Top 20 Scary Horror Movies

William Cook’s Top Twenty Scary Horror Movies

These are my Top Twenty scary horror movies. These films all have the ability to give the audience a frightful experience by inducing a sense of fear and horror. ‘Jump scares’, psychological triggers, and scenes of terror are all used to great effect in these films.

Some of my choices may be slightly controversial but please remember, this is my list – these are the films that resonated with me and caused me to feel scared on some level. Believe me when I say that it takes a lot to scare me, and these films did just that.  

Please let me know in the comments what your favorite ‘scary films are.

Note: this list is no particular order.

1.       Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill is one of those Horror movies people seem to either love or hate. I love it – there are some really dark psychological triggers in this film that played on my subconscious to the point where I had bad dreams. Believe me when I say it takes a lot to scare me, let alone give me bad dreams. If you haven’t seen this movie, you’re in for a treat. Also, worth another viewing if you saw it ages ago.

 


2.       Hellraiser (1987)

This film is the stuff nightmares are made of. As an avid reader of Barker’s early horror stories this film did not disappoint and caused a few ‘WTF?’ moments.

 


3.       Maniac (1980)

William Lustig’s ultra-creepy horror is horrific and disturbing in ways that make watching the film seem like you’re in the nightmares of a psychotic. And you are – Joe Spinell’s acting is brilliant as the deranged killer.

 


4.       Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981)

Have gone for both of these films in the franchise as they never fail to frighten. Watch these on your own at Halloween and I guarantee you’ll be checking the locks on the windows and the doors before bed!



5.       The Evil Dead (1981)

When this was released I remember being the first in our town to rent it from the Video store. This was unlike any other horror I’d ever seen at the time and holds a special place in my nightmares. If you haven’t seen this version (i.e. the original), you need to watch it ASAP.

 


6.       The Abandoned (2006)

This under-rated film is incredibly creepy and is filled with atmospheric scenes that will leave you with your heart in your throat. Highly recommended.  

 


7.       Sinister (2012)

This film is disturbing in all the right ways – creepy, intense, and down-right scary in places. The frights will linger after the credits finish.

 


8.       The Babadook (2014)

A psychological horror that is unique in its ability to tap into subconscious human fears and leave the audience reeling from the experience. Brilliant but draining in its heaviness.

 


9.       The Shining (1980)

Stephen King hated this version of his book, but I loved it. Kubrick’s ability to insidiously effect the audience’s perspective is played out with a ratcheted string of nightmarish scenes and some brilliant acting from the cast.

 


10.   The Grudge (2004)

This one crept up on me and got me good. My introduction to Japanese horror led me down some very dark paths.

 


11.   The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

When I first saw this film, it blew my little mind to the point where I felt nauseous. It wasn’t the gore that made me feel like that, it was the fear that was induced as a result of the terrifying world I found myself in. A very scary film about that most terrifying of all creatures – humans!

 


12.   Pet Sematary (1989)

This movie is a slow-burn but once it gets going, it hooks deep into your subconscious fears and doesn’t let up until the finish. Every time I watch it my Achille’s tendon aches!

 


13.   The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

A suffocating horror film about Voodoo that is incredibly tense and frightening. One of my all-time favorite horror movies.

 


14.   The Woman in Black (2012)

A foreboding and well-crafted exercise in directing that will leave you feeling as haunted as the characters in this top-notch ghost/horror film.

 


15.   28 Days later (2002)

This movie is a disturbing vision of the apocalypse and more relevant now than ever before. The cinematography and soundtrack crank up the scares, as this high-paced horror delivers an unrelenting exercise in sheer terror.

 


16.   The Ritual (2017)

A slow burn with the creep factor. This movie uses standard horror tropes in a way that give the audience more than enough scary moments to savour.

 


17.   Pandorum (2009)

I chose this movie instead of Alien because I felt it surpassed it with tension and scary scenes. This choice will no doubt be controversial but as far as Sci-Fi-Horror goes, I feel it outperforms Alien. Highly under-rated and well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

 


18.   The Amityville Horror (1979)

This is a classic. In my opinion, it is still is a good film for its age and will definitely play on your mind and fears.

 


19.   The Omen (1976)

One of my favorite horror films. This film operates on many different levels but is essentially a very scary movie for its age. The cemetery (at night) scene is brilliant. Highly recommended.  

 


20.   The Ring (2002)

A fantastic film that will give you the chills. Great acting and some very creepy scenes that are capable of inducing nightmares.



So - agree or disagree? What are your top scary movie picks of all time? Please add in comments below and thanks for reading.

Free Horror Book Potpourri

A very quick post today to let you know about a bunch of FREE kindle books of mine that are up for grabs. Head on over to my Amazon Author Page or follow the links below to grab your free kindle copies of some of my best horror short stories. There's also a bunch of discounted books available at the moment. 

While you're there, if you haven't already, why not check out my latest collection/series - Psychological Horror Stories (details/links below).

If you like what you've read it would be great if you could share this post and leave a quick review, or at least a 'rating,' on Amazon.

Thanks heaps.


Will.


Here are the freebies:








New series/collection - Psychological Horror Stories



Psychological Horror Stories: 

A Collection of Psychological Horror Fiction for Adults


This terrifying collection of psychological horror stories will make your flesh crawl.


Enter a disturbing world of psychological horror and paranoid fear from the unique imagination of William Cook.

25 tales of psycho killers, haunted spirits, and evil creatures conjured from the depths of hell, haunt over 350 pages in this latest collection from the author of 
Blood Related.

Disturbing love stories, psychopathic existentialism, spirits thirsty for vengeance, demons hunting for fresh souls and a perverse array of other grotesqueries are the subjects of these twisted tales.

Some are new* stories, while others are readers’ favorites that have been reanimated with fresh edits and, in some cases, rewritten. These vivid and often-disturbing stories reveal the horrors that dwell within the human psyche.

Read with caution.

R18+ Some stories may contain graphic descriptions of psychological horror, violence and/or abuse. Not for sale to minors.


Top 20 Scary Horror Movies

William Cook’s  Top Twenty Scary Horror Movies These are my Top Twenty scary horror movies. These films all have the ability to give the...