15 Truly Terrifying Horror Movies That Don’t Rely on Cheap Scares

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Are you a horror movie nut? Frankly, I’m a big ol’ scaredy-cat but my wife really loves them so I’ve ended up seeing a few as well. The thing is, not all horror movies are created equally – some just rely on gimmicks and gore rather than actually cultivating a sense of dread in the viewer.

If you’re a horror fan looking for some suggestions, it’s a good thing you clicked on this link. Users of AskReddit shared their favorite terrifying horror films that don’t rely on cheap gags and scares, and they did NOT disappoint.

Take note of these!

1. Lake Mungo

“Lake Mungo.

Shot like a documentary, and definitely one of the more realistic mockunentaries I’ve ever seen. It’s about a family in Australia who believe their house is being haunted by the presence of the recently deceased teenage daughter. Since it’s meant to be realistic, the entire film kind of focuses on the idea that spirits aren’t real. That’s all I’ll say about the plot.

It’s been about two years since I first (and last) seen it and it has certainly stuck with me. I think about it often.”

2. Good choice

“John Carpenter’s The Thing.”

3. Ringu

“The original Japanese version of The Ring (“Ringu”).”

4. The Ritual

“The Ritual is a great movie, and it’s on Netflix.

“Reuniting after the tragic death of their friend, four college pals set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. A wrong turn leads them into the mysterious forests of Norse legend, where an ancient evil exists and stalks them at every turn.”

5. An old fashioned ghost story

“The Others (2001).”

6. From 1979


7. A classic!

“The Hitcher. Its just this teenager who picked up a murder hobo, escaped, but then sees him in another car with a family and tries to intervene.”

8. I need to check this one out

“I don’t know anyone else that’s seen it, but They Look Like People is a pretty unsettling psychological horror.”

9. Unsettling

“Jacobs Ladder for sure, very unsettling atmospheres.”

10. Spooky

“Event Horizon was pretty spooky.”

11. Take Kubrick’s word

“The Vanishing. Dutch film. Completely terrifying. Kubrick said it was the scariest movie he ever saw.”

12. Home invasion

“Hush (2016) Most home invasion movies freak me out but this one really stuck with me.”

13. Here are two for you

“Night of the Living Dead (1968). The classic zombie flick scared the shit out of me as a kid! :O

It Follows (2015). The modern monster flick scared the shit out of me as an adult! :O “

14. Into the Catacombs we go

“One movie I liked that didn’t grab too much traction was As Above, So Below, about a group of college kids that get lost in the catacombs below Paris, and the demons they meet down there. It’s unsettling as a film, but also because it has actually happened that several people, drunk or whatnot, have ventured into the catacombs and gotten lost and died. The movie was filmed in the actual catacombs, and the effects are really good. Plus there is a psycological aspect to the haunting that occurs, particularly amongst the more guilty of the group. Would recommend.

There are jump scares, but they are legitimate.”

15. Nightmares

“The Mothman Prophecies” shares a spot with the original “Nosferatu” as one of three movies that legitimately gave me nightmares.”