The success of so-called elevated horror from producers like A24 has shown that even the most well-shot horror movies with the most fascinating concepts need to have a scare factor. While some people love jump scares and others want more atmosphere, one thing is for sure: a horror movie that isn’t terrifying is definitely going to be a dull experience. Thankfully, there are many filmmakers who have figured out how to scare audiences whether their stories are slashers or supernatural. While people might disagree on the scariest movie ever, it’s safe to say that there are a few that have terrified a large number of people, whether they be controversial classics like The Exorcist or modern blockbusters like The Conjuring.
Reddit users have shared their opinions about the scariest horror movies. Fans looking for the best scary movies will want to hear the films that freaked Redditors out the most, from classics that many fans of the genre love to some more recent flicks that sent a shiver down their spine.
Updated on March 28th, 2022 by Aya Tsintziras: When film fans are looking for the best horror movies on Reddit, they want to find particularly scary stories that impress audiences and make it hard to look away. Reddit users recommend many great movie night picks, whether these films are part of the found footage or serial killer subgenres.
The Exorcist (1973)
Stream on Netflix
The Exorcist is still a horrifying movie and even people who don’t like watching this genre know the famous scene when Regan’s head spins around. It says a lot that just picturing this scene can make a shiver run down someone’s spine.
Reddit user TheoLuminati wrote, “The Exorcist, 100%” and said it’s the “only movie that ever truly terrified me.” For several people, this is the holy grail of horror movies and nothing can compare.
The Thing (1982)
Stream on Tubi
While there have been some incredible and creative contemporary horror movies, for many people, the classics are still the best way to get scared.
One Redditor said that The Thing is the scariest movie that they’ve ever seen and “I still can’t watch it alone.” The creature in this ’80s horror movie is definitely unnerving and the film’s storytelling is what sets it apart. Because the monster can change shape, it’s easy to imagine that anything could happen, which adds to the fear that viewers feel when watching this movie.
The Conjuring (2013)
Stream on Netflix and HBO Max
Some of the scariest horror movies feel like they could really happen, and it’s unnerving knowing that Ed and Lorraine Warren really did investigate paranormal activity. Reddit user nenjoi says that the first movie in The Conjuring franchise is the most terrifying movie that they’ve seen because of “the soundtrack” and “the eery vibe.”
It’s no wonder that audiences find these movies so scary as there are several entries in the franchise, including the spin-offs Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Stream on Fubo and Tubi
Texas Chainsaw Massacre holds up well and several horror movie fans definitely consider it one of the most terrifying films that they’ve ever watched.
Reddit user daysonatrain wrote, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre wins for me, cant believe it was made so long ago and shows basically no gore.” The story has so many intense elements, from the creepy gas station that the friend group stops at to, of course, the cannibals who are going after the main characters.
The Strangers (2008)
Rent on AppleTV
One Redditor that The Strangers is the movie that scared them the most, writing, “Home invasion is one of my biggest fears.”
Of all the horror movies in recent years, this one definitely feels realistic and unnerving. It’s easy for fans to watch this story and have their minds wander and the next time they’re home by themselves, they might wonder if it could happen. The movie hooks viewers with the relationship between James and Kristen and then becomes everyone’s worst nightmare.
Stream on Paramount+
For Reddit user Midgar918, the horror movie Annihilation is “a horror film done right. No jump scares from what i remember just a great build of unsettling tension.”
It’s definitely creepy watching the main character, Lena, spend time in “The Shimmer,” an area where animals and plants change because of aliens. The Redditor makes a good point that a movie doesn’t need jump scares or other tropes in order to seriously creep audiences out and make them want to turn the lights on.
Stream on AMC+
The Halloween franchise has many scary moments, and one Redditor counts Halloween among the scariest horror movies, writing, “it was about the atmosphere.”
It’s awful seeing Michael Myers kill his own sibling and since the movie is filmed so audiences can always see where the killer is and how Annie is being stalked, it’s impossible not to feel freaked out. Halloween is one of the smartest movies in the genre.
Stream on Peacock
For Reddit user 0xE4-0x20-0xE6, “Sinister’s found footage scenes have the scariest soundtrack I’ve ever heard in any movie.”
It would be enough if the movie simply featured a family moving into a house that is clearly haunted, but the darkness within its walls is beyond anything that the main character, Ellison, could ever have imagined. Watching him learn about the family that was tragically killed while living there is super intense.
Stream on Fubo
From Charlie’s horrible death to Paimon possessing Annie, it’s easy to see why so many people find this movie to be incredibly intense. It’s scary enough learning that this family has faced so many tragedies and things just get worse from there.
Hell House LLC (2015)
Stream on Amazon Prime Video
Hell House LLC tells the story of a haunted house where people can go on Halloween. Documentary filmmakers are visiting it so they can make a movie about it, which is definitely an unnerving premise for a horror movie.
Reddit user doublegreendinosaur said they have “never been so terrified by a film” and it’s a good found footage movie. This is a time when the subgenre makes it even scarier since audiences feel like they are really there.
Pet Sematary (1983)
Stream on Netflix
The Pet Sematary 2019 remake has callbacks to other Stephen King film adaptations going for it but many still think that the 1983 movie is the more terrifying movie.
One Redditor found the original Pet Sematary movie scary and wrote, “I was horrified for years by the little boy gage and the sister.” The movie is dark, gruesome, and hard to stop watching, as a family finds that their pets can die and come back to life and so does Gage.
The Ring (2002)
Stream on Paramount+
The Ring has aged well, thanks to the care put into the main storyline of a journalist and her son trying to find out the sinister tale of Samara.
One Redditor said The Ring is “one of the first movies that genuinely scared me” but it might not have the same effect today. It’s true that the videotape might not be that scary by itself, since technology has moved on, but this movie still has some terrifying moments
The Invisible Man (2020)
Rent on AppleTV
In the 2020 horror movie The Invisible Man, Cecilia leaves her abusive husband Adrian and then realizes that he might still be around, but in a different form.
The opening scene of this movie is especially horrifying as Cecilia leaves her mansion in the middle of the night so her husband won’t find out. Fans will hold their breath as they watch her move around in the dark and try not to make a sound. One Redditor said that this movie “made me jump more than anything i’ve ever seen.”
Lake Mungo (2008)
Stream on Tubi
In the mockumentary Lake Mungo, Matthew is looking into the death of his sister Alice and he believes that her ghost is still in his house. When Matthew asks psychic Ray for help, he learns that Alice told him something scary prior to passing away.
Reddit user Artiepops101 mentioned this as one of the scariest horror movies that they have seen and called it a “slow burn but I recommend.”
Funny Games (2007)
Rent on AppleTV
Reddit user notasubreddit finds Funny Games to be a horrifying movie, writing it will “leave you with a feeling of dread just due to how hopeless” it is.
In this 2007 horror movie, two young men named Paul and Peter show up at a family’s house and start torturing them. Funny Games is not only one of the scariest horror movies ever made, but it’s also a commentary on film violence.
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