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Top 20 Best Scariest Horror Movies to Haunt Your Dreams

Discover the ultimate list of the scariest horror movies of all time! From iconic classics like “Psycho” and “The Shining” to modern masterpieces such as “Get Out” and “Hereditary,” these films promise to deliver spine-tingling thrills and unforgettable scares. Whether you’re a seasoned horror enthusiast or just dipping your toes into the genre, these top 20 scariest horror movies are sure to haunt your nightmares for years to come. Get ready to scream with our handpicked selection of horror cinema’s finest offerings!

Are you looking to dive into the chilling world of horror cinema? Look no further! Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best scariest horror movies.  These spine-tingling films are guaranteed to send shivers down your spine. From classic psychological thrillers to modern supernatural tales, these movies offer a diverse range of horror experiences that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Get ready to scream, jump, and maybe even sleep with the lights on as you embark on a journey through the best scariest horror movies of all time.

1. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Director: John Landis

Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Joe Belcher

Runtime: 97 minutes

“John Landis’ ‘An American Werewolf in London’ merges horror with comedy, delivering a tale of lycanthropy that is both terrifying and darkly humorous.” This is among the top 20 scariest horror movies coming out

2. Psycho (1960)

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Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles

Runtime: 109 minutes

“Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ revolutionized the horror genre with its psychological depth and iconic shower scene.” This is the new scariest horror movie on Netflix

3. The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair

Runtime: 122 minutes

“William Friedkin’s ‘The Exorcist’ remains a terrifying exploration of faith and possession, with Linda Blair’s performance as Regan setting a new standard for horror.” new best scariest horror movies streaming

4. The Shining (1980)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd

Runtime: 146 minutes

“Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ is a chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, featuring Jack Nicholson’s iconic portrayal of a writer driven to madness.” horror movies. 

5. Hereditary (2018)

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Director: Ari Aster

Stars: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, and Gabriel Byrne

Runtime: 127 minutes

“Ari Aster’s ‘Hereditary’ is a harrowing exploration of grief and familial trauma, with Toni Collette delivering a powerhouse performance as a mother unraveling under supernatural forces.” It is the scariest horror movie.

6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, and Allen Danziger

Runtime: 83 minutes

This is considered one of the scariest horror movies. “Tobe Hooper’s ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ is a relentless and visceral horror experience that remains a benchmark in the genre.”

7. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Director: Roman Polanski

Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, and Ruth Gordon

Runtime: 136 minutes

“Roman Polanski’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ is a chilling tale of paranoia and maternal horror, with Mia Farrow delivering a captivating performance as a woman caught in a web of conspiracy.” This film is also on the list of the top 20 scariest horror movies.

8. The Babadook (2014)

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Director: Jennifer Kent

Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, and Daniel Henshall

Runtime: 93 minutes

“Jennifer Kent’s ‘The Babadook’ is a haunting exploration of grief and motherhood, with Essie Davis delivering a standout performance as a mother battling a sinister presence.”  This is a gritty horror movie. 

9. The Ring (2002)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, and Brian Cox

Runtime: 115 minutes

“Gore Verbinski’s ‘The Ring’ is one of the best scariest horror movies, featuring a haunting storyline about a cursed videotape that brings doom to anyone who watches it, with chilling visuals and an atmosphere of dread.”

10. Midsommar (2019)

Director: Ari Aster

Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, and William Jackson Harper

Runtime: 148 minutes

“Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’ is a visually stunning and deeply unsettling folk horror film, exploring themes of grief, isolation, and toxic relationships.” This is a Netflix horror movie. 

11. Get Out (2017)

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Director: Jordan Peele

Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, and Bradley Whitford

Runtime: 104 minutes

“Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ is a groundbreaking blend of horror and social commentary, exploring race relations in America through the lens of a chilling thriller.”  This is among the scariest horror movies. 

12. It Follows (2014)

Director: David Robert Mitchell

Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, and Olivia Luccardi

Runtime: 100 minutes

“David Robert Mitchell’s ‘It Follows’ is a modern horror masterpiece, combining psychological terror, and is among the top 20 scariest horror movies. With a unique premise that lingers long after the credits roll.”

13. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Directors: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

Stars: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard

Runtime: 81 minutes

“Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s ‘The Blair Witch Project’ revolutionized found-footage horror, immersing audiences in a terrifying tale of supernatural terror and psychological unraveling.” This is one of the best horror movies.

14. A Quiet Place (2018)

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Director: John Krasinski

Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, and Millicent Simmonds

Runtime: 90 minutes

“John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ is a tense and innovative horror film, using silence as a weapon against terrifying creatures that hunt by sound.” This movie is also considered one of the scariest horror movies.

15. Alien (1979)

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, and John Hurt

Runtime: 117 minutes

“Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ is a heart-pounding sci-fi horror masterpiece that terrifies with its claustrophobic atmosphere, iconic creature design, and relentless tension, making it one of the best scariest horror movies ever made.”

16. The Conjuring (2013)

Director: James Wan

Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Lili Taylor

Runtime: 112 minutes

The Conjuring is at the top of the list of the scariest horror of thevies. “James Wan’s ‘The Conjuring’ is a spine-tingling supernatural thriller, based on the real-life investigations of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.” 

17. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette

Runtime: 107 minutes

“M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Sixth Sense’ delivers a spine-tingling twist on the supernatural thriller genre…” This movie is still known as one of the top 20 scariest horror movies. 

18. The Thing (1982)

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Director: John Carpenter

Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, and Keith David

Runtime: 109 minutes

“John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ is a masterclass in paranoia and suspense…” This is also a list of the top 20 scariest horror movies. 

19. Poltergeist (1982)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, and Craig T. Nelson

Runtime: 114 mins

“Tobe Hooper and producer Steven Spielberg created a veritable masterwork…”  This is also included in the list of top 20 scariest horror movies

20. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Director: Wes Craven

Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, and Robery Englund

Runtime: 91 mins

This is among the top 20 best scariest horror movies. 

“Wes Craven’s ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ introduces audiences to the iconic villain Freddy Krueger.”

Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.