The 10 Scariest Horror Movies Of All Time

Get ready to grab your go-to movie-time snack and brace yourself for some spine-chilling moments. Which movies hold an eternal grip on the top spots of your favorites?

Rotten Tomatoes unveiled a compilation of the ten most hair-raising films. They invited users to participate in a poll, determining which film has the power to make you jump out of your seat, and which ones will leave you glancing over your shoulder after you turn off the lights.

To curate this list, Rotten Tomatoes also incorporated insights from an external ‘scare’ factor analysis, courtesy of a study conducted by a British broadband service. You can access their comprehensive study by clicking on this link.

Now, without any more delay, let’s delve into the ultimate reveal of the movie that the public has crowned as the most terrifying of all time.

1. The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin from a screenplay by William Peter Blatty, based on his 1971 novel of the same name. The story follows the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s attempt to rescue her through an exorcism by two Catholic priests.

2. Hereditary (2018)

When her mentally ill mother passes away, Annie (Toni Collette), her husband (Gabriel Byrne), son (Alex Wolff), and daughter (Milly Shapiro) all mourn her loss. The family turn to different means to handle their grief, including Annie and her daughter both flirting with the supernatural. They each begin to have disturbing, otherworldly experiences linked to the sinister secrets and emotional trauma that have been passed through the generations of their family.

3. The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan and written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

4. The Shining (1980)

The Shining is a 1980 supernatural horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name. A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American horror film produced and directed by Tobe Hooper from a story and screenplay by Hooper and Kim Henkel. In the early hours of August 18, 1973, a grave robber steals several remains from a cemetery near Newt, Muerto County, Texas. The robber ties a rotting corpse and other body parts onto a monument, creating a grisly display which is discovered by a local resident as the sun rises.

6. The Ring (2002)

The Ring is a 2002 American psychological supernatural horror film directed by Gore Verbinski from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, and starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson and Brian Cox. Teenage girls Katie and Becca discuss an urban legend about a cursed videotape that causes whoever watches it to die in seven days. That night, Katie, who watched it a week ago, is killed by an unseen force.

7. Halloween (1978)

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill. On Halloween night 1963, in the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois, six-year-old Michael Myers stabs his teenage sister Judith to death with a chef’s knife. On October 30, 1978, Michael’s psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Loomis and his colleague, Nurse Marion Chambers, drive to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium (where Michael has been incarcerated), to escort Michael to court for a hearing; Loomis hopes that Michael will be imprisoned for life. Michael escapes Smith’s Grove and steals the car.

8. Sinister (2012)

Sinister is a 2012 horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by C. Robert Cargill and Derrickson. A controversial true crime writer 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.

9. Insidious (2010)

Insidious is an American horror franchise created by Leigh Whannell and James Wan. A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

10. IT (2017)

It (titled onscreen as It Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman. When young children in the little town Derry, Maine goes missing a group of seven kids find out that the killer is not a man. The killer is the evil clown Pennywise who can shapeshift into the thing you are most afraid of. The kids, also known as the Losers Club, decide to fight and kill It.

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