Renegade Staff Picks: Scariest Horror Movies

Warner Bros.
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Scariest Horror Movies

 

scariest horror movies

Rogue Pictures

The Strangers

Calibertholomew Winfield: Before I saw the Strangers, the American version of The Grudge was the scariest film I saw, as it caused me to yell out in terror while I watched it mid-day, with 2 friends of mine.

But then I saw The Strangers. I’m so embarrassed to even admit this, but there were times during the movie where the tension was so over the top, I had my hands over my eyes. It had immensely creepy music that played so well to the cat & mouse game of the killers, used sparingly and working pitch perfect in conjunction with the fantastic atmosphere, and fantastic direction.

An incredibly well done film.

 

scariest horror movies

Universal Pictures

Rear Window

Derek Johns: Rear Window is one of HItchcock’s most beloved films and for good reason. As Jimmy Stewart has nothing better to do all day but spy on his neighbors, he begins to suspect one of them murdered his wife. The truly effective thing about this movie is that neither Stewart nor the audience actually sees the crime being committed so you’re forced to spend most of the running time questioning whether or not this is all in Stewart’s head. No one has ever had the ability to terrify his audience like Alfred Hitchcock.

 

scariest horror movies

Warner Bros.

The Exorcist

Rick Tym: I’ve got to go with The Exorcist for this one. Even when I was younger just seeing the tv edited version of this classic was enough to set me on edge. This answer is personal as I was brought up both Catholic and a fan of horror, via my dad. At first it was slasher films (I saw Halloween, my favorite horror movie of all time, at way too young an age), but The Exorcist was a different type of horror experience, given the elements of religion and demonic possession. I’d always been taught the positive site of being Catholic, and the most hardcore teachings ever got were Job and other Old Testament fire and brimstone God tough love. But The Exorcist brought forth the possible dark side of believing in such things, in having faith and having that faith shaken. The image of a possessed Reagan reaching up with Pazuzu light from behind in the background sums up the experience for me (and was also the image in the film that gave me the most dread and sleeplessness). Thankfully faith endured (in the film, the jury is still out when it comes to me adult personal beliefs), but imagine, for an instant, that such things could happen, and not be relegated to some remote location (search the web for ‘exorcism’ and you’ll find plenty of tales of missionaries and the like battling demonic forces), but in a child’s bedroom, right up your street?

 

scariest horror movies

THINKFilm

Tideland

Ruby Le Rouge: The most unsettling movie I can think of isn’t technically a horror movie, but it definitely has some horrific elements (funny that I review horror movies, and it’s not one, huh?) The movie that gives me the major heebs is the Terry Gilliam flick Tideland. There is a lot of strange scenes in that movie, but none so much as human taxidermy *shudders*, it still creeps me out thinking of it. I had to watch Time Bandits 46 times before the shock was truly washed away.

Come to think of it, the second most squick worthy flick isn’t a horror either, that one is Requiem for a Dream. Far too many disturbing scenes to list them all.

 

Scariest Horror Movies

Pioneer Theater

Psycho

Bethany Lewis: Most people think of the shower scene when they think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and that’s exactly the scene that scarred me for years after accidentally catching it while flipping through the channels when I was twelve years old. I had no idea what I was watching, but it looked interesting. Little did I expect a calm and refreshing shower scene to end in horrifying murder. That night, I had my mom stand guard outside the bathroom as I took my shower, and to this day I feel the need to check behind the shower curtain for murderers. Later, Psycho became one of my favorite movies…but that scene still scares the crap out of me.

 

scariest horror movies

Merrick Morton/Dreamworks Pictures

The Ring

Shawn S. Lealos: It was 2002 and I was really getting into movies hardcore at that time. I was basically hitting the movie theater multiple times a week and seeing everything that was showing. Hell, on Tuesdays at that time, I was seeing three movies that day alone with just a short break for lunch in between two of them. That is when my obsession really began and I became a film lover and not just a movie goer. It was that year that I saw The Ring. I mention that because I was actually so obsessed with movies that I was going to most of them by myself because – who else wants to sit through three movies in a day? Well, I saw The Ring at a matinee, with only one other person in the theater, and that movie scared the ever living shit out of me. Dear God, I think the ghost child was ruined over time, but that scene of her coming out of the TV scared the piss out of me and I don’t think I slept at all that night.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
  • Im3466

    I thought “Psycho” was boring

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