Graveyard Shift

35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama 

Ranker Film
Updated February 14, 2020 2.4k votes 274 voters 13.3k views 47 items

Some of the creepiest movies of all time blur the line between horror and drama through disturbing storylines. The top dramatic horror movies tap into psychological fears with their truly terrifying lead characters – and may even make you a little sad with their insights into the darker side of human nature. This is a list of scary drama movies featuring everything from The Shining to The Sixth Sense to A Clockwork Orange.

What films will you find on this list of the best horror drama movies? You might vote The Silence of the Lambs near the top. This Oscar-winning film offered scares at every turn as Dr. Hannibal Lecter – played to petrifying perfection by Sir Anthony Hopkins – aided Clarice Starling in her quest to find Buffalo Bill. Rosemary's Baby is another good psychological horror movie with an engaging dramatic plot. When it comes to scary drama films, no one does it better than David Lynch. His films Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Lost Highway all appear on this list. Other great dramatic horror movies include Carrie and The Exorcist.

Which scary drama movie do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add and films that are missing.

list ordered by
1
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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2
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

Released: 1995

Directed by: David Fincher

Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

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3
Misery is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

Released: 1990

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

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4
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

Released: 1999

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who ...more

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5
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
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

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6
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
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

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7
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
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

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8
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
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

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9
The Others is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

Released: 2001

Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar

The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for ...more

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10
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider

Released: 1975

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

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11
Let the Right One In is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Lina Leandersson, Tom Ljungman, Philip Hersh

Released: 2008

Directed by: Tomas Alfredson

Let the Right One In is a 2008 Swedish romantic horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson. A 12-year-old boy (Kåre Hedebrant) develops a friendship with a vampire child (Lina Leandersson) in ...more

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12
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes

Released: 1968

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia ...more

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13
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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14
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Doug Jones, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López i Ayats

Released: 2006

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Pan's Labyrinth, originally known in Spanish as El laberinto del fauno, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Mexican Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and ...more

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15
1408 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Kate Walsh

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mikael Håfström

1408 is a 2007 American psychological horror film based on the Stephen King 1999 short story of the same name directed by Swedish director Mikael Håfström. The movie stars John ...more

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16
What Lies Beneath is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Michelle Pfeiffer, Harrison Ford, Amber Valletta

Released: 2000

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

What Lies Beneath is a 2000 American psychological thriller film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is the first film by ImageMovers. It stars Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a well-to-do ...more

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17
Stir of Echoes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Koepp

Stir of Echoes is a supernatural horror-thriller released in the US in 1999, starring Kevin Bacon and directed by David Koepp. The film is loosely based on the novel A Stir of Echoes by Richard ...more

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18
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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19
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

Released: 2001

Directed by: Richard Kelly

Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

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20
Frailty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe

Released: 2001

Directed by: Bill Paxton

Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. It marks Paxton's directorial debut. The plot focuses on the strange ...more

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21
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1987

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more

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22
Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis

Released: 2003

Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan

Dreamcatcher is a 2003 science fiction horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William ...more

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23
Hereditary is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff

Released: 2018

Directed by: Ari Aster

Hereditary is a 2018 American horror film directed by Ari Aster. As an overwhelming terror takes over their household, the Graham family's peaceful existence is ripped apart, forcing their ...more

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24
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
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

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25
Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

Released: 2010

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller-horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around a production ...more

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