13 Movies That Scared Us: The Whole Bloody List

The list of the 13 scariest, creepiest, or just plain haunting horror movies that ever crept in our nightmares is in one place!

For the last 13 days, we have counted down the scariest, creepiest, or simply most haunting horror flicks that much of the Den of Geek staff has ever had the pleasure of seeing in our nightmares. But now that the list is done, we’ve compiled the whole bloodbath here for your soaking pleasure; we’ve got Halloween, The Exorcist, The Descent, Rosemary’s Baby, The Ring, The Shining, and more. Below you can see them all compiled in one place, plus excerpts that have the clickable ability to take you to a full look back on any of the films, plus a compilation of 13 scenes and trailers of terror. Happy Halloween!

Psycho

This might not have been the first slasher (that honor likely goes to Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom of the same year), but none before Psycho, and few since, have been so meticulously orchestrated in their vicious, mean-spirited, and playfully cruel dominance over the audience’s emotions. Psycho is the picture that mainstreamed conceivably low-rent serial killing in the everyday world as an entertaining pastime. It also did this at a time when a gushing knife wound in the shower wept for its victim, as opposed to mocking her, making the hideous “Other” in this film’s killer all the more terrifying than almost any that followed…

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

In the moment before things really get underway, when Pam stumbles into the room with the feathers and the bones, there is a single shot—a cluster of small bones and a mummified chicken’s foot tied together and hanging from the ceiling like, well, a magic totem or something a cannibal would make in arts and crafts. That single image, again with the buzzing flies, tells you how miserably hot and humid it is in there, as well as exactly what that room smells like. It’s not every movie you can smell, but you can sure smell Chainsaw…

The Shining

The evils of the writing process are what scared me about The Shining. Jack Torrance sits down at his typewriter, diligently typing nothing, bouncing a ball off the walls of an empty atrium as the writer bounces through time, his thoughts echoing back at him. King’s long, fantastic canon of writerly pains is perhaps at its strongest in Jack’s story (although Mort in Secret Window and Thad Beaumont in The Dark Half — a film inspired by King’s own pseudonym woes — are a close second). And Kubrick captures all this with a master’s eye…

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The Descent

Making it about intelligent, adult women and ignoring the juvenile sexual antics that can defuse so many genre outings help the movie come across as fresh and inspired. But it is also deeply, deeply frightening because it plays on so many primal fears…and fear, in the end, is gender-neutral…

Suspiria

What Suspiria does have on almost every frame is a sense of dread. It is reminiscent of atmospheric films like the ones Val Lewton used to make. Suspiria is an expressionist black and white study of the shadow world done in color. Primary color. The film is awash in blues and yellows, but it is the red that pours out onto the screen like the deepest peasant Chianti. Bright reds, deep reds, hushed crimson and muted scarlets…

The Exorcist

The solitary difference between the grossness of The Exorcist and modern splatter fest tactics, such as the torture porn fad of the previous decade, is that The Exorcist wants to make a point that is meant to refute casual indifference. The most repellent scene in film history may very well be when Blair’s 12-year-old victim is depicted as taking a crucifix and repeatedly stabbing it into her vagina to the point of bleeding, screaming “Fuck me” while she does it. The juxtaposition of a young girl’s womb being mutilated by the symbol of Christianity is the literal and intentional visualization of blasphemy made flesh—two things meant to represent the utmost purity being irrevocably desecrated upon their meeting…

Prince of Darkness

It doesn’t always make sense and Carpenter fails in fact to see his concepts through to their fullest potential, but Prince of Darkness has a wonderfully fatalistic atmosphere and sense of doom hanging over it, not to mention some truly creepy images (a man standing outside a window, saying “hello” in a watery voice as thousands of insects emerge from his body, is a standout). Most frightening of all are the film’s dream sequences, which the characters discover are actually messages from a dark future that they may already be helpless to stop.

The Haunting

Much is explained about the terrible history of Hill House, but we are never given a definitive motivation or identity for whatever may exist there. That makes the story even more terrifying; there’s no reasoning with the forces at work in Hill House — it may simply be that the house itself is just “born bad,” as Markway so memorably puts it. That’s what makes The Haunting still the supreme example of the haunted house film…

The Ring

It is such a heart-pounding moment that it even excuses the “heroes” of the story choosing to spread the tape’s curse to more people to save their own skins. The Ringdoesn’t offer any solace or friendly conciliation with the spirit world, which Americans might otherwise expect. Rather, it succumbs to the knowledge that the supernatural is uncontrollable and unstoppable. At best, we can hope “better him than me.” It is a hair-raising ending whether in the lived-in economy of Ring or the desaturated storybook nature of The Ring. We are asked to surrender to the darkness and our own culpability for allowing it. It is ghost girl nihilism, which has no language barrier…

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Rosemary’s Baby

Another thing that’s scary about Rosemary’s Baby: the building they live in, the one with all the devil-worshippers, that’s about as a good as Manhattan real estate gets. The Dakota building, where Rosemary’s Baby was filmed, on West 72nd Street was home to John and Yoko (who lived next door to Roberta Flack), Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland and Joe Namath. Boris Karloff lived in the Dakota. The still pictured above looks like it was filmed near the spot where John Lennon would be shot 12 years later…

Horror Movies - Carnival Of Souls (1962)

Carnival of Souls

Carnival of Souls is equal parts Twilight ZoneBlue Velvet and The Night of the Living Dead, the supernatural parade in the middle of everyday life. It doesn’t have much in the way of special effects, some makeup and wavy lines straight out of The Outer Limits. It is brought together in nightmarish black and white and subtle acting. It gets under your skin, into your brain and becomes more frightening as you remember it back…

Horror Movies - The Innocents (1961)

The Innocents

By the time The Innocents reaches the horrors of its climactic scenes, the film’s quiet intensity, brooding atmosphere and overall feeling of wrongness, are enough to make you squirm. I’ve found it hard to return to The Innocents (which recently got a deluxe Blu-ray treatment from Criterion) because of the cumulative effect that all its elements have. Without producing a single drop of blood while showing us just a hint of both violence and the otherworldly, The Innocents still manages to be a genuinely frightening experience that lingers in the senses. There is nothing innocent about this film or what happens to the people in it…

Halloween

However, this original John Carpenter film holds up today as scary when viewed in the original context of its creation: it brings evil home. Prior to Halloween, the burgeoning and unnamed slasher genre primarily took place beyond the safety and confines of society. Janet Leigh might have brought it on herself when she stole the money and stayed off the highway, ending up in the boondocks near the Bates Motel where a monster waited to gobble her up. Equally as perverse was the other Ed Gein-inspired big screen serial killer icon, Leatherface. In Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Leatherface and his whole family also lived as a symbiotic “Other” outside of civilization’s laws or control when a group of promiscuous teens venture too far away from the suburbs that became the refuge of white flight in the mid-20th Century. In many ways, these protagonists were making the same mistakes as Hansel and Gretel when they went into the candy house.

But in Halloween, the evil not only comes home to those bastions of middle class peace of mind: it was there all along. Chillingly exemplified in the opening POV shot of an eight-years-old Michael Myers wearing a clown costume as he inexplicably murders his sister, this blank faced kid is evil simply because. Not all evil has a rational or psychological reason; it is a primordial force and economic background and location cannot protect you…

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Have a safe Halloween! And check out all 31 Days of Horror that we have compiled here![minireel version=”1″ exp=”e-0d3764e1d7db9f” splash=”img-text-overlay:3/2″ width=”620px” height=”522px”]Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!