70s The Best '70s Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
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29.1k votes 2k voters 58.5k views 112 items

List Rules Only horror films released between 1970 and 1979

List of the best '70s horror movies, ranked by horror buffs, film buffs, and Ranker buffs. President Richard Nixon’s resignation, the age of disco, the end of the Vietnam War, the oil crisis, the Camp David Accords – for most, these are the highlights of the 1970s decade. For others, it was The Exorcist, Halloween, and Dawn of the Dead. What were the best horror films of the '70s?
 
Let’s face it: some of the movies from this decade were just, well, cheesy. Fortunately, others have stood the test of time as being some of the greatest horror movies of all time. Whether you’re in the mood for more of a realistic thriller, a cheesy girl’s night kind of flickm or a old scary movie that was based on actual events, there’s a horror movie on this list that will make your night.
 
This list discusses the best horror movies of the '70s, including: Alien, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Wicker Man. Vote for your favorite 1970s horror movies, and please add any that we missed.

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Halloween is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
Halloween 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

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The Exorcist 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

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 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 ...more

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dee123 added Carrie 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

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dee123 added Jaws Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

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Dawn of the Dead Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico Dawn of the Dead is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero's Living Dead series, but contains no characters or ...more

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Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

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The Omen 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

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MichaelCoughlin added The Amityville Horror James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film, directed by Stuart Rosenberg, based on Jay Anson's bestselling 1977 novel of the same name. It is the first film in the ...more

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RonPierce added Salem's Lot David Soul, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres Salem's Lot is a 1979 American television adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Tobe Hooper and starring David Soul and James Mason, the plot revolves around a ...more

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RonPierce added Phantasm Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, co-produced, and edited by Don Coscarelli. It introduces the Tall Man, a supernatural and malevolent undertaker who turns ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added The Wicker Man Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Edward Woodward The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer. The film stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and ...more

The Best Horror Movie Remakes

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Black Christmas Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Olivia Hussey Black Christmas is a 1974 Canadian independent horror film directed by Bob Clark and written by A. Roy Moore. It stars Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Marian Waldman ...more

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The Hills Have Eyes Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman, John Steadman The Hills Have Eyes is a 1977 American exploitation-horror film written and directed by Wes Craven and starring Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace. It is about a suburan family on a ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added When a Stranger Calls Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Rachel Roberts When a Stranger Calls is a 1979 psychological horror film. It was directed by Fred Walton and stars Carol Kane and Charles Durning. The film derives its story from the classic folk legend of ...more

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Muttley Dastardly added Tales from the Crypt Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ralph Richardson Tales from the Crypt is a 1972 British horror film, directed by Freddie Francis. It is an anthology film consisting of five separate segments, based on stories from EC Comics. Only two of the ...more

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The Last House on the Left Martin Kove, Steve Miner, Fred J. Lincoln The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish ...more

The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

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dee123 added Burnt Offerings Bette Davis, Burgess Meredith, Oliver Reed Burnt Offerings is a 1976 mystery horror film based on the 1973 novel of the same name by Robert Marasco. Directed by Dan Curtis, the film stars Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Bette Davis, Lee H. ...more

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Suspiria Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Udo Kier Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi, and co-produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento. The film stars Jessica Harper as an ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added I Spit on Your Grave Camille Keaton, Richard Pace, Gunter Kleeman Day of the Woman is a controversial 1978 cult classic rape and revenge film. The film received a limited release, with a wider release in 1980. Prominent film critics condemned the film for its ...more

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The Legend of Hell House Roddy McDowall, Michael Gough, Pamela Franklin The Legend of Hell House is a 1973 British horror film directed by John Hough and based on the American novel Hell House by Richard Matheson, who also wrote the screenplay. The film stars Pamela ...more

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newworkera added The Night Stalker Carol Lynley, Darren McGavin, Larry Linville The Night Stalker is a made for television movie which aired on ABC on January 11, 1972. In it an investigative reporter, played by Darren McGavin, comes to suspect that a serial killer in the ...more

The Scariest Demon Toys in Film History

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Arachnae Fae added Trilogy of Terror Karen Black, George Gaynes, Gregory Harrison Trilogy of Terror is a made-for-television anthology horror film, first aired as an ABC Movie of the Week on March 4, 1975. The film, directed by Dan Curtis, starred Karen Black. All three ...more

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The Abominable Dr. Phibes Vincent Price, Caroline Munro, Joanna Lumley The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a 1971 British horror film starring Vincent Price and American actor Joseph Cotten. Its art deco sets, dark humour and performance by Price have made the film and ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added The Rocky Horror Picture Show Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Meat Loaf The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 British-American musical comedy horror film directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and Richard O'Brien based on the 1973 musical ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added The Stepford Wives Tina Louise, Mary Stuart Masterson, Katharine Ross The Stepford Wives is a 1975 science fiction–thriller film based on the 1972 Ira Levin novel of the same name. It was directed by Bryan Forbes with a screenplay by William Goldman, and stars ...more

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CraigAlarm added Dracula Laurence Olivier, Frank Langella, Donald Pleasence Dracula is a 1979 American/British horror film starring Frank Langella as Count Dracula, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. The film was directed by John Badham and the cinematography ...more

The Most Rewatchable Movies

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dee123 added Let's Scare Jessica to Death Zohra Lampert, Barton Heyman, Alan Manson Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a 1971 American horror film, directed by John D. Hancock and starring Zohra Lampert as Jessica. It depicts the nightmarish experiences of a psychologically ...more

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JamesArmstrong added Nosferatu the Vampyre Isabelle Adjani, Klaus Kinski, Bruno Ganz Nosferatu the Vampyre is a 1979 West German art house vampire film written and directed by Werner Herzog. Its original German title is Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht. The film is set primarily in ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added Piranha Keenan Wynn, John Sayles, Barbara Steele Piranha is a 1978 American B movie about a swarm of killer piranhas. It was directed and co-edited by Joe Dante and starred Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added Jaws 2 Roy Scheider, Murray Hamilton, Ann Dusenberry Jaws 2 is a 1978 American horror thriller film and the first sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws, and the second installment in the Jaws franchise, which was based on Peter Benchley's novel of the ...more

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newworkera added Magic Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith Magic is a 1978 American psychological horror film directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, and Burgess Meredith. The screenplay was by William Goldman, who ...more

The Greatest Horror Films of All Time

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Don't Look Now Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Leopoldo Trieste Don't Look Now is a 1973 independent British-Italian film directed by Nicolas Roeg. It is a thriller adapted from the short story by Daphne du Maurier. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland star ...more

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dee123 added Deep Red Dario Argento, David Hemmings, Gabriele Lavia Deep Red is a 1975 Italian giallo film, directed by Dario Argento and co-written by Argento and Bernardino Zapponi. It was released on 7 March 1975. It was produced by Claudio and Salvatore ...more

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The Town That Dreaded Sundown Dawn Wells, Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a 1976 American horror film by producer and director Charles B. Pierce who also co-stars as a bumbling police officer named A.C. Benson, also known as ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added Shivers Barbara Steele, Joe Silver, Vlasta Vrána Shivers is a 1975 Canadian science fiction body horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg.

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MichaelCoughlin added The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is a 1976 Canadian-French film directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, and Scott Jacoby. It was ...more

Bucket List for Couples

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Alice, Sweet Alice Brooke Shields, Lillian Roth, Linda Miller Alice, Sweet Alice is a 1976 American slasher film co-written and directed by Alfred Sole, and starring Linda Miller, Paula Sheppard, and Brooke Shields in her film debut. The narrative focuses ...more

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Muttley Dastardly added Rabid Marilyn Chambers, Joe Silver, Susan Roman Rabid is a 1977 Canadian drama horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. It features Marilyn Chambers in the lead role, supported by Howard Ryshpan, Joe Silver and Robert A. ...more

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CraigAlarm added Eraserhead Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk Eraserhead is a 1977 American surrealist body horror film written and directed by filmmaker David Lynch. Shot in black-and-white, Eraserhead is Lynch's first feature-length film, coming after ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added King Kong Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Joe Piscopo King Kong is a 1976 American monster thriller film produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by John Guillermin. It is a remake of the 1933 classic film of the same name, about a giant ape ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added Frenzy Alfred Hitchcock, Anna Massey, Bernard Cribbins Frenzy is a 1972 British crime thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The penultimate feature film of his extensive career, it is often considered by critics and scholars to be his last ...more

The Dumbest Moves Made By Every Horror Movie Victim

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dee123 added The Crazies Lynn Lowry, Harry Spillman, Richard Liberty The Crazies is a 1973 American science fiction horror-action film about the effects of the accidental release of a military biological weapon upon the inhabitants of a small American town. The ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added Prophecy Talia Shire, Armand Assante, Robert Foxworth Prophecy is a 1979 science fiction-horror film directed by John Frankenheimer and written by David Seltzer. It stars Robert Foxworth, Talia Shire and Armand Assante. This is an ecological fable ...more

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The Sentinel Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Ava Gardner The Sentinel is a 1977 American horror film directed by Michael Winner and starring Cristina Raines, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, and Eli Wallach. Christopher ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added Damien: Omen II William Holden, Lee Grant, Lance Henriksen Damien: Omen II is a 1978 American horror film directed by Don Taylor, starring William Holden, Lee Grant, and Jonathan Scott-Taylor. The film was the second installment in The Omen series, set ...more

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dee123 added The Brood Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle The Brood is a 1979 Canadian science fiction horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg, starring Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, and Art Hindle. The film depicts a series of murders ...more

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JohnPlanthaber added Tourist Trap Tanya Roberts, Chuck Connors, Keith McDermott Tourist Trap is a 1979 American horror film directed by David Schmoeller, and starring Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Robin Sherwood, and Tanya Roberts. The film revolves around a group of ...more

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David Mase added Duel Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Lou Frizzell Duel is a 1971 television thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Richard Matheson, based on Matheson's short story of the same name. It stars Dennis Weaver as a terrified ...more

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MichaelCoughlin added Audrey Rose Anthony Hopkins, Marsha Mason, John Hillerman Audrey Rose is a 1977 psychological horror and drama film directed by Robert Wise, and starring Marsha Mason, Anthony Hopkins, and Susan Swift. It was based on the novel of the same title by ...more