Graveyard Shift

The Best Horror Films of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Vote up the best movies in the Horror genre.

Horror movies, ranked by adrenaline junkies worldwide. Anyone can vote on this CrowdRanked list, and can even add your own favorite chiller to these rankings. Ghosts, zombies, monsters or maybe just the quiet guy down the street who straps on a hockey mask for kicks; these are the movies that scare the pants off you. What are the greatest horror films ever made?

Great horror films have a long and storied history in cinema. From the earliest horror movies like 1922's Nosferatu, to modern classics like the Saw series, scary movies have always had a special place in the collective, twisted hearts of moviegoers. Each year, new horror movies come out that are designed to terrify, with evil characters bent on death and destruction. Will they all wind up on a list of the scariest horror movies ever made? Probably not, but not for a lack of trying.

Many of the best horror films are haunted house movies, relying on the setting as a huge, spooky selling factor. Other excellent horror films rely on nausea-inducing tactics, making us recoil in terror, totally disturbed by whatever we're watching on screen. Start with all of the ones on this list, and of course, feel free to add any that might be missing.

Enjoy this list of great horror films, and remember: You can rerank this list in any order you like. Boo!

list ordered by
1
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence
Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more
2
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more
3
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair
The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more
4
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more
5
Alien is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more
6
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal
This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar ...more
7
Friday the 13th is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer
Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are taken out one by one while attempting ...more
8
Poltergeist is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke
Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more
9
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins
Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more
10
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more
11
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more
12
Scream is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox
Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more
13
It is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter
It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more
14
Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman
Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and ...more
15
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes
Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia ...more
16
Child's Play is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon
Child's Play is a 1988 American horror film directed by Tom Holland, written by Tom Holland, Don Mancini, and John Lafia, and starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad ...more
17
The Evil Dead is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi
This film is a 1981 American horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi and executive produced by Raimi and Bruce Campbell, who also stars alongside Ellen Sandweiss and Betsy Baker. This film ...more
18
Dawn of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico
This film is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero's series, but contains no characters or settings from them, ...more
19
The Ring is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox
The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring ...more
20
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie
Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more
21
The Omen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner
The Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Spencer Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick ...more
22
Saw is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith
Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more
23
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Stephen King, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby
Pet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King. Andrew Hubatsek was cast for Zelda's role. Author ...more
24
The Conjuring is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
ChangesDownClub added Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King
The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan and the first installment in the Conjuring series. Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) are ...more
25
Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Films of All Time
Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence
Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based upon his own novella The Hellbound Heart. The film spawned a series of sequels.