Graveyard Shift The Best '70s Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
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43.7k votes 2.8k voters 73.6k views 111 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.
list ordered by
1
1,227 361
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
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
1,272 281
Ranker Video
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
3
970 345
Ranker Video
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
4
878 323
Ranker Video
dee123 added 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
5
983 307
Ranker Video
dee123 added 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
6
1,055 270
Ranker Video
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
7
715 339
Ranker Video
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
8
828 267
Ranker Video
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
9
655 277
Ranker Video
RonPierce added 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
10
608 308
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added 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
11
532 308
Ranker Video
RonPierce added 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. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike, who tries to ...more
12
456 299
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added 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
13
401 323
Ranker Video
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
14
330 267
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added 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
15
423 186
Ranker Video
Muttley Dastardly added 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
16
452 290
Ranker Video
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
17
469 281
Ranker Video
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
18
325 227
Ranker Video
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
19
436 280
Ranker Video
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
20
271 242
Ranker Video
dee123 added 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
21
289 176
Ranker Video
newworkera added 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
22
262 154
Ranker Video
Arachnae Fae added 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
23
312 229
Ranker Video
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
24
317 241
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added 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
25
176 99
Ranker Video
David Mase added 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