Debate of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

In honor of Scream 4, out today, I figured I’d make this debate Ghostface’s central line in all the movies so far. I doubt that most people’s favorite scary movie IS Scream, but I just watched 1 and 2 (trying to get through 3 today to see 4 tonight), and I have to say that the original is most definitely an incredibly great horror film.

But there are tons and tons of good horror movies out there, and I’m curious to hear what most people’s favorites are. I wrote this list a while back, indicating what I thought were the top 10 horror movies of the decade, and I still stand by my choices, including The Orphanage at number one, but I have seen some good ones since then including Orphan, The StrangersThe Crazies and a bunch more.

So, what will it be? How would you answer Ghostface’s question if he called you up? (assuming you’re a hot blonde girl). What IS your favorite scary movie?

If anyone says Twilight, they’re getting perma-banned.

  • Grimlock_Smash

    I’d have to go with the original Halloween. When I think ‘horror movie’, I hear that piano music.

  • Matt Cotton

    AMITYVILLE HORROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (the remake)

  • Room 1408 has been the only movie that has scared the crap out of me. Most Slasher films suck for me.

  • FireBlogger

    I agree with Grimlock. Halloween was a revolutionary slasher flick. All atmosphere, keeping you at the edge of your seat until the climax. It had some great acting too, particularly Loomis.

  • Jackson Briggs

    Simple……….. Wrong Turn.

  • The Shining. I love the descent into insanity of Jack, it never gets old.

  • Comfortable Madness

    The Thing, the 1982 version. Horrormaster John Carpenter’s best. Scared the crap outta me when I was little and it still does now. The scene with the dogs get infected is one of the most disturbing horror sequences ever put to film.

    Honorable mentions:

    Hellraiser (the first one)
    Event Horizon

  • Sam

    Does zombieland count?
    My favorite serious horror movie would have to be The Mist.

  • Tony

    I saw Scream 4 last night, and I thought it was more comical than horror.

  • As far as classics go, I’d have to say John Carpenter’s Halloween or The Thing. Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 (the latter more of a comedy) are pretty boss as well. And I’ve gotta say, I really dug Raimi’s recent Drag Me To Hell.

  • Comfortable Madness


    Good call on The Mist. That ending is just so brutal.

  • Lacy

    American Werewolf in London.

  • MajorTool

    Scream is a good series and I’m looking forward to 4.

    First movies that come to mind for favorite horror movie:
    The Thing
    Jacobs Ladder
    Puppet Masters

  • Stan Thomas

    The Thing is good
    28 Days Later
    Dawn of the Dead (remake)
    Original B&W Night of the Living Dead –> for some reason the scene where the girl is attacked in the cemetery and the zombie grabs that brick to try to shatter the window freaked me out.

  • I’m going with Comfortable: 1982 version of “The Thing.” And I think “The Devil’s Rejects” pulls off something nothing else had before, but I’m hard-pressed to call it a “scary” movie.

  • Brian

    If we’re counting Zombieland, I’d like to throw in Shaun of the Dead. But for series fare, it doesn’t get any better than 28 Days Later, which is my favorite movie of any kind. The Dawn of the Dead remake was good too.

  • Omar_fire

    I have to say that most of the horror movies based on Stephen King’s books are pretty good (The Mist, 1408, The Shinning) and most of them are classics. I would have to go with It, beacuse I saw it as a child and was pretty scary.

    As for the new horror movies I liked Dawn of the Dead.

    PD: Twilight IS a horror movie: it makes you feel the horror… the horror.

  • jaromir

    Well I’m 28 now, but nothing scared me like the old horror movies when I was 11 or younger (so this is the 80’s and early 90’s), and I think that is why they used to scare the crap out of me…..and I loved it. I just can’t recreate those feelings again, and it sucks! It sucks bad, I would almost compare it to the equivalent of not being able to reach an orgasm ever again…..

    Anyways with that said, some of the flicks that do standout from my childhood are:

    1) Nightmare on Elm street
    2) Stephens King “It”
    3) Tales from the Crypt (film)
    4) Twilight Zone: The Movie

    Also I remember the show “Freddy’s Nightmares”, that show used to do a number on me.

  • Jim

    I agree The Shining really creeped me out. But what I never got was why is the dude dressed as a werewolf giving the guy head?

  • MajorTool

    The Crypt Keeper. Just felt like that was worth mentioning for talk about creepy.

  • JB

    Was gonna say twilight but dont want to get permaband. Lol.

    Actually I love all of Romeros classic “Dead” movies but I never really did find them scary. The ones that truely freaked me out when I was a kid were the exorcist, the shinning, and halloween but all are pretty tame now when you rewatch them.

  • donpureevil

    Alien and Aliens.
    nothing more to say

  • Alaconz

    The Original Exorcist and Quarantine were great.

  • Grant

    Stephen King’s IT. I’ve never viewed sewers, clowns, or small towns the same ever since. Also, I grew up out in the country surrounded by woods and lived right next to this old creepy cemetary so anything with zombies, especially Night of the Living Dead, scared the living bejeebers out of me.

  • Parker Jammstein

    Suspiria. The opening ten minutes are without question the scariest I’ve seen in anything ever, and the way Argento creates death scenes is beautiful, which makes it all the more frightening. Add in Goblin’s eerie soundtrack, Udo Kier being weird as fuck, maggots, barbed wire, etc. and you’ve got pants-pissing material for days.

  • matt

    the 4th kind if that counts. that shit freaked me out

  • John Carpenter’s Halloween.

  • Yautja

    Jaws, anyone? I still can’t go to the beach.

  • joe

    good god finally someone mentioned Alien and Aliens!!!!!! GAME OVER MAN GAME OVER!

  • Troy J.

    Pitch Black was really good. My favorites are Silent Hill, Orphanage, The Thing, The Newest Friday the 13th, 30 Days of Night and the Dawn of the Dead remake.

  • I can’t believe they made a fourth one. Hell, the second and third were pretty unnecessary.

  • chelsea

    ok, the movie that scared me the most in my life was In the Mouth of Madness, but since this is about your FAVORITE scary movie…. i’m going to say it: SCREAM trilogy (and probably the new trilogy). i love those movies and can watch them on repeat.

    i really dug the orphanage and i would also throw in the shining because it is the best made horror film i’ve ever seen.

  • Marc

    The Omen

    Damien is hella creepy.

  • JoeandMarysOtherSon

    Halloween (Orig.)
    Black Christmas (Orig., freaking loved Margot Kidder’s death scene)
    The Exorcist

  • Bryan

    28 Days Later

  • Jeremy N

    A tie:

    The Mist &

    The Mist just had an incredible plot that allowed you to sink your teeth deep into the storyline and characters, which in turn makes the suspense and horror that much more chilling. Not to mention the ending was a complete mind fuck!

    And…It. My goodness…seen it as a kid…and I seen it now at 21. I am still freaked out by Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise.

    Also, both books were absolutely amazing. Even though the books do have different contexts and endings.

  • This will polarize everyone:

    Paranormal Activity

    I do agree with what everyone’s put up here thus far, definitely loved Suspiria (the soundtrack and lighting/set design made the movie) and The Thing more than all the others in terms of scariness though…

    And the new Amityville was nothing compared to the original, I mean c’mon, James Brolin thinking about ax’ing everyone all the time, and all the bad things that happened to the priest. That poor priest…

    And for all of you that hated paranormal activity, all I have to say is this:

    If you walked in with a chip on your shoulder hoping this film would knock it off, it probably didn’t. I, however, walked in with no expectations and willingly took the ride the movie intended and it was fucking amazing…

  • facerip

    Oh crap, 1984’s Creepshow. Only made it halfway through the 4th skit, the one with the thing in the crate under the stairs. At the time I was a teenager living in an old farm house with a stone basement with creepy wooden stairs. I wouldn’t go down to the basement for years if it was dark or someone wasn’t with me (don’t have to run fast, just faster than the slowest person). Still haven’t seen how it all ends.

  • Steve

    “The Drop of Water” segment from the 63′ Italian horror film “Black Sabbath”. If you thought the old dead lady in the tub from the Shining was scary, oh man, you haven’t seen anything yet.

  • Matt

    the only movie that gave me trouble sleeping ever was paranormal activity…midnight showing coming back home i was terrified. the ring was really well done too but paranormal activity did such a good job of creating fear and did it without any cheap jump-out-at-you shots, just pure creepiness. loved it.

  • Aaron

    The Shining. Especially everything in it, from start to finish.

  • Craig

    New Moon

  • Drester

    I’m surprised no one said The Blair Witch Project. It scared the shit out of me when I saw it as a kid. I was 13 at the time so maybe that had something to do with it. That’s also around the time I saw IT for the first time. I hate clowns

  • Camden

    Inside, Martyrs, Frontier(s), High Tension, the orphanage, the devil’s rejects,

  • Timothy

    How the hell can you like Martyrs? That is some fucked up, evil torture porn. On an artistic level, it is probably defendable that there is a lot more to this movie than say crap movies like Saw and Hostel, but to actually call this as one of your favorite scary movies?? What the hell man???

  • chelsea

    @Camden – oh my gosh, i totally forgot about martyrs until right now…. that movie terrified me and i think part of my mind blocked it out. i will now have nightmares tonight, thanks.

  • @Camden
    Spot on. All of those are awesome, scary, messed up movies. The Orphanage is especially amazing.

  • Andre

    @Comfortable Madness

    Agreed on “The Mist”. It’s horrifying. The definition of horror. It never gets any easier to watch or less horrifying.

  • Andre

    I like “Favorite” lists way better than “Best” lists. No arguing, just awesome movie suggestions.

  • Andre

    The Shinning: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode

    The Shining: The Stanley Kubrick

    Both are great, and I love when people and the extra “n”

  • Jeremy N

    Try “A Serbian Film”

    It is the most disgusting, horrifying, grotesque move ever made. I am not fucking kidding. It will change you in horrible ways!

  • BobaFett

    Raiders of the Lost Ark in the theaters…First 10 minutes…my 10 y.o. friend and his mom leave me BY MYSELF! to watch it.

    Jaws…Still harken thoughts while I’m in the ocean.

    Blair Witch…While watching it I didn’t think it was scary, but then after the ending, I still get the willies thinking about standing in the corner…

  • Charles

    @Jeremy N
    A Serbian Film?? What the fuck is wrong with you??? Yeah, it’s not real, but that movie is very close to child pornography, you should be ashamed of yourself bringing it on the table like that. Seriously, what are you, a fucking pedophile? Go fuck yourself, you fucking douchebag.

  • Drester

    Well, he did say it was the most disgusting, horrifying, grotesque move ever made. And after reading your comment I guess you agree. But I thought we were naming favorite scary movie, not most disturbing movie.

  • shane

    4th kind. scared the hell out of me. after seeing it a friend droped me off a few houses down from mine to be a dick. i never ran so fast.

  • Nick

    I digress, but as far as truly scary stuff: there’s an album of horror stories by Pickwick Records called “Famous Ghost Stories” that I seriously cannot listen to alone–and I’m 36. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s the only door I won’t open at night.
    As far as films The Thing is the all time best horror movie ever. Phantasm. *Rec. and Martyrs and Blood Baby were great foreign. Noone’s said Texas Chainsaw?? 1 and 2–Dennis Hopper man!! Lost Highway, Evil Dead 2…urrrggg! Too many!

  • Ruby

    The Shining
    The Omen (remake)
    Nightmare On Elm Street (remake)
    The Others (with Nicole Kidman)
    The Strangers (made me jump at the end…)
    Fear Island (confusing, but mysterious and creepy. Loved it!)

    I wouldn’t reccomend The Last House On The Left (the remake) to ANYBODY. It is a really disturbing and stupid film for idiots and people who can’t appreciate a good horror.

  • Colten

    George Romero’s Day Of the Dead. The scary part was not the zombies, and you can get your fix of senseless blood and gore from shitty torture porns such as Saw and Hostel. What made Day of the Dead special was the intense feelings of dread, hopelessness, and isolation portrayed. The LIVING were the true monsters in this movie, as it shown how us humans slowly snap while under the pressure of fear.

  • Jo

    House on Haunted Hill is a fav of mine, funny and scary with great production values. Rosemary’s Baby, Hell House, the Blade films, The Thing, The Changeling, Lost Souls..