Top 11 Most Scariest Movies of All the Time

Published on August 01, 2022 18:01 PM by FactsWOW Team

The Exorcist(1973)

Even if you disagree that The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever, the fact that it came in first on our list with a whopping 19 percent of the votes cast certainly isn't much of a surprise. The first film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, William Friedkin's adaptation of the same-named novel about a child who is possessed by a demon and struggles to drive the demon from his body is the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie ever (it earned nine other nominations and took home two trophies). But aside from its reputation among critics and audiences, the movie is well-known for the widespread frenzy it caused across the nation, from protests over its contentious themes to tales of audience members fainting and feeling queasy. There's no disputing the impact the movie still has on many who view it for the first time, despite its dramatic pacing and perhaps dated effects when compared to some modern horror.


A dark family drama about the nature of grief wrapped up in a supernatural horror movie, written and directed by Ari Aster, made a big impression with his feature directorial debut. Toni Collette's performance as troubled mother Annie earned her a place in the pantheon of famous Oscar snubs, but the biggest surprise in the film came from... Well, we won't reveal it right now. Let's just say that Hereditary was such a hit with viewers that it immediately elevated Aster to second place on our list and made him a director to watch.

The Conjuring(2013)

With movies like Saw, Dead Silence, Insidious, and this chiller based on the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, James Wan has established himself as one of the current masters of horror. The Warrens were portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who gave weight to the scares and freak-out moments with a convincing sense of weariness. The Warrens are best known for their work on the bizarre case that served as the basis for the Amityville Horror films and was a factor in The Conjuring 2. Together, Wan and his co-leads discovered new fear in well-known genre clichés, and the result is a vast cinematic universe that only keeps expanding.

The Shinning(1980)

Numerous Stephen King books and short stories have been adapted for the big screen, including Pet Sematary, Misery, and Carrie. These adaptations don't even take into account non-horror works like The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me. But without a doubt, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining is the best of them all. The Shining is a masterpiece of set and production design, an unsettling retelling of the classic haunted house tale, and it stars an iconic Jack Nicholson performance. Even though there aren't many jumps scares in the movie, they are nevertheless incredibly terrifying, but their real strength comes from the way it gets under your skin and causes you to experience Jack Torrance's gradual decline into madness.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974)

Six films that each received about 3% of the votes cast followed the top four films on this list, which together received 42% of the votes cast overall. In other words, no more than 60 votes were separating these last six movies. This low-budget slasher, which Tobe Hooper directed and co-wrote, is the first of them. It is partially based on the atrocities of Ed Gein. This could happen, you guys! Texas Chainsaw's gritty look helped give it an aura of authenticity, which made it all the more terrifying, while Gunnar Hansen's Leatherface's enormous, ominous presence paved the way for other brutes like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. There have been other attempts to revitalize the franchise, and there is one more on the horizon, but none have come close to matching the original in terms of raw, extravagant, power tool-inspired fear.

The Ring(2002)

It's never easy to correctly translate a formula that works well in one culture to another, but Gore Verbinski managed to do it with The Ring. Verbinski's version of the acclaimed thriller about a cursed videotape by Japanese director Hideo Nakata kept the original's striking visual imagery, including the ghost of a young girl in a white dress with long black hair covering her face, and discovered that it terrified audiences from all over the world. Although the movie wasn't as well-liked as its predecessor, Naomi Watts gave a strong performance, and for many people, it was their first exposure to East Asian horror movies.


The movie that made John Carpenter famous and introduced the world to all-time scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis comes in at number seven on our list. While Halloween may not contain the same level of realistic gore we've come to expect from movies in that genre, it does contain a lot of tension and some creative thrills in a relatively small package. This movie is frequently cited as one of the earliest examples of the slasher genre as we know it today. The legacy of the movie is also largely untouchable: Michael Myers' mask is now legendary, and terms like the "final girl," "giant, unstoppable murderer," and "final girl" have been imprinted in the language of horror.


For those who didn't read the "scientific study" detailed at the outset, we've reached the movie they named the scariest. Director Scott Derrickson has made several horror movies before breaking into the MCU with 2016's Doctor Strange, several of which gained cult followings.

One of these was a small-scale haunted house/possession tale starring Ethan Hawke as a true-crime author who relocates his family into a home where a family was murdered only to learn the new residence may already be occupied by a fairly terrible tenant. Author C.

According to rumors, Robert Cargill was inspired to write the script by a nightmare he had after viewing The Ring, and the tale does bear a passing resemblance to that movie given the horrific snuff film aspect.

However, for many viewers, the suspenseful revelations and unsettling set pieces far exceeded any possible rehashed genre clichés. Additionally, at least one review claims that it is the scariest movie ever, so that must be significant.


However, James Wan and Patrick Wilson previously collaborated on this supernatural thriller about a young child who enters a coma and starts to channel a malicious spirit before they filmed The Conjuring, which has already appeared higher on the list. The plot itself wasn't particularly ground-breaking, but Leigh Whannell, a regular collaborator with Wan, gave it a compelling enough mythology to inspire three additional films. Insidious director James Wan also claimed that it was intended to be a reaction to Saw's overt brutality, which forced him to create something on a more spiritual level. The result is an effective chiller with what is generally regarded as one of the best jumps scares ever seen on film.

10 IT(2017)

Even though it has become so common to declare it, the fear of clowns is a very real thing. If you require any additional proof, we point you to IT's 2017 box office performance, which broke The Exorcist's 44-year record for the highest-grossing horror movie ever. It is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Oh, and it naturally placed 10th on this list. The big-budget remake by Andy Muschietti used nostalgia to tell the tale of traumatized youngsters, while Bill Skarsgard's portrayal of Pennywise the wicked, shape-shifting clown was peculiar and scary in all the right ways.

It is both the first installment in the It film series and the sequel to Tommy Lee Wallace's 1990 miniseries. The planning for Warner Bros. to adapt It for the big screen began in March 2009, and David Kajganich was initially slated to helm the project until being replaced by Cary Fukunaga in June 2012.

Andy Muschietti was hired to helm the movie in June 2015 after being fired as the director in May 2015. He mentions finding influence in 1980s movies like Near Dark, The Goonies, and Stand by Me (1987).

The movie was transferred to the New Line Cinema division during development. On June 27, 2016, principal photography commenced in Toronto and concluded on September 21, 2016. Port Hope, Oshawa, and Riverdale were among the Greater Toronto Area sites used for It.

In March 2017, Benjamin Wallfisch was brought on board to write the soundtrack for the movie.

The Nun(2018)

The Nun is a 2018 Gothic supernatural horror film that was written and directed by Corin Hardy and Gary Dauberman. It was based on a screenplay by Dauberman and James Wan.  It is the fifth entry in the Conjuring Universe series and a spin-off/prequel to 2016's The Conjuring 2.

Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, and Jonas Bloquet are the movie's leading actors, and Bonnie Aarons returns as the Demon Nun, a manifestation of Valak, from The Conjuring 2. In 1952 Romania, a Roman Catholic priest and a nun in her novitiate are shown investigating a sinister secret.

The Nun, a sequel to The Conjuring 2 that had debuted five days previously, was announced by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. Safran and Wan produced. David Leslie Johnson wrote the film's first draft of the script.

A fresh script for The Nun by Wan and Dauberman had been agreed to, and Hardy had agreed to direct it. In Bucharest, Romania, principal photography commenced in May 2017. An Eastern Orthodox priest blessed the site while filming.

Warner Bros. Pictures presented The Nun on September 7, 2018, in the US. While praising the performances and setting, many faulted the film's weak plot and illogical reasoning. It became the series' highest-grossing movie with a global take of $365 million.  

The Nun 2, which is being directed by Michael Chaves and co-produced by James Wan and Peter Safran, is now in production.

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