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The Best Horror Movies of All Time: Part 2

Updated on April 2, 2016
Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna is a writer, mom, crafter, and movie buff. Her favorites are horror movies and horror stories, thanks to some inspiring parents.

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As I said in the previous hub, there were just too many great movies on my list of great horror movies to tackle them all in just one hub. This is the second installment in the series on great horror movies. These lists will be updated and added to along the way, as I discover more wonderful horror movies. Other lists are in the works, as well, including a bad horror movie list. That one should be pretty good, as there are so many bad horror movies out there. Some are just really terrible!! These, however, are amazing! Again, if you have any suggestions of movies that aren't on this list, please send them along. And again, these continue in alphabetical order where the last half of the list left off.

#19: The Omen (1976)

This is yet another classic horror movie that has had its share of sequels and remakes, but the original is still the best! The Omen is about a US Ambassador and his family. Strange things begin to happen centered around their young son, Damien. A priest warns them of the danger. I know a lot of people have thought that their child was the Antichrist, but how do you deal with your son literally being the Antichrist? I love movies with creepy, disturbing kids. There is something just so fundamentally wrong about it. The innocence of childhood, twisted into pure evil. What is scarier than that? I watched this movie for the first time many years ago, and it still creeps me out to this day.

Recently, A&E released a TV series, titled, Damien, that is based on the movie The Omen. It is similar in concept to their other show, Bates Motel, based on the movie, Psycho, which is #23 on this list.

The Omen
The Omen

#20: The People Under The Stairs (1991)

This is another good movie that didn't quite make my list originally, but it made my sister's list. I know why she likes the movie, though. We watched it as kids, and it scared the crap out of us, made us laugh, and was fueled by an interesting story. The movie follows three burglars as they attempt to rob a house, only to discover a dark secret inside the house. Strange, zombie-like children are being held captive under the stairs of the house. Again, not so much a horror movie, but still has elements of a great horror movie. The house is a wonder in, and of, itself. Not the very best Wes Craven ever did, but still an excellent movie.

#21: Pet Sematary (1989)

Stephen King felt that he went to far when writing this book, maybe he did, maybe he didn't. Either way, it's a great book, and a great movie. The Creed family moves into a beautiful house in the country, but are soon met with tragedy, when first, their cat, and then their young son die after being hit by one of the semi trucks that speed down the street in front of their house. A legend of a pet cemetery lures the father to do the unspeakable. Pet Sematary is an amazingly disturbing movie. It asks the question, What lengths would you go to to save someone you love? Most of King's books aren't written for shock value, or cheap thrills. His books have a moral overtone, a reason, an overwhelming human element amidst the scares. Pet Sematary is no different. This movie looks at the tragedy of every parent's worst nightmare, and what it does to your heart and your soul.

A parent's worst nightmare
A parent's worst nightmare

Evil Little Gage

#22: Poltergeist (1982)

"Theeey're...heeeeerrr!" We all remember that eerie line, spoken by the young Carol Anne in the movie. This movie really scared me when I was a kid. I remember my mom making me cover my eyes during the scary parts. Looking back, watching the movie again, I can see why. I was pretty young when I first watched this, maybe six or seven. Strange things begin to happen in the house, furniture moves on it's own and that sort of thing, but then it gets much worse, as a powerful force attacks the family, attempting to tear them apart, and then, kidnaps young Carol Anne. The sequel is also very good! Worthy of mention. The third, however...well, that isn't that great, but it still scared me a little...all the mirrors... I have yet to see the recent remake, but it definitely looks interesting, so I plan on checking it out.

Theeeeey'rrreee heeeeerrrr
Theeeeey'rrreee heeeeerrrr

#23: Psycho (1960)

What horror movie list would be complete without a Hitchcock film, especially when that film is Psycho? One of the best movies of all time, in any genre. Psycho has become a part of American pop culture, and is still a benchmark of cinematic excellence. Norman Bates and his little motel have become legendary. Psycho took a look at the issue of schizophrenia before anyone really knew what it was. Hitchcock is, and always will be, a legend in the movie business. His movies have stood the test of time, been remade, lampooned, and referenced in almost every genre and media avenue. What other movie do you know of that has had that much of an impact, as to make women everywhere terrified to shower? Janet Leigh was amazing, as was Anthony Perkins. Every time I see Anthony Perkins, I still get a little chill up my spine. The remake, however, was terrible. I have recently started watching the television show, Bates Motel, and I have to say, I am impressed.

The classic shower scene from Psycho
The classic shower scene from Psycho

#24: Resident Evil Movies (2002-2010)

I absolutely love, love, love zombie movies! Resident Evil started out as a popular video game series. They were fantastic!! The games gave me the creeps. I loved it!! I would play the games for hours on end, and then have trouble sleeping at night. The movies do the games justice, and have become some of my favorite movies. A virus is released, and it turns it's victims into mindless, hungry zombies. Each movie follows the main character, Alice, played by Milla Jovovich, as she battles zombies and other creatures created by the mutating virus. From the secret research facility deep in the bowels of the earth, to the virtual destruction of the world, she battles through. I have yet to see the most recent, and sadly the last, movie, but I will probably include that one, as well.

The hallway was inspired by another great horror movie, Cube
The hallway was inspired by another great horror movie, Cube

#25: Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Mia Farrow was absolutely gorgeous in this movie! The movie centers on a young couple as they move into a new apartment, and meet their strange neighbors. The husband begins spending a lot of time with these new neighbors, and gradually becomes more distant. Rosemary begins having strange dreams. Her husband and the neighbors become strangely fixated on her once she becomes pregnant. A great movie! Classic, creepy horror movie with a great cast! I have watched this movie so many times, and it never gets old. Pregnancy is scary enough as it is...

Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby
Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby

#26: Saw (2004)

Saw is another movie that revitalized the horror genre!! The Saw movies are full of imaginative scenarios, a strong moral element, and tons of gore! I have a feeling that the creepy little clown doll on the tricycle will become a timeless icon of the horror genre. "Jigsaw" puts people into bizarre moral situations, forcing them to come to terms with their own failings, sins and vices. He gives them a second chance at life, but they have to want it. What would life be like if we all took a good, hard look at our lives? If we really worked on living life to it's fullest, and worked at resolving our own failings? The twisted approach Jigsaw takes is remarkable, and disturbing. His elaborate devices are the work of a deranged genius.

#27: Scream (1996)

I absolutely love this movie!! My sister didn't quite like it as much as I did, though. Scream is part horror movie, part spoof, part college film class analysis of the genre. Movie buffs discuss the basic formulas of horror movies, the silliness of them, and the greatness, all while being stalked by a deranged killer in a mask. Scream is funny, a little scary, and really shows a love for the genre of horror movies. Remember, if you are ever stalked by a deranged psychopath, never, ever say the words, "I'll be back." You always end up dead. And, for the love of all that is good, stop running up the stairs when you are chased by the crazed killer. Where do you think you are going to go? After all, most slasher films follow a rather predictable formula.

Ghostface from the Scream movies
Ghostface from the Scream movies

#28: The Shining (1980)

This is the last Stephen King movie on my list, I promise. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, and starring Jack Nicholson, this movie is a timeless classic! The imagery in this movie is amazing! A struggling writer, and his family, become the winter caretakers of a Colorado hotel. The hotel has a rather checkered past. The previous caretaker went crazy and killed his family. Little Danny, the son of the new caretaker, has a special gift that the hotel wants to possess. A great story of a haunted hotel that is just a little bit more than just a haunted hotel. The remake was written by Stephen King, and made for TV, and while the plot stays a little closer to the story, it lacks some of the iconic imagery that the original had. Stephen King was actually upset with Kubrick for how he ended the 1980 version, though, and I can understand why. He even said he hated the movie for what Kubrick did to it. The ending to the 1980 movie was all wrong, but I still included it because it is a classic, the imagery is stunning, and it is still a good movie, if you distance it from the book.

That carpet...its pattern is burned into my memory
That carpet...its pattern is burned into my memory

#29: Silence of the Lambs (1991)

While Silence of the Lambs is not exactly a horror movie, it's more of a psychological thriller, it is still scary. It has a serial killer, a cannibal, and a gripping story. Anthony Hopkins is remarkable and scary as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Ted Levine is disturbing in his role as "Buffalo Bill", the depraved serial killer with the sick desire to make a suit of the skin of his female victims. If that isn't the making of a horror movie, I don't know what is. I loved Jodie Foster in this movie, and was pretty disappointed when she was replaced by Julianne Moore in the second movie, Hannibal. She was good, but she wasn't Jodie Foster. Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite movies of all time. Hannibal Lecter creeps me out to no end, especially his voice. To this day, if someone imitates his voice, I get the chills.

Hannibal Lecter...I can't hear someone mention fava beans without thinking of him..
Hannibal Lecter...I can't hear someone mention fava beans without thinking of him..

#30: The Sixth Sense (1999)

Again, this is not a true horror movie, more a suspenseful drama/thriller type movie. It didn't quite make my list for that reason, but my sister thought it was worthy of mention. The Sixth Sense is the only movie by M. Night Shyamalan that I even really liked. The Village was stupid, and so was Signs. The Sixth Sense is about a little boy who has the power to see the dead, and the psychologist who is trying to help him. Can you imagine being a little kid, and seeing dead people everywhere? It's a good movie. Bruce Willis is great as the psychologist, and I was more than surprised to see Donny Wahlberg, of New Kids On The Block, in an acting role. My pre-teen self would have cried.

"I see dead people"
"I see dead people"

#31: The Skeleton Key (2005)

I am a huge fan of Kate Hudson, and while this movie did not make my list, I still really liked it. My sister and I both got a few movies on here that the other one disagreed with. This is one of them. Hudson plays a home-care nurse who gets sent to a New Orleans plantation to care for an elderly man. The house, and the family have a dark past, and strange things begin to happen involving Hoodoo magic. Hudson's character struggles to figure out what really happened to her current patient, and struggles to survive. It is a great haunted house style movie with some clever twists.

#32: Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria is a classic horror movie by one of the original masters of horror, Dario Argento. A young, American girl travels to Europe to join a prestigious dance school. As she arrives, another girl is running off, only to later be found murdered. Other strange things begin to happen before the young girl can even get settled in at the school. Strange noises and cryptic messages lead the girl to discover the true nature of the school. This is a great classic horror movie! And it is visually striking, as well. The use of color and the cinematography in the movie is fantastic.

The use of color and light in Suspiria give it an eerie tone
The use of color and light in Suspiria give it an eerie tone

#33: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

This is arguably one of the best horror movies ever made, and an icon in the genre of horror. This is what all other horror movies have tried to emulate. Leatherface is an awesome horror villain! A group of friends head to their grandfather's house, where they are attacked by a crazed family of cannibals. For as disturbing as the premise of the movie is, not a lot of gore is actually seen, and it's even a little funny. All great horror movies have an element of humor. It throws you off guard...lulls you into a false sense of security. The film has a documentary-like quality to it and the trailer for the movie even claims that the events are all true. This is the first horror movie ever to do this.

The iconic image of Leatherface wielding his chainsaw
The iconic image of Leatherface wielding his chainsaw

#34: Village of the Damned (1960 & 1995)

Both versions are this movie are excellent! The classic black and white version is still my favorite. Though, I usually do tend to prefer the original over the remakes. Village of the Damned is about a small town where everyone mysteriously falls asleep. Upon waking, it is discovered that all the women of childbearing age have become pregnant, all of them! The children born from this mysterious event all look remarkably the same, and seem to have a strange power to make others do things they do not want to do. The sequel was directed by another horror great, John Carpenter, who also directed Halloween. Both movies are excellently made and worthy of watching.

Village of the Damned...Creepy kids again
Village of the Damned...Creepy kids again

#35: White Noise (2005)

Michael Keaton plays an architect who recently lost his wife, and is desperate to reconnect with her. White Noise explores the theory that you can hear spirits through what is known as EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). Something any fan of the several ghost hunting shows is familiar with. Of course, with any method of contacting the dead, there are consequences. There are aspects of the movie that I felt could have been better, but I loved the subject matter of the movie. It was very intriguing, and I liked the movie very much. It was one on my sister's list, but not on mine. Like I said, there were a few things that could have been done better in the movie. Overall, though, the movie is very good, and the subject matter is very interesting. What would you do to reconnect with a lost loved one?

Grief-stricken and longing to contact his wife
Grief-stricken and longing to contact his wife

#36: Zombieland (2009)

As I said, I LOVE zombie movies! Zombieland is a great zombie movie, and a guide book of sorts, in the event that we are really ever overrun by zombies. It is very funny, clever and wonderful!! What sort of movie has Bill Murray playing himself? This movie!! Zombieland is a great, fun movie that isn't really all that scary, but delivers some great gore and violence and a great time! I love this movie for the fact that it doesn't take itself seriously, but still has all the gory, violent elements of a great zombie movie! Remember, rule #1: Cardio!


© 2010 Anna Marie Bowman


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