Top 10 Must-Watch Creepy Horror Movies Like "The Exorcist"

Updated on March 5, 2018
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Eileen Dietz in "The Exorcist"
Eileen Dietz in "The Exorcist"

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name, and starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller. The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother's attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests.

Though booked at first in only twenty-six theatres across the U.S., it soon became a major commercial success. The film earned ten Academy Award nominations, winning two (Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay). It became one of the highest-grossing films in history, grossing over $441 million worldwide in the aftermath of various re-releases, and was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film's enduring popularity showed that audiences liked being scared, and it led to a boom in high-quality horror movies that continues to this day.

Here Is a List of Ten Creepy Horror Movies Just Like "The Exorcist"

  1. Nightmare on Elm Street
  2. The Blair Witch Project
  3. The Shining
  4. Halloween
  5. Poltergeist
  6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  7. Phantasm
  8. The Ring
  9. The Grudge
  10. Creep

Scroll to find out why each of these is an absolute must-see.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

One of the creepiest horror movies of all time, with director Wes Craven crafting some of the scariest nightmare sequences ever put on film, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a must-watch for any fan of scary movies. This movie is one of the most iconic horror films out there, and it will end up giving you nightmares of your own!

Synopsis:

In the early 1980's, a psychopath named Freddy Kruegerknown as the Spring Wood Slashermurdered several children with a glove outfitted with straight razor blades attached to the fingers. When a foolish decision by a judge sets him free, Krueger is burned alive in the boiler room where he worked by an angry mob of the parents whose children he terrorized and murdered. Years after his death, the children whose parents were responsible for Krueger's deathincluding Nancy Thompson, daughter of the police officer who arrested Kruegerare experiencing terrifying nightmares involving a burned man wearing a glove with razor blades on the fingers. The ghost of Freddy Krueger is haunting their dreams, and when Nancy's best friend Tina violently dies in her sleep during a dream confrontation with Krueger, Nancy realizes she must find a way to stop the evil psychopath's reign of terroror never sleep again.

2. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Utilizing shaky camera footage and filming in pitch black night, The Blair Witch Project became a massive hit with audiences, leaving them frightened and terrified of the dark. The movie was so popular that it kickstarted the "found footage" trend in horror movies.

Synopsis:

In October of 1994, three student filmmakers hike out to the woods of Blair, Maryland hoping to find evidence for the local legend of "The Blair Witch." At first, they find nothing except a pile of stones arranged by hand. As the sun goes down, they realize they are lost, but there is little panic. They camp out, and in the middle of the night they see and hear things, things that are not normal. When they awake, they find wooden dolls in cross-like formations that were not there earlier that night. Then one of the students, Josh, is separated from the group. The other two finally realize that they are in a dire situation and that they are being stalked by something that may be the very thing they were looking for.

3. The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of the Stephen King novel is one of the eeriest films ever made and is a stone-cold classic and is best viewed in a snowed-in cabin with your friends and family!

Synopsis:

Jack Torrance gets a job as the custodian of the Overlook Hotel in the mountains of Colorado. The place is closed down during winter, so Torrance and his family will be the only occupants of the hotel for a long while. When the snow storms trap the Torrance family in the hotel, Jack's son Danny, who has some clairvoyance and telepathic powers, discovers that the hotel is haunted and that the spirits are slowly driving Jack crazy. When Jack meets the ghost of Mr. Grady, the former custodian of the hotel who murdered his wife and his two daughters, things begin to get really nasty.

4. Halloween (1978)

Halloween is one of the most iconic horror films out there and for a good reason: many scenes in the movie are downright frightening. Halloween became one of the first movies to earn the title of "slasher film."

Synopsis:

In 1963, Mike Myers stabbed his 15-year-old sister to death. He was institutionalized, and according to his doctor, Sam Loomis, he is the personification of evil. On the day before Halloween 15 years later, Myers manages to escape and heads for his hometown. On Halloween night, he goes on a rampage while Loomis and the local sheriff search Myers' old neighborhood for him. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode, a serious student who rarely goes out on dates, is babysitting a neighbor's child. Little does she know the danger she is in.

5. Poltergeist (1982)

Brilliantly crafted, Poltergeist is one of the most distinctive horror movies ever made. The filming of the movie was filled with eerie and creepy supernatural disturbances, giving the film an even spookier vibe.

Synopsis:

The Freelings are a typical suburban family. Husband Steve sells real estate in their ever-expanding subdivision, and Diane is a stay at home mom caring for their three kids: Dana, Robbie, and little Carol Anne. However, strange things begin to happen in the house: cupboard doors open on their own, furniture rearranges itself, and chairs go sliding across the kitchen floor. It's a bit of whimsy at first but soon becomes deadly serious when Carol Anne vanishes into a netherworld where, oddly, she can only be communicated with through the white noise on their television. A team of paranormal investigators moves into the house, but the forces that kidnapped Carol Anne are evil and powerful, with the team requiring the services of the mysterious Tangina, a woman who has dealt with this situation before.

6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

It's not just a massacre; it's a nightmare. The film represents a turning point in horror movies, focusing on creating a gory and disturbing atmosphere.

Synopsis:

Upon hearing that vandals have desecrated a graveyard where her grandfather is buried, Sally recruits her boyfriend Jerry, her brother Franklin, and her friends Pam and Kirk to investigate. On a side trip to the grandfather's deserted farm, the travelers pick up a slimy hitchhiker who cuts himself and slashes Franklin. After arriving at the farm, Pam and Kirk search for an old swimming holeKirk hears a generator and believes he can find some gasoline. He enters the house hoping to find the owner. Unfortunately, this is the home of the hitchhiker, as well as Leather-Face, who has some surprises for the travelers consisting of sledgehammers, chainsaws, and assorted cutlery.

7. Phantasm (1979)

Delightfully terrifying and wonderfully bizarre, Phantasm is a fright fest. This is the type of movie you do not want to watch late at night unless you want to be terrified by nightmares while you sleep.

Synopsis:

After the death of Tommy, who was stabbed by a woman at the cemetery, Jody and his friend Reggie attend the funeral at the Morning-side funeral home. Jody is followed by his teenage brother Mike, who has just lost his parents and is afraid of losing his big brother who intends to travel. Mike snoops around the cemetery and sees the mortician known as The Tall Man carrying Tommy's coffin alone without any help. Mike breaks into the mortuary to investigate the mystery and discovers weird dwarf creatures with yellow blood and dangerous flying spheres that protect the location. When he is chased by The Tall Man, he cuts his finger and brings it home to show Jody to convince his big brother that there is a dark secret in the mortuary. Jody, Reggie, and Mike discover that The Tall Man is from outer space and is transforming dead bodies into dwarfs to work as slaves in his world. Now they decide that The Tall Man must be destroyed. Will they succeed in their mission?

8. The Ring (2002)

One of the most intelligent and genuinely creepy horror movies of all time, The Ring is a terrifying film that will mess you up.

Synopsis:

Rachel Keller is a journalist who decides to go undercover on the mysterious death of her niece and her three friends, who seemed to have all died on the same day at the same time: 10:00 PM. After being told that her niece was found in a closet with a horrified look on her face, she searches through her room and finds some pictures, pictures of the cabin where her niece and her friends had stayed a week before their deaths. Rachel eventually finds the cabin and discovers an unknown video there. She decides to watch it there, and now has only a limited time to live. She and her divorced husband, Noah, research the video and find facts about Anna Morgan and her daughter, Samara Morgan, the maker of the video. With only a week left before they are killed, Rachel and Noah discover the unknown secrets of the life of Samara Morgan and hopefully for them, a way to break the curse.

9. The Grudge (2004)

Spooky and creepy, you are going to get nightmares for days after watching The Grudge.

Synopsis:

After Yoko fails to show up for work, Karen Davis, an exchange-student nurse from the states living in Tokyo, is asked to check on Emma, an American lady, who recently moved to Japan with her son, daughter, and daughter-in-law, Jennifer. While inside the house, Karen is alarmed by Emma's unusual behavior: she is mute and sleeps through the day. Karen soon discovers that the house is haunted by a curse, one that will consume anyone who enters it. Now, after several horrific deaths, she finds herself locked in a race against time, for she too is consumed by The Grudge.

10. Creep (2015)

Scary, funny, surprising, creepy, this remarkable film is everything a horror movie should be.

Synopsis:

When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems.

Which of these awesome creepy movies are you gonna watch next?

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      Andrew Rothwell 3 months ago

      I have never seen this version of Creep, so I shall reserve judgement, however I thought Phantasm was bizarre, Poltergeist was not all that scary and Blair Witch was plain rubbish, as did most of the audience in the cinema.

      The rest I have seen more scary films but I could not argue about their inclusion.

    • Sam Dreiberg profile image
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      Sam Dreiberg 13 months ago from India

      Thanks Linda. Appreciate your comment. It mean a lot to me.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting list. Thanks for sharing it. I haven't seen any of the movies, though I've heard of most of them. They definitely sound like creepy horror movies!

    • Sam Dreiberg profile image
      Author

      Sam Dreiberg 17 months ago from India

      Thanks Henry and Steve. Happy to write. Appreciate your comments.

    • profile image

      Henry 17 months ago

      Great List. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Steve 21 months ago

      Amazing List.. The Shining is my all time Fav..

    • Sam Dreiberg profile image
      Author

      Sam Dreiberg 21 months ago from India

      The Conjuring is one of the best horror movies for sure... But not creepy enough... It'll be part of my Top 10 Horror movies..

    • Jo Lim profile image

      Jo Lim 21 months ago

      Great list. How about The Conjuring? Anyway thks for sharing.

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