Horror Icons Share Their Personal Horror Movie Recommendations

Over 200 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Horror Icons Share Their Personal Horror Movie Recommendations
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Vote up the horror recommendations you most agree with.

When deciding which horror movie to watch next, you might want to learn which films famous horror actors and directors cite as their favorites. For instance, Scream star Jenna Ortega loves '80s classics like Prom Night and Possession, while filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has taken to Twitter over the years to recommend newer releases, such as Midsommar and Watcher.

With horror films ranging from classic to contemporary and domestic to foreign, the 14 actors, screenwriters, and directors on this list provide plenty of insight into what they think are the best horror movies ever made.


  • Stephen King: 'The Autopsy of Jane Doe' And 'The Last House on the Left' (2009)
    Photo: The Last House on the Left / Universal Pictures
    1
    238 VOTES

    Stephen King: 'The Autopsy of Jane Doe' And 'The Last House on the Left' (2009)

    In 2017, Stephen King tweeted about his admiration for the André Øvredal-directed horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe, calling it a "visceral horror to rival ALIEN and early Cronenberg. Watch it, but not alone.”

    While writing for Entertainment Weekly, King also praised the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left, referring to the original 1972 version as a “crapfest.” Regarding the 2009 version, King wrote:

    This beautifully photographed - but hard to watch - movie is the standard by which all horror/suspense films should be judged.

    He went so far as to say it was comparable to The Silence of the Lambs.

    238 votes
  • 2
    185 VOTES

    Devon Sawa: 'The Black Phone'

    In 2022, actor Devon Sawa of Casper and Final Destination fame tweeted about his excitement over the Scott Derrickson-directed movie The Black Phone, stating:

     The Black Phone is a fucking masterpiece. God damn it, put more films like this in theaters!! That was my f*cking jam!

    185 votes
  • Mary Harron: 'Relic' And 'The Cabin in the Woods'
    Photo: Relic / IFC Midnight
    3
    131 VOTES

    Mary Harron: 'Relic' And 'The Cabin in the Woods'

    When asked to share her pick for a good horror film to watch on Halloween, American Psycho director Mary Harron enthusiastically recommended Natalia Erika James's directorial debut, Relic.

    Harron told Entertainment Weekly:

    I was really impressed. That again is female-centered. It’s a woman, her daughter, her mother. So, grandmother-mother-daughter. And crazy things happen inside a house, lot of amazing visual effects. It’s a bit like The Babadook, it’s kind of a domestic horror.

    Harron also noted that The Cabin in the Woods was another favorite of hers.

    131 votes
  • Jordan Peele: 'Rosemary's Baby' And 'The Stepford Wives'
    Photo: Rosemary's Baby / Paramount Pictures
    4
    141 VOTES

    Jordan Peele: 'Rosemary's Baby' And 'The Stepford Wives'

    Jordan Peele, the acclaimed director behind Get Out, Us, and Nope, listed a number of horror films as being among his favorites in a 2022 interview; however, he cited Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives as two of the most influential films for him as a filmmaker.

    Peele noted that the plots of both films embrace “this very delicate tightrope walk that sort of honored the protagonist in a way that you rarely see in the genre these days.”

    Peele described both films' female protagonists as being “smart, and they're investigative, and they're on the trail.”

    141 votes
  • James Wan: 'The Others' And 'Lost Highway'
    Photo: The Others / StudioCanal
    5
    139 VOTES

    James Wan: 'The Others' And 'Lost Highway'

    James Wan is the filmmaker behind the phenomenally successful Saw and The Conjuring franchises. In terms of Wan's own favorites, he's cited the 2001 psychological thriller The Others. Wan explained:

    Alejandro Amenabar’s movie with Nicole Kidman is exquisitely photographed, crafted and old-school. It’s truly one of the finest “bump in the night” Victorian ghost stories ever committed to film.

    Wan is also a fan of David Lynch's Lost Highway. He said of the film:

    This is the scariest non-horror film: fragmented narrative, noir-ish atmosphere, insidious soundscape, moody photography. It all adds up to a classic David Lynch experience.

    139 votes
  • 6
    161 VOTES

    John Carpenter: 'Let the Right One In'

    In an interview with IndieWire about Halloween Ends, John Carpenter discussed recent horror films that he enjoyed. Carpenter made a point of singling out the 2008 Swedish horror film Let the Right One In.

    According to Carpenter:

    I thought that was a movie that reinvents the vampire genre - it really does - and I admire it for that.

    161 votes