What better place than the depths of the internet to seek out the scariest horror movies that even die-hard fans are afraid to watch? Thanks to these threads and sub-threads, you don’t have to worry about your coworkers’ judging looks when you mention your love of utter freak-fests. The only thing you have to worry about is whether or not your picks are scary enough to make the cut of these extremely scary movies you need to see, according to Reddit.
Presented as a documentary-style found footage film, this 2011 horror gem follows a crew of paranormal investigators filming their own television series. Early on in the film, viewers learn that most of the team's previous episodes have failed to find evidence of the supernatural. So when the team decides to spend a night in an abandoned insane asylum that is rumored to be overrun with vengeful spirits, they think it’s just another hoax. However, the crew soon learns that the horrific stories are indeed true when members of the team start to disappear one by one and demonic ghosts make their presence known on tape. As one Reddit user put so eloquently: "My fiancée and I watch a ton of horror movies, and this one still scared the ever living sh*t out of both of us.”
This Spanish horror film that “freaked the hell” out of a Reddit user is yet another found footage entry. The film follows Ángela, a news reporter filming a run-of-the-mill documentary about a firehouse in Barcelona. When the firefighters get a call to check out an apartment complex in the city, Ángela accompanies them only to see that there is no fire, but an aggressive elderly woman who attacks a police officer at the scene by biting into his neck. Soon after, Ángela and the rest of the residents are sealed off inside the building by men in hazmat suits. While waiting in the lobby, they learn that the complex contains a dangerous and highly contagious disease that turns people into cannibalistic terrors. “I've been watching horror for decades and the final 15 minutes of this movie are still the scariest I've ever seen,” writes another Reddit user.
As Above, So Below
Spelunking has never been so terrifying. As Above, So Below centers around Scarlett Marlowe, an archaeologist in search of the mythical Philosopher's Stone. When her investigations lead her to the catacombs of Paris, she assembles a team to help her locate the immortality-granting object. After the crew takes one wrong tunnel turn, they end up in a hellish labyrinth filled with all sorts of terrifying demons and traps. “Freaked me out first watch and I'm a grown ass man with kids,” warns a Reddit user.
This supernatural film follows two sisters, Tricia and Callie, as they prepare for the birth of Tricia’s child. After Tricia gets pregnant, her husband Daniel goes missing. When Callie comes to help support her sister, she notices some strange occurrences at a tunnel near Tricia’s home. As Tricia decides to move on, Daniel miraculously reappears, and doesn’t give any sort of explanation about what happened other than he "went underground." When Callie investigates this matter, she soon discovers that Daniel’s disappearance is connected to a sinister creature lurking in the depths of the tunnel. Simply put, Absentia is “a solid scare," according to one Reddit user.
“The Innkeepers scared the sh*t out of me way more than I expected it to,” a Reddit user warns. This paranormal horror film follows Claire and Luke, two paranormal enthusiasts who take jobs at the Yankee Pedlar Inn after learning of the building’s haunting history. Nothing super scary has happened while they’ve been there, but things change when a medium checks into the hotel and warns Claire and Luke not to enter the inn’s basement. Instead of heeding her warning, the pair decides to check out the basement for themselves to see if there’s really anything spooky down there. Little do they know that the spirit they encounter doesn’t want to be disturbed, and now they must pay the ultimate price.
This classic is a masterclass in claustrophobic horror. The film centers around a group of women who take a spelunking trip in an unexplored cave filled with terrifying creatures. The movie has been consistently praised for its suspenseful scenes and the design of the “Crawlers,” the bloodthirsty humanoid monsters lurking in the dark. “I've been a horror fiend since the early 1980s and there is not a single film out there that spooks me more than The Descent,” writes a Reddit user. “It is not a perfect movie but in terms of scariness and feelings of dread it is cranked to 11.”
The Blackcoat's Daughter
Starring Emma Roberts, Lucy Boyton, and Kiernan Shipka, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a thrilling supernatural horror movie that you won’t be able to get off your mind. The movie focuses on two Catholic boarding school girls, Kat and Rose, who stay on campus during winter break. After a tragic accident leaves Kat unhinged and devastated, she unknowingly becomes the host for a demonic entity that threatens the lives of everyone still left at the school. “Movies like The Blackcoat’s Daughter have genuinely horrifying moments where your jaw will drop,” writes a Reddit user.
A modern classic, the French film High Tension turns the slasher genre on its head. A serial killer is after Alex and will stop at nothing to have her. Halfway through the movie the identity of said killer is revealed, meaning the movie delivers on both the gore and the psychological drama. One Reddit user who saw the movie as a kid never forgot it: “I never knew a movie could show that level of violence. It absolutely wrecked me.”
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
This movie “freaked the f—k out” of Reddit users and seasoned horror junkies. It seems as though Jane Doe has been brutally murdered, but her body shows little signs of torture. This father-son mortician team are about to embark on the most unsettling autopsy onscreen since Alien, as the questions about Jane Doe’s identity grow, so does the unrelenting terror.
A Tale of Two Sisters
“As long as you don’t mind reading subtitles,” as one Reddit user warns, K-horror’s finest is represented in A Tale of Two Sisters. (Stay away from the American remake, which “doesn’t hold a candle to the original.”) What begins as a typical evil stepmother tale quickly takes on new life as two sisters are reunited after one’s stint in a mental institution. Though theirs is a happy reunion, the girls find that they’ve got bigger monsters to deal with than a new stepmom.
This movie “f—ked up my life for a while,” one Reddit user warns. A series of brutal deaths under investigation in a rural village in South Korea seem to coincide with the arrival of a strange Japanese man. Users wrote that they too felt like they were “cursed” after seeing this movie. Another wrote, “fever dream is a great way to describe it.”
A group of enterprising guys are charged with the demolition of a condemned lunatic asylum. Desperate for cash, they ignore the warnings from locals that the place is cursed. It’s not long before the men feel as though they need to be committed. “The film excels at being unnerving ...” one user wrote. Another said, “It’s my top recommendation for scary/non-slasher horror films.”
One of the strangest and most obscure horror movies ever made, Andrej Zulawski’s Possession is infamous for actress Isabelle Adjani’s intense, borderline insane performance. Her descent into madness as an adulterous wife is at once bone chilling and blood curdling. A walk home from the grocery store in the Berlin subway turns into a scene of total and utter horror that sticks with you for good.
This overlooked Irish horror movie is a fan favorite, making an appearance on Reddit over and over again as a controversial addition. A man named David believes his wife is having an affair. His anxiety is compounded by the discovery that a murder took place in his home, which he believes may be haunted. When his wife doesn’t come home, David must investigate the forces of evil at work.
The random home invasion strikes terror into the heart of all people, and The Strangers milks that fear for all it's worth. Some claim this movie doesn’t scare them. Nice try. We don’t believe you. “I didn’t like being home alone for a long time after watching it,” one user reveals. Another’s post-Strangers trauma was more intense: “I spent the following month sprinting in the dark from my parked car on our driveway to my front door when returning home from work in paranoia.”
Featured still from "The Descent" via Lions Gate Films