Greatest horror films

by steinlo | created - 30 Jun 2013 | updated - 19 Nov 2013 | Public

Not just scary but good cinema.

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1. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
63 Metascore

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.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 697,550 | Gross: $44.02M

Takes a while to appreciate.

2. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

8.5
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83 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 648,377 | Gross: $78.90M

3. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
57 Metascore

A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 296,253 | Gross: $13.78M

A puzzle.

4. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

57 years later, Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team during her hypersleep. The moon from the original movie has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 551,331 | Gross: $85.16M

5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,014,379 | Gross: $130.74M

not really a horror

6. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

8.5
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97 Metascore

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 480,432 | Gross: $32.00M

7. Predator (1987)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.8
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42 Metascore

A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall, Elpidia Carrillo

Votes: 318,249 | Gross: $59.74M

8. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 74,993 | Gross: $30.57M

9. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

8.0
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82 Metascore

When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 309,307 | Gross: $232.91M

10. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
69 Metascore

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 125,767 | Gross: $5.92M

11. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

7.4
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79 Metascore

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson, Beatrice Straight

Votes: 118,720 | Gross: $76.61M

12. The Fly (1986)

R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.5
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79 Metascore

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel

Votes: 132,816 | Gross: $40.46M

13. American Psycho (2000)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama

7.6
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64 Metascore

A wealthy New York investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron | Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage

Votes: 398,179 | Gross: $15.07M

Not really a horror, great film nonetheless.

14. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

R | 137 min | Drama, Horror

8.0
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96 Metascore

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.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 155,949

15. The Others (2001)

PG-13 | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

7.6
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74 Metascore

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan, Alakina Mann

Votes: 295,460 | Gross: $96.52M

16. The Orphanage (2007)

R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.5
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74 Metascore

A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Príncep, Mabel Rivera

Votes: 130,127 | Gross: $7.16M

17. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

7.5
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62 Metascore

Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven

Votes: 83,392 | Gross: $26.12M

18. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

7.8
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78 Metascore

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.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 177,705 | Gross: $47.00M

19. Cube (1997)

R | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
61 Metascore

Six complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless maze containing deadly traps.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller

Votes: 178,235 | Gross: $0.50M

leaves a bad feeling long after

20. The Mist (2007)

R | 126 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.2
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58 Metascore

A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher

Votes: 244,015 | Gross: $25.59M

21. The Ring (2002)

PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
57 Metascore

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox, David Dorfman

Votes: 280,155 | Gross: $129.13M

22. Sinister (I) (2012)

R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
53 Metascore

Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson

Votes: 181,613 | Gross: $48.09M

Great theme, poor third act. If you want to be scared, the first half still is a very pleasing film.