10 Scariest Curses In Horror Movies (And Why)

The recent horror movie The black phone dealt with curses in a different way; instead of the typical scenario where the curse sends the recipient to a horrible fate, it helps the film’s protagonist. The mysterious black telephone cursed with the souls of a serial killer’s former victims offers a way for the living to communicate with the dead, as they join forces to stop the killer from striking again.

Movie curses are often tied to paranormal forces beyond belief, which trap victims in a constant state of despair. Of the evil forces inherent in doomed objects, the most frightening curses are those that offer no escape.

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ten Pulse (2001)


Not to be confused with the American remake, Impulse is one of the greatest Japanese horror films. Very atmospheric, the film offers a scenario where the world of the dead is overpopulated, so they use the internet to visit the living. The movie’s curse revolves around taped-together doors; once you exceed them, you are doomed.

Related: Top 10 Japanese Horror Movies, According to IMDB

Most of the film is left out in the open for viewers to interpret, but the taped-together doors represent the film’s simplest element of horror, functioning as a recurring bad omen. The few people who managed to survive the encounter with the ghosts inside the taped doors completely lost their will to live, almost as if their souls were gone and their bodies were all that was left. It is a frightening and inevitable fate.


9 Old (2021)


Old twist 2021

M. Night Shyamalan is famous for his popular twists and his latest film old ended up being one of his most controversial works. In the film, the tourists find themselves trapped on a cursed beach that rapidly ages each of them, reducing their lifespan to a single day.

old plays with the trope of forced closeness as the weirdest group of characters are forced to work together in order to figure out the mystery that could kill them in the light of day. Within hours, the children become adults, the tumors grow rapidly and babies are born, sowing chaos and hysteria within the group. old offers a real fight against time, and even if someone manages to survive its curse, they will inevitably have lost precious years of their life.


8 The Ring (2002)


As fans wonder if the American or Japanese version of the ring is the best, everyone agrees that The Curse of Samara/Sadako is one of the scariest and most iconic in movie history. In the film, whoever views Samara’s cursed tape receives a phone call from her warning that the person only has 7 days left. After said time, the evil spirit kills the victim.

Even though the ring still stands today as a great horror thriller, the whole concept of a cursed tape doesn’t really apply to modern times. Even if the curse was somehow updated on viral media, it would hardly be over, because the way to counter it is to make a copy of the “tape” and show it to someone another. In the prevalent internet scenario, Samara would change targets every second and probably never end up killing anyone. In the film’s script, it’s hands down the scariest horror curse, but it would lack strength these days.


seven The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)


Even though The Killing of a Sacred Deer is more of a psychological thriller, the chilling curse of the film is straight out of a horror story. Renowned surgeon Dr. Steven Murphy finds his life turned upside down when Martin, a young man he befriends, places an almost biblical curse on his family. he demands that Steven kill a member of his own family. If he does not, his wife and two children will die after three stages: paralysis, voluntary starvation and bleeding from the eyes.

What’s so scary is how the curse progresses into something nastier with each step; in the end, the children bleed from their eyes. Martin is a very strange character “the one who knocks”; he is mysterious, cold and extremely manipulative, a confusing man who manages to put Steven and the fate of his family in his own hands. The spirit behind the curse and its sadistic intentions are left to viewers’ interpretation, but the gruesome nature of its plot is scarier than any horror movie monster.


6 The Grudge (2004)


The curse of The Grudge is something inherent, which makes it almost impossible to fight. Also known as Ju-on, the curse is created when a person is violently murdered in a state of powerful emotional agony and rage and inhabits both the victim and their home. This is what happened to Kayako, a young woman who was murdered by her husband before he drowned their son, Toshio, and committed suicide. Since then, mother and child haunt their home.

Related: 10 Horror Remakes That Were Immediately Forgotten

The film takes the haunted house trope to a much more deadly level, as the curse lays on anyone who sets foot in Kayako’s house. In her spirit form, she will do anything to catch her victims, and she can appear from literally anywhere. Since the curse is tied to emotions and not to an object or body, it will most likely continue until the house is destroyed, but the ghost inside will still come after the perpetrator.


5 Fear Street Trilogy (2021)


Sadie Sink hides out with a boy in Fear Street

The street of fear curse is complex, which is why the story has been divided into three parts. The curse revolves around the small town of Shadyside, and locals believe it has something to do with a vengeful witch, Sarah Fier, killed in 1666; since she was hanged, the town has entered a constant cycle of bad luck and murder by seemingly innocent people.

Each film in the trilogy tackles events from different years, as the film’s titles suggest, while advancing the main storyline set in 1994 when a group of teenagers become the target of the curse and begin to be chased by the ghosts of Shadyside’s ancient killers. Each film gives clues to the true nature of the curse and how Sarah Proud might actually not be as evil as the people of Shadyside think.


4 Shutter (2004)


A ghost sitting on a man's shoulders

Shutter is a unmissable asian horror film not to be missed, delivering one of the most unsettling plot twists ever to hit the screen. The film follows a photographer and his wife bewildered by mysterious pain and the appearance of shadows and bizarre figures in their photographs. Things start to get scary when they find a connection between the series of strange events and their decision to flee an accident scene months ago.

In simple terms, ShutterThe curse is the past. The protagonist tried his best to fool the demons from years ago, but they quickly caught up with him. Cursed by an enraged spirit, the photographer discovers that this strange pain in his back was actually the weight of the spirit sitting astride his shoulders all this time. The realization of the horrible things he has done added to the discovery of the ghost drives him insane with no chance of recovery.




3 Sinister (2012)


Ethan Hawke in Sinister

Claim is a slow-burning high horror that maintains an atmosphere of chilling mystery throughout its runtime, as renowned true crime writer Ellison tries to figure out how and why a family was murdered in their new home.

Related: 10 Best Ethan Hawke Movies, According To IMDB

It’s not long before Ellison realizes that the murders that have taken place in the house are linked to a horrible curse and a mysterious entity, so he decides to move in order to protect his family. What Ellison didn’t know was that all of the other families were murdered shortly after moving to a new residence, making him and his family the next victims.


2 Candyman (1992)


The candy man the curse is almost like an urban legend, except it’s real and the relentless entity will come after anyone who summons it. The ’90s classic delivers one of the most legendary villains of all time: the Candyman, the violent spirit of a murdered black man in the 19th century. To summon Candyman, you must say his name five times in front of a mirror.

Candyman represents decades of discrimination against black people, returning as a vengeful spirit driven only by rage. What’s really scary about this curse is the bond it creates between the spirit and the victim as the Candyman closely watches every step the person takes, a hunter plays with the food before brutally attacking . His ugly appearance doesn’t help either, quickly driving the victim to despair.


1 It Follows (2014)


He Follows - Yara Form

It follows is a harrowing horror film that doesn’t need easy scares to make viewers feel uncomfortable. The film’s curse is not only chilling but also wildly creative, providing one of modern horror’s most original entities: a mysterious being that is passed from victim to victim through sex.

The curse becomes extremely complex if one stops to think about it; if you can’t beat it, you have no choice but to pass it on. But if the entity kills every new person it passes, it comes right back to you. However, it’s nearly impossible to tell if it’s yours as the entity may look like a complete stranger or even a family member. It’s the kind of curse that sticks with victims even when it’s gone, haunting them for the rest of their lives.

Next: 10 Movies With The Scariest Paranormal Villains

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