Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

How Scary Are these Classic Horror Movies Really?

Spooky season is here! And we are ready to swoop in and talk about our favorite thing to do: bundle up and watch some scary movies! Now we know you want to have a Halloween movie night, but maybe you’re not sure if you can handle how scary a movie is. Or, alternatively, you want to find the scariest horror movie that will spook all your friends. We’ve ranked these classic horror flicks on a scale from 1 to 10. Your local scary movie aficionado and big ol’ chicken duo will help you find the perfect movie.

It (2017)

Synopsis: Every 27 years, a shape-shifting monster that takes the form of whatever a person fears most returns to the little town of Derry, Maine. This monster, a clown named Pennywise, claims the life of young Bill’s little brother. In the wake of the tragedy, he and a ragtag group of misfits band together as they desperately try to evade Pennywise’s grasp long enough to survive the summer.

From a horror fan: 7/10
This movie by Andres Muschietti is a perfect selection to watch, especially since it brings out the perfect vision of the original book by Stephen King. Not only are the visuals spot on, but the Pennywise character was actually played perfectly scary; the actor portrayed the demonic dancing clown in a way that gave me chills every time it appeared. The movie also uses comedy to ease the tension at moments, just to play with the characters and viewers’ minds. It does have its gory moments, so if you can’t stand to look at blood, maybe opt for another choice.

From a scaredy-cat: 6/10
I watched the original It miniseries from 1990 with my family when I was about eight. The shower scene traumatized me. So when a new It movie was released, I was anxious to watch because I thought it would be just as scary to me as the miniseries was. I steeled myself to watch it, and I surprised myself by being able to watch the whole movie without crying even once. But this is not to say that the movie isn’t scary. It is. There is a lot of graphic violence and jump scares, which makes this movie a less ideal option for the squeamish, the jumpy, or the coulrophobic.

Scream (1996)

Synopsis: After a young girl and her boyfriend turn up dead, her friends must cope with the media frenzy surrounding the murder, as well as the knowledge that a masked assailant is on the loose, and it could be anyone—even someone they know.

From a horror fan: 6/10
Talk about a classic! The first part of this movie starts off really good and gets to the point. It plays well with one’s mind, making a game of where the killer could be and when he is going to pop up. But around the middle, it’s just all the same thing and one gets used to it. What I found unnecessary were the moments in broad daylight where we can see the killer is following our main character while there are a bunch of other people around. It’s kind of unrealistic, like “someone can see you dude!” But overall, it is a good choice to always go back and watch it for the nostalgia.

From a scaredy-cat: 8/10
This is another horror movie I was exposed to as a child! I vividly remember being on edge during the opening scene as the blonde young woman talks on the phone with the menacing killer, Ghostface. Her death had me in tears for the rest of the movie. The horror in the movie comes from never knowing Ghostface’s true identity or when he will strike again. And as long as the main group is unaware of the killer’s identity, the higher the stakes. Ghostface’s weapon of choice— a kitchen knife— adds to the horror, as the idea of being stabbed to death is truly bone rattling. Even so, I think this movie perfectly sets the mood for the season and makes for a worthwhile Halloween classic.

Get Out (2017)

Synopsis: Rose invites Chris to her family home in upstate New York as an opportunity for him to meet her parents. She reveals that she never told her white family that she was dating a Black man, which doesn’t cause any immediate conflicts, but the longer Chris stays in Rose’s family house, the more he notices perturbing patterns. And the more Chris fears for his life.

From a horror fan: 4.5/10
I personally would just categorize the movie as a psychological thriller rather than a horror movie. Don’t get me wrong, this movie was really good, and the actors did a great job, but it isn’t scary. The movie does get you on edge, and it leaves you thinking “what is going on? What are they going to do with him? What’s their reason?”, but in my opinion, that’s all there is.

From a scaredy-cat: 6/10
Jordan Peele’s Get Out was a departure from the comedy he was known for before. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought the movie was very good. Unlike other film titles on this list, Get Out notably has no gore, so this movie is a good option if that is something you want to avoid. But the movie does scare you in other ways, most notably in its themes of stolen autonomy. In every scene the audience senses the tension and the threat of violence the protagonist, Chris, is exposed to in the presence of his girlfriend’s white family. Get Out is a film that makes you think, and it’s thrilling without being too scary.

Us (2019)

Synopsis: Red clad, scissor wielding doppelgängers suddenly descend on Adelaide and her family’s summer home late one night. The doppelgängers attack, and the family seeks help, only to find that others have fallen victim to a doppelgänger of themselves.

From a horror fan: 5/10
This movie plays well with the audience’s mind, especially in the end. Although I personally did not find it terrifying, it does keep you on your toes to see what will happen in the end. Also, seeing the killers’ faces is disturbing, and their story would make anyone unsettled by the idea of living like they did. Being secretly created by the government where it can make anyone doubt our own government today, but again it’s just a movie for the thrills.

From a scaredy-cat: 7/10
I watched this movie in theaters, and it remains the only horror movie I’ve ever willingly gone to see on the big screen. I was so excited to see it because I had liked Get Out so much, and I was just as spooked as I was with Peele’s first movie. Unlike Peele’s prior film, Us does depict graphic violence, usually from the killers’ weapon of choice: a pair of silver scissors. The scissors are extremely creepy as they are being swung wildly around or being opened and shut to make that unsettling snip, snip sound. I consider this movie slightly scarier than Get Out because it did make me cry. Those poor bunnies…

Midsommar (2019)

Synopsis: Dani’s boyfriend brings her and his college friends on a trip to an almost unknown Swedish commune in order to observe their midsummer festival as a topic for their dissertations. However, the commune engages in increasingly horrifying religious events that make the group question at every turn if it’s perhaps time to go.

From a horror fan: 8.5/10
Now, this one reminds me of Get Out, and in a way I also believe that this one is more of a psychological thriller. But the movie has some very graphic moments that made me turn my head from the screen. This movie isn’t for everyone; it’s long, and one has to be very careful with the details in it, which adds to the suspense. In the end, this movie will stay stuck in your head for a while and will make you see life in a different way.

From a scaredy-cat: 9/10
This movie made me cry so much. I was upset for at least an hour after the credits rolled, and I went to bed still reeling from the most unsettling scenes. This movie has hyper realistic gore that seems a little too real. Between the mental games the cult plays and the tragic deaths of many characters, this movie can easily overwhelm you.

Child’s Play (1988)

Synopsis: Charles Lee Ray, upon being gunned down and at death’s door, performs a Haitian voodoo spell that places his soul in the body of a doll. A single mother unwittingly buys the possessed doll for her six-year-old son. The threat sitting in a child’s bedroom at night lies undetected even as things start going wrong.

From a horror fan: 3/10
Now, I wanna start by saying that when I was little I had a porcelain doll sitting on a shelf in my childhood room; it always stayed there collecting dust, until one night where it wanted to suddenly fall and crack her face in half. From then on out, I haven’t liked creepy-looking dolls. I was brave enough to watch this possessed doll movie, but after watching it I couldn’t stop laughing! I just couldn’t get around the idea of a doll being able to take down a human who can easily kick it. At least, they did pick a toy that everyone has, or at least had in their homes, and maybe after the movie it made them question whether their dolls would come to life for revenge.

From a scaredy-cat: 5/10
This movie used to scare me so much as a kid. But watching it now, as an adult, it’s a slightly different story. The idea of a kid’s toy trying to murder someone is somewhat funny. After all, what could a possessed killer doll realistically be capable of? Regardless, the movie is still a little scary to me. The Chucky doll itself is upsetting to look at, with its weird, unnatural facial expressions. And seeing something that shouldn’t be able to move roam around freely certainly activates the fear center of my brain. Ultimately, this movie makes me jumpy for the rest of the night, so I would say it is still rather scary.

Elannah Swarnes Matos is an English Literature Major at UPRM. She graduates in May 2022. In her free time, she can be spotted reading poetry or singing along to showtunes.
Hi! I am from San Juan, PR. I study English with a Minor in Communications, hoping to be able to write and edit for years to come.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️