Below are 10 movies that are actually scary.  They are not necessarily my favorites, but the directors got it right with these by actually scaring viewers. I am a big fan of gore, but unfortunately, many horror films today lack truly scary elements and just try to gross people out.  They instead tend to rely on fake scares that make the viewer jump or gore with no real story.


1.  The Exorcist-  The statement across the bottom of the box is not just hype.  This movie is scary as hell.  Yes, I was only a kid when I saw it and that probably had much to do with my rating this the scariest.  But, even as an adult, Linda Blair is pretty damned creepy in this film.  The newer cut with the "spider walk" scene is excellent.

2.  The Shining- The first time I saw this, the two girls that kept popping up nearly did me in.  It is a miracle that I didn't just stop watching horror after seeing this.  Kids are just plain frightening in these roles.  The acting in this film is top notch and the story has an air of believability that makes you uncomfortable.  Jack Nicholson was nothing short of amazing.

3.  The Amityville Horror-  Kind of cheesy by today's standard, but a great movie in its' time.  They really pushed the whole "true story" angle in the marketing.  I was afraid to go into the basement for a solid two weeks after watching this at 10 years of age.  I watched it recently and wasn't nearly as impressed, but the first viewing certainly gets your attention.

4.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-  Not only was it actually scary, but I feel that this movie alone raised the bar for brutality in horror.  Had Tobe Hooper never made another film, he would still be a horror icon for this contribution to the genre. 

5.  When A Stranger Calls- The original was awesome.  The remake, not so much.  Carol Kane and Charles Durning were excellent.  The phone calls toward the beginning of the film are really disturbing.

6.  The Evil Dead-  Although it gets quite funny once it gets rolling, it is creepy as hell for quite a while.  The Evil Dead series made Sam Raimi a cult hero.  If you get a chance, check out the prequel "Within The Woods."  It is a short that was made prior to The Evil Dead to raise money to shoot the classic feature film.  Raimi is one of the first to blend comedy and horror.

7.  Mirrors-

8. The Descent-  

9.  Jaws-

10.  House of 1,000 Corpses-