Top 10 Martin Scorsese movies that can give you horror vibes

Martin Scorsese movies like Cape Fear and Shutter Island displays scary scenes similar to horror.


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Martin Charles Scorsese is an Oscar-winning producer, writer, and director best known for movies such as The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Shutter Island.

Scorsese has also won several renowned awards, including the Life Achievement Award, the BAFTA Film Award, the Critics Choice Award, and the Cannes Film Festival Award.

Furthermore, Martin Scorsese has appeared as an actor in several movies like The Muse, Killers of the Flower Moon, Search and Destroy, and Guilty by Suspicion.

Whether directing mindblowing crime drama movies like Taxi Driver and The Irishman or biographical movies like Raging Bull, The Last Waltz, and Rolling Thunder Revue, Martin Scorsese has shown his versatility in genres, making him one of the most loved and praised directors of all time.

Here is the list of the top 10 Martin Scorsese movies that can give you chills, like horror movies.

10. The Big Shave

The Big Shave, also known as Viet’67, is a body horror short drama movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

The movie shows Peter Bernuth entering a spotlessly clean bathroom and continuously shaving, eventually cutting himself all over his face. This leads to excessive bleeding and results in the bathroom floor being covered in blood.

Critics regarded the young man’s process in the movie as a metaphor for the self-destructive involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War.

The movie’s use of music, roughness, and montage became trademarks of Scorsese’s work.

The Big Shave

IMDb ShortDramaHorror

In the process of shaving, a young man cuts his whole face, leading to excessive bleeding, which covers the bathroom floor with blood.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateDecember 1967
StudioNew York University, Tisch School of the Arts
CastPeter Bernuth
WriterMartin Scorsese
Runtime6 minutes

9. The Eternal Daughter

The Eternal Daughter is a Gothic mystery drama movie directed and written by Joanna Hogg.

It stars Tilda Swinton, Joseph Mydell, and Carly-Sophia Davies in the leading roles.

The movie follows a Middle-aged filmmaker, Julie, who, after her father’s demise, takes her old mother, Rosalind, to an empty hotel, which is also the former family home of Rosalind, to spend time with her, hoping to make a movie about her life.

As they enter the hotel, Rosalinds recalls painful and tragic memories that occurred in the hotel, including the demise of family members during World War II and miscarriage.

Furthermore, the mystery unfolds about the eerie hotel when, on Rosalind’s birthday, Julie brings her a cake but cries alone at the table, realizing her mother passed away years ago, and she imagined things of her own; also, the hotel wasn’t empty and was full with guests and staff who seems to be concerned for Julie.

The movie received positive reviews from critics and won the Top Ten Independent Films award from the National Board of Review.

Martin Scorsese is the movie’s executive producer; although it doesn’t fall under the Horror genre, the mysterious events shown in the movie are scary and thrilling.

The Eternal Daughter

IMDb MysteryDrama

Julie, a middle-aged filmmaker, takes her old mother, Rosalind, to a hotel that was once Rosalind’s former house to write a movie about her mother, where she discovers the long-buried secrets and mysterious past.

DirectorJoanna Hogg
Release Date2 December 2022
BBC Film
Element Pictures
JWH Films
CastTilda Swinton, Louis,
August Joshi
, Carly-Sophia Davies,
Joseph Mydell
, Crispin Buxton
WriterJoanna Hogg
Runtime1 hour 36 minutes

8. Shirley

Shirley is an American biographical drama mystery movie directed by Josephine Decke and written by Sarah Gubbins.

It is based on Susan Scarf Merrell’s 2014 novel, which is the same name, and stars Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, and Logan Lerman in the leading roles.

The movie follows newlyweds Fred and Rose Nemser, who relocate to Bennington College for Fred’s job as a lecturer. There, they meet Stanley Hyman, with whom Fred has to work, and his popular writer wife, Shirley Jackson.

The couple moves into Jackson-Hyman’s house when Stanley asks Rose to help with menial jobs around the house because Shirley is struggling to write after suffering from a mental disorder.

Furthermore, Shirley begins to write again, announcing her new work based on Paula Jean Welden, a young woman who mysteriously disappeared from Bennington’s campus.

The movie depicts Shirley and Ross’s close bond as they work together to research Paula’s case for the book. It also reveals the secret affairs of both of their husbands, leading to the deterioration of their relationships.

Shirley received critical acclaim worldwide and won awards like the Grand Jury, Chlotrudis, and HCA awards.

Martin Scorsese was an executive producer for the movie.


IMDb BiographyDramaMystery

A famous horror writer, Shirley Jackson, and her husband take in a young couple, which leads to revealing the mysterious disappearance of Paula Jean Welden.

DirectorJosephine Decker
Release DateJune 5, 2020 
StudioKiller Films
Los Angeles Media Fund
CastElisabeth Moss, Odessa Young, Michael Stuhlbarg, Logan Lerman, Victoria Pedretti, Robert Wuhl, Paul O’Brien,
WriterSarah Gubbins, Susan Scarf Merrell
Runtime1 hour 47 minutes

7. The Departed

The Departed is an American crime thriller movie directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan.

It is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, loosely based on the real-life Boston Winter Hill Gang.

The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Ray Winstone in the leading roles.

It revolves around two men, Colin Sullivan and Billy Costigan, who are leading double lives. Colin Sullivan is a member of an Irish Mob gang led by Frank Costello, who is sent as a spy inside the Massachusetts State Police and joins the Special Investigation Unit.

Whereas Billy Costigan is a cop who goes undercover as a criminal and gets recruited into Costello’s organization.

Furthermore, tension arises when the State police and Costello realize there is a mole in their organizations and task Costigan and Sullivan with finding it. This leads to uncovering the truth and causing a terrible fight between the two organizations.

The movie received praise worldwide and won four Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Film Adapted Screenplay.

The Departed

IMDb CrimeDramaThriller

An undercover cop of the Massachusetts State Police and a member of an Irish gang hide their identities to infiltrate each organization as spies.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateOctober 6, 2006
StudioPlan B Entertainment
Initial Entertainment Group
Vertigo Entertainment
Media Asia Films
CastLeonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga
WriterWilliam Monahan, Alan Mak, Felix Chong
Runtime2 hours 31 minutes

6. Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York is an American historical crime drama movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

It is based on Herbert Asbury’s 1927 book The Gangs of New York and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Cameron Diaz in the leading roles.

The movie follows the year 1846 in Five Points, when two rival gangs, the Anglo-Protestant Confederation of American Natives, led by William “Bill the Butcher,” and the Irish Catholic immigrant Dead Rabbits, led by “Priest” Vallon, enter a final battle to decide which team will hold power over the territory.

At the end of the battle, Bill eradicates Vallon and declares Dead Rabbits’ victory; Vallon’s young son witnesses the event, and after his father’s demise, he is sent to an orphanage.

The movie further depicts 1862, 16 years after the incident, when Vallon’s son “Amsterdam” returns to the Five Points to take revenge on Bill by hook or by crook.

It received critical acclaim worldwide and was nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture, Director, and Actor.

The movie also received several renowned awards, including the BAFTA Film Award, Critics Choice Award, Golden Globe, and Golden Satellite Award.

Gangs of New York

IMDb CrimeDrama

16 years after the demise of his father, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York to seek revenge against cruel Biill, who eradicated his father in a battle to conquer the territory.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateDecember 20, 2002
StudioTouchstone Pictures
Miramax Films
Alberto Grimaldi Productions
CastLeonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson
WriterJay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, Kenneth Lonergan
Runtime2 hours 47 minutes

5. Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver is an American neo-noir psychological thriller movie directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader.

It stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks in the leading roles.

The movie follows Travis Bickle, who takes a job as a night-shift taxi driver in New York City to cope with his chronic insomnia, loneliness, and deteriorating mental state.

Furthermore, the movie depicts how Travis experiences an existential crisis, is disgusted with the crime and urban decay in the city, and dreams about ridding the dirt and dirty people off the streets. After beginning to work out on his physical health and buying weapons, Travis starts to take the lives of people, such as robbers, dealers, and other offenses.

The movie also illustrates how Travis tries to protect a 12-year-old child prostitute named Irish from her vicious lover named Sport and tries to persuade her to stop doing the work. Due to his psychotic and obsessive behavior, Travis suffers a lot, leading him to attempt to take his own life.

Taxi Driver is regarded as one of the most culturally significant and inspirational movies of its time, one of the greatest movies ever made, and also the 12th greatest movie of all time.

The movie won the 1994 National Fim Registry honor in the National Film Preservation Board and was nominated for four Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Although the movie doesn’t fall into the horror genre, Robert De Niro’s psychotic role as Travis can give you scary sensations.

Taxi Driver

IMDb DramaCrime

A mentally disturbed man, Travis works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where he is disgusted by the unethical activities in the City and dreams of removing the dirt and dirty people of the city.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateFebruary 8, 1976
StudioBill/Phillips Productions
Italo-Judeo Productions
CastRobert De Niro, Garth Avery, Jodie Foster, Leonard Harris, Harvey Keitel, Bob Maroff
WriterPaul Schrader
Runtime1 hour 54 minutes

4. Mean Streets

Mean Streets is an American crime drama thriller movie directed by Martin Scorsese and co-written by Mardik Martin.

It stars Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, and Cesare Danova in the leading roles.

The movie follows Charlie Cappa, a young Italian-American in the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City. He is hindered by his feeling of responsibility toward his irresponsible friend, John “Johnny Boy” Civello, a small-time gambler with many loans.

It also depicts Charlie’s secret affair with Johnny’s cousin Teresa, who has epilepsy, and the tension between Charlie and Teresa’s uncle Giovanni, a powerful mafia.

The movie further displays how Charlie tries to protect Johnny from the loan sharks by trying to sacrifice himself on behalf of Johnny.

Mean Streets received positive reviews from critics and was also Scorses’s first critical and commercial success. The Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the United States National Film Registries.

Mean Streets

IMDb CrimeDramaThriller

Charlie Cappa, a young man in New York City’s Little Italy, struggles to help his troublesome friend Johnny, who is surrounded by Loan Sharks, while maintaining his relationship with his epileptic lover and her mobster uncle.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateOctober 14, 1973
StudioTaplin-Perry-Scorsese Productions
CastRobert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Cesare Danova, Victor Argo, Richard Romanus
WriterMardik Martin, Martin Scorsese
Runtime1 hour 52 minutes

3. Bringing Out the Dead

Bringing Out the Dead is an American psychological drama thriller movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

It is based on Joe Connelly’s 1998 novel, which is the same name, and stars Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman, Ving Rhames, and Tom Sizemore in the leading roles.

The movie follows a Manhattan paramedic, Frank Pierce, who suffers from depression, insomnia, and occupational burnout after not having saved any patients in months after mishandling the resuscitation of Rose, a homeless teen.

It further depicts how Frank starts to hallucinate Rose’s ghost and is haunted by the patients he couldn’t save.

As Frank begins to feel the pressure of saving lives and witnessing demise, he fights to maintain his sanity over three increasingly rough nights. He meets three co-workers who accompany him and gets hope of not falling off the edge when he forms a friendship with one of the patient’s daughters.

The movie won the Florida Film Critics Circle Awards for best cinematography and was nominated for awards, like the Golden Satellite Award and Golden Trailer Awards.

Bringing Out the Dead

IMDb DramaThriller

A burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic, Frank, struggles to maintain his sanity over three rough nights where he sees the ghost of the patients whom he could not save.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateOctober 22, 1999 
StudioParamount Pictures
Touchstone Pictures
Scott Rudin Productions
CastNicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman, Ving Rhames, Tom Sizemore, Cynthia Roman
WriterJoe Connelly, Paul Schrader
Runtime2 hours 1 minute

2. Shutter Island

Shutter Island is an American neo-noir psychological thriller mystery movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

It is based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley in the leading roles.

The movie follows the year 1954 when U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule travel to Aschcliffe Hospital for the insanity defense on Shutter Island Boston Harbor to investigate the missing case of Rachel Solando, a patient of the hospital who had previously drowned her three children.

During his time in Shutter Island, Teddy learns and discovers more information about Rachel and the head psychiatrist, Dr. John Cawley, who appears to be uncooperative from the beginning.

Furthermore, the movie also illustrates Teddy’s flashback of his experience as a U.S. Army Soldier and vivid dreams of his wife, Dolores, who passed away in a fire accident.

It also depicts the mysterious and unusual activities appearing on Shutter Island that lead to the unfolding of the mysterious truth behind Teddy’s dark past.

Shutter Island is a period piece with nods to different films in the film noir and horror genres.

With positive reviews from critics worldwide, the movie has won several awards, including the Russian National Movie Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, and the National Board of Review Awards.

Shutter Island

IMDb MysteryDramaThriller

Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, two US marshals, are sent to an asylum on Shutter Island to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a patient, where Teddy uncovers a shocking truth about his own past.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateFebruary 19, 2010
StudioPhoenix Pictures
Sikelia Productions
Appian Way Productions
CastLeonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Ted Levine, Elias Koteas, Emily Mortimer
WriterDennis Lehane, Laeta Kalogridis
Runtime2 hours 18 minutes

1. Cape Fear

Cape Fear is an American psychological crime thriller movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

It is a remake of the 1962 movie of the same name and is based on John D. MacDonald’s 1957 novel The Executioners.

The movie stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Joe Don Baker, and Juliette Lewis in leading roles.

It follows Max Cady, a psychotic convict who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the ravishment and battery of a 16-year-old girl. Sam Bowden, his defense attorney, was disgusted by Cady’s crime and hid evidence of the victim’s promiscuity, which led to his imprisonment.

With the plan of taking fierce revenge on Sam, Max started working out and studying law during his time in jail; after his release, Max began to stalk and terrorize the family, which led to revealing his psychotic nature and many terrible and scary events, including the homicide of people.

The movie received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for several renowned awards, including the two Oscars and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor (Robert De Niro) and Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Lewis).

Cape Fear

IMDb CrimeThriller

A convicted rapist, released from prison after a 14-year sentence, stalks and terrorize the family of the lawyer who defended him.

DirectorMartin Scorsese
Release DateNovember 15, 1991
StudioAmblin Entertainment
Cappa Films
Tribeca Productions
CastRobert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis, Joe Don Baker
WriterJohn D. MacDonald, James R. Webb, Wesley Strick
Runtime2 hours 8 minutes
Suruchi Lohani
Suruchi Lohani
Suruchi is a student of Business Management, who is also a movie enthusiast. She loves writing articles and blogs related to movies. Besides that, she enjoys reading novels and is passionate about learning new things.


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