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Movie Lists > Scary Movies

1. The Shining
directed by Stanley Kubrick (1980)

This Stephen King novel's adaptation preys upon the fear that your ultimate protector—your father—not only can't protect you, but is in fact the monster you're running from.

2. The Exorcist
directed by William Friedkin (1973)

Linda Blair gets possessed by a demon who can play games with your head and your body.

3. 28 Days Later
directed by Danny Boyle (2003)

A lab-induced virus spreads to the general UK population and turns them into murdering zombies. The interesting aspects are who survives, what strategies they employ, and what else you need to fear during such a crisis.

4. The Silence of the Lambs
directed by Jonathan Demme (1991)

How do you confront a charming devil when he's got the information you need to pursue a ruthless murderer. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster give near perfect performances here.

5. Shadow of the Vampire
by E. Elias Merhige (2000)

What price are you willing to pay—and let others pay—for art? William Dafoe plays a movie star vampire who is funny even as he is frightening.

6. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
by David Lynch (1992)

The only exception that what you fear is scarier than the real thing. Even after many nightmares over the series, I still wasn't prepared for the actual murder. The snapping, the red curtains, the pulsing music—David Lynch is the master of setting the mood.

7. Rosemary's Baby
by Roman Polanski (1968)

Polanski takes the most innocent—a baby—and turns it into something to fear. The last scene is absolutely terrifying yet completely believable.

8. Alien by Ridley Scott (1979) 

Haven't we always feared an alien invasion even while we fantasized of the possibilities of more life forms in outer space? This alien is bad news. Sigourney Weaver plays one of the first tough sci fi female heroes.

9. The Blair Witch Project
by Sonya Hartnett (1999)

It doesn't take a lot of money to scare you—just let our imagination get the better of us.

10. The Lost Boys
by Joel Schumacher (1987)

Horror movies must make you care about the fate of the good guys. I still am worried about Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. Plus, Kiefer Sutherland looks great all scary. This is the funniest (while meaning to be) scary movie.