Horror Done Right

Horror is one of my guilty pleasures. These are the ones that I do not feel guilty watching, as they have much more to offer. Whether it's story, theme, or special effects, these are the cream of the crop.
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1.
The Shining (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (146 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
2.
The Thing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
It's the first week of winter in 1982. An American Research Base is greeted by an alien force, that can assimilate anything it touches. It's up to the members to stay alive, and be sure of who is human, and who has become one of the Things. (109 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
3.
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
 
4.
The Haunting (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind. (112 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
5.
The Mist (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A freak storm unleashes a species of blood-thirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives. (126 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
 
6.
The Kingdom (1994 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The Kingdom is the most technologically advanced hospital in Denmark, a gleaming bastion of medical science... (286 mins.)
“ Along with part two of this mini-series. Lars von Trier's series is deserves to be on this list, though more a dark comedy than a true horror series. ” - brian-j-oestreich
 
7.
The Exorcist (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. (122 mins.)
 
8.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform. Continuing their journey back to Earth with the attacked crew having recovered and the critter deceased, they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
9.
The Fly (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. (96 mins.)
 
10.
Suspiria (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the school is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of grisly murders. (98 mins.)
Director: Dario Argento
 
11.
The Innocents (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted. (100 mins.)
Director: Jack Clayton
 
12.
The Changeling (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre. (107 mins.)
Director: Peter Medak
 
13.
Videodrome (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station. (87 mins.)
 
14.
The Omen (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son? (111 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
15.
The Woman in Black (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals. (95 mins.)
Director: James Watkins
“ While there may be earlier versions of this, I haven't seen them. This was surprisingly well done, however, more so than I thought it would be. ” - brian-j-oestreich
 
16.
Repulsion (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence. (105 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
17.
Don't Look Now (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
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. (110 mins.)
Director: Nicolas Roeg
 
18.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Phoenix secretary steals $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.)
 
19.
The Vanishing (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Rex and Saskia, a young couple in love, are on vacation. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia is abducted. After three years and no sign of Saskia, Rex begins receiving letters from the abductor. (107 mins.)
Director: George Sluizer
 
20.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists. (97 mins.)
Director: John Landis
 
21.
Halloween (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
On Halloween night of 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill. (91 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
22.
Jaws (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. (124 mins.)
 
23.
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
 
24.
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
 
25.
The Bad Seed (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect eight year-old daughter is a heartless killer. (129 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
26.
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
 
27.
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
 
28.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined. (112 mins.)
Director: Lynne Ramsay
 
29.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young couple move into 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. (136 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
30.
Carrie (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Carrie White, a shy, friendless 17 year-old girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. (98 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
31.
Poltergeist (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts. (114 mins.)
Director: Tobe Hooper
 
32.
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.)
 
33.
Misery (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse. (107 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
34.
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death. (113 mins.)
Director: Adrian Lyne
 
35.
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's hard to think of this film without remembering all the other films that came after that overdid it. But, as a stand-alone film, I remembering thinking Saw was quite creepy and enjoyable. ” - brian-j-oestreich
 
36.
Hellraiser (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; demons are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld. (94 mins.)
Director: Clive Barker
“ While the story didn't hold me that well, the visual look of Hellraiser was fantastic. ” - brian-j-oestreich
 
37.
Wait Until Dark (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin-stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment. (108 mins.)
Director: Terence Young
 
38.
Black Christmas (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger. (98 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
 
39.
Stoker (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him. (99 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
 
40.
The House of the Devil (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
During a night of 1983 with full lunar eclipse, Samantha Hughes takes a babysitting job surrounded by mysterious circumstances before she finds out her client's terrifying secret. (95 mins.)
Director: Ti West
“ I love films that homage genres. House of the Devil wins my respect for being a straight-faced tribute to the genre...with look and feel of a relic from the time it takes place, but without making it about being stylized (like Planet Terror and Death Proof did in Grindhouse...which I also love, but for other reasons). ” - brian-j-oestreich