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Over 25% Of People Agree That This Is The Scariest Movie Of The Past 5 Years

Horror, like so many things in life, is subjective. Some people swear that The Exorcist is pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel, while others actually laugh at the infamous pea soup scene. In short, there's no one size fits all answer to what people find scary, but there's also no denying that some scary movies capture the public's imagination more so than others.

That seems particularly true when you look back at some of the genre's most recent entries. Thanks to Jordan Peele's genre-busting movies Get Out and Us, unnerving films like Midsommar, and the resurgence of comedy-horror hybrids like Ready or Not, moviegoers looking for scares have had plenty of quality options lately.

But which horror movie released in the past five years can claim the title of being the scariest movie of them all? That's the question that Looper posed in a recent poll, and 658 people weighed in with answers ranging from Hereditary to "does the presidential debate count?" (sorry everyone who voted for that last one, but we're sticking with fiction over real life horror this time around). However, the ultimate winner walked away with 25.23% of the vote, and beat out Annabelle: Creation (15.20%), A Quiet Place (13.53%), Get Out (10.94%), Us (7.29%), The Witch (7.14%), Hereditary (5.47%), and Midsommar (4.26%) in the process.

It seems that one thing that unites modern movie fans is a fear of clowns, because Pennywise's demonic antics in Andrés Muschietti's 2017 remake of Stephen King's It earned more than 25% of the vote, securing its title as the scariest film of the past five years. That begs the question what makes It such a standout?

What makes It the scariest movie of the past 5 years?

The answer is fairly simple: a strong cast of young up-and-comers, and a villain that taps into the uneasy feeling many people have around clowns. While true coulrophobia is rare, the evil clown trope is effective whether you have an actual phobia or not — especially when that evil clown is played with as much menace as Bill Skarsgård poured into the role of Pennywise.

It also helps that as a horror movie, It works on multiple levels. At its heart, it's a coming of age story about a group of misfits in the 1980s. Watching the Losers Club bond over their respective traumas and desire to stop Pennywise before he kills more children helps the audience form an attachment to the characters. That in turn creates real stakes, which are sorely lacking in some horror movies. (Come on, be honest, did you really care about any of the characters in Midsommar?)

But at the same time, It is also legitimately scary. From the opening scene where Pennywise lures little Georgie to the sewer drain to his transformation into the woman from the painting that haunts poor Stanley, the movie keeps the scares coming. And not just from Pennywise, there's also plenty of horror to be mined from neglectful parents and all-too-human bullies, too.

All of these elements combine to make It one of the scariest and most memorable horror movies of the last five years, and ensures that at least this time around, the members of Losers Club are the clear winners.