37 Scariest Horror Movies

One of the most popular among cinephiles is deservedly considered a horror film – the best films in the horror genre can be found in the list below.

The viewer will plunge into a world of mysticism and scary moments, learn the intricacies of demonology and rituals with sacrifice, the worship of cruel spirits and ghosts. These films freeze the blood for real and make you feel special sensations.

Get Out

Get Out
  • IMDB Rating – 7.7
  • Genre: horror, thriller, detective
  • Produced by: USA, Japan / 2017
  • Budget: $4 500 000
  • World Box Office grosses: $255,407,969
  • Directed by Jordan Peele
  • Starring: Lil Rell, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield, Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson, Caleb Landry Jones, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya

A young photographer from New York City plans to travel to the countryside to the home of his future wife’s parents to finally meet them and announce his intention to marry.

The bride assures him that the in-laws will be happy to spend the weekend with him, which gives the guy a lot of confidence. Only being there, he realizes that he must leave the country mansion as soon as possible, because the secluded setting and the pleasant atmosphere of the meeting are a complete sham.

The role of the groom in Away was played by actor Daniel Kaluuya, who captivated the director in the casting with his performance of the scenes. He had to cry – and he played all five episodes perfectly, so that Jordan Peele almost shed a tear with him.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Hereditary

Hereditary
  • IMDB Rating – 7.3
  • Genre: horror, drama, detective
  • US production / 2018
  • Worldwide gross of: $80,200,936
  • Directed by Ari Aster
  • Starring: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolfe, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, Mallory Bechtel, Zachary Arthur, Mark Blockovich, Jake Brown, Gabe Eckert

Annie was never able to communicate with her late mother. After her death, the girl decided to seek solace in the circle of her family – her caring spouse and her beloved children.

Only one day her peaceful life is destroyed, and the reason for this was the news that unknown people desecrated her mother’s grave. In addition, Annie increasingly begins to feel her presence around her. The woman was withdrawn in life and inherited her daughter’s frightening abilities.

“Reincarnation” is director Ari Astaire’s debut feature.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Låt den rätte komma in

Låt den rätte komma in
  • IMDB Rating – 7.9
  • Genre: Horror, drama, melodrama
  • Production: Sweden / 2008
  • World Box Office: $11,227,336
  • Director: Thomas Alfredson
  • Starring: Peter Carlberg, Karin Bergqvist, Henrik Dahl, Per Ragnar, Lina Leandersson, Kore Hedebrant, Adam Stone, Mikael Ehrhardsson, Johan Sømnes, Patrick Rydmark, Cayetano Ruiz, Pale Olofsson, Anders T. Pedu, Karl-Robert Lindgren, Mikael Rahm, Ika Nord

A 12-year-old boy named Oskar lives near Stockholm and is going through a difficult time with his parents’ divorce.

Left with his mother, he rarely sees his father. All this has made him withdrawn and lonely. At school, the boys bully him and at night he dreams of fighting back. One day he gets a friend Ellie. But the neighbor turns out to be a very strange girl.

The scenes were shot in the northern Swedish town of Luleå, even though Oscar lives in the Stockholm suburb of Blackberg. This was necessary to create the snowy weather in the scene.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

The Conjuring

The Conjuring
  • IMDB Rating – 7.5
  • Genre: Horror, Detective
  • US production / 2013
  • Budget: $20,000,000
  • Worldwide Box Office: $319,494,638
  • Directed by James Wan
  • Starring: Sterling Gerins, Steve Coulter, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, McKenzie Foy, Joey King

The next movie that made it into this top horror movie is based on real events.

In the plot, two paranormal detectives help a family deal with a demonic entity that has settled on a farm in a secluded village.

The film premiered in the Philippines, and during the screening it was decided to enlist the help of Catholic priests who blessed the audience to watch it. The reason for this was that some people were convinced that there was a “negative force” near them.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods
  • IMDB Rating – 7.0
  • Genre: Horror, Comedy, Fantasy
  • Production: USA / 2011
  • Budget: $30,000,000
  • Worldwide Box Office: $69,935,600
  • Directed by Drew Goddard
  • Starring: Jodell Ferland, Amy Ecker, Brian J. White, Anna Hutchison, Christine Nora Connolly, Fran Krantz, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins

A group of friends, led by Chris, go to his brother’s cabin in the woods for a weekend of fun and entertainment.

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On the way, they decide to stop at a gas station, but the place turns out to be abandoned. There they also meet a frightening old man, who warns them to leave the place as soon as possible. The young men do not listen to him and soon become hostages to the situation that unfolds in the wooded wilderness.

According to the plot, one of the guys has a habit of smoking cigarettes. To this end, it was even decided to create a special paper to support the passionate addiction of the hero and not to harm the health of the actor.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

The Witch: A New-England Folktale

The Witch: A New-England Folktale
  • IMDB Rating – 6.9
  • Genre: Detective, horror
  • Produced by: Canada, USA, UK / 2015
  • Budget: $3 500 000
  • World Box Office: $40,423,945
  • Directed by Robert Eggers
  • Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Eineson, Kate Dickey, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Granger, Lucas Dawson, Batsheba Garnett, Sarah Stephens

The colonist and his family choose to hide from other people by settling on the edge of the forest. This is one of the ancient and frightening territories in New England, but the characters have no idea.

Leaving the secluded farm, they dream of peace and unity, but soon their dreams are shattered by the harsh reality that strange things and missing people begin to happen.

The film is based on the Salem Witch Trials hysteria in Massachusetts. The film was filmed mostly in natural and accessible light.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

The Others

The Others
  • IMDB Rating – 7.6
  • Genre: Horror, thriller, mystery
  • Production: Spain, USA, France, Italy, UK / 2001
  • Budget: $17,000,000
  • World Box Office: $209,947,037
  • Director: Alejandro Amenabar
  • Starring: Eric Sykes, James Bentley, Elaine Cassidy, Alakina Mann, Christopher Eccleston, Fionella Flanagan, Nicole Kidman

Grace and her children are hiding from World War II in a mansion off the coast of England. They are waiting for the head of the family to return home. The children suffer from a strange ailment that is exacerbated if their bodies are exposed to direct sunlight.

The maids must see to it that the curtains are always drawn and the doors closed. And the three new servants disrupt the mistress’s order, unwittingly revealing her secrets.

It is interesting that Nicole Kidman, who played Grace, did not want to star in a movie with a dark plot. She refused, but the team of Alejandro Amenabar and the Weinstein brothers managed to find the words to change her mind, because they originally chose her for the role.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Raw

Raw
  • IMDB Rating – 7.0
  • Genre: Horror, drama
  • Production: France, Belgium, Italy / 2016
  • Budget: €3,500,000
  • Worldwide box office receipts: $3,096,815
  • Directed by Julia Ducournau
  • Starring: Guerence Marillier, Ella Ramf, Rabah Nait Ufella, Laurent Lucas, Joanna Preiss, Boulie Lanners, Marion Vernoux, Jean-Louis Sbier

Wanting to fulfill a dream, a young vegetarian participates in a ritual of eating raw meat. This event awaits everyone who wants to attend veterinary school. She transcends her principles and soon realizes that she is no longer able to resist the lust for blood and flesh.

The director of Raw was Julia Ducournau, who chose the actress Grains Marillier to play the student, insisting that she work on her posture and body. As a result, you can see how the actress has changed since the beginning of the film and at the end of the process.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

El espinazo del diablo

El espinazo del diablo
  • IMDB Rating – 7.4
  • Genre: Horror, Drama
  • Production: Mexico, Spain / 2001
  • Budget: $4,500,000
  • World Box Office: $6,459,020
  • Directed by Guillermo del Toro
  • Starring: Junio Valverde, Marisa Paredes, Federico Luppi, Berta Oia, Jose Manuel Lorenzo, Irene Vicedo, Iñigo Garces, Fernando Thielve, Francisco Maestre, Eduardo Noriega

The plot of the film is set in 1939. A 12-year-old boy has lost his father in the Civil War and is forced to stay in an orphanage. The principal of the institution is sympathetic to Carlos and the Republican children. Some teenagers try to use this woman for their own self-serving purposes.

Meanwhile, Carlos meets in person the ghost of Santi, who also used to live in the orphanage but went missing in a bombing raid.

Director Guillermo del Toro shared that the movie “El espinazo del diablo” has become his favorite of his own.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

It

It
  • IMDB Rating – 7.3
  • Genre: Horror, fantasy, drama, detective
  • Produced by: USA, Canada / 2017
  • Budget: $35,000,000
  • Worldwide gross of: $700,381,748
  • Director: Andres Muschetti
  • Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jake Sim, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Nicholas Hamilton, Jaden Liberer, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chausen Jacobs

Events are unfolding in the province, where children are starting to go missing. A serial killer, who shocks even experienced investigators with his cruelty, is on the loose. Seven boys, who believe that as a friendly group they can fight back against the monster, take on the case.

Actress Sophia Lillis was one of the seven plucky heroes. She is 5 feet tall, so in some scenes she had to stand on a crate to be on par with the other children.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

El orfanato

El orfanato
  • IMDB Rating – 7.4
  • Genre: Horror, thriller, drama, mystery
  • Production: Spain, Mexico / 2007
  • Budget: €3,400,000
  • World Box Office: $78,638,987
  • Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona
  • Starring: Fernando Caio, Belen Rueda, Montserrat Carulla, Mabel Rivera, Roger Prinzep, Oscar Casas, Edgar Vivar, Andres Gertrudix
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This next horror movie gives me goosebumps. Laura grew up in an orphanage for children. The institution was closed, and the girl grew up and remembers those years only fondly. Her plan is to go back there and rebuild the orphanage. She is already a mother herself and takes her 7-year-old son, who begins to see strange things about his friends on the spot.

No one there sees them. Laura is plunged into a deep childhood and a chain of terrible events is reconstructed in her mind

Shelter premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation from the audience within the first 10 minutes. Also, more than 400 actors auditioned for the role of Simon.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

The Ring

The Ring
  • IMDB Rating – 7.1
  • Genre: Horror, thriller, mystery
  • Produced by USA / 2002
  • Budget: $48,000,000
  • World Box Office: $249,348,933
  • Director: Gore Verbinski
  • Starring: Richard Lineback, Sandra Thigpen, Shannon Cochran, Davy Chase, Adam Brody, Rachel Bella, Amber Tamblyn, Lindsey Frost, Jane Alexander, Brian Cox, David Dorfman, Martin Henderson, Naomi Watts

Journalist Rachel Keller investigates the deaths of her daughter and other children. She realizes that every child has seen a videotape of the unknown girl. She gets her hands on this material, and the journalist realizes that in 7 days she will die like the others.

The woman doesn’t give up and goes out to the Morgan family. In their home, a terrible and unpunished murder of Samara’s adopted daughter, who was drowned in a well, took place. The adults were convinced she had been possessed by evil.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead
  • IMDB Rating – 7.3
  • Genre: Horror, action
  • Produced by: USA, Canada, Japan, France / 2004
  • Budget: $26,000,000
  • Worldwide Box Office: $102,278,712
  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Starring: Mekhi Phifer, Ving Rhames, Ty Burrell, Michael Barry, Michael Kelly, Jake Weber, Sarah Polley, Jane Eastwood, Lindy Booth, Kevin Zegers

Anna witnesses her husband’s transformation into a zombie. A large part of the city’s population is infected. Monsters walk around and her life is in great danger. The only thing she has to rely on is a successful escape.

A policeman helps her survive. Together they find temporary shelter on the grounds of a shopping mall. At dawn, they need to make the next move that will help them get to safety.

In this scary movie, you can observe a beautiful tree with fiery red leaves. It is a species of maple, a Japanese species with samara fruit.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Janghwa, Hongryeon

Janghwa, Hongryeon
  • IMDB Rating – 7.2
  • Genre: Horror, Drama
  • Production: Korea Southern / 2003
  • Budget: $3 700 000
  • World Box Office: $1,045,252
  • Director: Ji-Woon-Kim
  • Starring: Jun-ah Yum, Kap-soo Kim, Ge-young Moon, So-jo Lim

Another South Korean horror film that tells the story of two sisters. Su-mi visits the psychiatrist’s office, to whom she tells about a special day. Together with her sister and father, she was returning home, where her stepmother was waiting for them. The tension between the members of the newly formed family was growing, for the girls felt a dislike for their named mother.

One day they observed strange things, inexplicable logically, and the stepmother tried to shift the responsibility for everything that happened to her adopted daughters. As a result, the father closed himself off and stopped trusting the family.

The Story of Two Sisters became the highest-grossing film in Korean cinematography, surpassing the other scariest and most legendary films of 2003. This allowed it to be shown in cinemas in the U.S.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Martyrs

Martyrs
  • IMDB Rating – 7.1
  • Genre: Drama, thriller, horror
  • Produced by: France, Canada / 2008
  • Budget: $6,500,000
  • World Box Office: $1,149,138
  • Director: Pascal Logier
  • Starring: Isabelle Chasset, Juliette Gosselin, Catherine Bejine, Mylène Jampanoi, Morjane El Allaoui, Xavier Dolan

Lucy was found one year after she went missing. The girl is tortured, beaten, and remembers what really happened to her. The police didn’t give her the support she needed, but 15 years later, Lucy is still able to track down the people who were holding her captive.

She ends up in their house and commits murder. Telling a close friend what really happened to her, she hangs up the phone and kills herself. The girl, who arrives on the scene, realizes that Lucy cannot be saved, but she discovers a secret cell and trap, where another victim of her cruel captors is imprisoned. She intends to free her, but finds herself in trouble.

The script was written by Pascal Logier, who was clinically depressed when he was working on it and even wanted to kill himself.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Mandy

Mandy
  • IMDB Rating – 6.6
  • Genre: Horror, action, fantasy
  • Produced by: UK, Belgium, France, USA / 2017
  • Budget: $6,000,000
  • Worldwide gross of: $1,523,052
  • Directed by Panos Kosmatos
  • Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Lynas Roach, Ned Dennehy, Oluene Foer, Richard Brake, Bill Duke, Line Piyet, Clement Baronnet, Alexis Julmont
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In 1983, lumberjack Red and his newly minted wife, Mandy, were living peacefully in a lake house against a backdrop of picturesque forest scenery. Near them, members of a religious cult that glorified evil had taken up residence.

One day Mandy went for a walk in the woods and fell into the hands of a ferocious sect led by Jeremiah. The leader of the group took a liking to her, who drugged her and rushed her to perform a ritual sacrifice. But Red has no intention of forgiving the sectarians for the death of the woman he loves. He goes into battle, using bloody ways to restore justice, even though Mandy will not return.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

[Rec]

[Rec]
  • IMDB Rating – 7.4
  • Genre: Horror, fantasy, fantasy, action, thriller, detective
  • Production: Spain / 2007
  • Budget: €1,500,000
  • World Box Office: $30,448,914
  • Directed by: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza
  • Starring: Marta Carbonell, Manuel Bronchud, Javier Botet, Jorge Serrano, Maria Teresa Ortega, Carlos Lasarte, Claudia Font, Pablo Rosso, Ferran Terrasa, Manuela Velasco

To earn money to report, journalist Angela Vidal goes to the scenes of criminal incidents. The news of a gruesome murder in one of the mansions is no exception.

The woman does her job professionally, but soon realizes that she is trapped by zombies who turn people into their own kind. The building is blocked by the authorities in order to prevent the contagion from developing further.

No sets were used in this film, it was filmed in real locations.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • IMDB Rating – 7.0
  • Genre: Horror, drama, melodrama
  • Produced by USA / 2014
  • World Box Office grossed: $589,307
  • Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
  • Starring: Pej Wahdat, Ray Kharatian, Reza Sikso Safai, Roum Shadanlou, Amin Nazemzadeh, Mojan Marno, Marshall Manesh, Arash Marandi, Sheila Wand

In the defunct city of Bad City, crime reigns and the drug trade is active. Every year the army of vampires, who find it more difficult to find clean blood, replenishes itself. This entails great problems for the continued existence of their kind.

One day a vampire girl meets a guy named Arash, who is a carrier of pure blood. Only she does not succeed in making him her victim, a special bond develops between them.

The events of the film, as conceived by the authors, take place somewhere in the Middle East, but in fact the shooting was carried out against the backdrop of the city of Taft in California.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity
  • IMDB Rating – 6.3
  • Genre: Horror, Detective
  • Produced by USA / 2007
  • Budget: $15,000
  • Worldwide Box Office: $193,355,800
  • Director: Oren Peli
  • Starring: Kathy Featherston, Mika Slott, Mark Fredericks, Amber Armstrong, Ashley Palmer, Crystal Cartwright, Randy McDowell, Tim Piper

The plot centers on a young couple who suffer a paranormal invasion of their home. In order to make sure that they are right in their conjectures, the couple install a video camera. It’s just a matter of finding a way to eliminate the evil and survive…

The filming of this horror movie was done in the home of director Oren Peli. The process was completed in just 10 days, and the actors had no scripts, they were only given instructions on how to behave in the frame and what to discuss.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Sinister

Sinister
  • IMDB Rating – 6.8
  • Genre: Horror, thriller, mystery
  • Produced by: USA, UK, Canada/2012
  • Budget: $3 000 000
  • World Box Office: $77,712,439
  • Directed by Scott Derrickson
  • Starring: Ethan Hawke, Janet Zappala, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ranson, Juliet Riley, Tavis Smiley, Michael Hall D’Addario, Victoria Lee, Rob Riley, Claire Foley

A writer of detective novels decides to move into a new house with his family. Only a happy housewarming party is ruined by the news of strange events occurring in the place. Soon the man manages to find out that a brutal murder was committed in the house of all those who were in its walls.

Interestingly, the screenplay for Sinister was written by C. R. Cargill, who was so impressed by watching the movie “The Ring” that he had a nightmare at night. It was taken as the motive for the future horror film.

37 Scariest Horror Movies

Other equally scary horror movies

  • Session 9 (2001)
  • Antichrist (2009)
  • Halloween (2018)
  • The Strangers (2007)
  • Trouble Every Day (2001)
  • Drag Me to Hell (2009)
  • Kill List (2011)
  • Crimson Peak (2015)
  • Berberian Sound Studio (2011)
  • À l’intérieur (2007)
  • A Quiet Place (2018)
  • Us (2019)
  • The House of the Devil (2008)
  • The Descent (2005)
  • Under the Skin (2013)
  • Pulse (2006)
  • The Babadook (2014)
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Анна Румянцева
Anna Rumyantseva

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