I enjoy a number of horror films, but I have little imagination, so I find it hard to get scared.
As Paul mentioned, circumstances are important. I find The Shining quite chilling given the right conditions.
I watched The Others a few months ago and that film chilled me to the spine and made my hair stand on end. I was sat with three other grown men, when I watched it and we all sh*t ourselves. I've not been scared by a film like that in ages, not since I was 13 when I watched Evil Dead in broad daylight!!!!!!!
the viewing situation can have a significant effect on scariness...
try watching the chosen film at night (preferably winter!), in the dark (a power cut might be nice but might cause problems!), alone in your house/flat (with no-one coming back later in the evening to talk to!) then try to go to sleep afterwards (which will probably force you to start contemplating what you have seen rather than being quickly distracted by something else!).
i find the 'scariest' films are ones that are unsettling rather than overtly scary e.g. the Ring, Blair Witch, Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Masacre, giving you something unpleasant to think about rather than some quickly forgetten 'jump-out-of-your-seat' frights.
Have to say The ring is the scariest film I have ever seen (except maybe one of the Freddy Krüger films when I was 6)
Watch the Ring when it's dark. I will scare the sh*t out of u
If u wanna watch the others: Not too bad not as scary as Ring, but one advice: it has to be dark and u have to leave your door just a bit open (an inch or so)
and Dan. I have to agree with your theory Ring is soo scary becoz it doesn't really shock but becoz it makes u crazy on a more psychological level
'Ring' scared the sh*t out of me as well when I saw it a few months ago on channel 4. It left me uneasy for almost a week and I had to talk about the film to everyone at work just to convince myself it was just a film. Then the following week I watched the sequel 'Ring 2' ,opps.
There is also a prequel made after 'Ring 2' called 'Ring 0' and a remake is just out in America I think.
I watched the first twenty minutes of An American Werewolf in London when I was 10 - it scared the hell out of me!
Don't really get scared by films anymore Sixth Sense & Se7en both had their moments.
I watched Judge Dredd on BBC1 last night (hadn't seen it since the cinema) - that film is so so so awful it is scary!
Judge Dread, a classic no brainer action film. About scary films though how about 'Signs', recently in the cinema, maybe advailable to rent. Its like The Sixth Sense, only with spooky aliens. Not really a horror film but contains many shock moments which made me almost jump out my seat in the cinema.
Didn't expect much from it but Long Time Dead was surprisingly good. The Others is a great one to watch in a dark room. BUT I remember seeing The Exorcist in the early 70s, and was SO relieved when I came out of the cinema into daylight.
I haven't been scared by a film since I was a kid and stuff like Jaws and Snowbeast kept me awake for days.
Recently I've been surprised by the fact that 8 legged freaks and the old Bill Shatner cult classic Kingdom of the Spiders have left me shuddering and my hair standing on end, and I'm not even scared of spiders, it's just that when Cap'n Kirk has a bucketload of tarantula's dropped through an air conditioning vent onto his head I can't help but get the willies and start looking like I've stood too near the TV
what would be even scarier than the film the Ring would be if a video-tape production company started randomly recording the sinister video sequence from the film on their 'blank' tapes before packing for un-suspecting people to find (although only the minority of people that have actually seen the film would be effectively scared by this tactic. it might be a cunning 'trailer' for the upcoming Hollywood version though!). either that or have the sequence broadcast late at night on TV very occasionlly instead of the usual public safety notices and dubious chat-line ads
the excorcist 3 was quite unnerving after the disappointment of the heritic.
the thing is probably one of the best "scary movies " ever made.
se7en was again unnerving and brilliant film.
the excorcist is still probably the most frightening of films, another materpiece.
Quite simply the film responsible for more nightmares and 'unsettling' moments than anything else in my life!!!
If i am alone and Michael Myers pops into my head then that's it...i'm spooked until the next morning. The first leaf dropped in Autumn sparks spooky feelings for me. I'm probably a bit obsessed but i first saw it at 11-12 years old and i'm now 31!!!
I don't really count the sequels because for me, Michael Myers will always be out there (as it ends in the first film).
'Psycho' i'd count as another great...also 'The Thing', 'The Fog' (see a connection?), Also I remember 'Snow beast' as being scary as a kid as well as a particular episode of 'Armchair Thriller' in the early 80's involving a scary nun in an attic (I was crying and couldn't sleep alone). The title music to this series was VERY scary!!!
good point! scary films set in an otherwise as normal as possible environment work well, Halloween being a great example! it also has that fantasticly bleak title music that sets the mood perfectly!
putting really obvious but scary moments into films which aren't really supposed to be scary works quite nicely... i seem to remember one such moment in Spiderman (i think it was a very abrupt cut near when Willem Defoe realises that he is the Green Goblin) that made most of the audience jump out of their seat