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The Maxim Horror Movie Awards

If the SAG Awards don’t make you wanna barf, maybe this will. Feast your eyes on the 30 scariest, freakiest, most effed-up flicks ever made, then run to your Netflix account and press play. (Spoiler alert: Get ready for zombies, rolling heads, and deeply unsettling uses of household items.)

 
1. Scariest Bump In the Night: High Tension (2003)
After watching Alexandre Aja’s horror debut, you’ll be hoping that 2 a.m. thud wasn’t the sound of your dad’s head hitting the floor. Aja’s gruesome decapitation scene may just be the most startling separation orchestrated by a Frenchman since Tony Parker’s split with Eva Longoria.
 
2. Scariest Take On the Housing Market: Dream Home (2010)
In this gleefully gory Hong Kong slasher that satirizes the property bubble, a woman obsessed with owning the perfect condo drives the price down by butchering others in the building. If you think real estate sounds boring, don’t worry: Two audience members vomited at the premiere.
 
3. Scariest Dinner Since Meeting Your Girlfriend’s Parents: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
When Sally is forced to sit down for supper with a dysfunctional cannibal family that’s just murdered her friends, the poor girl can’t make a dent in her plate of (human) sausages. Apologies to Jessica Biel’s overflowing tank top in the remake—the original wins.
 
4. Scariest Chick Flick: The Descent (2005) 
A film about six wom­en embarking on a caving adventure together sounds about as exciting as Crossroads, until you realize the ladies are being hunted by flesh-hungry humanoids.
 
5. Scariest Use of a Rusty Stapler: The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)
A mute security guard who’s obsessed with the orig­inal Human Centipede uses a staple gun, knives, crowbars, and duct tape to join his 12 hostages’ asses to each other’s mouths, creating one disgustingly long digestive tract. Hope no one had Indian for dinner. 
 
6. Scariest Mirror Dance: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Perhaps horror filmdom’s all-time creepiest shimmy happens when girl-suit-loving serial killer Buffalo Bill opens his robe to show off nipple rings and a carefully tucked mangina while writhing to Q Lazzarus’ “Goodbye Horses.” And you thought your “home alone” dance to Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” was freaky!
 
7. Scariest Two Seconds Ever: Mulholland Dr. (2001)
This isn’t even technically a horror movie, but you’ll still shit your pants when you see what’s behind the diner’s trash bins. 
 
8. Scariest Elijah Wood Performance: Maniac (2013) 

Sure, his hobbit feet were kind of unsettling, and he was a complete creep in Sin City, but his role in this horror remake will have you clinging to your scalp.
 
9. Scariest Mind-Bender: Triangle (2009)
Without giving too much away, it’s set on a boat, people die, and there are at least five versions of the gorgeous Melissa George running around at any given time. As Gene Shalit might say, “Don’t try to see Triangle; just see it!”
 
10. Scariest Use of a Beauty Aid: Sleepaway Camp (1983)
This schlocky ’80s cut-’em-up has a pedophile cook being scalded to death, a swarm of bees in the boys’ bathroom, and a girl getting impaled “down there” with a red-hot curling iron—just a few deadly camp hijinks. Hello, Muddah, hello, Fadduh: A mystery killer just hacked up your daughter!
 
11. Scariest Lady-Parts: Teeth (2007)
Fifteen years after Sharon Stone’s sexy Basic Instinct scene, something so disturbing came along that we now flinch every time a pair of legs are uncrossed on-screen.
 
12. Scariest Sort-Of Remake: Evil Dead (2013) 
It may be the first film in the franchise not to be directed by Sam Raimi, but this gore-fest will still make you jump out of your seat and give you a reason to opt out of your cousin’s stripperless cabin-in-the-woods bachelor party.
 
13. Scariest Way to Test Your Own Sanity: A Serbian Film (2010)
If you make it through this film about a porn star who is conned into making a snuff film, complete with necro­philia and “newborn porn,” it may be time to see a shrink. 
 
14. Scariest Take On Takeout: Dumplings (2004)
An aging actress is rejuvenated by a chef’s special dumplings, which are stuffed with fetuses from a nearby abortion clinic. We’re ordering Mexican tonight.
 
15. Scariest Child Murderer: Gage in Pet Sematary (1989)
There are a ton of creepy kids in horror movies, but this scalpel-wielding toddler is the worst because he looks just like your adorable nephew. Bring candy next time you visit!
16. Scariest Social Commentary: Brain Damage (1988)
A metaphor for drug addiction is presented in the form of a penis-shaped, brain-eating blob named Aylmer that will give you a feeling of euphoria in exchange for finding him victims. Disclaimer: You don’t want Aylmer around if you’re about to receive a blow job.
 
17. Scariest Oral Extraction: The Last House on the Left (1972)
Wince alert! In Wes Craven’s debut, a woman bites off a rapist’s penis as revenge for brutally assaulting her daughter. It’s just one of the ultra-violent scenes that got this ugly exploitation flick banned for some time overseas. 
 
18. Scariest Conspiracy Theories: Room 237 (2012)
In this doc obsessives of The Shining try to convince you that the movie’s hidden message is about faking the Apollo moon landing, or that it’s a metaphor for Native American oppression. Listen to these nutjobs for too long and you may pull a “Here’s Johnny!”
 
19. Scariest Question: Basket Case (1982)
When Duane shows up to a gritty N.Y.C. hotel holding a wicker basket, it’s only a matter of time before someone looks inside. Surprise! It’s his blob of a Siamese twin brother, Belial, who has a habit of mauling his nosy victims into mangled corpses. Not the best picnic companion. 
 
20. Scariest Fictional Episode of DatelineThe Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
The documentary-style film follows detectives as they try to piece together the heinous crimes depicted on more than 800 videotapes they discover during a house raid.
 
21. Scariest Rejected Pitches for Martha Stewart Living’s Crafts Issue: Pieces (1982)
Before Buffalo Bill was wearing his woman suit, there was Timmy and his jigsaw puzzle made of sawed-off women’s body parts. 
 
22. Scariest First Date: The Audition (1999)

A widower auditions prospective wives and finds a timid ex-ballerina. But once she starts removing his limbs, he realizes she may not be his dream girl after all. Next time, try Match.com?
 
23. Scariest Pregnancy Scare: Inside (2007)
This French home-invasion thriller about a lady who is terrorized by a scissors-wielding woman desperate to steal her unborn baby will make you squirm more than sitting through What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
 
24. Scariest Accidental Rental: Nekromantik (1987)
Maybe you thought your date would be impressed when you rented what you presumed was an artsy German love story…and it kind of is, except that one of the figures in the love triangle is a corpse.
 
25. Scariest Torture Scenes: Ichi the Killer (2001) 
This Japanese movie contains enough torment and agony in the form of brutal beatings, skewers, and nipple clamps to make the Saw traps look like a La-Z-Boy.
 
26. Scariest ’90s Cleavage: I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
The heaving bosoms of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar earned this slasher hit the nickname I Know What Your Breasts Did Last Summer, which of course only made us want to see it more. Even spookier than the movie’s meat-hook-wielding killer? The eerie demise of costar Freddie Prinze Jr.’s career. 
 
27. Scariest Opening Scene: Scream (1996)
In 12 minutes a random phone call about scary movies leaves Drew Barrymore hanging by her entrails. This is why we never answer blocked calls.
 
28. Scariest Serial Killer: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) 
Loosely based on real-life murderer Henry Lee Lucas, this movie is even more disturbing than seeing Charlize Theron uglified in Monster.
 
29. Scariest Movie You Expected to Be Crap: Insidious (2011)
It has all the clichés of creepy kids, paranormal activity, and eerie voices, but those elements actually come together in one of the jumpiest horror flicks of the past few years.  
 
30. Scariest Argument for Using a Pen Name: Misery (1990)
It’s not just because we get insecure when you write us hurtful letters. But why have fans if they’re just going to take a sledgehammer to your ankles to hold you hostage?

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