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Start your own Horror Movie Collection

Updated on November 25, 2014

Some Things about this List

  • This is a general list of Horror Films to consider when starting to build a collection and does not contain every classic from the specific sub-genres
  • The availability and pricing of these may vary. The ones mentioned are based on current Amazon.com searches and certain sets may be discontinued at some point.
  • In most cases if it is an option consider buying used. You will save a considerable amount of money and from experience most of the time they will work just as well as buying new.
  • Check your options before buying. Looking a little further you may discover that a certain film can be bought in a set with other films or as a double feature with another movie. When considering buying a box set compare it to the prices of buying individually.
  • I will be mentioning a lot of recommended films and will therefor not be going over plot descriptions. Check the Internet Movie Database if you want to know more.

Box Sets

Box sets are a good place to start with building a collection because they will likely contain multiple films priced less than if you purchased them all individually.

There are many horror film box sets out there but some to consider starting with from the big franchises include

  • Nightmare on Elm Street Collection - Contains the 7 standalone films from the Nightmare series and the mash-up film 'Freddy vs Jason'. Another option here to get all the films is the two '4 Film Favorites: Nightmare on Elm Street' sets. Each of these contain 4 films on 2 discs. These 2 are cheaper than the full set though they are bare-bone as far as special features.

  • Halloween: The Complete Collection Limited Deluxe Edition - Contains the original 8 films plus the 2 Rob Zombie ones on 15 discs.

  • Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection - Contains the 10 standalone F13 films, Freddy vs Jason, and the remake on 10 discs. Old sets may still be available but are split between the Paramount releases and the ones from New Line Cinema.

  • Saw: The Complete Movie Collection - Contains all 7 of the Saw films on 3 discs.

  • Chucky: The Complete Collection - All 6 films from the 'Child's Play' series on 6 discs.

Alien - Predator Total Destruction Collection - Contains Alien 1-4, Predator 1-2, and Alien vs Predator 1-2 on 8 discs.

  • Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30 Film Collection - This massive collection contains 5 of the Frankenstein films, 4 of the Dracula films, 4 Wolfman and other Werewolf films, 5 Mummy films, 5 Invisible Man and other invisible films, 3 Creature from the Black Lagoon films, 3 out of 4 of the Abbot and Costello meet the Monsters films, and the 1943 Phantom of the Opera on 21 discs. Another option for these if you don't care about all the sequels is Universal Classic Monsters: The Essentials Collection which includes the main 6 monsters, Bride of Frankenstein, and Phantom of the Opera. Another option is the Legacy Collections for each of the Monsters which came out a decade ago around the time of 'Van Helsing's release and include all films in their respective series.

Other Sets

The collections mentioned so far have been examples of series spanning sets from some of the big-name franchises in horror. There are however many smaller sets of films containing 3-4 films available. An example of one of these is the Horror Special Edition DVD Collection (Carrie 1976)/The Fog/The Howling). For roughly $15 you get three quality horror films in one set.

Consider looking at the '4 Film Favorites ' series which each come with 4 movies on 2 discs and are usually priced at around $10.

The 'Vincent Price: MGM Scream Legends collection' featuring 7 of hid films for around $25
The 'Vincent Price: MGM Scream Legends collection' featuring 7 of hid films for around $25

Many famous figures in horror such as actors Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Vincent Price as well as horror directors like Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Dario Argento, Mario Bava, and others have their own box set dedicated to just their own films. Stephen King is another horror figure who has multiple sets available.

50 Public Domain horror films for around $15
50 Public Domain horror films for around $15

If you've ever come across a box set of horror films such as "Horror Classics 50 Movie Pack Collection", "Tales of Terror - 200 Classic Horror Movies", or "Horror Collection 250 Movies" you may wonder how they can afford to get that many films in one place without the cost being in the hundreds. The answer to that is that they are all public domain titles that are free for them to distribute. This may seem like a great deal and to some degree it is until you actually start watching some of them. You will find a large number of terrible and painfully dull films. However there are some classics that became public domain that are featured in some of these sets.

Recommended Films to Own by Category or Sub-genre

The following will be a list of 5-10 films to consider owning from the different categories and sub-genres of horror films. This isn't necessarily a best of list but a general list of films to consider. The categories mentioned will be:

Silent Horror
Classics from the 30s and 40s
Classics from the 50s
Slashers
Zombies
Vampires
Werewolves
Ghosts and Hauntings
Creature Features
Serial Killers and Murder Thrillers
Italian Horror
Other European Horror
Asian Horror
Remakes Done Right
Honorable Mentions
Set of 4 films (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Waxworks, and The Golem) from the German Expressionist movement of the 1920s. Priced at $40 +
Set of 4 films (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Waxworks, and The Golem) from the German Expressionist movement of the 1920s. Priced at $40 +

Silent Horror

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • The Golem
  • Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde(1920)
  • Nosferatu
  • Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages
  • Waxworks
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Cat and the Canary

Nine films from director Val Lewton including Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, Body Snatcher, Isle of the Dead, Bedlam, The Leopard Man, The Ghost Ship, and the Seventh Victim.
Nine films from director Val Lewton including Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, Body Snatcher, Isle of the Dead, Bedlam, The Leopard Man, The Ghost Ship, and the Seventh Victim.

Classics from the 30s and 40's

  • Universal Monsters Series ( already mentioned but the best ones being Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolfman, and Creature from the Black Lagoon which came out later in 1954)
  • The Most Dangerous Game
  • Freaks
  • The Old Dark House
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
  • King Kong
  • The films of Val Lewton

4 film collection from the "TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection" series featuring the first Frankenstein and Dracula films as well as a sequel to each from their long running franchises. Priced at around $10.
4 film collection from the "TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection" series featuring the first Frankenstein and Dracula films as well as a sequel to each from their long running franchises. Priced at around $10.

Classics from the 50s

  • The Thing From Another World
  • House of Wax
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • The Bad Seed
  • The Fly
  • The Blob
  • Fiend Without a Face
  • House on Haunted Hill
  • Hammer Horror Series - Kind of like the second generation colorized versions of the Universal Films. The best and most well-known are 'Curse of Frankenstein', 'Horror of Dracula', and 'The Mummy'(1959).

Slashers

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • Halloween
  • Friday the 13th
  • The Burning
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Nightmare on Elm Street
  • The Stepfather
  • Child's Play
  • Scream
  • Behind the Mask- The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Zombies

  • George Romero Dead Series - The first 3 are musts(Night, Dawn, and Day of the Dead), Land of the Dead is a maybe, after that they kind of fall off.
  • Zombie (aka Zombie 2)
  • The Beyond
  • Re-animator
  • Return of the Living Dead
  • Dead Alive
  • 28 Days Later
  • [REC] and [REC] 2
  • Planet Terror

Vampires

  • Nosferatu
  • Dracula(1931)
  • Horror of Dracula
  • Salem's Lot
  • The Lost Boys
  • Near Dark
  • Fright Night
  • Interview With the Vampire
  • From Dusk Till Dawn
  • Let the Right One In

Werewolves

  • Werewolf of London
  • The Wolfman
  • An American Werewolf in London
  • The Howling
  • Silver Bullet
  • Ginger Snaps
  • Dog Soldiers
  • Bad Moon

Ghosts and Hauntings

  • House on Haunted Hill
  • 13 Ghosts
  • The Innocents
  • The Haunting
  • The Changeling
  • The Amityville Horror
  • Poltergeist
  • The Entity
  • The Sixth Sense
  • Paranormal Activity

Creature Features - Films featuring a real or fictional animals hunting and/or attacking humans

  • The Birds
  • Jaws
  • Alien
  • Cujo
  • Gremlins
  • Tremors
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Descent
  • The Mist
  • The Host(2006)

Serial Killers and Murder Thrillers

  • M
  • Psycho
  • Peeping Tom
  • Cape Fear
  • When a Stranger Calls
  • Black Christmas
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Se7en
  • Frailty
  • Saw

Italian Horror

  • Black Sunday
  • The Bird With the Crystal Plumage
  • Don't Torture a Duckling
  • Deep Red
  • Suspiria
  • Zombie
  • Cannibal Holocaust - Warning - Not for everyone
  • The Beyond
  • Opera
  • Cemetery Man

Inside
Inside

Other European Horror

  • Inside (France)
  • The Devil's Backbone (Spain)
  • Funny Games(Austria)
  • Man Bites Dog (Belgium)
  • The Vanishing (Netherlands)
  • Trollhunter (Denmark)
  • Dead Snow (Norway)
  • A Serbian Film (Serbia) - Warning - Not for everyone
  • Let the Right One In (Sweden)
  • Antibodies (Germany)

Asian horror films are often remade by Hollywood including 1998's 'Ringu' which was remade as 'The Ring' in 2002 which started a trend of Asian horror remakes with mostly negative results.
Asian horror films are often remade by Hollywood including 1998's 'Ringu' which was remade as 'The Ring' in 2002 which started a trend of Asian horror remakes with mostly negative results.

Asian Horror

  • Audition (Japan)
  • Ringu (Japan)
  • Ju-on: The Grudge (Japan)
  • Dark Water (Japan)
  • A Tale of Two Sisters (South Korea)
  • I Saw the Devil (South Korea)
  • Whispering Corridors (South Korea)
  • Thirst (South Korea)
  • The Eye (Hong Kong)
  • Shutter (Thailand)

Remakes Done Right - Remakes have always come out periodically but it wasn't until the success of the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake that it became a trend. Many remakes are pointless and inferior to their originals however every once in a while some will come out that improve upon or stand out on their own.

  • Nosferatu: Phantom Der Nacht (1975)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • The Fly (1986)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1990)
  • Cape Fear (1991)
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  • Slither - Remake of 'Night of the Creeps'
  • The Crazies (2010)
  • The Evil Dead (2013)

  • Hellraiser
  • Pet Semetary
  • Jacob's Ladder
  • Misery
  • Candyman
  • American Psycho
  • Martyrs (France)
  • The Orphange (Spain)
  • Zombieland
  • Tucker and Dale vs Evil
  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • The Conjuring

Other Honorable Mentions

  • Rosemary's Baby
  • The Last House on the Left
  • The Exorcist
  • The Wicker Man
  • The Omen
  • Carrie
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • Phantasm
  • The Shining
  • The Fog
  • The Evil Dead trilogy
  • The Hitcher
  • Children of the Corn

Which of the Box Sets mentioned would you most consider Buying?

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How I can improve this list (Post it in the comments if you can)

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