A creepy basement can sometimes feel like such a tired old horror movie cliché that it can be nearly unbearable at times. However, there are movies that take these tired old clichés and turn them into something truly phenomenal. Although user-generated reviews won’t always indicate whether or not you’ll like a movie, they can be a useful indication. Take a look at this list of horror movies with terrifying basements, then check out the highest-rated horror movies with creepy basements on IMDB that take the tired basement cliché and turn it into something incredible.
Scariest Basements and Crawl Spaces in Movies & TV Created By: OhioBasementAuthority
5: Get Out – 7.7 IMDB
First up is the 2017 smash hit Get Out. This movie actually utilizes horror movie tropes in a very deliberate way. Rather than using them to play into the trope, Get Out subverts many horror movie tropes, including many of those having to do with race. A truly haunting scene occurs when Chris undergoes hypnosis in the basement and goes to Sunken Place.
4: Misery – 7.8 IMDB
Next is Misery, the successful 1990 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. This movie gets its terror largely from the fact that it stars two individuals in the middle of nowhere out in the woods. The movie builds on this relationship between these two people, refusing to budge even when horrifying things start to happen. The damp, rat-infested cellar is one thing that allows kidnapper Annie Wilkes to keep her captive from escaping.
3: The Exorcist – 8.0 IMDB
One of the most interesting and most lasting things about The Exorcist is the fact that the movie really paved the way for supernatural horror. Though it’s one of the most popular horror subgenres now, supernatural horror and the “demonic possession” idea was new enough that The Exorcist absolutely terrified a number of the people who went to see it on the first night. In the events leading up to the climax of the film, 12-year-old Regan uses a Ouija board to contact the demon that plagues the rest of the movie.
2: Psycho – 8.5 IMDB
In another great indication of a movie that truly changed cinema as we know it today, Psycho is the runner up. This was the first movie to show a toilet flushing on screen, as well as one of the first to show the level of violence that it did. That led to a different concept surrounding the idea of horror movies, as well as the idea of movies themselves. An especially iconic scene happens in the fruit cellar, where the main character finds the mummified corpse of Norman Bates’ mother.
Tied for First: Parasite – 8.6 IMDB
The first place is a tie between two movies. The first movie is Parasite, which was the first foreign-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. This movie looks at a horrifying situation through the lens of the societal factors that set up the scene. The basement apartment, or banjiha, is an element of the class structure the Kim family has to struggle through in their day-to-day life.
Tied for First: The Silence of the Lambs: 8.6 IMDB
The second movie tied for first place is The Silence of the Lambs. The movie’s appeal hasn’t waned since its first release in 1991, and audiences have actually constantly loved going back for more with the movie’s terrifying premise and incredible conclusion. The second serial killer in the movie, Buffalo Bill, has a dry well in his basement. Here, he captures women and starves them before he skins them.
Of course, just because lots of people on IMDB liked a movie doesn’t necessarily mean you will as well. Likewise, just because lots of people hated a movie doesn’t mean you will, either; plenty of initially-panned movies have become cult classics over the years. However, you might still want to utilize IMDB ratings to get an idea of which movies you might love. Consider all these highly rated movies next time you’re interested in a horror movie.