Where to Watch 10 of the Scariest Movies You’ll Ever See
From Michael Meyers to the Blair Witch
With Halloween just around the corner — or Samhain, if that’s your thing — there’s no denying that scary movie season has arrived. In theaters this past weekend Ouija took the top spot, but if you’re looking for something more there are decades of terrifying films available at an instant thanks to today’s online streaming services.
We’ve collected 10 of the most frightening movies every made, and broken down where you can watch them. So turn off the lights, lock your doors, and get in the holiday spirit.
The Exorcist (1973)
Director William Friedkin’s classic tale of demonic possession terrified audiences when it first debuted, and it's remained at the top of the list ever since. In 2000 an alternate cut dubbed “The Version You’ve Never Seen” hit theatres, but the 1973 original is still our favorite. While most of the sequels are better left forgotten, be sure to check out William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist III: Legion. While not up to the level of the original, it contains what’s arguably one of the best jump scares of all time.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Freddy Krueger may have turned into a wise-cracking pop culture curiosity, but Wes Craven’s original film is vicious and nasty — with a villain to match. Not all of the performances have aged well, but Robert Englund (as Krueger) and Heather Langenkamp (as the heroine Nancy) have an undeniable chemistry. Also keep an eye out for the big-screen debut of Johnny Depp.
Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike directs this story of a middle-aged man who takes an unorthodox approach to finding a new girlfriend. What happens from there… well, it’s better if you find out for yourself.
Ethan Hawke plays a true-crime novelist who moves his family into a home that was the site of unspeakable crimes. It’s the kind of broad set-up that could go awry in the wrong hands, but director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill know exactly when to play to audience expectations — and when to subvert them.
The Ring (2002)
Usually foreign-language horror films get U.S. remakes that lack the bite of the original, but director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) delivers a film that’s stronger than any of the previous adaptations.
Simply put, John Carpenter launched a genre with his low-budget slasher, and the film is as terrifying and relentless today as it was the day it was released.
Available on: iTunes
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Brutal. Ugly. Foul. Absolutely terrifying. That's just scratching the surface of Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Recently remastered for its 40th anniversary, the film has never looked this good, but before you watch it make sure your neighbors don’t mind lots and lots of screaming.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Blair Witch certainly wasn’t the first film to use the found footage technique, but in 1999 it was a cultural revelation. Could this story actually be true? Could this footage be real? Don’t search Google and don’t check your smartphone to find out: just watch the movie right now.
Ridley Scott’s classic may be a sci-fi film, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the scariest movies ever made. The tagline at the time was “In space no one can hear you scream.” Here on Earth you won’t be so lucky.
The Strangers (2008)
Writer-director Bryan Bertino took a simple concept — a couple, played by Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, are terrorized in their home by mysterious strangers — and turned it into a horror tour-de-force. Pulling heavily from genre master John Carpenter, The Strangers delivers in every way possible.
American Horror Story: Murder House, “Pilot” (2011)
Yes yes, this isn’t a movie, but credit where credit is due. The pilot for the first season of American Horror Story wasn’t just an impressive piece of television; it was a signal that the medium had shifted. Things occur at the end of this pilot that simply should not be allowed to occur on television, and that reckless, break-all-the-rules approach is a large part of why AHS was so horrifyingly refreshing.