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98 Best Horror Movies Of All Time Ranked

While we currently live in an enlightened age that respects the genre, horror films spent much of their lifetime as the pariahs of cinema. Horror was the realm of B-pictures, cheaply made tax haven write-offs, and ghoulish offerings that passed violence off as high art. How far we've come. The horror genre may not have always been a respectable cinematic space, but it endures to this day as one of the medium's most creative, ever-changing, and subversive spaces.

Due to their inherent dabbling in metaphor, horror films are a rich arena for boundary pushing theses, social commentary, and narratives told from perspectives that aren't just male and white. Horror films can gesture more assertively towards the taboo and the unmentionable — to the things that have unsettled our ancestors for centuries to a distinctly modern sense of creeping dread.

Even if you're wise to horror's boons, tackling the genre's vast library of offerings can be intimidating. Where to begin? How to grapple with such a sticky, blood-soaked canon? Well, if you're looking for a place to start, we've assembled the best of the best. Below you'll find some of the genre's greatest films, from creepy silent era masterpieces to body horror to genre mishmashes and everything in between. So grab whatever protective talisman you prefer, and let's dive in to the best horror films of all time.

Updated on May 11, 2022: Much like that slasher who keeps coming back for more sequels, the horror genre will never die. And as filmmakers keep cooking up new scares, check back here (if you dare) to see if we've updated our list with any instant classics.

98. It Follows

Merging the base fear of disease with the skin-tingling feeling that someone is on your trail, "It Follows" tells of a teenage girl named Jay whose first sexual encounter with her boyfriend leaves her with a horrid affliction — a curse passed from one sexual partner to another. An entity, death incarnate, will stalk her incessantly, all while wearing many faces, friend and stranger. Torn between self-preservation and the sinking realization that she may have to pass this affliction onto someone else to save her skin, "It Follows" melds existential dread with suburban angst to deliver one of the most enthralling monster flicks of the 21st century thus far.

  • Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto
  • Director: David Robert Mitchell
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

97. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

An Iranian black-and-white vampire Western? My god, what a phrase! While the bodies pile high in the river dykes of Bad City, a lonely vampire known only as "the Girl" skateboards her way through the ghost town in search of companionship and a bloody snack. Featuring an impeccable soundtrack and an alluring visual language, "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night" is one of the most unique vampire films out there, and it's well worth your time if you think the sub-genre has lost its bite.

  • Starring: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh
  • Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

96. His House

After a traumatizing escape from war-torn South Sudan, a young couple attempt to adjust to their new life in a small English town. As they try to jump through the bureaucratic hoops that secure their refugee status, the couple begin to suspect that something sinister and angry lurks in their new home. Wickedly smart, chilling, and beautifully staged, "His House" is an extraordinary first feature from Remi Weekes that's genuinely spooky and thematically rich.

  • Starring: Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, Matt Smith
  • Director: Remi Weekes
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

95. Green Room

Not all siege films are horror films, but some siege films flirt so fervently with terror and disempowerment that the comparison is more than apt. "Green Room" tells of a strapped-for-cash punk rock band that foolishly accepts a gig at a secluded venue ... one that turns out to be a viper's nest of neo-Nazis. When they witness a crime, the rockers are held captive by the skinheads, with violence teetering closer and closer towards its boiling point. So tense you'll leave scratch marks on your sofa, "Green Room" is a fast track to a heart attack in the best way possible.

  • Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat
  • Director: Jeremy Saulnier
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

94. Eve's Bayou

The directorial debut of Kasi Lemmons (who co-starred in the aforementioned "Candyman"), "Eve's Bayou" intermingles voodoo with familial drama as we follow the trials and tribulations of a young girl named Eve, who's growing up in a prosperous Creole-American community drenched in secrets and scandal. Mixing a Sirkian melodramatic atmosphere with rich, Southern gothic overtones, "Eve's Bayou" is a harrowing, hypnotic, and understated gem and arguably one of the best debut features of the genre.

  • Starring: Jurnee Smollett, Meagan Good, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Director: Kasi Lemmons
  • Year: 1997
  • Runtime: 109 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

93. An American Werewolf in London

Arguably one of the most genuinely horrifying horror comedies ever made, "An American Werewolf in London" tells of two Yankee boys whose backpacking adventures are cut short when the pair are attacked by a local werewolf. While Jack doesn't make it, David awakes in a hospital remarkably healed and full of pep. Sure enough, David is now a werewolf, and he begins to terrorize the city at night while he's plagued by visions of his victims by day. Featuring an all-time transformation sequence by the great Rick Baker, "An American Werewolf in London" is a pitch-black romp that will make you want to crawl out of your skin ... oh no, not like that!

  • Starring: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne
  • Director: John Landis
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

92. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

A delightfully campy hagsploitaiton two-for-one, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" follows two jealousy stricken sisters whose animosity for one another is only outmatched by the real-life feud between the film's two stars. The film follows the titular washed-up child actress and her ailing sister, Blanche — two monstrous women whose lives have largely been defined by decades of psychological warfare. A classic that has sublimated into the cult genre space for its unbridled sense of madness, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" glows with menace, piss, and vinegar. 

  • Starring: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono
  • Director: Robert Aldrich
  • Year: 1962
  • Runtime: 132 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

91. Creepshow

When it comes to horror anthologies, there is always one segment that's remarkably weaker than its peers. Not so with "Creepshow," the EC Comics-inspired horror comedy that features nothing but back-to-back bangers. From homicidal ex-husbands to insidious meteorites, "Creepshow" has got it all. Featuring some marvelously squirmy special effects from the great Tom Savini, you won't find a better hit-rate in the entertainment department than this genuinely ghoulish and frequently funny anthology film.

  • Starring: Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, E.G. Marshall
  • Director: George A. Romero
  • Year: 1982
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

90. The Orphanage

Easily one of the best ghost stories of the 21st century, "The Orphanage" tells of Laura, who returns to her childhood home with her young family to begin a new chapter in her life. Formerly an orphanage, Laura intends to return the building to its roots as a home for disabled children. Her saintly aspirations take a backseat when her young adopted son, Simón, goes missing. Surely that creepy, bag-headed imaginary friend of his had nothing to do with it! Supremely spooky and creepy to its core without resorting to cheap scares or gratuitous gore, "The Orphanage" is a moody haunted house flick with atmosphere and heartache to spare.

  • Starring: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Geraldine Chaplin
  • Director: J. A. Bayona
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

89. The People Under the Stairs

The improbably named Poindexter "Fool" Williams lives in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles. With his mother's cancer diagnosis and the most recent eviction notice at the forefront of his young mind, Fool is under immense pressure to provide for his small family and agrees to break into his landlords' mansion to snag their valuable coin collection. Unfortunately for Fool, his landlords' cruelty extends far beyond exploiting marginalized communities through systemic housing inequality. See, their home wasn't just meant to keep people like Fool out ... but to keep a whole other group of people in. A gruesome depiction of class warfare and gentrification that's also an absolute blast to watch thanks to its campy attitude, Wes Craven's gothic sensibilities shine in this wildly smart and spooky flic.

  • Starring: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie
  • Director: Wes Craven
  • Year: 1991
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

88. The Cabin in the Woods

It's a set-up hardcore horror fans have seen a million times — a chill weekend getaway in the woods is undone by all manner of spooky shenanigans. Only this time, there's a twist. The well-worn horror trope is actually a carefully orchestrated ritual intended to appease blood-hungry entities. However, when the would-be sacrificial lambs push back and uncover the details of who's pulling the strings, the delicate affair is thrown into chaos. A hilariously meta love-letter to the familiar patterns of the genre, "The Cabin in the Woods" is a good, gory, and thoroughly goofy time.

  • Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison
  • Director: Joss Whedon
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

87. Under the Shadow

In the din of the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s, Shideh's home is hit by an unexploded missile, inviting evil spirits into her apartment building that proceed to terrorize her young family. Melding Middle Eastern folktales and haunted house tropes against the trauma-soaked background of armed conflict, "Under the Shadow" is a solid character-driven chiller with a fantastically creepy third act and a committed child performance from Avin Manshadi.

  • Starring: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi
  • Director: Babak Anvari
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

86. Get Out

Daniel Kaluuya's Chris and his white girlfriend, Rose, head upstate to visit her folks for the weekend. What initially wafts as awkward attempts to contend with their daughter's interracial relationship soon reveals a far more disturbing conspiracy. Meeting your partner's family is always a bit of a nightmare, but this is on a whole other level. Deftly paced and unflinching in its thematic takedowns, "Get Out" has cemented its place as a top dog in the modern horror landscape.  

  • Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener
  • Director: Jordan Peele
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

85. Train to Busan

Horrible father Seok-woo is in the process of escorting his young daughter to his ex-wife when martial law breaks out in response to a mysterious viral outbreak. The infected quickly transform into rabid maniacs with a hunger for human flesh. And as Seok-woo and company ride the high speed train to the supposedly virus-free city of Busan, they must fend off the infected, as well as the more corrupt and selfish of their number. A blood-flecked emotional rollercoaster that is one of the best balances of action and horror in recent memory, "Train to Busan" is emotionally gripping and the most fun you'll have yelling at your screen when characters invariably make bad choices.

  • Starring: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Choi Woo-sik
  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

84. 28 Days Later

It's the end of the world as we know it, and animal testing gone wrong is to blame! When a ravenous virus that turns victims into homicidal maniacs escapes into the general public, the United Kingdom falls to bits. Our intrepid hero, Jim, awakes from a coma to find a lifeless London, strewn with evidence of the apocalypse. Joining up with a small group of survivors, Jim and company do their best to outrun the undead but find an even more menacing threat in other survivors. These zombies may be fast, but mankind remains a much scarier monster! Kinetic and gripping despite looking like it was shot on a damaged BlackBerry, "28 Days Later" is a viciously modern take that breathed new life into its shambling genre. 

  • Starring: Cillian Murphy, Noah Huntley, Naomie Harris
  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

83. Shaun of the Dead

Ever feel dead on your feet at work? Your predictable existence got you feeling like a bit of a corporate zombie? This thoroughly bloody horror comedy follows the unfurling of an undead apocalypse that catapults its titular burnout into the heroic spotlight. Doing his best to save his loved ones and keep them safe as the world comes crumbling down, "Shaun of the Dead" is a lighthearted and deeply meta look at the end of days from the modern physical comedy master himself, Edgar Wright.

  • Starring: Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Nick Frost
  • Director: Edgar Wright
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

82. Revenge

A solid slice of modern exploitation nastiness that's keenly aware of the sins of its forebears, "Revenge" takes aim at complex genre territory of the "rape-revenge film" with an unflinching, modern sensibility. The film follows Jen, a hopeful actress who journeys to her married boyfriend's estate in the desert for some alone time. When her boyfriend's boorish pals show up for a hunting trip, one of the friends sexually assaults her. After a furious Jen rebuffs her boyfriend's offer to buy her silence, he pushes her off a cliff, presumably to her death. Only Jen doesn't die. Vastly underestimated, with nothing but her wits to ensure her survival, Jen becomes both hunter and hunted as the panicking men set out to confirm her death. Brutal and kinetic, "Revenge" is a dish best served piping hot in the hot desert sun.

  • Starring: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe
  • Director: Coralie Fargeat
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime:108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

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81. The Birds

Alfred Hitchock's notorious creature feature is the answer to the question "would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses?" Turns out, swarms of anything are enough to make you side-eye your local murder of crows. The film follows a love-struck socialite who journeys to her crush's hometown only to have her cute weekend getaway coincide with an avian attack of epic proportions. Wildly effective and hair-raising all these years later, "The Birds" is a masterclass in apocalyptic tension.

  • Starring: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1963
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

80. The Witch

Banished from their village after the patriarch butts heads with the church, a family ventures out into the brush of New England to homestead on the edge of a vast forest. In their isolation, the family's puritanical fervor festers. And when the youngest of their clan vanishes without a trace and their crops begin to sour, they are desperate for a cause. Finding an unwilling scapegoat in their young teenage daughter, Thomasin, the family members begin to tear themselves apart from within ... all as a sinister presence watches on from the woods. Paranoid and boasting historical detail that invites you deeper into its madness, "The Witch" is a singular experience that will have you side-eyeing your loved ones and barnyard animals alike.

  • Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
  • Director: Robert Eggers
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

79. A Nightmare on Elm Street

When teenagers begin dying violently in their sleep, Nancy Thompson can't help feel that there's something sinister lurking behind the sheets of her sleepy suburban town. Putting the pieces together bit by bit, Nancy stumbles upon a name: Freddy Krueger, a child murderer who was burned alive by the town's parents many years ago. Somehow, the creep is back, twisting his way into the dreams of his killers' children to exact his revenge from beyond the grave. Determined to stay awake until she can find a way to get rid of Freddy for good, Nancy goes toe to knife-glove with the boogeyman. The masterpiece that put Wes Craven on the map (with all due respect to "The Last House on the Left"), "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is inventive, packed with visual effects, and a properly ... nightmarish tone.

78. Aliens

If its predecessor muddied the waters of what separates sci-fi and horror, its progeny would add action into the mix. Conceived (and this is true) by director James Cameron putting an "s" on the end of "Alien" and turning it into a dollar sign, "Aliens" delivers on its premise and then some, pitting a seemingly seasoned squad of space marines against one of genre cinema's most formidable foes: the Xenomorph. Featuring excellent practical effects, flamethrowers galore, and a convincing argument that sometimes "more is more," Cameron's sequel is a hoot and a half with gore and gumption to spare.

  • Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 137 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

77. Poltergeist

Arguably the pinnacle of suburban horror, "Poltergiest" tells of the Freeling family, whose perfectly manicured domestic life is unsettled by the increasingly disturbing presence of a violent spirit. What begins as an inconvenience marked by inexplicable events soon turns into an outright nightmare when their youngest daughter, Carol Anne, vanishes into a portal in her closet. While the family rush to consult with the correct paranormal authorities, they begin to suspect there might be something righteously angry buried beneath their picture-perfect neighborhood.

  • Starring: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight
  • Director: Tobe Hooper
  • Year: 1982
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

76. Halloween

The classic that introduced a wider audiences to the mad, economic genius of John Carpenter, "Halloween" tells of the fateful night that deranged killer Michael Myers stalked his way back to his hometown to gut, slash, and maim as many horny teens as possible. Atmospheric and genre-defining, "Halloween" brought a palpable sense of menace and fear to the suburbs, introducing fans to one of horror's most enduring villains with Myers and one of its most resilient final girls with Laurie Strode.

  • Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nancy Loomis
  • Director: John Carpenter
  • Year: 1978
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

75. Häxan

Part documentary, part video essay, all witchcraft, "Häxan" refuses to act its age, delivering one of the giddiest and most enthralling takedowns of the history of witchcraft ever put to film. Merging gleeful dramatizations and an alarmingly modern thesis that witch trials spawned from hysteria and poor social supports, "Häxan" is essential viewing for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of superstition and early horror cinema.

  • Starring: Benjamin Christensen, Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan
  • Director: Benjamin Christensen
  • Year: 1922
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

74. Kwaidan

If you're a fan of horror anthologies, aren't daunted by enormous runtimes, and aren't a little baby who hates subtitles, have we got the film for you! Arguably one of the most artful entries in the often cut-and-run anthology tradition, "Kwaidan" is comprised of four visually extravagant and surreal seasonal stories adapted from Japanese folklore. Haunting in every sense of the word, "Kwaidan" is meticulously crafted and hypnotic. While there isn't a single weak link in the film's segments, "Hoichi the Earless," the tale of a blind priest (Katsuo Nakamura) who's fooled into performing a bloody ballad to a court full of ghosts, is the clear standout.

  • Starring: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Tetsuro Tamba
  • Director: Masaki Kobayashi
  • Year: 1964
  • Runtime: 183 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

73. Audition

Nearly a decade after his wife's death, Shigeharu Aoyama is plagued by the same, negging question: "When are you going to get re-married?" With the help of his movie producer friend, the perfect pre-Tinder plan takes shape — a fake casting call for young women, all vying for the "part" of Aoyama's new wife. During the titular audition, one woman immediately stands out: Asami Yamazaki. So what if all of the references on her resume are missing? It just feels good to feel something again (even if you're on the wrong end of the piano wire). A gruesome entry in J-Horror whose reputation precedes it, "Audition" doesn't get enough credit for its satirical melodrama and genuinely comedic moments. It'll keep you on your toes ... assuming you have any left.

  • Starring: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
  • Director: Takashi Miike
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

72. Nosferatu the Vampyre

Werner Herzog's lush, engrossing take on Bram Stoker's über influential gothic tale follows Jonathan Harker, an estate agent whose voyage to meet a reclusive client unleashes a pallid, leech-like demon into his life: Count Dracula, a blood-sucking nobleman who, like many blood-sucking nobleman before him, immediately sets about stealing Harker's girl. Set in the backdrop of a plague and featuring yet another fruitful creative partnership between Herzog and his bellicose muse Klaus Kinski, "Nosferatu the Vampyre" is a rare remake that meets the greatness of its predecessor.

  • Starring: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz
  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Year: 1979
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

71. Bram Stoker's Dracula

Truly a film that belongs in a museum, "Bram Stoker's Dracula" is quite possibly one of the most visually stunning films ever made, with enough production design and exquisite costuming to forgive the miscasting of Keanu Reeves. Following the Stoker's original text the film tells of a young lawyer named Jonathan Harker who runs afoul of the titular Count, who takes an interest in Harker's fiancée Mina. Featuring enough practical effects to quench the thirst of the hardest customer, "Bram Stoker's Dracula" is a sumptuous watch that blends melodrama with unabashed technical prowess.

70. Fright Night

The classic tale of the "boy who cried wolf" takes on a delightfully bloody 1980s spin as young suburban teen Charley Brewster becomes increasingly convinced that his neighbor, Jerry, is a vampire. When none of the adults in his life believe him, Charley turns to his idol, Peter Vincent, a horror host who plays a monster killer on the big screen. The stakes raise (pun intended) when Jerry notices a striking similarity between Charley's girlfriend and his long-deceased love. Funny, campy, and boasting an astonishing amount of goopy practical wizardry, "Fright Night" is a cheese board worth savoring.

  • Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall
  • Director: Tom Holland
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

69. Pan's Labyrinth

One of the few horror films to catch the attention of the Academy Awards, "Pan's Labyrinth" brings the underlying terror of fairytales to the forefront in this twisting tale of lost princesses, heroic trials, and evil step-parents. Set in Spain during the violent Franco regime, young Ofelia and her ailing pregnant mother travel to rendezvous with the cruel Captain Vidal, Ofelia's new stepfather, who has set up an outpost in the middle of the woods. While her daily life spirals into war-torn chaos, Ofelia completes tasks for a mysterious faun to prove she is the mortal incarnation of a fairy princess. Boasting evocative creature design and an unparalleled sense of world-building, "Pan's Labyrinth" is ample proof that the veil between fantasy and horror is paper-thin.

  • Starring: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú
  • Director: Guillermo Del Toro
  • Year: 2006
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

68. The Conjuring

Maybe you took one look at the ever-expanding "Conjuring Universe" and thought, "Nah, I'm going to stick to my 1960s arthouse classics and French Extremity thank you very much." And hey, in all fairness, yet another genre film based on real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren is easy to dismiss. But that would be a mistake. While the quality of its progeny varies, "The Conjuring" is absolutely fantastic. The film sees the Warrens tasked with assisting a family whose farmhouse has been plagued by a dark presence, all while the couple struggles to untangle their personal and professional lives. Chilly and devoid of the excessive jump scares that plague many of its 21st century peers, "The Conjuring" is a deftly crafted and thoroughly engaging ghost story.

  • Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
  • Director: James Wan
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

67. Raw

The big-screen debut of French talent-to-watch Julia Ducournau, "Raw" is inarguably one of the most disturbing coming-of-age films ever made. If you want to squeeze your butt cheeks together so hard you could crack a walnut, this film's for you. "Raw" tells of Justine, a high-achiever from a family of veterinarians who's forced to eat raw meat for the first time in her life during a hazing ceremony. When her true, cannibalistic self begins to take hold, her insatiable appetite for flesh begins to complicate her attempts to fit in at college. Learn from our mistakes: Do not attempt to eat during this film. You've been warned! 

  • Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
  • Director: Julia Ducournau
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

66. Pumpkinhead

The directorial debut of makeup wizard Stan Winston (you know, the guy who did the effects on everything from "Jurassic Park" to "Aliens"), "Pumpkinhead" is an underrated gem that twists the heartbeat of folk legend into a genuinely unsettling 1980s creature feature. After the tragic death of his son, a humble widower does the unthinkable and makes a dark pact with a swamp witch, ushering forth a demon known as Pumpkinhead — an entity created to exact the revenge of its summoner. Boasting predictably (but nevertheless jaw-dropping) practical effects and a committed and affecting lead performance from Lance Henriksen, "Pumkinhead" is your new Halloween night go-to, you just don't know it yet.

  • Starring: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D'Aquino
  • Director: Stan Winston
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

65. Jaws

A ravenous great white shark feasts on the townsfolk of Amity Island, leaving crimson wakes of gore and gnawed limbs in its path. Once the bullheaded powers that be finally concede that the resort town cannot, in fact, remain open while a massive monster stalks the shores, a police chief, oceanographer, and a seasoned fisherman take to the seas to find and kill the creature. Tapping in to both primeval fears of lurking predators and the all-too-real "it's fine, what pandemic?" nightmare of recent years, "Jaws" is a tension-filled all-timer and the summer blockbuster to end all summer blockbusters.

  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Year: 1975
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

64. Don't Look Now

After the tragic death of their young daughter, Laura and John relocate to Venice, where John is overseeing the restoration of a church. While the cool grip of fall imparts the city with an unsavory aura, the couple begin to experience unsettling signs that suggest their daughter may still be alive. Featuring reliably investing performances from Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, as well as one of the darkest and most striking endings the genre has to offer, "Don't Look Now" is a singular ghost story that properly delivers on its dream-like reputation.

63. Ginger Snaps

Arguably one of the most accomplished genre portraits of the all-too-real horror show of female-bodied puberty, "Ginger Snaps" says the quiet part out loud, merging lunar cycles and bloody affairs with werewolf legend. The bond between two goth sisters is tested when the eldest, Ginger, is mauled by a creature on the night of her first period. When she begins to show violent and mentally unstable signs of lycanthropy, it's up to Brigitte to save her sister and herself before things get any worse.

  • Starring: Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, Kris Lemche
  • Director: John Fawcett
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

62. Near Dark

Would that Kathryn Bigelow would direct another horror film! If her singular foray into the genre is anything to go by, we're being robbed of a great talent. A romantic vampire Western (a phrase we hope you had as much fun reading as we did writing it), "Near Dark" follows a humble farm boy who falls in with a gang of drifting blood suckers. His allegiances are tested when one of their number sets his sights on his kid sister. Erotic, electric, and genuinely unlike any other vampire film out there, "Near Dark" is a genre mishmash made in dustbowl heaven. More please!

  • Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

61. Ravenous

Take that Rotten Tomatoes score, multiply it by two, and you'll start to get a better sense of the delights "Ravenous" has in store for you. Bringing the latent horror in American expansionism to the forefront, this horror Western follows John Boyd, a recently promoted cog in the military machine who's been "rewarded" for surviving a massacre with relocation to a remote outpost. When a mysterious, naked stranger kicks their door down in the middle of the night, blabbering of cannibalism and a monster that chowed down on his humble caravan of innocent families, Boyd and company venture off into the brush to investigate. Intelligently blending Native American myth with colonial hubris, "Ravenous" is a horror film without parallel — often comical, deeply unsettling, and host to one of the all-time greatest scores in horror history.

  • Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Davies
  • Director: Antonia Bird
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

60. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" may be the oldest film on this list, but don't hold its age against it! There's a reason why this monumental, genre-defining classic has persisted for well-over a hundred years. The film centers around the recollections of a young man named Francis, who went through a traumatic experience with his fiancée after a visit to the titular cabinet. There, he came in contact with a terrifying sleepwalker named Cesare. The most striking example of the artistic movement that would come to be known as German Expressionism, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is a moody and ultra-influential masterpiece that is essential viewing for all fans of the genre.

  • Starring: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover
  • Director: Robert Wiene
  • Year: 1920
  • Runtime: 69 minutes
  • Rating:  NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

59. Scream

A masked killer is on the loose, massacring high school students with impunity. While our intrepid heroine Sidney Prescott mourns the first anniversary of her mother's tragic death, the investigation heats up, and the local teens decide play fast and loose with the curfew. Self-reflexive and full of legendary deep cuts that reward viewers who know the horror genre well, "Scream" is also an excellent entry point for genre newbies who need a bit of dark comedy and levity to cut the sting of all that murder. 

58. Carrie

One of the best Stephen King adaptations (and even the best, depending on who you're asking), "Carrie" follows the horrific coming-of-age of Carrie White, a paralyzingly shy teenager whose daily torment at school gives way to telekinetic chaos. Featuring plenty of Brian De Palma's trademark style (split-screens and split diopter shots abound), "Carrie" is a certified terror trip about a tortured wallflower who blows the wall up with her mind. Good for her.

  • Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Katt
  • Director: Brian De Palma
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

57. Thirst

From the stylish, demented mind of Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy," "Stoker," "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance"), "Thirst" tells of a well-respected priest named Sang-hyun who volunteers for an experimental test intended to produce a cure for a deadly virus. When the procedure kills him, a blood transfusion from a mysterious source brings him back to "life" as a vampiric creature. Struggling to balance his past life with his new bloodlust, Sang-hyun also must balance his infatuation for his childhood friend's wife. Unlike any vampire film you're liable to see, "Thirst" is base human desire wrapped in a humble bundle of lofty themes, including repentance, corruption, and sacrifice.

  • Starring: Song Kang-ho, Kim Ok-bin, Shin Ha-kyun
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 133 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

56. Phenomena

While the first entry in Dario Argento's "Three Mothers" trilogy, "Suspiria," gets all the credit for setting the standard for Italian supernatural horror, his later (and arguably greater) effort deserves equal praise. Melding the procedural mystery of the giallo tradition with a striking sample of supernatural elements, "Phenomena" tells of a young girl who can communicate with insects and uses her unexplainable powers to solve a string of murders plaguing her new boarding school. With one of the most bananas third acts in the director's career (which is saying something), "Phenomena" is as technically proficient and patently off-the-wall as you'd expect of a madman like Argento. 

  • Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Dalila Di Lazzaro
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

55. Ganja & Hess

A dazzling and revolutionary take on the vampire subgenre, Bill Gunn's experimental tragic romance follows Dr. Hess Green, a distinguished anthropologist who's stricken with a vampiric sickness while studying an ancient African artifact. Things take a turn when Dr. Green falls in with the bereft wife of his assistant, Ganja. Beguiling and psychedelic, "Ganja & Hess" is a notable landmark of Black horror (and Black cinema writ large) that more than deserves to occupy the same space as the best of the vampiric best.

  • Starring: Duane Jones, Marlene Clark, Bill Gunn
  • Director: Bill Gunn
  • Year: 1973
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

54. Nosferatu

Crafted under the hilariously bureaucratic fiddlings of copyright law, F.W. Murnau's gothic masterpiece "isn't an adaptation of Bram Stoker's infamous horror novel." Sure, Murnau's film may also be about a bright-eyed estate lawyer who crosses paths with a bloodsucking aristocrat, an undead creature that follows him back home to steal his wife. But this bloodsucking aristocrat is called Count Orlok, not Count Dracula, so as you can see, it's a totally different story. 

All joking aside, "Nosferatu" deserves every hushed accolade you've ever heard. It's a genre-defining work that seems to stutter with a sinister energy a century later, emboldened by the insulating shadow play of black and white. And with a runtime as accessible as that (see below), even a newcomer to the silent era can stomach the thought of reading intertitles.

  • Starring: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim
  • Director: F. W. Murnau
  • Year: 1922
  • Runtime: 65 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

53. Repulsion

The first English-language film from the gifted (and morally fraught) auteur Roman Polanski, "Repulsion" follows an aesthetician named Carole who suffers from a pathological fear of men. When her sister leaves her alone in their apartment to galavant off to Italy with her married boyfriend, Carole begins to teeter into madness as she looses more and more control over her life. Foundational and boundlessly cruel, "Repulsion" is an intense watch devoid of the technical finish that buffers much of Polanski's later work from the world and his own depravities.

  • Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Yvonne Furneaux, Ian Hendry
  • Director: Roman Polanski
  • Year: 1965
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

52. The Ring

It's one of the most iconic images of Millennial horror — a stringy-haired girl, soaking wet, crawling out of a television. The VHS tape may be obsolete in the grand scheme of physical media, but "The Ring" has ensured that the medium will live forever in the hearts, minds, and nightmares of horror fans. The premise is horrifyingly simple: If you watch the haunted tape, you die seven days later. Our doomed heroes have a week to uncover the mystery or else they too will fall victim to the dripping TV ghost. A thrilling mystery with some of the most iconic images in modern horror "The Ring" is going to have you side-eying those boxes of VHS tapes rotting in your parents' basement.

  • Starring: Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Miki Nakatani
  • Director: Hideo Nakata
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

51. The Wicker Man

One-third of the formative British folk horror trinity (along with "Witchfinder General" and "The Blood on Satan's Claw"), "The Wicker Man" follows the dutiful police officer Neil Howie, who's summoned to a remote island to investigate a missing persons case. When he arrives, he's shocked to find a hedonistic cult whose druidic customs rattle him to his core. Even more unsettling ... none of the locals seem to remember the missing little girl ever existing. Something sinister is afoot, and surely nothing bad will come from digging deeper right? Right? An eternally enamoring slow-burn (that also just so happens to be a musical), "The Wicker Man" is the granddaddy of the folk horror genre and the proud harborer of one of cinema's darkest finales.

  • Starring: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland
  • Director: Robin Hardy
  • Year: 1973
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

50. Phantom of the Paradise

Part "The Picture of Dorian Gray," part "Phantom of the Opera," and part "Faust," the great Brian De Palma is here to rock your world (quite literally) with the best rock opera the horror genre has to offer. When an aspiring singer-songwriter named Winslow signs on the dotted line, he gets in bed with a notorious music producer who quickly throws him under the bus to steal his music. Only ... Winslow doesn't die. Fueled by revenge and indignation, Winslow resolves to haunt the producer's newest and greatest music venue — the Paradise. Full of insanely catchy tunes by Paul Williams (who also co-stars), "Phantom of the Paradise" is a wild ride like no other, boasting De Palma's visual panache and a contagious sense of gothic glee. 

  • Starring: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
  • Director: Brian De Palma
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

49. God Told Me To

Yet another film on this list that straddles the line between sci-fi and horror, "God Told Me To" is the inarguable masterpiece of New York genre king Larry Cohen (the genius behind "Maniac Cop," "It's Alive," and "The Stuff"). The film follows a devout Catholic NYPD detective who's hounded by a string of random murders where the only connection is one ominous phrase from each killer: "God told me to." Fixated on unpacking the real identity of this "God," the detective soon finds that the answers he seeks are bound up in his own hazy history. Avoid spoilers if you can, the faithful will be rewarded with one of the most jaw-dropping genre blends to bless the big screen.

  • Starring: Tony Lo Bianco, Sandy Dennis, Richard Lynch
  • Director: Larry Cohen
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

48. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The second, and arguably the best, cinematic adaptation of Jack Finney's 1954 novel of the same name, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" tells of the alien siege none of us saw coming. No flying saucers, no catastrophic doomsday technology, just insidious spores, trickling through the human race. While the invaders steadily insert alien duplicates throughout our ranks, a scientist named Matthew Bennell stumbles into the conspiracy, with his paranoid suspicions germinating into full blown terror upon the realization that humanity's time has ended.

  • Starring: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy
  • Director: Philip Kaufman
  • Year: 1978
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

47. Eyes Without a Face

If you're a fan of body horror's continental cousin, French Extremity, rejoice: Those baguette-loving maniacs have been playing with our precious skin since the early 1960s. Case in point — "Eyes Without a Face," the tragic tale of a surgeon attempting to placate his guilt for his hand in his daughter's disfigurement by snatching other young women's faces. Poetic and squirm-inducing in equal measure, "Eyes Without a Face" is a disquieting and artful entry in a genre that asks, "Flesh, what is it good for?"

  • Starring: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Édith Scob
  • Director: Georges Franju
  • Year: 1962
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

46. The Invitation

Dinner parties with your ex are nightmarish enough. So you can hardly begrudge Will from feeling terror worm its way down his spine when his former lover, Eden, and her new partner, David, begin speaking in cryptic hints and new age-y fatalism. To say more would be to give the game away, but suffice to say, maybe leaving parties the moment things get weird is a good thing, eh?

  • Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman
  • Director: Karyn Kusama
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

45. Vampyr

More of a waking nightmare than a film, "Vampyr" follows a student of the occult who finds himself involved with a noble family set upon by a predatory, blood-sucking presence. Lacking in objective reality and rich with dense sound design and unconventional edits, "Vampyr" is as atmospheric as they come. Also, if "death by flour mill" wasn't on your long-list of fears, this film's sure to right that wrong.

  • Starring: Julian West, Henriette Gérard, Jan Hieronimko
  • Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Year: 1932
  • Runtime: 73 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

44. Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary

Why is a black-and-white filmed performance of "Dracula" by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet on this list? Well, that's easy: It's incredible. Filmed in a style that evokes silent-era Expressionist filmmaking, Guy Maddin's take on Bram Stoker's gothic classic leverages the stuttering heartbeat of early cinema to make an old tale feel new and ravishing. Starring senior ballet master Zhang Wei-Qiang as the titular count, the film brings the xenophobia that undercut's Stoker's text to the forefront in a way few "Dracula" adaptations before or since have matched.

  • Starring: Zhang Wei-Qiang, David Moroni, Tara Birtwhistle
  • Director: Guy Maddin
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 75 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

43. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter

Hammer Film Productions is best known for its forays into the hallowed horror halls of Frankenstein and Dracula or facilitating the magical team-up of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. But their best film has nothing to do with literary adaptations or "recognizable horror mainstays." No, the best Hammer horror film (Rotten Tomatoes score be damned) is the absolutely incredible "Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter," which had the misfortune of hitting the big screen right as the studio was in its decline. The film follows the titular samurai-sword wielding (!) monster hunter as he and his partner attempt to rid the countryside of evil. It's got action, sensuality, horror, and an infectiously confident sense of world-building. Run, don't walk, we say!

42. Jennifer's Body

It's unclear how humanity will repent for the crimes visited upon "Jennifer's Body," a film mistakenly marketed as the object of a fetishistic gaze rather than an insightful and gleefully gory possession tale grounded in the complexities of teen female friendship. The story follows Needy, whose best friend Jennifer is possessed by a demon when a punk band drugs her and leaves her for dead in the woods in a ritualistic sacrifice. A damning indictment of the violence inflicted on female bodies, "Jennifer's Body" is much smarter, well-crafted, and thematically dense than pop culture would have you remember.

  • Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons
  • Director: Karyn Kusama
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

41. The Descent

After her life is shaken by her husband's sudden death, Sarah's friend group arranges a girls' trip to try and lift her spirits. And what could be more life-affirming than a caving expedition? Ignoring all the warning signs, the group presses on underground, learning all too late that their fearless leader has brought them into uncharted territory in a misguided bid to unite the group. Lost, unprepared, and as it turns out, not alone, the group desperately struggle to survive their situation and each other. One of the very, very few horror films to feature an all-female cast (Sarah's husband bites it real fast, trust us), "The Descent" is a genuinely unsettling watch that'll disturb even the most unflappable genre fan.

  • Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid
  • Director: Neil Marshall
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

40. The Loved Ones

While we wouldn't go so far to say that "The Loved Ones" is a comedy (we're pretty sure saying as much would put us on some kind of list), there's no denying that Sean Byrne's sophomore effort is the most fun you can have watching an emo kid fight tooth and nail (and esophagus ... and forehead ... and foot ...) to escape the clutches of Australia's most depraved family. Featuring one, if not the, most terrifying female villain in modern horror cinema (imagine Veruca Salt by way of Jeffrey Dahmer), "The Loved Ones" is genuinely squirm-inducing, surprisingly funny, and absolutely not for the faint of heart.

  • Starring: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Jessica McNamee
  • Director: Sean Byrne
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

39. The Wailing

Do not (we repeat, do not) be intimidated by that daunting runtime. "The Wailing" is easily one of the 21st century's finest horror flicks — a procedural nightmare with folk horror underpinnings, a hypnotic rhythm, and a name befitting the horrors it has in store. A bumbling local police officer is assigned to investigate a local plague that leaves victims in a homicidal state before expiring outright. Things take a turn for the personal when the cop's own daughter falls ill, pushing him to lend more credence to the local rumor that a mysterious outsider is the source of the infection. 

  • Starring: Kwak Do-won, Jun Kunimura, Hwang Jung-min
  • Director: Na Hong-jin
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 156 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

38. The Host

Careless American pollution gives birth to a monstrous, mutated creature that springs forth, unannounced, from the banks of the Han River. While the powers that be attempts to get a grip on the chaos left in the creature's wake, a family attempts to track down the youngest of their number who they believe survived the monster's attack. Horrifying, socially conscious, and featuring a rich ensemble cast, "The Host" is as deceptive and elusive as its title.

  • Starring: Song Kang-ho, Bae Doo-na, Byun Hee-bong
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

37. Possession

If you like horror films that make you want to crawl out of your skin and/or scream into your pillow, have we got the movie for you! Less of a film than a living nightmare someone happened to capture on film, Andrzej Żuławski's masterpiece is an excessively challenging and unclassifiable experience. Superficially a film about the horrors and trauma of divorce, "Possession" is also a writhing cosmic horror tale of old gods, sinister mimics, and tentacle monster in rundown West Berlin apartments. Confused? Good. You're in the right frame of mind.

  • Starring: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen
  • Director: Andrzej Żuławski
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

36. Mandy

Mandy and Red have carved out a quiet life for themselves in the Shadow Mountains, each of them reeling from old wounds that have only just begun to heal. When a deviant cult leader catches a glimpse of Mandy, he resolves to claim her as his own. When she laughs at his face (the quickest way to gut the male ego), things take a very dark turn, unleashing an operatic and unstoppable force in the form of Red's rage. One of the few films out there to properly earn the moniker "psychedelic," Panos Cosmatos delivers a visually rapturous rock opera of all-consuming love, loss, revenge, and radically long chainsaws.

  • Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
  • Director: Panos Cosmatos
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

35. Freaks

Perhaps the most pre-Code movie to ever pre-Code, "Freaks" miraculously dodged nearly a century of censorship to find its way into our grateful mitts. Directed by Tod Browning (the man who also brought us 1931's "Dracula"), "Freaks" sets its tragic tale against the backdrop of a traveling circus. While a murder plot unfolds in the background, the titular community of sideshow workers refuse to let one of their own be used and abused by a conniving trapeze artist. Affecting and startlingly brave given the subject matter and time of release, "Freaks" is a genuinely empathy-driven story that is much, much more than its exploitative reputation would suggest.

  • Starring: Wallace Ford, Olga Baclanova, Leila Hyams
  • Director: Tod Browning
  • Year: 1932
  • Runtime: 64 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

34. House

There are very, very few films like Nobuhiko Obayashi's "House." But then again, we're not sure if cinema is prepared for any other films steeped in this level of insanity. A young girl named Gorgeous (yep) takes a trip to visit her aunt at their ancestral home. Inviting six friends with equally crazy names to join her, the gaggle of girls soon find themselves in the clutches of an absurdist nightmare full of floating heads, carnivorous pianos, and magical cats. Imaginative, manic, and off-the-wall quite literally, "House" is one of a kind and must be seen to be believed.

  • Starring: Kimiko Ikegami, Ai Matsubara, Miki Jinbo
  • Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
  • Year: 1977
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

33. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

While serial killer profiles can often stray into gross rubbernecking, John McNaughton's unflinching masterpiece is a blood-chilling exception. Loosely based on the real-life exploits of Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole, "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" doesn't shy away from it's subject's wickedness, instead embracing the brutally grim nihilism that comes with the territory. Disturbingly bleak and absolutely not for everyone, "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" is an uncomfortable reminder that some people are utterly, viciously empty.

  • Starring: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles
  • Director: John McNaughton
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

32. The Omen

In the wake of a devastating miscarriage, an American diplomat adopts a newborn without his wife's knowledge, passing the infant off as their own biological child. Surely such an insidious lie will not backfire in any way, right? Right? While his angelic features and innocent frame protest otherwise, the diplomat soon begins to suspect that there's something seriously, demonically wrong with his adopted son. Directed by the great jack-of-all-genres Richard Donner and featuring one of the most unsettling child performances in horror history, "The Omen" is an insidious piece of filmmaking that will put the fear of God (and an appreciation for contraception) into you.

  • Starring: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner
  • Director: Richard Donner
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

31. The Changeling

The other inarguable pillar of Canadian cinema along with the aforementioned "Black Christmas," "The Changeling" follows a bereaved composer who retreats to a large mansion after his wife and child perish in a roadside accident. There, he finds his trauma matched by the spirit of the house, which still reverberates with the fury and unresolved horror of a crime committed many moons ago. Understated, moody, and evocatively shot by John Coquillon, "The Changeling" is one of the most unsettling cinematic ghost stories you're liable to find. George C. Scott's incredible lead performance is just the cherry (or make that sinister bouncing red ball) on top.

  • Starring: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas
  • Director: Peter Medak
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

30. The Silence of the Lambs

One of the very (very) few horror films to win Best Picture, "The Silence of the Lambs" is the second and far more genre-indebted adaptation of Thomas Harris' novels regarding the depraved, man-munching Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Clarice Starling, a fresh-faced student at the FBI academy, is tasked with investigating an elusive serial killer known as "Buffalo Bill." Her sleuthing — which involves consulting with the infamous, incarcerated psychiatrist — takes her down a rabbit hole that puts her own safety in jeopardy. A landmark entry in American genre cinema that synthesizes both realism and unsanitized depravity, "The Silence of the Lambs" balances its abject darkness with Jodie Foster's portrayal of one of genre cinema's most decent, intelligent heroes.

  • Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Year: 1991
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

29. Bride of Frankenstein

It's always a little controversial to suggest a film's sequel is better than the original. But we're going to do it anyway. Featuring two of horror cinema's most notorious hairdos, "Bride of Frankenstein" sees the eponymous doctor attempting to rid himself of his obsession with re-animation to no avail. His greatest creation is back, and wouldn't you know it, he's lonely as hell and wants a companion. Featuring a far richer story and a healthy scoop of high camp, "Bride of Frankenstein" is a pity-tinged masterpiece that zeroes in on what makes Karloff's Creature so enduring: the all-too human desire to love and be loved.

  • Starring: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive
  • Director: James Whale
  • Year: 1935
  • Runtime: 75 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

28. Kuroneko

Directed by the great master Kaneto Shindô (whose 1964 film "Onibaba" strikes a similarly haunting chord), "Kuroneko" is a Sengoku-set fable about an unseen, violent entity that's been chowing down on the throats of local samurai. When a war hero returns from battle and is sent out into the woods to discover the source of the vengeful presence, he comes face to face with his own demons. Full of exquisitely eerie cinematography from Norimichi Igawa and Kiyomi Kuroda, "Kuroneko" sports a striking feminist streak and a genuine melancholy that's lacking from most entries in the revenge genre.

  • Starring: Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi
  • Director: Kaneto Shindo
  • Year: 1958
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

27. Candyman

Adapting Clive Barker's short story "The Forbidden" to the big screen, "Candyman" tells of a dangerously curious graduate student named Helen whose study of urban legends brings her to the local tale of Candyman. After foolishly going through the motions required to summon the hook-handed entity, Helen soon learns that the legend is altogether real. While the powers that be question Helen's sanity, she is forced to dive deeper and deeper into the myth's tragic origins to save her skin. Genuinely tragic and grounded by an earth-shatteringly affecting performance by Tony Todd as the titular boogeyman, "Candyman" also features the one and only horror score by famed composer Philip Glass. 

  • Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley
  • Director: Bernard Rose
  • Year: 1992
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

26. REC

When you ask horror fans for "actually scary" film recommendations, one title appears without fail: "REC." Undeniable proof that found-footage is much more than nauseating shaky cam when placed in the right hands, the film follows a pair of reporters whose overnight fluff piece at a local firehall becomes a descent into hell when a wellness check spirals into a viral outbreak that turns victims into homicidal maniacs. Visceral and unrelenting, "REC" is quite arguably the scariest film of the 21st century, and if you are a found-footage skeptic, 1) we don't blame you, and 2) see for yourself ... if you dare.

  • Starring: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano
  • Director: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 78 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

25. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Unprecedented for its time and a visceral gut-punch to this day, "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" assumes a naturalistic lens to underpin the terror of a group of young adults stumbling into the abode of a family of rural cannibals. Boasting unnervingly detailed production design and a hot, sticky atmosphere you can practically feel radiating through the screen, Tobe Hooper's jaw-dropping effort blurs the line between exploitation and art film to chilling effect. You won't look at barbecue the same way again!

  • Starring: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Allen Danziger
  • Director: Tobe Hooper
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

24. The Evil Dead

A group of horned-up college kids unwittingly release a malevolent force during a weekend vacation in a cabin in the woods. Hey, the book was bound in flesh and scrawled with demonic sigils — how were they supposed to know it would unleash a demonic power that'd slowly pick them off one by one? Unnervingly visceral (a delicious side-effect of a scrappy production), "The Evil Dead" hits the coveted sweet spot of being a "video nasty" that also screened at Cannes. This isn't your typical bloody trash, this is the bloody trash of a promising auteur! 

  • Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker
  • Director: Sam Raimi
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: NC-17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

23. Peeping Tom

A shocking and taboo-pushing technicolor nightmare, "Peeping Tom" follows a certified loser named Mark, whose social awkwardness belies deeper rumblings of violent urges and obsession. Working on a movie set by day and at an adult film studio at night, Mark has a third — and much more insidious — gig: He's making a documentary on fear, killing women and recording their reactions as they realize his intentions. When Mark befriends his bubbly neighbor Helen, both he (and we) catch a glimmer of hope that this sicko has a chance at a normal life. But when Helen takes an interest in his private directorial endeavors, the wires get crossed with devastating results. An unequivocal masterpiece that is as striking and unsettling today as it was when it premiered, the film weaves terror into the very act inherent in the cinematic experience: looking.

  • Starring: Carl Boehm, Moira Shearer, Anna Massey
  • Director: Michael Powell
  • Year: 1960
  • Runtime: 109 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

22. Creature from the Black Lagoon

While the Gill-Man may be the Universal monster with the fewest credits, he is, nevertheless, one of the most artfully designed creatures to emerge out of the mid-century Hollywood horror boom. Featuring groundbreaking aquatic photography and a magnificent monster design by Disney animator Milicent Patrick, this enduring eco-horror tells of a group of interloping geologists who invade the territory of a curious creature in order to use his amphibious biology for space travel. Starkly shot in black and white with an accusatory thesis that has lost none of its bite, "Creature from the Black Lagoon" is a shockingly melancholic tale that excels far beyond its B-picture set-up.

  • Starring: Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning
  • Director: Jack Arnold
  • Year: 1954
  • Runtime: 79 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

21. Deep Red

While walking home late one night, a jazz musician named Marcus witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic medium. Despite not being a cop, Marcus finds himself drawn into the case, delving deeper and deeper into the killings with the help of a spunky reporter who hopes a break in the case will help her career. If you've been looking for an "in" to the giallo genre, look no further: "Deep Red" is an incredible place to start. Featuring all the hallmarks of the genre (black gloves, candy-apple red viscera, and other narrative wrinkles that qualify as spoilers), "Deep Red" is as stylish, bananas, and twisty as giallo films come.

  • Starring: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Year: 1975
  • Runtime: 126 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

20. The Vanishing

An obsessive search for his girlfriend who mysteriously disappeared leaves a young man in the thrall of a three-year investigation that ultimately draws the attention of her abductor. Meticulously crafted and radiating with an unnerving sense of menace, "The Vanishing" is one of the most disturbing films on this list thanks to its thoroughly unsettling antagonist. Bleak, chilling, and a damning incitement of pop culture's lurid interest in true crime, "The Vanishing" is singular in its insidious power and a fast-track to bummer city if that's what you're in the mood for.

  • Starring: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege
  • Director: George Sluizer
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

19. Young Frankenstein

The very funny Mel Brooks takes on the Universal Monster format with this look at the grandson of the infamous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. Despite his best efforts to shirk his ancestor's depraved desire to create life out of dead flesh, the young doctor finds himself following in his grandpappy's footsteps with ... toe-tapping results. A loving homage with one of the highest joke-per-minute rates of any film, horror or otherwise, "Young Frankenstein" is an aggressively quotable and fiendishly funny look at one of cinema's most ghoulish tales.

  • Starring: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman
  • Director: Mel Brooks
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

18. Psycho

A boy's best friend is his mother. And a horror fan's best chance at understanding modern serial killer films is to watch Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." Pathologizing a sick mind (for better or worse), "Psycho" tells of a mild-mannered motel manager whose mother doesn't just dominate his life but his very psyche. Featuring an unsettling lead performance by Anthony Perkins and a characteristically commanding sense of suspense from the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock, "Psycho" is considered a classic with good reason. It's a chilling thriller that (if its twists have escaped you) will keep you guessing until the final moments.

  • Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1960
  • Runtime: 109 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

17. Rosemary's Baby

One of the enduring pillars of horror fiction adaptations (alongside "The Exorcist"), "Rosemary's Baby" follows a young couple who move into an old apartment with a dark secret: It houses a coven of Satan-worshipers who aim to manipulate the couple into bringing forth the Antichrist. The resulting film twists the presumed comfort of domesticity, pregnancy, and elderly neighbors into something altogether terrifying. A creeping slow-burn that set the standard for a veritable host of cinematic progeny, "Rosemary's Baby" is a stomach-sinking watch that lives up to its unsettling reputation.

  • Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
  • Director: Roman Polanski
  • Year: 1968
  • Runtime: 136 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

16. Hellraiser

When a depraved thrill seeker opens a portal to a dimension where pain and pleasure are the same, he vanishes without a trace. But after his brother's family take up place in his old house, accidental bloodletting rouses the disturbed creature from the floor boards ... and hell follows with him. With Clive Barker adapting his own novella, "Hellraiser" is an intelligent, marvelously goopy, and taboo-courting genre entry that introduced audiences to one of the pointiest heads in cinema. 

  • Starring: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence
  • Director: Clive Barker
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

15. Godzilla

Birthed out of nuclear tragedy in more ways than one, Ishirō Honda's franchise-spawning classic tells of an environmental disaster that stalks on two legs — Godzilla, a 50-meter tall monster hellbent on destroying anything and anyone foolish enough to get in his way. Don't let its age fool you, this classic is a truly terrifying cautionary tale of human folly and ambition, a mournful film drenched in national grief and a fervent desire to process unthinkable catastrophe.

  • Starring: Takashi Shimura, Momoko Kochi, Akira Takarada
  • Director: Ishirō Honda
  • Year: 1954
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

14. The Return of the Living Dead

Directed by Dan O'Bannon (the writer of "Alien," "Lifeforce," and "Dead & Buried"), "The Return of the Living Dead" is a slapstick comedy about mankind's horrifying talent for self-destruction. In a genius twist of meta-fiction, the film is set in a universe where George A. Romero's zombified classic ("Night of the Living Dead") exists as a fictionalized account of a real military experiment. Evidence of the bioweapon is collecting dust in the basement of a medical supply facility. And when two bumbling employees unleash the contents of one of the rotting metal drums, all hell quite literally breaks loose. Unlike the vast majority of zombie fiction (Romero's enduring original included), the thesis of "The Return of the Living Dead" is not that man is the real monster but rather that man is a grade-A moron. Sporting pitch-black comedy and a toe-tapping score, "The Return of the Living Dead" is a whip-smart hoot and a half.

  • Starring: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa
  • Director: Dan O'Bannon
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

13. The Night of the Hunter

The one and only film directed by the great thespian Charles Laughton, "The Night of the Hunter" occupies that hazy confluence of Southern gothic thriller and psychological horror show. Set in the Deep South during the 1930s, "The Night of the Hunter" follows a serial killer in the guise of a preacher, who hunts down the children of his cellmate after learning that they're the only ones aware of a massive stash of cash. Boasting an expressionistic visual language straight out of your nightmares and a bone-chilling performance by the great Robert Mitchum, "The Night of the Hunter" is an untouchable and peerless classic.

  • Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
  • Director: Charles Laughton
  • Year: 1955
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

12. The Shining

Intent on finding some quality time to write a book, Jack Torrance accepts a winter caretaker job at the remote Overlook Hotel, dragging his wife and young son along with him. As the isolation sets in, the hotel begins to tease out Jack's long-repressed madness. From the master Stanley Kubrick, who weaponizes his attention to detail and penchant for visual storytelling to unnerving effect, "The Shining" is an incredibly rich viewing experience that has lost none of its dark, unsettling power.

11. Evil Dead II

After blowing everyone's minds six years earlier, the intrepid Sam Raimi returned to the cabin in the woods that put him on the genre map. Rather than pick up where things left off (as its deceptive title implies) "Evil Dead II" re-treads the events of the first film with a bigger budget, more technical confidence, and a sense of humor. Ash Williams is back, baby, and you best believe he's going to commit the same mistakes, raise the same demonic entity, and lose his gosh darn marbles (and a limb or two) while attempting to survive the undead onslaught. Groovy as hell and patently hilarious, "Evil Dead II" is chicken noodle soup for the horror dork's soul.

  • Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks
  • Director: Sam Raimi
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

10. Night of the Living Dead

The grim progenitor of what we'd now recognize as the zombie genre, "Night of the Living Dead" shambled its way out of the grave and into the horror lexicon. 

No one knows why, but the dead have risen — clawing their way out of graveyards and morgues to feast upon the living. A ragtag group of survivors take shelter in a deserted farmhouse, strangers untied by one common objective — stay alive. An unbelievably self-assured and thematically confident directorial debut, "Night of the Living Dead" remains as existentially threatening and viscerally charged as when it premiered. Featuring a resolute performance by Duane Jones and one of the most nihilistic finales of all time, George A. Romero's classic refuses to die.

  • Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
  • Director: George A. Romero
  • Year: 1968
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

9. Black Christmas

The first true North American slasher (John Carpenter eat your heart out), "Black Christmas" is a chilly Canadian terror trip that sees a sorority house assailed by an unseen killer. While police hand-wave the girls' concerns away (it's the 1970s, perverted crank callers are a dime a dozen), our heroine, Jess, begins to suspect that her controlling boyfriend may be to blame. Directed by the great Bob Clark, "Black Christmas" borrows the candy-colored language of giallo to weave a stylish, progressive, and thoroughly unsettling tale about why you should always make sure the fuzz checks your attic if a killer's on the loose.

  • Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea
  • Director: Bob Clark
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

8. Suspiria

A wide-eyed American ballet dancer named Suzy Bannion travels to Germany to attend the Tanz Academy, a building shrouded in both prestige and mystery. From the moment she arrives and spots a young woman sprinting through the woods, it's clear that something sinister and malevolent lurks within the edifices hallowed halls. Widely considered to be Dario Argento's masterpiece, "Suspiria" is a terrifyingly colorful terror trip that also boasts one of horror cinema's greatest scores thanks to the prog-rock geniuses known as Goblin.

  • Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Joan Bennett
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Year: 1977
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

7. The Innocents

Based on Henry James monumental gothic horror novella "The Turn of the Screw" (and adapted by Truman Capote and William Archibald), "The Innocents" is the preeminent text on why children are not to be trusted under any circumstances. A young governess begins to suspect something supernatural is afoot when she witnesses disturbing behavior from the children in her charge. Sporting some of the most mesmerizing black-and-white photography of all time, "The Innocents" muddles ambiguity with captivating performances to weave one of the most atmospheric and uneasy horror films ever made.

  • Starring: Deborah Kerr, Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin
  • Director: Jack Clayton
  • Year: 1961
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

6. The Haunting

A gaggle of diverse strangers are summoned to a forbidding manor with a violent history in order to prove the existence of ghosts. When the nerve-wracked Eleanor begins to exhibit signs of insanity, it's unclear if the experiment has finally snapped her fragile mental health or if the house truly has its barbs in her. Exquisitely shot by Davis Boulton and restrained in a way few haunted house films manage to execute, "The Haunting" is a classic that makes good on its reputation and then some.  

  • Starring: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson
  • Director: Robert Wise
  • Year: 1963
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

5. Alien

When the crew of the Nostromo responds to an outer space distress signal, it leads them straight to disaster — a nest full of eggs, harboring a deadly organism. When one of the crew is impregnated by the spider-fingered spawn, the resulting creature begins to pick the crew off one by one. Determined to get answers and live to see another day, our intrepid heroine Ripley must outsmart the deadly, acid-blooded predator. One of the many films on this list that blur the distinction between science fiction and horror, "Alien" is a technical and tonal masterpiece that never fails to upset and unsettle after all these years.

  • Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Year: 1979
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

4. Re-Animator

Energetic, bloody, and buoyed by one of the most contagiously glee-filled performances in genre cinema, the great Stuart Gordon takes liberties with H.P. Lovecraft's source material to great comedic effect. A high-achieving student at a medical college is sucked in to his new roommate's obsessive quest to find a way to bring the dead back to life. When the madman's experiments begin to prove successful, the two tip over a series of dominos that put their own lives in great danger. Deeply funny and with pacing so taut you could bounce a penny off of it, "Re-Animator" is a good, goofy, and decidedly goopy, time.

  • Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
  • Director: Stuart Gordon
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

3. Dead Ringers

David Cronenberg, the Baron of Blood, has many bangers under his belt, but if any of the Canadian horror icon's work deserved to win an Oscar for Best Picture, it's "Dead Ringers." The film follows the brilliant but bullheaded Mantle twins, identical gynecologists whose codependency drives them to madness, malpractice, and eventually, murder. Featuring not one but two career-best performances by Jeremy Irons and a genuine sense of tragedy that anticipates Cronenberg's eventual transition from body horror to dramas, "Dead Ringers" is a paranoid and heart-wrenching portrait of the darker side of intimacy.

2. The Exorcist

Based on William Peter Blatty's bestselling novel of the same name (with Blatty serving as the film's screenwriter), "The Exorcist" is a cultural phenomenon, a certified blockbuster, and one of the handful of horror films to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. The film tells of the possession of Regan MacNeil, a young girl whose body plays host to a violent demonic force hellbent on sowing as much destruction and damnation as its fragile vessel can withstand. Genuinely unsettling and viscerally realized by "Hurricane" Billy Friedkin, "The Exorcist" is considered by many as the pinnacle of the genre for a reason.

  • Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow
  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Year: 1973
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

1. The Thing

A dog sprints towards a remote research station in Antarctica harboring a fleshy secret: It isn't a dog. Not really. Beneath all that fur and flesh, there lurks an alien entity, foolishly thawed from its icy prison, intent on surviving by doing the one thing it knows how to do — copy and assimilate. 

Inviting the hound into their home, the researchers soon find themselves in the grip of a horrifying mystery, less of a "whodunnit" than a "whoissit?" Anyone of them could be the vicious creature in the guise of a man. Arguably John Carpenter's finest film (sorry "Halloween" lovers), "The Thing" is a corporeal cabin fever tale with the tension ratcheted up to 11. Boasting jaw-dropping (or should that be head-sloughing?) visual effects and an all-timer ensemble cast, they just don't make 'em like this anymore.