1. The Ring
What will terrify you: The video that plays — along with the Cousin Itt look-alike — is totally scary, but so is the idea that you’ll die soon after watching it.
Violence, on a scale of 1 to “Ewww”: 1, as there’s hardly any blood, but plenty of gross images.
2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
What will terrify you: After watching this movie, you’ll be afraid to go to sleep for fear of aliens invading your body. Additionally, you’ll start to question all of those emotionless monsters you encounter on a daily basis. Looking at you, guy who works at Starbucks. (THEY’RE PODS, RIGHT?!)
Violence, on a scale of 1 to “Ewww”: 2, a man gets a small cut on his hand, and there’s an unfortunate incident with a pitchfork…
3. Let The Right One In
What will terrify you: Kids can be vampires, and they are really scary. But they’re also lonely and need friends? It’s all scary, and you’ll end up being pretty nervous for the fate of Oskar.
Violence, on a scale of 1 to “Ewww”: 5, as there is a vampire on the loose and all.
4. Rosemary’s Baby
What will terrify you: I’d like to believe that what happens in my dreams, stays in my dreams. Unfortunately, this movie will lead you to the scary realization that the devil can, and will, get you knocked up. And that demon spawn will come out, whether you like it or not.
Violence, on a scale of 1 to “Ewww”: 4, due to the devil rape scene, and the suicide.
5. Rear Window
What will terrify you: The suspense of whether Jeffries is right or wrong about a suspected murder is what makes this truly gripping. You watch all of the events unfold through his eyes — and his binoculars.
Violence, on a scale of 1 to “Ewww”: 1, as there is implied violence in the dialogue, but not much is actually shown.
6. The Blair Witch Project
What will terrify you: The handheld camera gives the sense that you’re actually in the woods, being hunted by some weird ghost-witch. Add that to all of the shaky shots, and grainy footage, and you’ll be queasy, if not full on screaming.
Violence level: 1, because who can forget those gross teeth. Gross. :(
7. Fatal Attraction
What will terrify you: This is like one giant PSA for why you should never have extramarital affairs. Mainly because they will kill your pet bunny, and terrorize you in your own home.
Violence level: 1, because of that super freaky bathtub scene.
What will terrify you: No one likes to thinks about their significant other’s ex, but Rebecca is a pretty big pain in the ass. Also? Everyone is totally on her side, and even preserves her room, in spite of the fact that she’s dead… kinda.
Violence level: 0
9. Paranormal Activity
What will terrify you: Oh, probably all of it. As the idea of a house being haunted is pretty scary in general. But the fact that people are dragged and thrown around by ghosts ups the horrifying factor.
Violence level: 1, as one of the characters squeezes a crucifix so hard that they begin to bleed.
10. Black Swan
What will terrify you: Natalie Portman scratching her skin raw, and the bizarre relationship she has with her mother are both creepy on their own. But as her obsession to be the Swan Queen heightens, things go super weird and dark.
Violence level: 4, for all of those nail cutting scenes, the bloody toes, and when she slams Mila Kunis into a mirror.
11. The Orphanage
What will terrify you: The mask pictured above, for one. But you’ll also likely live in fear of accidentally harming someone every time you close a door.
Violence level: 3, on account of a hand being slammed in a door, and that whole bus accident scene…
What will terrify you: This isn’t a story about a sexy True Blood vampire, because Nosferatu has nails. Talons, really. And freaky teeth, and pointed ears, and… OK, I’m scared now.
Violence level: 0, there are some blood draining scenes, naturally, but otherwise this is relatively tame.
13. The Others
What will terrify you: Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of a paranoid mother dealing with two sickly children, for one. Then there’s the whole part where her daughter starts seeing ghosts, and then we start seeing them as well.
Violence level: 0
14. Hard Candy
What will terrify you: Pedophiles in general are pretty creepy. But what really makes this scary is the level of torture that Ellen Page’s character is able to put her would-be predator through.
Violence level: 3, if only because of all the torture scenes.
15. The Sixth Sense
What will terrify you: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you already know the twist ending to this. What is terrifying is often that blurred line of what is reality, versus what isn’t. Plus, ya know, the kid sees dead people!
Violence level: 2, as aside from the introductory scene, all of the violent acts are already carried out, and we just see the aftermath.
What will terrify you: This movie inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, so already you know it’s pretty grim. The whole murder plot revolving around a notorious lothario will completely creep you out. Plus, the way it’s shot adds to the scare factor.
Violence level: 0, absolutely no gore, just intense psychological drama.
17. What Lies Beneath
What will terrify you: Is Michelle Pfeiffer going nutso? Is a ghost actually trying to contact her? The more she tries to figure that out, the more dangerous things get, especially with her hubby.
Violence level: Most of it isn’t quite shown, so I’ll give this a 2.
18. Village of the Damned
What will terrify you: You’ll never look at a gaggle of blond children quite the same way again.
Violence level: 3, as the children do some truly heinous things, like setting a man on fire. (The 1995 reboot of the film has a lot more gore, if you’re into that kind of thing.)
19. Woman In Black
What will terrify you: There are a lot of mysterious, ghost-like faces that appear in windows. Which is horrifying. And the sound effects will make you jump 10 feet out of your seat.
Violence level: 2, there’s definitely some implied violence, all of which is scary, but none that we directly see. (Unless you count that little girl coughing up blood.)
What will terrify you: Kathy Bates’ love for her favorite author is a thing of horror. She loves him so much that she refuses to let him leave her house… even if it means breaking his feet. (In the book, she cuts them off, so this is much easier to watch. Trust me.)
Violence level: 6, but only because Bates is willing to do WHATEVER it takes to keep Paul Sheldon with her.
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