A horror movie doesn’t have to be gory to be scary as hell. Case in point: Our friends at WatchMojo have assembled a list of 10 terrifying genre flicks where no one dies. To be clear, this isn’t a list of kid-friendly films or PG-13 offerings—these are straight-up screamers. And while a couple of the entries are ambiguous, you’ll probably be surprised by most of the entries on this list.
Related Article: Top 10 Kid-Friendly Gateway Horror Movies
Give the video a spin and let us know what you think in the Comments section. Which of these entries surprised you most? Are there other creepers with a body count of 0 that deserve a shout-out?
If you can’t stream or want more information regarding any of the films discussed, they’re all listed below the video, along with trailers and synopses. Enjoy!
Warning: Below There Be Spoilers!
Official Synopsis: These days horror films are known for blood, guts, and violence, so it’s really impressive that these scary movies managed to terrify us without a single on-screen death! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Horror Films in Which Nobody Dies! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Poltergeist, The Others, or The Conjuring? Watch to find out!
The Gate (1987, directed by Tibor Takács)
No human deaths, but its hard not to shed a tear for the dog.
Official Synopsis: When Al (Christa Denton) and Glenn’s (Stephen Dorff) parents (Deborah Grover, Scot Denton) leave town for the weekend, Al uses the opportunity to throw a party while little brother Glenn and his friend Terry (Louis Tripp) decide to explore a hole left by a tree-removal service in the backyard. When unexplainable phenomena begin occurring, Terry — with the help of his extensive heavy-metal music collection — comes to the conclusion that he and Glenn have accidentally opened a gateway to hell.
The Watcher in the Woods (1980, Directed by John Hough)
Don’t let the Disney logo fool you; serious scares live here.
Official Synopsis: A teenager (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and her younger sister learn their eerie landlady’s (Bette Davis) secret at an English country manor.
April Fool’s Day (1986, Directed by Fred Walton)
What’s a little psychological torture among friends?
Official Synopsis: When a group of college students decides to spend spring break at the secluded island estate of their wealthy classmate, Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman), what starts out as a fun, hedonistic weekend turns into something more sinister. Muffy is very fond of practical jokes, and sets up numerous gags throughout her mansion. But, when friends begin going missing and turn up dead, they realize that they’re trapped on the isolated isle with a mysterious and brutal killer.
1408 (2007, Directed by Mikael Håfström)
Things don’t turn out as well in the unused/alternate ending.
Official Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena — before he checks into the Dolphin Hotel, that is. Ignoring the warnings of the hotel manager (Samuel L. Jackson), he learns the meaning of real terror when he spends the night in a reputedly haunted room.
The Blair Witch Project (1999, Directed by Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick)
Think about it: Do we see anyone die?
Official Synopsis: Found video footage tells the tale of three film students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams) who’ve traveled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary local murderer. Over the course of several days, the students interview townspeople and gather clues to support the tale’s veracity. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises.
Signs (2002, Directed by M. Night Shyamalan)
You can love the twist or hate it, but no one dies.
Official Synopsis: Everything that farmer Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) assumed about the world is changed when he discovers a message – an intricate pattern of circles and lines – carved into his crops. As he investigates the unfolding mystery, what he finds will forever alter the lives of his brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and children (Rory Culkin), (Abigail Breslin). A unique story that explores the mysterious real-life phenomena of crop signs and the effects they have on one man and his family.
The Babadook (2014, Directed by Jennifer Kent)
High-caliber terror without a body count.
Official Synopsis: A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home through the pages of a children’s book.
The Others (2001, Directed by Alejandro Amenábar)
You can’t kill a ghost.
Official Synopsis: Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the English coast during World War II. She awaits word on her missing husband while protecting her children from a rare photosensitivity disease that causes the sun to harm them. Anne claims she sees ghosts, Grace initially thinks the new servants are playing tricks but chilling events and visions make her believe something supernatural has occurred.
The Conjuring (2013, Directed by James Wan)
Wow… the scariest movie since The Exorcist doesn’t have a single death.
Official Synopsis: In 1970, paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren are summoned to the home of Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) Perron. The Perrons and their five daughters have recently moved into a secluded farmhouse, where a supernatural presence has made itself known. Though the manifestations are relatively benign at first, events soon escalate in horrifying fashion, especially after the Warrens discover the house’s macabre history.
Poltergeist (1982, Directed by Tobe Hooper)
1 “Tweety Bird”, but no humans. Of course, if you believe in the Poltergeist Curse you know the cast didn’t fare so well after filming.
Official Synopsis: Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings — Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O’Rourke) — when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.
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