The Best Supernatural Horror Streaming Now

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Updated March 19th 2021

Have you been endlessly clicking through each of your streaming services looking for the best supernatural horror movies and series? Look no further as we have taken the time to watch them all and select the best supernatural horror currently streaming on HULU, NETFLIX, and AMAZON PRIME. You won’t find slasher films in this list because we prefer the supernatural. Included but not limited to hauntings, possessions, monsters, and complete and total psychological mind f#$%ks. We’ll keep updating so you don’t have to mindlessly scroll through endless movie lists like the zombie you might be someday.

Best Supernatural Horror on HULU

  1. The Wretched

75% Tomatometer “The atmosphere is eerie and there’s a nice twist I did not see coming.” Staci Layne Wilson

A young boy begins the journey of navigating not only his parent’s divorce but also fighting the old witch that has possessed the next-door neighbors. Great story and very well executed with a classic twist in the end. Like witch horror movies? So do we and here is our best of witch horror list.

  1. Pyewacket

82% Tomatometer “The director is out for blood, and while this is a slow-burn affair that craftily bides its time until just the proper moment to unleash a flurry of dexterously ominous thrills, the craven wickedness of it all is portentously intoxicating.” Sara Michelle Fetters 

The angst of a teenage girl mixed with a bumpy relationship with her mother leads to grim things. Out for blood, the young girl performs an ancient death curse. Whose demise will it really end in?

  1. Lights out

76% Tomatometer “A lean, mean scare-machine, and a surprise contender for horror of the year. Seek it out. Then, for God’s sake, buy a bedside lamp.” Simon Crook

Rebecca could never tell fact from fiction in the dark as a child, and now her young brother faces the same problem. A supernatural entity has come to torment the two holding a strange attachment to their mother.

  1. Thelma

93% Tomatometer “Thelma is a wonderfully composed work, one that involves you at a pace of its own.” Rhys Tarling

A college student experiences a series of extreme seizures resulting in new supernatural abilities. Her new powers are dangerous and frightening, seemingly triggered by her love for another student. (In Norwegian, only has English subtitles)

  1. Welcome to Mercy

70% Tomatometer “A rare horror movie whose creators seriously represent both sides of a dilemma, and is therefore more mature than it seems at first glance.” Simon Abrams

Madaline visits a convent and learns she is on her way to becoming the Antichrist. She must work together with her friend August to confront and fight and demons inside of her.

Best Supernatural Horror on NETFLIX

  1. The Ritual

74% Tomatometer “It is a haunting film, with immaculate direction, impressive creature design, as well as well-acted and well-realised characters.” Adi Pramana

After a death in their group, four friends go for a hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. When they become lost in the forest, a series of evil and mysterious events plague the travelers.

  1. His House

100% Tomatometer “His House is a terrifying debut that breathes a fresh voice into the haunted-house subgenre.” Robert Daniels

A refugee couple from South Sudan have just escaped the horrors of their world, only to be thrown into another. Evil hides in the corners of their new English town life.

  1. Girl on the Third Floor

84% Tomatometer “Stevens shows that he is ready to earn his chops in the directors chair and it’s easy to get excited about what he plans to tackle next. Girl on the Third Floor has a lot of heart and some of it might be bleeding out right on the living room floor.” Ryan Larson

A couple moves into a house with plans to renovate it. The house has other plans though. 

  1. Apostle

78% Tomatometer “Evans departs from his usual action fare to weave a gripping story centered around unique Pagan-like mythology steeped in blood and sacrifice. It’s folk horror, but with a new level of brutality and viscera unlike most of its ilk.” Meagan Navarro

Thomas Richardson comes home to discover that his sister has been kidnapped by a cult. Thomas infiltrates the cult and learns of the true evil lurking within it.

  1. Polaroid

The critics hated it but we really enjoyed it so it’s on our list. Give it 15 minutes and you decide if it really is that rottne!

A highschool girl who has an innocent interest in photography finds a vintage polaroid camera and begins to experiment with it. But the people who have their picture taken with the camera are mysteriously met with a sudden and gruesome death.

  1. Little Evil

92% Tomatometer “Little Evil is fast-paced, funny, and more clever than you think it will be.” Eddie Strait 

This one has a comedy twist but who doesn’t love a horror comedy? A newlywed couple is enjoying their life with their five-year-old son who may or may not be the Antichrist.

Best Supernatural Horror on AMAZON PRIME

  1. Annabelle: Creation

71% Tomatometer “It’s perhaps one of the most exciting connective twists I’ve seen in a horror film.” Jordy Sirkin

Based on the famous haunted Annabelle doll. A nun and 6 orphaned girls are welcomed into a new California home. The owner’s 7-year-old daughter had passed away in that home a few years earlier, leaving a mysterious doll behind in her bedroom. One of the curious orphans discovers it and the evil inside of it.

  1. Devil

50% Tomatometer  This is another one where we watched and really enjoyed it. Critics be damned for messing with the devil in an elevator. “A taut, expert and engrossing thriller with sense of visual restraint that is refreshing in this age of abhorrent overexposure.” David Keyes

5 strangers are on a normal elevator ride until it gets stuck in the Philidelphia office tower. Their normal ride turns dark when they learn that the Devil is among them.

  1. It

86% Tomatometer “In the end, Muschietti’s film is a big, fat, gorgeously produced love letter to King’s epic novel.” Sara Michelle Fetters

Based on Stephen King’s novel, this movie follows the journey of seven young outcasts. They meet the evilest ancient being out there that emerges from the depths of the sewers every 27 years. They all must overcome their fears to banish the clown, Pennywise.

  1. Midsommar

83% Tomatometer “Ari Aster’s approach to horror filmmaking seeps into your subconsciousness with great effect, lingering like an uninvited guest.” Wenlei Ma

A young couple struggling with their relationship decide to go on a trip to a Swedish festival. It turns into a nightmare when the locals show their true colors.

  1. Possum

90% Tomatometer “[Possum’s] shiver-inducing, claustrophobic, hauntingly brilliant nightmare fuel, powered by an engagingly disturbing central performance from Sean Harris.” Joey Keogh

A puppeteer has to relive his childhood nightmares and past secrets.


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The Best Witch Horror Films – This is Why You Should Not Mess With Witches!

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What’s really so horrifying about witches? Is it the stereotypical vision of the green old hag with a hooked nose, chanting foreign words over a bubbling cauldron? Or is it the idea that beings who have an extraordinary power can choose to curse the unwitting among us? The common concept of witches that we see in movies and books, or heard from overtly religious sources, is that they have access to some kind of dark power or force that they have the ability to manipulate for their own purposes. The fear is derived from the idea that we don’t have complete control over our own lives, that someone or perhaps something out there is pulling the strings and directing us to our doom. What do witches do anyway? Are they summoning demons for their own benefit, or to send them to possess another person? These kinds of questions are what led nineteen men and women to be accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials–unlike common belief, the accused were hung by the neck until dead.

The modern concept of witches shows that they aren’t actually the old, ugly, and hook-nosed women like the folklore might have you believe. They aren’t even technically evil–at least not in the traditional sense–what was and is still often considered evil is actually simply self-serving. Witches can be both incredibly beautiful and good-natured, like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, or Cordelia from American Horror Story: Coven or it can go the other was as seen in these movies. Moral of the story, whether a witch is good or bad, you might not want to mess with them. After all, there is a reason why witches are so often cast as the bad guys in horror movies–the ability to summon demons through the use of black magic isn’t exactly a calming image!

The Wretched (2019)

The Wretched Witch Horror Film

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

In this witch horror film, a defiant teenage boy is sent to live with his father for the summer on the coast. Things are rocky from the beginning when he is forced to meet his father’s new girlfriend. It only get’s worse though as he quickly discovers something is not right in the neighborhood. At first, it is strange noises and unusual sightings. Then his new neighbors begin to act strangely. When their young boy disappears and they act as though he never existed he realizes something far more sinister has occurred.

At first, no one believes him as he has pushed away his father and new friends. So he does what any caring teenage neighborhood boy would do. He takes matters into his own hands. Once he discovers there is witchcraft afoot he convinces a local girl to help him out. They investigate and ultimately try to take on the witch.

This tale has great twists and turns that we will not get into so no spoiler alerts here. This was an indie horror film that quickly rose to the top 10 on Netflix in 2020. You would never know it was low budget as the writing, acting and effects are all wonderfully done. Highly recommended and enjoy the the horror!

Pumpkinhead (1988)

Pumpkin Head Movie Poster

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

It’s not an uncommon theme in the horror genre – a grieving parent loses their child in a devastating way and goes to desperate measures to get revenge on those who wronged them. This is just what happened in Pumpkinhead, when Ed Harley visits a witch and begs for her help in getting revenge on his young son’s killer. Throw in one disfigured corpse and a bit of blood magic, and all hell breaks loose… literally.

The witch summons a gigantic, demonic monster that goes on a killing spree, and unapologetically refuses to help even after Harley comes to his senses and begs her to stop Pumpkinhead. She knew exactly what she was doing, and was as much of a witch in the film as she was a modern-day troll for all those seeking vengeance.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy Hollow Movie Poster

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

Before Johnny Depp was doing whatever it is he does now, he was playing an NYC policeman trying to uncover the brutal beheadings of a bunch of town people. It wasn’t a witch doing the beheading, but it was an undercover witch who summoned the Headless Horseman to finish off all those who had betrayed her. Vengeance is a common theme when it comes to witches, it seems, as Lady Van Tassel sold her soul to the devil after people turned on her as a child after the death of her parents. 

Moral of the story? Always be kind to others and show them mercy… because you never know when they’re a secret witch who will make heads roll.

The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring Movie Poster

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

Many of the witches in pop culture are pretty easy on the eyes, like Sabrina Spellman or Melisandre from Game of Thrones (at least, with her disguise on). Bathsheba from The Conjuring is not one of them. This witch is not only terrifying but extremely evil. Between being accused of witchcraft in the 1800’s, sacrificing her week-old child to the devil and killing herself at 3:07AM (also known as the devil’s hour,) she’s about as bad of a witch as you can find.

She haunts and kills all those who reside in her old house, including the Perron family in the very first film of The Conjuring universe. Bathsheba is a major villain in one of the best horror films of the 2010s, but we definitely wouldn’t want to come across her in our new house.

The Witch (2016)

The Witch Movie Poster

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

Unlike a lot of horror films these days… The Witch is set in the 1630s and markets itself as a “New England folktale.” It follows a family banished from their Puritan plantation town over a religious dispute. As they set themselves up in a farm near a secluded forest – which honestly, doesn’t sound like a great idea at all – they start to encounter a lot of spooky things, mostly related to their eldest daughter Thomasin.

It’s a great firsthand look at a young girl being accused of witchcraft… especially since she very well might just be one. 

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project Movie Poster

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Sure, this film may be a bit outdated now… but it was a huge “thing” when it was released back in 1999. The found-footage concept has been used by a ton of other horror blockbusters, including Paranormal Activity, and even 20 years later, kids still don’t know that you shouldn’t follow a supposed witch into a creepy forest. It can’t be said enough… don’t mess with witches!

Maybe we missed a few horror films that feature the dark magic side of witches? We’re always open to suggestions so find us on social media or add a comment and we’ll update this until we have the ultimate witches in horror movies list!


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The Bloodhound from Filmmaker Patrick Picard

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The Bloodhound is the directorial debut from Patrick Picard, and is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, The Fall of The House of Usher (1839). The story follows a disenchanted young man who visits his elusive childhood friend at the request of a beckoning letter, and the uncomfortable terrors that follow.

Clocking in at only 72 minutes, this psychological slow-burn explores a few of the themes and ideas of its inspirational ancestor, using a few key plot points from the short story to present its ideas, though for the most part remains its own film completely. Inclusions such as the titular, and likely metaphorical, antagonist himself and the modernised setting of the Luret mansion enable a fresh horror to be invoked from the work while key themes retain what made the original so chilling. 

These themes are as relevant now as they were almost two hundred years ago; social isolation, mental health (with obvious correlations between the two), and obligations felt through different relationships. Although ideas of friendship are explored in some emotional ways, a rather cold atmosphere permeates the picture, aided by uncannily stilted performances from its two leads. These, along with beautiful, yet clinically-focused camerawork give the impression of looking into another universe at times.

The Bloodhound horror movie poster featuring a drawing of 2 men and a red doorway

As mentioned, this is another slow one, but if you’ve read any of my previous articles you should almost expect that by now. Rather than rely on scenery or atmosphere The Bloodhound is primarily dialogue-driven, as expected from a classic story adaptation. And it’s expertly handled by the two leads Joe Adler and Liam Aikan, both in delivery and consistent conviction until the final scene. You feel every pinch of Francis’ (Aikan) discomfort at the whims of the eccentric and disturbed Jean Paul Luret (Adler) and the growing distrust by both of them as each narrative intricacy reveals itself. 

The Bloodhound plays out much like an upper-class The Lighthouse (2019) in many ways, with a modernised dash of Alex Garland’s Ex-Machina (2014). With plenty enough detail within its short runtime to keep the most perceptive viewer engaged. It appears almost play-like with its limited cast, allowing plenty of opportunity for them to bounce off each other and get the most out of plot and setting. It revels in the confusion of the viewer, being that much of the information ascertained is unreliable, which bleeds through into our viewing experience as we start to doubt the things we are seeing are real. Those favouring familiar plots and more immediate scares may become frustrated. 

Even Francis, our initially implied connection with sanity, begins to act oddly. Where most would have undoubtedly left the Luret household after many of JP’s increasingly hostile antics, Francis stays to enact his own motives, leaving us all the more alone in the Luret mansion. The chemistry between these two characters is so engrossing at times that any ‘horror scene’ that does fall upon us is made all the more jarring because of it. This elevates the film from effective psychological horror to a testament to the importance of strong acting and direction within the genre. 

The Bloodhound is an intense, atmospheric and darkly comedic tribute to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, and a strong first entry for Patrick Picard. If his work continues to exude the same unsettling nihilistic macabre as this debut offering then I for one am in for the long haul.


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The Decadence of Dawn of the Dead 1978

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In modern usage, the word decadence is usually associated with luxury. A fancy dessert may be decadent, as may a gown encrusted with diamonds. More specifically, though, the term denotes a period of moral decline and extravagance prior to the collapse of a once-great civilization. Think of the orgies of the late Roman Empire, or the glamorous parties of the Roaring 20s. It also shares its root with another, less attractive word: decay. A society entering its decadent phase is one that has already died, and indeed has begun to rot. Party-goers and merry-makers may attempt to distract themselves from this, but eventually the stench will become unbearable. So hows does that relate to Dawn of the Dead 1978?

1978’s Dawn of the Dead is a movie about decadence in every sense of the word. Faced with the threat of human extinction, the film’s heroes barricade themselves inside a shopping mall, living out a consumerist utopia while zombies run rampant outside. The more they lose themselves in material pleasures and hedonism, the more obvious it becomes that the world as they know it has ended. This horror classic from George Romero is a scathing indictment of a civilization in decline, a chronicle of American decadence in all of its glitz, glamor, and gore.

Dawn of the Dead 1978 horror movie image of survivors in the mall

Initially, the social commentary in Dawn of the Dead may seem a touch on-the-nose. Watching zombies stagger around the mall, the characters comment how their behavior is not so different from before. They return to the mall due to “some kind of instinct,” says Stephen (David Emge), “a memory of what they used to do.” Horrified by the almost-human behavior of the shopping dead, Francine (Gaylen Ross) asks: “What are they?” Peter (Ken Foree) responds: “They’re us, that’s all.” There is little difference, Romero implies, between the mindless consumerism of 1970s America and the shambling of an undead horde.

Direct equivalence between mall-goers and zombies, though, is a more simplistic reading than Dawn of the Dead deserves. A richer meaning can be found by moving beyond simple metaphors and thoughtfully examining the dynamics between human beings and their environment. What this cinematic “dissection” reveals is a recurrent motif of decadence. Throughout the film, there is a consistent mismatch between living, flourishing tissue on the outside, and stagnation and decay beneath the surface. The characters who are unwilling to recognize the ugliness beneath a thin veneer of decadence are doomed; the only hope for survival is to stop living in denial and face the grim, unavoidable truth.

Dawn of the Dead 1978 Original Trailer

This mismatch is present from the very beginning of the film, and harkens back to Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead. In Night, the news was a source of security — TV anchors gave advice to survivors throughout the film, even directing them to evacuation sites. In the first moments of Dawn, however, we are taken behind the scenes at a news station where it is clear that nobody knows what they are doing. The studio is in chaos, with half of the staff yelling over one another, and the other half abandoning their posts. Even the list of evacuation sites from Night is revealed to be out-of-date — although this last detail does not stop an executive from insisting that the studio continue to broadcast the list. What’s sending a few survivors to their deaths, after all, as long as viewership remains high?

Right after this introduction comes another crucial sequence, in which a unit of the National Guard invades a public housing complex whose tenants have refused to give up their dead. By clinging to old rituals and refusing to accept their new reality, these tenement-dwellers have locked themselves in with a horde of zombies. More depraved, though, is the behavior of the National Guard toward these (mostly black and latinx) civilians; they fire machine guns indiscriminately, causing more deaths than the zombies themselves. Hidden beneath a thin layer of government-sanctioned authority, the moral decay of these unhinged, bigoted soldiers is apparent. Once again a curtain is whipped aside, revealing the ugly truth of a society hopelessly in decline.

These two introductory sequences expose how central institutions of modern America — media and law enforcement — are thin bandages over seeping wounds. The rest of the film, set almost entirely in the shopping mall, doubles down on this theme. Even after our heroes establish a secure base camp with enough supplies to last a lifetime, there is little comfort to be found. The novelty of an unlimited shopping spree wears off quickly, and it is soon clear that they are merely going through the motions of decadence. The more they distract themselves with lavish outfits and expensive toys, the more their consumerist paradise resembles a slaughterhouse.

dawn of the dead 1978 horror movie still image of zombies

Eventually the contradictions between outer decadence and internal decay become impossible to reconcile. After one of the four is killed securing the perimeter of the mall, the others decide they would rather face an uncertain future than die inside a prison of their own making. This about-face comes too late, though, as their attempts to flee attract the attention of a roving gang of bikers. The sinister delight with which the bikers descend on the mall may seem a bit over the top, but that is the point. Other than their lack of restraint, there is no substantial difference between these cackling Mad Max rejects and our own heroes. If the world as they know it has died, then what is really more depraved: basking in decadence, or stripping it for parts?
As the ending credits play over a cheerful montage of zombies romping through the mall, the film’s message stays with the viewer like a bad taste.

If Night of the Living Dead showed America as a powder keg ready to burst, then 1978’s Dawn of the Dead makes the claim that it has been dead for years already; we are simply living our last, decadent years inside its rotting corpse. What better way to illustrate this than to juxtapose the literal walking dead next to the rituals of modern consumerism? George Romero proved with his followup to Night that he could go bigger, bloodier, and more ambitious. But more than forty years later, it is the powerful social message of this horror classic that stands out the most.


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The Frightful History of the Best Jumpscares

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The jumpscare; one of the most polarizing yet widely used tropes in the horror genre since Mark Robson’s clever editing work in Jacques Tourneur’s 1942 chiller Cat People. Some will tell you that jumpscares are cheap tactics to manipulate the audience into finding something more scary than it really is, while others insist that if they don’t jump out of their seats at least once then a film quite simply isn’t scary at all. The truth is that jumpscares are neither good nor bad, like an overly aggressive dog the blame can be placed fully on their handler. Here I have personally handpicked and compiled a list of jumpscares from throughout the ages of film, to hopefully weed out the wheat from the chaff in the world of heart-stopping horror moments.

Heavy dramatic music is better for horrific reveals and dramatic moments than to make the audience jump, though some cases have proved it can be effective.

Smile (2022)

Smile is a nightmarish slow-burn horror film comparable to the likes of It Follows (2014) and They Look Like People (2015), with plenty of creepy images and a pervasive sense of building dread throughout its entire runtime. Therapist Dr. Rose Cotter begins experiencing a terrifying phenomenon following a patient’s apparent suicide, and must figure out what smiling, shapeshifting thing is stalking her before it is too late. Unfortunately, just about every frame that could be considered chilling in Smile was shown proudly in its trailer, making the film itself feel like an extended rehash and forcing it to rely on a few jumpscares to keep the wider audience interested. One of these jolts is a scene in which Rose’s sister approaches Rose’s car, knocking on the window. As she does, her head swings violently into view to reveal a hideous smile on her face. The whole thing happens so quickly and the grotesque appearance of the long, swinging neck and demented grin make this a hugely effective scare, even if it was also sadly shown in the trailer.

Insidious (2010)

Insidious (2010) horror movie poster featuring a scary child in front of a house

This one got me good back in 2010, and I still remember jumping clean out of my seat at a couple of points. Of course I was more impressional back then and I’m not sure it would have the same effect nowadays, though I would consider Insidious to be a chillingly atmospheric and intensely creepy horror film nonetheless. Many would probably consider the best jumpscare here to be the appearance of the red-faced demon behind Patrick Wilson’s character, though there was another scene that sticks with me far more. Somewhere in the madness of the first real night of haunting, Renai (played by Rose Byrne) runs into her baby’s room to see a figure standing over the cot. Because this happens in the midst of so much panic, and because Rose Byrne’s reaction through one unbroken camera shot is so convincing, I would place this as one of the more spine-chilling jumpscares James Wan has to offer.

The Visit (2015)

The visit jumpscare horror movie poster featuring some rules and a house

Despite being one of M. Night Shyamalan’s later works, The Visit actually utilises its found-footage presentation well for the most part, offering a group of charismatic and interesting characters and plenty of passable chills, not to mention an ending that calls back to the director’s earlier, more widely regarded films. While I enjoyed a lot of The Visit, we are here to talk about the jumpscares of the matter, which sadly I liked a lot less. One stand-out scene is when the kids are crawling under their grandparent’s house and end up hiding from their snarling ‘grandmother’ as it crawls around looking for them. This may have been a creepy scene if not for the incessant and inhuman screeching and snarling coming from her. These sounds have no bearing on the story and are seemingly there to give the audience a little jolt, like an editing afterthought when it was realised the scene simply wasn’t that scary.

Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary Horror Movie Poster featuring a mother and child in a spooky scene

Ari Aster’s breakout directorial debut Hereditary is a uniquely nasty look at classic haunting tropes, one that shocked audiences with its blend of supernatural chills and pitch-black family drama. The scare I’m choosing to focus on from this particular nightmare is a good case for the argument that quiet jumpscares can work better. Things are already tense as Charlie (Millie Shapiro) struggles through her closing airways and when she tries for air, a small thud is all that’s needed to let us know that the worst has happened. You might not have initially jumped at this one, hell, you might not have even caught it the first time around, but once the realization sets in of what happens when Charlie sticks her head out of the car window, we are left in the same state of silent shock her unfortunate brother Peter (Alex Wolff) is in. Phenomenal acting and truly disturbing subject matter mean that this flick is not for the weak of heart.

The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring Horror Movie Poster featuring s spooky house and a noose hanging from a tree

Like any decent ghostly chiller from James Wan, The Conjuring is chock full of dread, atmosphere and a bucketload of jumpscares. As with his other works such as Insidious, Wan likes to turn up the shocks and then keep them coming until the audience is completely worn out from gritting their teeth. Once the tension ramps up we can expect horrors jumping from every shadow, meaning it can be quite hard to pin down a particular jumpscare amongst the madness. That being said, the reveal of the evil entity, Bathsheba, hiding atop the wardrobe has to be one of the better timed and executed scares of James Wan’s career. Her hideous, yet not over-the-top, appearance flashing so suddenly gives such a threatening air that our fight-or-flight sense begins to tingle at the very sight of her. Couple that with the knowledge that she sacrificed her own child just to get one over on God and you have one truly unsettling antagonist.

Signs (2002)

Signs sci-fi horror movie poster featuring a crop circle

I’ve already picked on one of Shyamalan’s later works so why not go back and have a look at one of his more worthy creations? Signs stars Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix and could to this day be the scariest sci-fi horror extraterrestrial invasion film in history. This is chiefly due to the thick sense of foreboding that builds over the film’s first couple of acts, before panic ensues and the family hope their preparations weren’t in vain. The scares work here because Shyamalan keeps things quiet for the most part. One standout moment is when Merrill Hess (Phoenix) is watching shaky news footage of an alleged ‘sighting’ at a child’s birthday party. The shot of a backyard alley is held just long enough to put viewers on edge before an alien walks brazenly out and swaggers across to the other side. At this point in the film we don’t know what to expect from these creatures, so when a vaguely sinister humanoid walks out the effect is a confusing and hair-raising jolt. Every little glimpse of a leg or hand of the creatures thus far has been leading to an almost casual reveal, and Phoenix’s reaction illustrates the significance of the event perfectly.

Sinister (2012)

sinister horror movie poster featuring a scary young girl walking by a blood stained wall

Sinister is a moody and atmospheric horror directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Ethan Hawke, which utilises a home-movie effect through some of its sequences that can be considered some of the creepiest scenes in modern horror. When author Ellsion Oswalt (Hawke) finds a stack of super 8 footage depicting the gruesome murders of several families, he must decipher the connections between them before the malicious entity residing in the footage finds him. I won’t spoil too much, though I’ll say that one of these tapes has one of the more unexpected and gut-dropping jumpscares I’ve personally come across. While Sinister’s third act doesn’t quite live up to the dread built in the first two, it’s still a worthy modern horror flick in many regards and should be watched at least once.

Lights Out (short) (2013)

For this pick I’m giving a shout out to one of the most harrowing short films that ever graced the internet. It was later adapted into a great feature film of the same name, though I still consider the rawness and simplicity of the original Lights Out short to be far superior for a quick scare. Clocking at around three minutes, Lights Out features no dialogue and very minimal sound effects with no excessive increases in volume. When our lead turns out the light and sees the sinister figure at the end of the hall, we see it as she does, with no obnoxious instrumentation or erratic camera editing. As she starts to curiously turn the light on and off , the figure only appearing in the dark, we scream internally to just leave the thing on and get out of the place. The 2016 feature film definitely took things further in every possible way, and happens to be a very competently horrifying film in the process, though something about the short will always reign supreme. Watch the Light Our Horror short below.

Barbarian (2022)

Barbarian horror movie poster featuring a woman looking through a scary doorway

Barbarian is an absolute enigma of a film and is best enjoyed with absolutely no prior knowledge going into it. Let’s just say that the first act in no way hints at the insane length the story goes to, and the first actual reveal of where things are going is downright horrifying. Featuring little to no sound, this particular scene uses a quick and horrifying visual followed by some brutal violence that are both heart-stopping in their abruptness and such a curveball in terms of story that viewers feel completely and suitably helpless.

The Ring (2002)

The Ring Horror Movie poster showing a glowing supernatural ring

Gore Verbinski’s 2002 remake of the Japanese chiller Ringu, The Ring, was one of the first horror films I remember seeing, and I still remember the nightmares, the fear of TV static, and the absolute hatred of little girls with long black hair. There’s plenty to be scared of in what I would consider one of the best horror remakes around, though one scene disturbed my young mind beyond belief. Following an account of a young girl’s horrifying death, we are greeted to a quick shot of the victim crouched in a cupboard, her face twisted and warped beyond recognition. The image is so jarring and unexpected that the audience is put in a state of alert apprehension, and although I am biased I would consider it one of the best scares on this list.


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