Horror movies and TV shows regularly use basements as a backdrop for whatever horrifying scene they’re most interested in depicting. There’s a good reason for this: many homeowners don’t go into their basements very often, which may mean they see their basements as a relatively damp, musty part of the home that already feels pretty spooky even without something supernatural happening. Take a look at this list of terrifying basements in horror, then cast your gaze toward the scariest ones.
Stranger Things: 5.0 Basement Evil Score
Right in the middle of the road is Stranger Things. This hit TV show follows a small, unassuming town that suddenly has to deal with a variety of purportedly paranormal happenings. Although the show itself has a variety of extremely terrifying scenes, basements don’t often factor into the terrifying moments. However, the basement is an important part of this show; one of the main characters often uses the basement as a place to hide out and call another character.
The Amityville Horror: 5.8 Basement Evil Score
One of the scariest parts of The Amityville Horror is the fact that the original subjects continue to claim that the story is true. Although some people have cast doubt on the truthfulness of the story, that doesn’t make it any less scary to watch. One of the most terrifying pieces of the original story is the fact that the home itself seemed cursed from the start. There was a tiny room in the basement painted red, which wasn’t in any of the building plans and was hidden behind a storage unit.
A Nightmare On Elm Street: 6.0 Basement Evil Score
There are many horrifying concepts that A Nightmare on Elm Street essentially introduced into the popular conceptualization of the horror genre. The main villain in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger, can only hunt his victims in the world of dreams, but when he kills them in dreams, they die in real life. He calls his dream-based boiler room a Nightmare Factory because it’s where he tortures and kills people.
Psycho: 6.6 Basement Evil Score
Of all the movies on this list, Psycho may have had the most significant impact on the world of cinema as a whole. At the very least, it opened moviegoers’ eyes to the fact that cinema could be a work of art, even cinema that utilized the “lesser” genre of horror. One ultra-horrifying moment in Psycho happens in the basement; the main character goes into Norman Bates’ fruit cellar, where she finds his mother’s mummified corpse.
The Evil: 9.0 Basement Evil Score
Even the idea that a home rests on top of hot sulfur pits can be pretty terrifying, but that’s not where The Evil stops. In fact, it goes much further; when one character opens a trap door into the basement, the movie reveals that the home actually rests on top of a portal to Hell. There’s not much that could be more terrifying than a literal portal to hell, giving The Evil a 9.0 Basement Evil Score.
Get Out: 9.6 Basement Evil Score
In Get Out, the crux of the horror rests on the movie’s ability to introduce common horror tropes, then immediately flip them on their head. The first part of the movie attempts to lure you into a false sense of security. That sense of security becomes incredibly jarred in one of the most terrifying scenes of the movie, where the main character undergoes hypnosis in the basement laboratory, which the homeowners use to transfer consciousness between people.
The Silence of the Lambs: 10.0 Basement Evil Score
The maximum evil on this scale goes to The Silence of the Lambs. This incredibly iconic horror movie has a number of incredible moments, but one of the scariest pieces of the puzzle is the way in which serial killer Buffalo Bill murders his victims. He traps them in a dry well in his basement, where he starves them so it’s easier for him to skin them.