best teen horror movies

Dimension/Sony/Lionsgate

Here are the best slasher pics that all fans of the horror movie genre should see.

25. 'Disturbing Behavior' (1998)

Katie Holmes on the movie Disturbing Behavior in 1998

Dimension

Not a great film, but a decent premise, at least -- it's a high school version of "The Stepford Wives," with delinquent teens turned into overachieving, fascist automatons. Katie Holmes and James Marsden are the well-scrubbed leads, but Nick Stahl steals the movie as the most tormented of the teens.

Disturbing Behavior
Disturbing Behavior
"In Cradle Bay it doesn’t matter if you’re not perfect. You will be."
57
R1 hr 24 minJul 24th, 1998


24. 'The Slumber Party Massacre' (1982)

the slumber party massacre movie 1982 This chiller, about teen sleepover guests menaced by a power-drill-wielding serial killer, was written as a genre parody (by "Rubyfruit Jungle" novelist Rita Mae Brown, of all people), but it was shot as a straight horror film. It works on both levels, scary and tongue-in-cheek.

The Slumber Party Massacre
The Slumber Party Massacre
"Close your eyes for a second... and sleep forever."
56
R1 hr 17 minNov 12th, 1982


23. 'Urban Legend' (1998)

urban legend movie 1998

Dimension

Here's one about a copycat killer whose murders mimic famous urban legends. A cast that includes Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, Alicia Witt, and Rebecca Gayheart give this premise more credibility than it merits.

Urban Legend
Urban Legend
"What You Don't Believe Can Kill You."
57
R1 hr 40 minSep 25th, 1998


22. 'My Bloody Valentine' (1981)

Not just the name of a cool band, "My Bloody Valentine" was also perhaps the goriest of the early wave of holiday-themed slasher movies. Here, the target is a Valentine's Day dance in a mining town beset by gruesome tragedy. The killer is armed with a miner's pickaxe and has a fondness for cutting out people's hearts and putting them in candy boxes. How festive.

My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine
"Cross your heart...and hope to die."
65
R1 hr 30 minFeb 11th, 1981


21. 'Sleepaway Camp' (1983)

You'd think "Friday the 13th" would have had this territory covered, but you'd be wrong. Typical exploitation fare, but for a gender-bending shocking-twist finale worthy of "Psycho."

Sleepaway Camp
Sleepaway Camp
"…you won't be coming home!"
63
R1 hr 25 minNov 18th, 1983


20. 'The Faculty' (1998)

Elijah Wood on the Faculty movie in 1998

Dimension

Robert Rodriguez's tongue-in-cheek teen horror movie, written by "Scream" scribe Kevin Williamson, probably deserves a better reputation than it's earned over the years. The tale of a high school whose students believe their teachers have been taken over by alien parasites is not that original, but it's well-executed -- thanks to Rodriguez's inventive direction and a cast of future all-stars that includes Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster, Josh Hartnett, and Jon Stewart.

The Faculty
"Take me to your teacher."
64
R1 hr 44 minDec 25th, 1998


19. 'I Was a Teenage Werewolf' (1957)

I was a teenage werewolf movie 1957 Today, it's considered camp, but back then, the idea of a teenage monster was actually considered shocking. This movie launched a series of similar exploitation films in which puberty, adolescence, and delinquency are conflated with monstrous metamorphoses. It was a huge hit, and it made a star out of Michael Landon in the lead role.

I Was a Teenage Werewolf
I Was a Teenage Werewolf
"Explosive! Amazing! Terrifying! You won't believe your eyes!"
49
Not Yet Rated1 hr 16 minJun 19th, 1957

A hypnotherapist uses a temperamental teenager as a guinea pig for a serum which transforms him into a vicious werewolf. Read the Plot


18. 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (1992)

Yeah, this horror-comedy lacks the dark brilliance of the TV adaptation that followed, but the original movie, for all its "Valley Girl"-with-vampires silliness, is actually not that bad. That climactic prom night vampire attack certainly hints at where Joss Whedon would go with the series.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"She knows a sucker when she sees one."
55
PG-131 hr 26 minJul 24th, 1992


17. 'Last House on the Left' (1972)

last house on the left movie 1972 This early Wes Craven film is adapted from no less arty a source than Ingmar Bergman's "The Virgin Spring." Two teenage girls are tortured, raped, and murdered by a Manson-like gang, but their parents capture the killers and wreak bloody vengeance. Craven later remade the movie when he could command a real budget, but the original, in all its cheap, exploitative glory, is the one to watch.

The Last House on the Left
The Last House on the Left
"It rests on 13 acres of earth over the very center of hell...!"
60
R1 hr 24 minAug 30th, 1972


16. 'Prom Night' (1980)

Jamie Lee Curtis in Prom Night movie in 1980

Sony

Long before "I Know What You Did Last Summer" came this cult-fave entry in the group-secretly-responsible-for-manslaughter-stalked-by-vengeful-killer genre. Jamie Lee Curtis cemented her early scream-queen reputation as the dead girl's sister, whose prom night is ruined by the relentless slasher.

Prom Night
Prom Night
"If you're not back by midnight... you won't be coming home!"
57
R1 hr 32 minJul 18th, 1980


15. 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (1997)

The kids-stalked-by-hook-handed-killer plot is no more original than the urban legend that spawned it. Still, as with other Kevin Williamson horror movies, this one benefits a lot from the casting, which includes Jennifer Love Hewitt (in her first ghoulish role), "Scream" alumna Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr., and Ryan Phillippe.

I Know What You Did Last Summer
"If you're going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried."
59
R1 hr 40 minOct 17th, 1997


14. 'The Blob' (1958)

The blob movie 1958

Fox

Steve McQueen's first feature film lead came as the teen hero in this tale of a small town whose populace is rapidly being consumed by a mass of alien Jell-O. The film's clever centerpiece involved the blob attacking an theater full of teens watching a horror movie. (Meta!) The 1988 remake with Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith isn't bad, either.

The Blob
The Blob
"It crawls. It creeps. It eats you alive!"
63
NR1 hr 26 minSep 10th, 1958


13. 'The Craft' (1996)

The craft movie 1996

Sony

A coven of teen witches uses magic to obtain the usual teen-girl wants: boyfriends, clear skin, etc. Of course, they go too far (especially freaky Fairuza Balk), and a cosmic comeuppance is in order. Known more for its style than its scares, this one was still frightfully influential.

The Craft
"Welcome to the witching hour."
67
R1 hr 41 minMay 3rd, 1996


12. 'Fright Night' (1985)

This fondly-remembered horror comedy about a teenage boy who discovers that his suave neighbor, played by Chris Sarandon ("The Princess Bride"), is a vampire but can't convince anyone except for a cheeseball TV horror-movie host (Roddy McDowall). Pick this over the Colin Farrell remake.

Fright Night
Fright Night
"There are some very good reasons to be afraid of the dark."
71
R1 hr 46 minAug 2nd, 1985


11. 'Final Destination' (2000)

final destination movie 2000

New Line

A nightmare vision keeps a group of teens from boarding what turns out to be a doomed plane, but Death will not be cheated. It soon picks off the survivors one by one, by staging a series of elaborate, lethal accidents. As the franchise continued, the killings became increasingly complex -- and far-fetched. Still, there's much to be said for a horror villain that can't be defeated, only put off for a while.

Final Destination
Final Destination
"No accidents. No coincidences. No escapes. You can't cheat death."
65
R1 hr 38 minMar 16th, 2000


10. 'Ginger Snaps' (2000)

ginger snaps movie 2000

Motion International

This Canadian cult-classic launched a franchise and brought something fresh to the werewolf genre. Here, the afflicted heroine's monstrous changes are linked to her beginning menstruation and burgeoning sexuality. The result is both scary and a smart critique of the horrors of puberty for girls in our society.

Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snaps
"Hungry like the Wolf."
68
R1 hr 48 minOct 23rd, 2001


9. 'The Lost Boys' (1987)

the lost boys movie 1987

WB

This horror comedy earned a lot of derision for giving us the Coreys (Haim and Feldman), but it works on many levels -- gothic teen romance (between bitten Jason Patric and Jami Gertz), teen peer pressure cautionary tale (if a gang of teen vampires tries to recruit you, just say no -- especially if creepy Kiefer Sutherland is the gang leader) -- comic-book parody, and seedy frightfest.

The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys
"Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire."
70
R1 hr 37 minJul 31st, 1987


8. 'Friday the 13th' (1980)

You never forget your first visit to Camp Crystal Lake, especially if you're a promiscuous teen. Before Jason became an unstoppable, hockey-masked killer in the later entries, it was his mom who did the slashing, back when the premise was still fresh.

Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th
"They were warned...They are doomed...And on Friday the 13th, nothing will save them."
64
R1 hr 35 minMay 9th, 1980


7. 'It Follows' (2014)

it follows movie 2014

RADiUS

This bare-bones teen horror thriller centers on a young teen and her friends plagued by some sort of curse (its origins and specifics are intentionally, terrifyingly, vague) that spreads like an STD. That aspect makes the film even more relevant and clever as it slow-burns toward one hell of an unsettling climax.

It Follows
66
R1 hr 41 minSep 24th, 2014


6. 'IT' (2017)

It movie 2017

WB/New Line

Stephen King scored his most successful (commercially) adaptation with this record-breaking hit, that pit the teens of Derry against the murder-fueled clown Pennywise. The rest is box office history.

It
"Your fears are unleashed"
72
R2 hr 15 minSep 5th, 2017


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

A nightmare on elm street movie 1984

New Line

If other slasher films implicitly punished teens for bad behavior, this one went after them merely for thinking bad thoughts. Not even your subconscious is safe from Freddy Krueger. Yeah, this franchise-launcher has a lot of lame imitators to answer for. On the other hand, it also gave us Johnny Depp. So there's that.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
"If Nancy Doesn't Wake Up Screaming, She Won't Wake Up At All!"
73
R1 hr 31 minNov 15th, 1984


4. 'The Cabin in the Woods' (2011)

The cabin in the woods movie 2011

Lionsgate

Joss Whedon co-wrote with director Drew Goddard one of the best modern horror films, full of meta references to many movies on this list. In doing so, they successfully pay homage to -- and subvert -- the genre. Ever wonder why so many teens meet stab-happy deaths at the titular location? "Cabin" answers that question with an intricate (and terrifying) "upstairs, downstairs" mythology that involves zombie pain worshipers, werewolves and, of course, a mer-man.

The Cabin in the Woods
"You think you know the story"
66
R1 hr 35 minMar 9th, 2012


3. 'Carrie' (1976)

Carrie movie 1976

MGM

The first Stephen King novel to be translated to the screen, "Carrie" remains a well-executed film of bullying and horrific revenge. It's a cautionary tale about religious extremism, an allegory about the terrors of puberty and female adolescence, a hear-wrenching showcase for Sissy Spacek in the title role, a source of iconic moments (Worst. Prom. Ever.), and a brutally effective Brian De Palma scare machine, right down to that shocking final shot.

Carrie
"If you've got a taste for terror… take Carrie to the prom."
72
R1 hr 38 minNov 3rd, 1976


2. 'Halloween' (1978)

Halloween movie 1978

Universal

John Carpenter's classic pretty much wrote the rules for teen slasher films as we know them. Michael Myers is, of course, one of the scariest horror villains ever, and Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the great scream-queens of all time. The rest of the franchise may have come to seem rote, but the original is still plenty terrifying.

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


1. 'Scream' (1996)

Scream movie 1996

Dimension

Before the franchise descended into (deliberate?) self-parody, Wes Craven's slasher saga managed to spoof a tired genre while revitalizing it for a new generation. It works as both a parody and a damn scary movie on its own terms.

Scream
"Someone has taken their love of scary movies one step too far."
73
R1 hr 52 minDec 18th, 1996