Best Horror Movies of All Time

The Top Ten

1 The Exorcist

By far best of this genre ever. Even if you ignore the gruesome special effects, the movie was still superbly acted and directed. Everything else is distant second.

By far the one that stands out. I watched it ONE time and have never watched it again and I'm 42. Other movies about possession don't bother me, to a point, as much as this one did. Deservedly so, Aliens is in the top 10. Poltergeist (the clown scene) is the still the reason I can't STAND clowns to this day. IT should be higher as well. Paranormal Activity (1) deserves it's spot as that movie kept me on the edge of my seat and my wife afraid to sleep at night! JAWS needs to be higher on the list... Great directing, acting, etc. Plus I was afraid to go in the ocean for years after seeing it in the theater! - SociallyxxDistorted

It's the movie considered by me as the scariest shooted in real style... Awesome one

I pissed when I saw this 😕

V 145 Comments
2 Halloween

Come on people Halloween is the best one out of all the others because Michael Myers is pure evil! You'll all see what I'm talking about after 08/31/07. Halloween indeed is the creator of all slasher films, if it wasn't 4 this movie... Nightmare on elm street, friday the 13, and all those so-called "Scariest movies" would not exist! So think again and vote for Halloween

The slasher genre wouldn't exist if not for this John Carpenter masterpiece. Watch the original before you judge.

By far the best, honestly I think it surpasses the horror list and goes straight to the list of greatest films of all time. Don't let the all the sequels and spin-offs tarnish this classic.

This movie created slasher flicks

V 44 Comments
3 The Shining

This movie is great! People are voting for other movies because there scarier but this is not about being scary, its about being good. And this movie tops the whole list! Other great horror movies are The Exorcist, Black Christmas, High Tension, Halloween, Alien, Evil Dead, A nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Poltergeist, Misery, The Cabin In The Woods, REC, Jaws, Dead Alive, Carrie, An American Werewolf in London and Psycho.

What people don't realize how great The Shining is looking at the pure horror outlook of it or just looking at how incredible it is nonetheless. People will rip on it and say it was nothing like the book, but every time I watch the shining it just brings me back, it's like a journey. Not only did it have a suspensive intriguing story, but it had incredible directing by my all time favorite director, Stanley Kubrick, was shot at a really interesting setting; The Timberline Lodge known as the Overlook hotel, and had some incredible actors in it that all did great such as Jack Nicholson, Scatman Crothers, Joe Turkel, and Philip Stone. Now beside from it being in the Horror genre (my favorite), the movie is still one of my all time favorites without question, and when you look at it, all these supernatural and Slasher films don't stand a chance. - Beatlesboy9

"All work no play makes Jack a dull boy. "
"Red rum"
"Come play with us forever and ever and ever. "
The lady in the bathtub.
The maze.
Do I need another reason? This movie is the type that after you watch it you're thinking it's bad but then all of a sudden you're too afraid to move! Watch it. Now.

I am 11 and I could handle it. It was still a great movie with a lot of suspense. Best I have seen so far.

V 63 Comments
4 A Nightmare on Elm Street

Silence of the Lambs wasn't even scary to me. I actually laughed at one point. THIS will scare you. You won't be able to sleep. I had a nightmare with him in it when I LEAST expected. That's why I'm typing this as a ghost. Or something.

"The ultimate fear... the fear of going to sleep. - aman28

Because of Freddy I can't sleep the day I watched "Nightmare on Elm Street" he was very scary

The best of all that I have seen

V 40 Comments
5 Alien

the great sci fi horror of all time, this movie when it came out, it established that maybe Aliens are not too friendly like E. T.

What's wrong with this top 10! Straight to DVD films and remakes? And let's not forget a certain over-appreciated gore franchise that spawned 7 agonizing sequels... Oh yeah Alien is awesome. Best movie monster ever conjured and one of the most suspenseful movies ever made with imagery that haunts to this day.

This list has seem to have forgotten there's a difference between being the greatest and being the scariest. This movie is great AND it is scary. That is a big enough accomplishment to earn it top five status. - Justintime221

Very nice work in this movie

V 27 Comments
6 Psycho

AFI's top horror movie of all time, and it doesn't even crack the top ten? That's a problem.

What the hell such an awesome movie down on 21 it has to be among top 5!

Greatest Horror Movie Of All Time How Could You Question Its Greatness? This Is Greatest Horror Movies Right? "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes"...

There is a Monk (crime T.V. show) episode based on this movie. I watched that episode and shat myself. But I have never watched the movie psycho...

V 26 Comments
7 The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is easily hands down the best horror movie I've ever watched. The movie itself doesn't throw countless buckets of gore at you, so when the movie actually does use gore, they use it very effectively and it can scare you much more. This movie also never had a dull moment in my opinion. The movie is one of the few movies that I can say never gets a bit uninteresting. With the help of genius characters and dialogue, the movie boils a slowly growing feeling of suspense, and that feeling stays for the whole movie. On top of all of this, it doesn't feel the need to drench you with horror cliches and unoriginal plot points. This movie is a true original. Not only are the plot and characters very twisted and disturbing, but you can also clearly tell the plot was very carefully mapped out and must have took an extreme amount of effort. All these elements put together and you have a cinematic gen and a horror classic that will be remembered for all of eternity.

It won film of the year, no other horror has done that, therefore this is the best. Scary for all the right reasons and a story that has quality, who could ask for more.

Gore and lots of blood is nice, like Evil Dead, Saw, Friday the 13th,...
The best horror movies are those with fewer blood and no gore, like The Shining, It, Alien, Psycho, Rosemary's Baby,...
Silence of the Lambs is upper-class.
2 terrifying murderers, excellent portrayed by Levine and Hopkins.
Best role of those 2. Lecter is downright scary, while Bill is... Also scary.
Jodie Foster and the rest of the cast were near perfection.
To conclude, the dialogue was excellent.
Silence of the Lambs deserves a top 3 spot.

Anthony Hopkins had completed this movie. This is the best physiological thrillers of all time and it should be in the top five instead of 7!

V 25 Comments
8 Scream

This movie totally gave the slasher genre (and really all horror) new life and started a new trend of smart suspense-driven horror movies. The entire franchise is classic!

Amazing movie, much suspense. Way better than friday the thirteenth.

This is my best movie at all bit I don't think that's a horror movie but it's still best than friday 13 or night on elm street

Private ghostface style heey sexy ghostface pri pri pri pri private ghostface style

V 35 Comments
9 Saw

It's ah-may-zing! Who doesn't want to watch a lot of torture in one movie that has such a great plot if you take the time to watch it?!

Saw is not necessarily the scariest movie, but it is a GREAT movie if you want to see some gore. The story is also very good for it being 7 movies long. The end was such a twist, I loved it. The reverse bear trap was the BEST, its too bad we don't see it actually work until the second time. This movie deserves to be on the top ten.

Original, Creative, Entertaining, Full of Suspense, Intriguing, Well Acted, Shocking... What else can you ask for in a movie? Also, has one of the greatest villains of all time, and not only villain but character (the amazing Jigsaw). In short, A MASTERPIECE!

This movie is a thing where there is a lot of bloodshed and also had a meaningful story which satisfied me. Having seen this movie and its sequels which were not very good but I still vote up for saw as it took my heart with it.

V 64 Comments
10 Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Okay, most films in the top ten deserve to be there but I'm sorry, this is THE best horror film. It works outside of the horror genre as a film itself. Maybe some films are scarier, but this was revolutionary in it's time. The makers of this films were daring, this film pushed boundaries and is an absolutely iconic piece of art.

Horror movies don't scare me, I have a dark sense of humour so I usually laugh at them. Voting Chainsaw Massacre because Leather face was inspired by real life killer, Edward Gein. (I know Psycho and various others are inspired by him but I like this representation the best, it's the closest and darkest) I'm intrigued by serial killers from a psychological standpoint.

A perfect horror movie. it's so realistic and shocking. the story feels real and the acting is really great. what I also love about this movie is that there is some truth to it. there are people like Leatherface and his family out in the world, and that we could end up in this situation. and it could be the scariest experience of your entire life.

Could? I think you mean WILL be the scariest experience of your entire life! - happyhappyjoyjoy

I'm voting just to comment on this. This was the grossest, most disturbing thing I have ever seen. If you want to squeal at jumpscares with your boyfriend, watch an 80s slasher movie. If you want your stomach rolling days after you see something, watch this. I've never had to turn my head at any amount of gore, but there were times I had to look away from this. While yeah, it was kind of crazy, it was amazing for its time. Keep in mind, this is '74. It's scares you in a way you're not used to, and doesn't quite match up to any certain genre of 20th century horror, like the 60s unstoppable-force-of-evil, or the 70s man-in-a-mask.

V 24 Comments

The Newcomers

? It (2017)

Well good movie should be top 3 with Halloween and scream to series

Scary movie and must be in top 5

? It

Epic horror movie

The Contenders

11 The Thing

One of the most realistically gory and brutal films ever made for 1982 everything look real. Especially when that guys head comes of and starts crawling like a spider that was amazing. Should be number 2 on this list just most people don't know how gory this film is. - SVGPLAGUE

Just watched it and it's defiantly in my top 10. The movie gives off a strong sense of paranoia because they don't know who has been infected with the thing/alien life form at any given moment. This paranoia is demonstrated by phenomenal and realistic acting. Not to mention the special effects for this movie is off the charts, especially considering it was released in 1982.

The greatest film of all time! The special effects are great! I personally think that there isn't a horror film like it. No one is safe because they don't trust each other! Definitely watch this!

Best SciFi horror movie ever made. Thank you John Carpenter for this masterpiece!

V 29 Comments
12 Paranormal Activity

PA1 scared you, whether you admit it or not. It did. Now PA2, PA3, PA4 and I'm sure the uneagerly expected PA5 are quite different stories. They were pumped out as fast as Mel B pumps out kids. No thought to the story & terrible, terrible acting... Now the acting in the first WAS sub-par, but it didn't affect the overall movie in such a huge way it was unwatchable, unlike the other three. Please dear god. No more. But back to the point, great movie. Kept most of us up googling demonology and eye witness accounts of ghosts, I think.

This was scary as hell doors slamming lights turning on footprints in the talcum powder and the guy thrown at the camera at the end it is scary as hell!

Very good movie, its pretty scary :=)

This movie sucked. Wasn't scary, tried too much to be realistic and forced, the characters were blanded, the jump scares were bland and everything about this film that scared people were just chalked up to ehh. I saw it at night no lights on and sound up all the way, it still didn't scare me. It was just a garbage film to check the masses with its blandness and its unoriginal scares.

V 32 Comments
13 Jaws

So sharks don't really kill a lot of people but you probably thought twice about jumping in the water

It wasn't that scary, besides the fact you didn't want to go in the ocean, but this list is about the best horror movies not the scariest and this was a great movie and should be higher on the list

This movie had a very high budget when it came out and many people liked it. It definitely made a lot of people afraid to go into the water. It has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This movie isn't scary at all

V 25 Comments
14 Friday the 13th

I grow up watching scary movies and Friday the 13th is by far the best scary movies I seen I never wanted to go to summer camp after watching these movies.

Far scarier than half of the films above it. I'd think it twice before going on a camp now. I think the key elements of this movie was the fact that you don't know what or who the hell is Jason till the end of the film. And then you kinda regret finding out. Its brilliance, magnificent piece of horror film-making. Should be on the top 5.

THIS IS A CLASSIC I RECOMMEND THE 2010 VERSION KILLER CUT... It left me shaking. This though is nothing compared to the human centipede movies ugh

My favorite,its best movie ever so it deserve at least 10th place

V 20 Comments
15 The Grudge

It seriously freaked me out... watching the movie at night alone was the stupidest decision of my life... couldn't sleep without the lights on for a couple of days... the background music itself freaks you out...

It has a weird deformed chick that is dead, might add and the sound she makes gets stuck in your head for weeks!

I voted for saw because I never knew this was on the list. BUT IF YOU WANT A SCARY MOVIE I RECOMMEND THE GRUDGE!

This was the first horror movie I ever watched and it was so scary I had to go bed midway I was 7 years old but I did eventually end up watching the whole movie with my brother.

It's so scary and it doesn't take too long for it to get exciting. This horror movie is underrated just because it is old. Seriously every horror fan should watch this. Spoiler the beginning is a bite of a shock. Watch the English version though. This film is so scary that they made a game of it online. This other then saw and Halloween will always be the best horror movie I have ever seen. If you call yourself a horror fan yet haven't watched this then your no horror fan I guarantee you will get scared. Even when you watch it the second time it is still scary and that often doesn't happen with many horror films but after 10 times watching it I know everything that will happen so its ...more

That's a really creepy movie all the parts

V 83 Comments
16 The Omen

How the hell can paranormal activity be higher than this masterpiece?

This is a vote for the 1976 "The Omen." Not that two bit hack job that opened on 6/6/06. This movie freakin traumatized me the first time I saw it. It sent Christians into counselling. - gaki

Great movie! I love it. It is good picture and quality for a older movie. I even like the idea. Time to find Damien: Omen II! - thrillerlover

Gregory Peck is a Legend

V 8 Comments
17 The Ring

Oh...! Really the horror 1... After watching this movie I could not sleep that whole nigt... In 1 word it was"totally horror"...

This is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen I won't ever forget anything like this, watch this with the lights on you won't be able to sleep tonight.

This movie is the best! Their making a 3rd 1! So cool O. O - BrokenSong

This is one of the best horror movies I've ever seen! the first time I watched it- I got so scared! I still watch it, it's my fave movie!

V 44 Comments
18 Stephen King's It

I'm going to be perfectly honest, I really didn't like this film. It's very melo-dramatic, the characters seem like they're going insane rather than all of this actually happening, and Pennywise the Dancing Clown is the most overrated horror movie villain of all time! All he does is stand around, look threatening, and does nothing. If it's killed half the other people in town, how come it can't just kill these kids off? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Why I vote for this? Dude, it's a clown with razorsharp teeth, if that is not scary...

Seriously this is the only movie listed here that scared me. I it and the poltergeist. I hate clowns. - aman28

Best movie ever

V 20 Comments
19 The Hills Have Eyes

I love the original movie by Wes Craven

The film keeps you wondering what the hell is gonna happen next! And you feel so much pity for the victims at a point! Great film.

These film is based on true story and it is one of the scariest movie which I had been never seen in my life.

So scary... THERE CANIBBALS

V 13 Comments
20 The Conjuring

The scariest movie I've ever seen in my life

A well-done old school horror flick.

Scariest movie ever! And based on a true story! What else do you want?

best

V 77 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 25 Sep 2017

13,000 votes
461 listings
11 years, 290 days old

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