When was the last time a movie honestly scared you? I’ll start. The Ring terrified me. Scary movies don’t usually legitimately frighten me, but the image of the girl in her closet maybe fifteen minutes into the film lives rent-free in my head as one of the scariest ever. I slept with the lights on for some time. It didn’t help that I called my sister and told her about it.
So after she saw it two days later, she called me and whispered, “Seven days,” causing total chills through my body. I screamed at her in straight fear. After polling the internet, here are ten other examples of being legitimately scared of a movie.
1. Hereditary (2018)
“Hereditary lives rent-free in my head, although it isn’t fear I feel per se. It’s just very uncomfortable and uneasy. The entire cast was awesome, though,” shared one. Another confessed, “I was fine after that movie until it was time to go to bed later that night, and all the lights were off.”
“Oh my goodness, this is the same thing for me,” a third admitted. “I kept seeing some silhouette at the corner of my bedroom ceiling. Then, finally, I couldn’t sleep and had to wait until it was light outside to tell that there was nothing there comfortably.”
2. Paranormal Activity (2007)
“The first Paranormal Activity,” stated one. “Saw it on a crummy laptop in a dark cabin in Norway with some classmates. I slept with the lights on for weeks.” A second replied, “I found it hard to sleep afterward that night. Only ever horror movie that made me do so.”
3. 28 Days Later (2002)
“It was 28 Days Later. Although I had no idea what the movie was, I saw it was directed by the guy who did The Beach and Trainspotting, so I decided to check it out. So right after I finished it, I decided to run out to grab some food, and holy cow, the walk to my car was me looking over my shoulder the whole time.”
4. The Haunting of a Hill House (2018)
“The Netflix series The Haunting of a Hill House had several scary moments. The scene with little Nelly when she was lying on the bed and saw right above her The bent-neck lady!!! Terrifying and the most memorable scene.”
After discussing the jump scene of all jump scenes, one said, “This is the only time I’ve ever actually screamed super loud during a jump scare. I rewatched it with my husband, and he yelled so loud he scared the dogs. Such a great show!”
5. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
“The Blair Witch Project. I realize people say it’s trite now, but it scared the daylights out of me when it came out,” someone confessed. “Yep, the final image still stays with me now,” a second agreed. “It’s an essential 90s scary movie.”
The scariest part of this film is the marketing was so good it convinced the world that it was actual footage found. The world was different back then. You couldn’t run to Google to see if it were true. It scared many people. I remember it. So good.
6. The Ritual (2017)
“The Ritual. I watched it during hunting season, so whenever I walked through the woods before it got light in the morning, I kept imagining that big monster peaking around a tree at me,” one shared.
“Oh yeah. The woods stuff was scary, but that opening scene in the store made me so tense that I had to take a break in the movie’s first ten minutes,” a second confessed. A third added, “The book still haunts me!”
7. It Follows (2014)
“I can’t explain why, but It Follows got me bad. Turn on all the lights in the house badly,” another explained. “The huge dude at the door was so terrifying. It still gives me chills for some reason.” Finally, someone admitted, “Same here! Sometimes, when I space out while looking out a window, I imagine someone walking towards me slowly, and it immediately fills me with panic.”
8. Sinister (2012)
“Sinister. The home movie sequences are modern horror cinema at its best with incredible soundtrack and visuals – there’s just something deeply unsettling about these scenes,” another expressed.
Sinister is the most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen. My husband recommended it, and it held my attention the entire time. However, I couldn’t shake the film or the feelings I was sitting with after it for a while. I still shutter, thinking about the legit creepiness of it—super creepy kids.
9. The Strangers (2008)
“The Strangers. I grew up in a similar house in a similar area. It was a tough watch,” shared one. A second added, “It scared me because it happened, and they never caught the killers.” A third agreed, “The movie is very grounded in a possible reality, making it worse. Because you were home.”
10. Annihilation (2018)
“The bear scene in Annihilation. The first time I watched the movie with friends, it was suddenly so scary that I felt my heart stop. I couldn’t watch the scene the second time I watched it alone. After that, I had to get up and turn away and couldn’t force myself to keep watching,” one confessed.
Finally, someone added, “Oh yes, the bear’s sound still gives me cold, wet, sweaty palms. I had an almost-too-strong edible after a long stint of abstaining, and my mind was not prepared for the scene in the lighthouse. I’ve never felt such existential dread before or since while watching a movie.”
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We’ve all been there – sitting through a movie that we can’t help but cringe at, but somehow it still manages to hold a special place in our hearts.