20 Greatest Horror Movies Of All Time

20 Greatest Horror Movies Of All Time


The horror genre is home to a lot of quality
flicks, as well as low-budget schlock, making it hard for a viewer to determine what’s good
and what’s a waste of time. Fortunately, we’ve patched together a list
of those films that are worth the watch. Though these movies are all pretty different
in subject matter and tone, they’re all worthwhile horror films that have helped define the genre. The Exorcist Even four decades after its release, 1973’s
The Exorcist is still the possession thriller by which all others are judged, and for good
reason. Its ability to infuse a stewing sense of dread
alongside moments of body horror stands alone. The grotesque tour de force made no apologies
for its use of profanity or gross body fluid spewing, and it’s a lasting classic as a result. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Existing at the perfect intersection of art
and schlock, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974 is a tangibly dirty, grungy, and frightening
movie. Launching sequels and a remake franchise that
are by turns too loud and too trashy, the movie that started it all is an exercise in
unpleasantness. Its characters are largely unlikable, its
villains the perfect version of incomprehensible hillbilly cruelty. “Look what your brother did to the door!” The plot, essentially about a Texas road trip
that goes south fast, will remind you why they tell you not to ever talk to strangers,
pick up hitchhikers, or ask questions about what’s going on in the rickety old house at
the edge of town. Invasion of the Body Snatchers The very definition of a time-worn tale in
cinema, the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a story that’s been remade
over and over again, which speaks to the strength of its premise. The feeling of being helpless in an unrecognizable
society is something many might identify with, but the slow burn introduction of these alien
invaders is deeply disturbing. Thrilling to the final frame, it’s a story
that stays with you, anchored by an excellent cast of smart, unique characters that you
root for — making it hurt all the more when they fail and fall. Alien Ridley Scott’s Alien from 1979 continues to
resonate so many years later because it has a lot of unique qualities — a female protagonist
who’s just as strong and capable as anybody else, a profound sense of isolation, and an
enemy that cannot be reasoned with. Its characters are constantly under the gun,
tasked with identifying their threat while simultaneously struggling to survive against
it. Beyond the impressive intellectual framework,
there are also some shock and awe scenes that have since become iconic moments of cinema. The Shining With brilliant performances from its cast,
quotable lines, unmatched cinematography, and those awful twins, The Shining from 1980
is an absolute masterpiece. “Hereee’s Johnny!” It worms its way into your head with beautiful
imagery and a hypnotic pace, showing the dissolution of one man’s sanity over the course of an
isolated winter at the Overlook Hotel. Stanley Kubrick’s at his best here, with deliberate
choices made for each frame that’s as visually stunning as it is packed with unforgettable
tension. The Thing John Carpenter is considered the Master of
Horror, and this may well be his best effort in the genre. Taking creature feature elements and combining
them with the who’s-who paranoia of a Body Snatchers remake, The Thing from 1982 plants
its characters in isolated Antarctica and tasks them with surviving against an alien
lifeform that can assume their likenesses. It’s a rich premise that combines subtle,
character-based interplay with full-blown body horror, like a human head scuttling around
with spider legs. With a cast to root for and a villain to fear,
The Thing is Exhibit A in the argument for John Carpenter’s primacy among horror engineers,
a remake that runs laps around its source material and bests any modern attempts to
do better. Return of the Living Dead An offshoot of George Romero’s Living Dead
films, this spiritual cousin is easily one of the most goofily enjoyable zombie movies
ever. 1985’s Return of the Living Dead follows a
group of dirtbag ravers whose graveyard party gets upset by a zombie uprising caused by
acid rain. Return takes a lively approach to its material
that still feels fresh, even if the hilariously dated fashion of the characters decidedly
does not. “Why do you eat people?” “Not people, brains!” Being too self-serious about zombie material
is a trap that lots of movies fellows fall into, but Return sidesteps that problem with
aplomb. It’s not a parody — just a great ride. Jacob’s Ladder This quiet character study from 1990 follows
Jacob Singer, a Vietnam veteran and postal service worker who slowly comes to believe
that either his sanity or reality itself is falling apart. The film is notable for some standout sequences. Take, for example, Singer’s long gurney ride
through a hellish hospital littered with body parts, blood, and inhuman monsters gone mad. The sequence has influenced horror media for
decades afterward, so even if you haven’t seen this movie, you’ve definitely seen its
impact. In the decades since its release, it’s developed
into a noted cult classic, lauded for its indelible imagery as much as the deep melancholy
at its core. Scream The first film ever to kick off the self-aware
horror trend is also still the best. “Oh just some scary movie.” “You like scary movies?” “Uh huh.” “What’s your favorite scary movie?” Wes Craven — who was already horror royalty
thanks to The Hills Have Eyes, The People Under the Stairs, and the Nightmare on Elm
Street franchise — outdid himself with Scream in 1996. This funny, freaky slasher flick subverted
every trope in the book and roundly mocked the horror genre at large, while still scaring
the hell out of its audience. “Oh you wanna play psycho killer?” “Can I be the helpless victim?” The Blair Witch Project The found-footage project that started it
all, 1999’s The Blair Witch Project launched plenty of copycat projects that never got
anywhere close to the haunted, pine-scented quality of the original. The forest itself becomes the monster in this
ultra low-budget camcorder picture, where every tangle of twigs and leaves takes on
eerie suspicion. Following a group of hapless young filmmakers
as they circle the wilderness, lost and increasingly certain they’re being hunted, the film is
a story about madness, isolation and distrust while still infusing a classic ghost story
in its bones. Its title antagonist is never truly seen and
maybe not even real, but that’s part of the beauty of the film. The witch’s absence offers an uncertainty
that gets to the heart of what horror is — fear, and a sense of helplessness, in the face of
the unknown. Audition Back in the days before OKCupid or eHarmony,
a widowed middle-aged businessman had to get creative when it came to finding a date…
or at least, that’s the premise of Audition from 1999. This Japanese horror film is a very slow burn
with a scream-worthy finale, as the poor lovelorn protagonist realizes that the young lady he’s
auditioned to be his new bride comes with a checkered past and some disturbing baggage. In addition to boasting stellar performances
and a creative, scary script, Audition has the added benefit of making your worst Tinder
date look like a great time by comparison. The Descent Claustrophobes be wary. If you’ve got a fear of being trapped in tight
spaces, The Descent from 2005 is one of the scariest movies you could watch. The unique story of a group of female cavers
who get lost in the uncharted depths, The Descent is a top-notch horror experience that
gets taken to the next level when the heroes stop spelunking and have to start caving-in
monsters’ skulls. They’ve got to fight for survival, all while
wading through massive lakes of blood. Be sure to catch the version with the original
ending, which was deemed too dark for U.S. audiences and cut from the theatrical release. The Mist A lot of Stephen King’s horror novels have
been made into movies or TV shows, but only some of them have been successful at translating
the tension and terror of the source material to the screen. “I don’t think you’d like it Henry.” The Mist was of the few to get it right thanks
to the unsettling plot tweaks sprinkled in by writer-director Frank Darabont. The 2007 film tells the story of a New England
town beset by unspeakable, otherworldly horrors that descend under the cover of an impenetrable,
mysterious mist. It’s a solid monster movie, but its scariest
moments are the ones that reveal the dark tribalism of human beings who believe they’re
witnessing the end of the world, and it pulls no punches on that front. King even famously said that Darabont’s gut-wrenching
twist ending for the film is the one he wishes he’d written himself. Paranormal Activity Found footage horror got a fresh face with
this 2007 movie, which proved that you don’t need a gothic mansion or dilapidated cabin
in the woods to make a highly effective haunting flick. All the action of Paranormal Activity takes
place in the comfy, carpeted setting of a suburban townhome, as a pair of newlyweds
learn that they’re not entirely alone in their house. Like its genre predecessor The Blair Witch
Project, Paranormal Activity is all about the slow burn. Even the most ordinary occurrences like a
door swinging shut or a hall light illuminating offscreen are imbued with foreboding, and
the teeny-tiny cast does a convincing job of making the “found footage” premise feel
real. Martyrs Profoundly disturbing to the point of being
unwatchable, 2008’s Martyrs was one of the progenitors of the French “extreme horror”
movement, and earned that distinction in every single way. From the opening sequence, which depicts the
chillingly merciless murder of an entire family, the movie only gets harder to watch. It’s a “curiosity killed the cat” parable
about revenge, mercy, and humanity’s search for meaning, and it’s unlike anything you’ve
ever seen. It challenges you to keep watching right up
to the cruel and bitter end. But watch the original, rather than the 2016
remake — because that one’s scary for a whole different series of reasons. Let the Right One In Not to be confused with Let Me In, the regrettable
American remake, Let the Right One In was a sleepy Swedish surprise. In the 2008 pic, a bullied young boy named
Oskar makes friends with an unusual new neighbor who only comes out at night because, well,
she’s a vampire. But Let the Right One In doesn’t go the way
of Twilight or True Blood and try to get too campy about human-vampire relations. Instead, it’s a smart piece of commentary
on the loneliness of the human condition — that is, when people aren’t being drained of blood,
bursting into flames, or getting torn to shreds by a bunch of cute little kitties. You’re Next Home invasion thrillers are a staple subgenre
within the horror-film family, and You’re Next is a perfect specimen of this often-mishandled
storyline. With an opening scene that sets just the right
mood, a stylish execution, and a bad-ass final girl who you’ll be rooting for from the get-go
— there’s nothing about this 2011 movie that isn’t utterly on point. Except, maybe, for the fact that there’s no
sequel. Goodnight Mommy This Austrian feature from 2014 is a master
class in making the audience feel very, very bad. Two twins develop a syndrome that makes them
believe their mother, lost in depression after being disfigured in an accident, has been
replaced by an impostor. The story unfolds with trainwreck inevitability,
as their investigation turns from curious to cruel, playing with the allegiances of
the audience in an excruciating way. The story is riddled with blank spaces and
patches of silence where a lesser film would try to tell the audience too much. The amazing result is that viewers have to
do the legwork on figuring out what’s really going on. And the film is not so much about jump surprises
as it is about the pure horror of watching innocent children do terrible, unspeakable
things. The Witch Not only is The Witch historically authentic
to an eerie degree, but its careful approach to introducing scary, supernatural elements
into the real-life religious anxieties of colonial New Englanders is intensely unsettling. And the climax of this 2015 film is an emotional
piece of hell. A lot hinges on the endings of horror movies,
and this one sticks the landing with confidence. It’s an unsparing picture, the very meaning
of dreadful, and a modern classic. Get Out A meet-the-parents situation goes terribly
awry in Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out, which hit theaters in 2017 amid a wave
of well-deserved buzz. The movie follows interracial couple Rose
and Chris, who are visiting for a weekend at Rose’s parents’ estate — a classy place
where the polished veneer of white liberal tolerance turns out to be masking some deep,
dark, terrifying secrets about why there aren’t more black folks in town. Get Out fully lives up to the hype, delivering
suspense and scares while also tackling complex and uncomfortable racial issues with incisive
wit. If it doesn’t make you scream, it’ll definitely
make you squirm. “Sink into the floor, sink.” Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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  2. Jacobs ladder is depressing, this is the only movie I have ever gone to where people were crying out loud leaving the theatre.

  3. My 10 favorite horror movies of all time :
    1 Home alone
    2 Robocop
    3 Moonwalker
    4 Weekend at Bernie's
    5 3 o'clock high
    6 The Glimmer Man
    7 Problem child
    8 Bill & Ted's bogus journey
    9 Some Kind of Monster
    10 Alvin and the Chipmunks

  4. American Marry, Pyewacket, May, Velvet Buzzsaw, Candy Man, The loved ones, Green inferno, The visit.

  5. I've watched a whole lot of horror movies in my life, and I still haven't watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Invasion of the Body Snatchers!, mostly because I haven't seen either on Netflix yet. Also Alien and Get Out, which I should make more of an effort to watch.

  6. Horror movies are my favorite genre, but I keep having to watch the ones from 30-40 years ago. Why is that? Where did all the talent go?

  7. Goodnight MOMMY WAS NOT I REPEAT NOT A MASTER CLASS IN ANYTHING. I saw it with an audience and love all forms of cinema and found it ridiculously boring – and anticlimactic

  8. I honestly thought the conjuring or halloween of friday the thirteenth or nightmare on elmstreet or sleepaway camp would have made it onto this list but, oh well.

  9. here's my top 15

    15) A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
    14) Poltergeist (1982)
    13) Carrie (1976)
    12) The Fly (1986)
    11) Hellraiser 2 (1988)
    10) Scream (1996)
    9) The Exorcist (1973)
    8) Alien (1979)
    7) The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
    6) Se7en (1995)
    5) The Thing (1982)
    4) The Evil Dead 2 (1987)
    3) Jaws (1975)
    2) The Shining (1980)
    1) Psycho (1960)

  10. Blair witch bored the hell out of me! Found footage films bore me 🤷🏽‍♀️ 30+ years of horror & my tastes are very picky!

  11. What the hell! You really dont know what horror thriller and scifi is, goss… Waste my time watch your video!

  12. Ok I havent seen Get Out yet but how is that horror? Just looks like another movie about racist assholes, where is the "horror" part of it ?

  13. Okay. Let Me In is no where near as bad as people say it is. Good as the original? No. But “regrettable remake.” Uh, no. That movie stands on it own pretty well.

    To me, that’s like when people say the UK version of The Office is better: it’s not, no where close, you’re just an edgy hipster.

  14. Re-Animator is probably the best B-horror film I’ve ever seen. I never get sick of watching it. Every time you put it on it’s enjoyable

  15. Nightmare on Elm St, Friday The 13th, The Hills Have Eyes, The Conjuring, Rosemary’s Baby, The Evil Dead, Halloween, Re-Animator, god I could go on and on with the films that could have rightfully been on this list. You put The Descent on here? Really there are other huge classics that could replace that spot

  16. I disagree vehemently with the inclusion of "The Shining" in this list. I read the book before I saw the movie, and the movie was absolutely terrible. It was slow-paced which made it boring as hell, and it strayed too far from the book to really be enjoyable. This movie was the reason that Stephen King later said that he would never sell the screen rights to any of his stories unless HE wrote the screenplay.

    John Carpenter's "The Thing" may have been a remake of a 1950s horror movie, but I loved it because it was true to the original story. "The Thing" was taken from a short story published in the early '50s called "Who Goes There," and the first making of the movie had almost nothing in common with the short story as a shape-changing alien wasn't in the film at all. John Carpenter's remake followed the storyline of the original short story with modern updates, and IMHO it's a faithful screen adaptation of a great '50s horror short.

    "Return of the Living Dead" was just plain stupid and cheesy – period. "Great" horror movie? Hardly.

    "The Mist" was a great story and an even better movie, and I agree with what Stephen King said about the ending. I didn't like the ending of the short story because it just left the reader hanging, but the ending of the movie was perfect.

    Lastly, I don't see how any "Top" list of horror movies can be considered complete without including "Halloween" and "Psycho." These two horror movies are absolute classics, and their exclusion from this list at the expense of including some nameless Austrian movie is nothing short of an insult.

  17. How you not know the difference between punk rockers and ravers? "Ravers" weren't even a thing yet when RotLD was released..

  18. Are yhey just naming the goat horror movies or are they rating them if so its all wrong the exorcist at 19 i dont think so

  19. Dude…the Blair witch project movie was straight stupid and u didn't include the movie Saw, which by far is the best out of all the 20 u presented. U need a new list.

  20. Out of these movies I really like The Exorcist, The Shining, Let The Right One In and Get Out, though none of them are truly scary (I suppose The Exorcist was really scary when it came out, but it certainly didn't age well). The ones I think are indeed scary are Chainsaw Massacre, The Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity and The Witch. I prefer movies that rely on atmosphere to build fear instead of gore or jump scares. Not included in, I recommend The Ring, Hereditary and REC.

  21. Better wait a minute, you better hold the phone, better mind your manners, better change your tone

  22. The Salò

    Shocked it is not on this list. Horrible horrible movie and it is indeed some true messed up horror. (I only watched pieces of it and it stuck with me for days).

  23. Oldboy? How about any Korean horror movie? Those are so twisted! Descent is one of my favorites. I hyperventilate every time I see it, serious claustrophobia, me. Just the thought makes my chest feel like a gorilla is sitting on it. That movie is all of my fears. Oh and that supposed lake of blood? I'm the movie our hero had to keep quiet and still as one of the creatures comes to the edge and defecates into it. Blech.

  24. Psycho, The Sixth Sense, A Quiet Place, Aliens, Halloween, The Silence of the Lambs…I know many people think of some of these as just psychological thrillers, but these should all be here IMO.

  25. The author of The Exorcist book, hates that the movie is thought of as a horror movie. he says it is a drama about the struggle between good and evil and about human courage.

  26. was 'The Autopsy of Jane Doe' not scary enough?/
    tho, that is just my opinion
    i am easily the most scared cat in the bag, and its acquaintances who love horror films

  27. it is funny that you didnt add Conjuring !which I believe it is more horrifying than many of the mentioned movies in the video

  28. 1- The Exorcist
    2- Holocausto Cannibal
    3- The texas Chainsaw Masacre
    4- The Profecy
    5- Night of the leaving dead (1990 remake)
    6- Evil Dead
    7- Hellraiser
    8- The hills have eyes (remake)
    9- The Thing
    10- Alien

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