Had enough of torture porn? Sick of endless gory deaths that don't evoke any feeling or fear? Long for the days of real horror, when audiences were genuinely frightened by what was happening on screen instead of salivating for the next kill? Great! In honor of Halloween, Moviefone wants to help you find some of the scariest movies that have held up over the years. So, make some popcorn and hold that bowl tight -- if you're watching these flicks, it's liable to fly everywhere.
Gallery | 13 Actually Scary Movies
Obviously, this iconic horror film has some of the most scary scenes in cinematic history. Watching a little girl projectile vomit, then spin her head a full 360 degrees while climbing the walls in a spider-like fashion may not turn your stomach, but it sure is creepy. Especially when she starts talking with a man's voice.
Casting an ice-blonde little girl as a protagonist (what is it about little girls in horror?) is your first step towards scary, and then having a bunch of scenes where an unseen poltergeist piles up chairs in your kitchen or makes your face melt off in the mirror is another good move. Having a portal to hell in said child's closet is the ultimate clincher, though.
'The Amityville Horror' (1980)
Ever wonder where that fear of going down into the basement alone came from? Yeah, it was probably from this movie. Sure, real estate don't come cheap, but we think "the last family living here was was murdered" trumps "affordable and spacious." Especially when strange things start happening to you, your wife, and your kids. When the priest sent to exorcise your home falls gravely ill after his attempt, it might be best to move out.
Stephen King is the master of horror, it's true. (Images of spina bifida-stricken Zelda in this movie still haunt us to this day.) When a couple's young son dies, they bury him in the cemetery up the street, where it's said that the dead buried there come back to life. Their son sure does, but not in the way his parents expected him to.
'28 Days Later'
To hell with those slow-paced zombies! Give us the lightning-fast ones any day of the week. This movie is so jam-packed with suspense and hair-raising moments it stands to be one of the scariest movies of all time. The best part? It's a great film too.
Far from being scary in the generic sense, this film focuses on a group of female cave explorers who become trapped underground and end up being persued by a strange group of predators. If you're claustrophobic or afraid of being trapped, then this movie will scare you silly.
'The Thing' (1982)
Not enough movies are based in Antarctica -- what better scenery than a frozen, hostile wasteland where no one can hear you, see you or find you? In this classic, a shape-shifting creature is dug up by an archaeological team; the monster proceeds to feed on them, taking the form of whoever it kills. Genuinely scary. Unlike the remake.
Again, Stephen King knows what he's doing. (Though he gets a major assist here from Stanley Kubrick.) Creepy and eeriely silent a lot of the time, 'The Shining' features some genuinely terrifying scenes, including the -- what else? -- twin girls standing hand-in-hand in the creepy hotel hallway.
'The Blair Witch Project'
Many people might say this movie is boring, but there are a lot of spine-tingling scenes in this indie phenomenon. The creepy structures in the forest? The children's laughter at night outside the tent? The inexplicable ending? They're all pretty scary in our book.
'The Omen' (1976)
Is anything scarier than finding out your child is the literal Antichrist? The answer is no.
This movie did for VCRs "snow" what 'Jaws' did for sharks. Once people watch a certain video, they end up dead. A tad outdated now (thanks, Blu-ray), but the concept is still freaky. Somehow even knowing the characters are going to die doesn't take away from the suspense.
This ghost story doesn't just scare you with the usual routine of footsteps in the attic; angry spirits hellbent on playing out their vengeful curse hide under the covers of a young woman's bed -- while she is still sleeping in it. The long-running series has had multiple installments in both Japan and America, but 'Ju-on,' the first film to premiere in Japanese theaters, still packs the biggest punch. It's impossible to not get chills down your spine when you hear the eerie death rattle of the cursed spirit.
Takashi Miike's intense film can't really be classified with easy labels like "slasher" or "thriller." It's profoundly unsettling on a much deeper level. The story of a lonely man who holds a fake audition for aspiring actresses, when he's really just trying to score a date takes a dark, dark turn when the young woman he thought was his dream girl turns out to be a nightmare. The last 20 minutes of the movie (involving some of the most graphic torture ever filmed) are not for the faint of heart. You've been warned.
[With files from Eric Larnick; Images Courtesy of Warner Bros., MGM and Paramount Pictures]
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