questionswhat are the scariest movies you've ever seen?

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Working at a movie theatre for more than half a decade I've realized theres a range of "scary" that exists off the scale of simply from 1-10.

Movies from the 70s-80s were scary in a way that they were suspenseful in all the right ways. You would spend half an hour watching, waiting for something to happen, and the suspense built until it finally happened. It was waiting that was worth it. The music, the acting, the everything.

Movies nowadays have more scares in more places. It's more of a "Hey I'm in bed and I just had a good day with my family and OHMYGOD THERES A ZOMBIE COMING FROM THE CLOSET!" It goes from suspenseful in the 70s to jumpy in the 2000s. What we were scared of when we were younger doesn't pail in comparison to what children get scared of today.

I somewhat got sidetracked a few times in this post so sorry if it doesn't make sense.

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Misery. I'm still careful around sledgehammers....

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The scariest thing for me is when I expect something and something totally different happens and makes me jump.

It may sound ridiculous, but I actually found Quarantine scary. I barely remember it, but there was a scene where folks went into the old lady's apartment, the last thing I expected was her as a creature on the ceiling. I know when I was a kid I was scared of the Friday the 13th part 3 and some of the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels. The Eye (Hong Kong version) was also a really creepy film.

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Do we have to work around an "R" rating? I would list The Shining, the original Halloween, the original Friday the 13th and the original Nightmare On Elm Street. Just saying...I prefer movies that are more suspenseful than gory.

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Forgot to answer the actual question; scariest movie I've seen is probably A Tale of Two Sisters. It's a Korean horror movie about two sisters who have an abusive step mother. If you ever need truly scary movies that are generally new, look for Japanese or Korean horror movies. They have all of the suspense, horror music, eeriness, and of course occasional "jumps".

Scariest American horror movie would have to be Mirrors (though it is a remake of a non-American horror movie). I spent a good half hour of the movie behind my hands.

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The Burning
The Boogeyman (1980)

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I forgot to mention Candyman (1992) was extremely scary to me when I watched it as a kid growing up in Chicago and familiar with Cabrini Green.

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@holymythos: I don't mean jumpy movies, I'm looking for movies that stick with you. Like ones where you're walking down a dark street and you're like...damn, I wish I wasn't thinking about such and such movie.

I'm also not opposed to watching foreign flicks, some of the best movies come from outside of US before they're butchered by Hollywood.

@jsimsace: No need to work around an R-rating, these aren't suggestions for the kids.

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The Hills Have Eyes - the first one (the second was laughable) - that movie so totally freaked me out - i still shiver thinking about it...uughhh

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@sykotek: Oh, I agree, I don't like Jumpy. Mirrors stuck with me in a way that I was frightened to look in a mirror for like two days. And you don't realize how many mirrors you have in your life until you're avoiding them. As for A Tale of Two Sisters, it left me psychologically thinking "Huh.... wow" after I watched it. It was a good "Huh" too.

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Attack of the Crab Monster, when I was 4 or 5.
Watched in my friends backyard on a TV plugged into the garage.
Never saw a scary movie before that.
Nothing will ever be as scary again!

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Fire in the Sky. (didnt age well)

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I don't watch a great many horror movies. I'm a total wuss when it comes to horror, so of the old school that I recall, Night of the Living dead, Arachnophobia, and The Thing were all pretty scary to me. I think there was one called "Warlock" too which scared me enough to not finish.

I don't watch many, if any, recent releases. The problem in my mind (which biases me right away) is I'm so used to the new genre of horror being so entirely focused on who can top the most violence, blood, and gore with each subsequent release. I don't find blood and gore scary, I find it utterly replusive. A movie that's all shock factor and no substance is a waste of time to me.

There was one I just happened to catch though not long ago that I was on the fence about watching called "Let Me In". I'm pretty sure it was a recent movie. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad and it did stick with me. The kids they used for actors were really good too, I think they have long successful careers ahead of them.

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I'll second Night of the Living Dead and The Thing. I'd add Invasion of the Body Snatchers (either version, 1956 or 1978, they're both great in different ways). The Descent is a more recent film that had a surprisingly good mix of psychological horror and BOO scares. But for a really creepy crawl-under-your-skin film, watch Session 9. It's about an asbestos clean-up crew working at an old psychiatric hospital and it seriously gave me the heebie-jeebies for days afterward.

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IT was always the scariest. I think its just because I watched is several times as a young kid. Some parts of the movie are still pretty freaking though.

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When I was younger, Pet Cemetery scared the crap out of me. I haven't seen it for a long time, but it still probably would.

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The shining was scary, but i could never envision a scenario where my dad would work in an empty hotel for a winter, so it kinda lost some points for me in that department. Halloween is a movie that i saw when i was just a kid and still think is scary to this day. I swear that if i ever see anyone with a bill shatner mask on, i will run like hell away from them. In terms of newer movies, i find the grudge to be the scariest film that's come out recently, although that isn't saying much, also hostel was pretty scary because it seems like a movie that could actually be true and could possibly happen to me

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The scariest movie I have ever seen is definitely 'Martyrs'. Its an Italian horror movie, and nothing else I have ever seen even reaches the same galaxy as this movie. Super intense!!

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@vbraille: I'll have to watch it, thanks. I love foreign films

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I don't really get scared by movies, I guess I've become desensitized.

The only thing that "scares" me is realistic gore.

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Anything by that fat pig michael moore.

Invaders from mars, 1953. Saw it on tv one night when I was a kid, scared me so bad I was looking on my parents necks for those things.
Later, poltergeist scared the crap out of me... that clown in the kid's room, under the bed, the tree reaching through the window, and the pit with the dead bodies surfacing in the storm all conspired to make me $hit bricks at age 12.

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A few of my favorites have been mentioned, but I'll throw in a new one.

"The Descent" really, really freaked me out. Incredibly well-done movie.

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I agree with anyone who said IT... that movie horrified me. I am forever afraid of clowns.

Another one that really got to me was The Strangers. It wasn't so much the suspense of the movie, but more the setting I watched it in. I watched it in a cabin like that in the movie, but one with amazing surround sound and a huge TV. It really seemed real. Driving home, thru the back woods of bumblef*ck Pennsylvania, a friend and I actually thought several deer standing in the road were "The Strangers" and tried to hit them. We were (fortunately for all involved) unsuccessful.

I'm gonna throw out the Paranormal Activity movies as well. Bring on the hate.

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Antichrist. Directed by Lars van Trier. Has Willem Defoe in it.

I dare any of you to watch it. Seriously. It's that crazy that I feel I must DARE you to watch it.

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@tiamat114: Let Me In sucked. Really boring.

There hasn't been a good scary movie in years. The old originals as mentioned already are the best. The old George Romero flicks. Night of, Day of, Dawn of the Dead. Those were the good one. His newer one's aren't bad either. Land of, Diary of, and Survival of all still have that old school, gritty zombie feel to them.

Someone mentioned the first Hills Have Eyes. That movie is SO F'ed UP! The trailer scene almost made me puke.
The Last House on the Left (both versions) are pretty scary to think about.

IT isn't scary and the ending was so lame. Pet Cemetery was scarier than IT.

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The scariest movie I ever saw was "Freddy got Fingered". I was utterly terrified at the idea that anyone would ever release such a miserable excuse for entertainment. I saw it for free at a theater and felt like I was robbed; I wanted to ask for compensation for my lost time.

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@lparsons42: Please never do this. The amount of people that think that they deserve compensation from the theatre because they didn't enjoy the movie is incredibly larger than you can imagine. Listen. Just because you don't like the movie, doesn't mean that my company that simply SHOWS the movie, has to give you compensation. It just makes no sense and I don't see how it works. "I bought this Papermate Duct Tape from you guys at Home Depot and I was thoroughly unimpressed with the entire product even though I used all of it. I demand you, Home Depot, to compensate me." Sounds stupid, right?

Sorry if that came off as mean, I'm incredibly cranky right now.

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The Thing was scary.

I also thought Paranormal I was scary. It was on of those, "This could happen to anybody" kind of movies. I had a hard time driving home in with the top down that night. Squeamish.

SPOILER ALERT FOR IT:

IT the movie pales in comparison to the book which, at the end, was a giant spider.

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@holymythos: I think that @lparsons42 was just using hyperbole. They said the movie was free, and they still wanted their money back, it was so bad.

Do you work in a regular chain theater or is it an art-house theater? I am always curious as to whether working at a cinema fosters a love of film or not. Also, every time you mention that you work in one, it makes me think of "Night of the Comet".

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@pickypickypicky: Regular chain (can't mention which). Its a double edged sword. On the one hand, seeing all of the movies for free you get a great sense of what makes a movie good, and seeing good movies make working here that much more worth it.

However, you grow to hate movies, because you begin to realize that Hollywood makes horrible movies that still profit. The best movies are rare to come by, and the more movies you watch, the more you begin to realize that most of them are crap. Id say about 20% of the movies that come out are good, only 10% great, and a rare 1% are enjoyably rewatchable.

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i watched Motel Hell when i was a kid and was so scared, i think i was in shock. i always remembered it as THE scariest movie i'd ever seen, even though the Nightmare on Elm Streets had scary parts too.
when i tried to watch Motel Hell recently, i was disappointed :( for me now the scariest are paranormal type movies

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@holymythos: I can agree with you that working at a movie theater really opens your eyes as to how much crap Hollywood throws in movies and how most movies are the same thing over and over, just told a little different.

I worked at AMC for a few years and watched TONS of movies. I learned fast what to look for and what to avoid. That's why I'm so picky about movies now.

@rlapid2112: The Thing is AWESOME! The blu ray transfer is great, pick it up. Looking forward to the prequel coming this October.

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I think age determines how much you're affected by some movies, here are a few I saw when I was younger that stuck:

Nightmare on Elm St.- nothing scarier to a kid that watching another kid get sucked into his bed and then sprayed on his ceiling. did not sleep after this

Tales from the Darkside- I would not fly on a plane without insisting on checking wings after seeing this, and still don't.

The Good Son- Not really horror, but holy crap did Culkin do amazing in this movie.

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@holymythos: I thought that might be the case. That is why I asked what sort of theater, I bet it would make a difference, if it were a specialty theater. Hollywood does churn out some garbage, seems like it's for the lowest common denominator. I love indy and foreign films though. As many have said here, Asian horror is really effective.