Top 20 Horror Films of the Past 20 Years

The IMDb Editors' Top Horror films list is based upon the overall importance, impact and popularity these scary movies have enjoyed for the past 20 years. Note that "Top" does not mean "Best" and after some spine-tingling discussion, we came up with the following rankings.
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1.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. (118 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
“ The only horror movie to win Best Picture, this perfect piece of pop-American filmmaking gave us an unforgettable killer by the name of Hannibal and the strongest female protagonist in a horror flick, Clarice Starling. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
2.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (107 mins.)
“ "I see dead people" entered the pop culture lexicon thanks to this twisty, imaginative and chilling thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, featuring an Oscar-nominated performance by Haley Joel Osment. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
3.
Scream (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Sidney, attempting to cope with her mother's mysterious murder, and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by an unknown killer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go. (111 mins.)
Director: Wes Craven
“ The slasher movie entered post-modern territory thanks to this funny-scary update from Wes Craven; Ghostface masks still get trotted out every year at Halloween. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
4.
Zodiac (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer. (157 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ The first of two David Fincher flicks to grace this list, this exploration of the mystery of San Francisco's Zodiac killer, chilled to the bone, and was an exemplar of stellar filmmaking to boot. Aqua Velva, anyone? ” - IMDb-Editors
 
5.
The Ring (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it. (115 mins.)
Director: Gore Verbinski
“ This American remake of a Japanese thriller actually saw its box office take increase week after week, as audiences disoovered the horrors that could lurk within modern day technology. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
6.
Let the Right One In (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl. (115 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
“ A poignant, touching, creepy, suspenseful and wholly original take on the vampire tale, this Swedish thriller proved scares don't have to come stateside. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
7.
28 Days Later... (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. (113 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
“ The zombie genre was reinvigorated thanks to Danny Boyle's unrelenting tale of the UK overtaken by the living dead -- and man, those zombies are fast! ” - IMDb-Editors
 
8.
Se7en (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi. (127 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ David Fincher, take two - this serial killer flick upped the ante on stylish horror flicks, create a palette and sense of dread that were uniquely its own. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
9.
The Descent (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. (99 mins.)
Director: Neil Marshall
“ One of the most visceral and terrifying horror films of the past 20 years found a group of cave-exploring women trapped underground with some hideous misfits... not for the faint of heart! ” - IMDb-Editors
 
10.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind. (81 mins.)
“ The indie thriller sensation may have lost some of its luster over the past 10+ years, but it still remains a potent original and the final image still haunts to this day. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
11.
Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides. (92 mins.)
Director: Takashi Shimizu
“ Though the American version was a box office hit, the original Japanese thriller still packs a wallop. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
12.
The Others (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted. (101 mins.)
“ An extraordinary ghost story, featuring one of Nicole Kidman's best performances. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
13.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living. (99 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
“ Zombies + comedy = a hilarious hit, and introduced a new use for all your old vinyl LPs. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
14.
Cronos (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A mysterious device designed to provide its owner with eternal life resurfaces after four hundred years, leaving a trail of destruction in its path. (94 mins.)
“ Guillermo del Toro started on his wave of success with this creepy tale of clocks, mechanical bugs, and vampires. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
15.
Twilight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire. (122 mins.)
“ More of a supernatural love story than a horror flick, Bella and Edward still deserve a place on the list. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
16.
Hostel (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them. (94 mins.)
Director: Eli Roth
“ Like it or not, torture porn arrived in the form of this bloody Eli Roth hit - and it's here to stay. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
17.
American Psycho (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies. (102 mins.)
Director: Mary Harron
“ The eighties never seemed more horrific thanks to Christian Bale's superb performance as psycho Patrick Bateman. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
18.
Saw (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there or why, and soon discover they are pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer. (103 mins.)
Director: James Wan
“ It came, it saw (har!) and it conquered, with innumerable sequels and a maniacal mastermind named Jigsaw. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
19.
Anaconda (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
A "National Geographic" film crew is taken hostage by an insane hunter, who takes them along on his quest to capture the world's largest - and deadliest - snake. (89 mins.)
Director: Luis Llosa
“ Thrills, laughs, a giant snake, Jennifer Lopez, AND Ice Cube - a perfect recipe for cheesy horror. ” - IMDb-Editors
 
20.
What Lies Beneath (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost - or that she is losing her mind. (130 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
“ Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford brought star wattage to this creaky if thoroughly enjoyable Hitchock homage. ” - IMDb-Editors