Ooh, Scary Scary: Movies!

Last week I asked you about the scariest books you’ve ever read.

This week? It’s time to talk about movies.

So, hit the comments, and let us all know: what are the scariest movies you’ve ever seen? (They don’t have to be horror, explicitly — though certainly we want some of those in there.) Why did it freak you out? Was it just one scene? The whole film? Something deeper and darker?

A film that scared me early on was The Shining, less because of it’s overt fright factor. More because of it’s slow, freaky creep. I had never seen a film like it. And even now, not many horror films are willing to just be slow and strange for their (long) duration. (If I watch it now, I sometimes think it’s a bit funny — “Oh, ha ha, look at that hilarious Blowjob Koala Man! Look, Shelley Duvall runs like an embarrassed sandpiper. Oh, Jack Nicholson, you murderous ghost-talking scamp.) If you want a film that disturbs me these days — look no further than Requiem for a Dream, whose final act is so harrowing even thinking about it gives me the shivering shits.

Let’s hear it from you.

Scary, freaky, disturbing movies.



  • My dad took us to see The Exorcist at the drive in when it came out, figuring my sister, step brother, and I would sleep in the backseat. We didn’t. My sister was convinced she was possessed for a month, which was scarier than the movie.

    The It’s Alive movie poster terrified me as a kid.

    An American Werewolf in London had a good creep factor as a kid…mostly Jack’s visits.

    The Shining, of course.

    Jacob’s Ladder.

    I will never watch The Blair Witch Project again because, after seeing it in the theater when it came out, I’m not sure it would creep me out at all now. But for putting so much into my head in that moment…nothing else ever got to me out like that. Alien came close.

    Most recent faves: Let the Right One In and The Cabin in the Woods.

  • I prefer tragic, sad horror. My favorite, I think, is The Devil’s Backbone, Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish civil war-era ghost story.

  • October 20, 2014 at 11:23 PM // Reply

    I watched a disturbing, very atmospheric movie on a cable channel called “Sinister”. Ethan Hawke played the principal character, a writer. I found it disturbing because an evil demon targeted young children in families to do his killing of their familiy members in truly terrifying ways. Left a bad taste in my mind for several days.
    “Alien” made a huge impression on me due in large part to Giger’s alien creation. Also liked the fact that the heroic survivor character had been changed from a male to a gutsy female.
    But, as I mentioned before, “The Exorcist” is the movie that frightened me the most. Again, because of an invisible entity from without taking over a person. This is what happens with a chosen child from each family in “Sinister”. And one could posit that even the “Alien” entity possesses a human body during its pregnancy.

  • I would say “Eraserhead” has given me the MOST heebyjeebies. I just can’t think of that movie without squirming.

  • I never really watched video nasties as a kid (in the 80s and 90s), relying more on late night TV, where I watched some great horror films – many of those mentioned here already that made me jump (the original Ring and Grudge, Jacob’s Ladder, Don’t Look Now, Alien, The Thing) but also some plain weird stuff that I’ve not really seen elsewhere. I also used to watch TV’s Tales of the Unexpected (like Tales of the Dark Side/Twilight Zone, but with a more British feel – the original episodes were based on short adult stories by Roald Dahl)

    Driller Killer – the final scene is the one that stick with me, but any tale of someone normal slowly cracking gets me…

    The Baby – not horror as such, but the tale of a man being raised as a baby by his overbearing mother. Again, the final scene sticks with me…

    Lair of the White Worm – 80’s British film, that makes good use of acid-trip nightmarish scenes, snake vampires, and early appearances by Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi…

    The Company of Wolves – A girl dreaming of various scenarios that cross werewolves with Little Red Riding Hood… creepy music, creepy dolls, deals with the devil, and an ending that doesn’t resolve anything…

    I’m surprised not to have seen The Omen mentioned. The first two films in particular got to me – something to do with the whole Final Destination style deaths, the story of an antichrist (and the Devil pretty much working invisibly, behind the scenes), of satanic chanting music and of creepy kids really got to me at an age where I still believed that the Devil took a personal interest in us (I think the stories about the Exorcist curse where probably quite big at the time too).

  • Oh! The Shinning has been one of my favorites for a long time. I used to dream about the kid shouting “Redrum”. Requiem for a Dream is deeply disturbing, even more so than a horror movie, because it’s real horror; stuff that could actually happen. Yes, that one stayed with me for a long time.

    I always thought the clown from IT (Pennywise) was the creepiest clown in horror movie history… that is of course, until this new season of American Horror Story.

    Another movie I found deliciously creepy was Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno). It’s like a dark, creepy, weird fairy tale.

    And finally, I don’t remember the name, but I once saw a Japanese horror flick about a little ghost girl who drowned in a building and kept haunting everybody. Weird, dark eyed children who make strange noises apparently freak me out.

  • The scariest movies I have ever seen would have to be the Grudge movies. Just the idea of a ghost that garuntees death as soon as you see it is horrifying.

    • I know! I made the mistake of watching The Grudge by myself on DVD. I was terrified after it and stopped the movie at the credits. It had a screensaver of the woman’s wide, staring eye. It scared the crap out of me.

  • Any horror film with blood and gore im fine with. Its the psychological ones that do me, i think too much about what would REALLY scare me. So last film i saw that i wish i hadnt was “Mirrors”. had me hiding under the duvet for a couple of weeks

  • I stayed home from school with the flu and found poltrageist 3 I think on television. Normally I wouldn’t be allowed to watch a movie like that, but I was home alone so being the resposible sick child I was of course I settled in to enjoy it. There’s a scene when the big sister is getting ready for a date or party and the shot is filmed over her shoulder so the viewer is looking at her reflection in the mirror throughout. During her preperations her kid sister pops her head in the bathroom and they have a quick chat about nothing of consequence and the kid sister leaves the bathroom. Big sis finishes up and turns to leave the bathroom, the camera angel finally adjusts so you can see the mirror and the profile of Big Sis as well as the bathroom door and that’s when kid sister pops her head in thw bathroom to have a conversation with Big sister. You realize the entire preceeding conversation happened between big sis and something in the mirror pretending to be kid sis and to this day I still don’t like mirrors. Mom wins. There are some movies you just shouldn’t watch.

  • The remake of Night of the Living Dead (late 80’s or early 90’s). I left work early to see the matinee showing, alone. I was one of 6 people in the entire theater, which was creepy in itself. Then, leaving the mall theater at dusk, the parking lot had a couple of dozen people slowly all converging on my location. I was very glad to get to my car and lock myself in.

  • Extro. My sister brought her brand new Beta Video Machine to our parents house when I was young and had that movie with her. It is about an alien father who, upon returning to Earth, seeks a female and is reborn in human form through her (a whole man spewed forth!). The alien has a child with a human woman and this child can control his toys; you know make his creepy clown come to life and sprawl across the elevator, dropping down on his unsuspecting babysitter. She also had Monty Python’s The Holy Grail, which I watched until it was worn out.

  • Poltergeist always freaked me out. Intensely creepy. The scene with the dude ripping his face apart in the mirror got to me so bad I didn’t watch it again for 20 years. I doubt it would get a PG rating today.

  • Love scary movies. I’d have to give it to Blair Witch just for the ending shot–it really stays with you. Seven, horrifying. And though I never made it through the whole movie Suspiria–the music itself was horrifying, then the eyes outside the window, and the eerie measurement of the rope. AAAh!

  • The Ring (remake)
    The Grudge (remake)
    The Conjuring
    Paranormal Activity

    I haven’t seen The Ring (original) or The Grudge (original) yet and I don’t intend to. Buffy needs to kick some ghost ass in The Grudge, really, that ghost scared the crap out of me and after watching The Ring I couldn’t sleep for weeks. Oh yeah, and I woke up next to a TV and video recorder the next day, that probably didn’t help.

  • October 21, 2014 at 7:29 PM // Reply

    There were three movies that frightened me very badly when I was young. They were, Burnt Offerings starring Karen Black, The Changeling with George C.Scott, and Let’s Scare Jessica To Death with Zohra Lampert. I highly recommend all three. They all had creepy houses and stories that drew you in slowly and knocked you down hard.

  • The Grudge. I was talked into, forced, to see that movie, and it gave me nightmares for weeks afterwards. Still, to this day, it sort of pops into my mind (especially after dark), and makes me nervous to stand with my feet by the gap under the sofa or the bed.

    Keep in mind, though, I’m not very fond of the dark as it is, and I scare very easily. Normally, that stops when the fear I feel has been given a face. Scary movies, and books for that matter, are always more effective in giving me the creeps when it’s a faceless fear. But The Grudge… Man, it’s been teasing me for a long time now.

    When it came out, it was winter. Living in the countryside, there’s not much light to speak of out here, and Norwegian winters is the kind of dark that makes you wonder if you’ve gone blind. A few days after watching the movie, the power had gone out, so of course my lamp wasn’t going to provide me with light to scare monsters away. Dad had gone to work, and from downstairs I heard this consistent beep, beep, beep (which later turned out to be the alarm kindly notifying us it was on backup batteries). At the time, I was convinced it was a trap. Get out of bed to check the noise out, and I’d be a gonner. I figured, ‘I’ve seen enough scary movies to know this. I’m staying in bed.’ Instead I called a friend to have her drop by before school, and fell asleep while waiting. She woke me up by crawling into the bed, making that clicky, raspy noise the lady in The Grudge makes. I had a major spazz and gave her a black eye. 10 years later, and she still brings that up.

    So yeah. I have forever regretted seeing that movie.

  • After seeing The Ring in the theatre I was freaked out for days. I remember brushing my teeth the next morning with my back up against the wall (so nothing could creep up on me) and being jittery and freaked all day at work (didn’t help that I was working in an optometry research lab, and there were weird optometrist chairs and pictures of diseased eyeballs on the walls). After that, I swore I was done with scary movies, though I did slip up and watch some freaky ass Korean horror movie (Tale of Two Sisters?) years later. That was horrific, too.
    Saw Cabin in the Woods lately and LOVED it, though – a little scary from time to time, but in the end I was laughing my ass off.

  • The Ring terrified me. I watched it for the first time at home. I was about halfway through it when the phone rang and I think I screamed. I remember the first thought after it happened. “I DO NOT want to answer the phone.” I’ve seen it several times over the years and it remains one of my favorite movies. It still manages to creep me out.

    As a kid, the movie that terrified me the most was Stephen King’s IT. The sight of clowns now make me cringe.

  • Scary movie? As in made me jump out of my skin several times? Event Horizon. Disturbing movie? This would have to be a toss up between ‘Inside’, ‘Martyrs’, and ‘Frontiers’.

  • I thought “Ju-on” (The Grudge) original version (Japanese) was the scariest film I have ever seen. Then I watched “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and couldn’t — wouldn’t — be left all alone for three straight days. I couldn’t even go inside the bathroom alone. Embarrassingly enough, I’m a chicken when it comes to demonic possession movies.

  • “Hellgate” with Cary Elwes and oddly “What Dreams May Come” with Robin Williams are the only two films that have ever gotten under my skin in any real way. Being a long time horror fan and a self-deluded “manly man” that fears nothing I could take anything, anything I say! And then these films came round both of which deal with tragic loss of loved ones and supernatural shenanigans set in motion thereby, and they just set me awobble. Turns out I do fear something, losing those I love with all my soul. Really though, what could be more frightening?

  • First one to give me nightmares was the original Jaws. ‘course, I was 3. My grandmother thought it was a nice treat for me and my brother to go to the movies.

    Scary movies don’t really get me though. Two movies I can never watch again because of how much they screwed with my head and sent me into a depression spiral? 12 Monkeys and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Both of them have that point of hopelessness that it just cracks me apart and drops me into the abyss.

  • When I was a child I remember watching something called Audrey Rose. I remeber thinking, if this is for real, we`re all screwed!
    Today I rely on things like Paranormal Witness TV show. Creepy as hell. I can`t even get up to turn the TV off.

  • I found FRAILTY to be insidious and creepy. There’s just enough going on above-board, with some gruesomeness, that allow the mystery and suspense to sneak in the truly frightening conclusion of the story… which I can’t talk about much for fear of spoiling. Good acting from Mr. McConaughey, also.

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