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SurlyGurls Scary Movie Spooktacular! The 25 Scariest Movies Of All Time

It’s less than a week until Halloween! That means costumes, candy and scary movies! While looking up the release dates for some of these scary movies we started to question the parenting skills of our families. Seriously, what kind of parents let their 10-year-old kids watch things like It or The Amityville Horror? Of course, these are in no particular order, just the order in which we remembered the trauma they inflicted upon us.

 Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) – Leatherface and  his family kill a group of college kids in a backwoods  community seemingly inhabited only by psychopaths.
 Why it’s scary – The sudden violence and randomness in  which the teenagers are killed is the most horrifying aspect  of this film. Unlike the remake that looks like a wet t-shirt contest/music video, this film is gritty and raw and not overly produced.

Nosferatu (1922) – The original vampire, enough said.
Why it’s scary
– He’s disgusting, has an army of plague ridden rats and he has to kill to survive. The fact that it’s a silent film and relies only on music to set the mood is amazing.


 The Blair Witch Project (1999) – The originator of  found footage films. Three kids venture into the woods to  document local legend and never return.
 Why it’s scary – Being lost in the woods is everyone’s  worst nightmare. Add in a supernatural force that you never  actually see, but seem to have it out for you, make it all the more terrifying.

 The Birds (1963) – Socialite follows her beau to his small  hometown only to be caught in a barrage of bird attacks.
 Why it’s scary – The fear is that this could happen  anywhere, there is never any explanation as to why the birds  attack in the first place. Plus, who wants to have their eyes  pecked out?

 Scream (1996) – Local high school boys watch a ton of  movies and go on a murderous rampage with all the “rules”  they’ve learned.
 Why it’s scary – Masked killers are always bad. It’s  always scary when you don’t know who is calling and they  say they can see you but you can’t see them.

An American Werewolf In London (1981) – Two tourists in England end up in a place they shouldn’t be and are attacked by a monster.
Why it’s scary – Werewolves are scary, they have no rhyme or reason to their attacks. This was a creature feature with the added suspense of being in a place you are unfamiliar with.


 The Amityville Horror (1979) – A nice young family  buys a house that turns out to be possessed.
 Why it’s scary – Your house is your sanctuary, when it’s  the thing trying to kill you, where do you go? WHERE DO  YOU GO?!



It (1990)
– Demon takes on the form of the most terrifying clown you can think of and starts killing the neighbourhood kids.
Why it’s scary – It’s three hours of terrifying clown! What more do you need?

 Lady In White (1988) – Kid sees ghosts of murdered girl and the  man who killed her while locked in a closet at school after everyone is  gone.
 Why it’s scary – Seeing a ghost is scary, seeing the ghost of a little  girl getting murdered is even worse. This is a good old-fashioned ghost  story, perfect for retelling around the campfire.


Poltergeist (1982) – A family moves into a new-build neighborhood and their little girl realizes she can communicate with the spirits that inhabit the house through the T.V.
Why it’s scary – Not only was the movie itself scary, but four of the cast members died within the 6 years between the release of all three of the movies. Plus, apparently they used real cadavers in some scenes. Gross.

 Paranormal Activity (2007) – A young couple set up a  camera to catch the strange goings-on in their new house.  Things just keep getting worse.
 Why it’s scary – You never know what’s going to happen  next or when it’s going to happen. The fact that you never see the entity terrorizing them is unnerving as well.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – The PTA form an angry mob, inadvertently cursing their children to be brutally murdered in their dreams.
Why it’s scary – You literally can’t be saved from your own dreams. If you sleep you die, if you don’t sleep you still die.

 The Exorcist (1973) – A possessed little girl terrorizes her  mother and two priests.
 Why it’s scary – At the time it was made the special  effects were unparalleled and Linda Blair’s performance is  still to this day one of the most amazing by a child actor.


Let The Right One In (2008) – Child vampire kills everyone around.
Why it’s scary – Every character in this movie is twisted, the child vampire is actually the lesser of a whole ensemble  of evils.


 Halloween (1978) – An asylum escapee returns to his  hometown ten years after he murdered his sister on  Halloween.
 Why it’s scary – This is the very first slasher flick ever  made. It’s true horror is the fact that Michael Myers drive to kill is unstoppable; he doesn’t even care that other people may seem him stalking his prey in broad daylight.

The Ring (2002) – Mysterious videotape causes anyone who sees it to die.
Why it’s scary – It’s Pandora’s Box. You can’t watch the video because if you do you’ll die. But that knowledge makes you WANT to watch it. It’s a VIDEOTAPE that can KILL you!

 Frankenstein (1931) – A mad scientist creates a monster  using bits and pieces and of other people.
 Why it’s Scary – This is the one movie in which the  monster is the kindest, least scary character! The humans  and their inability to accept anything different are what is  really scary. Whoa, deep.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – The mad scientist is at it again, making a lady friend for his original monster
Why it’s Scary – There is wife kidnapping, more corpse re-animation and more human depravity. Most people agree this is even better than the original.


 Night of The Living Dead (1968) – The dead come back  to life and terrorize a houseful of people.
 Why it’s scary – The black and white, grainy quality of  the film adds to the horror of what is going on. Any time  people are stranded in a house with almost no real line of  defence its bad news. And little kids trying to eat their parents is terrifying.

The Shining (1980) – A nice family moves into a haunted hotel in the middle of nowhere only to find out it’s REALLY haunted!
Why it’s scary – Although there isn’t a whole lot of direct violence, the psychological suspense is what makes this movie scary. And Jack Nicholson is a total creeper.

 The House on Haunted Hill (1959) – A crackpot  millionaire and his wife lure people to the house on haunted  hill with the promise of $10,000 for whoever stays the  longest.
 Why it’s scary – Being trapped in a house with five armed  strangers being tormented by ghosts is pretty terrifying.

The Last Man on Earth (1964) – An unknown disease turns the living into the undead and Vincent Price is the last man alive.
Why it’s scary – When you’re the only living human being on the planet and everyone else wants to eat your flesh, it’s not going to end well.

 Child’s Play (1988) – Mom gets her kid a black market  doll that happens to be possessed by a psycho killer.
 Why it’s scary – Even inanimate dolls are scary. Dolls  that are alive and out to steal your soul, even more so.


Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
 – Young girl and her mother move in with abusive new stepfather during Spanish civil war. Soon after the girl meets a faun who promises to help her escape.
Why it’s scary – Most of the movie is spent wondering whether the little girl’s fantasy world is real or just her imagination. Either way, it’s full of some of the most demented creatures we’ve ever seen.

 Saw (2004) – Notorious killer plots twisted and sadistic  “games” forcing his victims to choose between their morals  or their lives.
 Why it’s scary – From the totally random selection of  victims to the insanely well thought-out and gruesome  murders this movie is one giant mind-fuck.

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About surlygurls

We’re two SurlyGurls brought together by a love of all things awesome and an equal hate of all things which are an affront to awesomeness everywhere.

Posted on October 27, 2011, in AWESOME, LISTS, MOVIES & FILMS, OPINION, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Whatashittywebsite

    Stop clogging up reddit with your terrible lists and articles. God damn what a terrible list.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback, we have taken it under consideration. After deep thought and reflection we have in fact decided to post more lists and articles, just for you!

  2. i would make a case for Jaws to be included. and for recent flicks, The Descent and The Devil’s Rejects.

  3. Thanks for the great list! “They’re coming to get you, Barbara. Look, here comes one of them NOW!” AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

  4. Oh, have either of you seen “Let Me in?” Another movie about child vampires. Really creepy too.

  5. Great post! “Lady in White” is not too well-known but I think it’s a really scary movie. I still remember the creepy tune that the killer would sing…

  6. Great list! Only ones i disagree on are Scream (lame lame lame) and Nightmare on Elm Street ( i thought it was hilarious as a kid, not scary at all).

  1. Pingback: Sharing Sunday -Scary Movies, Pumpkin Treats, Halloween Books & More | Children's Books & More

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