35 Horror Films Ranked From "Oh Yeah I'd Survive That" To "I'm Dead Instantly"

Spooky season is upon us! And while some of you are celebrating with Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles and carving jack-o'-lanterns, I will be honoring the Devil's holiday by watching people get mutilated in horror films.

Miramax / Via giphy.com

Because what is October without a few dead bodies on your TV screen?

Of course, half the fun of watching a horror movie is shouting advice to the (often dumb) characters on the screen (which they of course will not listen to). This experience inevitably leads to me saying, "I would be able to survive a horror movie so easily," which is false because I am weak.

Miramax / Via giphy.com

SO, I thought it would be fun to rank a bunch of my favorite classic (or soon to be classic) horror films by how likely I would be to survive until the film's credit sequences.

A24 / Via giphy.com

Try not to act too excited, Toni.

For reference, this is me. I write about movies for BuzzFeed, take selfies in the office bathroom, listen to Lady Gaga, run marathons, drink too much iced coffee, and hate dogs.

A few quick rules to before we get stabbed...sorry, I mean started.

Paramount Pictures / Via giphy.com

1. With one notable exception, I'm only factoring in original films, so for Halloween, I'm discussing how likely I would be to survive the 1978 film and not its many sequels and reboots.

2. I ranked these by how likely I'd be to survive the entire film, not how long in the film I'd survive.

3. This list is pure lunacy, so try not to take it too seriously.

Let's begin!

35.The Conjuring (2013)

Vera Farmiga shouts next to someone with a sheet over their head

We would all survive The Conjuring. Mostly because everyone survives The Conjuring. According to my new favorite website List of Deaths Wiki, the only deaths here are one dog, eight pigeons, and (debatably) an already dead woman being banished back to hell. While the series certainly gets bloodier, the original installment, which follows a pair of demonologists sent to investigate a haunted house, leaves the entire cast intact. Congratulations. We've all moved on to round two.

Michael Tackett/Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

34.Candyman (1992)

Tony Todd has bees coming out of his mouth

Here's another incredibly easy film to survive. You summon the Candyman to murder you if you say his name five times in front of a mirror. I am not messing around with this kind of witchcraft mumbo jumbo. I'm not going to be like, "Oh this isn't real. It's a legend." NOPE. We are just not going to say "Candyman" in front of that mirror, and I can guarantee that I would never accidentally do such a weird task, so I'm living through this easy peasy.

Tristar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

33.The Ring (2002)

Daveigh Chase sits in a chair with long hair

The Ring has got the same basic premise as Candyman, only instead of summoning a hook-handed, bumble bee man by saying his name, you summon a creepy long-haired girl by watching a cursed VHS tape. Again. If you tell me it's cursed, then I'm not watching it. There are plenty of non-cursed VHS tapes at my disposal, such as my orange Nickelodeon copy of Harriet the Spy. This is one slot higher because I could accidentally watch this more easily than I could do the Candyman ritual.

DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

32.Jaws (1975)

A shark jumps out of the water at Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw

Oh, there's a giant-ass shark eating people in the ocean? Yeah, no thank you — I'll just stay on the beach. As long as I wasn't the first victim of the shark attack (and that shark would have to be swimming in SHALLOW water because I'm not going out far anyway), I would be perfectly fine. Just chill at the local ice cream shop, read a book on the sand, or go take a picture of a local lighthouse. Your vacation is still lovely, and you aren't maimed.

Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

31.The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Heather Donahue cries into the camera

A lot of horror movies follow characters who are just desperately in a search of trouble. Like, why are you going on a camping trip into the woods to find an evil witch spirit that has killed dozens of people? Seems ill advised. I'd be SLIGHTLY more likely to wander into this forest than into the shark-infested Atlantic Ocean, but not by much. I feel confident I would live through this one too.

Artisan Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection

30.Barbarian (2022)

Georgina Campbell walks down a tunnel

The newest entry on our list is a TERRIFYING film that I screamed multiple times during while watching in the theater. However, that being said, if I showed up at my Airbnb and there was a strange man already staying there, I would not under any circumstances sleep there anyway. And then I sure as hell would not venture down into a series of tunnels in the basement of said Airbnb. At least Tess isn't searching for trouble here; she just stumbled into it, but still. Detroit is full of hotels. I don't care how many "conventions are in town," there is a spot in a Holiday Inn Express available somewhere in the greater metro area that I would have driven to in my fully operational SUV.

Currently in theaters. Buy tickets at Cinemark or Fandango.

20th Century Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

29.Signs (2002)

Rory Culkin, Mel Gibson, Abigail Breslin, and Joaquin Phoenix look at a crop circle in a field of corn

OK, Signs is the first film on the list where I think I'd be mildly in danger. The aliens arrive, and I have no control of that. They can't be avoided. However, as soon as people start to realize that the aliens die upon contact with water, I'd be driving to the beach, turning on the sprinklers, swimming in a pool, and buying every Super Soaker at Walmart. I feel confident that this one alien invasion I would survive.

/ ©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

28.Insidious (2010)

A man with paint on him looks out from behind Patrick Wilson

OK, so Insidious is sort of a complicated movie that involves demons from an astral plane possessing humans in the real world. According to our fave List of Deaths Wiki, only one person dies here, strangled by Patrick Wilson's Josh while he's possessed. There's a lot of different ways this could shake out, especially since you have to go into the astral plane in order to save someone who is possessed, but at least in the original, the death rate is pretty low. There's no surefire way to survive Insidious and that is a little unnerving, but I'd give myself good odds.

FilmDistrict/Courtesy Everett Collection

27.The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall crouch on the floor

Spending the winter in a giant hotel alone writing does sound like a dream to me, so I would 100% sign up for The Shining's premise. I love snow so much! And while agreeing to winter in the Overlook Hotel would spell doom for me, I feel confident that I could escape Jack Torrance and his axe. I mean if shrieking, stumbling Wendy and a literal child can manage to get away, then I think I could as well. As far as homicidal madmen go, this is the least of my worries.

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

26.Midsommar (2019)

Florence Pugh sobs with a bunch of other women

I understand that this might be delusional, but I think if I showed up to this Swedish vacation (which I would 100% do), I would survive, because I would win the May Queen contest. I'm Swedish. I would not pee on a sacred log. I would not cheat on my girlfriend with old women. I am good at dancing. I love a spectacle. Yes, the percentage of surviving through the end of Midsommar is low, but I think this is a movie I could final girl it in. It's a lot of delusion and psychological warfare, and also Sweden is progressive, so I feel like they'd love a gay flower-crown wearer.

A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

25.Us (2019)

Lupita Nyong'o holds a pair of gold scissors

The question of Us is "Could I beat a scissor-wielding version of myself in a fight?" I am a weak person, and I think in the shock of meeting my doppelgänger, I would probably be swiftly killed. That being said, I would stand a better chance of beating myself in a fight than some of the axe-murderers coming later on this list. I'm also crafty, and the doppelgängers are kind of dumb, so I think that if I could survive the initial attack, I'd be able to outsmart Matthew 2.0 and get the upper hand.

Claudette Barius/Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

24.Paranormal Activity (2007)

Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat lay in a bed

Only one kill in this indie horror film, but it is a demonically possessed wife murdering her husband. So while physically, one antagonist doesn't sound that insurmountable (especially given the films to come on this list), I think I'd have a hard time a) just abandoning the demon-possessed LOML and/or b) murdering them. My survival instinct is not that strong. I think we've now crossed into movies I'd be more likely than not to die during.

Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

23.Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Chase Sui Wonders, and Rachel Sennott stand in a corner

Alice (Rachel Sennott) in this movie is actually me. I would wear glow sticks. I have a podcast. I do talk about astrology. Even though you can say, "Well, there isn't actually a serial killer in this film, so if you were just halfway smart, you would survive," I realize that I would easily be swept up in the chaos and would probably end up shouting about how I'm the "smartest and funniest friend" before being shot. If only I had better cleavage.

Currently in theaters. Buy tickets at Cinemark or Fandango.

Erik Chakeen/A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

22.Get Out (2017)

Daniel Kaluuya crying

As a very white person, I recognize that should I be in this film, I would most definitely be a member of the WASP-y Armitage clan (think gay Allison Williams) who are kidnapping Black people and transferring the minds of their old white cronies into the new young Black bodies. (YIKES to Get Out me.) There is, however, not a chance in hell I could ever defeat Daniel Kaluuya in a fight though, so I think I'd probably be dispatched with via deer antlers. For the best honestly.

Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

21.Scream (1996)

Drew Barrymore screams on the phone

OK, my horror-loving readers, we have now reached the serial killer stage of the list. The next eight entries are all homicidal sociopaths on the loose, slashing their way through the films' casts. I would most likely die in all of these movies, but I'm ranking them based on the killer's prowess. Coming up last is Ghostface in the original Scream, who turned out to be a pair of high school boys. While sadistic, they are also klutzy and are almost caught/killed by pretty inept classmates throughout the film. I also think I'd do OK at the movie trivia questions in the phone call.

Dimension Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

20.Child's Play (1988)

Chucky doll stands over Alex Vincent

So Chucky is a doll that is possessed by the soul of a serial killer. That is scary. However, it is still a doll. So like, I feel like I'd stand a decent chance at overpowering him, provided I lived long enough to figure out that it was a doll doing the murdering. I once saw my roommate decapitate a teddy bear she was convinced contained a recording device (it did not, and that's a whole other story). But it was pretty effortless, so I'm going to say that I could maybe kill this doll.

United Artists/Courtesy Everett Collection

19.Psycho (1960)

Janet Leigh stands in the shower

Much of the reason Norman Bates is so terrifying is that he murders Marion (Janet Leigh) at her most vulnerable and unexpected moment: while she's in the shower. Norman, as a killer, relies heavily on the art of surprise because he isn't actually that strong of a person (not to mention he's got a whole costume to contend with as well). If I could somehow escape the bathroom stabbing, I think I'd have an OK shot at either 1) just jumping in my car and escaping or 2) overpowering and killing Norman. Slotting him in one spot above Chucky.

Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

18.Black Christmas (1974)

Olivia Hussey and Keir Dullea wait near a Christmas tree

The trouble with ranking Black Christmas is that the killer, "Billy," is never caught or identified in the original, and the fate of our final girl, Jess, is left ambiguous. Does anyone survive this film? Hard to say. While the killer does wreak havoc on a whole house of sorority girls, I think there is the potential to escape here, and the mysterious killer does not seem to be superhumanly strong by any means. The chance of death is definitely high, but I've seen worse.

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

17.Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

Jason stands wearing his hockey mask

This is the only time on this list that I'm not using the OG film in a franchise, and that is because the iconic Jason Voorhees with his hockey mask does not actually appear until the third Friday the 13th film. In the original, his mother is the killer, and in the second he just wears a bag over his head. That being said, I think this is a perfect midpoint on the list because Jason is a very standard serial killer without many bells and whistles. He is terrifying, but he is also just a person who likes murder. Would I survive this cabin-in-the-woods plot? Most likely no, but I'd have a fighting chance to escape into the trees and die of starvation or hypothermia a few days later.

Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

16.Halloween (1978)

Jamie Lee Curtis chased by Michael Myers

Halloween's Michael Myers is very similar to Jason, down to the creepy mask, but he's just a little more indestructible and a little more superhumanly strong. Michael is also a bit obsessive in tracking down specific people, so he's harder to shake than Jason. I'm a smidge more likely to die.

Compass International Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

15.The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Gunnar Hansen raises a chainsaw over his head

Leatherface, the twisted, bloodthirsty killer at the heart of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, gets a bump over Michael and Jason on this list primarily because he has several accomplices (at least in the original). One killer is hard enough to dodge, but when it is a whole family of sickos, your chance of survival starts to dip. I'd like to think I am smart enough to avoid hitchhikers and keep my car's gas tank full, but those are simple mistakes to make. I don't know if the killer being a cannibal makes it any more or less likely for you to escape, but it certainly bumps Leatherface up on the creepiness charts a bit.

Bryanston Distributing Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

14.The Omen (1976)

Harvey Stephens scratches Lee Remick

Our last serial killer in this serial killer grouping is The Omen's Damien, who as it turns out is literally the antichrist. While physically perhaps not as powerful as Michael or Leatherface, he has some mind control powers that the other human murderers don't possess. Yes, if you're going to face off with the devil, it would be great if he was a child, but I'd prefer to wage war with a human being rather than the lord of the underworld.

20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

13.The Birds (1963)

Tippi Hedren is attacked by a bird

We've reached our top echelon of danger. Gone are the lone serial killers and weak-ass spirits. From here on out, the chances of survival are slim to none as we are beset upon by hoards of murderous beings (or else extremely powerful solo acts). Even though I would for sure die in each of these films, we are going to look for the sliiiiiiiiightest possibility of survival and rank by that.

The killers in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds are in fact the titular birds. While they only kill four people in the film (according to my beloved List of Deaths Wiki), they would be very hard to escape given their sheer population size. Yes, I suppose I could just try and wait it out in some kind of brick room, but that feels like a momentary reprieve. Perhaps I could drive away quickly? How fast can birds fly? Based on the fact they are sort of dumb creatures and not intelligent humans/spirits; however, I think there could be an out.

Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

12.Hereditary (2018)

Toni Collette looks at a burning human in her living room

Hereditary is perhaps my favorite horror film of all time, and I am still PISSED OFF that Toni Collette didn't get an Oscar nomination for it. The survival rate here is tricky because I would NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES be using weird seance/witchcraft tactics to try to converse with my beheaded daughter. So in some ways, I might get off without much trouble. That being said, the daughter was hosting a demon king inside her, and a whole slew of (nudist?) cult members were stalking the family (including the grandma and her bestie), so something bad was bound to happen eventually. While I don't see myself whispering the summoning charm late at night, I do think I could be the dad who catches fire. It's difficult to evade both a demon king and his hoard of wackadoo cronies.

A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

11.Suspiria (1977)

Eva Axen hangs with fake blood on her face

Rather than the cult and one evil spirit of Hereditary, the heroine of the original Suspiria (I can't get into the monstrosity that was the remake) faces off against a whole coven of witches. The German witches utilize psychological warfare, a dance academy full of secret passages and booby traps, and plain ol' magic to kill off plenty of pupils. While the coven is intimidating, I think there's definitely the potential to just up and leave the school, which is why this doesn't crack the top 10. That being said, I'm not confident I would catch onto the fact that murders were taking place before finding myself in a pit of barbed wire.

Produzioni Atlas Consorziate/Courtesy Everett Collection

10.Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Zombies cross a field

You knew zombies were coming at some point on this list, and they're finally here. Depending on the film, the potency of an individual zombie varies greatly, but in most cases, it is the quantity that is scarier than the quality. The modern zombie was popularized in Night of the Living Dead, and the undead featured here are pretty dumb and pretty slow. One on one, I think I could kill them all day, but as a swarm, they are much more dangerous. While my strategy with Suspiria is to run, my strategy here would be to hunker down. I'd say I could easily survive a month in my apartment without leaving, and the thing no one talks about with zombies is that they are actively decomposing. So six months after the zombie apocalypse, many of them are going to be immobile from self-sustained leg injuries. Like, I'm probably dead in the initial pandemic, BUT if I can just hide for a while, I think I can outlast the dumb things.

Continental Distributing/Courtesy Everett Collection

9.Cloverfield (2008)

Michael Stahl-David and Odette Yustman look into a camera

Surviving Cloverfield is mostly dumb luck as the Godzilla-like monster just lays waste to Manhattan as a whole. If my only task was to escape the island, I think I'd have a 50/50 chance at survival, because I'm a pretty strong swimmer and could probably make it to Jersey. (Don't quote me on this. I don't understand water currents and such.) But if I had to rescue my girlfriend by crawling through a subway infested with mini-monsters that could bite me and cause me to explode, then I'd 100% be dead. That averages out to like a 90% chance of death.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

8.The Purge (2013)

Two people with masks wait outside a door

So The Purge is basically a zombie movie, except the zombies are smarter and faster. BUT the plus side is that they're only actively murderous for 12 hours. As with Cloverfield, in an abstract sense, I think I'd be OK because I'd just hide well. Taking the events of the original film into consideration, however, I would definitely die. A whole gang breaks into my house and wants to kill me? Yep. Not making it out of that. These humans are a bit more strategic than the Cloverfield monsters though, so I'm ranking it higher.

I'd also like to take this opportunity, apropos of nothing, to remember when Marisa Tomei was in The First Purge and couldn't even be bothered with a single wardrobe change. A queen.

Daniel McFadden/Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

7.It (2017)

Bill Skarsgard dressed as a clown holding a red balloon

Unlike the serial killers listed earlier, who were more or less human with human-level powers (give or take the spirit of a serial killer in a doll), Pennywise from Stephen King's It has a whole arsenal of demonic tricks and traps he employs. Shapeshifting, gobbling on kids with his shark-like teeth, and turning into a massive spider are just a few of his special skills. Especially as a child, I would be easy fodder for Pennywise. I would have crawled into that sewer for a funnel cake. For a Little Caesar's pizza. For a basket of Olive Garden breadsticks. For anything smothered in ranch dressing. And then as a gay adult, I would have got chomped on in that opening scene of It Chapter Two. Really no hope.

Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

6.A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A clawed hand reaches up out of a tub for Heather Langenkamp

At least Pennywise is a killing people while they are fully alert. Freddy Krueger, the sweater-wearing, blade-handed murderer with a melted face at the heart of A Nightmare on Elm Street, slices up his victims from within their dreams. It's impossibly difficult to fend off a dream stalker. Plenty of people try to avoid sleep or fight him from within their dreams, but the results (at least in this first installment) are inconclusive. And the whole "he only preys on people who fear him" logic (which doesn't really even work) would not be helpful to me because Freddy is TERRIFYING. He shows up in my dream, and I don't care how many therapy sessions I've gone through — I'm shrieking and running around that boiler room. Consider me sliced and diced.

New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

5.Train to Busan (2016)

Gong Yoo looks over his shoulder while covered in blood

So basically everything I said about Night of the Living Dead is at play here, PLUS these South Korean zombies are a) faster and b) on a train with me. My "be a hermit for a year until their legs decompose" strategy wouldn't fare nearly as well here because according to the plot of Train to Busan, I'm required to train hop across the zombie-infested nation. These zombies are harder to kill, and you're telling me I've got to fight my way through them. Nope. Nope. Nope. I'm just gonna crawl down the sewer, let Pennywise eat me, and be done with it.

Well Go USA Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection

4.A Quiet Place (2018)

Emily Blunt motions for Millicent Simmonds to stay quiet

If the Busan zombies weren't bad enough, the bloodthirsty aliens from A Quiet Place are not only extremely fast but also have supersonic hearing. They descend out of nowhere, obliterate the populace, and then crisscross the countryside hell-bent on chomping up those few still alive. The family in A Quiet Place have (quite unrealistically) survived through a number of clever maneuvers to remove all noise from their life, but I am too clumsy to survive more than a week without running into something and swearing loudly. Also, not a chance in hell I'd figure out the weird radio frequency/hearing aid/supersonic speaker thing that ends up killing the creatures. Plus, I sneeze whenever I brush my teeth, and I refuse to live with dirty teeth. I'd rather be eaten.

Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

3.Saw (2004)

Cary Elwes reaches for a phone while on the floor

A fun fact that I should have perhaps mentioned earlier: Seeing blood makes me lightheaded, and I will pass out. So the elaborate, gory obstacle courses, party games, and brain teasers that Jigsaw puts his victims through would be a nonstarter for me. Two seconds into trying to saw off my leg, I'd pass out and die. Dig a key out of my boyfriend's intestines? I'm passing out. Crawl through barbed wire? I'm passing out. It's really not even a question of courage or resoluteness (which I also don't have). It's simply that I would pass out in every single one of these gruesome traps, and that would be the end of me. Honestly, Jigsaw is smart enough to know this though, and perhaps wouldn't pick me simply because I'd be extremely boring to watch. So maybe that's my survival method here.

Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

2.Alien (1979)

Sigourney Weaver in space gear

It is the DARKEST timeline if I end up in outer space. Nothing good happens out there. My desire to travel any higher than an airplane is in the negative numbers. Couple that with a predatory, intelligent alien life form trapped on the ship with me? Death. There's no place to hide. There's no place to run. The only option is to fight, and I am not a fighter (unless I am defending Artpop by Lady Gaga). I would have died in plenty of these movies, but none of those situations seem quite as stressful as on Nostromo at the hands (and mouth) of a xenomorph.

20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

1.Final Destination (2000)

Devon Sawa wears an oxygen mask on a plane

You can't cheat death. That's the premise of Final Destination. You can avoid it briefly. You can move yourself down the kill list. You can even survive to the end of your film (as several characters from this first installment do), but you always die in the end (and usually in a particularly gruesome way). With one tenuous exception, everyone in the franchise has died. Sure birds, Pennywise, zombies, Michael Myers, Norman Bates, and white people are deadly, but there is nothing deadlier than death itself. RIP to me.

New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection