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The Best '70s Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
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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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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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#24 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timefeaturing Did A Malevolent Spirit Actually Curse 'The Exorcist' From The Get-Go?listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Halloween is listed (or ranked) 2 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

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#60 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #2 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Timefeaturing Stories About Jamie Lee Curtis From Behind The Scenes Of The Original ‘Halloween’ 

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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

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#18 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Jaws Was Inspired By The Matawan Man-Eater, And The True Story Is Even Scarier Than The Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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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

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#77 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing Making ‘Alien’ Was Even More Horrific Than The Final Productlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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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

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#20 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #272 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #69 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books

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The Texas Chain Saw Mass... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
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

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#6 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #617 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Most Chilling Quotes From 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre'

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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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#297 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing The Omen Is One Of The Most Cursed Film Productions Ever - And Some Believe Satan Is Behind Itlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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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

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#21 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #652 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #306 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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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

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#27 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #108 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #4 of 34 The Best Scary Movies Based on True Stories

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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

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#71 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #117 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on All Vampire Movies: List of Vampire Movies and Vampire Films

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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

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#108 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #167 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #44 of 202 The Best Zombie Horror Films

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Invasion of the Body Sna... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
Hans Curtis added Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1978 science fiction thriller directed by Philip Kaufman, and starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. ...more

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#84 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #3 of 15 Pretty Good Horror Movies That Make Everyday Activities Terrifying #60 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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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

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#111 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #58 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #63 of 146 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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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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#157 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #103 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #14 of 14 Pretty Good Horror Movies Where The Villain ISN'T REALLY DEAD!

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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

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#112 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #219 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #46 of 146 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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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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#107 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #5 of 161 The Best Horror Movies Rated PG #33 of 209 The Best Classic Horror Movies

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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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#86 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #285 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time #100 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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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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#127 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #239 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #10 of 34 The Best Scary Movies Based on True Stories

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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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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

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#173 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #20 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #149 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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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

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#538 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #443 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #282 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

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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
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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
24
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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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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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#6 of 81 Great Movies About Furious Women Out for Revenge #15 of 21 20 Most Essential Female-Led Horror Films #13 of 118 The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films