45 Best Horror Movies to Watch that can creep you out!
Until there is another movie with amusing visuals, suitable sounds, and extensive CG effects, this list will contain the 50 Best Horror Movies to date. We all know that best is always relative and calling something as the best is more of an opinion rather than a statement of fact. Therefore focusing on this subject of relativity, we are here providing you a silent understanding of the horror movie ingredients and then take you about the skin, blood, and bones of the films while introducing you to the horror that can make your bodies crumble to the dust. Having said that, the definition of the horror gets reduced to the movies that want to unsettle, scare or disturb leaving you with a room full of fright. Some of these movies can be a blend of comedies, thrillers and some even as science fiction even. These movies here listed are the top 50 Best Horror Movies making them best among the best as they are numbered accordingly.
#1 The Thing (1982):
Through years, there was news about this movie that it is being remade but then again no one would even want to create another version of the derision. Hollywood gained cynicism over the years but if you have a quick look on the best movies that have been made, this is one of the movies out of the four that stands in the list of Best Horror Movies. Directed by John Carpenter, this movie has a fusion of Scientific fiction and horror together along with paranoia, tension, fear and lots of mistrust as well with the minimal characters involved creating an isolated environment with an additional layer of extended hopelessness. Tossed in the stellar performances by the cast, this movie can be tagged as a master class movie with the effects from Rob Bottin that can captivate the audience to this day and can give a thrilling and suspenseful experience. The movie has been initially ignored on the release, but because of the great artworks; this film has been gaining fame over the period and within we know, it has turned out to be a classic with the plot, adapted from a short story with the same name written by John W. Campbell.
#2 Rosemary’s Baby (1968):
I still remember the day I have watched Rosemary’s baby because of what it contained and what it did to me. Adapted from the best-selling novel with the same name, written by Ira Levin; this movie is directed by Roman Polanski who introduced us to the satanic and paranoic panic in the Hollywood. While it was only 1968 when the movie got released, Anton Lavey and his Satan Church were in the consciousness of the people and therefore the citizens of USA were concerned about the devil worship in groups. Tapping this mass hysteria with a streak, Polanski has made this film creating a nerve-shredding thriller told from a pregnant, petrified protagonist. The most amazing thing he did as a director is putting himself in the shoes of the audience and make us experience the ordeal before the horror starts unfolding. As he introduced the element of Satan baby in the picture, the movie became more penetrating and vulnerable which is why it has inspired the entire satanic cult giving you another reason for the existence of the Rosemary’s Baby.
#3 Psycho (1960):
When you say horror, you’re indirectly referring to the name of ‘Alfred Hitchcock’. This movie is a classic that happens in a roadside motel with a proper structure and suspense. Out of all the Hitchcock movies, this film is said to be the one that has the best content and can be considered as a case study at film schools for people who want to make films that are narratively complete and extremely flawless. Anthony Perkins plays the role of infamous Norman Bates, the manager of a disturbed motel and he’s known to have mommy issues. Janet Leigh in this film is highly remembered for that one impressive shower scene that goes beyond the limits. Pyscho as a movie talks about duality and as a result, it is a blend of 1950s candy-colored movies and the 1960s diaspora as well. Considered as the second best Hitchcock film after Vertigo, one should definitely not miss out on this film for what it offers including the powerful performances, the orchestrated suspense, and the visual misdirection as well. When you see the shower scene, you know what I’m talking about and do not fail to appreciate the work of the genius them, considering how he managed to give an adrenaline rush back then.
#4 Jaws (1975):
It’s all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, ‘Huh? What?’ You yell shark, we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.” It’s the simplest and most elemental of fears. There’s an infinite ocean resting just outside your doorstep, and escaping the horrors of your daily life is as easy as plunging into its cool graces. Clothes optional. But what evil lurks beneath its welcoming, warm waters? Nature. Hungry, and without remorse for your attachment to dogs or children.
Steven Spielberg himself has established his image with this movie that has B graded Schlocks and A graded craft. The jaw has become a horror movie because of the aquaphobic chief, who plays the lead in the movie. The plot is quite interesting, but the effort that the director has put beside the film is what makes it even more interesting. Witnessing Brody’s failure in saving a boy from a beast, we can relate ourselves to the sense of shame and then how he gets on a mission to hunt this monster down. Speilberg has suffered a lot with the budget and the time that to create the sharks, he had to go on a roller coaster ride.
#5 Halloween (1978):
John Carpenter was again hired to make a horror film, as he created an impact by the movie, ‘The Exorcist’. By taking assistance from Debra Hill, his girlfriend; Carpenter has started working on the script that was initially titled as ‘The Babysitter Murders’. However, the title has been scrapped and then replaced with Halloween, through which a legendary movie has been born. Michael Myers plays the villain of the movie and he represents the story of a storyteller. Michael is evil and doesn’t have a motive which is why he can not be stopped. Filming the third feature film, Carpenter manages to master the movie only with a budget of just of $300,000. While this one can actually take as a hindrance, the director used it to his advantage which is why this movie isn’t bloody or violent.
The movie doesn’t contain any disposable characters and whenever you see a kill, you will see it serving the purpose. The movie contains a pace and rhythm when it comes to the serial killings and with the Halloween image added to it, it is definitely a must watch in the list of Best Horror Movies, this weekend with a tub of popcorn.
#6 The Shining (1980):
Most of the people take the name of this movie when they are asked to name the best horror movie that they have watched in life. A smorgasbord full of horror, this is the only non-franchise film that one can watch. Inspired by the novel with the same name written by Stephen King as earliest of his novels, this book is creepy and spooky as well. Stanley Kubrick’s movie has inspired many documentaries, imitators, homage episodes, recuts, tv series and people have even done a marathon about this multi-day horror film. The story itself is creepy as it overstuffed with blood waterfalls, a psychic kid, silent twins, a claustrophobic father, and a paranoid mother. However, its the pacing, the cinematography and the frenzy performances that made the film surreal and builds a fever in the audience. Each and every moment in this film is nothing less than a gem right from ‘Here’s Johnny’ to the ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ to the ‘REDRUM’ will creep into your and can scare the shit out of you. If you’re a diehard Stanely Kubrick fan then this movie is exclusively made for you and only you.
#7 Alien (1979):
Alien is a science fiction film blended with the horror genre and it dates back to the days or Ridley Scott. This movie stars Sigourney Weaver as the lead along with Veronica Cartwright, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton, and Ian Holm in major roles. The first movie to become large in the Alien franchise, the title of the movie stands for the extraterrestrial creatures that we usually see. This creature in the movie starts stalking and then attacking the crew of a particular spaceship. The screenplay of the film has been co-authored by Ronald Shusett and Dan O’ Bannon. Did you ever wonder in the horror films why the victims never run as fast as the prey? Well, Alien makes this idea scary with the crew having just nowhere to go. They are stuck in a spaceship where a monster enters and starts to kill for its own survival. Ripley stands as the only final girl in the action making the movie a believable plot that happened in the blue where we wonder about the life beyond the galaxy, the bureaucracy and the emphasizing of danger and fear in another dimension. If you’re a Sci-Fi movie, this one is a must watch for you.
#8 Scream (1996):
By the mid-years of the 90s, horror started playing out in a larger role than accepted. The main reason is that Hitchcock started amusing people with his thrillers and inspired his movies, many cult movies, slashers and camp movies have come into the picture. Out of all, Scream came out with the script written by Wes Craven where he has not only made the film scary but he also made fun of the horror movies at the same time by creating a meta-horror movie. In this movie, the killer will start the buff-baiting hundred dollar question “What’s your favorite scary movie?” along with Barrymore’s disembowelment has taken the first installment of the movie to a height that they made three sequels after that and even a TV series has popped out of it. Scream is one of those movies that you will watch and enjoy and as well as feel delighted because of what it contains. For all the horror fans around the world, the Scream is a movie which brings joy by jumping through the genre tropes where partiers die, virgins live and people usually split up even knowing that they are in a horror scene. This movie, in a word, can actually be described a deconstructive art of the horror genre where the teens who have better skills than the slashers come up with different techniques. The cast of the movie includes Neve Campbell, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, and Courtney Cox as well. This movie is known to show the best chemistry of the 90’s horror films and therefore is considered as a euphoria by many teens.
#9 Bride of Frankenstein (1935):
There aren’t really many sequels that can pass the original movie just like the Godfather, Terminator etc. However, the Bride of Frankenstein made by James Whale should be mentioned in the same thread for what it holds. The first sequel to the universal hit that happened in 1931, this movie is considered as one of the best sequels in the movie history. This sequel has Elsa Lanchester playing two roles, Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein. The immaculate role of Doctor Septimus Pretorius is played by Ernest Thesiger. After the first film, this one continues with the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his creature. While he tries to forget his crime of death re-animation, his mentor has some other plans existing in his mind. Doctor Septimus wants to continue the work of Frankenstein and then create a bride for the Frankenstein’s monster. This film is known to have so many scenes that resemble the original but it continues with an organic story which will bring a lot of sense into the original movie making it stand like a jewel on the top of the Universal movies under horror genre.
#10 An American Werewolf in London (1981):
An American Werewolf in London is a horror-comedy which is written and as well as directed by John Landis. The movie stars Jenny Agutter, David Naughton and Griffin Dunne in main roles. Two young students, Jack Goodman and David Kessler get attacked by a werewolf when they go for a backpacking holiday in England. Jack gets killed due to an incident and David moves to the London Hospital where David gets informed that he is a werewolf and will transform into one during the full moon. The movie has the charm of John Hughes along with The Howling combined in a blender. When an animal attach kills his friend, a backpacker reveals that he is a werewolf. The best part of this movie is the extraordinary special effects and graphics, given by Rich Baker, especially the one where David transforms himself into a wolf with agony during a full moon. As poetic and lucid it seems, this scene is horrifying and as well as thrilling. It’s only after that we see David attacking the victims and several of them urging him to commit suicide before he goes on the hunt. The film contains some highly practical elements and effects for a horror comedy and in the times where werewolf rumors were coming out, it really did manage to bring the best out of people.
#11 Let the Right One In (2008):
This Swedish film is written and directed by Tomas Alfredson. The story of the movie is about an isolated young boy who gets bullied by people around and who doesn’t have any friends. Starting to have some real behavioral issues, Oskar tries to find solace and comfort in the new arrivals. One such new arrival is Eli, a young girl who comes to his place as a loner. However, unfortunately; she is a vampire and despite the genre; this movie speaks alot about Oskar. The main aim of the director is for us to focus on the characterization of Oskar and to understand him from inside out. Other than being considered as a companion of the vampire, the audience is expected to understand the type of person he is which is why after watching the film, you will feel that there should be more movies about the Renfields. Apart from the plot, you will also find points and details of the lead even in the most violent scenes. The camera stays entirely with Oskar, trying to establish his perspective when he is hidden under the water when Eli starts preying on his tormentors. The movie could have gone full gore, but in order to keep this perspective tact and the title in point; you will find that the movie is interesting once you are done with the end titles rolling on the screen without knowing if it has a happy ending or not!
#12 The BabaDook (2014):
Staying on the tongues of the children back in 2014, this is one of those movies that we all want to watch because of the story associated. The movie gives you more than the growling distorted monster whose BA BA DOOK is only heard most of the times, in the back. Jennifer Kent has been credited immensely for making one of the best films of the year. The plot is made in such a way that it is both touching as well as scary. The movie deals with the life of a single mom who has to deal with the behavioral issues of his only son. On one of his birthdays, also the same day where his husband has been killed in a car accident, the family starts to break where the mother along with the son descends into chaos and madness. From the title, the few questions that instantly pop up in our minds is whether the book monster is actually brought to life in this movie or is it just a tooth infection, as claimed by the mother. The best thing about the movie, however, is the end where you see this movie is not just a yell or a jump scare flick. This movie has a lot to do with the psychological health and people might interpret in their own way as they deal with the long-term effects of grief and loss. While Essie Davis nails her performance as the mom, Noah is equally good playing the impressive mentally ill son. This film is terrifying, but also moving making it one of the decent movies that can create a feat for dark corners in your home because of the empathy you share with the kid. So, it is adviced not to miss this movie until unless you shit your pants watching the horror films.
#13 The Cabin in the Woods (2012):
Again, creating a Meta horror movie is one of the best techniques adopted to derail a film but only the talented directors can make these films work and the results might turn out as magical as the Scream. We can credit Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard for being incredibly funny, smart and creative with this movie as they create a love letter with this film to the horror films. This is one of those films that became a success by deconstructing the tropes as mentioned above in a brilliant way. This movie is not only entertaining but is one of a kind film that has the sharpest writing spin where an apocalyptic tale is narrated based on the history, the mayhem, and the death. All of these things are paired with wonderful monster creatures that form the slashing and bloodletting. When the movie is made, the horror flicks have been going downhill and this movie can be called as a renaissance to all of them. Being disappointed with the great horror movies and their gore, both of the writers started writing a plot that layers humor on the plot and both the halves are clear where blending is seamless.
#14 Dawn of the Dead (1978):
If you’re watching the movie for the first time, it sure as well gets overwhelming for you. The main reason behind this is the movie has been ripped off completely and later copied by many movies that each scene will remind you some other movie for sure. The movie is the one that has created a signature for the horror films and since its release, the movie has been incorporated in TV shows, zombie films and even other video games as well. The plot is situated among the years after the night that contained the Living Dead has happened. It is about the story of four different survivors who tried to make a life by occupying an abandoned mall. George Romero has managed to make a film in color for the first time as all his movies that are made before were in Black and White. However, half of the credit goes to Tom Savini, the cinematographer who succeeded in capturing the apocalyptic horror. Blended with gore and blood, Dawn of the Dead is nothing less than a social commentary involved with materialism which is why it exerts a great influence on the entire genre.
#15 Shaun of the Dead (2004):
Shaun of the Dead is a comedy film blended with the horror. Directed by the infamous Edgar Wright, this movie is co-written by him and Simon Pegg. It stars the same in the lead role, along with Nick Forst. Pegg plays the role of Shaun, a Londoner who gets caught in an apocalypse. The best thing about the film is that it achieved both commercials as well as critical success, and also got nominated for the BAFTA as well. This movie is later followed by Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, both of them forming a trilogy with the first. You wouldn’t know that the film is the first of both even by looking at it. Remained as the favorite for many, Shaun of the Dead has a truckload of things and is indeed a love letter to the entire genre with tightly written and edited comedy where love, adulthood, and friendship are equally distributed. While we expect that the Shaun of the Dead has things for everyone, it is, even more, easier to say that the movie has everything for everyone. A fantastic film as it is, this movie is a double bonanza for people.
#16 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920):
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari can be tagged as the first horror movie ever. This German movie is directed by Robert Wiene back in 1920 as a part of the Expressionism art moment. Written by Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz, the movie narrates the story of a hypnotist who hypnotizes a somnambulist to murder people. The film is twisted and it has a dark visual style about it where we see curving lines, obliques, landscapes and other structures that are lean and full of twists. Filled with shadows, unusual angles and other forms of streaks, the movie contains light painted on the sets. The script was known to be inspired by the lives of both Mayer and Janowitz, both of them being distrustful pacifists and are left to chronic experiences in the military world during the World War I. The design of the film has been handled by Walter Reimann, Hermann Warm and Walter Rohrig who have brought the graphics into the picture, back then. The film contains symbolism where the brutal authority of the Dr. Caligari stands for the German government and Cesare stands for the common men, the soldiers who are being killed. Being one of the most influential horror movies, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has a storytelling that goes beyond the constraints of the silent cinema with chilling production design, settings that make the movie scary.
#17 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974):
Texas Ch chainsaw Massacre is nothing but pornography juxtaposed with immense terror. Well, that’s what the British Board of Film Certification has tagged it. While James Ferman actually wanted to criticize the movie, it stood out as a compliment to the film as it got the interest of teenagers sparking because of the word porn along with terror. The best thing about this film is unlike the pack of pretentiously frightened people, this film contains a group of game changers who try so hard to survive. The film manages to exert an emotional response in people because of the humor it contains when we know that the Leatherface is actually a woman or the relief we get when our girl manages to flee away. Standing as one of the best horror movies even after 40 years, this movie is an iconography entrenched with lots of fear. With Chainsaw being the nefarious tool cluttering in a local store, this movie is about the Texas surroundings where people get haunted like dirty little pigs. While violence is so tacted in this movie, you will come across several unexpected hippies. Being one of the best movies that I have watched in the recent times, this movie is recommended among the list of Best Horror Movies.
#18 Night of the Living Dead (1968):
Night of the Living Dead is an independent horror film, written, shot and directed by Goerge Romero. The movie has Judith O’Dea and Duane Jones in the main roles with characters Barbra, Ben and five others. All of the members of the group get trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse that is besieged by a growing group of ‘living dead’ beings. The Night of the Living Dead, as a movie has excelled so much that it led to five different movies that are directed between 1978-2010, all of them directed by the same. The movie also has been remade twice and one of them has been released in 1990, by Tom Savini. Night of the Living Dead has helped people in making and creating tropes of the classic horror movies where the house is the horror fortress. People in the film fight for the patriarch role and the phones are broken without a signal and just like many horror films, emotion and paranoia are the worst enemies of the person. While it is extremely hard to ignore that the film is made in the time of civil rights moment and it is the only film during the period which had the black actor playing the lead role. However, he gets killed by a police randomly in the last even after standing as the last man in the picture. The only reason behind this is because he just gave the best audition.
#19 The Exorcist (1973):
An American supernatural film, this one is directed by William Friedkin. Adapted from the novel with the same name, written by William Peter Blatty back in 1971; this movie has Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow and Linda Blair in major roles. The film has formed the franchise as the book is inspired by the Exorcism of Roland Doe, written in 1949. Talking about the demonic possessions of a 12-year-old girl, her mother tries to get her back with the exorcism, by two church priests. The disturbing behavior of the girl escalates our attention and the excellent day is shown with immense visuals which can stun us. Whether you consider this film to be a thriller, a straight up horror, a movie that speaks about faith or a combination of three, the Exorcist is a movie that has many unnerving moments. The other shoe dropping moment in the film is when we see the satanic vocal gargling enters into the frame in ways we can’t even anticipate. The Exorcist is a theological battleground that has everything entailing with trauma, pain, puke, and things that can make you shiver as well as make you happy because being frightened is one of the extreme emotions.
#20 Poltergeist (1982):
Poltergeist, an American horror film, it is directed by Tobe Hooper. The movie has been written by Steven Spielberg, produced by the same but because of the clause in the contract that prevented him from directing another supernatural film, he has selected Tobe Hooper to direct this movie based on the Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The first entry in the series, this movie is set in the Californian suburbs where the plot revolves around the family, where the home is invaded by malevolent ghosts who abducted the younger daughter in the family. This movie stands out as a proof that not all horror movies should have an R rating. The movie can in fact scar you with scenes that involve rotting faces, meat, men eating trees, clown dolls, actual skeletons in the pool and the closets. Poltergeist would have gotten PG-13 if its made today, but still it stands out as one of the Best Horror Movies, that feeds on the fears for any age, even if you’re 5 or 50. Beyond the practicality of the movie, it has a narration that strongly builts the movie and it does a commendable job in balancing the perspectives of both children and adults about the horror movies.
#21 The Fly (1986):
The Fly is a science fiction film, written and directed by David Cronenberg. The film has been produced by the Brroksfilms and stars Jeff Goldblum in the lead role along with John Getz and Geena Davis. This movie is even listed in the list of Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time. The movie is based on the short story written on the same name by George Langeleen back in 1957. This film tells the story of an eccentric scientist whose experiments goes wrong and as a result who turns into a fly and with the elevation of Howard Shore’s score; the movie has been marked as one of the best films made with the team of Stephan Dupuis and Chris Wales. Since the beginning of the career, David Cronenberg as a director has been creating movies that are impeccable. Luxuriated with empathy for the bizarre and mindfuck creations, he has an eye for the weird and the peculiar. If you have watched ‘The Brood’ or the ‘X-Men’, you will know why he is so hassled when it comes to the characterization and therefore, he doesn’t often forge a deeper connection between the audience and his movies. However, Jeff Goldblum has been tested as a subject for the teleportation technology by Seth Brundle who injects him with the DNA of a house fly resulting him to transform into a BrundleFly. Though the movie is weird and a bit freaky, there will be times where you will have the ultimate fun. This movie has stood out as an inspiration to many movies in different languages and as a result, we see films till date, that are similar to this plot. The triumph of this movie is that we can actually feel the pain of the transformation rather than looking at him as a monster we should be afraid of.
#22 The Descent (2005):
An adventure horror film, The Descent is one of the Best Horror Movies that I’ve watched personally. Written and directed by Neil Marshall, the film contains the story of six women who enter into a cave system that is unmapped and hence becomes trapped. Later, they get hunted by cannibalistic humanoids living in the subterranean area. The filming of this film has taken place in the United Kingdom with the exterior scenes at Hertfordshire. The filmmakers have considered the movie to be time-consuming as well as dangerous to shoot in the cave which is why they have built an interior set in Pinewood Studios, London. The girls get set on an adventure to spelunk so that their grieving friend can relax. According to them, the enclosed natural spaces that have restricted exists and entrances is a wonderful place to find the zen. However, the humanoids crawling in the caves is not something that they expect and the majority of the films contain horrifying and butt-clenching moments with the uncharted screenplay making it a must watch.
#23 Invasion of Body Snatchers (1978):
This movie is again a Sci-Fi horror film, written and directed by the infamous Philip Kaufman. The movie has Donald Sutherland, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and out very own Leonard Nimoy. This movie is a remake of the 1956 version and is based on the novel written with the same name by Jack Finney. The plot of the movie is about a health inspector and colleagues who come to know that the humans are replaced by the aliens. All the persons in the movie are shown as replaced, but they are obviously devoid of the emotions. Based on the novel, The Body Snatchers; this movie has been dragged to the screen around four times or more and the 2007 movie version has given credits to Philip Kaufman for this work. This movie has a harrowing paranoia and fear blended together with creepy elements. The special effects went so well with Kaufman’s direction and the bustling of San Francisco stood as the perfect setting of the movie with the likes of Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Brooke Adams and Donald Sutherland as well. The story will frighten you where the friends and neighbors around are completely discarded like trash and the replicas are placed everywhere. This is when the question, ‘What does a person do when they can’t trust their ownself’ pops in the picture.
#24 Frankenstein (1931):
Frankenstein is a precoded horror film, directed by James Whale under the Universal Pictures banner. Adapted from the play, written by Peggy Webling, this movie is the story of a scientist and his assistant. Digging the corpses up, the man tries to animate people using the electricity while his assistant once gives one of those creatures, the brain of a murderer. As a result, a monster gets into the picture around whom the entire film rotates. The Frankenstein tale starts here where the monster is helmed as a classic creature with stilted legs and neck bolts, but it is alive! If you’re hearing about this movie for the first time, it might seem overrated as well as cheesy to you. This is because the film has spent around 86 years, being spoofed, homaged and referenced various times in the pop culture. Therefore, you will either love it for what it has or hate it; but it is the founding father of the genre and if you are calling yourself a horror buff without watching this movie, its like calling yourself a theatre artist without reading any of the Shakespeare plays.
#25 [Rec] (2007):
REC is a 2007 Spanish film, written and directed by Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero. The film has been shot in Barcelona and title has been given because the film is a footage that contains ‘record’ on the frames as if it has been shot on the video camera. Both of them together has previously directed a documentary named, la pelicula. REC has been filmed as a footage film and the usage of the shaky camera is an element that captures the audience. The film has been remade again in the United States, as Quarantine. The plot contains a team who goes to the quarantine and gets trapped on the wrong side, getting more than what they have actually bargained for. As a result, the infections get spread among the residents as they find a footage. Rec as a movie has the word [REC] cited as a rightful exception where it shows the claustrophobia and subjective viewpoint that contains the calamity. It never cheats itself on the format and by the time you see the end credits rolling, you will be scarred more than the entire crew. Rec as a movie has an excellently earned payoff and there is a high possibility that you might even shit your pants off if you’re watching it for the first time. The first time I was watching it, it was a bright sunny day and I was still squirming.
#26 The Night of the Hunter (1955):
When comedy is mixed with horror, you see similar tricks being employed for almost all the same tricks. Both the art forms have the common way of creating tension among the viewers till they can’t take it anymore and the only way that it gets relieved is when you have a scare or a punch line acting up. Steve Martin is the best example as a comedian when he started building enough pressure on the audience but never ended it with a punchline so it was for the audience to the device whether they should laugh or not and when to laugh as well. Charles Laughton, the director of ‘The Night of the Hunter’ has applied the same theory in his movie. The 1955 classic as it is, this movie is horrifying but when you think of it, it doesn’t contain a lot that the usual formulaic horror movie contains. It doesn’t have guts, it doesn’t have gore neither it does have blood; however, it will manage to leave you nauseous. The movie doesn’t even contain jump scares in the middle but you on your own will get the shooting tickle up the spine because of the scenes. The tension in the movie is built throughout and therefore, this movie can be categorized as a different one among the list of Best Horror Movies. The audience is not prompted to do anything and because of that, you will feel an unrelenting dread spreading over you. The most common element between this movie and the other horror films is the creation of iconic villain that can disturb the minds. Jason in this movie wears a hockey mask and carries a machete, while Freddy has a knife glove and the fedora. But, the main monster of The Night of the Hunter, Harry Powell carries a switchblade and has got the tattoos ‘Love’ and ‘Hate’ on his knuckles. Ain’t that something? An additional reason for the film to be the one among the Best Horror Movies is its ability to make the audience step into the helplessness and the lyrical storytelling will create your own nightmare for you.
#27 Pulse (2001):
It is important for a horror movie fan to know that not all horror movies have to be scary in order to be qualified as one. That being said, when a horror film tries to send thrills but not make you jumpscare enough, then you should definitely take a moment and appreciate it. Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Pulse is one such movie that started the beginning of the millennium as it achieves in spades and somehow manages to make people unsettled without the usage of any loud noises. The movie has built scenes, appearing image that can widen your eyes and make your arm hair stand. There is no other film that you can see which have used the shadows terrifyingly well and if not Kurosawa, this wouldn’t have been possible. Based on human’s addiction to electronic devices and social media, this ghost story contains several individual spirits that draft an apocalypse altogether. So, if you haven’t watched this movie already, it is recommended to watch it right away without any further delay to get the essence of different kind of movies. Make sure that you have someone with you, in case if you’re scared of watching the horror flicks, alone.
#28 Re-Animator (1985):
A 1985 Sci-Fi movie, it is loosely based on the novella written in episodes by H.P Lovecraft. Directed by the highly peculiar Stuart Gordon, this movie stars Jeffrey Combs as the Herbert West. The plot is about the story of Herbert West, a scientist who tries to re-animate the dead bodies and in this context, it is similar with Frankenstein. The movie has Dan Cain, his colleague who starts testing the re-animating serum on the dead bodies and they get conflicted with Dr. Carl Hill who was in infatuation with Cain’s fiancee and who wanted to claim his very own invention. The movie is a madcap bonkers and it is not possible for people to not feel the joy in the love story even when it is blended with the horror. The truth behind the film is that it is gross and is burst with playfulness here and there. As a result, you won’t find more fun than watching a cat getting re-animated in this film. There are scenes in the movie where you see a decapitated doctor who places his head between the naked legs of Megan and this is why the movie is known to share certain kind of lasciviousness about it. A horror comedy which is so tight to get, the movie perverse at many points. What makes the movie awesome is Crampton’s chemistry with the script and therefore the direction seems so perfect that you can’t see it going wrong even at a point. Re-Animator, as a film, succeeds in building the connection between the plot and audience. Therefore, despite the grossness of the film, it is entirely fun to watch and probably why it manages to make fire from the front and beyond.
#29 A Night on the Elm Street (2010):
A Nightmare on Elm Street is slasher movie as the title suggests. Written by Eric Heisserer and Wesley Strick, this movie is directed by Samuel Bayer. It stars Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Kellan Lutz and Rooney Mara in main roles. This movie is a remake of the 1984 version that has the same name. Produced by Platinum Dunes and Michael Bay, this movie is designed to reboot the franchise. The film has a plot that revolves around a group of teenagers who get stalked and murdered by Freddy Krueger in their dreams. Discovering that all of them share a link because of their childhood, it will take them time, to realize why are they targets for Freddy. The 1984 version was a classic and therefore, you can watch any of the versions as both of them have the same plot. Therefore, it is as much fair for you to expect that this movie has the same potential content as the 80s movie as well.
I was expecting “Welcome to Prime Time” Freddy. I know, silly me. Freddy is terrifying, and this film is very much pure nightmare fuel. The shot of the angled ceiling over Nancy’s bed as Freddy flexes against the membrane to our reality immediately became one of my all time favorite cinema moments. Nancy is tough, resourceful, clever and rightfully terrified. Freddy is the nightmare man.
Even after 30 years, the movie still has effects on the still and kill the blood explosion, the nightmare arms, the bath-tub frenzy, the ceiling shot and most importantly it has the highest quality that the franchise could ever give. Therefore, if you have adequate enthusiasm, you can watch both the films as the plot is worth to be watched twice, making it a trademark in horror movies.
#30 Suspira (1977):
When you say the word horror, the audience is much hyped about names like Craven, Carpenter and most importantly Hitchcock. But only a few of us might have heard about Dario Argento. Best known for his work in giallo, he has made countless horror movies. To explore more, you should know about the Italian cinema in detail. Out of all the movies that he made, Suspiria is the best. Forming the first of the ‘The Three Mothers’ trilogy, Suspiria is the story of a ballet dancer, Suzy Bannion. When joining the institute, she thinks that she’s going to get world-class teaching at the studio but soon finds that things are not quite right at the Academy. Known for the cinematography and the primary production design, this movie comes out to be brilliant because of the colors used, which appear straight out of the Wonderland. The terrifying music by Goblin is another addition to the movie. If you’re a fan of movies that have fantasies when it comes to the horror genre, this movie is an induced nightmare for you that can give you both goosebumps and jumpscares at the same time making you realize what you’re missing here.
#31 The Legend of Hellhouse (1973):
Horror movies and haunted houses have a ubiquitous relation that goes beyond ages. Therefore, it is obvious for a horror filmmaker to dwell on a haunted house rather than deal with zombies and vampires. Because of the simplicity, the house contains, there will be a lot of inexpensiveness and based on the variations, you can try and make the audience content with types of tales, restless spirits, source material etc. While there is nearly a truckload of movies that do the same, this movie, directed by Richard Matheson takes an extra step when it comes to the narrative. The ghost in the movie is given a cruel backstory and the visitors to the house are eclectic. The movie contains a joint where the supernatural is met with the natural through a designed scientific approach back in that time that the subject of ghosts is shown in rather a rational way. Therefore, the elements in the movie might seem less frightening, but because of the trick pulled by the director; the movie seems educating as well as terrifying. It also tries to convince you that ghosts are as real as the science and indeed gives an explanation for it.
#32 Evil Dead II (1987):
Ask me any day and I will tell you a hundred reason why the deadite series of Sam Raimi should be listed on the top and why it is one of the most beautiful horror trilogies that I have ever seen. Evil Dead is one of those low budget, cabin in the woods movie that you see where you find creepy things like pencil struck in an ankle and the way they torque it. The movie gets me wincing every time. With an army full of darkness being on period, this movie also has comedy wrapped at places with stop-motion clips, infamous quips and also the gonzo fighting as well. Evil Dead II is one of the best movies where you see Bruce Campbell coming on his own. However, what makes the second movie more amusing than the others is the laughing scene. We see people descending into the madness after realizing that they have lost the capacity to cope with the survival. Campbell in this movie makes Ash feel very human after chopping his own infected hand and also, this movie has successfully made me afraid of my very own basement and left me giggling as I go down the stairs.
#33 The Innocents (1961):
There’s something unsettling about having a child who sings in the night. We see the movie getting creepy right from the first frame where the opening credits start. Along with the singing, we get the imagery of Deborah Kerr, sitting in the darkness and starts praying. Well, if that doesn’t make you creepy, I don’t know what will. The Innocents is a movie that narrates the story of Kerr who takes off her job as the governess. She gets asked to take care of her two children as his uncle is negligent about his nephew and niece. While this as a task doesn’t seem too entirely difficult, things get twisted when we know that these children are not normal. The governess who worked there in the past dies a year ago because of the strange circumstances and the children are now possessed by her and her lover who were together in an abusive relationship. Though filmed in black and white, the movie has an eerie and because of the memorable surroundings and the creepy performances, it will stand out in your memory making it the oldest in the list of Best Horror Movies.
#34 Under the Skin (2013):
As the internet loves to argue about each and everything when it comes to the horror movies, one of the most discussed thing is the idea of cantankerous. The idea of what exactly is a horror film and what is not standing in the picture and personally for me, it is all about being scared, disturbed and unsettled. Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer is one such horror film that brings hell to you, on earth. Coming to the story of the movie, it’s about an alien who comes to the earth and then starts sucking on the male human beings and their essence to live. Quite similar to the movie, Species; this movie will transcend you deep into elements like loneliness, identity, sexuality and as you start racking up the body count. The visuals are extremely memorable and manage to create an eerie atmosphere along with scenes that include real terror. The highlight of this movie is the score, produced by Mica Levi. Because of this, one might get excited and elevated in moments where things become extremely heightened and the scene where a cold and windy beach is shown, will haunt you when you have watched it for the first time.
#35 The Witch (2015):
The Witch is a directorial debut of Robert Eggers who made the film as an aesthetic and audacious exercise when it comes to the composition. A multilevel miracle as it is, this film can be listed as a nightmare in New England where we see the finest of the filmmaking in different frames. The production design, the sets, the costumes, the nearly perfect sounds together make the film a pleasure to watch even if it actually is a creeping tale about a Puritan family. The title of the movies comes with a witch who tries to haunt the people and because of the embedded scenes, things might become extremely difficult to watch keeping your eyes, open. The movie contains superstitious and twisted imagery such as a goat’s eye, a choking fruit, a grim, the candlelit supper and all these elements together can create fear jolts in you. A threat to the teenage soul who has an emerging womanhood and her craving for something that scares her devout the family, the unnerving conclusion of the movie is elevating, unexpected and causes a shivering delight. The Witch is a movie that is beyond categorization but is catapulted into the genre because of certain elements.
#36 The Devil’s Backbone (2001):
“What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again.”
Guillermo Del Toro, the recent Oscar winner has very limited interest in movies like Poltergeist because of the ghoul and the gobble. He has been proving himself film after film, that he is a director who sides with the bumps in the night. Set in the middle of Civil War horror, the group of these children is made aware of the threat that lurks in them because of the phantasm spiritual guidance. The Devil’s Backbone, as a movie, is a mood piece which picks the childhood melancholy and it only terrorizes you through man’s treachery. As a cinematographer, he captures the entire amber of the movie in which the kids are shown trapped in the yellow orphanage walls, stretching into the prison around an endless desert. This film is not exactly a horror, as it doesn’t contain screeching strings; but the movie will crush the heart with the nerves. You should watch this movie definitely because it contains the director’s touch which makes the movie a standout from the other Best Horror Movies.
#37 28 Days Later (2002):
28 Days Later is a post-apocalyptic film written by Alex Garland, directed by Danny Boyle. The movie stars Naomie Harris, Cillian Murphy, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson and Christopher Eccleston in the main roles. The plot of the movie depicts the social breakdown which follows an accidental outbreak of a virus as it focuses on the struggle of four different survivors who try to cope up with the further destruction How far, a zombie moves? is the question that has been raised in 28 Days Later movie. This movie has made the shuffling of zombies possible with the new sprinter and the horror as well. This movie takes a while to build the terror up and once it does, this trendsetter gets so unsettling. An interesting thing about the movie is that it has an unforgettable opening, where Jim wakes up in an empty hospital and starts wandering around London where important landmarks like London Eye, Big Ben appear in the background. This movie has set a new trend for the entire zombie-horror movies and will make you crept even before the light speed zombies appear on the screen, which is why it is one of those Best Horror Movies.
#38 The Orphanage (2007):
A Spanish horror film as it is, this movie is the directorial debut of J.A Bayona and has received praise from all over the world. The movie stars Belen Rueda in the role of Laura. As the plot revolves around her, Fernando Cayo plays the role of her husband and Roger Princep their son, Simon. Laura who is an orphan returns to her childhood home in order to turn her house, a home for the physically disabled children. But an argument happens with Laura, after which Simon goes missing from the home. There are few movies that goes missing and this is one of those films like that. The Gothic orphanage creates the eere for the film as Simon, an HIV addict starts talking about his imaginary friends. The house starts giving some haunted souls as you get steeped in the potent and horrible loss and you will curse the director for showing how terrifying, the kids can be. The plot twists in this movie are extremely overwhelming and the performance given by the kid will be listed as one of the best child performances that you have ever watched in your entire life, which is why you should watch the film.
#39 The Wicker Man (1979):
The Wicker Man is a mystery horror movie, written and directed by Robin Hardy. The movie stars Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and also Ingrid Pitt. The screenplay of this novel is inspired by the novel written by David Pinner, back in 1967. The movie centers around Police Sergeant Neil Howie who makes a visit to Summerisle, to find a missing girl. As he is a Christian, he gets shocked by the inhabitants of the island who has abandoned the Christianity and now are practicing the Celtic paganism, elevated by the score of Paul Giovanni. This film can be said to be bastardized by the 2006 version, but however, the old version still stands as one of the bizarre explorations of cults and isolation. If asked, this movie can be described as the Citizen Kane of the genre, given the cinefantastique elements that it contains more than the gore images, the jump scares and as it dives into the mind of the agent. The Wicker Man doesn’t just contain the protagonist but after the series of the horrors involving, this movie can get menacing at times and the presence of the movie adds to the dark tone that the film contains.
#40 Audition (1999):
The 100th feature of Takashi Mike, this movie is released in the same year as his other movies got released. In the time that you’re taking to read about this film, he might even complete two more. Even though with such pace, he manages to make films that make him Stephen King of the film industry. Out of all the movies that he has made, few of them can be categorized as the horror films and this one secures a special place in everyone’s list because of what it contains. The movie is nothing but a masterful composition of pacing, patients in the first half as it gives not a single hint about the turns and twists of the painful events in one’s life. If you haven’t seen the film, it is recommended to stop reading about it effective immediately as it can introduce you to the themes and elements of loneliness where the main character in the movie is a man who auditions the women for the role of his new wife. The movie contains pathos that can make us move because of the emotional and mental isolation of the characters and can make us connect to the pain, heightening the suffering that follows the pain. As a whole, this movie is disturbing, unsettling and creepy and all the more not very forgettable.
#41 Martyrs (2008):
If horror is a catharsis, this movie can be called the greatest of all. The thing about the horror movies is that they are designed to entertain us with the journeys that are either fun or that which give us ultimate satisfaction. Triumphing over the evil apart from the audiences, they can give us an indeed entertaining ride. Martyrs. directed by Pascal Laugier takes an entirely different approach. The first half of the film features creepy scenes that might come off as a nightmarish and razor-wielding as well. This young woman who appears to be weak at the start will haunt you in your dreams. The film will give you a satisfaction which is brutal as well as unique. However, there is a garbage full of people that can call the film as ‘torture porn and it features painful, harsh scenes that can abuse full of surprises, lands, and shocks with a gut punch. The movie contains different themes of mortality, guilt, and sacrifice that are explored in ways that no film has attempted the best part is that they succeded through the power of the performances. It’s the visceral beauty along with the cinematography and the unrelenting power of the film, that come out as a message.
#42 Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986):
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a psychological film written and directed by John McNaughton. This movie talks about the crime spree of a killer who operates on the impunity along with the random murders. The movie stars the legendary Michael Rooker as Henry, the nomadic killer; Tom Towles playing the role of Otis, a prison buddy with whom Henry lives. The movie also contains Tracy Arnold as Becky, sister of Otis. The characters of Otis and Henry are based on the real-life killers with the same names. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a sociopathic film which studies the trends of the modern serial killing and it contains the hypnotic horror. Deadened with hopelessness, this film is invigorated by violence that is usually reserved for the slashers, the lull viewers that might turn into a nightmare. John McNaughton as the writer/director works hardly to make a tight glimpse of the life of a loser who has slipped into the society in order to create a new creation. While morality looks nothing less than like an evil on the face straight through the mask with a depravity at heart. The lead with his gaze is elevated through sharp dialogues and unflinching rudeness that makes the movie disturbing than it is. Simone Signoret and Paul Meurisse are terrifying and with the looming presence of both the writer, manages us to aspire as well as frightening as well. Vera Clouzot, the wife of the director plays the role of Delassalle who has honesty and naivete in her. The horror of this movie is indeed understated at times which is why you should watch it.
#43 The Beyond (1981):
The Beyond is an Italian horror movie, written and directed by Lucio Fulci. This is the second film of the ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy. After the film is released, it took decades for it to gain the cult following. Lucio Fulci has a way of making things appear bigger and scarier and you can see the same thing happening with the film. This classic doesn’t actually make sense in a lot of frames especially when it comes to the cohesiveness but that doesn’t make the movie flawless. Like few best horror films, this one brings the viewer out of the comfort zone and by the end of the film, it will leave you extremely confused and bewildered. The Beyond is one such movie which is an equivalent for the seedy, the drenched gore nightmare and therefore this is what that makes the movie effective. Even though not so classiest with the title, this movie surpasses many movies on the list when it comes to grotesque imagery which is why it is listed as one of the Best Horror Movies in the list.
#44 Mulholland Dr. (2001):
I viewed Mulholland Dr. in solitude amidst the night. I wouldn’t prescribe it. David Lynch has a specific brand of ghastliness that can bait the clueless among us into viewing without anyone else’s input. (I did precisely the same with Twin Peaks since I never learn). There’s one questionable hop frighten, yet it’s sufficiently initial to set you tense for whatever remains of the film, and it’s attracted sufficiently out to influence you to lose your brain in expectation. This, this is one of the most amusing and enthralling movies in the list of Best Horror Movies.
A large portion of the repulsiveness originates from disarray and fear and, viable, from the characters you’ve come to know and think you get it. One of the most seasoned awfulness traps is upsetting the safe into a wellspring of dread. The wellbeing in Mulholland Dr. is the characters and the manner by which we think we know them. The most unnerving minute is, I think, an eyeliner shot between Naomi Watts’ Betty and herself — it reverses a conventional cut and, by expansion, the security and commonality we feel with the individual we think we’ve been becoming more acquainted with. Apparitions have nothing on that.
#45 It Follows (2014):
It Follows is a supernatural horror film, written and as well as directed by David Robert Mitchell. The movie stars Keir Gilchrist, Maika Monroe, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi and Lili Sepe in major roles. The movie has a plot of Annie Marshall, a young girl who gets stalked in the suburban neighborhood by a different entity. During a night, she flees to another beach and bids goodbye to her parents over the call. The night, she gets killed and in the morning, people will find her mutilated body on the shore. In another scene, we see a student named Jaime Height, who goes to a movie with her boyfriend, Hugh. Hugh sees a girl who Jay says that she can’t see. Scared, he wants to leave the theatre and on another date, while they are having sex in the car, but we find her in a wheelchair after being incapacitated by chloroform. The movie has a beautiful cinematography and with the unnerving score. It Follows is a modern horror film and with suspense and anticipation; this terrifies people more than just being a gore. The movie contains an impressive storytelling that creates the film not only scared but watching it will make you look over your shoulder a hundred times in fear to make sure whether someone is following you. The theme full of sexual violence is pretty obvious to you but it is hardly done with the horror elements.