You want to see something REALLY SCARY?

Feb 23, 2003 (Updated Sep 12, 2007)

The Bottom Line Every one of these flicks will make your hair stand on end and sleep with the lights on!!

There are lots of movies with some scary spots but how many with scary plots? Well I have some for you! Most of the movies that scared the hell out of me I viewed as a child. Movies like The Exorcist and The Evil Dead were awesome scary movies! Even now they are still spooky! I have only seen a couple that have scared me as an adult. At any rate I have compiled a list of movies that made a Sleep with the lights on, impression on me.

1. The Exorcist (1973)

Based on the novel by William Peter Blatty
Directed by William Friedkin
Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil
Jason Miller (I) as Father Damien Karras
Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil
Max von Sydow as Father Lankester Merrin
Lee J. Cobb as Lieutenant Kinderman

I was about seven years old when I seen the Exorcist at our local drive in theater. After seeing this film, to this day the thought of a possession scares the hell out of me! It's just pure freaky man! I believe the reason it is so scary is that the movie was based on a possession that took place in 1949, which Blatty wrote the novel about. A long with that the Catholic Church used to recognize an actual possession and deal with them by way of an exorcism. If you are a god-fearing person this movie will play on your mind!

Regan MacNeil (Blair) is a 12-year-old girl who has been playing around with an Ouija Board. She had made contact with an entity that called itself Captain Howdy. Shortly thereafter she began to experience the power of this twisted evil spirit. Before long she was at the complete mercy of this demon. It had manifested itself in here body and was extremely violent. Regans mother Chris, had been to every shrink in the state who had ran every test imaginable. There were no answers as Regan’s condition (possession) grew even worse.

There were no more options so Chris entertained the thought that Regan might in fact be possessed. She turned to Father Damien Karras for help. Father Karras was also a physiatrist. He immediately identified the situation as a possession. The only issue was that there was only one man in the Catholic Church who had actually done an exorcism, this man was Father Merrin. By now the possession was getting vulgar! The assault on Regan by the demon was so intense that Regan was in danger of loosing her life. I you would like to scare the hell out of yourself, rent The Exorcist

{Quotes from the Exorcist}

Regan MacNeil, Your mother's in here, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I'll see that she gets it!

Father Merrin, The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, but powerful. So don't listen, remember that, do not listen.

Chris MacNeil, I thought you were supposed to be an expert on this.

Father Karras, There are no experts. You probably know as much about possession as most priests.


Academy Awards
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: William Peter Blatty

Golden Globe Awards (1974)
Best Director - Motion Picture: William Friedkin
Best Motion Picture - Drama
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: William Peter Blatty
Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture: Linda Blair

Runtime: 2 hours 55 minutes
Rated: [R]

2. Phantasm (1979)

Directed by Don Coscarelli
Angus Scrimm as "The Tall Man"
Michael Baldwin as Mike
Reggie Bannister as Reggie
Bill Thornbury as Jodi

Phantasm was the first scary movie that I had ever seen. It seriously freaked me out! It takes place in midtown America, 1970's. Mike and his brother Jodi had recently lost their parents. Mike began to fear losing his brother, Jodi while having some horrendous nightmares. His nightmares began to interchange with his reality. Mike convinces Jodi as well as Jodi's friend Reggie that their was something really weird going on at the town mortuary. Mike, Jodi and Reggie get in way over their heads when they go after "The Tall Man"!

{Quotes from the Phantasm}

Reggie,OK, I see it all now. We gotta stomp the sh*t outta that tall dude!

Runtime:1 hour 30 minutes
Rated: [R]

3. The Evil Dead (1982)

Directed by Sam Raimi
Bruce Campbell as Ashley Williams

Five college friends had planned a trip out to an old cabin in the woods. Little did they know, the cabin had previously been used to conger up evil spirits from a wicked ancient Cult "Book Of The Dead". The previous inhabitants were nowhere to be found. There were all sorts books and a recorder. Everything was set to unleash these demons. All that needed to happen was for someone to push play...The forest comes alive, the people become possessed, and there is no escape!

{Quotes from The Evil Dead}

{After Cheryl became possessed}
Cheryl, Why have you disturbed our sleep? Awakened us from our ancient slumber? "YOU WILL DIE"!

Runtime:1 hour 25 minutes
Rated: [R]

4. Poltergeist (1982)

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Craig Nelson as Steve Freeling
JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling
Heather O'Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling
Zelda Rubinstein as Tangina Barrons

Poltergeist is about a developer that builds a housing project on an old cemetery. The developer had all the headstones removed and placed somewhere else. They only neglected one issue, they never removed the caskets. The Freeling family moved in to their new house and things started to go very wrong, very fast. The poltergeist started out by just moving things around and then started creating weird gravity fields within the house. In a short amount of time the poltergeist began to get violent. Before it would end a psychic would take the family to hell and back to save their daughter.

{Quotes from The Poltergeist}

Diane, Carol Anne, listen to me! DO NOT go to the light. Stop where you are. Turn away from it, don't even look at it.

Runtime:1 hour 50 minutes
Rated: [R]

5. Nightmare On Elm Street

Directed by Wes Craven
Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson
Johnny Depp as Glen Lantz
John Saxon as Donald Thompson
Ronee Blakley as Marge Thompson

The ultimate bad dream flick! This will play on your mind a bit. Freedy Krueger kills you while you sleep, if you die in a dream state, you will die in reality. So as the children on Elm Street go to sleep Freddy puts on his straight razor gloves and goes to hacking away! You can run but you can't hide... Sooner or later everyone has to go to sleep! Freddy goes on a killing spree after the children. The only way they can kill Krueger is to bring him out into their world, out of the dream state. The special effects in this old horror flick will keep you on the edge of your seat!

{Quotes from the Nightmare On Elm Street}

Children singing, One, two, Freddy's coming for you - Three, four, better lock your door - Five, six, grab your crucifix - Seven, eight, better stay up late - Nine, ten, never sleep again...

Runtime:1 hour 35 minutes
Rated: [R]

6. The Shining (1980)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance
Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance
Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance
Scatman Crothers as Dick Hollorann

Jack Torrance takes the job as the caretaker for an isolated Colorado resort. It is a winter job and all he has to do is some miner maintenance to the resort while he stays there for the winter. This is an ideal job for Jack as he is ambitious to write another novel. Jack moves his wife and son to the Overlook hotel and winter sets in. Jacks son Danny has a special gift to see into the future, as does Mr. Hollorann. Mr. Hollerann refereed to this gift as "The Shining". As winter sets in on the Overlook Hotel, Jack seems to go stir crazy and the evil past of the Overlook and it's demons play on his mind. Danny starts to have terrifying glimpses into the future. Jack Torrance goes completely out of his mind to say the least. He turns into a man with a fire axe and his family has nowhere to go. The Shining is a true horror classic. Jack Nicholson plays the best axe murdering fruit cake you will ever see!

{Quotes from The Shining}

Hallorann, Some places are like people, some shine and some don't.

Jack Torrance,HERE'S JOHNNY!

Runtime: 2 hours 25 minutes
Rated: [R]

7. The Omen (1976)

Directed By Richard Donner
Gregory Peck as Robert Thorn
Lee Remick as Kathey Thorn
Harvey Stephens as Damien
Billie Whitelaw as Mrs. Baylock

Robert Thorn is a U.S. Diplomat and U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. Robert & Kathy were to have a baby but the child was a stillborn so Robert switched the dead baby with another baby in the hospital who's mother had died during birth. Everything goes smooth for about five years and then all hell starts breaking loose. Young Damien is the Anti-Christ, complete with a wicked nanny and Rotweilers. Definitely a scary movie!

{Quotes from The Omen}

Mrs. Baylock, Have no fear little one... I am hear to protect thee.

Monk, For everything holy, there is something unholy. That is the essence of temptation.

Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes
Rated: [R]

8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Directed by Tobe Hooper
Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface
Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty
Paul Partain as Franklin Hardesty

A group of hippies are traveling across Texas. They see a hitchhiker and make the mistake of stopping and picking him up. The boy is a part of a whacked out family that runs a small slaughterhouse. They finally get rid of the hitchhiking boy after he cuts himself and another passenger in the van. Instead of driving and getting the hell away from this weird place they pull over for a rest break. Then they went exploring and met the infamous Leatherface. Leatherface doesn't say much he just hacks folks up with a chainsaw and hangs live people on meat hooks. The movie is FREAKY!

Runtime:1 hour 25 minutes
Rated: [R]

9. Amityville Horror (1979)

Directed by Stuart Rosenberg (I)
James Brolin as George Lutz
Margot Kidder as Kathey Lutz
Rod Steiger as Father Delaney

The Amityville horror was based on a book written by Jay Anson. Author Jay Anson claims that The Amityville Horror is a true story that took place in Amityville, New York. The Amityville house has some serious issues! Evil spirits possesses the house itself. These spirits start to play on Mr. Lutz's mind. They decide to call a priest and have him bless the house. This is where things really start to go down hill. The house has a fit and literally tells Father Delaney, "GET OUT"!! Then the house turns into a living hell, while George Lutz loses his mind.

Runtime:1 hour 55 minutes
Rated: [R]

10. Hell Raiser (1987)

Directed By Clive Barker
Sean Chapman as Frank Cotton
Andrew Robinson as Larry Cotton
Doug Bradley as Pinhead Cenobite
Nicholas Vince as Chattering Cenobite

Frank Cotton figures out how to open this trippy little puzzle box that he had bought (puzzle of the Lamont Configuration). When he does this it opens a new dimension from hell and gives the Cenobites access to his reality, space and time. These three Cenobites are quite possibly the nastiest, meanest, freaky looking demons you will see in any movie. It is definitely worth seeing!

Pinhead Cenobite, We will tear your soul apart.

Runtime:1 hour 35 minutes
Rated: [R]

Honorable Mention

The Entity
Saw II
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Tourist Trap (1979)
American Werewolf In London
When A Stranger Calls
Salems Lot
Friday The 13th
Blair Witch Project
The Howling
The Beast Within
Pumpkin Head
Thir13en Ghosts 2004
The Ring 2004
Boogyman 2005
The Hills Have Eyes 2006
Wolf Creek 2006
Wrong Turn 2006
SAW III 2006
Grudge II 2006

The Classics

The Birds
The Night Of The Living Dead

More of my Top-Ten Movie Lists

Top Ten Westerns
Top Ten Comedies
Top Ten World War II Movies
Top Ten American Civil War Films
Top Ten Submarine Movies
Top Ten Alien Movies
Top Ten Movies Ever Made

Thanks for the read,


2003 Joe McMaster

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