymalan's spirited story about a kiddie shrink (Bruce Willis) and his young patient (Osment) who sees dead people received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Not too shabby for a scary movie.
30. 'When a Stranger Calls' (1979)
Moment: "We've traced the call ... it's coming from inside the house."
Why It Scares Us: Not exactly the words you want to hear if you're babysitting and a psychopath keeps calling the house like some twisted telemarketer. Carol Kane plays the terrorized high schooler living every babysitter's nightmare in an otherwise forgettable 1979 flick. Kane's character eventually makes it out of the house, only to have the creep come back to haunt her and her hubby in the sequel. Next time don't answer the phone. And skip the 2006 remake.
29. 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)
Moment: Final shot of something in the corner of the room.
Why It Scares Us: 'Blair Witch''s scariest scene was one in which you couldn't really make out what was happening. All anyone can see is student filmmaker Michael Williams silently standing in the corner of an abandoned basement (clawing his eyes out? who knows!), a shot that is quickly followed by a freaked-out Heather Donahue, who drops her handheld camera. The final shot of something in the corner of the room is disturbing because the fake documentary style -- improvised by cast and crew -- seems so real. Of course, all those weird rock piles and stick figures were pretty darn spooky, too.
28. 'The Wizard of Oz' (1939)
Moment: Flying monkeys!
Why It Scares Us: "Fly, fly, fly!" the Wicked Witch of the West cries into her crystal ball after ordering her head winged monkey Nikko (Pat Walshe) to send the troops on to capture Dorothy and her posse of misfits. Many of the actors playing what appeared to be hundreds of flying monkeys were not credited in the film and several were injured shooting this scene when the piano wires lifting them up snapped. Not that that makes us any less irrationally afraid of these nasty creatures.
27. 'Signs' (2002)
Moment: The aliens show up in home video footage shown on TV.
Why It Scares Us: Creepy crop circles have been appearing on the land surrounding a charming farmhouse inhabited by the Rev. Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and his good looking family. But how does the family learn who is behind the spookiness? By watching the news. Namely, Graham's brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) turns on the boob tube to discover that out-of-this-world lizard men have invaded a children's birthday party in South America. (Even scarier: the sight of Phoenix speaking Spanish to the television.) Cue the screams.
26. 'The Fly' (1986)
Moment: Scientist turns into Brundlefly (and loses body parts) in the bathroom.
Why It Scares Us: That'll teach you not to spray for bugs before you attempt to teleport yourself, you twit. The scene when scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is turning into Brundlefly, half man-half housefly, and starts losing body parts in the bathroom -- serious ick! The great stuff from director David Cronenberg helped the film snag an Oscar for Best Makeup. Bet it was that ear in a jar that won over the Academy.
25. 'The Birds' (1963)
Moment: A playground slowly fills up with menacing black birds as a teacher sings to her class.
Why It Scares Us: Why the heck are these birds on the attack? Is it global warming? Loss of habitat? We never find out, but the infamous schoolyard attack scene, in which a playground is slowly swarmed by menacing black birds as a teacher sings with her class should have us all worried about saving our environment. Granted, not all present were so awed -- main character Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) jadedly chain-smokes throughout the ordeal. Alfred Hitchcock pulled out all the stops in producing this end-of-the-world scenario of avian vengeance.
24. 'Jacob's Ladder' (1990)
Moment: Jacob sees scary faces on the back of a subway.
Why It Scares Us: Vietnam veteran and postal employee Jacob (Tim Robbins) misses his subway after working late and sees some very creepy figures in the last car of the train as it speeds away from the platform. Or did he? Was he imagining it? Were those really demons? Or a couple of Brooklynites heading home after a party? This scene is the first sign that this psychological thriller would take viewers on a roller coaster ride through unreality and back.
23. 'Nosferatu' (1922)
Moment: Count Orlok's entrance
Why It Scares Us: The vampire movie genre begins here. The bald, pointy-nosed, long-fingered Count Orlok makes his spooky, slow-motion entrance -- wearing not a cape, but tails. And the legendary vampire is ready to drain some vein (namely a hapless guy who can do little more than quake at the sight of him). Despite more famous names, like Lugosi, Lee, Langella, Oldman and even George Hamilton donning the fangs in later versions, the portrayal of the bat-like Count Orlok by Max Schreck remains the creepiest and most disturbing.
22. 'Misery' (1990)
Moment: Crazed fan hammers some ankle
Why It Scares Us: When fans attack! The hobble scene in Stephen King's twisted tale about nutty nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who rescues her favorite author (James Caan) from a car wreck, is gruesome. The unfortunate scribe endures a novelist's nightmare when his no. 1 reader blithely, and with good humor, takes a sledgehammer to his feet. Bates took home a Best Actress Oscar for her performance; Caan was allowed to keep his crutches.
21. 'Les Diaboliques' (1955)
Moment: The "corpse-brought-to-life" in the bathtub scene
Why It Scares Us: Christina Delasalle (played by Vera Clouzot) and Nicole Horner (Simone Signoret) have killed a cranky school headmaster played by Paul Meurisse. Or, at least they think they have. The scariest scene in this creaky French thriller is the scene in which the presumably dead Meurisse -- whose lifeless body had been dumped in the swimming pool -- is found alive and well in the bathtub. There was a remake (with Chazz Palminteri and Sharon Stone), but it didn't pack the wallop of the original.