What Are the Scariest Basements in Movies & TV?

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Ranking the Scariest Basements in Movies

In horror films and TV shows, we’ve seen how basements have been the location of some truly scream-worthy scenes. We’ve watched as people use their basements for absolutely horrible things. Sometimes the basement itself is evil. Other times, the basement has a paranormal problem like a portal to another world.

In the real world, the scariest thing in your basement is probably one of the following unresolved issues:

 However, in movies, we’re usually scared of something quite a bit different. Let’s review the scariest basements in movies.

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Ranking the Scariest Basements in Movies

In many horror movies, basement scenes are a terrifying combination of what happens down there along with the buildup from the rest of the plot.

To identify the scariest basements, we developed a Basement Evil Score to subjectively rank what happens in each on-screen basement. Using a scale of 0 through 10, lower numbers indicate less scary scenes or a little bit of torture. Higher numbers indicate more devastation or a lot of death.

We also looked at the Movie Scream Factor to understand the basement scene within the context of the rest of the movie. Using the IMDb score, higher-rated horror movies are more terrifying than poorly rated movies.

The ultimate combination is a scary basement during a scary movie. The horror movies that achieve this are at the top of our listing, including The Evil, Get Out, and The Silence of the Lambs.

What Are the Scariest Basements and Crawl Spaces in Movies?

Below, we break down the rankings of each horror movie, beginning with the lowest-ranked Basement Evil Score and proceeding to the highest ranked. We also explain how the basement fits into the movie plot.  

The Exorcist

Basement Evil Score: 0.4

Movie Scream Factor: 8

In The Exorcist, the basement scene is toward the beginning when we learn that something isn’t quite right. In a typical basement with a ping pong table and storage boxes, 12-year-old Regan found an old Ouija board. She then used it to communicate with the demon. The movie was set in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC, at 3600 Prospect St.

Misery

Basement Evil Score: 1

Movie Scream Factor: 7.8

In the horror movie Misery, the basement itself isn’t nearly as scary as serial killer Annie Wilkes. The house in Silver Creek, CO, has a damp, rat-infested cellar that she used to prevent Paul from signaling for help.

A Quiet Place

Basement Evil Score: 1.2

Movie Scream Factor: 7.5

In A Quiet Place, the Abbott family tries to keep their baby safe from the monsters in a soundproof underground cellar. The problem occurs when a broken pipe causes the underground room to flood and attracts the noise-sensitive creatures. Actor and director John Krasinski found the upstate New York filming location by browsing properties on Zillow.

Stir of Echoes

Basement Evil Score: 2

Movie Scream Factor: 7

This movie takes place in Chicago with the home’s current resident’s son experiencing visions of a violent tussle with a girl. It turns out that this girl disappeared from the neighborhood six months earlier. This eventually drives the new resident to dig up the yard. When he knocks a hole in the basement wall, it reveals the girl’s hidden corpse. 

Parasite

Basement Evil Score: 2.2

Movie Scream Factor: 8.6

In the movie Parasite, the Kim family is living in a basement. Their South Korean apartment was a fallout bunker from the 1970s. Following the movie’s release these basement apartments, called banjiha, were in the spotlight. In Seoul, it was initially illegal to rent out these bunkers as apartments, but that changed during the 1980s housing crisis.

The Grudge

Basement Evil Score: 2.8

Movie Scream Factor: 5.9

In The Grudge, a terrifying scene occurs when Muldoon is in the basement with a flashlight. The cursed house is located in suburban Pennsylvania at the fictional address 44 Rayburn Dr.

The Harvest

Basement Evil Score: 3

Movie Scream Factor: 6.1

A neighbor discovers a basement converted into a hospital room with a kidnapped child. The story grows even more sinister as it’s discovered that organ transplants from one child keep the basement child alive. 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Basement Evil Score: 3.6

Movie Scream Factor: 7.4

In this musical-comedy approach to a horror movie, Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s laboratory is in the basement of a British castle. It has a Medusa Transducer, which can transform people into statues. 

The Cabin in the Woods

Basement Evil Score: 4

Movie Scream Factor: 7

Not only is this remote cabin operated from an underground laboratory, but there are also zombies in basements and tunnels on many different levels. There are lots of strange and terrifying objects throughout these basements.

The Evil Dead (1981)

Basement Evil Score: 4.4

Movie Scream Factor: 7.5

The Evil Dead was set in a cabin in the woods in rural Tennessee near Knoxville. Below the floor was a fruit cellar that was accessed via a trap door and wooden steps. That’s where the Deadites lived. Luckily, this Tennessee cabin has burned down since filming.

Stranger Things

Basement Evil Score: 5

Movie Scream Factor: 8.7

Set in the fictitious town of Hawkins, Indiana, the Wheeler basement is regularly used by Mike, who would call Eleven from his pillow fort every night. The TV series has scream-worthy moments and has an overall high rating on IMDb.

Don’t Breathe

Basement Evil Score: 5.4

Movie Scream Factor: 7.1

After breaking into this home, the three delinquents discover that the basement walls are covered in couch cushions and pillows. Plus, there’s a pregnant woman chained and begging for help. It only gets worse with shootings, crawling through ventilation ducts, and being pursued in a completely dark basement by a blind villain. This movie was filmed at 2488 Buena Vista Drive, Detroit, MI.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Basement Evil Score: 5.8

Movie Scream Factor: 6.2

The Long Island house from The Amityville Horror has a history of murder and paranormal activity. In the basement, there’s a small hidden room. It was only four feet by five feet and was painted red. Its hidden location was discovered behind a shelving unit, and the room wasn’t in the building plans.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Basement Evil Score: 6

Movie Scream Factor: 7.5

The horror movie was set in the fictional town of Springwood, OH, at 1428 Elm St. In the dream world, Freddy’s boiler room was called the Nightmare Factory because it was used for torture and murder.

Psycho (1960)

Basement Evil Score: 6.6

Movie Scream Factor: 8.5

Psycho has a terrifying scene in the basement. Lila goes into the underground fruit cellar where she discovers that Norman has been keeping the mummified corpse of his mother. Norman Bates’ house was not an actual home. The exterior facade was built for the movie, and although you can’t see it on-screen, there are no rear or side walls to the building. The eerie-looking building was reconstructed on the lot of Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

The Conjuring

Basement Evil Score: 7

Movie Scream Factor: 6.3

Moving into a farmhouse, the new owners find that every clock in the house stops at 3:07 a.m., and their dog Sadie is found dead the next morning. Possessions and more mayhem revolve around a creepy basement filled with masks, statues, instruments, and a doll named Anabelle in a glass case. This movie was set in Rhode Island but filmed in Wilmington and Currie, NC.

The People Under the Stairs

Basement Evil Score: 8.5

Movie Scream Factor: 6.4

This movie revolves around a home break-in followed by discovering deformed cannibals in the basement. They are children who were stolen from their parents and kept in a basement cage. The good news is that the movie ends with the destruction of the house and the basement.

The Evil

Basement Evil Score: 9

Movie Scream Factor: 5.7

In the 1978 classic horror movie The Evil, a house is built over hot sulfur pits in New Mexico. When some friends decide to spend the night, they discover that the basement is scarier than they think. The trap door to the lower level turns out to be a hole to another world.

Get Out

Basement Evil Score: 9.6

Movie Scream Factor: 7.7

This horror movie has the second most terrifying basement we looked at. Get Out is set in a classic and innocent-looking colonial house in Alabama. However, the basement is terrifying. Chris is strapped to a chair, and there’s a laboratory for transposing consciousness. While under hypnosis, he goes to the “Sunken Place.”

The Silence of the Lambs

Basement Evil Score: 9.8

Movie Scream Factor: 8.6

The Silence of the Lambs has one of the most terrifying basements. In the basement of Buffalo Bill’s house, there was a dry well where he kept the kidnapped women. He then starves them so it’s easier to remove their skin. For filming, the producer found the old Victorian in a village outside of Pittsburgh, and it recently sold for $195k in 2016.

Is your basement terrifying? While we can’t help with paranormal activity, we can help with waterproofing, foundation problems, sump pumps, and more. Get started with a free inspection from the country’s leading foundation repair experts.

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