25. 'Saw' (2004)

Saw movie in 2004

Lionsgate

Have you seen what Jigsaw looks like? Enough said.

Saw

Saw

"Live or die. Make your choice."
74
NR1 hr 43 minOct 29th, 2004


24. 'Event Horizon' (1997)

Event Horizon movie in 1997

Paramount

'90s sci-fi space flick "Event Horizon" might not immediately come to mind when you think of horror movies -- but it is horrifying. Don't write it off. It's a truly unnerving portrait of astronauts literally going through hell.

Event Horizon

Event Horizon

"Infinite Space - Infinite Terror"
65
R1 hr 36 minAug 15th, 1997


23. 'Insidious' (2011)

Insidious movie in 2011

FilmDistrict

The haunted house thing has been done a million times. "Insidious" manages to elevate the concept through a slow burn of tension and sneaky dread. No bloody corpses or violent maniacs necessary.

Insidious

Insidious

"It's not the House that's Haunted."
69
PG-131 hr 43 minApr 1st, 2011


22. 'Let the Right One In' (2008)

Let the Right One in movie in 2008

Sandrew Metronome

A bullied boy making friends with a mysterious vampire girl sounds like a cute children's story, so don't be fooled by the synopsis. While the friendship at the heart of this dark Swedish film gives the narrative depth, there's no shortage of startling imagery and a ghastly bleak tone that will leave you with all the chills.

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In

"Eli is 12 years old. She’s been 12 for over 200 years and she just moved in next door."
75
R1 hr 55 minOct 24th, 2008


21. '28 Days Later' (2002)

28 Days Later movie in 2002

Fox Searchlight

Just another zombie movie, you say? Not so. Danny Boyle's stunner of a post-apocalyptic nightmare featuring some seriously messed up half-dead people on a rampage is a modern classic.

28 Days Later

28 Days Later

"His fear began when he woke up alone. His terror began when he realised he wasn't."
72
R1 hr 53 minJun 27th, 2003


20. 'The Ring' (2002)

The Ring movie in 2002

DreamWorks

Honestly, the VHS at the center of this movie is just as scary enough it itself. They could have just released that with no explanation and I'd still be shaking in my seat.

The Ring

"Before you die, you see."
66
PG-131 hr 55 minOct 18th, 2002


19. 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)

The Blair Witch Project movie in 1999

Artisan

Make fun of it all you want now, you KNOW you were freaking out while you first watched this. That last shot? It still messes us up and puts money in our therapist's wallet.

The Blair Witch Project

"Everything you've heard is true."
63
R1 hr 21 minJul 30th, 1999


18. 'It Follows' (2015)

It Follows movie in 2015

RADiUS-TWC

Being followed by supernatural evil after having sex sounds like a gimmicky concept, but the execution of the unique premise takes "It Follows" to tense new heights for the horror genre.

It Follows

"It doesn’t think, it doesn’t feel, it doesn’t give up."
66
R1 hr 41 minMar 27th, 2015


17. 'The Descent' (2005)

Getting stranded in a cave is a claustrophobic enough experience to center a horror movie around. Add flesh-eating creepy crawlers into the mix? Yikes.

The Descent

"Scream your last breath."
70
R1 hr 39 minAug 4th, 2006


16. 'The Conjuring' (2013)

The Conjuring movie in 2013

Warner Bros.

Hollywood might churn out installments in the "Conjuring" franchise until they've sufficiently haunted everything possible on screen, but the first entry into the franchise was genuinely spooky and managed to defy paranormal investigation genre cliches.

The Conjuring

"Based on the true case files of the Warrens"
75
R1 hr 52 minJul 19th, 2013


15. 'Scream' (1996)

The film that revitalized the genre, launched a new one (the self-referential, super self-aware teen horror movie), and inspired waaaaay too many copycats, Wes Craven's inspired effort is one of the best movies of the '90s. 22 years later, Sidney Prescott vs. Ghostface still (mostly) holds up in the jump scare department.

Scream

"Someone has taken their love of scary movies one step too far."
73
R1 hr 52 minDec 20th, 1996


14. 'Poltergeist' (1982)

Poltergeist movie in 1982

MGM

"Poltergeist" has become so quoted, copied, and parodied over the years that I always think it isn't going to be as scary as I thought. And then I re-view it and remember it's actually the kind of movie that makes you want to check your closet for evil spirits every night before bed.

Poltergeist

"They're here"
71
PG1 hr 54 minJun 4th, 1982


13. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)

You thought getting some shut eye was a safe activity? Think again. Freddy Krueger is here to ruin sleep for you forever in this hit from Wes Craven. Truly terrifying, despite its dated '80s production values.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

"If Nancy Doesn't Wake Up Screaming, She Won't Wake Up At All!"
73
R1 hr 31 minNov 16th, 1984


'Hereditary'

Hereditary movie

A24

As a mother dealing with indescribable loss - and the creeping influence of her late mother’s mysterious machinations - Toni Collette gives one of the year’s soul-baring performances in a film that resonates both with terror and absolute humanity. Alex Wolff’s deterioration as her character’s son offers its own incredible anchor for the frightening images and ideas in Ari Aster’s meticulous writing, and later, in his expert direction of this frightening tale.

Hereditary

"Every family tree hides a secret."
72
R2 hr 7 minJun 8th, 2018


11. 'The Omen' (1976)

The Omen movie in 1976

20th Century Fox

Damien is still the most legendary cinematic demon child. All other Anti-Christ copycats beware.

The Omen

The Omen

"It is the greatest mystery of all because no human being will ever solve it."
74
R1 hr 51 minJun 25th, 1976


10. 'Psycho' (1960)

Psycho movie in 1960

Universal

Janet Leigh's iconic shower scene in this Hitchcock classic is hard to stomach, but the real horror unfolds once the audience gets to know Norman Bates.

Psycho

Psycho

"A new—and altogether different—screen excitement!"
84
R1 hr 49 minSep 8th, 1960


9. 'The Strangers' (2008)

The Strangers movie in 2008

Rogue

No demons. No ghosts. No curses. Just a bunch of people trying to murder other people on what was supposed to be a relaxing getaway.

The Strangers

"Lock the door. Pretend you're safe."
61
R1 hr 26 minMay 29th, 2008


8. 'Halloween' (1978)

Halloween movie in 1978

Compass International Pictures

Chalk it up to that unnerving soundtrack, Jamie Lee Curtis' scared face, or the petrifying idea that a guy in a mask is out to kill high school babysitters on a quiet suburban street, John Carpenter's original "Halloween" is the ultimate slasher film. Michael Meyers is truly one of the genre's most iconic and terrifying villains.

Halloween

Halloween

"The night he came home!"
76
R1 hr 31 minOct 25th, 1978


7. 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968)

Rosemarys Baby movie in 1968

Paramount

Speaking of demon children... "Rosemary's Baby" is as anxiety-producing as a movie gets. Rosemary's fear is palpable. The suspense of the unknown (or what you probably do know and don't want to believe) is what makes that whole carrying a satanic being thing that much harder to watch.

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby

"It's not what you're expecting"
78
Not Yet Rated2 hr 18 min


6. 'Alien' (1979)

Alien movie in 1979

20th Century Fox

"In space, no one can hear you scream."

Alien

"In space no one can hear you scream."
81
R1 hr 57 minJun 21st, 1979


5. 'Silence of the Lambs' (1991)

Silence of the Lambs movie in 1991

Orion

Horror movies can be Oscar winners, too. Psychological thriller "The Silence of the Lambs" garnered massive critical acclaim, but it also gave viewers a healthy fear of everything from anagrams to fava beans.

The Silence of the Lambs

"To enter the mind of a killer she must challenge the mind of a madman."
83
R1 hr 59 minJan 30th, 1991


4. 'The Thing' (1982)

I mean, c'mon -- just look at that picture. "Scary AF" barely covers this John Carpenter masterpiece, which centers on an Antarctic research station's crew struggling to survive a shapeshifting alien menace. The slow-burn plot, coupled with inventive set pieces fueled by Rob Bottin's revolutionary makeup effects make "The Thing" a flawless classic.

The Thing

The Thing

"Man is The Warmest Place to Hide."
80
R1 hr 49 minJun 25th, 1982


3. 'The Shining' (1980)

The Shining movie in 1980

Warner Bros.

An elevator flooded with blood. Terrifying twins. "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy." We could name all the reasons why Stanley Kubrick's masterful "The Shining" continues to do a number on us at every re-watch, but we'd be here all day.

The Shining

The Shining

"He came as the caretaker, but this hotel had its own guardians - who'd been there a long time"
82
R2 hr 24 minJun 13th, 1980


2. 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (1974)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie in 1974

Bryanston Distributing Company

Grisly and greusome, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is chair-gripping cluster of every possible worst scenario. Chainsaws, crazed attackers, and a dude named Leatherface? You're pretty much guaranteed to be covering at least one eye the entire time you watch.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

"Who will survive and what will be left of them?"
73
R1 hr 23 minOct 1st, 1974


1. 'The Exorcist' (1973)

The Exorcist movie in 1973

Warner Bros.

It's no wonder 1973 theatergoers were passing out at the shocking sight of Regan's (Linda Blair) possessed body. That levitation scene will go down in history as one of the scariest moments in all of film.

The Exorcist

"Something almost beyond comprehension is happening to a girl on this street, in this house… and a man has been sent for as a last resort. This man is The Exorcist."
77
R2 hr 2 minDec 26th, 1973