There are certain horror movies that give you the chills no matter what but there are also exceptional horror movies that will leave you breathless. Here are the top 5 scariest movies of all time.
1. The Exorcist
Considered one of the scariest horror movies of all time, The Exorcist is a supernatural suspense novel turned into a movie by William Peter Blatty. It tells the tale of a young girl and her mother’s efforts in dealing with demonic possession. With the help of two priests, they conduct an exorcism to help save the life of the young child. The film was released on December 26, 1973, and was the first-ever horror film to be nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Picture. It also had 10 nominations under its belt. The movie stars Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, and Max von Sydow.
Several aspects of the film were inspired by real-life exorcism performed on a young boy from Cottage City, Maryland. It was due to the aggressive behavior of the child that prompted his parents to seek help from the Church. Several parts of the boy’s exorcism were adapted to the screen but the writers reluctantly did not want to reveal which parts of the movie were adapted from the real version. Only those who have witnessed the real exorcism can tell which parts of the movie were adapted from it.
Many people who worked on the set believed that the movie was cursed. There were certain situations that the harnesses broke loose and injured the actors. The movie garnered positive reviews for being one of the most horrifying movies of all time. The head rotating scene has now become a pop culture phenomenon.
2. The Shining
The Shining is a psychological horror film that infuses both cabin fever phenomenon with ghostly experience. The film was based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. It was directed by world-renowned director Stanley Kubrick and starred Jack Nicholson as the titular character of Jack Torrance. Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd co-stars in this film. The Shining is a story about a writer who takes the job as an off-season caretaker of an isolated hotel. He takes his wife and son to the hotel as well. Jack’s son possesses psychic abilities and is able to see both past and present as well as the ghosts that reside within the hotel premises. The family is soon trapped by a snowstorm and Jack descends into complete madness and tries to kill his own family.
The initial reaction of the audience was a resounding groan but as soon as the movie started garnering momentum, the initial reaction favored a positive one.
The original lukewarm reception was later on replaced by raving reviews of the movie which garnered several awards. The scene where Jack Torrance hacks through the wooden door with an ax is now a pop culture phenomenon. Initially set to be a mere psychological thriller, The Shining is now one of the scariest horror movies ever to be seen on screen.
3. The Ring
The Ring of Ringu is a Japanese-based horror movie in 1998. The Japanese film was considered the highest-grossing horror film in Japan at 12 billion yen and is one of the scariest horror films in the country. In 2002, it was later adapted as an American film that starred Naomi Watts as the titular character. The film focuses on the curse of the videotape wherein anyone who has seen it will die after seven days. The videotape seemingly delivers random disturbing images but later on has a connection to the origins of the cursed videotape. The film’s heavy atmosphere allowed it to flourish and be able to tell the tale of Samara and her experience with her mother.
The film opened to both critical and financial success favoring the atmospheric setup of the movie. Although there were minor derivations from the Japanese version, the American version of the movie preserved the overall plot of the story.
The Saw is originally a nine-minute Australian horror clip used to pitch in ideas for a movie. James Wan and Leigh Whannel made the clip in which the latter starred it. It was in 2004 that the clip was finally made into a full feature film under the budget of only 1.2 million dollars. Saw tells the story of a young man who finds himself trapped in a room with another man. They then discovered that they are victims of a mastermind who calls himself Jigsaw. It is later discovered that both men’s lives are intertwined with each other and one has to cut off another’s leg in order to save their own lives. Within the movie, Jigsaw explains the complexities of their lives as the story starts to reveal their connection.
Driven by intense longing for life, Jigsaw preys on people who have seemingly given up on life in order to help them understand that living is a resource that others cannot afford especially for Jigsaw who is suffering from a terminal illness.
Critical reviews of the film were generally positive. The film garnered 103 million dollars in its total screening and a sequel was made right after. It was later on decided that the franchise was very lucrative and the studio made efforts to make more films about Jigsaw and his knack for preying on victims whose lives are intertwined. This is especially prominent in later installments of the franchise.
Insidious is a 2011 American horror-thriller film starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Bryn, and Barbara Hershey. The story revolves around a couple whose son falls under a comatose state after falling and later discovers that an entity is haunting them. They soon hire a medium and discover that their son is trapped in an astral dimension and the entities living in that dimension are using their son to cross over to our plane.
Later on, the film reveals that the father also inherited the same fate as their son when he was still a child. The film ends with the father possessed by beings from the astral dimension.