Best Horror Movies Of All Time
Here are our picks for the best scary movies ever made!
This Christmas tale is not your traditional family-friendly, feel-good story. A father gifts his son a unique pet which ends up being a lot more dangerous than he anticipates. The great thing about this horror film is that it's got plenty of comedy in it too. However, it never loses it's sense of urgency or becomes a parody. This is just fine film-making from top to bottom with great looking creatures and excellent performances all around. It's an excellent entry-level horror movie for beginners in the genre.
In the wake of the extremely popular 1980s action films, this one with a sci-fi bent broke the rules and defied both genres. A group of military commandos are sent into the South American jungle to hunt down an alien only to become hunted themselves. The creature design on the Predator is wonderful and his technology and intelligence sets him apart from most movie creatures. It's got tons of stellar action and awesome performances throughout. This is a movie for action junkies who want more scares and suspense mixed in with their gunplay and one-liners.
Imagine if a giant Godzilla-like monster attacked New York City (not the 1998 movie) and you were in the middle of it. That's exactly what Cloverfield does by using the found-footage genre to great affect. It puts you in the middle of the action like no other film and adds to the terror because of it. The creature design is very unique and the visual effects are flawlessly integrated with the rest the movie. This film is set up wonderfully by the opening scenes and succeeds thanks to the realistic acting performances.
7. Dawn of the Dead
The best zombie movie out there, Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead is a modern take on a classic story of the undead attacking the living. As survivors lock themselves in a shopping mall, the hordes of zombies await them outside and it's not long before they exhaust their supplies and must fight to escape. It's a thrilling movie that focuses on the characters more than the action, and shows us how horrifying it would be to see the living turn into brainless, flesh-eating creatures. This one's well-paced and has some great acting in it too.
James McAvoy gives his best performance(s?) to date in this psychological thriller from the brilliant mind of M. Night Shyamalan. When three teenage girls are kidnapped by a man with multiple personalities they must find a way to survive and escape. This is M. Night's best film in years and it's thanks to his smart script and the astonishing performance by McAvoy who is also supported by surprising newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy. It's a crazy movie with some freaky scenes and it's made better by the fact that it's set in the same universe as his 2000 film Unbreakable. I'm psyched to see what the follow-up is like and hope it doesn't lose it's edge.
5. The Terminator
James Cameron's first breakout film was this sci-fi horror movie from 1984. It's also Arnold Schwarzenegger's breakout performance and it's easy to see why he became such a huge star after this one. As the titular Terminator, Arnie brings charisma to a cold and calculating character. While he'd have more to do in the sequel, he's an excellent villain here and I would argue one of the best in movie history. It's a suspenseful ride as we follow Sarah Conner and her protector Kyle Reese through the streets of Los Angeles on the most deadly night of their lives. The music is memorable, the special effects are astounding, and the performances are believable.
4. The Thing
At an outpost on the desolate continent of Antarctica, a group of men are about to be rudely awakened by an extraterrestrial force unlike any other. Here we have one of the most terrifying and suspenseful films ever made in John Carptenter's The Thing which is a remake of Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World. It's a gore-fest of epic proportions and features some of the best work from actor Kurt Russell. This is an intense movie from beginning to end with the best creature effects ever seen onscreen. It'll get your heart rate up and put you on the edge of your seat.
3. The Shining
From film auteur Stanley Kubrick comes this twisted take on Stephen King's book, The Shining. In the performance of a lifetime, Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrence a husband, father, and writer who moves his family into the old Overlook Hotel to finish his next book. Watching this family unravel and become both physically drained and mentally deranged is truly frightening. The imagery is striking and mesmerizing as is the incredible music. It's the best and most psychological horror film ever made.
A masterpiece of film-making in general, Ridley Scott's Alien is both a classic of sci-fi and horror. It subverts every horror, sci-fi, and general movie trope in brilliant ways. Oddly, for a film released in 1979 it doesn't feel dated at all. In fact, the movie feels shockingly modern for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the beautiful creature and production design, as well as the characters and acting performances. It's got one of the best scripts too, even though there's very little dialogue. Music helps tell the story, as does every bit of the sound design, and it is both an entertaining and meaningful story.
One of Steven Spielberg's best films ever is also the best horror movie ever made. While it was a nightmare to shoot, the movie ended up being the first blockbuster since people were lined up around the block to see it again and again back in 1975. This movie features an amazing cast, spectacular script, and some groundbreaking special effects. It's a great story which is completely focused on it's three main characters and their personal journey's. It began the trend of not showing the monster too much which builds suspense and mystery. Jaws is also more scary than most because it could actually happen.