The 10 scariest horror movies in the world

Scary reunions via video call, families moving into a haunted house, or evil spirits. A question that every horror movie fan has probably asked themselves is: what is the scariest horror movie in the world? To answer this question and make a list that will surely make your heart beat faster NerdBunker went after objective criteria and used the Science of Fear project to define the 10 scariest movies of all time!

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Since 2020, the Science of Fear is a ranking carried out annually by the Broadband Choices portal . The experiment consists of gathering 250 people and recording their heart rate per minute (BPM) while watching a select list of horror films – the experiment is supervised by doctors. The curation of the productions shown is updated every year to include the most recently released horror films, and is the result of recommendations from critics and experts in the genre. Check out the publication’s most recent top 10 — and our opinions too! 

1 – Be Careful Who You Call

Host is one of the scariest horror movies in the world

Beware Who You Call (or Host ) is a low-budget production shot entirely via Zoom during the pandemic. Rob Savage ‘s film follows a group of bored friends who decide to hold a séance in a very familiar setting in the modern day: a video call meeting. Needless to say, things obviously get out of hand? 

Host was defined as the scariest by the Science of Fear ranking , generating a peak of 130 heartbeats per minute and an average frequency of 88 BPM. The production is available for rent on Apple TV.

2 – The Entity

The Entity is one of the scariest horror movies in the world

The Entity is a 2012 production directed byScott Derrickson(Doctor Strange), andEthan Hawke(Training Day). The story follows the following premise: writer Ellison (Hawke) moves to an isolated house with his family. When he comes across macabre images, he soon discovers that the evil entity Bughuul is putting his life — and that of his wife and children — in danger. 

The production, which creates an atmosphere of constant tension and fear, resulted in a jump scare of 130 BPM and an average frequency of 86 beats per minute in the study. So, are you ready to watch it? The film is available for rent on Apple TV and Google Play .

3 – Supernatural

Supernatural is one of the scariest horror movies in the world

And here we go with James Wan Saw ) on the list. One of the biggest names in horror today, the filmmaker directed Insidious in 2011, giving rise to a successful franchise – the 5th chapter of the film series hits theaters in July 2023.

Well, in the film, professor Josh Lambert ( Patrick Wilson ), his wife Renai ( Rose Byrne ) and their children Foster, Dalton and Cali move to a new house. When faced with an entity, Dalton falls into a coma. The parents, frightened, decide to move out of the place, however, the curse continues to haunt them. 

Yes, it’s the classic children’s movie with the Devil in the body – in other words, very scary. It yielded a peak of 133 beats per minute and a frequency of 85 BPM in the Broadband Choices study . For those interested, the work is available on HBO Max .

4 – The Conjuring

The Conjuring is one of the scariest horror movies in the world

The return of… James Wan. The Conjuring was an immediate success back in 2013, considered an instant horror classic and spawned an 8-film franchise. In the first installment of the series, we follow the couple Roger ( Ron Livingston ) and Carolyn Perron ( Lili Taylor ) who, in 1971, move into a cursed house with their five daughters and a dog. They then seek the help of investigators Ed ( Patrick Wilson ) and Lorraine Warren ( Vera Farmiga ).

The film draws attention for its plot, which adopts a realistic tone when dealing with exorcism, demon investigations and the influence of the Catholic Church. In addition, The Conjuring features an extremely popular character: the Annabelle doll . 

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The film, voted one of the scariest horror works in the world, generated a jump scare of 132 BPM in the study sample and an average of 84 heartbeats per minute. It is available on Prime Video and HBO Max.

5 – Hereditary

Hereditary is one of the scariest horror movies in the world

Produced by the most beloved studio of the moment, A24 , Hereditary is the result of the partnership between Ari Aster ( Midsommar ) and Toni Collette The Sixth Sense ). In the film, Annie’s (Collette) mother dies, and she, her husband Steve ( Gabriel Byrne ) and the couple’s children, Peter ( Alex Wolff ) and Charlie ( Milly Shapiro ), deal with the consequences of the fact. However, as time goes by, the family begins to experience some inexplicable events. 

With constant tension and an absolutely shocking scene — who knows, knows —, Hereditary was voted the fifth scariest film of all time by the Science of Fear ranking . The film, available on Netflix , generated a frequency of 84 BPM and a peak of 104 beats per minute in the survey’s viewers.

6 – Terrified

A 2017 Argentine production, Aterrorizados (or Terrified ) is a film directed by Demián Rugna , which tells the story of some mysterious events in the city of Buenos Aires. Objects are seen flying, murders occur and a frightening figure appears and disappears out of nowhere. With this premise, supernatural experts Funes ( Maximiliano Ghione ), Jano ( Norberto Gonzalo ), Mora ( Elvira Onetto ) and Rosentock ( George L. Lewis ) come together to investigate the events.

Unfortunately, the film is currently unavailable for streaming in Brazil . Terrified yielded a heart rate of 84 beats and an impressive peak of 122 BPM in the study. The film has already had a remake produced by Guillermo Del Toro rumored in 2018 — is it on the way?

7 – Evil Chain

Scene from It Follows (2014)

An excellent production by David Robert Mitchell Silver Lake Mystery ), It Follows is a 2014 film that follows young Jay ( Maika Monroe ). After having more intimate relations with her boyfriend Hugh ( Jake Weary ), she contracts a curse that will haunt her until it kills her (or until she passes the evil spirit on to someone else through lewd acts). The production has several analogies to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and resembles a great comic book called Black Hole (Darkside), written by Charles Burns – here’s a hint.

It Follows,  one of the scariest movies in the world, yielded a heart rate of 81 BPM and a peak heart rate of 96 in the Broadband Choices survey . The film is available on Netflix and MUBI.

8 – Dashcam

After the success of the number one hit Beware Who Calls (2020) , Rob Savage returned to the big screen with Dashcam . The found footage film ( Paranormal Activity and [REC] ) follows songwriter Annie Hardy as she performs a livestream of her trip from the United States to England — in the production, the actress plays a satirical version of herself in real life. After a while, the broadcast becomes more terrifying. 

The Blumhouse production is unavailable for streaming in Brazil. In the horror test, the film obtained an average of 81 BPM and generated a scare of 112 beats per minute.

9 – A Quiet Place Part II

Emily Blunt in a scene from A Quiet Place Part II

John Krasinski ‘s ( Jack Ryan ) franchise received a second film in 2021, following the success of A Quiet Place in 2018. The new chapter of the plot is once again directed and written by the actor who plays Jim, from The Office, but now has Emily Blunt leading the cast.

In A Quiet Place Part II , Evelyn Abbott, played by Blunt, continues to fight the alien creatures that are super sensitive to sound. However, now, she will face new enemies. 

The film is available on Netflix and yielded a jump scare of 123 beats per minute and an average of 80 BPM in the ranking of the scariest horror films in the world, Science of Fear

For those who are curious, yes, the second film maintains the tension that makes the viewer control even their breathing — what if the animals hear, right?

10 – Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity Scene

Previously mentioned as a found footage classic , Paranormal Activity is another successful Blumhouse production. The film, written and directed by Oren Peli , follows a couple tormented by a spirit, who try to record the scenes to prove the evil presence. The film had several sequels after its release in 2007.

The film is available on the Looke platform and on Apple TV – on the latter, for rent. In the study, viewers averaged 80 BPM during the film and a fright of 114 beats per minute.

Bonus: [REC], The Exorcist and Halloween – The Night of Terror

The Exorcist, Halloween and REC are some of the scariest horror movies in the world

Did you really think we wouldn’t have a say in the list of the scariest movies of all time? [REC] is a 2007 Spanish film directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza , which follows a team of reporters (played by Manuela Velasco and Pablo Rosso ) reporting on a firefighter rescue that goes horribly wrong. The terrifying film is available on Prime Video.

The Exorcist is a horror classic and one of the few films of the genre to receive a Best Picture nomination at theOscars, in 1974. Directed and written byWilliam Friedkin(The French Connection), the film deals with the demonic possession of Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), a 12-year-old girl. A must-see for fans – and non-fans – of horror, the production can be watched onPrime VideoandHBO Max.

Finally, Halloween – The Night of Terror is directed by master John Carpenter ( The Thing ) and follows the origin story of Michael Myers on Halloween 1973 and his return in 1988, fifteen years later. The film features the great Jamie Lee Curtis ( Everything, Everywhere, at the Same Time ), playing the heroine Laurie Strode, and Donald Pleasence , as the villain’s psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. The production is available on Globoplay . 

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