There is nothing to fear but fear itself, and maybe ghosts and supernatural baddies, too, because those irrational beings defy logic and realism. That’s why they’re a common sight in most horror films and are usually associated with that genre of movies. However, threats that do follow reality or the laws of science (to a certain degree) are also present and tend to be more menacing.


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Because if anything, they represent an experience closer to reality compared to ghosts, meaning they could happen to just about anyone. As such, horror movies that don’t rely on ghosts, demons, or supernatural phenomena are also plentiful. In fact, they even dominate the top echelons of horror cinema.

Updated October 27th, 2022, by Sid Natividad: It’s only natural for some thrill seekers to seek thrills but in a safe manner through horror films. And we’re painfully aware that the best films on IMDb don’t have color, so a few new waves were brought in via an update.

Because horror movies tend to be more immersive and scarier if they have color and if their audio doesn’t sound like a great-grandmother’s favorite radio drama. So, in time for some fright nights, Halloween or not, check out some of these ghostless and demon-less horror films, some of which are fresh out of the oven.

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15/15 Scream (2022) – 6.3

A horror film for both millennials and zoomers alike, Scream is a continuation of the epic slasher saga perpetrated by the Ghostface mask killer. As usual, it takes place in a small town, and the new targets are teenagers in an attempt to resurface the deadly secrets of the town’s gruesome past.

The film follows the original’s plot from 25 years ago, meaning it’s somewhat of a reboot or remake but with contemporary twists. While they’re at it, viewers can also resort to a Scream series marathon just to remind themselves that even something as mundane as kitchen knives are a serial killer’s preferred weapon.

14/15 Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) – 6.3

Bodies Bodies Bodies is, first and foremost, a whodunit film that takes place at a vacation party, so those who still can’t get enough of Among Us or films with similar premises will be delighted at this modern experiment. It involves a group of adults in their 20s— all of whom are rich and somewhat despicable.

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Sure enough, the party was drug and alcohol-fueled, and the calmest part was when they started playing a “find-the-killer” game. It was fun, but then the lights went off, and someone’s eyes were gouged out, and another one was killed. It’s a more dynamic and modern take on the whodunit formula, perfect for younger audiences.

13/15 X (2022) – 6.6

Despite being a 2022 film, X from director and writer Ti West offers an experimental approach. The film is set in 1979, during the era when most adult videos favored permed and hairy actors and actresses. The film follows a group of adult entertainment stars who chose a remote provincial farmhouse in which to shoot their “film.”

Everything seemed to be going well and well, wild, until people started disappearing and screaming out of fear instead of pleasure. Turns out the local farm owner had a huge and spine-chilling secret hidden within his farm, and it just so happens that the adult entertainment stars were wholly unwelcome. It’s a refreshing change of scenery from the typical hot teenager trope.

12/15 Nope (2022) – 6.9

One of Jordan Peele’s most recent films is quite a head-scratcher as it combines multiple genres and tropes, including horror and mystery. Like most of his horror films, Nope also leaves behind tons of symbolism and metaphors for film critics to chew into as soon as the credits have rolled.

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The funny thing is, the story is quite simple. A couple of siblings were forced to inherit and save their failing horse ranch after their father’s untimely death. But their life has proven to be a lot more difficult after they find out that their ranch is infested with a huge alien who feeds off of their horses.

11/15 Barbarian (2022) – 7.5

Barbarian toys with one of the most common fears among this generation of youth who love to stay in Airbnb vacation spots. It’s about a woman who booked a stay at one of the said Airbnb’s, but to her surprise, there was a double-booking mistake, and she now had to share her stay with a stranger.

There were plenty of violent and scary events that could have taken place, but to the woman’s surprise, they did not involve the stranger she was with. Instead, something more sinister and horrifying in the Airbnb’s basement. It’s worth watching alone for the premise; the film eventually spirals into something more nightmarish that would likely put its viewers off Airbnb for a while. Oh, and it’s also a perfect movie to watch during an Airbnb stay, of course.

10/15 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) – 7.7

By today’s standards, a movie with a title like this would have been a joke or parody movie, but back then, it’s actually all the rage when it comes to horror. Invasion of the Body Snatchers deals with a “what-if” question from science fiction, as in, what if aliens started taking over in the most subtle way possible?

What if the alien was the person next to you? Ever thought about that? Well, that’s what the protagonists of Invasion of the Body Snatchers deal with on a daily basis. It begins when a doctor finds out that the population of his small town is gradually being replaced by emotionless alien doubles. It’s one of the most original ideas Hollywood kept recreating over the decades.

9/15 The Invisible Man (1933) – 7.7

Speaking of original ideas, an invisible man with a god complex is enough of a plot for a horror movie itself. That’s why modern retellings such as Hollow Man and a similarly titled The Invisible Man (2020) will never run out of style. 1933’s The Invisible Man, for that matter, was the first film adaptation to explore man’s hubris and a tendency for psychopathy.

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It starts off with a scientist who was able to make himself invisible. The cost, however, was his sanity and morality as he became a murderous outcast. Back then, seeing some pants or clothing move without anyone wearing them was a cinematic marvel on its own.

8/15 Get Out (2017) – 7.7

Get Out is one of the latest titles here to honor Hollywood with its novelty and freshness. This horror movie is a play on racism and suddenly makes a quick descent into Invasion of the Body Snatchers territory in one of the most unique plot twists in contemporary horror.

Get Out follows the story of an African-American man who agreed to meet the parents of his Caucasian girlfriend. Initially, everything seemed fine until the girlfriend’s dark family secrets start rearing their ugly heads. Anyone who hasn’t seen it is surely in for a surprise and a lesson in being judgemental.

7/15 Diabolique (1955) – 8.0

Often touted as the granddaddy of domestic murder cinema plots, Diabolique is a French film that explores the idea of a perfect murder. It was released to an audience who were used to sci-fi and love stories back then. Naturally, it started off a bit of a cinematic trend.

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Diabolique happens when a repulsive school principal who has a wife gets greedy and also has a mistress. The wife and the mistress find out and decide to team up to carry out a murder that’s untraceable.

6/15 The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920) – 8.1

Speaking of murder, look no further than The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from the 1920s if you want one of the pioneers of that cinema plot. It’s a horror movie that introduces sleepwalking into the mix through the titular Dr. Caligari’s somnambulist, Cesare.

Cesare, as Dr. Caligari claims, is someone who can predict the future in a carnival booth. So when Cesare predicts a man’s death, and it happens exactly, he becomes the prime suspect. Was it really Cesare or was the doctor merely controlling him through sleepwalking?

5/15 What Ever Happened To Baby Jane (1962) – 8.1

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane is not only a horror and suspense movie, but it’s also quite a tragedy. The film is about a former child star named Jane Hudson, who lives with her paraplegic sister in their old and decaying mansion.

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Jane is sadly still living in her past and has delusions about her current life, much to the misfortune of her sister. Their situation got so bad that it devolved into Jane gradually torturing her disabled sister.

4/15 The Thing (1982) – 8.1

The Thing is one of the staples of horror cinema and a sci-fi take on the “whodunit” formula where there is a killer among the group of protagonists, blending in socially, waiting for the right moment to strike.

The antagonist is an alien creature trapped in the Antarctic; the creature can then take the shape and personality of any individual with the goal of killing everyone. It’s a wild ride featuring Kurt Russel and one of the most haunting endings ever in horror, courtesy of director John Carpenter.

3/15 The Blue Elephant (2014) – 8.1

Many people might not have heard of The Blue Elephant, but it’s a popular film in its native country, which is Egypt. This foreign-language film has made enough waves to be counted among IMDb’s top movies.

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It’s similar to Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island where a supposed psychologist visits an asylum for the criminally insane only to find one of his friends as his subject. It just so happens that he has a complex past with his friend involving the women they love, insanity, and drugs.

2/15 Alien (1979) – 8.4

For many people, Alien is an automatic recommendation as the most successful sci-fi horror movie of all time. The film was ahead of its time in many aspects and even made people collapse or vomit in the theater back when it was released.

For those that haven’t seen it yet, Alien chronicles the misfortune of a space mining rig called the Nostromo. The crew happened upon some mysterious eggs near their station and managed to bring back a physically superior murderous creature that sees them as nothing more than Kinder Joy eggs waiting to get cracked open and slurped.

1/15 Psycho (1960) – 8.5

Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous movie, Psycho, is one of the most celebrated horror or suspense movies ever. This one currently holds the highest rating on IMDb among films with the most number of reviews.

The premise is simple enough. A woman takes refuge in the ominous Bates Motel, only the owner and groundskeeper, Norman Bates, isn’t who he seems. Pretty soon, all the hidden horrors in Bates Motel start leaking through the floorboards.

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