My All-Time Favorite Horror Moviesby atari-3 | created - 24 Sep 2011 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public
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1. The Exorcist (1973)
R | 122 min | Horror
When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
Votes: 307,946 | Gross: $232.91M
Actress Ellen Burstyn concludes that her young teenage daughter is possessed after medical doctors cannot find a reason for her increasingly bizarre behavior. She resorts to asking for an exorcism by a Catholic priest struggling with his faith after the death of his mother. The priest enlists help from an elderly yet experienced Max von Sydow. Together they face an onslaught of profanity, sacrilege and vomit in their epic confrontation with the devil himself. Intelligent, and most of all convincing, portrayal of possession that gets my vote as the best horror movie of all time.
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
Votes: 96,867 | Gross: $0.09M
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
R | 83 min | Horror
In this cult horror classic, five friends pick up a traumatized young hitchhiker, and find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chain saw-wielding killer and his family of psychopaths.
Votes: 109,571 | Gross: $30.86M
Two young couples and their wheelchair-bound friend travel to a remote Texas town where someone is vandalizing the local cemetery. They unwisely pick up a hitchhiker who briefly taunts them with a knife. They ditch him just in time, but soon run out of gas. They decide to explore a nearby old house and stumble on the rest of the hitchhiker's family. They are mentally deranged ex-slaughterhouse workers who keep a house full of bones and body parts, albeit artfully arranged. "Leatherface" is the worst of the bunch who wears a mask of human skin while terrorizing the group with a chainsaw. The chase scene between him and the girl, which takes up a good part of the final act, is one of the best ever put on film. Moody electronic music by the director and Wayne Bell perfectly complements the setting.
4. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
R | 137 min | Drama, Horror
A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.
Young housewife Mia Farrow and her struggling actor husband John Cassavetes rent a posh apartment in an old NYC building. Her husband befriends the elderly neighbors next door, who happen to be witches, little realizing that he has also made a bargain with them for her baby. He finds sudden stage success while the elderly couple dote on her during her pregnancy. An old family friend uncovers the truth, and is able to get it to Rosemary before he is killed. She desperately tries to save herself and her baby from the ruthless members of the witches coven. Polanski's classic unfolds slowly, like a good novel, with well developed characters and an intricate plot. Mia Farrow's descent into uncontrolled paranoia is convincing and unnerving.
5. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Votes: 476,514 | Gross: $32.00M
6. The Changeling (1980)
R | 107 min | Horror
A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre.
Distraught after the accidental death of his wife and child, composer George C. Scott moves to Seattle to resume his career in academics. He rents an opulent mansion from the local historical society at a bargain. He soon finds out it has sat vacant for a dozen years for a reason when strange sounds and occurrences draw him to a walled-up attic room. This leads him to uncover a hundred-year old mystery involving a powerful politician. A nearly perfect horror film pulled off with a minimum of blood or gore, just good, old fashioned scary with a compelling story. Turn off the lights and turn up the sound...
7. The Devils (1971)
R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.
10. Phantasm (1979)
R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.
Votes: 25,794 | Gross: $11.99M
11. Frankenstein (1931)
Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.
Votes: 53,781 | Gross: $12.00M
Scientist Colin Clive and his hunchbacked assistant Dwight Frye dig up bodies from the grave or cut them down from the gallows to provide him with the raw materials for a body he intends to bring to life with the power of lightning. The experiment proves to be a success one night during a thunderstorm, but the creature, given the brain of a criminal and tormented by the hunchback, goes on a killing rampage. One of his victims is a small girl, whom he throws into a lake and drowns, which turns the drunken residents of the small town into a lynch mob. The film still manages to shock nearly a century later, with scenes of death and disfigurement, but also elicit sympathy for the monster who never asked to be created, and even for Dr. Frankenstein, drunk on his own power, who later regrets it.
12. The City of the Dead (1960)
PG-13 | 78 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A young college student arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town to research witchcraft; during her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers a startling secret about the town and its inhabitants.
13. Black Sunday (1960)
Not Rated | 87 min | Horror
A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant. Only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor stand in her way.
14. The Omen (1976)
R | 111 min | Horror
Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?
Votes: 89,706 | Gross: $4.27M
American diplomat Gregory Peck accepts the offer from a Roman priest to switch an abandoned infant for his own, which died during childbirth, to spare his wife. He is appointed ambassador to England and moves his family into a large mansion near London. Strange deaths begin to occur, as well as warnings from another Roman priest that his son is actually the Antichrist. As the bizarre deaths continue to mount around him, the skeptical father along with a concerned journalist head to Israel in search of an archaeologist who tells them how to kill the boy. Although filled with memorable death scenes, including a famous decapitation, it is Peck's transformation from concerned father to the realization that he must kill a young child that is truly horrific. Jerry Goldsmith's score, featuring a Satanic chant in Latin, adds immeasurably to the atmosphere.
15. The Shining (1980)
R | 146 min | Drama, Horror
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
Votes: 691,813 | Gross: $44.02M
16. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Unrated | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Horror
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
Votes: 97,198 | Gross: $5.10M
17. The Birds (1963)
PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.
Votes: 142,524 | Gross: $11.40M
18. The Fury (1978)
R | 118 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A government agent is determined to come to his son's rescue when a sinister official kidnaps him to harbor his extremely powerful psychic abilities.
19. The Amityville Horror (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror
Newlyweds move into a large house where a mass murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away.
Votes: 30,075 | Gross: $86.43M
Newlyweds James Brolin and Margot Kidder, with stepkids, move in to their new Long Island home, knowing that it was the scene of brutal murders a short time ago. "Houses don't have memories" he justifies, but this one does. Over the course of a few weeks Brolin is pushed to the brink of insanity by the house which torments him at every opportunity. Kidder tries to get the help of a priest, but the house keeps him away by various means, eventually turning him into a blind, helpless cripple. It masterfully builds tension by a series of increasingly horrific scenes, culminating in Brolin's basement fall into the well of blood as he goes back to rescue the family dog. Shot on location in New Jersey during the fall months, it's a Halloween-time favorite. Lalo Schifrin's Oscar-nominated score is an eerie classic, recalling a child's nursery rhyme.
22. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Unrated | 93 min | Horror
A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.
Votes: 13,646 | Gross: $0.72M
24. Christmas Evil (1980)
R | 100 min | Horror, Thriller
A toy factory worker, mentally scarred as a child upon learning Santa Claus is not real, suffers a nervous breakdown after being belittled at work, and embarks on a Yuletide killing spree.
Brandon Maggart, in a bravura performance, is a middle-aged factory manager scarred by a childhood episode with his father in a Santa suit. Obsessed with all-things Santa, one Christmas he literally becomes Santa, taking toys to an orphanage or dancing at a party with children. However, there is a dark side to this Santa: he also takes out his frustrations at work with an inexplicable and uncontrollable rage. Maggart is simply astounding, evoking both sympathy and revulsion, in a Christmas movie unlike any other. Better known under its video title Christmas Evil, but the original on-screen title is more apropos.
26. Dead of Night (1945)
Approved | 77 min | Horror
An architect senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.
27. Yabu no naka no kuroneko (1968)
Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Horror
Two women are raped and killed by samurai soldiers. Soon they reappear as vengeful ghosts who seduce and brutally murder the passing samurai.
28. The Devil's Rain (1975)
PG | 86 min | Horror
A bunch of Satanists in the American rural landscape have terrible powers which enable them to melt their victims. However one of the children of an earlier victim vows to destroy them.
29. Curse of the Demon (1957)
Approved | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.
30. La chute de la maison Usher (1928)
63 min | Horror
Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.
A man compulsively paints portraits of his wife in a remote French castle. She gradually withers away and dies. Her husband, their butler, a doctor and a visiting friend carry her casket across the countryside to her tomb. Back at the castle, the husband fears they have buried her alive. Superb Gothic interpretation of the Edgar Allen Poe story, with experimental touches and an atmosphere of absolute despair. A forgotten horror classic that easily stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its more famous silent German peers.
31. The Old Dark House (1932)
TV-G | 72 min | Comedy, Horror
Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.
Votes: 6,270 | Gross: $0.03M
33. Leonor (1975)
PG | 101 min | Fantasy, Drama, Horror
A female vampire rises from her crypt every night in search of children as her victims.
Brooding, philosophical film on the nature of love and death set in medieval Spain. Liv Ullmann is Leonor, who is on her death bed after a horse accident. She is walled up in a tomb after she dies by her husband Richard, played by Michel Piccoli. The same day, he goes out and marries a young Ornella Muti. Ten years pass, when one day Richard sees Leonor on a riverbank. He re-opens her tomb, where he meets a Christ-like figure who resurrects her. He murders his young wife and begins living with Leonor. She slowly regains her memory and senses. When children in the village begin turning up dead, she is suspected of killing them and hunted. Is she a vampire or is it the Black Death? Moody soundtrack by Ennio Morricone perfectly complements this haunting film.
35. The Whip and the Body (1963)
Unrated | 87 min | Horror
In the 19th century, a sadistic nobleman terrorizes the members of his family. He is found dead, but his ghost soon returns to haunt the residents of his castle.
Mario Bava's Gothic tale is a masterpiece of color and lighting. Set in a remote castle, Christopher Lee returns home to a most unfriendly welcome. An old flame is now married to his brother and living there with his father. They find each other alone on a nearby beach and rekindle their masochistic relationship. Lee is brutally killed relatively early in the film, but don't worry he soon reappears as a scowling figure in the shadows. Who killed him? Is he really dead? It's a darkly romantic tale set amidst the starkly lit castle and its environs.
36. Halloween (1978)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.
Votes: 176,723 | Gross: $47.00M
After a prologue in which a young boy inexplicably murders his sister, 15 years later he escapes from the mental institution in which he was being treated by psychiatrist Donald Pleasence. He heads straight for his old home town on the anniversary of the original murder, Halloween. Teenage babysitters including Jamie Lee Curtis arrange jobs for the night while fretting about boys. Her two friends become the first victims, who then sets his sights on Curtis for the extended finale. Highly influential "slasher" film owes a lot to Hitchcock's Psycho, star Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh. Simple yet effective soundtrack by the director contributes to the menacing atmosphere. However, after multiple viewings over the years, the impact is beginning to wane. Instead, I begin to notice the gratuitous shots of teenage girls and their sexual escapades, but especially the lack of motive in the numerous killings. The endless sequels, and then reboot, will spend the coming decades trying, and mostly failing, to provide one.
37. El vampiro (1957)
95 min | Mystery, Thriller, Horror
A pretty young Mexican girl returns to her hometown to make funeral arrangements for her beloved aunt, who has just died. Soon she begins to hear disturbing stories about the town being ... See full summary »
38. The Psychic (1977)
R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller
A clairvoyant woman, inspired by a vision, smashes open a section of wall in her husband's home and finds a skeleton behind it. Along with her psychiatrist, she seeks to find the truth ... See full summary »
Patience will be rewarded by this Fulci giallo. The first half is slow and often confusing. However, after a key revelation is made the second half unfolds beautifully, as if the viewer has had visions along with the main character. No, this is not the Fulci of Zombie or other gore classics, but a Fulci in complete command of characters, setting and mood.
39. Just Before Dawn (1981)
R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller
Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by the forest ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the ... See full summary »
40. Bad Ronald (1974 TV Movie)
Unrated | 74 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A perverted teenage boy who lives in the walls of a house finds the house sold to a family after his mother dies, and he falls for one of the new residents.
In the upper echelon of made-for-TV movies, Bad Ronald takes a plausible situation and pushes it to the limit. Ronald accidentally kills a neighborhood girl. Instead of going to the police he buries her. He tells his overprotective mother, who decides the best thing to do is wall up the bathroom and hide him until things blow over. She goes to the hospital for a routine operation but ends up dying. Ronald stays in hiding, even when a new family moves into the house. He retreats into a fantasy world of his own making, covering his walls, and himself, with paint and dirt. His fantasies extend to the people in the house: a young girl is a princess, a boyfriend an evil Duke. When he finally reveals himself to the girl, he's filthy and a raving lunatic. She manages to run next door but he locks her in the basement. He kidnaps the boyfriend of her sister and ties him up in his hideaway. One of his peepholes eventually gives him away, and he bursts through a wall in an incredible ending.
41. House of Usher (1960)
Not Rated | 79 min | Drama, Horror
Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.
A young man travels to a desolate mansion to find his fiance. However, her brother, Vincent Price, tells him she is going insane and refuses to let him see her, much less marry her. The young man manages to bully his way into the house and convince the girl to run away with him and start a new life. Her brother has other ideas and will resort to extreme means to keep her from leaving. The first entry in the famous 8-film Corman Poe Cycle is one of the best. Colorful sets and moody atmosphere elevated the Gothic melodrama to new heights and firmly entrenched Vincent Price as a horror icon.
42. Cat People (1942)
Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.
Votes: 15,251 | Gross: $4.00M
43. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion.
Votes: 247,154 | Gross: $75.08M
Animated musical fantasy set in "Halloween Town", whose inhabitants are dedicated to the annual holiday. Their leader, Jack Skellington the "Pumpkin King", becomes bored with the whole thing, but while walking in the woods one day falls through a door which leads to the similar "Christmas Town". Unable to fully comprehend those traditions, he instead decides to take it over. He sends three trick-or-treaters to kidnap Santa and lock him up with a creature who tortures and threatens to kill him. Meanwhile, Jack adapts the persona of Santa and sets out on Christmas Eve to deliver presents, only with cruel Halloween twists. Vivid production design brings these fantastical worlds to life through stop motion animation. Danny Elfman's music, however, is not aging well. It too often overwhelms the story, the lyrics are simple and the melodies repetitive. A subplot involving a rag doll woman who falls in love with Jack is underdeveloped and unconvincing. Still, it's a lot of fun around Halloween or Christmas, or both, providing a good antidote to the traditional stop-motion animation specials from Rankin-Bass.
45. The Haunting (1963)
G | 112 min | Horror
A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.
Votes: 28,811 | Gross: $2.62M
47. Don't Look Now (1973)
R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.
48. City of the Living Dead (1980)
Not Rated | 93 min | Horror
A reporter and a psychic race to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from their graves.
49. Carrie (1976)
R | 98 min | Horror
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.
Votes: 138,957 | Gross: $33.80M
Brian De Palma elevates high school melodrama to high art in this influential film. Sissy Spacek is perfectly cast as the shy outcast Carrie, who is tormented by her overbearing religious mother at home and classmates at school. A cruel joke in the shower leads to the detention of the other girls, one of whom plots her revenge at the upcoming prom. Carrie has the last word. All of the De Palma trademarks are on full display: the overuse of slow motion, the spinning camerawork, split screen... all shot through that 70s haze. I still prefer his followup, The Fury, as the best telekinesis movie ever made, but this is a lot of fun.
50. Dracula (1931)
Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror
The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.
Mild mannered businessman Renfield (Dwight Frye) travels to Transylvania to complete a real estate transaction with one Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi, in his signature role). Ignoring the warnings of the locals, he goes to the Count's castle and spends the night. He is of course bitten by Lugosi, a vampire, and becomes his slave. They travel to England where Lugosi takes up residence in Carfax Abbey, which happens to be next door to the sanitarium where Renfield has been committed. The imminent Dr. Van Helsing correctly diagnoses Renfield and Lugosi as vampires, but not before they have infected the pretty daughters of the director of the institution. Helsing confronts Lugosi with a mirror, then follows him next door where he drives a wooden stake through his heart. The film is at its most powerful in the opening scenes in Transylvania, particularly those in Dracula's decrepit, crumbling castle. However, when the action shifts to England, the plot becomes talky and spends far too much time in boring drawing rooms at the sanitarium. Dwight Frye overplays his Renfield character and becomes an annoyance. There are too many fake flying bats, including one scene where a bat speaks to a character by squeaking. Things pick up towards the end with some scenes in the equally crumbling Carfax Abbey, but they are too brief and the ending rather abrupt.
51. The Wicker Man (1973)
R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.
Votes: 53,372 | Gross: $0.06M
52. Un tranquillo posto di campagna (1968)
R | 106 min | Drama, Horror
A popular painter, plagued by nightmares that he and his lover/sales agent are engaging in bizarre, ritualistic, sadistic sexual acts, seeks to escape the city and rent a house in the country.
Franco Nero is a successful artist in Milan. He creates abstract, impressionistic works and his girlfriend Vanessa Redgrave sells them for ridiculous prices. One day he gets tired of the city and wants to find a place in the country. He ends up buying a dilapidated mansion. He hears stories of a young girl who once lived there and was supposedly killed by the Nazis. He becomes obsessed with her and slowly goes insane. Intriguing but occasionally pretentious film beautifully shot by Luigi Kuveiller. A perceptive study of alienation in modern society, particularly the dehumanizing impact of pornography, refocused through the lens of an artist. The soundtrack by Ennio Morricone is appropriately modernistic and perhaps his best.
53. Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974)
R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Based on the Ed Gein case, a deranged rural farmer becomes a grave robber and murderer after the death of his possessive mother, whose corpse he keeps (among others) as his companion in a decaying farmhouse.
54. Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1972)
PG | 87 min | Comedy, Horror
Six friends in a theatrical troupe dig up a corpse on an abandoned island to use in a mock Satanic ritual. It backfires with deadly consequences.
55. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical
A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
Votes: 113,921 | Gross: $139.88M
Newly engaged couple Brad and Janet run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and knock on the door of a castle down the road. They soon find themselves doing the Time Warp with a group of weirdos and their transsexual leader Dr. Frank-N-Furter. When not seducing Brad and Janet, ole Frankie lusts after his creation Rocky Horror, a hunky athlete in gold shorts. It all goes wrong when Dr. Frank murders motorcycle-riding Meatloaf and he reveals his true identity as an alien. It's all quite silly, and quite irresistible. Fantastic set designs by Terry Ackland-Snow, including a stage show on the RKO-Radio Pictures logo.
56. Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
Approved | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.
Votes: 10,122 | Gross: $2.00M
A man travels to the remote castle of his brother-in-law to investigate the death of his sister. He finds Vincent Price and his younger sister living alone with vague answers as the cause of her death. The younger sister reveals through a flashback a traumatic event in Price's past that may explain his actions. Strange events lead to the opening of the dead wife's tomb and sends Price over the edge of insanity. The second entry in the Corman Poe Cycle is just as good as the first. The eerie castle setting perfectly complements the Gothic melodrama, with superb performances by Price and Barbara Steel as his "dead" wife. Score by Les Baxter and cinematography by Floyd Crosby seal the deal as a horror classic.
60. The Golem (1920)
Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror
In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.
61. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
Unrated | 89 min | Horror
A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.
Vincent Price is a wealthy prince and Satanist living in a castle, safe from the plague ravishing the nearby village. He saves one, pretty Jane Asher, by inviting her inside, but imprisons her father and boyfriend in the dungeon. He teaches her etiquette and eventually falls in love with her, upsetting his jealous consort. She gives herself to Satan with the intent of getting revenge, but instead is killed by a falcon. Price himself shortly meets a similar fate in a dramatic meeting with none other than Death himself. Asher, and a select few others, are the only survivors left after the long night. Moody, philosophical entry in the Poe Cycle, vividly photographed by Nicolas Roeg. Frequently compared to Bergman's The Seventh Seal, it shares similar themes but nowhere near the depth or impact. Still, highly entertaining, if a bit silly at times.
62. The Inheritance (1947)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Following her father's death, a British teen-aged heiress goes to live with her guardian uncle who is broke and scheming to murder his niece for her vast inheritance.
63. Friday the 13th (1980)
R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.
Votes: 94,465 | Gross: $39.75M
The first and best of the series takes elements of Hitchcock's Psycho and transplants them to a remote camp by a lake. The most obvious clue to Hitchcock is the soundtrack by Harry Manfredini, which is just a simple reworking of Bernard Herrmann, with some extra echo effects for atmosphere. Although it may be derivative it is very effective and essential to the success of the film. Counselors arrive at the camp in preparation for its reopening, well one of them never makes it, but end up victims of a never-seen killer. Director Cunningham uses a hand-held camera from the point of view of the killer, bringing us, the viewers, right into the thick of things. The carnage on display is brief but graphic. Tom Savini's make-up effects revolutionized horror, for better or worse. However, Cunningham is wise not to rely on the bloody effects for his scares: he uses the natural menace of the lake and woods, a thunderstorm at night, dark cabins made even darker when the power goes out, old tales in town of "blood camp", etc. It is these elements that make it an effective horror movie, not the gory killings. The ending borrows straight from Psycho, although with a gender reversal: I can just hear Anthony Perkins speaking the part of his mother. However, this film does have too many endings, with a particularly ludicrous one in the lake.
64. Maniac (1980)
R | 87 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A psychopath, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?
65. The House by the Cemetery (1981)
Not Rated | 86 min | Horror
A New England home is terrorized by a series of murders, unbeknownst to the guests that a gruesome secret is hiding in the basement.
66. Night Watch (1973)
PG | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Ellen Wheeler, a rich woman, is recovering from a nervous breakdown with the help of her husband and a good friend. One day, while staring out the window, she witnesses a murder. But does ... See full summary »
Elizabeth Taylor sees a dead body in the window of the abandoned house next to her garden. The police are called but cannot find anything. It happens again, with the same results, only now the police think she is crazy and will not respond to any more of her phone calls. Liz thinks her husband is having an affair with her best friend and they are trying to drive her insane so they can have her committed and leave the country with her money. That's what I thought as well, but the twist ending proves otherwise. Some good nightmare/flashback sequences, plenty of thunder and lightning, an abandoned old house and a murder mystery make for an entertaining rainy night thriller.
67. The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975)
R | 105 min | Horror, Mystery
When college professor Peter Proud begins to experience flashbacks from a previous incarnation, he is mysteriously drawn to a place he has never been before but which is troublingly ... See full summary »
Michael Sarrazin is having bad dreams, only they are not dreams but memories of his past life. He catches a glimpse of some of the places in his dreams on television and travels there with his girlfriend. He finds his ex wife and daughter 35 years older than when he dreamed about them. He falls in love with his daughter, but his wife realizes who he really is and is not happy to see him. I thought the first part was rather slow, and his blond girlfriend annoying. However, as soon as she left him in Massachusetts the film took on a new life. The pacing was very good from that point and the story very involving. The electronic soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith further enhances the atmosphere. A near-classic of 70s occult cinema.
68. Re-Animator (1985)
Unrated | 105 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.
Votes: 45,012 | Gross: $2.02M
69. The Wolf Man (1941)
Approved | 70 min | Horror
A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.
71. The Black Torment (1964)
85 min | Horror, Mystery
A lord returns to his manor with his new wife, to hear rumors that he had already secretly returned and had committed several murders. Has he lost his mind, or is something dark afoot?
73. Castle of Blood (1964)
Not Rated | 87 min | Horror
A journalist takes a bet that he can spend the night in a haunted castle on All Hallow's Eve. During his stay, he bears witness to the castle's gruesome past coming to life before him, and falls in with a beautiful female ghost.
74. Poltergeist (1982)
PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller
A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.
Votes: 118,089 | Gross: $76.61M
A typical southern California suburban family's home is overtaken by malicious ghosts. They kidnap their young daughter who communicates with our world through the TV set. They call in professional ghost busters to try to get her back. After they fail, they resort to a psychic medium. However, it's old fashioned rope that does that eventually does the trick. Glossy, Spielberg-ized treatment of the haunted house genre has so many twists and turns that it feels more like a them park ride. It's fun, but impossible to take seriously.
75. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
PG | 95 min | Horror
Physicist Lionel Barrett and his wife lead a team of mediums into the Belasco House, which is supposedly haunted by the victims of its late owner, a six-foot-five serial killer.
76. Mad Monster Party? (1967)
Unrated | 94 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
When Dr Frankenstein decides to retire from the monster-making business, he calls an international roster of monsters to a creepy convention to elect his successor. Everyone is there ... See full summary »
This Rankin-Bass stop motion animation feature is an annual Halloween tradition. Boris Karloff hosts a gathering of classic monsters during which his human nephew Felix Flanken announces his retirement. He plans to pass his title on to Felix, which causes infighting among the monsters. The real fun is the numerous one-liners, musical interludes (Little Tibia and the Fibias are the best) and of course Francesca. It all ends with a bang featuring King Kong.
77. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror
When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.
Votes: 44,075 | Gross: $14.24M
Careless employees at a medical supply company release a chemical which reanimates the dead. A cadaver attacks them and does not "die" even when cut into pieces. They take the parts across the street to a mortuary where they convince the mortician to incinerate it in the crematorium. The smoke falls as rain laced with the chemical, reanimating hordes of the dead in a nearby cemetery. They take refuge in the mortuary with a group of punk rockers who were goofing off in the cemetery. The military eventually steps in to take care of the mess. One of the best horror films to come out of the 80s, it strikes just the right balance of horror and comedy, has terrific performances by James Karen, Clu Galager and Don Calfa in their leading roles and even the stereotyped punk rockers come off as a likeable group of misfits.
78. Sh! The Octopus (1937)
Approved | 54 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller
Comedy-mystery finds Detectives Kelly and Dempsey trapped in a deserted lighthouse with a group of strangers who are being terrorized by a killer octopus AND a mysterious crime figure named... See full summary »
It seems every year in the October horror marathon a previously unseen film unexpectedly emerges as a favorite. Look no further than Sh! The Octopus, a late 30s mystery comedy starring Hugh Herbert and Allen Jenkins as an Abbott and Costello style pair of detectives investigating a murder in a remote lighthouse. A body hangs upside down far atop the lighthouse, dripping blood on the people below. One of them cuts it loose and it lands hard on a table...obviously a dummy but still disturbing. Only it really is a dummy and the blood only ketchup. The remote lighthouse gradually becomes full of people, most of whom are not what they appear. A sea captain with a hook, the screaming girl who faints, the painter who just bought the place, an old woman. Identities are revealed in the finale, featuring a seamless transformation scene that I had to go back and watch in slow motion. This effect is simply stunning for 1937! Apparently it was done live on the set using filters over the lens, the same effect used in the 1932 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Even before this scene I was enjoying the film far more than it deserved, but this just sealed it. A must see!
79. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.
Picking up where the original story left off, Frankenstein's monster survives the windmill attack and is loose again. He kills several villagers (he later explains: "love the dead, hate the living") and even manages to make a friend with a blind hermit who teaches him to speak, drink and smoke. Meanwhile, Dr. Frankenstein is recovering at home with his fiance when an old professor shows up and reveals that he has been carrying out similar experiments to create life. When Dr. Frankenstein refuses to help, the mad professor kidnaps his fiance and forces him. The two retire once again to the bell tower where they bring a new monster to life, this one a woman intended as a mate for the original monster. The plot occasionally takes a detour into the ridiculous, like the "little people" the professor keeps in jars, and the whole bride angle just doesn't work for me, but the psychological and emotional development of the monster does and it is that plot thread, combined with Karloff's performance, that keeps things interesting.
80. Beyond the Door (1974)
R | 99 min | Horror
Juliet Mills plays a young pregnant woman in San Francisco who is going to have the devil's baby during her strange possession. Richard Johnson shows up to help her... but what does he really want?
83. The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967)
M | 80 min | Horror, Mystery
In the Olden Tymes, Count Regula is drawn and quartered for killing twelve virgins in his dungeon torture chamber. Thirty-five years later, he comes back to seek revenge on the daughter of ... See full summary »
A loose adaptation of Poe's Pit and the Pendulum, ex-Tarzan Lex Barker travels to a remote castle in search of his identity. Instead he finds an undead servant and his master Christopher Lee recently revived from the dead himself. They need Barker's companion Karin Dor, or more precisely her blood, to complete their transformation to the living. Barker, Dor and friends navigate surreal forests with body parts embedded in trees and labyrinthine catacombs leading to medieval torture chambers in an effort to escape the diabolical Lee. It's not quite as good as it sounds, narrative and plot are secondary, but it's still quite an atmospheric romp in medieval Germany. The Legend House print is OK, but this needs a complete restoration to bring out the original set design.
84. The Seventh Victim (1943)
Approved | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.
85. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I) (1923)
Unrated | 133 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.
Votes: 3,899 | Gross: $1.02M
Gypsy girl Esmeralda is pursued by no less than four men throughout the movie. Her heart, but not her head, apparently belongs to dashing aristocrat Phoebus. However, her adopted father is also interested, and he's got the entire Paris population of the homeless and destitute on his side. Then there is Clopin, who stoops to faked kidnapping and attempted murder to make his case. Finally, there is Quasimodo, the hunchbacked monster to whom Esmeralda makes a friendly gesture and gains perhaps her most fervent admirer. Lon Chaney's performance as Quasimodo is of course legendary, but he tends to disappear for long stretches, replaced by boring romantic melodrama. The bravura finale in the highest reaches of the cathedral is well worth the wait, though.
86. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (I) (1920)
Unrated | 49 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.
After a slow beginning which establishes the relationships in the day-to-day life of Dr. Jekyll, he finally takes the elixir which releases Mr. Hyde. Trolling the foggy underbelly of London he lives a life of debauchery, mainly seeking out women. The anonymity of his new identity allows him to act out his fantasies with no conscience. However, when he eventually starts turning into Mr. Hyde unpredictably, and he runs out of the drug which can return him back to normal, things start to fall apart. John Barrymore's bravura performance and some incredible make-up effects for the time elevate this above the typical silent melodrama.
87. Black Sabbath (1963)
Not Rated | 92 min | Horror
Boris Karloff hosts a trio of horror stories concerning a stalked call girl, a patriarch who has become a vampire-like monster, and a nurse who is haunted by her ring's rightful owner.
88. Malpertuis (1971)
125 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A young sailor finds himself trapped in the labyrinthine mansion of his occultist uncle, along with a number of eccentric and mysterious relatives who all seem to be harboring a dark secret.
A difficult film that defies classification: part Lewis Carroll, part horror movie and part love story. Mathieu Carriere is Jan, who finds himself thrust into the world of Cassavius, a dying millionaire and owner of the mysterious Malpertuis. Much of the film has Jan wandering the long, gas-lit hallways of the mansion, trying to unlock its secrets. Along the way he is tempted by the love, and lust, of several women, or are they the same woman? And just who are the inhabitants of Malpertuis anyway? I tried to guess what was really going on, thinking maybe it was an allegory for hell with Orson Welles as the devil, but I was wrong and the "real" explanation is a bit surprising. Some amazing set design on display and it is beautifully filmed, reminding me of Terry Gilliam's Brazil. I watched the longer director's cut, and it does tend to lose its way at times, perhaps by design. It also has multiple levels of reality, at one point it appeared it was all going to be a dream, and there is a tacked on ending that takes place in a mental hospital implying it was all just the hallucinations of a lunatic. Perhaps the shorter version eliminates these unnecessary distractions.
90. La plus longue nuit du diable (1971)
R | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror
Six of seven tourists in a east European castle overnight are victims of a helper of the devil. Is Satan willing to spare their souls?
91. Love Me Deadly (1972)
R | 95 min | Horror
A young socialite struggling to control her necrophiliac urges is torn between her affection for a kind businessman and the mortician who supplies her with bodies.
Mary Wilcox has got some serious issues. She hides them well, from her boyfriends to her eventual husband, nobody knows she is a necrophiliac. It all started when she was a little girl. She had a crush on her father, and after he was killed she snuggles up with him in his coffin. As an adult, she lives in a dream world, dressing up like a little girl and visiting her father's grave. She is sexually attracted to corpses and scans the want ads for funerals of young men. She meets up with a secret society of necrophiliacs late at night in funeral homes. The film works because of a superb performance by Wilcox, who is absolutely believable as both the perky young housewife and psychotic necro. The rare film that overcomes its low budget and dated kitsch to become somewhat of a classic of the genre.
92. Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (1968)
GP | 78 min | Horror
A man suffers from the curse of lyncanthropy and seeks out the aid of a German doctor and his wife who are experts in the occult. Unknowingly, the cursed man has summoned two vampires ... See full summary »
93. The Return of Dracula (1958)
PG | 77 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
After a vampire leaves his native Balkans, he murders a Czech artist, assumes his identity, and moves in with the dead man's American cousins.
94. Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967)
Unrated | 81 min | Comedy, Horror
A caretaker devotes himself to three demented siblings after their father's death.
A campy mix of horror and humor, sort of a demented version of the Addams Family. Lon Chaney Jr. is perfect as the butler/caretaker of a family suffering from "Merrye Syndrome", a disease which causes them to mentally age backwards. So you get a cast of young adults acting like five year olds...which is just plain silly at first, but I did eventually adapt given the context. Jill Banner stands out as the girl who thinks she is a spider, and proves it by trapping and killing an unfortunate group of strangers who show up to claim an inheritance. There are heaving bosoms on display, a severed ear (hello David Lynch), cannibals living in the basement, spiders everywhere and numerous quotable one-liners.
R | 72 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
Hollywood Strangler ("Johnathan Click") kills young models... Skid Row Slasher kills winos ... What will happen when they meet?
A middle aged psycho with a camera scans the want ads for fashion models who charge by the hour. When the models start to take their clothes off he strangles them. This scenario is repeated over and over, like a peep show loop. He hangs out near the Flicker Theater and occasionally goes into the book store next door. The owner is a woman who also happens to be a psycho, only she kills old winos in the back alley with her razor blade. The two eventually meet and essentially cancel each other out. The film was shot without sound, all dialogue and effects were added later. We get a running commentary from the mind of the strangler which is eerily effective. We know he loved someone named Marsha, likes his pigeons because they are loyal and need him and strangles women to "cleanse the world" of their filth. Location shooting on the streets of Hollywood adds another depth of realism. The final theme song had me crying with laughter as the credits rolled.
96. Gallery of Horror (1967)
Not Rated | 83 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
John Carradine narrates five horror tales, each with a comically predictable surprise ending. In the first, "The Witches Clock" (sic), The Farrells have purchased an old mansion in Salem ... See full summary »
97. Blood Feast (1963)
Not Rated | 67 min | Horror
An Egyptian caterer kills various women in suburban Miami to use their body parts to bring to life a dormant Egyptian goddess, while an inept police detective tries to track him down.
Votes: 4,585 | Gross: $4.00M
98. The Car (1977)
PG | 96 min | Action, Horror, Mystery
A mysterious black, sleek automobile terrorizes everyone it comes into contact with in a small town in Utah. The local sheriff may be the only person who can stop this menace which has been possessed by pure evil.
99. Race with the Devil (1975)
PG | 88 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
Two couples vacationing together in an R.V. from Texas to Colorado are terrorized after they witness a murder during a Satanic ritual.
100. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
Approved | 69 min | Fantasy, Horror
A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.