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The Top Scariest Films

All work and no play makes Rakuten’s Play.com a dull website, so we set out to find the top scariest film of all-time... As voted by our Facebook fans, The Shining is the scariest scary film going!

Stanley Kubrick’s nerve-shredding adaptation of Stephen King’s supernatural horror novel has been terrifying audiences since 1980. Jack Nicholson is in particularly menacing form as Jack Torrance, a frustrated author with a VERY bad case of writer’s block. Holed up in the remote Overlook Hotel with his family, Jack’s stint as temporary caretaker becomes a 24-hour job when a series of supernatural encounters awaken something murderous within him. With Jack prowling the corridors in full Nicholson mode, the Overlook becomes a far from ideal family destination!

Not far behind in the top scariest film stakes were William Friedkin’s game-changing 1973 horror The Exorcist in 2nd place and Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street from 1984 in third place, which helped put Craven’s particular brand of post-modern horror bang on the map.

Among the less obvious results, Hideo Nakata’s original 1998 version of Ring (aka Ringu) charted 4th, effortlessly sweeping aside Gore Verbinski’s 2002 Hollywood remake in 18th. The top scariest film from Japan got a gory thumbs up from fans when we asked them to tell us which version they liked the most.

In at 19, the top scariest film from the UK was Clive Barker’s 1987 adaptation of his Hellbound Heart novella, Hellraiser.

Interestingly, horror director upstart James Wan had three films all in the top 20: 2010’s Insidious (10th), 2004’s Saw (12th); and the poll’s most recent top scary film, 2012’s The Conjuring (15th). All of this bodes well for Wan’s Insidious 2 (2013) which looks ultra scary!

One last result suggests that you’re not as scared of zombies as you should be: in 25th position, UK production 28 Days Later... is the top scariest film when it comes to zombies. The zombie apocalypse IS coming, people. These films will provide an invaluable source of research!

Thanks to everyone who dared to vote! Keep coming back for more poll action in the near future.