The 25 Greatest Horror Films of All Time

In honor of today being Halloween, I’ll be counting down the 25 greatest horror films ever made.

Honorable Mentions:Nosferatu

  • Nosferatu (1922) [Pic Above]
  • 28 Days Later (2002)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Scream (1996)
  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

25. Evil Dead (1981)evil dead

Director: Sam Rami

This film with a budget of only $350,000 brought quite the attention with it’s NC-17 rating at the time. The film has built quite the fan base with this film spawning 3 sequels and a TV series. This film and the franchise would also catapult Rami’s career to later on doing the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy.

24. Carrie (1976) carrie

Director: Brian De Palma

One of the elite Stephen King adaptions with 2 great performances by Sissy Spacek & Piper Laurie. This film tells the story of a lonely teen with a very sheltering mother as well as having telekinetic powers. This was another film to push a directors career to the forefront, De Palma would later on do films such as Scarface, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill & The Untouchables.

23. Dawn of the Dead (1978)dawn of the dead

Director: George A. Romero

Easily the best film of Romero zombies films, as well as just being the best zombie film ever made. As well as a genius plot of people being trapped in a mall during a zombie outbreak. This also hits before the Romero zombie films began to get campy and add some more comedic elements, which I would say is a plus.

22. Raw (2017) raw

Director: Julia Ducournau

The first of the many foreign film entry’s on the list, this French film just hit both French & American theatres earlier this year and is truly a remarkable film. The film tells a story of a vegetarian girl in her first year of veterinarian school and in a hazing activity gets forced to eat raw meat and soon a craving begins. The film is very much an art-house horror film and is truly great.

21. Ringu (1998) ringu

Director: Hideo Nakata

Some of you are probably wondering “Does he mean ‘The Ring’?”, well I don’t this is the original Ring film that the American Ring is a remake of. Though the American Ring film is still solid it bares no comparison to this stunning Japanese film. The film is the true definition of spin-chilling and will make you scared to answer the phone or watch a VHS tape again.

20. The Fly (1986) the fly

Director: David Cronenberg

One of the greatest remakes of all time, as well this amazing film is truly a twisted romance film. This film also marks the best Jeff Goldblum performance ever. You can’t talk about The Fly without bringing up the amazing makeup and practical effects, which are truly astonishing.

19. The Babadook (2014)babadook

Director: Jennifer Kent

One of the greatest films to tell a story about depression and grief. This Australian horror film tells the story of a woman dealing with a recent loss, while also raising her son, while they are both dealing with some disturbance in their house. Jennifer Kent’s direction in this is truly stellar, she builds tension so well and puts you on the edge of your seat. This film also contains a fantastic performance by Essie Davis, which was very much Oscar worthy, but got no buzz at all.

18. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) nightmare elm

Director: Wes Craven

A film with one of the greatest concepts ever, Nightmare on Elm Street tells the story of a group of high school kids slowly getting killed off in their dreams by a burned face, claw-handed, stripe sweater wearing man, Freddy Krueger. A film that put director Wes Craven into a horror icon for years to come, this film will change the way you sleep forever. This film also the movie debut of a young actor by the name of Johnny Depp.

17. The Devil’s Backbone (2001) Devils-backbone

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

Another film to push a directors career going, The Devil’s Backbone tells the story a 12-year old boy whose father has just been killed in the Spanish Civil War, and now he’s in a orphanage that just might have some other guests in it. A film with some interesting metaphors, as well as such great craftsmanship and deserves much praise.

16. Poltergeist (1982) poltergeist

Director: Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg (Uncredited)

A film full of theory’s on who actually directed it, though Tobe Hooper is the credited director, its pretty agreed in the film world that Spielberg was actually the director. Either way this film tells the classic family in a  haunted house story. This film was nominated for 3 Oscars, including the great score by Jerry Goldsmith.

15. The Sixth Sense (1999) sixth sense

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

A film that pushed the twist ending towards the forefront. Also a film that leaves you clues on what’s happening yet you don’t see it, because of how sucked in you are. This film was highly praised and nominated for 6 Oscars, one of which was the great performance by Haley Joel Osment. It’s easily one of the greatest child actor performances of all time.

14. Let the Right One In (2008) let the right one in

Director: Tomas Alfredson

The greatest vampire film ever made, this Swedish horror film is very remarkable. It tells the story of a 12 year-old boy, who is constantly being bullied, until one day he meets a girl who is scared of the sun and must be invited to come into the room. Another big highlight in this film is this amazing cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema, that is based in a lot of greys and makes the red blood pop so well.

13. The Exorcist (1973) exorcist

Director: William Friedkin

For many other lists people have this film much higher, more in the 1 or 2 range. Though that’s more based in the legacy of the film and how big this film was. This film tells the story that is now done over and over again, that is the young girl possessed story. This film has an amazing tone and feel throughout of such pure hatred and evil and for that its iconic.

12. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) texas chainsaw

Director: Tobe Hooper

A film with much controversy at the time of its release, this film tells of the story of a group of friends who are attacked by a cannibalistic family. This film built a huge cult following over the years and is now known by many. This film also produced a iconic horror figure in, Leatherface. This film also has one of, if not my favorite ending of all time.

11. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) rosemarys baby

Director: Roman Polanski

One of the most psychological films ever made, this film tells the story of a young couple moving into an apartment surrounded by very strange acting neighbors, as well as having strange occurrences beginning to happen more and more often. For those who haven’t seen this, when you do you will see the strong influence it had on a film this year “Get Out”, as well as so many others.

10. Se7en (1995) se7en

Director: David Fincher

Not only one of the greatest horror films of all time, but one of the greatest crime films of all time. This film tells the story of a serial killer killing people through the 7 deadly sins, while 2 detectives investigate the crimes. This film is truly amazing and one of my all time favorites. It features 2 great performances by Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman. It is a film that will be in your head for days.

9. Suspiria (1977) suspiria

Director: Dario Argento

One of the most beautiful looking horror films, this Italian film tells the story of a girl who has just entered a ballet academy, when she finds how sinister the school actually is. This film is also very well known for the crazy Technicolor use and some twisted things that happen in it.

8. Jaws (1975) jaws

Director: Steven Spielberg

The first ever blockbuster was a horror film. This film tells the story of a town in mid-summer dealing with a shark problem. I really don’t think I need to say more about this film for how well its known, basically if you haven’t seen this what are you doing?

7. The Thing (1982) the thing

Director: John Carpenter

Arguably the greatest remake of all time, the film tells the story of a science research crew in Antarctica, that has something stuck in their facility and they can’t get it out. This film is the perfect mystery movie and holds up today with its amazing practical effects.

6. An American Werewolf in London (1981) an american werewolf

Director: John Landis

The greatest werewolf film ever made, it tells the story of 2 college guys traveling abroad across Europe and some events occur which causes a werewolf to get involved. This film is most known for the amazing practical affects & makeup, as well as starting the “Best Makeup” category at the Oscars and being the first to receive the award.

5. Silence of the Lambs (1991) silence of the lambs

Director: Jonathan Demme

The most successful horror film award wise, this film tells the story of a young F.B.I. agent that is asking the help of a incarcerated serial killer to help catch another serial killer that’s on the loose. This film introduces the iconic movie figure of Hannibal Lector played by Anthony Hopkins. This film took home 5 Oscars including Hopkins portrayal of Hannibal Lector & Best Picture.

4. Psycho (1960) psycho

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

This film is up there as one that truly everyone knows from the iconic music to just saying “the shower scene” and people know what your talking about. The film tells the story of a girl who has just embezzled $40,000 from her company and goes on the run where she ends up at a motel that is run by a man under strict control by his mother. This film is a must see just for the twists and turns it takes.

3. Halloween (1978) halloween

Director: John Carpenter

The film that started the slasher horror genre that would go on for years. It tells the story of a man who was sent away for killing his sister 15 years earlier and has now escaped and is returning home to kill again. This is another film that is so iconic for its music & the Michael Meyers mask itself, which is actually a captain Kirk mask.

2. Alien (1979) alien

Director: Ridley Scott

Not only one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time, but nearly the greatest horror film of all time. This film, as well as 2001, changed the way space was looked at forever. From the very claustrophobic direction by Ridley Scott, to the legendary look of the Xenomorph (the alien), this film changed both sci-fi & horror forever.

1. The Shining (1980) the shining

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Here’s Johnny landing himself at number 1. Easily The best directed horror film of all time, that makes you have cabin fever. This film is truly flawless at every second, from the blood pouring out of the elevator, to seeing the Grady twins at the end of the hallway. This film also gives amazing performances all around from Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall & Danny Lloyd. This film is undoubtedly the greatest horror film of all time.



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