What are the scariest horror movies? Which ones make you sleep with the lights on for weeks? Here are a few for you to consider for the title of films that leave a forever mark on you. These are some of the films that stick with you and torment your dreams. Some are subtle, some are graphic, but all of them refuse to let go of you once you leave the theater or turn off your television set. It's about how they play with your mind and warp your reality.
This uncanny Thai film from 2004, not the remake, is a tale of a ghostly image in a series of photographs. The circle becomes complete once the identity and location of the ghost are revealed, and it is definitely not what you were expecting.
It Follows (2014)
It Follows is a deceptively simple story until it explodes into scenes full of unimaginable fright. The film, directed by David Robert Mitchell, stars Maika Monroe and has a very vulnerable core, making it hard to forget. It is beautiful and well-mannered until the moment when it will tear a scream from your throat.
The Strangers (2008)
Bryan Bertino's The Strangers is about the horror of random evil. Usually, in this kind of film, there's a reason why the people want to hurt them. Maybe they want money or revenge, but the reason the attackers give is simple, "You were home." Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman star in the film and provide these antagonists with a fight—one of the best home invasion slasher films.
[•REC] is a Spanish film directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. Not only does it have zombies, but it is also a found footage film, lending the movie an eerie realism. Manuela Velasco stars in the film as Ángela Vidal, a reporter trapped in the story she was meant to cover and her cameraman who find themselves fighting for their lives.
Lights Out (2016)
"Lights Out" is the feature film version of a short about a woman who is only there in the dark. It really plays to one of the most primal fears that most of us have: the fear of the dark. Directed by David F. Sandberg and starring Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman, fans of the film report not being able to leave their doors open at night after watching it. When a movie changes your habits, that means it really got to you.
Silent Hill (2006)
Silent Hill is a cult favorite among fans who love the mist-shrouded atmosphere of the film. The film was directed by Christophe Gans, written by Roger Avary, and stars Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, and Deborah Kara Unger. Much like the game, the hopelessness of that silent town is what gets to you.
Gerald's Game (2017)
This Stephen King tale of a woman trapped in a remote cabin handcuffed to a bed is filled with dread. It is the situation and the work of the actress Carla Gugino that win your sympathy and frighten you. Director Mike Flanagan is well known for his many tales of psychological dread. The emotional hold of the film is how the movie sinks deep inside your mind.
Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
This is the tale of a never-ending curse that hungers for fresh victims. Most of the time, even in the most fearsome horror movies, we hope for a happy ending or that at least someone will survive. There is no such hope in Takashi Shimizu's Ju-on: The Grudge. Oops, spoiler alert. But there's a reason why there was an American remake and why people are still talking about it.
Aterrados or Terrified has, at its core, a ghastly image of a young boy who returns to his home as a revenant and has no idea that anything has changed. The film, directed by Argentinian director Demián Rugna, surprisingly digs its claws into you. The horror walks right up to you and presents boldly, leaving an indelible impression on you. Rugna has two new films this year: Satanic Hispanics, in which he directs the segment Tambien Lo Vi, and When Evil Lurks, a bold new film that reimagines the idea of possession and makes it even more frightening.
A Cure for Wellness (2016)
A Cure For Wellness is a bizarre nightmare that is difficult to forget—directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, and, in an early role in her incredible career, Mia Goth. The imagery in the film is something to be reckoned with and will slither around your heart to squeeze it. This is a nightmare that will find its way into your dreams.
The Ritual (2017)
Director David Bruckner has made some great films, but The Ritual isn't one of his best-known, and it should be a fan favorite. Fans speak of the monster in the movie; nothing quite like it has horrified many an unsuspecting viewer, as does the source of the danger. It manages to make a rather beautiful forest quite spine-chilling. It stars Rafe Spall and Sam Troughton.
Session 9 (2001)
Session 9 was directed by Brad Anderson and stars Peter Mullan, David Caruso, Larry Fessenden, and Josh Lucas. Another star of the film is the asylum where the movie is set. Danvers State Hospital works dark magic by simply existing and talking about the atmosphere. Even the parts of the hospital that aren't rotting away are quite horrifying. A scene where one of the characters runs down a hallway as the lights turn out is one that I will never forget.
Into the Mirror (2003)
Sung-ho Kim directed this stylish film about deadly mirrors and doppelgangers. It stars Yoo Ji-tae and Kim Myung-min. The use of mirrors has a basis in the fears we all have when we gaze at ourselves. There's something extraordinarily unnerving about looking at a living image of yourself, and this film uses the idea significantly. It messes with your mind and is a film that you should seek out.