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4. 'The Descent'
Release date: 2005
Scare factor (scale of 1-10): 8
Why it's great: Even before the film's main threat arrives mid-movie, "The Descent" is already a terrifying ordeal for anyone with claustrophobia, and the real brilliance of what Neil Marshall does here as a director is how he manages to create the feeling of claustrophobia and communicate it so clearly even to those who don't share the fear. The film takes a decided left turn at a certain point, and it introduces some very striking movie monsters. Marshall is careful to never let them overwhelm the movie, instead using them just right and keeping them scary in the process. The film contains both slow burn fear and some great legendarily well-executed jump scares, and even though it sort of fumbles its very ending, it's a film that continues to work hard to freak you out right to the finish.
- Drew McWeeny