Graveyard Shift The Best Intelligent Horror Movies  

Ranker Film
45.1k votes 3.5k voters 45.7k views 101 items

List Rules Vote up the best intelligent horror movies.

If you think horror movies are nothing more than gore, gratuitous violence, slashers slashing, and supernatural creatures wreaking havoc, think again; intelligent horror movies demonstrate that smart horror exists – and is really good to boot. The best intelligent horror films operate at multiple levels, weaving social commentary into plot lines that are equal parts thought provoking and terrifying. 

From Jordan Peele's Get Out and its thematic interpretation of modern American racism to John Krasinski's A Quiet Place and its "silence experiment," there's no shortage of films that prove horror is actually smart. But what are the smartest of the intelligent horror genre? Are some supposedly intelligent horror films just not so?  

list ordered by

1
1,257 341
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
The Sixth Sense Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

2
1,296 361
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The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

3
1,326 381
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Get Out Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams

4
1,290 378
Split is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
Split James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley

5
907 246
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Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

6
909 248
A Quiet Place is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
A Quiet Place John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe

7
884 296
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The Exorcist Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

8
946 324
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The Conjuring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King

9
854 323
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The Others Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

10
771 290
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Insidious Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson

11
891 363
It is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
It Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor

12
432 143
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added Carrie John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

13
371 121
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David Lamotte added Sinister Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fred Thompson

14
383 130
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

The Best Scary Movies Based on True Stories

15
592 265
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
American Psycho Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

16
356 129
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added 28 Days Later Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris

17
345 126
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

18
701 345
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The Cabin in the Woods Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Acker

19
714 383
Saw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
Saw Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

20
619 326
The Ring is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
The Ring Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox

21
454 232
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The Devil's Advocate Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves

Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

22
571 315
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Final Destination Ali Larter, Seann William Scott, Devon Sawa

23
575 333
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The Purge Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke, Adelaide Kane

24
448 244
Don't Breathe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
Don't Breathe Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto

25
236 102
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David Lamotte added The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

26
532 318
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Shaun of the Dead Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg, Bill Nighy

27
261 126
The Mist is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added The Mist Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden

28
242 115
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David Lamotte added The Descent Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid

The Most Utterly Terrifying Figures in Horror Film

29
253 127
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
1525046840750 added Rosemary's Baby Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes

30
369 216
Let the Right One In is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
Let the Right One In Lina Leandersson, Tom Ljungman, Philip Hersh

31
251 130
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

32
482 314
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Black Swan Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

33
458 296
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Signs Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

34
209 103
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David Lamotte added Hellraiser Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

35
205 108
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1525046840750 added Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman

The Most Awkward Movies to Watch with Your Parents

36
179 88
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David Lamotte added An American Werewolf in London Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

37
214 122
Zombieland is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added Zombieland Emma Stone, Amber Heard, Bill Murray

38
210 119
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1525046840750 added The Birds Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette

39
187 100
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David Lamotte added The Evil Dead Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi

40
213 123
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David Lamotte added Mama Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Daniel Kash

41
177 96
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David Lamotte added House on Haunted Hill Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook

42
422 313
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The Babadook Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Adam Morgan

Kids of Horror Movies: Where Are They Now?

43
407 314
The Blair Witch Project is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
The Blair Witch Project Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams

44
145 79
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David Lamotte added Dawn of the Dead Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico

45
301 221
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
The Fly Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

46
380 303
Paranormal Activity is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
Paranormal Activity Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Randy McDowell

47
151 94
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David Lamotte added 28 Weeks Later Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner

48
154 97
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David Lamotte added From Dusk till Dawn Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino

49
134 79
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David Lamotte added Evil Dead Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas, Shiloh Fernandez

50
311 246
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District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood