The Wrap

The 13 Scariest Movies We’ve Ever Seen, and Why They Still Scare Us (Photos)

In an effort to exorcise our demons, TheWrap staffers are confessing about what movies and TV shows scared us more than anything else in our lives… and trying to explain why they still scare us. Happy Halloween.


I still have nightmares about one scene. The one time I wanted to show my friend the trailer I hoped to God the scene wasn’t in it, and it was, and it was horrifying. “Darkness” stars Anna Paquin and was released in 2002. Directed by Jaume Balagueró, it follows an American family who moves in a house where six children previously disappeared during an occult ritual forty years ago. The thing that scares me involves… eyes. – Beatrice Verhoeven

“127 Hours”

I can cope with ghosts, hauntings and flesh-eating zombies, but am claustrophobic and terrified of caves. The tight spaces and feeling of being trapped in “127 Hours,” makes me nauseous with fear, and that’s way before James Franco gets around to amputating his arm with a blunt pocket knife. I can’t even get through the trailer without cringing. – Debbie Emery

Pink Floyd – The Wall”

A family friend took me to an audition on the MGM lot in 1982, when I was 7, and sneaked us into a preview screening of this afterward, scarring me for life (sorry ’bout it, prospective girlfriends). What followed was a succession of marching hammers, ground-up children, exploding birds, sucked fingers, clawed walls, maggots, boning humans, boning flowers and prog rock to which no kid should be subjected. The animated sequences were the most terrifying because cartoons were supposed to be my friends. – Jordan Burchette

“The Last House on the Left” 

Wes Craven‘s 1972 film is terrifying because it has no supernatural elements — just things that could really happen. Released soon after the Manson murders, it shows what a psycho and his cultlike followers do to two helpless teenage girls. After they’re tortured and humiliated, one walks into the water, resolved to the fact that she is going to die. You feel like you’re watching a real murder. – Tim Molloy

“In The Heart of the Sea”

I didn’t actually see this movie because I’m no dummy. I’m not going to willingly sit through my worst nightmare. But I was at the movies see “Mockingjay Part 2,” a nice, family-friendly movie about children overthrowing the government, and was forced to sit through three horrifying minutes of proof that whales are evil and trying to kill me. They’re too big and they should be in jail. – Reid Nakamura

“House on Haunted Hill”

Back when I was a kid a long time ago, all my friends loved horror movies, and we all knew one thing for sure: William Castle’s 1959 “House on Haunted Hill” was the scariest movie ever made. Eccentric millionaire Vincent Price offers five people $10,000 if they can last the night in his haunted house, and things go very wrong. The film rarely played on the Saturday afternoon TV creature-features where we got our horror-movie fixes, and its scarcity made it even scarier. I saw it again years later and was surprised to find that it was kind of boring in between the cheesy shocks, but I don’t care: The 10-year-old me will never stop believing that this is the scariest movie ever. – Steve Pond



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