What Is The Scariest Movie Ever Made?

What Is The Scariest Movie Ever Made?
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Like most things in life, 90 percent of horror films are rubbish. From hammy acting to fake looking effects, there’s a lot that can go wrong. But every few years, a pitch-black reel of grueling horror will spring from the projector to disturb and terrify everyone in the theatre. (And we’re not just talking about Rob Schneider comedies.)

The first horror movie that truly scared me was probably the original Texas Chain-Saw Massacre. The primitive filmmaking chops of rookie director Tobe Hooper somehow made everything more authentic and primal. It felt like a genuine snuff film and the climactic dinner table scene scuttled indelibly into my impressionable 14-year old mind.

Since the mid-90s, most Hollywood horror films have been slick, manufactured stepping-stones made by advertising and music video directors looking to break into movies. By and large they’re pretty forgettable, but a few still manage to raise a chill. If you’re looking for a fright tonight, recent examples worth checking out include The Conjuring, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, The Devil’s Rejects, Martyrs, REC (Spanish version) and the latest Evil Dead remake.

What do you think is the most (intentionally) terrifying movie ever made? To add an element of Lifehackery to proceedings, we also want to hear about how you enhance the mood — do you watch in total darkness? Do you crank up the volume to maximize jump-scares? Share your ideas and nominations in the comments section below. Also feel free to nominate your favourite scary video games, comics or books. (And happy Halloween!)


  • I totally agree with your list there Chris. Three movies that I think are worth adding as well are The Strangers (with Liv Tyler), The Haunting in Connecticut (don’t waste the time watching the sequel) and Sinister.

    • I absolutely agree. the music in sinister and the strangers is what makes it even more terrifying. it’s not gruesome, but it’s the actual thought of the movie that makes it horrifying.

  • I was about 10 years old when I watched Stephen King’s It at a friend’s house. I spent the next few weeks having such horrifying nightmares about clowns that I barely slept and couldn’t even close my eyes without seeing ‘him’.

    I have no idea if the movie is actually as scary as I remember it, I’m not game to watch it again :(.

    • I was also terrified by “It” as a kid. I found it on DVD about a year ago though and rewatched it, and it was nowhere near as scary as I remember, maybe because the special effects are a bit dated now and I can’t help but see Pennywise as just Tim Curry in makeup.

      • That is so crazy because I watch the same movie as you did, I was probably about 9or 10 maybe 8. That movie scared me so much! I rented it when I was about 23, 24 and re-watched it and thought ughhhh this is the lamest movie I have ever seen LOL!!!

    • I would have been about the same age, maybe a little younger. I couldn’t look at a drain the same way for a very long time.

  • Watch them by yourself (only person in the house) and late at night. Makes a huge difference! Preferably “serious” scary movies, not comedy-horror.

  • As a kid it was Star Crystal. For a movie from the 80’s rated PG at the time, I couldn’t even get halfway through until my adult years (Was 8 – 10 when I 1st saw it).
    Was basically about an alien that massacred most of the crew…gruesomely. To then later put it down to a communication issue. And then have the last two survivors happily help the alien get home. This part I missed until much later in life. Only to go “WTF did I just watch?” after it.

  • Even though rated mild now, for its time, I was scared to shits by The Thing, and also Poltergeist.
    Mirrors with Kiefer Sutherland is a scary one to watch, and 13 ghosts.

    • LOL it’s too manufactured to take seriously.

      You go ‘holy crap teenagers are scary’ then you remember that the majority of teenagers (even the ones having sex and riding skateboards) are more into Pokemon than anything else.


      Pokemon is still massive!

      Sure you have scary teenagers but they are just completely and utterly rare. We just grow older and start to view teenagers as a confusing ‘other’.

      Harmony Korine specialises in scandalous false reality.

  • Jaws
    The Exorcist
    American Werewolf in London
    World War Z has some good scares in it as well

  • The Descent, Last horror movie i watched that gave me a fright, and the fact that it doesn’t end all happy laa laa makes it even better

  • Magic in the Mirror. The scenes where the kids get turned into tea creeped the crap out of me when I watched the film as a kid.

  • Scariest game for me so far has been Penumba: Black Plague. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was scary, in that it left me with an uneasy feeling long after I’d finished playing (not sure about A Machine for Pigs, as I haven’t finished it yet), but Penumba: Black Plague made my legs freeze up in panic while being chased by whatever the hell those things were. And when one spoke to me, I lost it and had to pause for a while.

  • Salems Lot did me a lot of damage over the years when I saw it as a kid. Especially when the brother appeared at the window. Also Return Of The Living Dead “More Brains” the ending was brutal.

  • The Exorcist directors cut with particular reference to the “crab crawling ” sequence down the stairs. No CGI !!

  • Idiocracy. And I am not even joking, that is the most terrifying film I’ve ever seen. Because you just know that’s exactly where the world is heading…

  • As a kid the film Communion scared me and influenced my nightmare themes and imagination in the dark for years.

    I really enjoy horror films (and I don’t mean that in a hurr hurr blood and gore sense) but I wouldn’t say many are very ‘scary’. In terms of pure scares I have to say World War Z while not overall a particularly scary film, had some of the most frightening moments in a film I’ve seen in a while.

    The Conjuring was quite tense and scary.

    Audition is probably one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen.

  • nobody mentioned the Blair Witch Project? I know it got a lot of mixed reviews especially after the initial hubub died down, but at the time I remember a lot of my friends confirming with me – scary as!

    • Agreed. I think Blair Witch’s reputation has suffered because it was overhyped at the time of release and has since been parodied by numerous comedies.

  • The scariest movie ever for me was the original “Evil Dead”, nothing else has ever really scared me.
    Intellectually I acknowledge the Evil Dead is more of a comedy horror but I watched it when I was 7 while waiting to to be picked up to go spend the weekend in an old wooden hut in the mountains.
    This caused about 15 years worth of nightmares.
    I tried watching it again recently and I reverted to a terrified 7 year old immediately. This movie freaks the sh&t out of me.

    • Actually, I’d argue that the original Evil Dead contains very little intentional comedy – the slapstick and Bruce Campbell mugging only appears in the sequels.

  • I watched the Conjuring after having scary paranormal experiences (13 yrs old by the way) I’m still yet to find a movie that can actually scare me, not little jump scares that’ll have me scared for a second or two, maybe one that’ll actually burn fear into my mind for a few days or something? Help me out a bit here, I know the Conjuring and the Haunting in Connecticut are based on true events but I can always tell where the fakery comes in. I really want a good horror for once? Thanks 🙂

  • idk. most of the movies mentioned where not scary at all. IT is pretty damn freaky but thats because i hate clowns. sinister was a pretty good one, but so was the conjuring. insidious one and two where also very good. and so was mirrors. but none of them really got under my skin. well there is a part in insidious two that freaked me out for a while. lol but i really need to find a movie that truly scares the fuck out of me. like the game outlast. that shits scary as fuck.

  • I believe the scariest movie I’ve ever watched and will not watch again is fire in the sky, it’s a sci-fi about an alien who apparently kidnapped a man or some men in the white mountains of Arizona. I grew up in southern Arizona. It was and to this day still the scariest movie I believe that was ever made. Peace and love y’all

  • Scary as hell movi
    1 Silent Hill
    2 The Realm
    3 Wait untill dark
    4 Blind Terror
    5The Strangers
    6 Jaws
    7Rosemarys Baby
    8Wrong Turn
    9 In the dead of night
    10 The Devils Triangle(Bermuda)
    11 Waxmuseum
    12 House of Wax
    13 Texas Chainsaw
    14The Omen
    15 Paranormal activity
    16 Cujo
    17The Ring
    18Blair Witch Project
    19Friday the 13th
    20Did you check the children yet?

  • I love true stories. The scariest is truth as in “THE EXORCIST AND TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE are true stories!!! Truth is alot scarier than fiction.

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