Martin Scorsese Lists His 11 Scariest Films

The Haunting
Photo: MGM Studios

Eleven days after it was originally posted, a list compiled by director Martin Scorsese of what he considers to be the eleven scariest movies of all-time over at the Daily Beast is just now coming to the attention of the online masses.

Unfortunately it's a little too late if you were planning on a Halloween night binge session, but as the temperature outside drops, the sun sets earlier and you begin bundling yourself up inside for the winter, perhaps you'll want to check a few of these out.

The most mainstream on the list are Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, William Friedkin's The Exorcist and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Other than that, I'm mildly ashamed to say I've only seen two of the other films, and one of them only recently.

The first is The Haunting, Robert Wise's much loved Hill House story from 1963 that many classify as one of their favorite scary films, the other is The Uninvited, of which I reviewed the brand new Criterion Blu-ray back at the end of October (read that here). Of the rest I will begin adding them to my watch list.

I've included the list below and you can click here to see the list at the Daily Beast as well as read Scorsese's brief thoughts on each.

  1. The Haunting
  2. The Isle of the Dead
  3. The Uninvited
  4. The Entity
  5. Dead of Night
  6. The Changeling
  7. The Shining
  8. The Exorcist
  9. Night of the Demon
  10. The Innocents
  11. Psycho

via Slashfilm

  • Christopher Nold

    I'm really surprised he didn't list Les Diaboliques, but maybe it falls more as thrilling than scary.

  • gp1086

    Other than Shining, Exorcist, and Psycho, haven't seen any of them, but will have to look to check out.

  • Movieram

    I've also only seen two of the films outside of the three mainstream ones. One was The Changeling, which I'm presuming is the George C. Scott ghost story and not the Angelina Jolie search-for-her-son drama. I raved about The Changeling after the first viewing, but it didn't quite hold up when I watched it again a few years later. Still very good though, and a favorite horror film of mine.
    Marty apparently liked The Entity much better than I did, however. The only good thing I can say about that movie is that it had some remarkable special effects that involved Barbara Hershey's breasts. Then again, Marty has cast Hershey more than once, so maybe that's his reason for liking the film.

  • Winchester

    I've seen four.

    The Haunting, The Shining, The Innocents and Psycho. Despite the reputation I think I would actually place The Innocents higher and The Haunting lower. I find the former better shot and photographed and overall more satisfying although the sound design in The Haunting is superb.

    • RodHoffman

      How can you call yourself a movie fan, and you haven't seen The Exorcist?

      • Winchester

        In complete honesty? I've seen it's moments and some sequences lampooned and spoofed so many times over the years that I have a genuine concern that I'll watch it and it'll have utterly no effect on me.

    • jaybob

      I disagree with The Innocents. I found that movie to be incredibly hokey, even for it's time. The Haunting is a far superior horror movie that stands up better after all this time.

      • Winchester

        Hokey? No, sorry we're not going to agree on that remotely. But if we all agreed it would be a dull world.

        • Liam Fogarty

          I completely agree with you, there was nothing hokey about The Innocents at all, it's an incredibly well made adaptation of a great horror story, and it was quite ahead of it's time in some areas that are still cringe-inducing to this day (you know what I'm on about!).

  • Chris138

    I've seen The Changeling, The Shining, The Exorcist and Psycho. I like all three quite a bit, and I really want to see The Uninvited.

  • ashdurdin

    Still need to check out The Entity, The Uninvited, Night of the Demon and Dead of Night. Seems like Scorsese has similar tastes to me, I tend to be spooked by haunted house films too.

  • JayRam

    11/11. Some of the best horror films I've seen

  • andyluvsfilms

    I had completely forgotten about The Entity, its been a good 25 years since ive seen it.

  • Michael

    The Exorcist baby, yes!! That's all I needed to see, awesome to see Marty like that. Aside from The Exorcist, i've only seen Psycho & The Shining. Have not seen the rest.

  • Travis C.

    I half remember this list first appearing around the release of Shutter Island, though it's a great list nonetheless. Other than the big three I've seen and loved The Haunting, The Innocents and Night of the Demon, but there are three on there that I've never seen mention of elsewhere that I'm very curious about.