Horror enthusiasts generally fall into one of two camps: fans of gore (Saw), and fans of the jump scare (Paranormal Activity). Although the two can certainly co-exist (and often do), some horror movies are literally designed to make viewers jump out of their seat, often without even showing the viewers what they're afraid of. In other words, a good jump scare is like a science. Build the tension, set the mood, quiet everything down... and then BOOM, you've wet yourself. If you enjoy horror movies that make you jump, then hereare someof the very best.
Updated September 8th, 2020 by Zach Gass:When it comes to what makes a great horror film, jump scares are a filmmaker's bread and butter. They can have monsters, scary dudes in masks wielding sharp objects, demonic possessions, or whatever the flavor of the day might be, but if they don't have jump scares, they won't hold a horror hound's attention very long. True, good horror movies aren't made by jump scares alone, but for fans wanting a little extra oomph in their favorite scary movies, they should definitely check these out.
15 Paranormal Activity
When it comes to JUMP scares, can anything beat the Paranormal Activity movies? For those of you who've been living under a rock, the original film (released in 2007) centers on a young couple who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. In an attempt to capture the "haunting" on film, they set up surveillance cameras all over their house to document the strange occurrences. It seems like the grainy security footage would somehow minimize the scare factor, but it actually does the opposite. This movie singlehandedly proves that you don't have to actually SEE the evil to be afraid of it.
14 The Conjuring
No one can forget the infamous "clap scene" in The Conjuring,a 2013 supernatural horror film that wasfrightening in its relative simplicity. After a family is terrorized by a dark entity in their Rhode Island farmhouse, they look to paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren to shed some light on what they're dealing with.
Not exactly a unique storyline in terms of horror movies, but the unexpected scenes and scares in this movie will make you jump right out of your skin. For those who haven't seen it, it's currently available to stream on Netflix.
Creep is a 2014 "found footage" horror film that was originally released on video on demand before making its way to Netflix in 2015. The film follows a videographer named Aaron who agrees to work for Josef, a terminally ill (and seriously creepy) man who wants to make a series of videos for his unborn son. For those who haven't seen it, just the trailer will have you jumping out of your skin. Sometimes the scariest things aren't supernatural at all.
Total silence makes jump scares all the more frightening, which is exactly the 2016 slasher film Hush has made the list. The film centers around a writer named Maddie, a deaf-mute woman who finds herself being hunted like prey in the middle of nowhere by a masked killer.
There are several times when, due to her hearing disability, Maddie remains completely oblivious to the fact that the killer is right behind her. The suspense is truly magnificent. This movie will have you jumping out of your seat more times than you can count.
11 The Babadook
As you can probably tell by the picture above, 2014'sThe Babadook is nothing but a suspense-fueled, childlike nightmare that will cause you to second guess every book you read to your child from here on out. The story seems simple enough - a widowed mother reads a mysterious pop-up storybook called Mister Babadook to her son, who soon becomes convinced that Mister Babadook is real.
In terms of jump scares, screams, and sheer creepiness, this movie scores an 11/10. Watch it if you dare.
2010's Insidious, directed by James Wan,is the first installment in the Insidious franchise and the third in terms of series chronology. In the film, a couples' son falls into a coma and becomes a vessel for ghosts who want to inhabit his body.
Things get dark real fast in this movie, and the unexpected twists and turns, particularly at the end, will have you screaming (no, seriously).Created by the same makers behindParanormal Activity, this film knows how to send you flying out of your seat.
Screamcan best be described as a"slasher film," but it is also one of the best "jump scare" horror movies ever made. Released in 1996,Scream follows the life of Sidney Prescott,a high school student.She becomes the target of a mysterious killer called Ghostface. The film sometimes feels like a collection of horror movieclichés, but it's also the perfect example of how to scare someone with something as simple as a phone call. It's not often that a ringing phone can make your heart jump out of your chest, but that's exactly what this movie manages to do over and over again.
8 The Lazarus Effect
The infamous dog scene in the movie trailer led us to believe thatThe Lazarus Effectwas going to be a jumpscare masterpiece, and that's exactly what it was. When medical researchers develop a serum, code-named "Lazarus," to assist coma patients, they soon realize that they've inadvertently discovered a way to bring the dead back to life. Whether it's a dead animal or a dead human, both creatures can be brought back only in body. Do they still have a soul, or has it been replaced with something much darker? Watch and find out (and get ready to be jolted out of your seat).
7 A Quiet Place
As mentioned before, silence makes jump scares all the more effective, and no horror movie has ever been as quiet as A Quiet Place.Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the plot revolves around a family struggling to survive alongside blind extraterrestrial creatures with an acute sense of hearing.
Any sound the family makes, however small, can be detected by the creatures from miles away, so their silence is crucial to their survival. As all horror enthusiasts know, the secret sauce to a good jump scare is tension, and this movie is fraught with it.
6 The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project, released back in 1999,tells the fictional story of three student filmmakerswho set out on a hiking expedition to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. In this found footage documentary, the three students disappear but their equipment and footage is discovered a year later. Like most good horror films, the constant feeling of dread throughout the movie is what really primes the viewers for a good "jump." Whether it's the snapping of a twig in the darkness or an unexpected scream, viewers of the film become just as hyper-sensitive as the students who are allegedly filming it.
5 5. Hell Fest
It was panned by some, but for most fans of the genre,Hell Festwas a return to form. Picture a classic gory slasher movie with all the beloved trimmings and a special appearance by the Candyman himself, Tony Todd, and set it in a Halloween-Horror-Nights-inspired theme park.
That'sHell Festin a nutshell. Because of the setting, the film is stuffed to the gills with jumpscares and in-your-face moments. Though it might feature some cookie-cutter elements, it feels like a dish of blood-soaked comfort food. That ending with the killer's POV is also something worth talking about.
4 4. Brightburn
Ever wonder what would happen if Superman was evil? David Yarovesky, along with all three Gunn brothers attached, answers that question with this superhero-slasher flick,Brightburn.Not only does this film come with an exciting and original premise, but it comes with a hefty collection of jump scares as well, not to mention a post-ending body count reaching astronomical numbers. This movie maniac has no need for machetes, hatchets, or elaborate traps to bring the terror, all he needs is a well-aimed gaze. Mighty and merciless, Brightburn is certainly one superhero that won't be joining the Avengers Initiative any time soon.
3 3. Evil Dead II
When it comes to jump scares, there are few who rack up the numbers as often or as much as the legendary Sam Raimi. With hisEvil Deadseries, Rami essentially became the undisputed king of intense and in-your-face horror flicks.
While his first flick in the series was iconic, it's the second one that truly went for the gold. There's no shortage of jumpscares in this Deadite-infested flick, but Raimi gives viewers a little something extra by fusing gut-turning horror with some of the best dark comedy ever seen in the genre. Ash said it best, "groovy..."
2 2. Drag Me To Hell
Of course, if viewers are looking for quantity over quality, Raimi has fans covered with this dive into the depths of damnation,Drag Me To Hell.The CGI might not hold up in places, the plot might be a bit stereotypical with its ancient curse, evil witch, and demonic activities, but if there's one thing this flick's got in spades, it's the jump scares. In fact, it's more than likely a safe bet thatDrag Me to Hellis the most jumpscare heavy film mentioned. For fans looking for a good way to cram tons of scares into an hour and a half, this is it.
1 1. It (Chapters 1 and 2)
It's two for the price of one with this pair of freaky films. While there might not be as many jump scares as the last entry on this list, theItfilms do things with their horror elements every horror flick should strive to do. They scare the audience, they keep them tense and on their toes, but at the same time, the movie is just as fun and enjoyable as it is nightmare-inducing. Tim Curry he might not be, but Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise will definitely keep viewers up at night. Over-the-top? Sure. Loud and unrealistic? maybe. Scary? You bet your fern.
NEXT:10 Scariest Horror Movies Without Supernatural Elements
- What Lies Beneath (2000) ...
- Mulholland Drive (2001) ...
- The Descent (2005) ...
- Drag Me To Hell (2009) ...
- Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) ...
- The Conjuring (2013) ...
- It Follows (2015) ...
- IT: Chapter One (2017) We conclude our list with a return to Stephen King territory.
1. The Exorcist (1973) You may not agree that The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever, but it probably also isn't much of a surprise to see it at the top of our list — with a whopping 19% of all the votes cast.What movies have good Jumpscares? ›
- 11/11 The Conjuring (2013)
- 10/11 The Exorcist III (1990)
- 9/11 Sinister (2012)
- 8/11 Hereditary (2018)
- 7/11 Psycho (1960)
- 6/11 Lights Out (2016)
- 5/11 [REC] (2007)
- 4/11 What Lies Beneath (2000)
- Alpha Dog (2006) - 367 f-words. ...
- Straight Outta Compton (2015) - 392 f-words. ...
- Casino (1995) - 422 f-words. ...
- Nil by Mouth (1997) - 428 f-words. ...
- Summer of Sam (1999) - 435 f-words. ...
- Uncut Gems (2019) - 560 f-words. ...
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - 569 f-words.
- #1. A Quiet Place Part II. 91% #1. ...
- #2. My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To. 98% #2. ...
- #3. The Boy Behind the Door. 97% #3. ...
- #4. The Amusement Park. 96% #4. ...
- #5. Slaxx. 96% #5. ...
- #6. Candyman. 84% #6. ...
- #7. The Delivered. 95% #7. ...
- #8. Lucky. 93% #8.
- “Host”, 2020.
- “Sinister”, 2012.
- “Insidious”, 2010.
- “The Conjuring”, 2013.
- “Hereditary”, 2018.
- “Terrified”, 2017.
- “It Follows”, 2014.
- “A Quiet Place Part II”, 2021.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King shows that the series was saving the best for last, when it came to on-screen deaths at least. The most well-reviewed and praised of the three at the Oscars, The Return of the King also has by far the most characters getting killed on screen, at 836!Is the whole truth scary? ›
The whole truth is that it's not scary as a horror. The whole truth is that most of the mystery was predictable, but then some of the twists was decent and some were meh. The whole truth is that the characters didn't have to explain everything because the twists were mostly straightforward.Is Annabelle scary? ›
Parents need to know that Annabelle is a prequel to the horror movie The Conjuring, about a possessed doll. There's lots of bloody horror, splattering blood, and scary images, plus some jump-shock moments, shooting, fighting, and dead bodies.How scary is the black phone? ›
The Black Phone has some jump scares that work to shock the audience, but the true horror lies in the trauma that is conveyed through the relatable characters. This is an intelligent thriller that takes its time to establish its narrative and tension. While the jump scares are present, they are few and far between.
Joe Hill's Short Story Used a Serial Killer for Inspiration
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hill explained that, though his story took inspiration from real serial killers of the era, The Black Phone is not based on an actual case.
The first thing you need to know about Nope is that Nope is not a horror movie. It certainly has elements that are creepy and frightening and downright unnerving, but Peele spends long stretches just hanging out with the characters where they're in no apparent danger at all.What celebrity swears the most? ›
Hill has used a total of 376 curse words in film history, followed by Leonardo DiCaprio who has cursed 361 times. Jackson came in third with 301 curses used throughout his career.What is the most viewed movie? ›
- Titanic (1997) ...
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) ...
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) ...
- Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) ...
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) ...
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) ...
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) ...
- The Lion King (1994)
Martin Scorsese is to blame for this.
Hill took the top spot with 376 curse words, Leo got second with 361 and Jackson fell to third place for his performance in Quentin Tarantino's 'Jackie Brown'. In that film, he cursed a total of 301 times and remained at the top until 'The Wolf of Wall Street' premiered in 2013.
- Alien (1979) R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi. 8.5. ...
- Psycho (1960) R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller. 8.5. ...
- The Shining (1980) R | 146 min | Drama, Horror. ...
- The Thing (1982) R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi. ...
- The Exorcist (1973) R | 122 min | Horror.
- Train to Busan (2016) – South Korea. ...
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) – Iran. ...
- Goodnight Mommy (2014) – Austria. ...
- Suspiria (1977) – Italy. ...
- Let the Right One In (2008) – Sweden. ...
- The Babadook (2014) – Australia. ...
- The Silent House (2010) – Uruguay. ...
- Ils (2005) – France.
"The Exorcist" (1973)
Often referred to as the scariest horror movie in history, “The Exorcist” is based on a true story.
His House is a terrifyingly disturbing film that will move you to tears. A young refugee couple, who have made a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, struggle to settle in to their new lives in a small English town. A menacing presence is lurking inside the house they have just moved to.How scary is it follow? ›
It Follows is not an overtly scary movie. It's a slowburner, and the emphasis on mood over jump scares makes it all the more terrifying. The acting is spot-on, the cinematography is glorious, the pacing is perfect - it's a breath of fresh air into the horror genre that has been on life-support for a while now.
There's a reason the movies landed an R rating, and it's because they are remarkably intense. The 1994 edition that opened the series might have a serial killer in a silly skull mask, but he is a knife-wielding terror. In terms of suspense and jump scares, the film is pretty compelling.How scary is the new IT movie? ›
It's very scary, and not just in a typical gory slasher or jump scare way; it generates actual tingles. (And if you're scared of clowns, it's even worse.) Things get pretty gory; characters are stabbed, impaled, and beaten with rocks and blunt objects.Where can you watch free movies? ›
- The Roku Channel. Roku offers a mix of contemporary and classic films for free. ...
- YouTube. You might be surprised to learn that YouTube has a sizable collection of free films. ...
- Vudu. ...
- Crackle. ...
Believe it or not, Stephen King does get scared, and he isn't afraid to admit when something gets under his skin. He famously referred to "The Babadook" as "deeply disturbing and highly recommended," noting that audiences don't watch the film so much as experience it.How scary is conjuring? ›
Parents need to know that The Conjuring is a truly scary horror movie that's based on a true story about a haunted house, a demon possession, and an exorcism. It's more frightening than gory; no characters die (except a dog), and not much blood is shown, except during an intense demon-possession scene at the climax.What Sinister is the scariest? ›
As reported by Bloody Disgusting, the Science of Scare project announced the winner of scariest horror flick of the year, with 2020's Host taking the title. It narrowly took the crown over Sinister, which found itself in 2nd place.Which horror movie killed people? ›
Fires, injuries and a total of nine deaths surrounded the release of 'The Exorcist', considered one of the scariest — and, possibly deadliest — movies ever made at the time. The set of the MacNeil home infamously caught fire and pushed back production by more than a month.Which movie serial killer has the highest body count? ›
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface is responsible for 31 deaths across all movies in the franchise, while Freddy Krueger's kill count seems to be between 42 and 48.What leader has the most kills in history? ›
But recent scholarship suggests that the world's most murderous leader is China's Mao Zedong. Apic/Getty ImagesScholars estimate that Mao Zedong killed the most people in history through his harsh policies during the “Great Leap Forward.”Is The Whole Truth OK for kids? ›
What Parents Need to Know. Parents need to know that The Whole Truth is a courtroom drama with enough strong language, violence, and sex to make it too mature for younger viewers.Is the truth on Netflix? ›
Watch all you want.Can a 11 year old watch Annabelle? ›
It's good for ages 14+How old is Chucky? ›
With the new information offered by Chucky's long-awaited backstory for Charles Lee Ray, merged with the doll's subsequent shelf life, Chucky is officially, as of 2021, a 64-year-old soul hiding behind an eternally youthful visage.How scary is The Nun? ›
The Nun is rated R for its violence and bloody images, and this is present from the opening sequence. There's a fair amount of blood shown, with one decaying corpse returned to in various states throughout. While that will definitely upset the very squeamish, there's nothing overly extreme in The Nun.Is black phone ok for 14 year olds? ›
MPAA explanation: violence, bloody images, language and some drug use.Is black phone ok for 12 year olds? ›
For the most part, we suggest sticking with the 17 and up age rating for The Black Phone.How old is rated R? ›
R – Restricted
Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
Currently, there is no confirmation on a sequel or prequel of The Black Phone, however, it is certainly of interest to audiences and those involved in the making. Derrickson had even teased this idea prior to the release of the first movie. “It's something I'm very open to.Why is black phone Rated R? ›
"The Black Phone" is officially rated R for violence, bloody images, language and some drug use.
“The Black Phone” is part of the deal between Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Peacock to bring all their releases to the platform 45 days after the theatrical release. However, this also means that the film won't be able to watch on other platforms such as Netflix or HBO Max.Is the movie beast OK for kids? ›
Beast Age Rating: What Ages Can Really Watch This One? Beast (2022) is rated R for blood, violent content and language.Why is Us a 15? ›
There are jump scares, plus many attacks and killings with blood and gore. Characters use blunt objects on doppelgangers, and doppelgangers slice and stab people with sharp scissors. A woman is handcuffed, and children are sometimes in peril.Is the invitation scary? ›
The Invitation comes from director Jessica M. Thompson (The Light of the Moon), and while it pulls inspiration from several recent and successful out-of-place houseguest horror movies like Get Out and Ready or Not, The Invitation never manages to be scary, and it hides its vampires behind a lifeless love story.What horror movie has the most jump scares on Netflix? ›
- 1). The Babadook (2014)
- 2). The Conjuring (2013)
- 3). Hush (2016)
- 4). Creep (2014)
- 5). V/H/S/2 (VHS 2) (2013)
- 6). Last Shift (2014)
- 7). Viral (2016)
- 8). Demonic (2015)
- exorcist 3: this one has the greatest jumpscare of all time, but doesn't all too many more besides that one.
- sinister: lots and lots of great, great jumpscare plus a terrifying premise in general. highly recommenditll scare y'all shitless.
- insidious: the most jumpscares out of these 3 by far.
Parents need to know that The Conjuring is a truly scary horror movie that's based on a true story about a haunted house, a demon possession, and an exorcism. It's more frightening than gory; no characters die (except a dog), and not much blood is shown, except during an intense demon-possession scene at the climax.How scary is insidious? ›
Parents need to know that Insidious is one of the most terrifying scary horror movies in some time, and it's not recommended for younger teens (or anyone without a high tolerance for "jump" scenes).Is the whole truth scary? ›
The whole truth is that it's not scary as a horror. The whole truth is that most of the mystery was predictable, but then some of the twists was decent and some were meh. The whole truth is that the characters didn't have to explain everything because the twists were mostly straightforward.What's a scary movie on Netflix? ›
At various points in the last year, for instance, Netflix could boast The Shining, Scream, Jaws, The Silence of the Lambs or Young Frankenstein, along with recent indie greats like The Witch, The Descent or The Babadook.
Sound is crucial to the jump scare. It is responsible for the better part of the startle, and it is almost impossible to counteract. An auditory stimulus can be processed faster than a visual one, and it takes more time to disrupt an auditory stimulus than it takes to disrupt a visual one.Why are jump scares so effective? ›
The jump scare has been described as "one of the most basic building blocks of horror movies". Jump scares can startle the viewer by appearing at a point in the film where the soundtrack is quiet and the viewer is not expecting anything alarming to happen, or can be the sudden payoff to a long period of suspense.Is The Conjuring 18+? ›
How old do you have to be to watch The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It? You have to be 17 to watch any R-rated movie alone in theaters. If you're underage and want to watch The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It at your local AMC, you'll have to get an adult to take you.Is The Conjuring ok for a 12 year old? ›
And, according to this information, The Conjuring movies are not suitable for anyone below the age of 15. All of The Conjuring movies contain material deemed suitable for older audiences. Most of the films include strong supernatural elements, while some feature a certain level of threat, violence, or injury.How scary is Annabelle? ›
There's lots of bloody horror, splattering blood, and scary images, plus some jump-shock moments, shooting, fighting, and dead bodies. A pregnant woman and, later, a small child are in jeopardy. It's all pretty terrifying.Can an 11 year old watch Insidious? ›
Insidious is great! The movie itself, the general idea, the plots and the all together theme of Astro projection is immaculate The age is settled as a “15+” because it shows many disturbing scenes, including violence/strangulation, death and spooky images.Is the Exorcist scary? ›
Now almost 50 years old, The Exorcist continues to terrify audiences. Indeed, out of a list of 101 movies, in 2013 IMDb rated it the number one scariest movie ever. In 2020, Rotten Tomatoes put it in the top spot, too.Is Insidious 2 for kids? ›
There are some intense scenes. Overall this movie is great for kids 10+ it could be too scary for younger children.