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50 Horror Movies Ranked by How Much They’re Going to Traumatize My Cousins When I Babysit

As an American student, I’m unable to afford the finer things in life like housing and food, so I still live at home. You can’t beat the price! Unfortunately, it makes my parents feel entitled to volunteer my time. When Aunt Judy needed a babysitter for her weekly sip-and-paint circle, they were more than happy to offer their help, which apparently meant me. 

Maybe it’s weaponized incompetence or maybe I’m just bored, but I’ve decided to psychologically destroy these pre-teens with horror movies. 

I’m not a complete monster, I’m sparing them the heavy stuff. No true crime, no Video Nasties, no hardcore sexual violence. Instead, I’m going to rise to the challenge of scarring them for life armed with nothing but brief nudity and intense gore effects.

50. Chopping Mall 

Not the most extreme movie on the list, but I figure I’ll start them off with some lite, campy fun, and there’s still a head explosion here that’s bound to make them lose at least a little sleep. 

49. The Lost Boys

An absolute classic, and with plenty of genuine scares. It only ranks low on my list because of the Frog brothers. I’m worried that they’ll make the kids think they have any chance of defeating a vampire, which they totally don’t.

48. The Child’s Play Franchise 

The first one is a pretty solid horror movie, but the real psychological damage will come in the later installments when the kids need to reconcile that two haunted puppets somehow got to the bone zone and make a kid.

47. The Faculty 

Gotta start that mistrust of authority while they’re young, it will serve them well in the years to come.  

46. The Exorcist 

This one’s lost a bit of punch, what with the fact that we live in godless times and all. Luckily, Aunt Judy sent the kids to a catholic elementary school to give them “proper values,” so it should do the trick. 

45. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

It’s my honor to introduce these whiny snots to the films of George Romero the way they were meant to be seen: way too young at the behest of a dipshit older relative. 

44. Return of the Living Dead 

Did you know that this movie marks the first instance of zombies saying “brains”? Did you know that it also marks the first time my 12-year-old cousin Mark has pissed himself since his training wheels came off? What a picture! 

43. Re-animator 

Towing the line a bit here with my “nothing overtly sexual” rule, but Re-animator is a stone-cold classic. Besides, the kids should be old enough to know that severed heads can’t really go down on chicks by now. I feel like I learned that in the third grade. 

42. The Good Son 

The kids love watching those ‘Home Alone’ movies every holiday season, so I’m betting after they see this they’ll pretty much never trust anyone again. 

41. Funny Games

What a privilege it is to instill a fear in these children that will be with them the rest of their lives, home invasion! I hope Aunt Judy enjoys running up and down the stairs all night, triple checking that the doors and windows are locked at bedtime for the foreseeable future. 

40. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

While this is a movie most would consider irresponsible to screen for children, again,  I maintain that I’m actually doing my young cousins a service here. Texas is hell, and they should learn to stay far away from it.

39. American Psycho

My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my babysitting. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of “responsible adult who can be trusted to watch children” is about to slip. 

38. House of 1000 Corpses 

I know a lot of you are going to say this one is dumb or overrated, but that’s because you watched it as an adult who grew up with White Zombie videos. Trust me, this is going to screw them up. 

37. Train to Busan

Now that the kids have a firm grasp on zombies, it’s time to show them something a little bit closer to the real-life pandemics we all know and love. While they’re hiding under the covers, I’m laughing over how hard it’s going to be to get them on the subway for any New York field trip from here on out. 

36. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

“The Faculty” taught my cousins to be paranoid about their teachers. This movie will teach them to be paranoid about everyone else. I can’t wait to steal whatever pills they wind up on. 

35. The Blair Witch Project 

I have it on good authority that the kids have never heard of this movie, so I might actually be able to sell them on the whole “found footage” angle. If I can convince these little dweebs that I just found this thing at a thrift shop and witches are real,  it will be the proudest achievement of my life. 

34. Paranormal Activity 

While they were watching this I snuck off and moved a bunch of random crap all over the house. I’ve always wanted to see someone hyperventilate. 

33. The Stepfather 

Honestly, I just don’t trust Aunt Judy’s new boyfriend. Homeboy rocks a lot of American flag variant shirts, and I figured showing her kids this movie is the best way to get them to steer clear and stay vigilant. 

32. 28 Days Later

With Covid fresh in their young, impressionable minds this one is bound to do some serious damage. To add to the effect I’m going to spend the whole movie complaining of vague flu-like symptoms and periodically screaming for no reason. 

31. The Halloween Franchise 

If you’re a babysitter and you’re not showing your kids Halloween, you are missing out on one of the greatest opportunities to terrorize that life has to offer. At the end of the first one they turned to me and said “So he’s still out there?” and I coldly replied “yes.” Their pupils actually dilated. I don’t know who their therapist is, but that SOB should be paying me kickbacks.

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