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The Most Terrifying War Horror Movies, Ranked

Updated July 22, 2020 445 votes 69 voters 3.7k views22 items

List RulesVote up the best movies that combine the horrors of war with horror itself.

This list of war horror movies proves that the only thing more terrifying than war itself is when you throw werewolves, zombies, and other supernatural monsters into the mix. The tragedies of war are self-evident to the point of cliche - and it's the implicit subject matter of decades' worth of combat themed films. Which is to say, there's more than enough brutality during wartime already without adding supernatural components to the mix. That being said, the best military horror movies with soldiers as the protagonists offer a fresh take on the scary nature of war.

When some filmmakers go to war, they just can't resist pulling from the horror genre - which is how the Spanish Civil War gets besieged by Guillermo del Toro's nightmare-fuel monsters. Or how German medical experiments in World War II turn into full-fledged Nazi Zombies. Or how the mountainous frontier of the Mexican-American War opens the door to cannibalism. Or even how the memory of war itself becomes its own kind of horror after the bullets have finally ceased firing and the bombs have stopped ringing in Jacob's Ladder. You get to help decide which horror movies set in wars is the best with your votes.

Which movies have done the best job combining the brutal realism of battle with the otherworldly terror of horror? Vote up your picks below.

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  • 1
    23
    8

    Dog Soldiers

    Kevin McKidd, Liam Cunningham

    Released2002

    Directed byNeil Marshall

    Dog Soldiers is a 2002 British horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall, and starring Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee and Liam Cunningham. A British production, set in the highlands of Scotland,...  more
  • 2
    26
    12

    Predator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke,...  more
  • 3
    22
    9

    Overlord

    Wyatt Russell, Jacob Anderson

    Released2018

    Directed byJulius Avery

    Overlord is a 2018 American horror film directed by Julius Avery. In 1944, two American paratroopers are going down over Normandy in the midst of the D-Day invasion, and they soon discover that the...  more
  • 4
    22
    10

    28 Days Later

    Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston

    Released2002

    Directed byDanny 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, Megan...  more
  • 5
    18
    7

    Pan's Labyrinth

    Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

    Released2006

    Directed byGuillermo del Toro

    Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by Esperanto Films. In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young...  more
  • 6
    17
    8

    28 Weeks Later

    Rose Byrne, Idris Elba

    Released2007

    Directed byJuan Carlos Fresnadillo

    28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British-Spanish post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film, structured as a sequel to the 2002 critical and commercial success, 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later was co-written...  more
  • 7
    14
    8

    Jacob's Ladder

    Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña

    Released1990

    Directed byAdrian Lyne

    Jacob's Ladder is a 1990 American psychological horror film directed by Adrian Lyne. A Vietnam veteran whose experiences prior to and during Vietnam result in strange, fragmentary flashbacks and...  more
  • 8
    15
    10

    World War Z

    Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos

    Released2013

    Directed byMarc Forster

    This film is a 2013 American apocalyptic action horror film directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof is from a screen story by Carnahan...  more
  • 9
    11
    5

    Ghosts of War

    Brenton Thwaites, Theo Rossi

    Released2020

    Directed byEric Bress

    Ghosts of War is a 2020 horror war film written and directed by Eric Bress. Five American soldiers, during WWII, find a haunted castle in France where they experience supernatural horrors....  more
  • 10
    10
    5

    Ravenous

    Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle

    Released1999

    Directed byAntonia Bird

    Ravenous is a 1999 horror film and satire directed by Antonia Bird and starring Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeffrey Jones and David Arquette. The film revolves around cannibalism in 1840s California...  more
  • 11
    2
    8

    Deathdream

    John Marley, Henderson Forsythe

    Released1974

    Directed byBob Clark

    Deathdream is a 1974 Canadian horror film, directed by Bob Clark and written by Alan Ormsby. It was inspired by the W.W. Jacobs short story The Monkey's Paw....  more
  • 12
    9
    8

    R-Point

    Kam Woo-sung, Byung-ho Son

    Released2004

    Directed bySu Young Gong

    R-Point is a 2004 South Korean wartime action horror film directed by Kong Su-chang. During the Vietnam War, a South Korean base receives a radio transmission from a missing squad, presumed dead, and...  more
  • 13
    10
    10

    The Devil's Backbone

    Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes

    Released2001

    Directed byGuillermo del Toro

    The Devil's Backbone is a 2001 Spanish-Mexican gothic horror film directed by Guillermo del Toro, and written by del Toro, Antonio Trashorras and David Muñoz. It was independently produced by Pedro...  more
  • 14
    8
    8

    Below

    Zach Galifianakis, Olivia Williams

    Released2002

    Directed byDavid Twohy

    Below is a 2002 WWII horror film directed by David Twohy. It was written by Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky and David Twohy, and stars Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Matthew Davis, Holt McCallany,...  more
  • 15
    2
    8

    Under the Shadow

    Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi

    Released2016

    Directed byBabak Anvari

    Under the Shadow is a 2016 internationally produced Persian language horror film directed by Babak Anvari. A mother (Narges Rashidi) and daughter (Avin Manshadi) are haunted by a mysterious evil in...  more
  • 16
    9
    10

    Frankenstein's Army

    Luke Newberry, Karel Roden

    Released2013

    Directed byRichard Raaphorst

    Frankenstein's Army is a 2013 action horror film written by Miguel Tejada-Flores and directed by Richard Raaphorst....  more
  • 17
    5
    5

    Jacob's Ladder

    Michael Ealy, Jesse Williams

    Released2019

    Directed byDavid M. Rosenthal

    Jacob's Ladder is a 2019 American psychological horror film directed by David M. Rosenthal, and a remake of the 1990 movie. After returning home from the Afghanistan, veteran Jacob Singer struggles...  more
  • 18
    6
    8

    The Bunker

    Jack Davenport, Eddie Marsan

    Released2001

    Directed byRob Green

    The Bunker is a 2001 horror film directed by Rob Green, written by Clive Dawson and starring Jason Flemyng....  more
  • 19
    2
    4

    The Objective

    Jon Huertas, Michael C. Williams

    Released2009

    Directed byDaniel Myrick

    The Objective is a 2008 science fiction horror film directed by Daniel Myrick who also directed The Blair Witch Project and Believers, starring Jonas Ball, Matthew R. Anderson, and Michael C....  more
  • 20
    5
    10

    Onibaba

    Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama

    Released1964

    Directed byKaneto Shindo

    Onibaba is a 1964 Japanese historical drama horror film. It was written and directed by Kaneto Shindo. The film is set during a civil war in the fourteenth century. Nobuko Otowa and Jitsuko Yoshimura...  more
  • 21
    2
    10

    The Living and the Dead

    Filip Šovagović, Velibor Topić

    Released2007

    Directed byKristijan Milic

    The Living and the Dead is a Croatian war movie directed by Kristijan Milic. It tells the story of Bosnian Croat fighters who, while fighting against Bosniaks, face something not entirely of this...  more
  • 22
    2
    13

    Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

    Paolo Bonacelli, Caterina Boratto

    Released1975

    Directed byPier Paolo Pasolini

    Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, commonly referred to as simply Salò, is a 1975 Italian-French art film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, with uncredited writing contributions by Pupi...  more