Most Influential Horror Movies

Not necessarily good movies, but movies that defined the genre, movies that caused scores of copycats and remakes.

The Top Ten Most Influential Horror Movies

1 Psycho

The original Psycho was the first psychological thriller. The start of the twist ending. - heather

Best ever. Nothing else to say.

The first twist ending was in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. - TheBestTeethInTheGame

2 The Blair Witch Project

This movie spawned its own genre. The stir this movie cause was nothing short of impressive. Now it may seem laughable, but at it's time, this movie was IT. - heather

Ever heard of Cannibal Holocaust? - TheBestTeethInTheGame

The scariest thing about this movie is what you DIDN'T see! Not knowing what was seen is what creeped me out the most! - Zombieman99

3 The Exorcist

This movie has terrified millions of viewers, and started the exorcism genre with a bang. Whether or not you think it's scary now, it was the monarch of scary movies for decades. - heather

Simply the best horror movie of all time

4 Halloween

Black Christmas and Texas Chain Saw Massacre existed four years earlier. Halloween is great, but it's not the first slasher. - TheBestTeethInTheGame

Halloween created the slasher genre. Friday the 13th and many others have Halloween to thank for their creation. - heather

5 The Grudge

The Grudge stylistically influenced many movies. One of the creepiest movies of all time. - heather

6 The Ring

It's quite scaring but Japanese version is more horror, I guess.

This film is responsible for it's own sort of sub-genre. - heather

7 The Shining

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" - heather

8 The Sixth Sense

I can see dead people, they're everywhere. - heather

9 Saw

Not even that gory. Great movie though. - TheBestTeethInTheGame

Ultra gory and ultra messed up. - heather

10 Night of the Living Dead

Zombies. Need I say more? - heather

The Newcomers

? Friday the 13th
? Shaun of the Dead

The Contenders

11 A Nightmare on Elm Street

This scared all the scare out of me, so frightening!

Showed the many creative and impossible things that can happen in a horror movie. Also it gave people another thing to fear: Sleep.

12 Black Christmas
13 Alien

Best movie ever

14 Ringu
15 They Live
16 Child's Play
17 Nosferatu (1922)
18 Scream
19 Eraserhead
20 Hellraiser
21 The Haunting (1963)
22 The Wicker Man
23 Ju-on
24 The Thing
25 The Evil Dead
26 Jaws
27 Carrie
28 Don't Breathe
29 Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom was a whole new age of movie violence and predated Psycho. Looks at the element of fear and actually comments on why we continuously watch violent films. Another influential one is Dead of Night, a little 40’s anthology which started many tropes; creepy dolls, creepy kids, mirrors associated with fear and the twist ending. Black Christmas is also highly influential.

30 Dead of Night

I summed up the movie under Peeping Tom - it started several tropes and it is genuinely scary - especially for a 40’s film!

31 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The first horror movie.

32 Get Out
33 Invasion of the Body Snatchers
34 The Witch
35 28 Days Later
36 Misery
37 The Silence of the Lambs
38 Paranormal Activity
39 The Cabin in the Woods
40 The Conjuring
41 The Fly
42 [rec]
43 Godzilla 1954
44 The Curse of Frankenstein
45 The Last House on the Left
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