The 10 scariest movies of all time – as voted by you

Last week Flicks announced that we were going all-out for Halloween this year, launching a poll to answer the question: what are the scariest movies ever made?

This question was addressed not by a bunch of smelly old critics, but by the smartest, savviest, most all-round awesome human beings on the face of the earth: our loyal readers.

The total number of votes cast was 2,513. So, without further ado, here are the ten scariest movies of all time, according to you.

10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” In his long and illustrious career, Sir Anthony Hopkins has surely never surpassed his jaw-dropping performance as a highly cultured and fiendishly intelligent man who just happens to like dining on human flesh. Director Jonathan Demme’s 1991 classic scored a bunch of Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Hopkins) and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jodie Foster).

9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

A charming film about a bloke called Leatherface who really really loves his chainsaw. Director Tobe Hooper made his 1974 mega-hit for less than US$140,000, making this a very low budget film that became a very big success. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre received a mixed response from critics at the time of release and was banned in several countries.

8. Ring (1998)

Nobody who saw that creepy woman crawl through the television ever forgot it. This Japanese supernatural horror flick, remade into the American film The Ring, is about a reporter investigating a videotape that kills viewers seven days after they watch it. It became part of an influential movement called ‘New Asian Horror’.

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This is the greatest film ever made about a creepy dude with a blade-fixed glove who carves up people in their sleep. A Nightmare on Elm Street was a huge commercial success and spawned a massive franchise. The critics rabbited on and on (with good reason) about director Wes Craven’s impressive ability to merge reality and fantasy.

6. Jaws (1975)

We’re gonna need a bigger boat! Jaws was not just the film that scared every beach-goer shitless, but the movie that kicked off the modern blockbuster. For this reason Spielberg’s inimitable scary movie is regarded as a watershed production.

5. IT (2017)

Sweet dreams are made of these. And by ‘sweet dreams’ we of course mean bone-chilling nightmares. IT is the most recent film on this list, arriving in cinemas in 2017. Pennywise the Dancing Clown is a classic villain who was brought to life by a horrifically good performance from Bill Skarsgård.

4. The Conjuring (2013)

From Australia’s own James Wan, whose other work as a director includes Saw and Furious 7. The story of The Conjuring involves a series of paranormal events that occur when a family move into a dilapidated farmhouse. Therefore the moral of the story is: NEVER MOVE INTO A DILAPIDATED FARMHOUSE.

3. Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s 1978 stalker-ific classic is a gnarly piece of work about a serial killer named Michael Myers, who stalks and kills babysitters on Halloween night. The story continues to frighten the bejesus out of people and continues to remain in the zeitgeist. A new Halloween remake is currently playing in cinemas.

2. The Shining (1980)

Stephen King famously did not like Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his book about an aspiring writer who becomes the caretaker of an isolated hotel and goes murderously crazy. But everybody else in the world loved it. The Shining is a visually stunning film that has had an enormous influence on popular culture.

1. The Exorcist (1973)

There is something about this undisputed masterpiece from director William Friedkin that continues to curdle our blood and torment our souls. The Exorcist is about a young priest who is convinced that a girl named Regan has been possessed by a demon. And he is right. Oh boy is he right. The Exorcist is a ‘once seen and never forgotten’ experience and a very worthy choice for the top spot.