Graveyard Shift

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

Ranker Film
2.4k votes 271 voters 13.1k views 46 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
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

More The Silence of the Lambs

#1 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timefeaturing The True Stories That Inspired Buffalo Bill Will Change The Way You See 'The Silence of the Lambs'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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
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

More Seven

#2 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #65 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #48 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made

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
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

More Misery

#11 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timefeaturing Behind The Scenes Of Annie Wilkes Hobbling Paul Sheldon In 'Misery'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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
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

More The Sixth Sense

#3 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #63 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

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
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

#6 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #39 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing The Making Of 'The Shining' Was A Bigger Nightmare Than The Film's Story

6
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins
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

#4 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #13 of 22 The Most Important "Firsts" In Film History #14 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books

7
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair
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

#24 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timefeaturing Did A Malevolent Spirit Actually Curse 'The Exorcist' From The Get-Go?listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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
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

#308 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #69 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #400 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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
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

More The Others

#20 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #347 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #6 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings

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
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

More Jaws

#17 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Jaws Was Inspired By The Matawan Man-Eater, And The True Story Is Even Scarier Than The Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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
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

More Let the Right One In

#66 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #285 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movieslisted on All Vampire Movies: List of Vampire Movies and Vampire Films

12
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff
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

More A Clockwork Orange

#137 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #50 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing Kubrick And Codpieces: Behind The Scenes Of 'A Clockwork Orange'

13
1408 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Kate Walsh
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

More 1408

#62 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #21 of 52 The Best Movies Based on Stephen King Books #88 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time

14
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes
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

More Rosemary's Baby

#119 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timefeaturing All The Spooky Evidence That Rosemary’s Baby Is, In Fact, A Cursed Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Doug Jones, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López i Ayats
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

More Pan's Labyrinth

#187 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #3 of 59 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In January 2020listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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
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

More What Lies Beneath

#68 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #43 of 59 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In January 2020 #380 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

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
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

More Stir of Echoes

#41 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #394 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #133 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time

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
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

More American Psycho

#13 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #517 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #165 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

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
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

More Donnie Darko

#947 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #5 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Madefeaturing Travel Through Time With The Best 'Donnie Darko' Quotes

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
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

More Frailty

#373 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #55 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #400 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

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
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

More Full Metal Jacket

#4 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #70 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #27 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

22
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young
Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more

More Blade Runner

#97 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #140 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True

23
Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis
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

More Dreamcatcher

#55 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #28 of 52 The Best Movies Based on Stephen King Books #16 of 45 The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made

24
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George
Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

More Mulholland Drive

#30 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #1 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made #555 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time

25
It Follows is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama
Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Linda Boston
It Follows is a 2014 supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake ...more

More It Follows

#150 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #11 of 14 Underrated Final Girls In Horror Movies That Deserve More Recognition #53 of 113 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies