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The Scariest 1970s Horror Movies

Updated October 2, 2019 8.9k votes 712 voters 16.7k views61 items

List RulesVote up the 1970s horror movies that freaked you out and gave you nightmares for weeks, months, or even every decade since.

The 1970s were an influential decade during which major historical events occurred – not to mention the many awesome horror movies that were released during this era! This is a list of horror movies of the 1970s, from The Exorcist to Jaws, ranked by how utterly terrifying they were to audiences then and now. With groundbreaking special effects and creative minds behind the pen and camera, the '70s produced some of movie history’s all-time greatest and scariest horror movies.

Whether you’re looking for a realistic flick based on true (or supposedly true) events or a completely fictional movie, there’s sure to be a great fitting movie on this list for you! The movies featured on this list are some of the scariest ones of all time – who doesn’t shiver at the thought of a little girl’s head turning 360 degrees because she’s been demon possessed, or get a little nervous at the idea of swimming in shark-infested waters, trying to escape as quickly as possible?

This list features the scariest horror movies from the 70s, including: Jaws, Alien, The Hills Have Eyes, When a Stranger Calls, and The Last House on the Left. Vote up your favorite horror movie from the 70s or add one you love that isn't already on the list.

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  • The Exorcist1
    292
    83

    The Exorcist

    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn

    Released1973

    Directed byWilliam Friedkin

    The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted... more on Wikipedia

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  • Halloween2
    281
    79

    Halloween

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards

    Released1978

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

    Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John... more on Wikipedia

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  • Alien3
    262
    86

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre4
    247
    70

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns

    Released1974

    Directed byTobe Hooper

    This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote... more on Wikipedia

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  • Carrie5
    220
    65

    Carrie

    John Travolta, Sissy Spacek

    Released1976

    Directed byBrian De Palma

    Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974... more on Wikipedia
  • Jaws6
    240
    82

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter... more on Wikipedia

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  • Dawn of the Dead7
    169
    67

    Dawn of the Dead

    Tom Savini, Ken Foree

    Released1978

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    This film is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A.... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Omen8
    205
    68

    The Omen

    Gregory Peck, Lee Remick

    Released1976

    Directed byRichard Donner

    The Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • Black Christmas9
    102
    66

    Black Christmas

    Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin

    Released1974

    Directed byBob Clark

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  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers10
    125
    65

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1978

    Directed byPhilip Kaufman

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  • Phantasm11
    103
    72

    Phantasm

    Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin

    Released1979

    Directed byDon Coscarelli

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  • Suspiria12
    118
    64

    Suspiria

    Joan Bennett, Alida Valli

    Released1977

    Directed byDario Argento

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  • The Hills Have Eyes13
    144
    62

    The Hills Have Eyes

    Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman

    Released1977

    Directed byWes Craven

    The Hills Have Eyes is a 1977 American exploitation-horror film written and directed by Wes... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Amityville Horror14
    51
    37

    The Amityville Horror

    James Brolin, Margot Kidder

    Released1979

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film, directed by Stuart... more on Wikipedia
  • Alice, Sweet Alice15
    47
    46

    Alice, Sweet Alice

    Brooke Shields, Lillian Roth

    Released1976

    Directed byAlfred Sole

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  • Duel16
    43
    43

    Duel

    Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott

    Released1971

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Last House on the Left17
    152
    62

    The Last House on the Left

    Martin Kove, Steve Miner

    Released1972

    Directed byWes Craven

    The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and... more on Wikipedia
  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark18
    35
    32

    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

    Jim Hutton, Kim Darby

    Released1973

    Directed byJohn Newland

    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is an American made-for-television dark fantasy film directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • The Wicker Man19
    93
    66

    The Wicker Man

    Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland

    Released1973

    Directed byRobin Hardy

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  • Sisters20
    63
    37

    Sisters

    Margot Kidder, Charles Durning

    Released1973

    Directed byBrian De Palma

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  • The Legend of Hell House21
    64
    45

    The Legend of Hell House

    Roddy McDowall, Michael Gough

    Released1973

    Directed byJohn Hough

    The Legend of Hell House is a 1973 British horror film directed by John Hough and based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • The Devils22
    51
    36

    The Devils

    Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed

    Released1971

    Directed byKen Russell

    The Devils is a 1971 British historical drama horror film directed by Ken Russell and starring... more on Wikipedia

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  • Tombs of the Blind Dead23
    44
    36

    Tombs of the Blind Dead

    Rufino Ingles, Lone Fleming

    Released1972

    Directed byAmando de Ossorio

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  • Audrey Rose24
    26
    38

    Audrey Rose

    Anthony Hopkins, Marsha Mason

    Released1977

    Directed byRobert Wise

    Audrey Rose is a 1977 psychological horror and drama film directed by Robert Wise, and... more on Wikipedia
  • The Fury25
    24
    38

    The Fury

    Kirk Douglas, Daryl Hannah

    Released1978

    Directed byBrian De Palma, Frank Yablans

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