These Films As Scary As 'The Exorcist' Will Give You So Many Nightmares

The new movie Hereditary, in theaters now, is being called the new Exorcist. That may be because Hereditary is a downright terrifying movie, but there are a good number of past horror movies that have been compared with The Exorcist in terms of scariness as well. That's not to say that Hereditary isn't actually the new Exorcist, because it really could be the scariest movie of 2018. In fact, it might even prove to be the scariest film, well, ever — unless you believe that title truly belongs to The Exorcist.

Hereditary and The Exorcist have more in common than their level of scariness, however. First of all, they both involve a demonic possession — and don't worry because that doesn't really give anything away from Hereditary. Not only do The Exorcist and Hereditary share similar scary events, they also share the fact that they came out during shaky political times. In a Chicago Tribune column about The Exorcist's seismic effect, writer Michael Phillips said, "Opening a few months before Nixon’s resignation, The Exorcist felt like every malignant thought and half-processed rant millions of disillusioned Americans had about a craven, dishonest president on the way out." Whether or not Hereditary has a similar relation to today's uncertain political landscape is up to you to decide, but it's hard not to note that the two movies could have more similarities than just their uses horror motifs.

Hereditary isn't the only horror film that's been compared to The Exorcist, though. Here are nine others that've gotten the honor as well — just be prepared to be terrified if you give them a watch.


'The Shining'

Due to its creepy twin little girls and hallways filled with blood, The Shining is often put in competition with The Exorcist as the scariest movie ever.



The adaptation of Stephen King's terrifying clown story broke the horror movie box office record in 2017, according to the Chicago Tribune. The record for top spot had previously been held by The Exorcist. That drew plenty of comparisons between the two movies, but most agreed that The Exorcist still remained more impactful.


'The Babadook'

The Exorcist's Oscar-winning director, William Friedkin, declared that The Babadook was more terrifying than anything he'd ever seen, The Guardian reports. Let the comparisons commence.


'Rosemary's Baby'

As important as The Exorcist has been in shaping horror movies, many believe that Rosemary's Baby is just as influential and as scary.


'The Conjuring'

The Conjuring features an exorcism, as well as many other events borrowed from other horror movies, so it was only natural that the movie would be called a new Exorcist.



Oftentimes, when people talk about the scariest horror movies ever, both The Exorcist and Psycho top the list. The latter came out even before The Exorcist and remains a chart-topper today.


'The Possession'

Like The Conjuring, The Possession also features an exorcism, so it was naturally compared to Friedkin's masterpiece for both scariness and theme.


'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre'

Texas Chain Saw Massacre came out just one year after The Exorcist, and it didn't have quite the same effect that the latter did at the time. But over the years, many have labeled it as being scarier than its predecessor.



Time and time again, Alien has topped the lists for the most-terrifying horror movies.

Considering that The Exoricist is often lauded as the most terrifying movie of all time, you could probably consider this list a roundup of all the scariest horror movies you could possibly watch.