From thrillers that leave you shocked to movies that make it hard to sleep for days, today’s horror movies are their own kind of scary. Sure, today’s horror genre still includes terrifying slasher films or ghost stories and possessions, but the psychological fears are stronger than ever.

Today’s scary movies cover those situations where you have no control – the end of the world scenarios or the medical emergencies you can do nothing about. These films instill fear because all of these situations could be possible.

“End of the World” Disasters

The world didn’t end in 2012, but “end of the world” movies aren’t going anywhere. From the recent comedies This Is The End and The World’s End to intense drama-thrillers like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow and Melancholia, the popularity of the end-of-the-world genre continues to rise.

Who can say when, if, or how the world as we know it will end? That’s what makes these movies so thrilling and worrisome – possible situations like these could happen, but will anything like this happen in our lifetimes? These films capture the audience’s fear of the unknown. The premises are easily relatable, and this justifies the moviegoers’ realistic fear.


The Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies are everywhere. From AMC’s hugely popular The Walking Dead to Brad Pitt’s World War Z, we can’t get over our fear of a zombie takeover. The zombie genre has a long history, but today’s zombie features strike fear in moviegoers because of how they’re presented. An infection that we’re all carrying, and the guarantee of turning when you die, whether you’re bitten or not? The zombie plague of Walking Dead is just this – and that adds to the fear factor.

The promise of seeing your friends, family and fellow survivors suffer such a terrible fate makes the possibility of a zombie apocalypse that much scarier. And with no true cause or cure for “zombie-itis,” it’s hard to be prepared – though the CDC does have some Zombie Preparedness articles to look through if you’re worried about an impending zombie takeover.


Government Takeovers

White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen were both released in 2013, and both cover the topic of attacks on the White House. We’re well aware that attacks like this could happen as we’ve all lived through an attack on our country – it’s something that we can all relate to and easily understand the terror of what this real-life situation would be like.

While situations like these might not directly have an effect on us, they’re situations that would greatly impact our daily lives, making them truly unnerving.


The “What If This Happened To Me” Situations

Movies like The Strangers or Panic Room instill fear because they depict feasible, real-life situations. No one wants to live through a scene from a horror movie – and these movies make that clear.

Home invasions and kidnappings are terrifying because they’re so realistic. As unfortunate as it is, the situations happen to real people, and that terror feels very real when watching it on-screen and imagining facing similar circumstances.


Today’s scary movies make it clear that the movies that keep moviegoers on the edges of their seats illustrate fear of the unknown and realistic situations. Whether watching in a movie theater or at home in a TV theater setup, these movies can be scarier than you expected.  What type of movie scares you the most?


Editor’s Note: The above article was guest-written by London McGuire.

By Dan Koelsch

Dan Koelsch is our Executive Editor and in charge of Advertising and Promotions. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Radio TV Film from California State University Fullerton, with a Minor in Advertising. He's a diehard Trekkie and a big Superman fan. has been reacquired by its original founders. Please pardon any interruptions during this transitory period.