Ironically on the same weekend as Easter, "The Unholy" made its debut into theaters. With the release of this film, it got us thinking about other religious horror films that we still haven't quite been able to shake.
For our list, we tried to mix it up with some classic horror films that helped define this mixed genre, along with other newer flicks that we don't really know how to define. Our only warning... be sure to have some holy water in arm's reach before you sit down to binge these religious horror films.
10. Constantine (2005)
One man is attempting to seek salvation from eternal damnation. He exorcises demons back to Hell that walk the Earth because he has the ability to communicate with half-angels and half-demons. His name is John Constantine (played by Keanu Reeves) and he's going to give 'em Hell!
9. Midsommar (2019)
What's supposed to be a fun festival in Sweden may turn out to be something different entirely. This Ari Aster film is certifiably sadistic. We're not joking when we say it's going to get uncomfortably weird. You can constantly feel the sinister vibes pouring through the screen. And there's no doubt that this movie will make you second guess going to any festivals out of the country.
8. The Exorcist (1973)
This iconic horror film is one that includes a voice and face that you'll never be able to forget for as long as you live. When people hear the word "exorcism," this is the movie that they think of. This is the closest thing we've seen to a devil living inside a little girl and there's no way to prepare for what you'll see.
7. The Omen (1976)
The best religious horror films usually involve children that either become possessed or that were cursed from the start. Unfortunately for this young boy and his adopted family, it's the latter. Damien is this young boy's name and with him he brings death and Satanism. It should be somewhat of a red flag when any animals who see him are terrified and when he gets near a church he begins to scream. They should've seen the signs.
6. The Conjuring (2013)
When thinking about the MOST terrifying horror films, we think it's the ones that are based on true stories. Though this movie is lower on our list, it'll still have you scared witless with your hands over your eyes. The supernatural ghost stories are the ones in our opinion that make it hard to sleep at night. Why? Because you might have a visitor and not even know it.
5. Hereditary (2018)
Here's Ari Aster directorial debut film that was so messed up, some audiences walked out of the theater. Not only does the trailer on its own make your skin crawl just a little bit, but the film will make you wish you could unsee certain things. The best way we can describe this film is ridiculously tragic and a phrase that many critics frequently use, "soul-shaking."
4. The Wicker Man (1973)
This was likely one of the first religious horror films to teach audiences this important lesson. If you're going to a foreign area where you've never been before to look for someone who's missing, bring backup. When a detective is tasked with investigating the disappearance of a young girl on a remote island (RED FLAG!), he begins to understand the nature of this island and the people on it. These Islanders are worshippers of pagan Celtic gods so in other words, he's a Christian man stuck on an island with a cult.
3. The Witch (2015)
Typically, when something bad is happening in a horror film, the victims endure some terrible things but they stay united because they are enduring these tragedies with friends or family. This is not one of those films. After a family is banished from their town, they are forced seek refuge in the woods. An open area outdoors with nothing to protect you from anything, what could go wrong? Well for one your family could accuse you of being a witch....
2. Saint Maud (2019)
Coming in as the newest addition to our list, with its official release only just a few months ago, is "Saint Maud." It may be surprising that such a recent film ranks so high on our list but trust us... it deserves to be here. Our advice is you'll want to use the trailer as a test to decide if you'll be able to handle seeing it. One girl who's just trying to accept all that God has to give begins feeling a different presence that may be coming from another source. Don't blink, this girl might go from saint to Satan before you know it.
1. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
It's no surprise that this film will most likely always be at the top of everyone's list when it comes to religious horror films. It has everything you could dream of, or more accurately, have nightmares about. This mother only wants what's best for her child... too bad no one else does. If you thought your neighbors were members of a Satanic cult, what would you be willing to do to save your child?
About the Author
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.