Your guide to the top-rated horror films of all time
Although labeling the best horror movies ultimately comes down to personal preference, we have based our findings on how well each film did at the box office. Before we disappear into a world of darkness, we want you to close your eyes and envision your favorite flick! Let’s go.
True horror fans should have anticipated that Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho, would make our best horror movies list. With its shocking bursts of violence and provocative sexual explicitness testing the strict censorship boundaries of its day, this film gave Hitchcock his career. Plus, who can forget the 45-second shower murder? Grim, gruesome, and oh-so-mysterious are just a few reasons that contribute to its mere horror among audiences everywhere.
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist was considered to be one of the scariest films of its time, with the original trailer even being banned from the theatres. With infamous scenes including Regan urinating on the carpet, stabbing at her genitals with a crucifix, desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary, and the head-spinning scene, possession became a widespread fear after its release. That said, as a genre classic, The Exorcist has opened many doors for future special effects and performances in lots of movies that we know and love.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
As a film that changed the horror genre forever, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, allowed audiences to escape from the typical monster found in the best horror movies to the brutality of violence caused by man. After all, the concept of a skin-peeling psychopath chasing you with a chainsaw is scary enough with the need for special effects, blood, and gore. Didn’t he also eat some people?
While many fans of horror believe that the slasher subgenre sprang to life in the ‘80s, it was actually the arrival of the original Halloween movie in 1978. On one of the lowest budgets to ever create a horror film, John Carpenter managed to create an installment that was scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling to set the standard for slashers to come. Also, along with the cinematography came a horror icon whose face would terrorize audiences spanning decades, Michael Myers.
The Shining (1980)
Although the film does deviate from the famous Stephen King novel, The Shining remains Jack Torrance’s descent into madness. With note-worthy one-liners that can be quoted by any horror man, this movie remains a cultural influence, even 40+ years later. While we would label it as one of the best horror movies of all time, it’s the fear, abuse, and wondering who the real monster is that keeps thrill-seekers re-watching it over and over again.
Did you notice that all five top-rated horror films were made before the times of intense special effects? Now that’s saying something.
Which of the above examples are you most fond of? Drop a comment below to let us know which of the best horror movies is your favorite.