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The Top Ten Scariest Movies Ever

The Top Ten Scariest Movies Ever (photo)

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Each night at midnight something scary happens. We’ve been making sure of that all month long during Indie Screams. Tonight’s feature is Maximum Overdrive. Haunted big rigs? We’re there.

As we wile away the hours waiting for Maximum Overdrive and for Dead Set to start (Monday Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. ET), we’re getting in touch with our inner Type A personality and making lists. We already counted down our top zombie films, but while zombie films are generally gross what with all the limbs falling off and shovels to the head (or lawn mowers in the case of Dead Alive), they don’t usually create lasting psychological damage. While we love Evil Dead 2, it’s no Jaws. We’re looking for the movies that make you think twice before walking up a certain flight of stairs, dipping toes into the water, or changing addresses. So today we’re making a list and checking it twice of the scariest movies ever. Disagree with out choices? Tell us in the comments.

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When a demon possesses a little girl, an exorcism is her mother’s only hope. The Exorcist has been freaking the heck out of people since its release in 1973.

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A perfect couple in the quintessential New York apartment eagerly await the arrival of their first baby. Until they realize something is off. Namely, that the baby is the spawn of the devil. Seems the realtor forgot to mention the satanic cult living next door. Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby is a creepy masterpiece.

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The original Dutch version of The Vanishing is a haunting film that will make sure you keep eyes on your loved ones at all gas stations and rest stops.

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When George C. Scott moves into a mansion on the outskirts of Seattle he gets a lot more than peace, quiet, rain, and double nonfat cappuccinos. Instead he moves into one of the most unsettling ghost stories ever in The Changeling. Gold star performance by an inanimate object goes to the wheelchair in the attic.

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From “Redrum” to those ghastly little girls to “All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy” to almost every scene with Jack Nicholson in it there are so many frightening moments in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining we don’t know where to start.

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Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, hell is a lot worse than Dante lead us to believe. As IFC’s Will Weinand said, “You get stuck in eternal torment just for being curious. And the Cenobites don’t just destroy your body, they torture your soul for eternity.” Yep, that sounds terrifying.

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When Ridley Scott commissioned H.R. Giger to create an alien the resulting xenomorph was unlike anything else in sci fi horror films. Alien took the fear of the unknown and made it ten times worse by putting a team of scientists in outer space facing down a creature that stalks you, uses you as an incubator, and then hunts you. Also, androids, an evil mega-corporation, and death by magazine. Death by magazine, people!

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John Carpenter’s 1978 low budget tour de fear, Halloween is one of the most widely imitated horror films of all time. And for good reason, it is completely terrifying.

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Steven Spielberg’s Jaws has been turning happy swimmers into frightened landlubbers since 1975.

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Guillermo Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone is an evocative tale of revenge set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War in an always creepy abandoned school. The ghosts are serious and so is the fear.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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