11 Horror Movies That Scared Us More Than 'Hereditary'
Hereditary is getting a lot of run as the scariest horror movie of the year. Its trailer was mistakenly shown before a screening of Peter Rabbit, traumatising a Perth cinema full of kids. One of the film's stars, Peter Wolff, said shooting the film gave him PTSD.
Is it the scariest? We asked the ten daily staff to weigh in, and select the movie that ruined them the most.
Child's Play (1998)
Wade Shipard - ten daily Video Team Lead
In 1989 my mother rented a movie based solely on its title and the first sentence of its synopsis -- “Nobody believes 6-year-old Andy Barclay when he says that “Chucky” his new birthday doll, is alive”. My mother thought this sounded like a rollicking family adventure that her primary school children would enjoy.
If Mum had read the second sentence, the one about how the babysitter is violently murdered -- or I dunno, looked at the cover-- she would have saved me from a childhood of frequent nightmares that starred a red-haired, foul-mouthed, knife-wielding doll. Chucky even c*ck-blocked me when my teenage dreams started involving girls. I still get creeped out whenever I re-watch it. Thanks for nothing Ready Player One.
The Descent (2005)
Victoria Quested - ten daily News Reporter
I’ve sat through the entirety of only two horror films. My dad was relegated to the spare bedroom for three nights following the release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – which no, I don’t consider among the two -- because yours truly needed to sleep by her mother’s side after seeing it. While I’m now quite the avid young Tom Riddle fan (insert Slytherin innuendo here) it was obvious early on I just wasn’t cut out for the horror scene.
Fast forward a few years to a girlfriend’s sleepover and I’m facing my first, though strongly protested, screening of a full-length horror flick; The Descent. The film follows six women who become trapped underground while caving, only to discover – in true A Quiet Place style – blind, cannibalistic sub-human creatures that hunt using sound.
Already not obsessed with the idea of crawling through dark, damp tunnels, the 100-minute ordeal set me up for a long and embarrassing chat with a future PE teacher about why no, I would not be participating in caving at Year 9 camp. What’s that? It’s an artificial, above ground cave with emergency exits? Still no dice.
Mat Whitehead - ten daily Senior Entertainment Reporter
I try and avoid horror movies as often as I can, I get no enjoyment out of being scared and it takes almost nothing to scare me. Unfortunately studying film at Uni meant I was subjected to the likes of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the film I refuse to ever watch again: Jaws.
Even watching it as an adult, despite how often the puppetry of the demonic shark gets made fun of, I spent the entire film with my feet off the floor. Just thinking about that asshole giant shark eating through a BOAT makes my skin crawl. Give me Pennywise the clown any day -- just keep the damn sharks films away from me.
Rashell Habib - ten daily Deputy News Editor
I watched it because it was touted as the scariest movie ever. The story plays on your mind and parts of the narrative leak into your everyday life because it was so real, actions you could see yourself doing -- it wasn’t overly dramatised. So I found myself looking over my shoulder weeks after watching it. It was also based on a true story which made it worse. So much worse.
Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
Katherine Kalk - ten daily News Producer
It's easy to pick the scariest movie I've ever watched, because I've only ever watched one scary movie. I hate horror. Generally speaking, when a screaming European backpacker's extremities are hacked off with a chainsaw, it makes me feel ill.
I was talked into watching The Silence of the Lambs, based on the strength of its dual "psychological thriller" label and its status as a cult classic. Plus I have a general fascination with the psychology of serial killers.
I was doing well, all the way up to the point Hannibal Lecter escaped capture by ripping off and wearing a police officer's face. The moment he de-masked himself, sweeping the bloody pulp of flesh off his head to reveal his true identity, is one that will always stay with me in all its haunting, nausea-inducing savagery.
The Ring (2002)
Gillian Wolski - ten daily Lifestyle Reporter
Soccer practice was rained out one afternoon in Year 8 so my team and I decided to stay in and watch a movie. Some genius chose The Ring -- the Naomi Watts version -- and it was scary and fun and I didn't sleep alone for the following month.
Yep. I was a 13-year-old girl who kicked my dad out of bed each night so I could tuck in next to mum. Why I selected my mother -- a tiny 50 kilogram human -- over my almost six-foot tall father to be my night-time protector is beyond me. When you're expecting a scraggly-haired girl ghost to appear and announce your doom you clearly can't think straight. Thank god the world made the switch from VHS to DVD.
The Gift (2000)
Alexandra Anastassiou - ten daily Social Media Producer
So looking back this movie isn't SUPER scary, except that I saw it when I was nine-years-old. Starring Cate Blanchett and Keanu Reeves, this movie scared the crappola out of me because it involved a dead body being raked out of a lake and the dead body was very blue and very dead and just AHHHHH.
I still haven't been able to bring myself to watch it because it scarred me so deeply the first time. You never forget your first nightmare brought on by a horror film.
Pet Sematary (1989) & Pet Sematary Two (1992)
Jessica Lynch - ten daily Entertainment Reporter
I loved these movies as a kid, but they had me absolutely shook. The whole idea of burying someone in an Indian burial ground and them coming back as some sort of evil zombie-human-corpse hybrid gives me the heebie-jeebies to this day.
I still have this image from Pet Semetary Two of zombie-Gus sanding the school bully’s face off with a running motorbike tyre burned into my brain forever. Plus that scene of the undead dog ominously growing while sitting in a rocking chair gave me nightmares for years.
Siobhan Kenna - ten daily News Reporter
‘Watch’ is a little strong. I sit adjacent to horror films, glancing at the screen from behind my hands. The last time I ‘watched’ a horror film, I was ambushed into Insidious 2 at a party.
I had to leave early and regardless of not 'watching' a second of the film, I was still too terrified to walk to my car alone -- and required two of my mates to escort me. Once safely in my car the fear faded and I drove home, but when I arrived my stomach dropped. I had noone to walk me safely from the car to my house.
I dashed madly from the driver's seat, up the stairs two-at-a-time whilst fumbling with my keys, unlocked the door frantically and made it inside the house -- and NOTHING attacked me. Close call if you ask me.
Is Hereditary the scariest movie ever? Probably -- but I'll never see it so your guess is as good as mine.
Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
Alex Bruce-Smith - ten daily News Reporter
This is a stupidly embarrassing contribution, but I will never, ever be able to think of the film Thirteen Ghosts without thinking of the most terrifying of these ghosts -- The Jackal -- skulking down the halls with the intent to murder.
It is a good film? No. But I spent an utterly sleepless night, age 13, imagining The Jackal advancing down the hall to my bedroom. It's been over a decade an I still get tiny flutters of anxiety thinking about it.
Still, shoutout to the car crash sequence in Hereditary for being the most deeply unsettling thing in cinematic history.
Funny Games (1997)
Myles Davies - ten daily Video Editor
The most disturbing film is Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, the German one -- not the shot by shot US remake Haneke also directed, although that version’s not entirely terrible.
A married couple, their son and family dog take a trip away to their holiday house. Two psychopathic preppie teenagers turn up to terrorise them, making a bet that they can murder the entire family by 9am the next day.
It’s not so much the exceptionally realistic violence that’s disturbing, it’s the killers constant destruction of the fourth wall, inviting us into their homicidal spree. Via a TV remote control, they rewind action to replay situations to favour them, and reference the fact that they are merely playing out roles in a sadistic movie of their lives.
There’s nothing scarier than when reality and fiction are one in the same, especially in a horror film.