Help me find some non-bloody scary movies
October 28, 2014 10:05 AM   Subscribe

This year my partner and I are planning a scary movie all nighter on Halloween, after the trick or treaters are gone. I would like to get about 4-5 scary movies that are not gory ( no Chainsaw Massacre), no zombies and no first-person documentary style horror movies. Anything else is a go, but would prefer movies made in the last decade rather than vintage stuff. Help me scare the pants off my man! Mwahahah!
posted by Karotz to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
It's been a while since I watched it, but I don't think The Ring actually has a lot of gore (aside from the director, Gore Verbinski, thanks Google), or even very many jump scares. It's scary because its deeply uncanny, and creates a great ominous atmosphere.
posted by rustcrumb at 10:09 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Orphanage.
posted by mykescipark at 10:12 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Session 9 is 13 years old rather than ten. But I had to sleep with the lights on for a couple nights after seeing it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:13 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

I always thought mothman prophesies was kind of a scary movie. It just has a weird vibe to it.

woman in black is not too awful of a scary movie

the conjuring is probaby the best scary movie that I've seen recently though.
posted by kookywon at 10:13 AM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]

House of the Devil is a great one from 09 shot in a very 80s style. Very low gore IIRC.
posted by activitystory at 10:15 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

J-Horror will probably serve you well. I was scared of the bathroom for weeks after watching Dark Water (avoid the US remake).

The Others is also a very good, and quite scary, old fashioned ghost story.
posted by mymbleth at 10:18 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding The Others! Very good and scary.
posted by lovableiago at 10:30 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Strangers is totally creepy. Especially if you're watching in a rural location.
posted by ZabeLeeZoo at 10:33 AM on October 28, 2014

Response by poster: Love it! Keep'em coming. I'm not opposed to foreign movies either.
posted by Karotz at 10:40 AM on October 28, 2014

Rosemary's Baby (vintage or no vintage, it's a classic for a reason)
Repulsion (ditto)
Kill List
The Ring (the remake is actually superior to the original, IMO. be aware that one of the first really big scares involves a brief shot of a scary dead body, however - I don't know if it qualifies as gory, I don't recall blood or wounds per se, but the body is not in good shape)
Session 9
The Others
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:44 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Triangle, Pontypool, and Session 9 are probably the three most beloved-by-MeFites horror films of the last decade or so.

(Please watch Triangle without reading anything about it first.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:50 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

It is older (1980) but The Changeling belongs in every "scary but not gory" movie list ever.
posted by usonian at 10:51 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Triangle is definitely good - although it's a slow build for the maximum creepiness and less out and out horror. (Seconding the NO SPOILERS requirement for full enjoyment.)
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 11:12 AM on October 28, 2014

Donnie Darko
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:16 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

"Kill List" is pretty brutal. It's great, but be warned it does have some seriously graphic violence.

Adding a voice to the choir of approval for "Triangle," "Session 9," and "Pontypool," although "Pontypool" may be more comedic than what you're looking for.

Leigh Janiak's "Honeymoon" is worth a look. It has some creepy imagery but not too much blood. Peter Strickland's "Berberian Sound Studio" has no blood at all, but uses incredibly detailed sound design to unnerving effect (it's also hugely divisive, seems to be a "desperately love or violently detest" kind of film). Vincenzo Natali's "Haunter" is a really good overlooked film from the last few years, a haunted house story told from the perspective of the ghost of a teenage girl whose family was murdered in the house in the 80s. Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead's "Resolution" is a super creepy slow-building "cabin in the woods" film that covers some similar ground as, er, "The Cabin in the Woods," but it's more serious and actually really creepy.

I know you said "no zombies," but if you only ever watch one zombie movie ever again made after the year 2010, you should make it Jeremy Gardner's "The Battery." It's a really funny and inventive character-driven film about two guys who end up stuck together when the zombie apocalypse happens: one is a bearded weirdo who seems to be enjoying himself, and the other is a more sensitive guy who spends all his time listening to his portable cd player and wishing things would go back to the way they were. There are hardly any zombies in it for most of the running time, and it goes in directions that are entirely unexpected. The lead performances are both great. I saw it in the midst of a severe zombie-film burnout, and I loved it.
posted by rabbitroom at 11:42 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

Nthing "The Others."
posted by shallowcenter at 12:00 PM on October 28, 2014

I watch The Lady in White every halloween. Just ghosty and scary enough for me, but not horror or bloody.
posted by cecic at 12:19 PM on October 28, 2014

Nthing Repulsion, even though it's from the 60s. If you're up for something (very) short and on YouTube, check out Lights Out. It scared the living shit out of me with no gore whatsoever.
posted by holborne at 12:38 PM on October 28, 2014

Is Paranormal Activity excluded under the "first person documentary style" rule? Because god that movie is jump-scary. They kind of go downhill in story quality after the first one, but by the most recent one I had to opt out and let my husband watch alone because my nerves can't take it.

If shaky-cam is your concern, there's very little of that. The cameras are almost always mounted, tripod-ed, or set on a surface.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:44 PM on October 28, 2014

Again, an older movie, but if you have not seen Don't Look Now, do so.

For more modern, I also loved Kill List, but also agree that it is not for the squeamish.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:45 PM on October 28, 2014

On "The Woman In Black," skip the remake and go right for the 1989 TV version if you can find it. And prepared to be scared out of your wits.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 12:56 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Henry Selick's "Coraline".
posted by effluvia at 1:46 PM on October 28, 2014

The Vanishing (the original) still haunts my dreams 25-years later.
posted by wensink at 2:05 PM on October 28, 2014

I quite liked "1408", based on a short story by Stephen King, about a writer (John Cusack) who spends the night in a hotel room that is allegedly haunted.
Here's the trailer.
posted by Petersondub at 2:14 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

The Others, for sure!
posted by misseva at 2:18 PM on October 28, 2014

The Descent
posted by rhizome at 3:40 PM on October 28, 2014

I really loved The Awakening, from 2011. It's a wonderfully creepy ghost story movie about a haunted boys school in England between the world wars.

Or, if you like horror westerns, The Burrowers was a lot of fun.
posted by darchildre at 4:01 PM on October 28, 2014

If you want something set in space: Gravity (the spaceship is failing; we're doomed!) and Alien (the biomorph's eating everyone; we're doomed!) are more scary than creepy, but might work.
posted by sninctown at 4:12 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Frailty is not gory, but it is violent. It's more of a thriller than horror, but in spite of the bad trailer, it's a seriously underrated movie as far as I'm concerned.
posted by cnc at 4:14 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

and Alien (the biomorph's eating everyone; we're doomed!) are more scary than creepy, but might work.

The chestburster scene fails the not-gory test pretty miserably.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:26 PM on October 28, 2014

Just to note: I loved the movie The Orphanage (recommended above), but it has at least two very explicitly gory scenes that I remember, at least one of them of the extreme-special-effects variety (which I could have done without, in an otherwise excellent movie).
posted by hsieu at 5:29 PM on October 28, 2014

Ditto Mothman Prophecies. There's really no gore but it is one of the most atmospherically creepy movies I have ever seen.

Ju-On also pressed many of my personal terrifying buttons. I gather it's been remade in American, but I haven't seen that so can't speak for its quality. Anyway, it is light on plot and doesn't have much of a coherent story, but manages to be quite scary anyway.

I honestly can't remember the gore quotient in Let The Right One In but I don't think it was terribly high. Definitely more of a creepy and psychological horror than gory, anyway.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:46 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Poltergeist still holds up, although there is one pretty gruesome bit (doesn't go for long, though). Worth watching!
posted by h00py at 5:44 AM on October 29, 2014

Cloverfield but it's kind of a blend between alien invasion and horror but similar to Blair Witch Project in that you don't see the aliens
posted by dlwr300 at 6:40 AM on October 29, 2014

Blair Witch and Cloverfield would fail the OP's "no first-person documentary style horror movies" standard, no?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on October 29, 2014

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