I recently watched the film "The Witch" with a friend, and I loved it because for the first time in years, I was genuinely terrified. I haven't seen many films thats done that to me, and all of a sudden I have just been binge watching anything I can find that I haven't watched on top 10 lists.
The biggest problems are, most lists are full of very gory films. I don't mind films that are all slashing, but I prefer a film that is heavy on the suspense. Its hard to find any lists that don't have the top few films being "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "The Cabin in the Woods" or "The Evil Dead". I love these three films but they Are not very scary to me because there is just too much chasing and hacking...
To give you a flavor of the type of films I am looking for, here is a short list of other scary films I like: Ju-on The conjuring (though it was a little too full of cheesy jump scenes) Invasion of the Body Snatchers The Village Dark Water Candy Man
Well my favorites are "the thing" from the 80s, "prince of Darkness" and "In the mouth of madness" all of them very lovecraftian ie they are not horror in that you fear for your life but rather a nihilistic horror, the insignificants of man and the inevitability of our demise (all three where done by John Carpenter, reffered to them as his apocolypse trilogy). Also john carpenters cigarette burns is really good (in short its about a guy looking for a film, the film was shown once at a festival, every one who saw it killed each other and themselves in horrible ways. So he is trying to find it for a client yet the closer he gets the more frequently he has hallucinations all inside a cigarette burn) Those are very much phycological horrors though so slow builds but great pay off if you enjoy those types of horror movies. Also the first hellraiser and wishmaster movies where good (its interesting to see an all powerful monster who is bound by rules because then the protaganist can't out run or fight them but rather has to outsmart them.). Jacobs ladder is also a good phscological one and serpent in the rainbow is good as well (though I don't know if I would term it horror persay, more like a thriller (based off of true events). I also have heard Dario arento's movies are really scary/good because they have a very surreal nightmarish feel to them (I haven't watched any myself but its on my list of things to do). Those would be my suggestions. Personally I always like the lovecraftian horror the most, gore is just gore its not scary and I hate jump scares because their just cheap. With lovecraftian and psycological horror its something that lingeres thats what makes it good. Als the first season of masters of horror was really good (its where cigarette burns is from) so that might also be worth checking out.
Kind of recent, paranormal activity, but really anything with ghosts will have me peeing my pants. When I was a kid (before I started school) I watched an unsolved mystery show and it was about ghosts, I couldn't sleep for days and I was afraid to be in the house by myself. So, yea, ghosts scare the sh_t out of me.
Burnt offerings Dolly Dearest Serpent and the rainbow Jacob's ladder The Curse Martyrs Pieces Hellraiser Pet semetary A nightmare on elm street Sleepaway camp The Shining The conjuring Sinister 1and 2 ... And if you like the village, Watch Wayward pines
Not sure if it's what you're looking for but Threads would have to be the scariest film I've seen. It's not a horror film but it's about life before and after a nuclear war in Sheffield. It starts off very mundane but it gets pretty horrific. I'm so glad I didn't see it in the 80s when it was made or I'd have been even more terrified. I wouldn't have slept again until the 90s!
Insidious: Chapter 3... seeing that in theater was just asking for nightmares. But my sister & I went to see The Gallows in the middle of the week, so the theater was empty and we were the only two people there in the front row lol as soon as it ended we ran out