Graveyard Shift The Best Intelligent Horror Movies  

Ranker Film
45.2k votes 3.5k voters 46k 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
1,264 341
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
1,301 362
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The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

3
1,331 384
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Get Out Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams

4
1,293 381
Split is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
Split James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley

5
910 247
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Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

6
912 251
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
887 297
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The Exorcist Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

8
949 327
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The Conjuring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King

9
859 323
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The Others Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

10
774 291
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Insidious Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson

11
896 363
It is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
It Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor

12
435 143
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
386 130
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
David Lamotte added A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

14
373 123
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David Lamotte added Sinister Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fred Thompson

49 Famous Couples with Huge Age Differences

15
594 265
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
American Psycho Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

16
359 129
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
346 126
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
703 345
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The Cabin in the Woods Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Acker

19
715 383
Saw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
Saw Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

20
621 326
The Ring is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
The Ring Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox

21
456 232
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The Devil's Advocate Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves

The Most Terrifying Japanese Horror Movies of All Time

22
572 315
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Final Destination Ali Larter, Seann William Scott, Devon Sawa

23
577 333
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The Purge Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke, Adelaide Kane

24
449 244
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
237 102
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David Lamotte added The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

26
533 319
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Shaun of the Dead Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg, Bill Nighy

27
261 127
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
243 115
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David Lamotte added The Descent Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid

The Best Horror Movies Set in the Woods

29
255 127
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
370 216
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
483 314
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Black Swan Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

33
459 296
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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 Confusing Movies Ever Made

36
180 88
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David Lamotte added An American Werewolf in London Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Rik Mayall

37
216 122
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
211 119
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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
214 123
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David Lamotte added Mama Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Daniel Kash

41
178 96
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David Lamotte added House on Haunted Hill Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook

42
423 313
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The Babadook Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Adam Morgan

The Best Movies All Aspiring Actors Must Watch

43
409 314
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
381 303
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