The scariest movies of 2009 are a strong batch compared to other years. There were a lot of trends that helped this be a strong year for horror films. One was the increasing use of the handheld camera “fake documentary” gimmick that was first popularized by the Blair Witch Project in the 1990s. Another was a move towards particularly disturbing films with very dark themes.

  1. “Antichrist” The scariest horror movie of 2009 is this film about a married couple emotionally breaking apart after the death of their son. The couple decides to spend some time at a cabin in the woods and events occur that eventually take on a supernatural overtone. Incredibly disturbing things happen in this film and it is not for the faint of heart.

  2. “Rec” This is one of the scariest movies you’re likely to see. It could be described as a zombie film, but that wouldn't really do it justice. The film uses the gimmick of a reporter filming the inside of a hotel after a plague strikes. The people inside the hotel become raging beasts and start attacking anybody they see.

  3. Paranormal Activity” Here’s another one of the scariest films of 2009 that was made using a handheld camera gimmick. In this case, the film is presented as a collection of home video footage from a couple dealing with a haunting. The movie is extremely effective because it feels so real.

  4. “Trick 'r Treat” It’s rare for a horror anthology to be one of the scariest movies in a given year, but this one is very strong. There are three stories and every one of them is quite scary. The best of the lot involves a group of werewolves and a ritual that takes an unexpected turn at the end.

  5. “Splice” This genetic manipulation sci-horror flick is an easy choice for one of the scariest films of 2009. It’s about two scientists experimenting with mixing human and animal DNA. They secretly create a creature and raise it on an old farm. The filmmakers were willing to explore some rather disturbing concepts in a very frank and explicit way, leading to some shocking situations.

  6. “Let The Right One In” This is definitely one of the scariest movies of 2009, but in terms of pure scares, it wasn’t good enough to make the top five. This critically acclaimed film is about a young boy who meets a young vampire outside his apartment. Eventually, the boy faces difficult moral situations when he learns that his vampire friend is killing people.

  7. “Drag Me To Hell” This may be the best horror film of 2009, but it’s not pure horror, so it can’t be at the top of this list. There are some great jump scares in this Sam Raimi film about a girl dealing with a gypsy curse. The tone of the film harkens back to Raimi's "Evil Dead" series and it’s a wonderful little movie.

  8. “The Box” If you’re a fan of unusual movies that are hard to decipher, you might think this is the scariest movie of 2009. It’s about a couple who get a box that has the power to grant wishes but every time they use it, someone dies. The movie is from the director of Donnie Darko.

  9. “Thirst” Out of all the scariest movies of 2009, this might be the most sexually explicit. It’s a Korean vampire film by Chan Woo Park and it tells the story of a priest who becomes a blood sucker and gradually loses his inner humanity. The film has a very unique way of looking at vampires and it’s quite enjoyable.

  10. “Case 39” This movie was quite suspenseful and if you enjoy pure suspense, you might consider it one of the scariest movies of 2009. It’s a story about a social worker who helps out a young girl that she thinks is being abused. Eventually, she finds out that the situation is a lot more complicated and deadly than anybody could have guessed.