Entertainment

The Best Classic Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
Originally by
79.7k votes 3.9k voters 92.9k views 215 items

List Rules Any good old horror films recognized as classics

If you’re a true horror film enthusiast then you’ll recognize these famous directors and the movies that earned them worldwide recognition: Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Tod Browning’s Dracula, James Whale’s The Bride of Frankenstein, David Cronenberg’s The Fly, Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left, John Carpenter’s The Thing, and the most famous horror director of all time, Alfred Hitchcock, who produced some of the greatest horror movies in all of film history, including The Birds and Psycho and other old horror movies.

The movies on this list have stood the test of time as being the greatest horror films in history, so if you're in the mood for horror, these won't disappoint. They include: The Shining, Jaws, Alien, The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Night of the Living Dead, Evil Dead, Halloween, Rosemary’s Baby, Dressed to Kill, I Walked With a Zombie, and Possession. This list includes old slasher films as well as scary psychological horror movies that terrified early audiences of cinema.

Vote up your favorite classic horror flick today, or add a good old scary classic that isn't on the list already.
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but chickens double d added Rob Reiner
Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more
27
The Wolf Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Horror Movies
but chickens double d added George Waggner
The Wolf Man is a 1941 American drama horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as a werewolf named "The Wolf Man" ...more
28
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F. W. Murnau
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film, shot in 1921 and released ...more
29
Dawn of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Horror Movies
George A. Romero
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
30
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Sam 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
31
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dee123 added Rouben Mamoulian
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1931 American Pre-Code horror film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fredric March. The film is an adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ...more
32
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but chickens double d added James Cameron
Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more
33
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slaft added Freddie Francis
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
34
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dee123 added Sean S. Cunningham
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
35
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but chickens double d added Gordon Douglas
Them! is a 1954 American black-and-white science fiction film from Warner Bros. Pictures produced by David Weisbart, directed by Gordon Douglas, and starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan ...more
36
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but chickens double d added Clive Barker
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.
37
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dee123 added Wolf Rilla
Village of the Damned is a 1960 British science fiction film by German director Wolf Rilla. The film is adapted from the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. The lead role of Professor ...more
38
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but chickens double d added Mary Lambert
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
39
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dee123 added Lon Chaney, Edward Sedgwick, Rupert Julian
The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. ...more
40
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Tobe Hooper
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
41
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but chickens double d added Joel Schumacher
The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, ...more
42
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but chickens double d added Robert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly
From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars George Clooney, Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette ...more
43
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James Whale
The Invisible Man is a 1933 science fiction film based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man, published in 1897, as adapted by R. C. Sherriff, Philip Wylie and Preston Sturges, ...more
44
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but chickens double d added John Carpenter
Christine is a 1983 American horror thriller film directed by John Carpenter and starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul and Harry Dean Stanton. It was written by Bill Phillips and ...more
45
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Roger Corman
The Pit and the Pendulum is a 1961 horror film directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, and Luana Anders. The screenplay by Richard Matheson was based on ...more
46
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but chickens double d added Tobe Hooper
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
47
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but chickens double d added Joe Dante
Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more
48
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but chickens double d added Rick Rosenthal
Halloween II is a 1981 slasher horror film directed by Rick Rosenthal, and written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. It is the second installment in the Halloween series and is a ...more
49
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Carl Dreyer
Vampyr is a 1932 German–French horror film directed by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. The film was written by Dreyer and Christen Jul based on elements from J. Sheridan Le Fanu's ...more
50
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but chickens double d added Bernard Rose
Candyman is a 1992 American horror film written and directed by Bernard Rose, based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker, though the film's scenario is switched from ...more