The Exorcist: Believer is releasing to US theaters very soon, and maybe you’ve been thinking about watching some other horror movies to prepare. Below, we’ve listed ten great horror movies to watch if you’re a fan of the Exorcist franchise.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

Horror, Movie, Horror Movie

Directed by Scott Derrickson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%

A priest is put to trial for negligent homicide after the death of a possession victim when the legitimacy of the possession comes to question. This film mixes courtroom drama with flashbacks to the exorcism of Emily Rose, and is based on the real life story of Anneliese Michel, making the movie all the more terrifying.

The mixture of courtroom drama and horror gained praise, though critics found some of the scares to be “ho-hum”.

The Shining (1981)

The Shining, Horror, Movies

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Jack Torrence tends to the Overlook Hotel resort during the offseason with his wife and young son. Over time, disturbing happenings at the hotel creep into the family’s dynamic, culminating in a terrifying climax. 

Critics applauded the film’s atmosphere, and noted the excellent performance by Jack Nicholson. The film was also praised as a well-made condensed adaptation of the novel by Stephen King. A sequel, Dr. Sleep, was released in 2019, which I also recommend checking out.

The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook, Movie Poster, Horror

Directed by Jennifer Kent

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

A single mother struggles to cope with the loss of her husband while raising her six-year-old son alone. Her son begins to exhibit strange behaviors when a mysterious book titled “Mister Babadook” shows up seemingly out of nowhere, bringing with it increasingly disturbing events. 

Critics praised the film for its ability to avoid jumpscares, showcasing more of a slow-burning horror. Critics also found the story moving and genuine in its showcase of the difficulty of moving on from the loss of a loved one. I myself am usually more frightened by jumpscares; but the slow psychological frights in The Babadook left me afraid to turn off the lights.

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Sinister (2012)

Horror, Movies

Directed by Scott Derrickson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

When writer Ellison Oswald and his family are forced to move into a new home, Ellison finds disturbing video reels left by a prior inhabitant. He must move quickly to unravel the mystery and spare his family from a gruesome fate.

Critics noted that much of the film fell into genre cliches, but that it was enjoyable nonetheless and contained many surprising twists.

Insidious (2010)

Insidious, Horror, Movie

Directed by James Wan

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

A couple’s son falls into a coma after exploring their new home. Disturbing events begin taking place at their new home afterwards, and the couple call a team of paranormal investigators to assist them. 

Critics praised the scares and atmosphere of the film, though they noted that the final act fell a little short. The film’s success has led to a series.

The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring, Movies, Horror movies to watch like the Exorcist

Directed by James Wan

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

In the 1970’s, married paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren investigate an alleged haunting at a farm-house. They eventually find out the painful history of the house as the spirit makes its presence more and more known.

Critics praised the scares and atmosphere of the film. I myself find it to be one of the most unsettling of the movies on this list. Like Insidious, the success of the movie has led to a large franchise and even made our list as one of the greatest horror franchises of all time.

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Pet Sematary (1989)

Directed by Mary Lambert

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

The second Stephen King adaptation on this list, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed who moves his family to a rural Maine town. When the family cat dies, a neighbor shows Louis the “Pet Sematary” in the woods behind their new home, where Louis buries the animal. It seemingly returns to life, though it is not the same. Shortly after, a tragedy befalls his family and Louis is warned not to use the Sematary for a human, as the consequences will be grave.

Critics found the film to be an overall enjoyable and scary watch, though they noted that the film’s quirkiness at times overshadowed the horror elements. In my opinion, it is probably the strangest movie on this list, but a good flick. There was a remake in 2019, with similar critical sentiments.

Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary, Horror, Movies

Directed by Ari Aster

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

After the death of her estranged mother, Annie Graham and her family begin to experience unexplainable events. After another tragedy forces a wedge between the remaining family members, the true nature of Annie’s mother begins to reveal itself in terrifying fashion. 

Critics noted the film’s setup and ending as the reason why the film works so well, and I agree. The ending has stuck with me for years. Tonie Collette’s performance as Annie was also praised, and rightly so. I would note that this film can be extremely visceral at times, so if you’re squeamish be ready to cover your eyes and ears.

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The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

Directed by Adam Robitel

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

A team of film students seeks to record a documentary on Deborah Logan, a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. As they continue to spend time with Deborah however, it becomes apparent something else is affecting the elderly woman. 

Though critics noted that the movie didn’t innovate on the genre, the overwhelming consensus is that it excels in all other aspects. The final act of the movie is especially memorable, though I would caution those of you afraid of snakes to be ready for a certain scene.

The Ring (2002)

The Ring, Horror, Movies

Directed by Gore Verbinski

RT Score: 71%

Rachel Keller is a reporter who investigates a mysterious and seemingly possessed videotape said to kill the viewer a week after viewing. Skeptical, she watches the tape, and must find a way to avoid a gruesome fate over the next seven days. 

Critics praised the film’s reliance on atmosphere rather than gore to create scares. The only downside about The Ring nowadays is how hard it is to watch it on VHS for the true — and correct — experience.

For more on The Exorcist, check out our guide on how to watch the franchise in chronological order.

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