Masterpieces of Horror Cinema

This list contains all the horror films that I for one believe are the greatest of their genre. More may be listed at a later time.

(in order of release)
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1.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders. (76 mins.)
Director: Robert Wiene
“ The life of a young man, Francis, is turned upside down when a mysterious showman begins to exhibit his prophetic sleepwalker at the local fair and a series of murders commence. ” - ultron77
 
2.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself. (49 mins.)
“ Robert Louis Stevenson's literary classic comes alive in this masterpiece of an adaptation. Dr. Jekyll invents a formula and upon testing it on himself finds that he can give his dark side full control over his own body. This entity names itself as Mr. Hyde., and when given control he leads a life of debauchery and greed that will ultimately cost both his and Jekyll's existence. ” - ultron77
 
3.
Nosferatu (1922)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
“ Is this Dracula? I think not! Say 'Greetings' to Count Orlock, the first notorious vampire of motion pictures. This bloodsucking demon sets himself very far from his Bram Stoker counterpart in many ways. Although the story itself seems similar at the beginning, Orlock (not a handsome devil to say the least) instead of searching the world for beautiful brides intends to poison the world by causing a new spread of the Black Plague. ” - ultron77
 
4.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer. (93 mins.)
Director: Rupert Julian
“ Lon Chaney in his greatest performance! In the first adaptation of Gaston Leroux's novel of the same name, a disfigured madman named Erik falls in love with the understudy of the Paris Opera's prima donna, and he intends to have her no matter the cost!!! ” - ultron77
 
5.
Dracula (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina. (85 mins.)
Director: Tod Browning
“ "I am Dracula." "Listen to them, the children of the night." No man has ever played Bram Stoker's fearsome vampire character than that of the man in this film: Bela Lugosi.

In this version, the evil Count travels from his homeland of Transylvannia to London to prey upon the innocent women there. He takes a special interest in one: Mina Seward. Little does he know however that a friend of Mina's father has taken a special interest in him. Doctor Abraham Van Helsing! ” - ultron77
 
6.
Frankenstein (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses. (70 mins.)
Director: James Whale
“ There have been Frankenstein films before this one and many more after it, but this is the one that will remain the most immortal. Featuring the unforgettable Boris Karloff in his starmaking role, this version of Mary Shelley's ghastly tale follows Doctor Henry Frankenstein on his mad quest to create life. He succeeds, but once he has done so, it is too late for him to realise that he has created a monster that would unleash havoc around those that he loves. ” - ultron77
 
7.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Dr. Jekyll faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that transforms him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde. (98 mins.)
“ No Jekyll/Hyde makeup has ever been as memorable in film or television history than the one they sculpted onto the face of Frederic March. In this version of Robert Louis Stevenson's story, Dr. Jekyll is respected by both the rich and poor people of society for his generosity and good nature. However, when is made fun of one night for being too pure, he engages in an experiment to unlock the darkness in his heart and release it to its full potential. The result is a hideous and lecherous being that would come to call itself Edward Hyde, a man who would know only greed and lust.

Soon however the Hyde figure vies for complete control as he begins to appear at will, instead of Jekyll needing to consume his formula to attain the transformation. And it becomes apparent that this inner battle of wills may end up costing them both their lives. ” - ultron77
 
8.
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments. (61 mins.)
Director: Robert Florey
“ Set during the time where the theory of evolution was in complete doubt, Murders in the Rue Morgue features Bela Lugosi as Doctor Mirakle, a man who aims to prove that humanity has a kinship to apes by carrying out unethical and fatal experiments on young women determined to mix their blood with that of his pet gorilla Erik. ” - ultron77
 
9.
The Mummy (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A living mummy stalks the beautiful woman he believes is the reincarnation of his lover. (73 mins.)
Director: Karl Freund
“ The first of its kind! Before this film, the world had already been filled with tales and stories of vampires, man-made monsters and other supernatural beasts of the night. But this was the first time that the idea of an undead mummy entered the realm of popular culture.

Featuring Boris Karloff as the title character, the Mummy known as Imhotep is awoken from the dead thanks to an expedition from the British Museum in 1922. Ten years later he returns, in search of his lost love the Princess Ankhsenamon only to find that her spirit had left its original body behind and reincarnated into the form of a young woman named Helen. With this in mind, he determines to sacrifice Helen and restore Ankhsenamon as an undead mummy like himself. ” - ultron77
 
10.
The Invisible Man (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane. (71 mins.)
Director: James Whale
“ When an impetuous scientist named Griffin creates a potion that one can use to turn himself invisible and tests it on himself, the experiment at first seems to be a success, but as events take their turn, the formula turns him insane and he terrorises the countryside in his madness. This brings the entire populace down upon him, and they are determined to hunt him to the death! ” - ultron77
 
11.
The Black Cat (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident. (65 mins.)
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
“ A newlywed couple travelling to their honeymoon destination are caught up in what seems to be a personal vendetta between Vitus Werdegast (Bela Lugosi) and Hjalmar Poelzig (Boris Karloff), but what they do not know is that Poelzig is a Satanist and has made the decision to sacrifice the young bride in a pagan ritual. ” - ultron77
 
12.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate. (75 mins.)
Director: James Whale
“ HE'S ALIVE!!! Boris Karloff returns as Frankenstein's monster in this fantastic sequel to the 1931 masterpiece. This time however instead of seeking revenge on his creator he searches for companionship. A mad doctor even more immoral than what Henry Frankenstein had originally been, Pretorius, seems to offer him that by creating a bride for him, but will the Bride even want him? ” - ultron77
 
13.
The Raven (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her. (61 mins.)
“ Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff team up once again in this madness of horror loosely based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Lugosi's character, Dr. Vollin, helps to save the life of a young girl and afterwards becomes infatuated with her. But when he realises that he cannot have her, he turns murderous and enlists a known criminal to help him take his revenge in a slow and torturing manner. ” - ultron77
 
14.
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge. (99 mins.)
Director: Rowland V. Lee
“ HE'S ALIVE...again! Boris Karloff makes his third and final journey in this film as the Frankenstein monster. It has been many years since the events of the previous entry, Bride. Henry Frankenstein is dead. He now has two grown up sons, one of which has returned to his home village with his wife and child. He is greeted sourly by the townspeople who fear the monster and hate the name of Frankenstein.

Frankenstein's son Wolf believes the monster to have been killed years ago, but as an evil hunchbacked blacksmith named Ygor reveals, the Monster is still alive. Wolf is determined to repeat his father's experiment finally become successful and restores the Monster to full life, but the machinations of Ygor interfere and Wolf is forced to choose between the legacy of his father or the future of the family of Frankenstein... ” - ultron77
 
15.
The Wolf Man (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
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. (70 mins.)
Director: George Waggner
“ Larry Talbot, played by Lon Chaney Jr, returns to his ancestral home upon the news that his brother has recently died. As it has been years since he has been home, he tries to fit in with the townspeople. One night, he sees a wolf attacking a young woman and he battles the beast, killing it with his cane. But the wolf has bitten him.

And that one bite sentences poor Larry to his doom, bringing him a life of pure unending terror and fear. The wolf that he killed, that had wounded him, was a werewolf. And n ow, he was becoming one as well!!! ” - ultron77
 
16.
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study. (79 mins.)
Director: Jack Arnold
 
17.
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Victor Frankenstein builds a creature and brings it to life, but it behaves not as he intended. (82 mins.)
Director: Terence Fisher
“ The horror films of America were at their lowest point in the mid 1950s, but over in England, at a small studio called Hammer, it was being revolutionised in this film.

The Curse of Frankenstein, the first in a series of horror classics done by Hammer Studios, featuring the legendary Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and the equally prominent Sir Christopher Lee as the Monster. Frankenstein aims to create life in this adaptation of Mary Shelley's chilling literary masterpiece, and is obsessed with seeing it succeed even when all the odds of the Monster turning against him are obvious.

Eventually, Victor becomes as evil as his creation, determining that no one, not even the people he is close to, will stop him or his ghastly creation. ” - ultron77
 
18.
Horror of Dracula (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses. (82 mins.)
Director: Terence Fisher
“ The thunderous flavour of Hammer Horror continued as Sir Christopher Lee donned the red and black cape and the fangs to give moviegoers a new taste of Bram Stoker's perennial vampire character. In this version, Jonathan Harker comes to the vampire's castle, not for a real estate deal, but to slay Dracula. He fails and is turned into a vampire himself. And so, it is solely up to Doctor Van Helsing to face the demon and destroy him before the whole world can become enslaved to Dracula's menace. ” - ultron77
 
19.
The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
We watch Baron Frankenstein escaping from the guillotine and going to Germany. There, he names himself Dr... (90 mins.)
Director: Terence Fisher
 
20.
The Blob (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. (86 mins.)
 
21.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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. (109 mins.)
 
22.
The Birds (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (119 mins.)
“ The little community of Bodega Bay is a quiet and peaceful place, so tranquil that they easily welcome a young stranger such as Melanie Daniels, played by Tippi Hedren, when she is on her way to visit (well, play a prank really) on local lawyer Mitch Brenner.

But suddenly when flocks of birds begin to attack the town and the people have no idea why, they began to associate this unnatural phenomenon with Melanie's arrival. Whatever the cause however no one is safe as the townspeople, the Brenner family, and Melanie must make a choice: one of two risks. Stay sheltered in their houses and fend off the birds, or flee the town and hope that the birds don't follow. ” - ultron77
 
23.
The Day of the Triffids (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
After an unusual meteor shower leaves most of the human population blind, a merchant navy officer must find a way to conquer tall, aggressive plants which are feeding on people and animals. (93 mins.)
Director: Steve Sekely
 
24.
The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Penniless, Baron Frankenstein, accompanied by his eager assistant Hans, arrives at his family castle near the town of Karlstaad... (84 mins.)
Director: Freddie Francis
 
25.
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A dead and frozen Baron Frankenstein is re-animated by his colleague Dr. Hertz proving to him that the... (86 mins.)
Director: Terence Fisher
 
26.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Baron Frankenstein is once again working with illegal medical experiments. Together with a young doctor... (98 mins.)
Director: Terence Fisher
 
27.
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Baron Frankenstein works with a mental patient to reanimate the dead. (99 mins.)
Director: Terence Fisher
 
28.
Jaws (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a local sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down. (124 mins.)
“ DAHDUM! DAHDUM! That was the first thing audiences heard in 1975 when they went to see this film, and felt the chill of impending danger. As they watched the screen, a story unfolded of a great white shark attacking the beachgoers on a small island community, and of the local police chief teaming up with a shark hunter and marine expert to hunt the beast down.

Steven Spielberg's chilling masterpiece, Jaws! See it before you go swimming... ” - ultron77
 
29.
Halloween (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (91 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
30.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep. (91 mins.)
Director: Wes Craven
 
31.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Searching for a cure to Alzheimer's disease, a group of scientists on an isolated research facility become the bait, as a trio of intelligent sharks fight back. (105 mins.)
Director: Renny Harlin
 
32.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him. (161 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
 
33.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry. (142 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
34.
The Reef (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A great white shark hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef. (94 mins.)
Director: Andrew Traucki
 
35.
Insidious (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further. (103 mins.)
Director: James Wan
 
36.
Bait (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building - along with 12-foot Great White Sharks. (93 mins.)
Director: Kimble Rendall
 
37.
The Woman in Black (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals. (95 mins.)
Director: James Watkins
 
38.
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The Lamberts believe that they have defeated the spirits that have haunted their family, but they soon discover that evil is not beaten so easily. (106 mins.)
Director: James Wan
 
39.
The Conjuring (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. (112 mins.)
Director: James Wan
 
40.
Annabelle (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A couple begins to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists. (99 mins.)
 
41.
The Gallows (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy - but soon discover that some things are better left alone. (81 mins.)
 
42.
The Shallows (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills. (86 mins.)