Graveyard Shift

The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Film
6.3k votes 1.1k voters 21.3k views 22 items

List Rules Vote up the horror films that tried to be groundbreaking in their form or message, but in a self-indulgent way that makes you roll your eyes.

When an intelligent horror film is released, fans of the genre often judge it by its level of pretension. Movies like The Silence of the Lambs and Get Out are widely accepted as well-done works of art - though that doesn't keep some viewers from critiquing their storytelling or refusing to name them as part of the horror genre altogether. The ultimate value of any work of art is, of course, subjective. However, people still ask, "Is this actually good, or is it just pretentious?" 

There is a general consensus among horror fans that filmmakers like Lars von Trier - though he retains a dedicated fanbase - mostly produce eye-roll-worthy cinema. And although every item on this list has garnered enough attention to assume it merits some level of worth, horror fans on the internet have agreed these films rank among the most pretentious movies of all time. 

As you vote on whether these films are groundbreaking or just showy artistry, contemplate what it means to be pretentious - and if these movies contribute to the genre in a valuable way. 

Mother is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made
Photo:  Paramount Pictures

Mother! is a 2017 American psychological horror thriller film, written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Ed Harris, + more

Released: 2017

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

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#55 of 100 on The Best Movies of 2017, Ranked #1 of 15 on Horror Movie Endings People Only Pretend To Understand #71 of 113 on The Best Intelligent Horror Movies #10 of 14 on Horror Movies That Keep You On The Edge Of Your Seat From Start To Finish, Ranked

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Antichrist is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made
Photo:  Nordisk Film Distribution

Antichrist is a 2009 Danish experimental horror film written and directed by Lars von Trier. It tells the story of a couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who, after the death of their child, retreat to a cabin in the woods where the man experiences strange visions and the woman manifests increasingly violent sexual behavior and sadomasochism. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

Released: 2009

Directed by: Lars von Trier

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#29 of 157 on The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #53 of 145 on The Most Awkward Movies to Watch with Your Parents #19 of 118 on The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films

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Stay is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made
Photo:  20th Century Fox

Stay is a 2005 American psychological thriller film directed by Marc Forster. A psychiatrist (Ewan McGregor) tries prevent one of his patients (Ryan Gosling) from committing suicide while trying to maintain his own grip on reality. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Janeane Garofalo, Bob Hoskins, + more

Released: 2005

Directed by: Marc Forster

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#40 of 70 on The Best Mindf*ck Movies #23 of 26 on 25+ Great Movies About Life After a Nervous Breakdown #4 of 9 on Every Movie & TV Show Written By David Benioff, Ranked #21 of 26 on The Best Ryan Gosling Movies

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A Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made
Photo:  A24

A Ghost Story is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by David Lowery. The movie follows a man as he dies, becomes a ghost, and witnesses many things before fading away. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham, Sonia Acevedo, Rob Zabrecky, + more

Released: 2017

Directed by: David Lowery

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#61 of 100 on The Best Movies of 2017, Ranked #14 of 51 on The Best Movies No One Saw in 2017 #49 of 65 on The Best New Romance Movies of the Last Few Years

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