The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Okay, I know there’s a tiny bit of gore mixed in this movie with the whole teeth-incident part. But overall, this film mainly scares the shit out of you by messing with your mind. You are mostly just scared of the unknown– whether you believed it to be the Blair Witch, the cult or the child murderer.. And you were terrified by all this by the tricks of the camera, weird sounds and the growing tension the film holds. All without hardly any blood, violence or gore. In my mind, that’s how a great horror movie is done.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
One of the most hated horror films of our day is Paranormal Activity. Sure, most of the movie is a lot of boring scenes where a story tries it’s best to develop. But what it is also doing is building the tension. The tension becomes so thick in the film you can practically feel it just by watching. All this is achieved without any sort of real gore or violence. The creators of the film used the found-footage aspect to give you this real sense of fear. By the time we reach the end, (where yes, some violence does occur– mostly offscreen) we are thoroughly freaked the hell out.
The Orphanage (2007)
If you want to scare the shit out of some one, a very successful way is to use ghosts of dead kids. Seriously, they always tend to be pretty effin’ freaky. The movie has quite a few scares locked in it and all without any bit of gore. Not to mention, this movie features one of the saddest horror endings I have ever seen.
The Others (2001)
The Others does a rather stellar job at creating an extremely eerie atmosphere while slowly managing to get under your skin. The acting is phenomenal in this one, especially by Nicole Kidman. There are a lot of creepy moments that make you want to turn away– all again, successfully done without any blood or gore.
The Woman in Black (2012)
Ah yes, good ol’ Harry Potter out to stir up some good scares. And you know what? It worked. The Woman in Black is a very creepy movie, the house is creepy, the yard is creepy, just about everything about the setting runs chills down your spine. There are a decent amount of jump scares, but they are all well paced and do a great job at freaking you out a little bit more.
The Changeling (1980)
Who knew a movie could make a bouncy ball and a wheelchair seem so scary? The Changeling is a hidden gem from the 80’s that seriously does it’s job at scaring the living hell out of you. Yes, it does use a ghost of a dead kid again, but man, is that one creepy ass ghost. This one’s a real slow burner, but it’s worth it in the end. You’ll most likely have some real trouble sleeping after you watch it.
Session 9 (2001)
Okay, I know there is a little gore in this one… but the gore looks extremely fake and is almost like it’s not even there. And the blood and gore is not what scares you in this one. The abandoned mental institution that the film takes place in is scary in itself not to mention the creepy ass tapes that are playing throughout the film. The end of the movie is twisted and will give you goosebumps. After it was over, I felt very unsettled for the rest of the night.
Lake Mungo (2008)
I could watch this movie five times in a row and still be scared of it. First time I saw it, I was home alone, had all the lights off and it was night time. Holy shit– bad idea right there! I was so freaked out I felt like I couldn’t move till my boyfriend came home. There were so many creepy, uneasy moments packed into this one I couldn’t believe it. It’s a definite slow burner as well but those usually are the best kind of films to get under your skin and haunt your dreams. There are a few disturbing scenes and images but they are very short and the movie does not rely on them any bit to scare you.
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