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The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

Updated March 27, 2021 740.9k votes 26.5k voters 290.7k views121 items

List RulesVote up the best intelligent horror movies.

If you think horror movies are nothing more than slashers slashing, supernatural creatures wreaking havoc, and gallons of the red stuff, 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 to John Krasinski's A Quiet Place, there's no shortage of films that prove horror is actually smart. But what are the smartest entries in the intelligent horror genre?

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  • 1
    16,047
    1,644

    The Silence Of The Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

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  • 2
    15,385
    2,080

    The Exorcist

    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn

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  • 3
    15,459
    2,198

    The Conjuring

    Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

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    Why Do People Stop Watching 'The Conjuring' At The Moment Lorraine Falls Through The Floor?#22 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 4
    15,423
    2,214

    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

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  • 5
    13,393
    2,022

    Halloween

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards

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  • 6
    14,518
    2,265

    The Sixth Sense

    Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton

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  • 7
    12,803
    2,010

    Carrie

    John Travolta, Sissy Spacek

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  • 8
    13,068
    2,080

    Insidious

    Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey

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  • 9
    13,879
    2,223

    It

    Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård

    More 

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  • 10
    12,951
    2,131

    Saw

    Danny Glover, Monica Potter

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  • 11
    12,481
    2,135

    The Ring

    Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette

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  • 12
    7,384
    1,293

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

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  • 13
    11,504
    2,101

    Final Destination

    Ali Larter, Seann William Scott

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    #9 of 16 Movies That Completely Changed Their Endings After Everyone Freaked Out#10 of 15 The Most Disturbing Deaths In The 'Final Destination' Franchise

  • 14
    10,841
    1,980

    The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist

    Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

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  • 15
    4,929
    891

    The Amityville Horror

    James Brolin, Margot Kidder

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  • 16
    9,410
    1,946

    The Omen

    Gregory Peck, Lee Remick

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  • 17
    10,239
    2,138

    28 Days Later

    Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston

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  • 18
    11,217
    2,363

    The Cabin In The Woods

    Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver

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  • 19
    10,081
    2,171

    Sinister

    Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio

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    #35 of 713 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#11 of 157 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 20
    3,215
    647

    Scream

    Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan

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  • 21
    8,717
    1,909

    Dawn of the Dead

    Tom Savini, Ken Foree

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    #3 of 105 The Best Horror Movie Sequels#721 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 22
    9,829
    2,215

    Paranormal Activity

    Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat

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    #8 of 20 Horror Movies That Originally Had Much Darker Endings#14 of 85 The Most Horrifying Found-Footage Movies

  • 23
    8,515
    1,929

    House on Haunted Hill

    Vincent Price, Richard Long

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  • 24
    8,381
    1,897

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

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  • 25
    9,887
    2,354

    The Others

    Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston

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    #6 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings#10 of 15 Non R-Rated Horror Movies As Scary As Anything