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Top 10 Best Horror Movies Of All Time

Updated on February 10, 2012

Most people love a good horror movie. There is something about the feelings you experience when watching one that make them addicting. I mean, how else am I going to experience a racing heart and shocking thrills without leaving the comfort of my home? I decided to rank some of the better horrors I have seen in my lifetime.



Yes, the story of the killer movie is number ten on my list. The Ring was an interesting horror movie to me. It was one of the few horrors of the recent times to be rated PG-13. At first I was a bit skeptical about this and the fact that the premise of movie is a video tape that kills you. Sounded dumb to me. However, once I watched it I realized this movie didn't need blood and gore to be scary. The Ring is one of those movies that stays with you after you watch it, whether it be the "Seven Days" quote or the horrifying faces of the ones killed by the video. I highly recommend watching it if you have not seen it. It may be the best horror of the 2000s.



Of course I had to include the movie which made everyone terrified of chainsaws. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre gets a place on the list mostly because of the influence it had on the horror genre. It is widely credited as being the first gore slasher film ever made. It also terrified people because of the five words that make any movie more terrifying if it bears them: Based on a true story. Banned in many countries because of its violent content, this movie made gore a mainstay in the horror genre. And it ensured that every single haunted house in America would feature a man wielding a chainsaw.



So this is a bit of an unusual pick. In fact, I have never seen this movie listed on a list of the best horror movies. However, I have always found the original story of Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, to be one of the most well-written works of horror in the history of literature. While most movie adaptations of horror novels make extreme deviations from the novel, this one stays pretty accurate. It also incorporates the story of Vlad the Impaler, who was the inspiration for Count Dracula, into the story. It features a star-studded cast, and even though it is not that scary, it is still a good watch.



No horror list is complete without Halloween. The story of an insane serial murderer who terrorizes the teenagers of his old hometown, Halloween is widely considered to be the one of the best and most influential of all slasher flicks. Just look at how many movies have tried to emulate Halloween (terribly) since its release. It also has the best theme song in the history of horror movies.



Scream is the number six movie on the list. I feel bad for putting Scream higher than Halloween simply because without Halloween we do not have Scream, but the fact that Halloween has become dated hurts it a bit. Scream is arguably one of the most important horror movies of all time because it revitalized a genre that was dying. It puts an interesting twist on the old slasher cliché and keeps the viewer on the edge of his/her seat throughout the movie. It also has some good comedy, which is usually a plus. And of course I have to mention the opening scene and how it is one of the best of all time.



Alien is an incredible horror movie. The first time I watched it I thought I was watching a science fiction movie. Then an alien burst out of a guy's chest and all hell broke loose. Alien has a very original plot. Most alien horror movies involve invasions of Earth. This movie depicts humans in space, and I think this aspect makes it more scary. In space you have absolutely no one to help you. Not to mention the fact that if your ship gets taken over you have absolutely no choice but to stay on and try to defend yourself.



I still to this day cannot believe that Jaws is rated PG. Of course I have no complaints as this was one of the first horror movies I was allowed to watch. Jaws has the advantage of featuring a killer that almost everyone is either scared of or extremely interested in. I mean, look at how many people freak out over Shark Week. It also helps that it is a very well-directed movie and was one of the first movies to feature a first-person camera angle through the eyes of the killer. Also the influence of this movie cannot be denied. No doubt this movie has made a bunch of people skeptical about swimming in the ocean.



The Shining is a movie that really benefits from its acting, directing, and musical score. It features some of the best of all time in all three of those categories. Jack Nicholson's role as the father turned crazed killer is played spot on. The musical score is fantastic. Possibly the best I have heard in any horror (one movie I haven't gotten to makes a strong argument as well). And Kubrick, a perfectionist, is almost always solid. The extreme isolation of the Overlook Hotel during the winter and the fact that a loved one of the family is the killer really make this movie a classic of modern horror. And the creepy twins help as well.



The Exorcist is another revolutionary movie in the horror genre. This movie not only had a terrifying premise, but also went for the shock factor. To this day the scene featuring the crucifix is one of the more disturbing things I have ever seen. Demonic possession has become extremely cliché, but when done correctly it is absolutely terrifying, especially since many people believe in demons. I wish I could travel back to 1973 and see how much of an impact this movie really had. i cannot even imagine a movie like this being released at that time.



Yes, Psycho is the number one movie on this list. Call it cliché, but this movie is an absolute masterpiece. I could write pages on why I think it is, but I will try to sum it up in one paragraph. The shocking ending is incredible, and horrors about human killers with psychological disorders are always going to be the most believable. This is the one horror movie that still to this day gives me chills if I think about it. And this movie came out in 1960. I cannot even imagine watching this back then. I mean, people in theaters had zero idea that the shower scene was coming. And the way that Hitchcock was able to draw so much terror without ever showing a knife ever penetrate skin is amazing. Plus the orchestral score is amazing, featuring the most famous piece of horror music in history (watch a youtube video of the shower scene if you don't now what I'm talking about). Yes, Psycho is and always will be the undisputed number 1 as far as I am concerned. This movie also invented the slasher genre, so it has that going for it as well.

So this is my list of the best horrors of all time. I tried not to provide too many spoilers since many who read this will probably be looking for new movies to watch. I am including a poll for everyone to vote for their favorite movie on the list. Oh, and please leave comments if you have any feedback, disagreements, etc.


Which one of these movies is your favorite?

See results


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    • Stickmonkey profile image


      6 years ago

      All fairly mainstream.

      Would love to have seen some foreign films as well

      as some of the cult classics,Eraserhead, The Evil dead(original),Freaks,Repulsion, many could

      fit in here as well.It is a great list.

      They are doing a countdown by request on here this website

      So maybe after that countdown is done I will post a Hub here about it after the countdown is done

    • profile image

      Chandan Bajaj 

      7 years ago

      sir create a list that how many hollywood horror which are dubbed in hindi

    • TylerHungerpiller profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Athens, GA

      Thanks for the comments guys. Exorcist definitely has a solid argument for #1. I know many people who say it is by far the scariest movie they have ever seen. And Nickalooch, I agree that most of the horrors today are not very good. Sometimes we do get some pretty good ones though. Let The Right One In is the best I have seen recently along with Paranormal Activity.

    • Nickalooch profile image


      8 years ago from Columbia, MD

      Exorcist is and will always be #1 on my list. Paranormal Activity would be up there to, it's a shame that we don't get really any good horror movies any more. The Devil Inside, Saw, Insidious, and Woman In Black is what we settle for now while they all are bad to tolerable at best.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very nice hub. I agreed with many of your selections. The Exorcist would be number 1 on my list. Alien is another good selection on your list.


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