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The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

Updated May 20, 2020 804.4k votes 26.5k voters 289.4k views114 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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  • The Silence Of The Lambs1
    17,556
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    The Silence Of The Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

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  • The Exorcist2
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    The Exorcist

    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn

    Released1973

    Directed byWilliam Friedkin

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  • The Conjuring3
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    The Conjuring

    Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

    Released2013

    Directed byJames Wan

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  • The Shining4
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    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

    Released1980

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

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  • Halloween5
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    Halloween

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards

    Released1978

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

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  • The Sixth Sense6
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    The Sixth Sense

    Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton

    Released1999

    Directed byM. Night Shyamalan

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  • Carrie7
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    Carrie

    John Travolta, Sissy Spacek

    Released1976

    Directed byBrian De Palma

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  • Insidious8
    14,220
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    Insidious

    Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey

    Released2010

    Directed byJames Wan

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  • It9
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    It

    Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård

    Released2017

    Directed byAndy Muschietti

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  • Saw10
    14,055
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    Saw

    Danny Glover, Monica Potter

    Released2004

    Directed byJames Wan

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  • The Ring11
    13,601
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    The Ring

    Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette

    Released2002

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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  • Final Destination12
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    Final Destination

    Ali Larter, Seann William Scott

    Released2000

    Directed byJames Wong

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  • Alien13
    7,611
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    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist14
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    The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist

    Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

    Released2016

    Directed byJames Wan

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  • The Amityville Horror15
    4,921
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    The Amityville Horror

    James Brolin, Margot Kidder

    Released1979

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

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  • The Cabin In The Woods16
    12,168
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    The Cabin In The Woods

    Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver

    Released2012

    Directed byDrew Goddard

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  • The Omen17
    10,384
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    The Omen

    Gregory Peck, Lee Remick

    Released1976

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 28 Days Later18
    11,172
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    28 Days Later

    Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston

    Released2002

    Directed byDanny Boyle

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  • Sinister19
    11,014
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    Sinister

    Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio

    Released2012

    Directed byScott Derrickson

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  • Dawn of the Dead20
    9,521
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    Dawn of the Dead

    Tom Savini, Ken Foree

    Released1978

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

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  • Paranormal Activity21
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    Paranormal Activity

    Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat

    Released2007

    Directed byOren Peli

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  • Scream22
    3,198
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    Scream

    Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan

    Released1996

    Directed byWes Craven

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  • House on Haunted Hill23
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    House on Haunted Hill

    Vincent Price, Richard Long

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Castle

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  • Psycho24
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    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

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  • The Purge25
    10,007
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    The Purge

    Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke

    Released2013

    Directed byJames DeMonaco

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