The best horror movies are the ones you’re scared to watch in the dark. You better grab some friends (and a bowl of popcorn!) because here are some horrifying horror movies that will give you nightmares:
“When I was little, my father would fall asleep on the sofa and leave TNT or AMC on and they would show horror movies. I was maybe 4 or 5 and watched Nightmare on Elm Street. The scene where young Johnny Depp got pulled through a bed gave me nightmares for weeks.” – Athrowawayinmay
“The original black and white version of The Haunting. Still gives me chills when the ghosts bang on the doors and walls and in one scene two actresses share a bed and they hold hands in fear. One of them wakes after a while and witnesses an event and when she complains her hand is being squeezed too tight to the other actress, the other woman turns the light on and she is actually laid on a chaise longue across the room with her hand out and clearly being squeezed by nothing that can be seen. The cinematography is great and it has different unusual camera angles to create suspense.” – jlelvidge
“REC is an amazing Spanish found-footage zombie movie. It starts slowly with a documentary film crew following a team of firefighters, but once it kicks into high gear it becomes a relentless, claustrophobic, violent hell ride.” – heart17
“When I was a kid, having an older brother meant that I basically grew up watching 80s/90s horror. There is a movie called The Gate. Basically, some kids end up playing a metal record backward, and it results in a gate to hell opening up in their backyard.
Lots of spoilers below! Highlights of my traumas from this film include:
Kid dreaming that he is dancing with the ghost of his mother, only to wake up and realize he’s holding his now dead dog’s body.
A demon creature being knocked down and shattering into a bunch of tiny versions of itself, that then basically hang out being creepy shits.
The phone ringing and the kid picking it up only to have a loud voice scream, “You’ve…been…baaaaadddd” through it, causing the phone to burst into flames and melt.
A re-animated corpse smashing through the wall of the kid’s bedroom and grabbing him. (My bed was up against the wall in my basement room. Nope.)
Possibly the same demons from above grabbing one of the kids’ ankles from under his bed.
That last one was the direct reason for me running and jumping onto my bed from a few feet away for the longest time.
I also stopped sleeping on the wall side of my bed to avoid corpse grabbings, while at the same time being constantly vigilant to not venture too close to the room side, lest under-bed demons grab me.
I was also convinced for the longest time that mini demons would get me in my backyard, as that scene took place in an area that vaguely looked like our back patio/garage door.
I haven’t actually seen the movie in a good 30+ years, so it could very well actually have been terrible and not scary at all.
Great memories, that film…” – Dyko
“A bit dated now but at the time, One Hour Photo. It just seemed way too… Plausible.” – Janddrew
“After I watched this movie as a kid I legit would obsessively check the toilet seat and shower to make sure there were no spiders. We lived in a house at the time that had a crap ton of spiders, so that also didn’t help. I couldn’t eat popcorn for a while after seeing that.” – Auterbot
“I was 19 when The Others came out and a manager at a tiny, old movie theatre. We had to build the movies upstairs in the projection booth then watch them to make sure they turned out okay. Imagine being a young female and watching that movie with only one other girl in a really old building. I was terrified when it started brain-wrapping right at the jump scare and we had to go stop it and reset. I ended up calling my boyfriend to come down and sit with us!” – TheMoatCalin
“The soundtrack makes you feel super uneasy. Plus that lawnmower scene was a feeling a horror movie has never given to me before.” – Drsweetcum
“Was a kid when I saw it, scared the living daylights out of me. Good special effects for its time.” – Invictuslemming1
“Was just a kid and had no idea whether it was real or not because of all the ‘documentary footage.’ Honestly, the only one that had me genuinely scared ever.” – Chulo078
“The original made for TV IT. The scene with the blood coming out of the picture and Pennywise standing in the field scared me so much. I don’t think I watched the whole thing at the time because that spider is so bad even 10 year old me would have laughed.” – [deleted]
When I was a kid around 8-9, I watched the black and white Night of the Living Dead. Terrified me. I would get scared from that point on from just about anything.” – moxin84
“Hear me out on this one… Jeepers Creepers (the first one of course). The first 45 minutes of that film were incredible and downright terrifying. Unfortunately, it turned into a B-Movie at the end but I’ll never forget watching it at the cinema, I was gripped!” – monkeyslut__
“When I first watched it I had nightmares for weeks. I even had one of those nightmares where you wake up but are still dreaming. When that happened to me I had a xenomorph in my fucking face with both mouths open dripping saliva all over me. I woke up to my dad shaking me awake covered in sweat genuinely thinking it really happened. Nowadays I think back while watching the Alien films and laugh about it, but that film messed with me.” – bord2def
“It’s not even objectively that scary! But fucking hell did it scare the shit out of me. I still can’t bring myself to watch it or I’ll be paranoid going around every corner of the apartment when it’s dark.” – tragicworldrecord
“I was very glad I watched it in my one bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor, where there was essentially only one way into my apartment. I could not watch it in my house today, with multiple access points.” – johnyp03
“I saw Sleepy Hollow twice. The first time I was with two friends, late afternoon. We giggled the whole time and just ripped the film to shreds. Pfft, that wasn’t scary. The second time I was in the house on my own and had insomnia, so stuck on the TV in my bedroom around 2 am to try and distract myself. Channel 4 was showing the film and I knew it was hilarious and not scary, so didn’t bother turning on the light. This was a mistake and did not help my insomnia.” – tragicworldrecord
“I think Hereditary deserves a spot on one of the scariest movies. Everything following that scene is an excruciating descent into unbreakable grief that you know will destroy you.” – heart17
“I saw Annihilation in the theater alone and that movie really freaked me out for some reason. The bear was bad, but the showdown at the end was the worst for me. That movie really got under my skin.” – tweak0