A definitive list of the scariest horror films ever made
I love horror movies—my favorite are the kind that creep me out, make me feel uncomfortable and outright terrify me. For this list, I’ve provided those movies I’ve identified as most scary—ever.
Baskin freaked me the hell out when I saw it for the first time several years ago. I’ve rewatched it several times since and still love it every time. Baskin is a Turkish movie meaning ‘police raid’ and it is savage. A police unit called to an abandoned building becomes trapped in a surreal nightmare. Today’s Hellraiser, must have made Clive Barker proud.
………Disney’s The New Mutants has created a massive buzz of hysteria and speculation. As the ill-fated, long-awaited film makes its way onto the big screen this summer, Disney/Fox is taking a huge gamble as expectations have either soared or for some, dropped to non existent. There was a time I was clearly ecstatic at the prospect of a horror movie spin-off based on the X-Men Universe. In the 3 years since I first learned of The New Mutants, let’s just say my expectations have tempered.
New buzz as The New Mutants gets a new August 28 release
It was during the beginning of the height of the horror movie revival (yes that is exactly where the name of this blog comes from), when all the world decidedly got hooked on horror. It was a thrilling thing to witness–as it meant their were more horror movies to watch–and on that, it did deliver. But as time passed by and the hairs on my head grew long and we even survived a pandemic, no word arrived as to when The New Mutants movie would finally be released, until now.
Anya Taylor-Joy & Charlie Heaton
I still remember the YouTube search I did a few years back after hearing about the movie for the first time. Then, the movie was slated to be released on April 12, 2018. I was psychedbecausethetrailer was quite dark. At the time there wasn’t much talk about the film and it definitely wasn’t being promoted heavily, if at all.
One time only, I see the movie promoted and that was during a commercial break while watching American Horror Story back in 2017. Watching weekly TV shows was still a thing on network cable stations (yup, with commercials and all that antiquated fun stuff). After that, I never saw it promoted again, nor had I hear anything other than the occasional hearsay.
When I saw the quick trailer I was immediately intrigued by the subject of the movie, but also the film boasted an ensemble cast consisting of Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams,The Witch’sleading lady, Anya Taylor-Joy whom has an intoxicating way of charming with her fine acting chops, as well as everyone’s favorite brother Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) from Stranger Things. This is exciting stuff for a movie nut.
The New Mutants, was originally slated to be released on April 13, 2018, before being pushed back to February 22, 2019, to avoid Deadpool 2, and then again to August 2, 2019, to avoid Dark Phoenix (which bombed btw). That was two years ago. Then it was one year ago. Then the buzz went silent.
But here we are. The New Mutants has its sixth release date and people are excited to see how a horror movie interpretation of a beloved action-superhero franchise will play out. I for one am not going to place a high bet on the film but I sure can’t wait to see it, finally.
One of the best comments I’ve seen on YouTube under the original trailer for The New Mutants reads:
“I quit smoking to live long enough to see this movie in 2060.”
The comment has over 2K likes and it definitely sums up this movie’s journey.
In a recent interview, Christina Radish has us all screaming as Neve Campbell teases a potential return to the Scream franchise, Collider reports.
What’s your favorite scary movie? If it’s Scream, then you’re in luck – franchise star Neve Campbell recently offered an update on the status of Scream 5.
In an interview with Collider’s Christina Radish about Campbell’s upcoming movie Castle in the Ground, available digitally and on demand May 15th, Campbell offered some details about the potential fifth installment of the popular horror series, from Ready or Notdirectors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillertt.
Image via Miramax
“Well, I’m not a hundred percent on it, but to be honest, the two directors ( Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett) have made some great work. I’ve watched their films, and they’re really talented. They wrote a letter to me, expressing what great fans of Wes’ work they are, and how honored they are that they’re getting the chance to make Scream 5 because the Scream franchise is the reason that they’re directors now. So, that was really sweet. They really wanna honor Wes’ style of work and honor the movies. That was a lovely thing to hear. So, we’ll see. Hopefully, we can all see eye to eye on everything and make something great, but it’s a process.”
Campbell also seemed to indicate that the next Scream film would in fact be a sequel and not a reboot by sharing some of her feelings about where her character, Sidney Prescott, would be in the 21st century.
“I think you can always tell them more with these stories, and they’re such fun films. There’s obviously a huge audience for them, and the audiences wants to see more of them. You can always go further with the journey. Certainly, with Sidney, she comes to some new shift in her life, at the time, and I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Scream was a breakout hit when it released in 1996, thanks to its subversive nature and macabre comedy. While the sequels never quite lived up to the original, the series has continued to be a mainstay in modern slasher films and has managed to redefine the genre at the same time as it skewers its many tropes. Ready or Not’s black comic tone is a perfect fit for Wes Craven’s ironically self-aware murder mystery, and as a fan of both movies, I’m beyond excited to see what these filmmakers do with the series.
Does anyone else find it odd that one of the biggest horror movie franchises of all time; which had an original release date for its ninth installment of the film on October 23, only to then bump it to the earlier date of May 15 as to not compete with Blumhouse’s Halloween Kills, does not have a whole lotta buzz? It seems to me like there may be a whole lotta confusion.
Firstly, what is the actual name of this movie? I have seen it referred to as multiple options, which had me initially guessing as to what the actual name this movie will be released under. Let’s take a look:
Spiral, Saw 9: Spiral, The Book of Saw, Saw 9: The Book of Saw, Spiral: The Book of Saw, Spiral: Saw 9: The Book of Saw, Spiral: Saw 9: The Book of Saw Starring Who Now?
Top billing goes to Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, two names I never expected to see together, especially in one of the grizzliest horror movie franchises ever made. If I had to imagine one of the two names in this billing, I could picture Samuel L. Jackson as he already has crossed over to the creepy side of life being a M. Night Shamylan muse.
The two together though? That’s an exciting team-up.
The third cast member who was not given top billing, Max Minghella.Yesthat Max Minghella of the very successful Hulu series, The Handmaid’s Tale.Minghella has had a robust career for years but manages to fly under the radar somewhat. Minghella is big name right now and rightfully so-he belongs up their with the best of the best-the man’s acting skills crush.
Spiral From The Book of Saw will be released possibly this month on Friday, May 15th or possibly on October 23. Due to the Covid Pandemic nothing is certain these days. But rest assured, this movie will make its way into our lives. Praise be.
Hollywood has had a fun and profitable time benefiting from the haunted horrors of Long Island. But did you know that two of these spooky spots are right in your own backyard?
The Massapequa Hell House
Also known as “The Witch House” or “The Satan House” to some, the Massapequa Hell House is a unique Victorian home located at 214 Daniel Rd., in North Massapequa, just off of Hicksville Rd. But what’s the one, tiny detail that separates it from other homes in this quiet residential area, you ask? The house is said to be haunted.
While neighbors have noted that there are residents in the house, there is little activity throughout the course of a normal day. The surrounding homes on the block carry on with daily activities as if there wasn’t a large, brick mansion across the street; complete with turrets, a “bleeding” maroon sidewalk and a hearse parked in the driveway, barred behind an eight foot tall wrought iron fence that is perpetually chained. Several overgrown trees block some of the house from view.
The design of the house is architecturally symmetrical, down to the 25 plus windows that evoke a grinning devil face. The curtains are drawn at all times and are said to be coffin linings. Legend has it that candles suddenly illuminate in the upstairs window when cars drive by the house. Supposedly, the number of candles in the window corresponds to the number of people in the car, and it is said to be very bad luck for those who see the candles.
Some say that the residents belong to a Satanist cult who chant behind closed doors. Others claim to have seen people emerge from the house, dressed head to toe in Gothic black. In actuality, the owners are believed to be a normal Christian family.
While the house may or may not be haunted, it is definitely unlike anything you have seen, and worth a drive by, but onlookers must proceed with caution. The block is patrolled during the Halloween season, and police cars are stationed in front of the house the day of. Police will arrest those caught soliciting.
Although the residents are unhappy with the attention they have received from legends, they don’t help their desire for privacy by continued “improvements” to the eerie façade.
The Amityville Horror House
In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered six family members in their sleep, on a quiet block in Amityville. DeFeo eventually confessed to the crimes, claiming that voices inside his head told him to kill his family. He is currently at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
A traditional Dutch colonial with a large center foyer and classic gambrel roof, the house was vacant for 13 months after the murders, until George and Kathleen Lutz bravely purchased it and moved in with their family.
After hearing strange voices and being woken up at 3:15 a.m. every morning—the time the murders occurred—the couple moved out less than a month later. A best-selling book (published in 1977 by Jay Anson) and two movies were met with much success, however, Lutz later admitted to embellishing his claims and story for Hollywood.
Originally located at 112 Ocean Ave., in 1977, new owners James and Barbara Cromarty had it changed to 108 Ocean Ave. for more privacy after buying it at foreclosure from the Lutzes, who have since died.
After several renovations in design, the home was given a successful face-lift, so unless you know the story behind the house, you would never guess it held the dead bodies of the DeFeo family. The owners have also changed the look of the notorious side windows, which resembled a face. In 1987, The Cromarty family then sold the infamous home to its current resident, Brian Wilson, who bought the house for its sheer beauty.
Good luck sleeping soundly this Halloween…
Jennifer Fauci is the senior editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group’s award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.
‘Gremlins,’ ‘The Sixth Sense’ and horror’s ever-shifting relationship with mainstream culture by Court Mann
SALT LAKE CITY — When Crazy Ralph told the teens of Camp Crystal Lake that they were, in his words, “all dooooooomed!,” it was an understatement.
He and his “Friday the 13th” counterparts leveraged the horror genre’s biggest trope — vulnerable teens — to great effect. If a teenager is in a horror flick, then a murderer, monster or other baddie probably wants them dead.
Thirteen, then, is an important number in horror — in fact, it’s arguably the genre’s most important number. And in 1984, when the PG-13 rating was instituted, its importance cemented itself. PG-13 changed the horror movie industry, and pop culture’s relationship with it, in some major ways.
Change No. 1: Horror became less restricted
After 1984, the MPAA rating system had three “unrestricted” ratings: G, PG and PG-13. People under age 17 could see these films in theaters without a parent or guardian. And for that, 1984’s “Gremlins” is partially to thank.
Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Joe Dante, “Gremlins” was released a month before PG-13 went into effect. Though it got a PG rating and was marketed as family friendly, “Gremlins” was far more shocking.
Dante’s resume included the R-rated horror films “Piranha” (1978) and “The Howling” (1981), and he brought the genre’s subversive ethos to “Gremlins.” Parents expected “Gremlins” to reinforce conservative family values, just like Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial” or 1982’s “Poltergeist,” which Spielberg produced. Instead, they got a film about murderous critters that also satirizes notions of innocence and “the American way.”
“This movie is not the same sort of heartwarming, cheerful fable that ‘E.T.’ was,” Roger Ebert said when he and Gene Siskel reviewed “Gremlins.” “It has a darker sense of humor. There are some scenes in this movie where it really gets kind of gruesome — especially when that gremlin explodes inside the microwave oven.”
“It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting,” Siskel added, “only there’s blood on the turkey.”
Despite the controversy, “Gremlins” still made $153 million domestically. After the PG-13 rating was introduced that year, a stream of tamer, horror-influenced PG-13 movies aimed at tweens were released, including “Critters” (1986), “The Gate” (1987) and “The Monster Squad” (1987). The “Gremlins” sequel, released in 1990, was also PG-13. While most horror films were still R-rated, PG-13 horror began to carve its own niche.
Could horror still be a bastion of counter-culture if its content was deemed OK for minors?
Antunes continues: “The characteristics of horror which fans appreciated, and which had previously been taken for granted, such as its unsuitability for children, its violence and edginess, were being put to the test, and the question of where to draw the line became a concern of the genre, not to mention parents and critics.”
For the most part, horror retrenched itself in its R-rated roots. Of the U.S.’s 20 highest-grossing horror movies during the 1990s, only four were rated PG-13. This trend began changing in 1999, though, with “The Sixth Sense.”
Change No. 3: Horror turned into a cash cow
“The Sixth Sense” made $293 million at the U.S. box office, and $379 million internationally. The following year, the Harrison Ford/Michelle Pfeiffer film “What Lies Beneath” brought in $155 million stateside and almost $136 million internationally. These two were films weren’t strictly horror, weaving in fantasy and thriller elements, but they signaled a major shift in mainstream attitudes toward horror content. As mentioned, only four PG-13 horror movies cracked the genre’s top 20 during the ’90s. From 2000-2009, this number stayed at four, but these four made considerably more money than those from the previous decade, even when adjusted for inflation.
This has continued in the current decade. Once again, four PG-13 films have made the top 20, with their earnings exceeding those PG-13 films from the previous decade. This means that in the 2000s, eight of the 20 most successful horror films were PG-13.
It’s tough for any horror movie — be it PG-13 or R — to make the kind of money that a “Star Wars” or “Avengers” film would. But horror films are produced at a fraction of the cost, making their return on investment a pretty safe bet. Studios have learned how to work the margins with small-budget horror films, and occasionally hit a home run with a “Sixth Sense,” a “Get Out” or an “IT.” R-rated horror is still popular, but not nearly to the same degree it once was.
Change No. 4: Horror went mainstream
When “Get Out” was nominated for the best picture Oscar in 2018 — and won best original screenplay — it felt like a watershed moment for horror. The genre has migrated from pop culture’s periphery, and now occupies a more central spot among both audiences and critics.
PG-13 horror flicks have increased, and in recent years, so have R-rated ones. Blumhouse Productions, which released the R-rated “Get Out,” has become the genre’s biggest champion this decade, releasing R-rated horror hits like the numerous “Paranormal Activity” and “Purge” films. Blumhouse has also produced PG-13 horror content such as the “Insidious” sequels and the “Happy Death Day” series. On the whole, audiences are turning to horror films a bit more than they used to.
“While it seems like going to a scary movie would be the exact opposite of what someone would want to do in times like this, there is also a cathartic release of fear that can be accomplished in a movie theater that is not possible in real life,” said Andrew Selepak, a professor in the University of Florida’s department of telecommunication, during a 2017 interview with CNBC.
It’s hard to determine if PG-13 actually changed the content of horror movies themselves. After all, pre-1984 horror films haven’t had their ratings retroactively changed: “Friday the 13th” was rated R in 1980, so it’s still rated R in 2019. What has definitely changed, though, is mainstream culture’s relationship to the genre. Once PG-13 became a thing, teens weren’t just the subject of horror films anymore, they also became a larger portion of the horror audience. And in the process, horror became way more mainstream. Both critically and commercially, the genre is far from doomed.
Florida resident Mark DeWolfe’s home is a museum of horror-movie memorabilia, which he’s been collecting for 20 years.
By Katie Kustura
DELAND — Mark DeWolfe gets one of two reactions from people who step into his home for the first time — “This is awesome” or “Oh my God, what’s wrong with you?”
“It’s a lot of fun,” DeWolfe said of collecting and decorating his house with horror-movie memorabilia. “But it’s not for everybody.”
For anyone who doesn’t personally know the former Utah corrections sergeant, it would be easy, maybe even natural, to assume DeWolfe is someone who goes overboard and fully redecorates the inside of his home for Halloween.
While it is his favorite holiday, the props, costumes, posters and other memorabilia from horror films such as “Hannibal,” “Poltergeist II: The Other Side” and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” are permanent fixtures in DeWolfe’s home.
“I like the magic of Hollywood and the illusion,” DeWolfe said during an interview at his home. “This is like an escape for me.”
His killer collection started about 20 years ago after he came across an eBay auction for a costume from “Jason X.”
After that first purchase, he couldn’t help but fall in love with the unique, but often pricey, hobby.
“I think I would have been less stressed and less financially strained if I just got into collecting stamps,” DeWolfe said with a laugh.
It’s hard to know where to look first upon walking through DeWolfe’s front door.
Dead ahead is the living room, and, like most living rooms, it includes a couch, a coffee table and a flat-screen TV.
Directly under the flat-screen is what looks like an old TV set, but inside is the bust of Carol Anne Freeling, the young girl who is sucked into a portal after paranormal activity starts occurring in her family’s home in “Poltergeist.” The bust that DeWolfe owns was used in “Poltergeist II.”
DeWolfe built a box, which he made to look like a vintage TV set, around the prop from the 1986 film. He even added strobe lights to recreate the spooky scenes.
In an area to the right of the entryway, there’s a Christmas tree decorated with lights that never comes down. While the tree wasn’t used in a movie, DeWolfe says it fits with the costumes displayed in the 2006 remake of “Black Christmas.”
Hanging on the wall in that same area is one of DeWolfe’s favorite pieces of memorabilia: a case displaying the mechanical head of Paul Krendler, Ray Liotta’s character in “Hannibal.”
“So many people know that scene,” DeWolfe said, referring to the gruesome part of the 2001 film in which Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, lifts the top of Krendler’s skull, removes some of his brain and then sautés the piece of prefrontal cortex and feeds it to a drugged and confused Krendler.
Another of DeWolfe’s favorite pieces is located just steps from his bed. It’s the miner’s costume from the 2009 remake of “My Bloody Valentine,” a movie about a serial killer who terrorizes a small mining town on Valentine’s Day.
One of the main reasons DeWolfe bought the home in DeLand was because of a room off the kitchen, which he felt was perfect for a Freddy Krueger-themed bar.
The walls are painted with big dark green and burgundy stripes just like the sweater Krueger wears in “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” There are flickering lights throughout and the actual bar looks like a furnace from the slasher film’s boiler room scene.
ORIGIN OF OBSESSION
DeWolfe, 48, has loved movies, especially the scary kind, for as long as he can remember. As the youngest of five children, he often had to be sneaky about watching them since his parents didn’t approve.
When he was a teen, he would turn his parents’ basement into a haunted house every Halloween, his mother, Ceil DeWolfe, said.
Kelly Lindsey, one his siblings, said she remembers taking her little brother to see “Jaws” — DeWolfe says it’s his favorite scary movie to this day — when they were children.
“He was petrified,” said Lindsey, who lives in Atlanta.
“I don’t think he wanted to get back into the water until this past year,” Lindsey said with a laugh.
DeWolfe retired to the area nearly three years ago after working at a Utah prison for 20 years, several of which were in the mental health unit.
In that type of job, DeWolfe said it’s important to have an outlet and the ability to separate oneself from work at the end of the day.
“That environment can take its toll,” he said.
It took DeWolfe about a year to get his DeLand home fully decorated, but the single-story house isn’t his final destination.
On an acre of land in Lake Helen, close to Cassadaga, DeWolfe dreams of recreating, and living in, Norman Bates’ mansion in “Psycho.”
The haunting home is property of Universal Studios, which declined DeWolfe’s request to take measurements of the house.
DeWolfe eventually developed his plans and a miniature model of the movie home based off of the measurements of the front door which was once listed for sale in a catalog of props.
The custom-home build is on the back burner because of costs, but he’s got other goals he can work on in the meantime.
DeWolfe said he wants to make a documentary about horror movies that would include interviews with people like him, who collect such memorabilia, and actors, crew members and fans of such films. He also hopes to have his dream home built by the time he starts working on the documentary.
“I’ve been obsessed with that house since I saw ‘Psycho’ when I was 12 years old,” DeWolfe said. “I think it’d be so fun, just a dream come true.”
This story originally published to news-journalonline.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.
During the late 80’s and into the 90’s while everybody else was outside playing with friends at the schoolyard and obnoxiously loitering malls and grocery store parking lots, I was at home celebrating my teendom by watching horror movies and collecting horror movie memorabilia.
I had already been intrigued by horror and the macabre when I hit double digits as I was busy renting horror movies on VHS long before Blockbuster was a household name. In 1992 I accepted my freedom as a 14 year old by escaping to manhattan all on my own and spending the entire weekend meeting the masters of horror of the time (Clive Barker, Tom Savini, Kane Hodder, Robert Englund, Dario Argento, Angus Scrimm, John Russo amongst many more) attheFantaCo and Fangoria presents; Weekend of Horrors. It was tremendous!
Content and HR Creator, Frank Giugliano
It may be slightly hyperbole to say but I also lived for the ride-through haunted house at our local amusement park Adventureland and rejoiced when Halloween approached as it was and still is my favorite holiday. I never cared much about dressing up in scary costume but more so, I remember being intoxicated by the smell of damp and decaying, orange-toned fallen leaves and the feeling of the crisp autumn coolness against my skin.
The ultimate feeling of anticipation was for Halloween because I knew I’d soon have a pillowcase full of candy.
If I look back even further, during the mid 80’s, my parents gave me and my older sister the freedom to rent any horror movie we wished to see, regardless of rating. Very rarely did we have to put the large VHS, cardboard box back on the shelf, and when it did happen it was most likely that Rose, the manager (or owner) of the mom and pop video store we frequented, secretly mouthed “no” to my mom, which indicated gratuitous nudity or a particularly inappropriate scene. I can count the amount of times this happened and even to this day, I prefer to steer clear of movies that exploit people with gratuitous nudity and sexual violence.
While I have never pursued a career in horror, writing, journalism or anything I have ever really been good at, I now find myself at a perfect place and time to begin this journey. With my extensive knowledge of the genre and unparalleled passion which guides me, it has never been easier to create this community for like-minded, horror enthusiasts like me.
October is the incredible month that gives us horror-obsessed folk all the terror we crave. Shudder, Netflix, Hulu, On Demand, Movie Theaters, Attractions, Escape Rooms and Amusement Parks all reap the benefit by extending their season as they embrace the cool, crisp autumnal changes and monetize on what comes natural to some of us freakier types, everyday no matter what the season.
This year for Halloween I’ve decided to focus on the movies I believe you shouldsee now. These movies don’t necessarily define Halloween of yesteryear (think Halloween, The Exorcist and Friday the 13th) but they do make for a super creepy, new addition to your tradition this Halloween, and for years to come. The following are our overall, top ranked films for creepiness factor, according to me aka Horror Revival. These movies are tight and for the honor to be called our very first Horror Revival 2019: Scariest Halloween Horror Movies.
So, this Halloween do yourself a favor, carve a pumpkin, make homemade caramel and candy dipped apples, invite your close friends over and enjoy a get together–yesteryear style. And above all else be sure to have these fine films on hand, but only if you think you can handle The Horror Revival Horror Fanatic’s most terrifying picks of 2019.