The 8 Best Horror Movies of All Time
So much of what makes a good horror movie is subjective. For some people, it’s the iconic slasher film; for others, a sick, psychological thriller yields the bigger scare. Yet in order to rank among the all-time best horror movies, a film must have had an important impact on the genre for good and it must continue to be relevant to audiences today.
With Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock forever changed the screen thriller. The film follows Marion Crane, a woman who is unhappy in her job and impulsively takes off, eventually stopping for the night at the Bates Motel -- and that’s when things take a frightening turn. The film’s infamous shower scene will be immortalized in the minds of horror and film fans for centuries.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Caligari is perhaps the first true horror film. But The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari offers far more than textbook insight into the genre. A twisted tale of a crazed hypnotist who orders his subject to murder others, the plot has twists and turns that still -- a century later -- surprise audiences. Don’t be fooled by the fact it’s silent; this revolutionary film retains a terrifying, eternal anxiety and fear of great manipulators.
Get Out (2017)
Though it’s far from your typical scarefest, Get Out is noteworthy for its skillful portrayal racial paranoia in a way that’s never been done before and a time when it’s never been more important. Jordan Peele's directorial debut Get Out follows Chris, a young black male, on a weekend getaway meeting his white girlfriend’s parents. A series of disturbing discoveries lead to a truth that creeps up and scares you from behind -- even while you’re laughing.
In Roman Polanski's first English film, a shy young Belgian girl, Carol, is left alone for a few days in the Kensington flat she shares with her sister. We watch as she descends into madness, withdrawing into an ever-more reclusive existence -- and she drags the audience along with her.
Part-SciFi, part-horror, this seven-time Oscar nominee gave countless stars their big breaks. However, it’s Sigourney Weaver’s unforgettable performance as the last surviving crew member of a corporate spaceship destroyed by aliens -- and the final all-female showdown -- that put Aliens in the hall of fame.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The story of a young wife who comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world, Rosemary’s Baby remains one of the strongest supernatural-cum-psychological thrillers ever made. The film became a critically praised hit, winning Gordon an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, and inspired a wave of satanic horror flicks in its wake.
Director James Whale's interpretation of Mary Shelley's classic tale of man playing God is still, arguably, the most influential genre movie ever made. While Frankenstein’s exploration of the fine line between genius and madness was shocking in its day, it remains one of the most fascinatingly spooky movies in history.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Psychological study-meets-hardcore horror in the multiple Oscar-winning film The Silence of the Lambs. The film’s power is in no small part due to its leading duo, Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. In investigating a vicious murderer, Clarice (Foster) is assigned to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist and a violent psychopath and cannibal. As gruesome criminal acts blend with psychological horrors, two simple words, “Hello, Clarice…” are forever burned into our brains.
Did any of your favorite scary movies not make the list? Let us know in the comments.