1. The Descent (2005)

Shauna McDonald as Sarah in The Descent

Another British horror film, The Descent is often cited as one of the scariest and most disturbing films of all time. Following a group of six women who enter a cave system to go spelunking only to discover bloodthirsty humanoid creatures in the dark, The Descent is a deeply scary film. What’s more, its scares are the result of excellent horror storytelling, rather than relying purely on jump scares and tired tropes.

The Descent‘s monsters are potentially cinema’s most frightening, particularly as they’re so sparingly used. The Descent‘s use of its cave setting is second to none, as both light and space are so scarce in the caves that the film is inherently claustrophobic and profoundly unsettling. It plays on the age-old fear of something lurking in the dark, as well as on the idea of becoming lost and trapped, and it taps into something decidedly primal in its pursuit of terror.

The Descent deserves to be listed among the greatest horror movies ever made, and therefore its place at the top of this list is unquestionable. It’s a movie so scary that to simply call it a horror movie doesn’t do it justice: it’s nothing less than a journey into the most terrifying fabrications of human imagination. The Descent is by far the best and most scary horror movie of the ’00s, without question.


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