best movies The Best Classic Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
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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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The Exorcist William Friedkin 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

2
771 401
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Psycho Alfred Hitchcock Psycho is a 1960 Psychological thriller and horror film written by Joseph Stefano and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

3
699 310
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PaulWojciechowski added The Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

4
764 260
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The Shining Stanley Kubrick The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

5
582 253
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Alien Ridley Scott 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

6
497 197
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dee123 added Poltergeist Tobe Hooper Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more

7
547 215
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Carrie Brian De Palma 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

8
866 184
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Halloween John Carpenter 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

9
584 230
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Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and ...more

10
646 224
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The Birds Alfred Hitchcock The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California, which is, ...more

11
495 172
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StevenKershaw added The Omen Richard Donner 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

12
538 406
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dee123 added A Nightmare on Elm Street Wes Craven A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

The Best Horror Movie Remakes

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530 226
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The Thing John Carpenter The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

14
677 220
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Rosemary's Baby Roman Polanski Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia ...more

15
635 174
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Frankenstein James Whale Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by ...more

16
570 256
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Nosferatu 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

17
524 194
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Dawn of the Dead George A. Romero 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

The Best Werewolf Movies Ever Made

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but chickens double d added Scream Wes Craven Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

19
519 139
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but chickens double d added An American Werewolf in London John Landis An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 horror comedy film written and directed by John Landis, and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne. The film starts with two young ...more

20
397 219
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The Evil Dead Sam Raimi The Evil Dead 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. The ...more

21
353 238
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The Fly David Cronenberg The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, ...more

22
453 162
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dee123 added House on Haunted Hill William Castle House on Haunted Hill is a 1959 American horror film. It was directed by William Castle, written by Robb White and stars Vincent Price as eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren. He and his fourth ...more

The Most Terrifying Japanese Horror Movies of All Time

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but chickens double d added Bram Stoker's Dracula Francis Ford Coppola Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It stars Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, Winona Ryder ...more

24
583 382
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Jaws Steven Spielberg 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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but chickens double d added The Wolf Man 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

26
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Bride of Frankenstein James Whale Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester ...more

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416 323
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dee123 added Friday the 13th 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 murdered one by one while attempting ...more

The 16 Most Fascinating Alternate Endings to Famous Movies

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dee123 added Creature from the Black Lagoon Jack Arnold Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit ...more

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339 144
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dee123 added The Mummy Karl Freund The Mummy is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and stars Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The movie also features Zita Johann, David Manners ...more

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Tobe Hooper 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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319 149
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but chickens double d added The Haunting Robert Wise The Haunting is a 1963 British psychological horror film directed and produced by Robert Wise and adapted by Nelson Gidding from the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It stars ...more

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but chickens double d added Aliens 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

The Best '80s Horror Movies

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but chickens double d added Misery 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

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but chickens double d added Hellraiser 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.

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but chickens double d added Pet Sematary 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, the film features Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, ...more

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dee123 added Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 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

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215 97
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slaft added Tales from the Crypt 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

Bucket List for Couples

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The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Horror Movies
but chickens double d added The Lost Boys 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

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John Carpenter's The Fog John Carpenter The Fog is a 1980 American horror film directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and composed the music for the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, ...more

40
248 167
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but chickens double d added Gremlins 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

41
219 208
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dee123 added House of Wax André de Toth House of Wax is a 1953 American 3-D horror film about a disfigured sculptor who repopulates his destroyed wax museum by murdering people and using their wax-coated corpses as displays. It stars ...more

42
229 183
Halloween II is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Horror Movies
but chickens double d added Halloween II 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

The Best '70s Horror Movies

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PaulWojciechowski added Evil Dead II Sam Raimi Evil Dead II is a 1987 American horror comedy film directed by Sam Raimi and a parody sequel to the 1981 film The Evil Dead. The film was written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, produced by Robert ...more

44
213 168
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Vampyr 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

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226 184
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but chickens double d added Salem's Lot 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

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237 148
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but chickens double d added Them! 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

47
186 151
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dee123 added Village of the Damned 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

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193 109
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but chickens double d added Christine 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

49
211 173
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but chickens double d added From Dusk till Dawn 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

50
182 113
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The Invisible Man 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