I learned the hard way that drinking a steaming cup of coffee while watching modern horror movies is an awful idea. After scalding my hands (and staining my outfit) when the film I was watching flashed a loud, honking truck during an otherwise quiet scene, it dawned on me that I loathe when horror movies use pop-up scares to create fear in the audience. Instead, it’s much more satisfying to watch a horror film that slowly fills you with dread, showing a mastery of the genre without resorting to cheap screams. Thus began my quest to discover genuinely terrifying horror movies with little to no jump scares.
Luckily for other jump-scare haters and me, a database called Where’s the Jump? has an excellent record of films with these cheap pop-up scares and when they happen in the movie. Since the burned-hands incident, this site has become my go-to; it’s helped me come up with this list of horror films worth watching that are very low on the jump-scare scale.
So if you’re sick and tired of spilling popcorn over silly moments that catch you by surprise, say no to jump scares and yes to these bone-chilling films instead.