10 Movies So Scary, You Might Have To Pause Them

10 Movies So Scary, You Might Have To Pause Them
Image credit: USA Films, IFC Films, Well Go USA Entertainment, Screen Australia, Geneon Entertainment, Metrodome Distribution, Bankside Films, Tartan, NTV, Picturehouse

These are some of the lesser-known gems of the horror genre.

Noroi: The Curse (2005)

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A little-known Japanese horror movie called Noroi: The Curse is not for the faint-hearted. Now, this one, my friends, is a found footage film that combines elements of traditional J-horror with a documentary style, resulting in a unique and disturbing horror experience.

It follows a paranormal investigator as he explores a series of strange occurrences linked to an ancient demon known as "Kagutaba". Despite its rather lengthy run time, it manages to sustain an atmosphere of dread throughout, with scenes that will make your skin crawl.

If you're one of those who thinks you've seen everything that J-horror has to offer, let me assure you, Noroi will make you think again!

Lake Mungo (2008)

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This one isn't your typical horror movie, oh no, but a mockumentary-style psychological horror that slowly, and I mean painfully slowly, builds up the tension.

It follows a grief-stricken family trying to understand their daughter's death, uncovering a web of secrets and unsettling truths in the process. With eerie imagery and an expertly crafted atmosphere of dread, Lake Mungo gives us one hell of a creep-fest that sticks with you long after you've turned off the screen.

Be warned, though, this isn't for those who prefer jump scares and gory mayhem. Rather, it's for those who appreciate a slow-burning narrative, creeping chills, and an exploration of existential horror.

The Borderlands ( 2013)

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Oh, boy. If you're a fan of found footage horror, The Borderlands is going to be your new favorite nightmare. This British horror flick centers on a team of Vatican investigators sent to a remote church to look into alleged paranormal activities.

What starts off as a fairly standard horror premise soon descends into a labyrinth of terror and madness. The Borderlands blends Lovecraftian elements with religious horror, offering a tense and claustrophobic journey into the unknown.

This one's a slow burner, for sure, but stick with it, and you'll be rewarded with one of the most bone-chilling endings you'll ever see.

Possum (2018)

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Possum is an obscure British horror movie that's about as cheery as its name suggests. The film follows a disgraced puppeteer as he battles his own demons, and possibly a few real ones, upon returning to his childhood home.

With its bleak atmosphere and stark cinematography, Possum is a potent cocktail of psychological and body horror. Just, don't be fooled by its slow pace. This is not a film to be watched lightly. Rather, it's one that demands your full attention, rewarding you with images and themes that will haunt your dreams.

Kairo (Pulse) (2001)

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No list of horror films would be complete without a nod to Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the master of J-horror himself. While not as well-known as Ringu or Ju-On, Kairo is arguably one of his scariest works.

This apocalyptic horror film tackles themes of isolation and loneliness in the digital age, creating a sense of dread that's as palpable as it is inexplicable. It tells the story of a group of friends who stumble upon a cursed website that promises death to its visitors. With its chilling visuals and slow-burning narrative, Kairo leaves a lasting impression. Remember, you've been warned!

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

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This is a South Korean psychological horror-drama that's got more twists and turns than your average Hollywood horror movie. Imagine this: two sisters return home after a stint in a mental institution, only to find that their home is plagued by disturbing and inexplicable occurrences.

It's a masterclass in atmospheric dread, with director Kim Jee-woon expertly weaving the narrative through flashbacks and haunting dream sequences, that more often than not, you'll find yourself peering into the screen, trying to untangle the threads of this gothic nightmare.

And that climax? Without spoiling anything, let's just say it's a revelation that hits you like a punch in the gut, turning everything you thought you've figured out upside down.

The Orphanage (2007)

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The Orphanage is a Spanish horror film produced by none other than Guillermo del Toro himself. It starts innocently enough: a woman returns to her childhood orphanage with dreams of reopening it as a home for disabled children. All is well, until her son begins playing with an invisible friend, leading her down a rabbit hole of fear and despair.

There's a foreboding sense of dread that permeates the entire movie, with director J.A. Bayona creating an intense, atmospheric narrative that masterfully blends elements of supernatural and psychological horror. You'll find yourself constantly second-guessing, questioning the boundaries of reality, as the story descends into a heart-rending finale that leaves you breathless and shaken.

The Wailing (2016)

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Here's one for you: a rural South Korean village, a mysterious stranger, a deadly disease, and a local cop who's in way over his head. This is The Wailing in a nutshell.

Na Hong-jin's masterpiece of a horror-thriller is a relentless, multi-layered exploration of fear and suspicion that'll have you gripping your armrests from start to finish. As the cop investigates the strange occurrences around the village, he finds himself drawn into a web of superstition, folklore, and the unknown.

What starts as a crime thriller morphs into a full-blown horror movie, complete with exorcisms, zombie-like creatures, and scenes that will give you the heebie-jeebies.

Kill List (2011)

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This one is a British horror thriller that follows an ex-soldier-turned-hitman who takes on a new assignment, only to find himself trapped in a dark and horrifying conspiracy.

Don't be fooled by the relatively mundane set-up. Director Ben Wheatley takes this premise and turns it into an unrelenting nightmare that blurs the line between reality and the unspeakable.

As the protagonist delves deeper into his "kill list," things spiral out of control, culminating in one of the most harrowing and blood-curdling climaxes in recent memory. Trust me, this isn't a movie you'll be forgetting in a hurry.

Session 9 (2001)

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Session 9 is an under-the-radar psychological horror film that's as unsettling as they come. The story? A cleaning crew working in an abandoned mental hospital uncover a series of recorded therapy sessions that reveal a horrifying secret.

Director Brad Anderson crafts an atmospheric horror story that feeds off your imagination, exploiting the innate eeriness of its setting to full effect. The tension builds gradually, as the crew members start to unravel, each with their own demons coming to the fore.

As for the finale, well, let's just say it's a spine-chilling climax that's sure to keep you up at night.