15 Movie Buffs Dish on What Horror Films Offer Legit Scares

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There’s a difference between movies that gross you out with their level of blood and gore, movies that make you jump out of your skin here and there, and movies that are legit scary. They’re all encompassed in the “horror” genre, though, so sometimes it can be hard to gauge up front whether you’re tuning in for the kind of scare you’re in the mood for that night.

Enter Reddit and these great people who are ready and willing to give you their recommendations for the next time you’re in the mood for a really, really legit scary movie.

My pick? The Strangers. *shudder*

#15. Brilliant.

“Misery is brilliant. The way Kathy Bates plays Annie is so brilliant that she can make you terrified with simply a look.”

#14. Not even after the movie is over.

“Alien and its sequel. Grips you with anxiety and never lets go, not even after the movie is over.”

#13. It manages to scare me.

“Event horizon manages to scare me.”

#12. So unnerving.

“The Poughkeepsie Tapes really got to me. Just sitting at the edge of the seat saying “no… no… no…. nooo……” and some scenes were just so unnerving.”

#11. Terrified for years.

“The Ring made me terrified to be around sources of water for years. That and also the fuzzy screens that you used to get on a vcr after the movie ended.”

#10. A relentless buildup of tension.

“The Haunting (1963 Black & white version, not the 1999 remake) No jump scares. No visual scares at all, really. Just a relentless build up of tension through sound and camera angles and story.”

#9. As a kid.

“I’m not sure how it holds up today, but as a kid ‘The Others’ scared me quite a bit.”

8. The genius is the storytelling

“Rosemary’s Baby. The genius is in the storytelling. Not once are our fears truly confirmed. Instead the horror is implied, and the tension is built throughout a series of incidents. Half way through the film we can’t tell if our protagonist is paranoid and unreliable or if something funny is really going on. We never meet the ghoul. And only in the end does the movie laugh in our face. I think it’s a great horror film that let’s your expectations run wild in the worst way. Bits and pieces are provided to you, and only does your imagination provide a horror larger than the sum of its parts. I highly recommend.”

#7. Nightmares for years.

“Poltergeist (the old one).

The suction portal that eats the house gave me nightmares for years, and I still have to turn off a TV if it’s displaying static for some reason or another.”

#6. Old enough to remember.

“For me, “Fire in the Sky”, the Travis Walton story was scary, as I’m old enough to remember it playing out on the network news.”

#5. Imagine my trepidation.

“I’m 74 y.o. When I was a kid I saw a movie “Horrors of the Black Museum.” It featured a pair of binoculars that had spikes that popped out into the eyes of the person who used them. I have had a problem with binoculars ever since. Imagine my trepidation when I was a lookout in the Navy.”

#4. Incredible horror.

“The Thing by John Carpenter is an incredible horror film!”

#3. On that note.

“My advice is to take any highly recommended movie and don’t read any descriptions or otherwise learn anything about it. Horror movies are so much better this way.

And on that note, The Descent. Some women get trapped spelunking.”

#2. Mentally disturbing.

“Eraserhead was probably the most mentally disturbing movie I’ve seen.”

#1. Unsettlingly plausible.

“Both 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later felt tense as hell and used music to heighten that tension at key moments very well. They each have a few jump scares but the beginning of 28 weeks later goes from a jump scare to a total shit show of panic and chaos as those rabid infected sprit people down. I think these films portray one of the most terrifying depictions of a zombie/infected that feels unsettlingly plausible.”