Header Ads

Which Harry Potter Movies Are The Scariest? Every Film, Ranked

For all their nostalgia and magical whimsy, the Harry Potter movies can get pretty scary. Whether it's Voldemort, the Forbidden Forest, or evil creatures like the Dementors, the story balances its more family-friendly moments with some genuinely terrifying scenes.

RELATED: 10 Most Disturbing Harry Potter Moments Fans Can't Forget

While the movies definitely get darker as time goes on, even the early entries — and its Fantastic Beasts spin-offs — feature very real threats. After all, the battle between good and evil is what Harry Potter is all about. The movies wouldn't be believable if viewers couldn't feel the fear of their favorite characters. But which movie sets viewers on edge the most?

10 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald

Not only is Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald the worst reviewed Harry Potter movie, it also happens to be one of the least scary. In theory, Grindelwald is an intimidating villain. He believes in blood supremacy and is willing to do anything to achieve it, but lacks the right charisma to pose a real threat.

There are a lot of general wizarding battles that are slightly scary just because they're so overwhelming, but otherwise, the movie comes to scary is when Grindelwald kills a No-Maj (the American word for Muggle) infant off-screen. However, this is more shocking than actually frightening.

9 Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

There's a lot of psychological horror in the book version of Order Of The Phoenix, thanks to Harry's persistent nightmares and fears of being possessed by Lord Voldemort. While the movie does incorporate this, it's to a much lesser extent. Harry's dreams don't feel as ominous, and scenes in the Department of Mysteries don't nail the eerie vibe of the veil.

One scary scene that does live up to the book is Nagini's attack on Arthur Weasley. This is a real jump scare in the movie, shocking viewers as much as it does Harry. The Dementor attack in Little Whinging also makes you jump, mainly because it happens out in the Muggle world where viewers can relate more to Harry's fear.

8 Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone

Considering most of the characters are 11 years old, it's unsurprising that Sorcerer's Stone is a (mostly) scare-free affair. There are a few moments that are appropriately scary for young children, such as Harry, Ron, and Hermione's encounters with the troll and Fluffy, but nothing too nightmarish.

RELATED: 5 Funniest Scenes From Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (& The 5 Scariest)

There are a few potential exceptions. The scene in which Harry ventures into the Forbidden Forest and first encounters Voldemort has you on the edge of your seat, especially when the latter swoops up towards Harry and is only stopped at the last moment. Quirrell unwrapping his turban to reveal Voldemort's face is also unnerving — mainly because it's so unexpected.

7 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2

The final Harry Potter movie is basically a string of explosive scenes. From the Battle of Hogwarts, to Harry's sacrifice, audiences are rarely given a chance to breathe as the series races towards the finish line. This means that even though it's probably one of the darkest entries in the series, it's more stressful than legitimately scary.

But some scenes are still pretty frightening. There's another Nagini jump scare when Voldemort commands her to kill Snape, despite him being one of his favorite Death Eaters. And when Harry wakes up in the space between life and death, the sight of Voldemort's damaged, bloodied soul is one of his most terrifying scenes.

6 Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

In the first entry of the spin-off series of the same name, fans follow Newt's adventures in 1920s New York when several of his wide array of magical creatures escape into the city.

The concept is lighter than the last few installments of Harry Potter, and its villain – Grindelwald — can't compare to Voldemort's reputation or appearance. Its scariest moments come in the dark, cloudy shape of the Obscurus. The scenes where it terrorizes the city are far and few between, but still unsettling — especially once you know it's created by children intimidated into repressing their powers.

5 Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

It would've been impossible to cram every detail from the books into the movies, but Half-Blood Prince leaves out more than most. While the book tracks Voldemort's history through a series of disturbing memories, most of these don't make it to the screen — notably, the twisted Gaunt family, and Tom Riddle's manipulative charm and control over others.

One scary point that doesn't get cut is a young Riddle in the orphanage. Portrayed by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, his blank expressions and monotone delivery make him a genuinely chilling figure. Other moments include the Inferi slowly creeping out of the water in the cave, dragging Harry down with them, and Katie Bell's disjointed scream when she's cursed by the necklace.

4 Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

Goblet of Fire marks a turning point in the series, with storylines really leveling up in maturity. The Triwizard Tournament exposes Harry to trials even he has never before experienced, while Cedric Diggory's death robs him of the last innocence he has left (which is admittedly very little).

Opening with the murder of the Muggle Frank Bryce, this movie jumps between comedy and horror with ease. However, the last act is one long terrifying sequence that peaks with Voldemort's rebirth. Emerging from the cauldron as a skeletal, serpentine nightmare, Voldemort snaps his eyes open — and changes the tone of Harry Potter forever.

3 Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

For anyone with a phobia of spiders, Chamber of Secrets is a nightmare waiting to happen. He only appears in one scene, but Aragog still manages to be the scariest movie spider ever. The sight of this colossal talking arachnid slowly crawling out of a dark thicket isn't easy to forget — especially when he then commands other smaller spiders to attack Harry and Ron.

While this is the by far the movie's scariest moment, the entire vibe of the movie is disturbing. The idea of an unknown creatures — one that's somehow worse than Aragog — attacking students, paired with the eventual reveal of the Basilisk, makes for nearly three hours of terror.

2 Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

Tonally, Prisoner of Azkaban is an outlier in the Harry Potter series. That isn't necessarily a bad thing – quirkier and darker than its predecessors, it sets the franchise on a new path that isn't afraid to speak to deeper, darker issues. The cinematography is generally very creepy, and does a fantastic job of building up new magical creatures as very real threats.

RELATED: 10 Terrifying Facts You Didn't Know About Dementors In Harry Potter

From the moment the withered hand of a Dementor edges around the door, Harry's fear is palpable — especially when the movie repeatedly cuts to their presence outside the school. Lupin's werewolf form is also fearsome. The gangly, emaciated aesthetic is totally different to what's usually shown in film, making his condition all the more horrifying.

1 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1

Deathly Hallows Part 1 gets a lot of flack for being too slow, but that's exactly what makes it so scary. Thanks to the film's gradual, tense buildup, viewers can feel the trio's growing frustration as they hunt for Horcruxes — as well as their horror when things go wrong. And because it's Harry Potter, a lot of things go wrong.

The scene in which Nagini bursts out of Bathilda Bagshot's corpse is nightmarish, but the worst comes in Malfoy Manor. Pinning her to the ground, Bellatrix tortures Hermione for information, before carving "Mudblood" into her arm. It's tough to watch; Hermione's scream is genuinely uncomfortable, and because Harry and Ron are locked away, fans know there's nobody to save her. This is the most hopeless moment in any Harry Potter movie, and for that, it's terrifying.

NEXT: 10 Scariest Creatures In Harry Potter's Hogwarts

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.