We Polled The Staff, Here Are The Scariest Movies Ever
I was scrolling through the internet this morning and stumbled across a link to the "Scariest Movies of All Time," and I'll be honest with you, it left me scratching my head.
So I don't waste any of your time, here are those top five "expert" picks:
5. It Follows
4. The Shining
3. Paranormal Activity
1. The Exorcist
To be completely honest and fair, while there are three classics and one decent title on that list, it seems like someone lazily just made random picks from IMDB ratings in the horror category.
The Exorcist is the scariest movie of all time? Really? I'll give it the credit it rightfully deserves, it was a game-changer of a film when it came out, but it only deserves a "scariest" title from that same year, 1973.
I was somewhere around ten or eleven the first time I saw it, but even then it was 'meh' at best. After my older sister made us watch Poltergeist and Friday the 13th while mom and dad went to their Halloween parties, seeing The Exorcist was more like watching Ernest Scared Stupid. It was old, didn't have a bite, and the effect looked cheap by the time the 90s rolled around.
I fully admit I've been spoiled by modern-day practical effects and the nearly flawless CGI movies like Marvel use, so it's hard for me to watch the classics with any kind of regard for campy effects limited by old-school budgets.
It was quite the topic of conversation around the coffee maker this morning at the downtown studios, so we decided to make an actual list of scary movies, and the picks are on point for the most part. It's hard to account for age, upbringing, taste in movies, etc... but here's a quick rundown in no particular order of what we feel are the scariest movies ever.
The Exorcist: Our resident horror fanatic opted to prop up the shenanigans list on the grounds that it was so ground-breaking at the time. Not revered so much for the creep factor or fear it induced, but for the dialogue written in the script proving that it's hard to lay down a top pick that will please everybody.
Psycho: In all fairness, Alfred Hitchcock was a genius moviemaker that earned this flick on the list for the things he didn't opt to show in the film. As psychiatrists do, he used his film to lead you down a metaphorical path that allowed your own imagination to run wild with gore. Brilliant, but scary?
The Omen: Two people in the building ranked this one right up there with The Exorcist. One because it scared her, the other because he wanted a rottweiler as a pet. Both agree it was another game-changing type of film.
The Blair Witch Project: You know, I'm starting to think people hold the originators as heroes. Was Blair Witch scary? I suppose, in that Hitchcock "use your imagination" kind of way, sure... Exactly like in Night of the Wererooster, you never see the villain... You just imagine what it looks like.
Final Destination: It was the movie that gave everyone anxiety about driving behind logging trucks, even if they lived on the Great Plains where logging and seeing logging trucks is extremely rare. Fair enough, it was a good flick.
Hellraiser: This is one of the more rare opinions. Beloved not for the scare factor, but for the overall creepiness and dialogue delivery of Doug Bradley. To be fair, while the movies may not all be great, we all agree there's not a single bad one in the bunch.
If you're still here, let me give you a quick breakdown... Those five movies are the picks of the resident Gen-Xer's. The following are picks made by the younger Millennials.
Evil Dead: Before you roll your eyes over a truly terrible movie, it's not the original. Instead, this is the 2013 remake that did what the original couldn't... It was creepy in a very deep kind of way, proving that great modern effects can make or break even the best concepts.
Paranormal Activity: OK, so the original list gets one right. This movie seemed to be a turning point in the horror genre. Mixing classic movie-making styles with modern effects and technological culture had more than half of the theater hiding their eyes and jumping in their seats.
The Grudge: Shocker, another new genre-defining film becoming a memorable moment of creep in our collective lives. It goes to show that while remakes and sequels will make money, new originals will live on as legends. Don't tell me you never let it run through your imagination while washing your hair...
Hereditary: An absolute creep-fest of a movie. It mixes horror themes from some of the best scary movies to date into one jump-tastic film. A slow-moving story that randomly and suddenly jumps to chaotic outbursts of fear. It's a solid scary flick.
The Conjuring: If Hereditary mixes classic themes, The Conjuring perfected the sampling of other scary movies. The Exorcists, The Omen, The Grudge, Paranormal Activity, The Birds, etc... The scariest parts of dozens of classic screamers all mixed into one. 9/10
Scream: Even though it's become a commercial series that is more about making money than art, the original Scream was ridiculously good. Even though it avoids common horror themes like a mystical or gruesome backstory, it has to be one of the best slasher flicks of all time because it could realistically happen in any community in America.
This list could go on and on because there's no shortage of scary movies out there... Sinister, Candyman, Antlers, Cabin in the Woods, Quiet Place, Insidious... All classics, all creepy, all with their own scary moments. Still, each individual has their own opinion of scary, and because you can't fact-check an opinion, everyone is right whether you agree or not.
What's the movie that terrified you?