ByZachary Cornett, writer at
I'm a huge horror buff, an aspiring actor and a film student in upstate New York!
Zachary Cornett

When you ask a horror buff what their favorite horror movie is, you get answers like, "that's like asking me to pick a favorite child," "I can't give you one, but I can give you ten," "Are you allowed to have one favorite?", etc. My answer is usually the second option. I can't give you one, but I can give you ten, or thirty...

However, over a period of time, I have run into films that have me check over my shoulder to make sure I'm not about to be stabbed, do a double take when I hear a creak upstairs, be weary about answering the phone by an unknown caller when I'm alone, and so on. So here they are, the four horror movies that make me wonder why I put myself through an hour and a half of tension and possible future trauma. So let's kick this list off with...

4. Ju-On (a.k.a. The Grudge)

I don't know what it is about Japanese horror movies, but they somehow find a way to get under the skin and make you feel as if you're being suffocated until you can't breathe from the tension. Ju-On is about a mysterious and vengeful spirit that marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides.

I remember the night when I had first popped the DVD into my Xbox 360. I was in my basement at about 3AM and my mom was upstairs asleep in bed and my dad was on a business trip. Long story short, by the end of the movie, I couldn't move and I was stuck underneath a blanket.

This was towards the beginning of my foreign horror movie obsession. I'm not exactly sure why I watched this movie in the setting that I did, but by doing that, I turned into a 5-year-old girl.This movie has some of the creepiest visuals and situations that I've ever witnessed. Ghosts have a tendency to freak me out, but when you have the ones that will follow you until you are just...dead, I guess, then it's taken to a whole new level. This movie also made me terrified of staircases...just saying.

Ju-On is written and directed by Takashi Shimizu and is guaranteed to send shivers down your spine...or just make you cry.

3. When a Stranger Calls (1979)

Arguably the scariest twenty minute opening of a horror film EVER, When a Stranger Calls follows a young girl who is being terrorized by an unknown caller while she is babysitting. Seven years later, the maniac escapes from the mental hospital and has come back to once again threaten her.

Growing up, I was given multiple babysitting jobs (luckily this was when Caller ID was already the norm), but even then I still couldn't shake the feeling as though someone was watching me through the windows or just waiting for me to walk into the kids' room so I could get choked by a phone cord.

The movie did in fact get negative reviews due to the middle portion being "slow" or "uninteresting," however, I enjoyed the middle section and do think that it does a good job of becoming a detective story and then bringing things back to the original protagonist during the finale. In the end, no matter how many times I view this film, babysitting immediately drops to the end of my job list!

2. Black Christmas (1974)

Ah, yes! The film that is said to be the first slasher film of them all (I believe it to be as well)! I'm not exactly sure what it is about anonymous phone calls that scares the living crap out of me, but they most definitely do. And in Black Christmas they are done scarily right! Along with Ju-On, I remember the night I watched this film for the very first time. I didn't know much about it other than hearing about the 2006 remake. Having never seen either of them, I decided to rent the original. This was again, another time when I decided that I would watch a horror movie late at night, by myself, and in the basement. Why do I make these decisions? I don't know. Fun Fact: This film was directed by Bob Clark who also directed A Christmas Story. Weird right?

In Black Christmas, a sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

The first thing that scares me about this movie is the fact that it takes place around Christmas. Isn't Christmas supposed to be the time of the year where everything is happy and cheerful? According to Bob Clark, it can go both ways. The film does a good job of making the holiday a lot darker than it seems to be, which is why I think it gets to me; however the final five minutes are utterly terrifying and leaves the film open ended, making it even more horrifying! We all know it's not a good thing when a film like this is open ended. I found myself sitting on the couch, lights out, hugging a pillow with my heart beating fast. What did I do next? Nothing. I just sat there scared out of my mind.

It's amazing what films can do with a little gore and jump scares. When a horror movie relies on mood and atmosphere, it is more effective and gets under the audience's skin. I would also be lying if I said that I didn't watch this movie while I put up my Christmas tree every year...HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

1. The Blair Witch Project

Others may strongly disagree with me on this one, but ultimately it comes down to this: the unknown terrifies me beyond belief. Never knowing what is following you or what is lurking in the shadows (or the woods in this case) will make me so paranoid that I want to fall to the ground in the fetal position. Yeah, that's how that goes down. The Blair Witch Project follows three film students who vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

When I watched this movie, I already knew that it wasn't real. And I think that that's why this movie has grown to be not very well liked. When it originally premiered back in 1999, the actors had signed a contract that they would stay hidden for however long to give the impression that the footage was 100% real. As many can tell, that's why this movie was so popular during its time, especially with it being one of the first found-footage films EVER!

I'll admit, when I first tried watching this movie it bored me to tears. I ended up skipping through it until the end and even then I was insanely confused. I guess the interviews in the beginning were a big part of the story. Fast-forward two or three years, I sat down and watched the movie, this time paying close attention to the interviews. The content in both the interviews and the myths of the Blair Witch are what make this movie both interesting and terrifying. To this day, I still cannot watch this movie without getting scared out of my own skin.

Camping has officially been ruined for me...

THERE YOU HAVE IT PEOPLE! The Top 4 Scariest Movies That Keep Me Awake At Night!

We all have our ideas of what horror really is, and to be completely honest, the four movies above represent what I consider to be shudder-inducing horror. I've been told by some that human life is the most horrifying thing in the world, hence why mentally unstable people in abandoned hospitals scare me more than ghosts do.

What's the one movie that you can't fall asleep after watching?


Out of the four movies listed, which one do you think is the scariest?


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