The horror genre is broad, but even movies that aren’t technically horror can be terrifying. Scary movies can be anxiety-inducing, some may be scary on a societal level, and some may have you checking behind you as you run down the hallway. Whatever preference you have, these are the scariest horror movies we’ve ever watched.
So get on the edge of your seat and find your next movie to talk your significant other into watching with you.
25 Of The Scariest Horror Movies You Should Watch Right Now
1. The Shining
Based on Stephen King‘s novel by the same name, The Shining follows a family headed to an isolated hotel for the winter.
Inside, they’ll find a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.
2. Halloween (1978)
No matter how many great new horror films come out, there will always be a spot for Michael in our hearts.
Halloween is set years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963 when Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.
3. The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring is based on the real-life work of husband-wife duo and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. They work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Five friends head out to rural Texas to visit the grave of a grandfather. On the way they stumble across what appears to be a deserted house, only to discover something sinister within. Something armed with a chainsaw.
It’s gross and full of gore and it’ll have you rethinking those rural road trips.
5. The Exorcist (1973)
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. It’s a classic for a reason.
6. REC (2007)
A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.
7. Hereditary (2018)
Hereditary is director Ari Aster’s debut film and, wow, did it pack a punch. Didn’t hurt that Toni Collette is a brilliant actor.
The movie follows a grieving family haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences.
8. Signs (2002)
Not everyone loves M. Night Shyamalan films, but Signs still takes the cake as having one of the most horrifying alien shots (to me) to date.
9. The Strangers (2008)
A young couple staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants.
10. The Descent (2005)
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.
11. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.
This indie film cost only $60k to produce and earned nearly $250 million at the box office.
12. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Teenager Nancy Thompson must uncover the dark truth concealed by her parents after she and her friends become targets of the spirit of a serial killer with a bladed glove in their dreams, in which if they die, it kills them in real life.
13. Insidious (2010)
A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.
14. The Ring (2002)
A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.
15. Hellraiser (1987)
A woman discovers the newly resurrected, partially formed, body of her brother-in-law. She starts killing for him to revitalize his body so he can escape the demonic beings that are pursuing him after he escaped their sadistic underworld.
Lots of torture and terrifying moments in this one. The reboot that came out in 2022 is also really good!
16. Sinister (2012)
A controversial true crime writer (Ethan Hawke) finds a box of Super-8 home movies in his new home, revealing that the murder case he is currently researching could be the work of an unknown serial killer whose legacy dates back to the 1960s.
17. Hell House LLC (2015)
Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.
The entire trilogy is honestly worth a watch.
18. The Babadook (2014)
A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children’s book titled “Mister Babadook” manifests in their home.
One of our favorite underrated horror movies.
19. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.
20. Nope (2022)
Jordan Peele is a horror mastermind and is latest only proves that further. The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.
21. It Follows (2014)
A teenage girl has sexual turned supernatural encounter when an unknown force is after her. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about.
22. Scream (1996)
A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.
Okay, it may not actually be one of the scariest horror movies ever, but it is one of the best. It manages to make fun of the genre while still being clever and nail-biting.
23. The Thing (1982)
This 80s horror movie follows a research team in Antarctica that is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims,
24. Alien (1979)
The crew of a commercial spacecraft encounter a deadly life form after investigating an unknown transmission. Alien is easily still one of the most iconic sci-fi horror movies ever.
25. Wolf Creek (2005)
Three backpackers stranded in the Australian outback are plunged inside a hellish nightmare of insufferable torture by a sadistic psychopathic local.
While not a full true story, this is based on actual murders committed by Ivan Milat in the 1990s near Sydney.