From Elm Street to The Evil Dead: cinema’s scariest basements


Basements are a staple in horror movies. They’re a great way to signal to the audience that something creepy is about to happen, and they’ve been used to incredible effect in horror movies since the beginning.

If you’re looking for a great horror movie to watch, here are ten highly-rated horror movies and TV shows with scary basements.

10. A Quiet Place
This movie offered a compelling look into the world of a brand new monster – one that hunts based on noise. The family in the movie tries to hide their newborn baby in a soundproof cellar, but when the cellar floods, they’re forced into action far before they thought they would.

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street
By pitting the “real world” and the “dream world” against each other, A Nightmare on Elm Street manages to create a truly terrifying universe. The Nightmare Factory, which is what Freddy calls his dream world boiler room, is where he carries out torture and murder.

8. The Evil Dead
In this cult classic movie, the Deadites live in a fruit cellar under the door, underneath a cabin in the woods. The truly spooky twist to this story is the fact that the cabin in the movie has actually burned down since filming.

7. Get Out
This dark comedy-horror-satire movie gained plenty of critical praise for its deft hand regarding all of these styles. In one truly unforgettable scene, the main character undergoes hypnosis in a home’s basement, causing him to go to the Sunken Place.

6. Misery
Misery proved that you don’t need dozens of sets, gallons of blood, and a cast of a dozen people to make a chilling movie. Most of it revolves around only two individuals. The damp, rat-infested cellar is part of what the main character uses to keep her captive from calling for help.

5. The Exorcist
When The Exorcist was released, many people believed it signalled a moral change in cinematic history. Its terror was so great that one woman was rumoured to have had a miscarriage while watching it, though that’s almost certainly just an urban legend. Still, the basement doesn’t play into it much; 12-year-old Regan finds an Ouija board in the basement and uses it to communicate with a demon.

4. Psycho
Psycho also holds an important piece of cinematic history. It was the first movie to ever show a toilet flushing, albeit one with only a piece of paper in it, and the move was still regarded as extremely edgy. The main character goes into the fruit cellar at one point, only to discover Norman Bates’ mother’s mummified corpse.

3. Parasite
More than just a horror movie, Parasite is also a commentary on class issues. Though these class issues centre on South Korea, they still ring true for many viewers in other countries. The main family’s basement apartment, or banjiha, is the backdrop for some truly awful behaviour.

2. The Silence of the Lambs
Of all the movies on this list, this one might have the most horrifying basement moments. Buffalo Bill kidnaps women, then puts them in a dry well in his basement to starve them. Once he kills them, he skins them to create a skin dress.

1. Stranger Things
The highest-rated piece of media on this list is Stranger Things, a critically acclaimed Netflix series about a rural town that starts experiencing supernatural happenings. In the story, one character calls another from a basement regularly.

These TV shows and movies are all different amounts of terrifying, which means they’ll work best for different people. Whether you’re interested in a drama, a dark comedy, or a slasher film, you can find one that will knock your socks off. Next time you want to watch something a little spooky, check one of the movies on this list off your must-watch list.