watchworthy presents

The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks 

Ranker Film
Updated September 25, 2019 1.7k votes 407 voters 29.8k views 27 items

Is there anything creepier than an abandoned carnival? Since the answer is no, we're ranking the best horror movies about carnivals or amusement parks, as voted on by horror fans like you. What is your favorite scary movie that takes place in a carnival? The horror movies on this list are set in fairs, carnivals, or amusement parks of some kind, and all of them are scary as hell. Many feature extremely creepy clowns.

What are some popular carnival horror films? The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 has some pivotal scenes that take place on abandoned carnival grounds, and although the movie received mixed reviews after its release in 1986, it has since developed a cult following. Something Wicked This Way Comes is also a great horror movie set in a carnival, which ironically enough was produced by Walt Disney Pictures.

Good amusement park horror movies include Dark Ride, Deadwood Park, and Escape From Tomorrow, a modern black and white fantasy horror film that takes place in a big theme park.

Vote up your favorite carnival or theme park horror movies, and downvote any that you've seen and wouldn't recommend.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
It is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter

Released: 1990

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace

It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

More It 

#122 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime Horrifying Things That Happened In The Book 'IT' Way Too Awful for the Movieslisted on List of Silent Movies

2
Zombieland is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Emma Stone, Amber Heard, Bill Murray

Released: 2009

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer

Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma ...more

More Zombieland 

#239 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #66 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

3
House of 1000 Corpses is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Rob Zombie, Chris Hardwick, Karen Black

Released: 2003

Directed by: Rob Zombie

House of 1000 Corpses is a 2003 American exploitation horror film directed by Rob Zombie. Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up ...more

More House of 1000 Corpses 

#275 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #10 of 64 Horror Movie Set-Ups You'd Least Like to Be Trapped In Which 'House Of 1000 Corpses' Or 'Devil's Rejects' Character Are You According To Your Zodiac Sign?

4
The Funhouse is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Elizabeth Berridge, Kevin Conway, Frank Grimes

Released: 1981

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

The Funhouse is a 1981 American horror film directed by Tobe Hooper. It was written by Larry Block and stars Elizabeth Berridge, Kevin Conway, William Finley, Cooper Huckabee, Miles Chapin, and ...more
5
Something Wicked This Wa... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Pam Grier, Jason Robards Jr., Diane Ladd

Released: 1983

Directed by: Jack Clayton

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1983 American horror fantasy film directed by Jack Clayton and produced by Walt Disney Productions from a screenplay written by Ray Bradbury based on his ...more

More Something Wicked This Way Comes 

#332 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #87 of 143 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

6
Freaks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates

Released: 1932

Directed by: Tod Browning

Freaks is a 1932 American horror film in which the eponymous characters were played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers and had real deformities. The original version was ...more

More Freaks 

#128 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #8 of 20 The Best Horror Movies With Weddings, Ranked

7
Killer Klowns from Outer... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Christopher Titus, John Vernon, Royal Dano

Released: 1988

Directed by: Stephen Chiodo

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy movie made by The Chiodo Brothers and starring Grant Cramer and Suzanne Snyder. It is the only Chiodo Brothers' ...more

More Killer Klowns from Outer Space 

#164 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #226 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #167 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

8
Final Destination 3 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cory Monteith, Tony Todd

Released: 2006

Directed by: James Wong

Final Destination 3 is a 2006 American horror film, and the third installment of the Final Destination franchise. It was directed and co-written by James Wong, who also directed and co-wrote the ...more

More Final Destination 3 

#208 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #184 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #10 of 15 The Most Disturbing Deaths In The 'Final Destination' Franchise

9
Carnival of Souls is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Reza Badiyi, Herk Harvey, Candace Hilligoss

Released: 1962

Directed by: Herk Harvey

Carnival of Souls is a 1962 independent horror film starring Candace Hilligoss. Produced and directed by Herk Harvey for an estimated $33,000, the film did not gain widespread attention when ...more

More Carnival of Souls 

#261 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #22 of 22 The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made

10
The Texas Chainsaw Massa... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman

Released: 1986

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (marketed as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2) is a 1986 American black comedy slasher film directed by Tobe Hooper. A radio host (Caroline Williams) is ...more

More The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 

#77 of 101 The Worst Part II Movie Sequels #30 of 103 The Best Horror Movie Sequels

11
Hell Fest is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus

Released: 2018

Directed by: Gregory Plotkin

Hellfest is a 2018 American horror film directed by Gregory Plotkin. A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends ...more
12
31 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Elizabeth Daily, Meg Foster, Malcolm McDowell

Released: 2016

Directed by: Rob Zombie

31 is a 2016 American horror film directed by Rob Zombie. In 1976 a group of carnival workers is forced to fight for their survival against a gang of sadistic clowns for 12 hours.
13
The Cabinet of Dr. Calig... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski

Released: 1920

Directed by: Robert Wiene

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist ...more

More The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 

#157 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #241 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

14
Waxwork is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Waxwork David Warner, John Rhys-Davies, Patrick Macnee

Released: 1988

Directed by: Anthony Hickox

Waxwork is a 1988 American horror comedy film starring Zach Galligan and Deborah Foreman.

More Waxwork 

#541 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #41 of 46 The Best Time Travel Comedies, Ranked

15
Cirque du Freak: The Vam... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe, Josh Hutchersonm

Released: 2009

Directed by: Paul Weitz

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is a 2009 American film adaptation of the Vampire Blood trilogy of the book series The Saga of Darren Shan by author Darren Shan.

More Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant 

#43 of 79 The Greatest Supernatural & Paranormal Teen Films #302 of 588 The Best Fantasy Movies

16
The Devil's Carnival is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
The Devil's Carnival
17
Scream Park is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Scream Park
18
Dark Ride is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Jamie Lynn Sigler, Andrea Bogart, Alex Solowitz

Released: 2006

Directed by: Craig Singer

Dark Ride is a 2006 American horror-thriller film directed by Craig Singer and written by Singer and Robert Dean Klein. It was selected to play at the 8 Films To Die For film festival, being one ...more
19
Santa Sangre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, Adan Jodorowsky

Released: 1989

Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky

Santa Sangre is a 1989 Mexican-Italian avant-garde Horror film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky and written by Jodorowsky along with Claudio Argento and Roberto Leoni. Divided into both a ...more

More Santa Sangre 

#10 of 22 The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made #46 of 52 The Best Horror Movies About Cults and Conspiracies

20
Closed for the Season is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Mike Nugent, Joe Unger, Aimee Brooks

Released: 2010

Directed by: Jay Woelfel

Closed for the Season is a 2010 supernatural thriller film written and directed by Jay Woelfel, starring Aimee Brooks, Damian Maffei, and Joe Unger.
21
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

Released: 2004

Directed by: Brad Anderson

The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John ...more

More The Machinist 

#27 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #42 of 151 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

22
Vampire Circus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
David Prowse, Lalla Ward, Adrienne Corri

Released: 1972

Directed by: Robert Young

Vampire Circus is a 1972 British horror film, directed by Robert Young. It was written by Judson Kinberg, and produced by Wilbur Stark and Michael Carreras for Hammer Film Productions. It stars ...more
23
Escape from Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Escape from Tomorrow Annet Mahendru, Amy Lucas, Kimberly Ables Jindra

Released: 2013

Directed by: Randy Moore

Escape from Tomorrow is a 2013 American fantasy horror film, the debut of writer-director Randy Moore. It follows an unemployed man having increasingly disturbing experiences and visions during ...more

More Escape from Tomorrow 

#33 of 36 The Best Modern Black & White Movies #30 of 30 The Best Horror Movies Set During Summer

24
Alleluia! The Devil's Ca... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival Terrance Zdunich, Paul Sorvino, Adam Pascal

Released: 2015

Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman

25
Carnival of Blood is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks
Carnival of Blood