Watchworthy

The Best R-Rated Horror Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated July 29, 2020 9.8k votes 696 voters 63.6k views 243 items

List Rules Add your favorite movie to the list if it's missing, but only if it's the correct rating.

List of R-Rated horror movies, ranked from best to worst with movie trailers when available. This list takes the best R-Rated horror movies and pits them against each other to see once and for all what the greatest R-Rated horror movie of all time is. This list of popular R-Rated horror movies includes information like who directed the film, when it was released and which actors starred in the movie. If you think the top R-Rated horror movie isn't as high as it should be then be sure to vote it up so it can take its rightful place among the other great R-Rated horror films on this list. If you're trying to find a specific R-Rated horror Film film you can search this list and filter to find what you're looking for.

Everything from The Shining to Alien is included on this list.

If you're trying to find out "What are the best R-Rated horror movies?" and "What are the most famous R-Rated horror movies?" then this list is the perfect resource for you.

Use this list if you're looking for some new horror movies that are rated R. Between Netflix, Hulu and other services there are thousands of great horror movies rated R, so get out there and start watching.

You could always re-rank this list as your own then share it on your social networks to get a count of what only your friends think. (243 items)

What kind of directors have worked on Horror R movies in the past? Stanley Kubrick and James Cameron both have, as have other great directors.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Carpenter

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more

More Halloween 

Stories About Jamie Lee Curtis From Behind The Scenes Of The Original ‘Halloween’  #267 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #166 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

2
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

Released: 1973

Directed by: William Friedkin

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more

More The Exorcist 

The Story Of Roland Doe Inspired The Exorcist – But It's Way More Terrifying Than The Movie #16 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

More A Nightmare on Elm Street 

Ranking Freddy Krueger's Best Kills from A Nightmare on Elm Street #46 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #388 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

4
The Texas Chain Saw Mass... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar ...more

More The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 

The Most Chilling Quotes From 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' #1,390 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #213 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

5
Ranker Video
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

More The Shining 

21 Pretty Funny Memes From 'The Shining' That Had Us Screaming #3 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #191 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

6
Ranker Video
Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer

Released: 1980

Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham

Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are taken out one by one while attempting ...more

More Friday the 13th 

The Most Terrible And Mysterious Things That Have Happened On Friday The 13th #92 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #251 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

7
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

More Psycho 

#8 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #166 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #153 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

8
Ranker Video
Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico

Released: 1978

Directed by: George A. Romero

This film is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero's series, but contains no characters or settings from them, ...more

More Dawn of the Dead 

#665 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #30 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #4 of 143 The Best Zombie Movies of All Time

9
Alien is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

Released: 1979

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more

More Alien 

50 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Alien #112 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Saw is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

Released: 2004

Directed by: James Wan

Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more

More Saw 

The Best Saw Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked #1,060 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #273 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

11
Ranker Video
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

Released: 1982

Directed by: John Carpenter

The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

More The Thing 

#95 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #91 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #545 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

12
The Prodigy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Taylor Schilling, Colm Feore, Brittany Allen

Released: 2019

Directed by: Nicholas McCarthy

The Prodigy is a 2019 American horror thriller film directed by Nicholas McCarthy. A mother (Taylor Schilling) is concerned about her young son’s disturbing behavior and begins to believe that ...more

More The Prodigy 

#65 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies #7 of 22 The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made #17 of 68 The Best Demonic Possession Movies

13
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

Released: 1976

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more

More Carrie 

The Scariest Quotes From 'Carrie' Will Have You Seeing Red #376 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #181 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

14
Ranker Video
Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

More Scream 

According To This Theory, Dewey Is The Serial Killer Mastermind In 'Scream' #101 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies #237 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

15
Ranker Video
Betsy Palmer, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Warrington Gillette

Released: 1981

Directed by: Steve Miner

Friday the 13th Part 2 is a 1981 American horror film directed by Steve Miner. It is a direct sequel to Friday the 13th, picking up five years after that film's conclusion. The film marks the ...more

More Friday the 13th Part 2 

#221 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #77 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #208 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

16
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris

Released: 2002

Directed by: Danny Boyle

28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The screenplay was written by Alex Garland. The film stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, ...more

More 28 Days Later 

14 Small But Fascinating Details Fans Noticed In '28 Days Later' #68 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #399 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

17
Piercing is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa

Released: 2019

Directed by: Nicholas Pesce

Piercing is a 2018 American horror comedy film directed by Nicolas Pesce, based on the novel by Ryū Murakami. A man (Christopher Abbott) kisses his wife and baby goodbye and seemingly heads away ...more
18
Ranker Video
Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

Released: 1987

Directed by: Clive Barker

Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based upon his own novella The Hellbound Heart. The film spawned a series of sequels.

More Hellraiser 

#208 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #26 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #6 of 93 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

19
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

Released: 1987

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, ...more

More The Lost Boys 

#117 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies #23 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #145 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

20
Velvet Buzzsaw is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Zawe Ashton

Released: 2019

Directed by: Dan Gilroy

Velvet Buzzsaw is a 2019 American horror thriller film directed by Dan Gilroy. After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who ...more

More Velvet Buzzsaw 

#71 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies #12 of 14 14 Horror Movies Where Rich People Are The Villains #13 of 17 Horror Movies About Artists And The Art World

21
Ranker Video
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

More Aliens 

The Best 'Aliens' Quotes #20 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Zombieland is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
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 

#80 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies #281 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #262 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

23
Ranker Video
Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor

Released: 1987

Directed by: Chuck Russell

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a 1987 American slasher fantasy film and the third film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Chuck Russell, written by ...more

More A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors 

#257 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #67 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #186 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

24
Greta is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best R-Rated Horror Movies
Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe

Released: 2019

Directed by: Neil Jordan

Greta is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by Neil Jordan. A young woman (Chloe Grace Moretz) befriends a lonely widow (Isabelle Huppert), who turns out to have sinister intentions.
25
Ranker Video
Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino

Released: 1996

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly

From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars George Clooney, Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette ...more

More From Dusk till Dawn 

#351 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #52 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #69 of 299 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time