[Top 25] Best Horror Movies With Jump Scares

Best Horror Movies with Jump Scares
I've made the Top 25 list Wendy!

A standard horror movie in 2021 contains a jump scare or two and this list focuses on the best films that deliver the chilling thrills. Every horror film on this list contains at least one jump scare; however, the main judge is the overall entertainment value that the film provides. (Note: The list will contain heavy spoilers for a good majority of these films so please don’t read if you haven’t had a chance to catch any of these great movies)

25) SAW

Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom. As the two men realize they've been trapped by a sadistic serial killer nicknamed "Jigsaw" and must complete his perverse puzzle to live, flashbacks relate the fates of his previous victims. Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon's wife (Monica Potter) and young daughter (Makenzie Vega) are forced to watch his torture via closed-circuit video. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Saw was a breath of fresh air when it was introduced in 2004. The diminishing sequels decided to abandon character development and three-dimensional characters for over-the-top gory traps and absurd twists, but the original Saw made sure to invest time in their characters and delivers the bloody goods as well. The arc of the Jigsaw killer is unique by itself and Danny Glover and Ken Leung are likable enough to follow their investigation of this madman.

Of course, Leigh Whannell and Cary Elwes deliver solid performances throughout the movie, and it's fun to see these two trying to escape their predicament. The jump scares are few and far in-between, but the two story arcs  nicely fill out the movie time. The twist of the true Jigsaw killer waking up was a damn good one, though the sequels ultimately ruined it by trying to explain it.

24) Blair Witch Project

Found video footage tells the tale of three film students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams) who've traveled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary local murderer. Over several days, the students interview townspeople and gather clues to support the tale's veracity. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

While it could be argued that the Blair Witch Project doesn't hold up to today's horror movies, there's no denying the impact of the film when it was released in 1999. The movie was marketed so well that audiences believed that the three actors were dead.

Simply put, “Blair Witch Project” is an intense nail biter with captivating performances from Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard. Fun Fact: The entire dialogue in the film was improvised by the actors.

Directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez made a 35-page outline as they wanted the film to seem realistic. The jump scares are mostly the horror within the movie as the witch is simply implied. This made the film better for it as the imagination can be scarier than what we do see.

23) Insidious

Parents (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne) take drastic measures when it seems their new home is haunted and their comatose son (Ty Simpkins) is possessed by a malevolent entity. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

James Wan and Leigh Whannell go from a trap crazed madman to evil Spirits in the duo's latest collaboration outside of the SAW franchise. What makes Insidious effective is Wan and Whannell playing off the classic tropes of  haunted house features. Insidious does use a heavy amount of jump scares, but Wan is a master at his craft when it comes to horror, so the jump scares never harm the film overall. It helps that Bryne and Wilson’s characters aren’t written as morons in the film, which often bogs down numerous horror movies because the protagonist decides to make a dumb decision because the script demanded that he/she do so.

Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) provide a nice comedic relief who never overstay their welcome and Lin Shaye played her role as the medium to perfection. This  isn’t the most original horror film that you’ll ever see; however, Insidious remains one of the scariest .

22) V/H/S/2

As they search for clues to the whereabouts of a missing student, a couple views the ghastly stories recorded on a collection of videotapes. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Only one movie can have aliens, zombies, and the devil, V/H/S/2. The first anthology film freaked audiences outback in 2012 and what the first movie lacked, "V/H/S/2" made up with laughs, gore, and scares. Most notable for the segment, "Safe Haven", which follows three journalists investigating a mysterious cult that ends up being an insane gorefest with mass suicides and the birth of our holy savior, the devil.

“A Ride in the Park”, “Phase I Clinical Trials”, and “Slumber Party Alien Abduction,” all make their marks within the anthology film and not every moment of “V/H/S/2” knocks it out of the park, this wild thrill-ride will have you laughing, screaming, jumping, and wishing your mommy would tuck you in bed tonight.

21) The Conjuring

In 1970, paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren are summoned to the home of Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) Perron. The Perrons and their five daughters have recently moved into a secluded farmhouse, where a supernatural presence has made itself known. Though the manifestations are relatively benign at first, events soon escalate horrifyingly, especially after the Warrens discover the house's macabre history. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

“The Conjuring" may not reinvent the wheel of ghost stories, but it damn sure does an excellent job of providing the scares necessary. Wan's confidence as a filmmaker makes this movie rise from the pack and it helps that top-notch actors such as Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Lili Taylor give their A-game in this traditional ghost story.

Simple scenes such as the “Hide and Clap” sequence with Carolyn Perron elevate the movie because Wan understands the necessary beats that will scare the shit out of the audience. “The Conjuring” is a great movie that shouldn’t be ignored by horror fans.

20) Ready or Not

Grace couldn't be happier after she marries the man of her dreams at his family's luxurious estate. There's just one catch -- she must now hide from midnight until dawn while her new in-laws hunt her down with guns, crossbows, and other weapons. As Grace desperately tries to survive the night, she soon finds a way to turn the tables on her not-so-lovable relatives. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

This underrated gem may not have the traditional jump scares that "The Conjuring" or "Insidious" does, but that doesn't make "Ready or Not" less effective. This darkly comedic horror film starts off the film with a bang and doesn’t let up until the final man explodes due to the wrath of the devil. The characters of "Ready or Not" really make this film pop, whether its Aunt Helene (who's pure evil), or Emile (The klutz), or Samara Weaving's Grace, these clash of personalities lighten a grim and gory film.

The jump scares mainly come from the kills, whether it's Tony Le Domas' favorite maid being shot in the head, to Aunt Helene appearing in the mirror before the lovely bride and groom consummate the marriage, "Ready or Not" uses it's a simple premise to frightening, often hilarious and shocking effect. 

19) Hereditary

When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

While the premise of "Hereditary" isn't exactly new, what makes Ari Aester's feature debut stand out are genuine shocking moments and the overall tension amongst the Graham family. The film slowly builds up to its climax, but moments such as Charlie's beheading thanks to a cable post and Annie's tirade at the dinner table is sketched into the minds of horror fans everywhere. The jump scares are few in "Hereditary" as the focus is on the deteriorating family relationship, but when those scares do pop up then they do provide a very disturbing moment that benefits from the lack of jump scares provided.

Of course, I can't forget to mention the incredible performance by Toni Collette, whose range of emotions make her a fully three-dimensional character that the audience can easily gravitate towards. The rest of the cast, including Milly Shapiro, play their parts perfectly.

 18) Texas Chainsaw Massacre

When Sally (Marilyn Burns) hears that her grandfather's grave may have been vandalized, she and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), set out with their friends to investigate. After a detour to their family's old farmhouse, they discover a group of crazed, murderous outcasts living next door. As the group is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), who wears a mask of human skin, the survivors must do everything they can to escape. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Don't be fooled by the numerous sequels and reboots, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was downright frightening. What makes this stand above the other films was the decision to scale back on the grisly violence. Fun fact: Tobe Hooper was aiming for a PG rating, which is why you never see the actual kills in the first film. The iconic dinner scene with Sally and the psychotic family will always be burned into the minds of fans as well as the creepy imagery used throughout. The characters aren't as well developed here, but that doesn't hinder the overall scares of the film.

17) The Ring

It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer's death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

"The Ring'' is one of the few Japanese horror films that translates well into the mainstream American audience. Like "The Blair Witch Project'', "The Ring" is more of a psychological horror film as it doesn't rely on gore and over-the-top kills to spook their audience. Most of the jump scares come from Samara and the creepy video, with the most notable being her popping out of the television and going after Noah. The creepy atmosphere and images add to the overall scare factor and helped establish "The Ring'' as one of the best horror films in the early 2000s.

16) Don’t Breathe

Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex, and Money are three Detroit thieves who get their kicks by breaking into the houses of wealthy people. Money gets word about a blind veteran who won a major cash settlement following the death of his only child. Figuring he's an easy target, the trio invades the man's secluded home in an abandoned neighborhood. Finding themselves trapped inside, the young intruders must fight for their lives after making a shocking discovery about their supposedly helpless victim. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Director Fede Alvarez opened eyes in the bloody good "Evil Dead" remake and made his return to the genre with a clever little movie called, Don't Breathe. The movie sounds simple: Three burglars invade a home but end up playing a cat and mouse game with a blind war veteran. Surely, we should be rooting for the blind man to kick ass and defend his turf; however, Alvarez flips the concept on its head and the thieves are the protagonists.

One of the reasons “Don’t Breathe” works is due to Stephen Lang. You buy that The Blind Man is an intimidating badass due to his incredible performance. His demeanor and constant movement make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Of course, we can’t go without talking about the twist. The story of The Blind Man and his kidnapped victim in his basement is a bit convoluted, but it gets across the point that not everyone is as what they seemed to be. With Money (the most unlikeable character) dead, you do end up rooting for Rocky and Alex and hope that those unlucky thieves put down the bastard for good. A tight little film, packed with tension, and effective jump scares, “Don’t Breathe” is a strong entry in the Horror/Thriller camp, even with the over-the-top twist.

15) Drag Me to Hell

Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) has a loving boyfriend (Justin Long) and a great job at a Los Angeles bank. But her heavenly life becomes hellish when, to impress her boss, she denies an old woman's request for an extension on her home loan. In retaliation, the crone places a curse on Christine, threatening her soul with eternal damnation. Christine seeks a psychic's help to break the curse, but the price to save her soul may be more than she can pay. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Sam Raimi returns to form with the over-the-top, hilarious, and frightening "Drag Me to Hell". While Raimi is mostly marked for another gem, "Evil Dead", this underrated film has the same fun energy that made "Evil Dead" such a popular horror movie. "Drag Me to Hell" doesn't have the same scare factor as "The Ring" or "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", but considering that a talking goat is one of the highlights of the film then the movie is aiming for campy fun. The movie is marked by plenty of jump scares that make your skin crawl such as Ganush attacking Christine inside the shed; however, it's fun to watch the sweet and innocent Christine Browne go to great lengths to try and get rid of the curse.

Personally speaking, I don’t feel that Christine deserved to be sent to hell, but there’s no denying that the end sequence was shocking and a cool visual overall.

14) A Quiet Place

If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn and Lee are determined to find a way to protect their children while desperately searching for a way to fight back. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Who knew that Jim Halpert would be able to make one of the best horror films of the 21st century? “A Quiet Place” is a simple concept with brilliant execution. The premise that unknown creatures kill based on sound isn’t completely new. “The Descent” pulled off an identical concept when it comes to these monsters; however, much of the movie is based on playing with sound and Krasinski does a masterful job here. Without much dialogue, the actors have to mainly convey their emotions based on facial expression and body language, which the core cast does with ease.

While the solution to killing off these creatures was a bit too simple (seriously, how could the military not handle these monsters who can die with a gunshot with ease?), “A Quiet Place” Is a strong entry into the horror market thanks to its white-knuckle tension and strong performances.

13) Final Destination 5

During a bus ride with his colleagues to a corporate retreat, Sam (Nicholas D'Agosto) experiences a horrifying vision: the suspension bridge that they -- and many others -- are crossing starts to crumble around them. When his vision ends and, almost immediately, starts to come true, Sam takes quick action that saves several people, including his girlfriend, Molly (Emma Bell), and his best friend, Peter (Miles Fisher). However, the survivors soon find that Death will not be denied. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

The Final Destination franchise has been about gore, gore, and more gore. Moments like Terry from FD1 being plowed down by a bus will always stick in the mind of audiences; however, FD5 shifted its formula a bit and did a better job of building up the tension and delivering the body count.

Low on jump scares, but high on body count and gore, FD5's introduction of a couple of new rules (ex. Being able to kill someone else to save yourself) help add stakes to a film that already has a faceless killer stalking  innocent victims. The callbacks to FD1 (Tony Todd and Flight 180) was also a nice touch. While you'll likely be terrified of bridges (or airplanes again) after watching FD5, the film redeems itself after the terrible Part 4.

12) Alien

In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

The man who directed “Blade Runner” and “Gladiator” brought us one of the most iconic films in horror film history, Alien. The moment that the facehugger exploded onto Kane’s helmet, we understood the wild ride that we would be going on and this film doesn’t hold back on scares and gore. The alien designs are strangely beautiful, grotesque, and horrific, and the tension comes from the unpredictability of these unknown creatures.

What also makes "Alien" a strong film is the cast, namely Sigourney Weaver's Ellen L. Ripley. Our heroine may not be Nancy Thompson or Laurie Strode, but she embodies the same characteristics that make those two women strong protagonists: smart, vulnerable, and strong. The visual sight of an alien bursting out of the chest of Kane is just one of the unforgettable moments about the film.

11) Scream

The sleepy little town of Woodsboro just woke up screaming. There's a killer in their midst who's seen a few too many scary movies. Suddenly nobody is safe, as the psychopath stalks victims, taunts them with trivia questions, then rips them to bloody shreds. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Another Wes Craven gem has landed on this list. "Scream" is the quintessential slasher film for any fan of horror movies. "Scream" takes classic horror movie tropes and turns them on their head (ex. The final girl not being a virgin), but the film stands its ground even if you're not caught onto every slasher movie trope. Funny, scary, and smart (a rare trifecta for a horror film), the timeless classic can easily come out next week and still be a breath of fresh air.

Neve Campbell is perfect as Sidney Prescott and the supporting characters never feel out of place with the rest of the story. Regardless of how you feel about the sequels (and some are hit-and-miss), “Scream” will always be one of the best horror films ever made.

10)  A Nightmare on Elm Street

In Wes Craven's classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams -- which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends' parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it's too late? (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Wes Craven has easily cemented himself as a horror legend and this gem of a movie plays a huge part in that. Innovative and genuinely scary, with a villain that's as iconic as Jason and Michael Myers, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" still holds up in today's landscape of films despite coming out in 1972. Craven masterfully plays off his innovative concept and Freddy Kreuger stands out due to his charisma (which Robert Englund brings alive) and menacing presence. He may not be a violent brute in the vein of Jason or Michael Myers, but being able to kill a man or woman in their sleep is still just as terrifying.

Of course, the kills are also the fun part of the movie, with Johnny Depp's death equal parts cool, horrifying, and gory. Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) is a likable presence and her journey to take down Freddy Kreuger is compelling. Scary, funny, and gory, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is a classic film that every horror fan must watch.

9) Halloween (1978)

On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith's Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Without a doubt, one of the best slasher flicks of all-time. What “Halloween” does right is that the film doesn’t focus on gore and kills, and gives the audience time to care about their characters. Michael Myers is the most intriguing character of the bunch. The crazy thing is, we know so little about the silent murderer. Every time Myers enters the screen, it’s packed with tension because we're left in the dark on his true intentions. Also, the score elevates this iconic movie.

Nick Castle, Tony Moran, and Tommy Lee Wallace do an excellent job of portraying the menacing villain. We never see Myers’ face, but his body language does a superb job of getting across the cold and heartless bastard. Of course, I can't mention "Halloween" without Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who's perfectly cast as the "final girl" here. Curtis' range of emotions (vulnerability, terror, brave) never feels forced or phony, and  the actor injects enough personality to make Strode a likable protagonist. Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis is also another strong character in the film.

8) The Descent

A year after severe emotional trauma, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) goes to North Carolina to spend some time exploring caves with her friends; after descending underground, the women find strange cave paintings and evidence of an earlier expedition, then learn they are not alone: Underground predators inhabit the crevasses, and they have a taste for human flesh. (synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Another underrated gem. The premise itself is a damn good one, with the writing and direction never losing steam. The feel of claustrophobia increases the tension as these women aren’t just fighting the unknown, but they’re also battling nature. Sarah MacDonald does an excellent job playing a damaged character, and the film doesn’t rely on tired jump scares and dumb character decisions to advance the plot. If you’re looking for a film to truly scare the f**k out of you then “The Descent” needs to be seen.

7) 28 Days Later

A group of misguided animal rights activists frees a caged chimp infected with the "Rage" virus from a medical research lab. When London bike courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up from a coma a month after, he finds his city all but deserted. On the run from the zombie-like victims of the Rage, Jim stumbles upon a group of survivors, including Selena (Naomie Harris) and cab driver Frank (Brendan Gleeson), and joins them on a perilous journey to what he hopes will be safety. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" set the standard on what a zombie film should be. "28 Days Later" not only revived the zombie horror genre but elevated the standard set by George A. Romero. The kinetic pace of the film never loses sight of what's arguably most important about these types of movies: the characters.

Yeah, it's cool to see zombie heads explode and all that good stuff, but Alex Garland does an excellent job of making sure that these characters are worth caring about. Add in Danny Boyle's tight direction of the film, Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris leading a talented cast, and a strong balance of tension, jump scares, and gore, "28 Days Later" remains one of the best horror films that's ever made.

6) The Exorcist

One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd -- levitating, speaking in tongues -- her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest requests to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

“The Exorcist” doesn’t rely on jump scares as this is a slow burn type film that focuses on Regan and The Demon; however, whenever those moments do arrive, it genuinely freaks you out. The film is loaded with incredible tension thanks to the direction of William Friedkin.

The lack of gore and kills is made up of strong character building and a simple, but compelling story; With Linda Blair delivering a memorable performance. The talented actress was only 14-years-old and the fact that Blair pulled off an incredible range of emotions essentially playing two different characters is astonishing.

5) Shaun of the Dead

Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he's not working at the electronics store, he lives with his slovenly best friend, Ed (Nick Frost), in a small flat on the outskirts of London. The only unpredictable element in his life is his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), who wishes desperately for Shaun to grow up and be a man. When the town is inexplicably overrun with zombies, Shaun must rise to the occasion and protect both Liz and his mother (Penelope Wilton). (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Yeah, yeah, this isn't exactly a horror movie that is out to scare you. Look, there’s zombies, jump scares and the Winchester, and that's all that matters. "Shaun of the Dead" re-invented the wheel for horror with this sharp and hilarious take on the zombie invasion.

Like I said before, characters matter when it comes to these types of films and it's hard not to like Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Forst). The supporting cast also provides a nice balance to the lovable goofballs. Amid the laughs and gore, "Shaun of the Dead'' has effective jump scares that playoff numerous zombie-horror tropes, and the Edgar Wright film will always go down as one of the best horror-comedy films of all time.

4) Get Out

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Jordan Peele and horror shouldn’t go together. The writer/director who made a name for himself on Mad TV and Key & Peele shocked the hell out of everyone with his directing debut, which tackles racism in the form of horror. One of the most notable jump scares is Walter running towards Chris. While you don’t understand the motivation for the sequence at first viewing, when you learn the backstory behind the character then the jump scare also becomes heart-wrenching.

Betty Gabriel as Georgina is a standout in a crowd full of strong performances, with the maid's nerve-wracking scenes providing a layered character that never comes across as cartoonish or fake. Fresh, intense, and funny (mainly thanks to Lil Rel Howery's Rod Williams), Get Out is a film that not only provides the scares but also leaves the audiences talking about the social commentary once the film ends.

3) The Cabin in the Woods

When five college friends (Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams) arrive at a remote forest cabin for a little vacation, little do they expect the horrors that await them. One by one, the youths fall victim to backwoods zombies, but there is another factor at play. Two scientists (Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford) are manipulating the ghoulish goings-on, but even as the body count rises, there is yet more at work than meets the eye. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Are you surprised that the man who created "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly" helped craft an excellent horror film? The Cabin in the Woods also plays off the classic tropes of horror films and subverts them into a giant "holy f**k, what the hell is going on" during the final act. Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz stand out from the pack as the virgin (well, sort of virgin) and the stoner, though Chris Hemsworth (the jock), Anna Hutchison (the slut), and Jess Williams (The scholar) bring their A-game as well.

Packed with genuine scares, humor, twists, and buckets of blood, Drew Goddard's love for horror movies is on full display here and this film will no doubt go down as one of the best in the 2000s.

2)  Carrie

In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Carrie only has one jump scare, which is the end scene when Sue reaches down to put flowers on her grave and Carrie grabs her arm. However, this is one of the best horror movies ever made thanks to its themes of religion and bullying, along with Sissy Spacek’s powerful performance.

Stephen King's adaption is another slow-burn horror that's iconic for the prom massacre towards the end. However, the build to that moment is fascinating. In addition to the constant bullying at Bates High School (which is a nod to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho), Carrie White dealing with a very religious mother made you root for the young girl to get her revenge. The topical themes in this movie still resonate in today's society and Brian De Palma's direction remains unmatched to the failed Carrie sequels and reboots.

1)  The Shining

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes a winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack's writing goes nowhere and Danny's visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel's dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family. (Synopsis credit: rotten tomatoes)

Stephen King may hate this movie, but this is still one of his best (if not the best) adaptions of one of his books. Like “The Exorcist'', the Stanley Kubrick gem doesn’t pack too much jump scares at the viewers, but images such as the twins lying in the hallway covered in blood are iconic moments that can never be forgotten. Kubrick’s use of shocking imagery helps convey the horror story that he’s trying to tell, though some moments don’t necessarily make sense (ex.  The bear and the hotel owner sex scene sticks out like a sore thumb even though it’s from the source material).

Not surprisingly, Jack Nicholson gives a commanding performance as a man who descends into madness. Shelley Duvall equally plays her part well, especially towards the end with Nicholson. The Shining does require viewing more than once as not every image or moment makes sense on the first watch, but this movie is a nerve-wracking ride until the credits pop up.

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