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The Best '70s Horror Movies

Updated October 28, 2019 53.5k votes 3.4k voters 84.4k views132 items

List RulesOnly 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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  • 1
    The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    1,572
    312

    The Exorcist

    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn

    Released1973

    Directed byWilliam Friedkin

    The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Alien is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    1,304
    308

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Halloween is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    1,456
    429

    Halloween

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards

    Released1978

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

    Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    1,204
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    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    The Omen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    1,020
    303

    The Omen

    Gregory Peck, Lee Remick

    Released1976

    Directed byRichard Donner

    The Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Carrie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    1,093
    379

    Carrie

    John Travolta, Sissy Spacek

    Released1976

    Directed byBrian De Palma

    Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    1,167
    420

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns

    Released1974

    Directed byTobe Hooper

    This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Dawn of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    856
    398

    Dawn of the Dead

    Tom Savini, Ken Foree

    Released1978

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    This film is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    839
    321

    Salem's Lot

    David Soul, Bonnie Bedelia

    Released1979

    Directed byTobe Hooper

    Salem's Lot is a 1979 American television adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    295
    120

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

    Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1978

    Directed byPhilip Kaufman

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1978 science fiction thriller directed by Philip Kaufman,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Devils is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    99
    14

    The Devils

    Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed

    Released1971

    Directed byKen Russell

    The Devils is a 1971 British historical drama horror film directed by Ken Russell and starring... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    The Hills Have Eyes is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    543
    333

    The Hills Have Eyes

    Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman

    Released1977

    Directed byWes Craven

    The Hills Have Eyes is a 1977 American exploitation-horror film written and directed by Wes... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    The Wicker Man is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    598
    375

    The Wicker Man

    Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland

    Released1973

    Directed byRobin Hardy

    The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy and written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    The Last House on the Left is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    502
    327

    The Last House on the Left

    Martin Kove, Steve Miner

    Released1972

    Directed byWes Craven

    The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    House is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    90
    14

    House

    Kimiko Ikegami, Haruko Wanibuchi

    Released1977

    Directed byNobuhiko Obayashi

    House (Japanese: ハウス, Hepburn: Hausu) is a 1977 Japanese horror film directed and produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Phantasm is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    645
    380

    Phantasm

    Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin

    Released1979

    Directed byDon Coscarelli

    Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, co-produced, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Don't Look Now is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    376
    259

    Don't Look Now

    Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie

    Released1973

    Directed byNicolas Roeg

    Don't Look Now is a 1973 independent British-Italian film directed by Nicolas Roeg. It is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Suspiria is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    620
    321

    Suspiria

    Joan Bennett, Alida Valli

    Released1977

    Directed byDario Argento

    Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, co-written by Argento and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    748
    402

    The Amityville Horror

    James Brolin, Margot Kidder

    Released1979

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film, directed by Stuart... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Tales from the Crypt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    541
    240

    Tales from the Crypt

    Joan Collins, Peter Cushing

    Released1972

    Directed byFreddie Francis

    Tales from the Crypt is a 1972 British horror film, directed by Freddie Francis. It is an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Theatre of Blood is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    274
    163

    Theatre of Blood

    Vincent Price, Diana Rigg

    Released1973

    Directed byDouglas Hickox

    Theater of Blood is a 1973 horror film starring Vincent Price as vengeful actor Edward... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Duel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    287
    152

    Duel

    Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott

    Released1971

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Duel is a 1971 television thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Richard... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Eraserhead is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    341
    248

    Eraserhead

    Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates

    Released1977

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Eraserhead is a 1977 American experimental body horror film directed by David Lynch. Henry... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    The Legend of Hell House is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    378
    262

    The Legend of Hell House

    Roddy McDowall, Michael Gough

    Released1973

    Directed byJohn Hough

    The Legend of Hell House is a 1973 British horror film directed by John Hough and based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Trilogy of Terror is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
    373
    200

    Trilogy of Terror

    Karen Black, George Gaynes

    Released1975

    Directed byDan Curtis

    Trilogy of Terror is a made-for-television anthology horror film, first aired as an ABC Movie... more on Wikipedia
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