Scary Movies that Actually Scare!!!

Mar 14, 2003

The Bottom Line DO NOT RENT MOVIES LIKE "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Psycho", or "The Excorsist". THEY'RE GOOD BUT OVERRATED AND DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST.

Anyone who rents a scary movie, does so for one simple reason— to be scared. I’m sure that everybody like this, who enjoys a good scare, has gone to their local video store on at least one ocassion in search of the spookiest film in stock, only to be disappointed in the end.

I know this feeling all too well. I’ve seen more cheese-fests then Halloween has sequels!

If you’ve come to this page seeking a true horror movie then I’ll try my best not to let you down. Please keep in mind this is my own humble opinion. I’ve seen a lot of scary movies, but by no means them all. There was a time when I could not sit through an episode of Goosebumps and now I’ve gained almost an immunity to horror movies. Opinion is opinion; what some call terrible others call terrifying.

All the movies on my list are scary; there’s no doubt about it. Some are only scary the first time, others remain scary again and again. For a couple of these I’ll admit there may be large gaps between scary parts but each is insured to have at least one jump, scream, or gasp, provoking scene, that will certainly make it worth your while.

All of the following movies —in no particular order— are scary…

10. The Blair Witch Project (1999) I know, I know. You’re probably one of the millions who either thinks this movie is stupid, or has heard that it’s stupid. I strongly disagree. I think that this movie is sheer genius. Its creators took next to nothing and came out with something spectacular (not to mention gobs of cash!) What I found to be so scary about this film was it realistic nature, an aspect I’m sure the directors were hoping to achieve. Movies like this stimulate that eerie sensation, in the back of your mind, which tells us “this could happen to me”. And it could, unlike many modern horror flicks in which the characters are as unrealistic as the stars that play them. Please don’t let my #10 choice turn you off the rest of my list.

9. Donnie Darko (2001) This movie wasn’t what I expected, based on the previews, however I was not disappointed. I definitely enjoyed its believable characters and the frightening circumstances that begin to unfold all around an “average” American family. The giant rabbit that seems to be taking over Donnie’s sanity was a terrifying yet original creation. Spectacular ending that will leave you strangely at ease whether you understood it or not…

8. Dog Soldiers (2002) In this movie two small groups of British soldiers are placed deep in the Scottish woodland, miles and miles from civilization, on a training mission— all rifles are to filled with blanks. However when one team stumbles upon the grizzly remains of their opponents the men find themselves pit against a monstrous enemy, far more powerful then anything this mission could have trained them for. For me this movie had been a grab-something-quick choice and definitely surprised my friends and I. A great film (produced in the UK) that made me jump, scream, and gasp all throughout.

7. The Shining (1980) A break from the more modern films on my list, The Shining takes us back a few years to a movie based on one of Stephen King’s very first novels. If a Stephen King fan, then you’re guaranteed to like this and if not… well… I know you’ll like it anyway. I watched this first— bits and pieces of it—at a younger age, back when I had run from the room at each scary part. Watching it again several years later I was still frightened, though managed to sit through the whole thing. By the time we watched it at a friend’s Halloween Party I was accustomed to the macabre film, however my friends weren’t. We all got a few great screams out of it, myself included, and agreed that it was definitely worth renting; since most make their movie-decisions based on the release date. Although there were some real corny thrillers in the 70s/80s, this definitely isn’t one of them!

6. Signs (2002) Mel Gibson and his quiet, simplistic, family are stunned to find a genuine crop circle in their corn field— one of the hundreds which are appearing world wide, prophesying an alien invasion. Great story-line, unpredictable in places, and very realistic. You may not be completely satisfied with the ending but its what is in the middle that counts, and ‘the middle’ is crammed full of some pretty scary stuff! This was the only movie I can remember actually screaming out loud in the theatre while watching. Great film, but it’s one of those only-scary-the-first-time movies. *Watch in the dark!*

5. It (1990) Yet another Stephen King film, and an amazing one at that! I remember as a little kid, being in the video store with my best friend. We both watched the first part of this movie on the display TV and were terrified. We didn’t know anything about it; only that in it there was a clown and he was scary as hell… Years later we remembered it— half wondering if perhaps we’d just dreamt up such a scary film— and rented it. It was still scary all those years later, although the film was originally formatted for television. I’ll warn you now there are a few corny scenes however the majority is great, and will make up for some little chunks of cheese.

4. Sleepy Hollow (1999) You definitely know the story of sleepy hollow, Ichabod Crane goes to a tiny up-state town and encounters what locals call, The Headless Horsemen. This film wasn’t the first Sleepy Hollow rendition that I’ve seen but it was by far the best! Whether I was watching in the cold, dark basement or upstairs in the living room— this movie scared the crap out of me. Terrific characters, amazing set, and is sure to scare the crap outta you!

3. House on Haunted Hill (1999) A group of strangers are invited to spend the night at the notorious “Hill House” for a party with an intriguing catch— stay till morning and you win a million dollars. Steven Price (owner of Price Amusement Parks) has rigged the whole building with spooky surprises only to have the tables turned when the real ghosts begin to stir things up themselves. This is a great movie— remake of an older film— and will definitely pack some scares. The only thing I found annoying was that the “house” on haunted hill wasn’t even a house! It was an old mental institute, but I guess that makes it even scarier.

2. Misery (1990) Novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued by a psychotic nurse (Annie Wilkes, played by my favorite actress Kathy Bates). He is imprisoned in her middle-of-nowhere house and must escape. This movie is probably my all-time favorite horror flick. I’d say it’s the best movie out there for some one in search of a scare. It has all the best aspects of a real scary movie; it’s suspenseful, will make you jump and scream, has original characters, is unique, and even has a few parts that might make you laugh! By the end of the film I was kneeling on the floor, staring hard at the screen and chewing on my lower lip— not knowing what to expect but urging on the main character aloud. If you rent this film you’ll know exactly what I’m talking. Once again, this is undoubtedly better then any other horror movie I’ve ever seen and recommend to anyone.

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no number one. I honestly couldn’t think of ten movies that could go under the title “Scary Movies That Will Actually Scare”. I was tempted to just stick Texas Chainsaw Massacre in as a filler but that movie was not scary. I noticed it on a lot of lists and I’m always surprised since it was really a pathetic film— no story line; literally half was one girl screaming/running. Sorry if this list is false advertised with only nine movies but they’re all magnificant and guaranteed to scare!

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