Top Horror Movies of All-Time

by davidcoverman | created - 07 Sep 2013 | updated - 21 Jan 2014 | Public

I was going to call this "scariest" movies of all-time, but I think I try and keep "thrillers" separate. This will be either supernatural or pure evil killer type movies.

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1. 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: 307,952 | Gross: $232.91M

2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
87 Metascore

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.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman

Votes: 96,869 | Gross: $0.09M

3. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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: 176,723 | Gross: $47.00M

4. 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: 691,833 | Gross: $44.02M

5. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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: 643,011 | Gross: $78.90M

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: 476,525 | Gross: $32.00M

7. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.0
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87 Metascore

A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 461,454 | Gross: $260.00M

8. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror

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

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens, David Warner

Votes: 89,707 | Gross: $4.27M

9. The Birds (1963)

PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

7.7
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87 Metascore

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette

Votes: 142,526 | Gross: $11.40M

10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.6
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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: 1,005,525 | Gross: $130.74M

11. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

7.4
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85 Metascore

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.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta

Votes: 138,960 | Gross: $33.80M

12. The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

7.9
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A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave

Votes: 21,561

13. Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.9
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An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 53,781 | Gross: $12.00M

14. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

7.5
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78 Metascore

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.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 167,972 | Gross: $25.50M

15. Repulsion (1965)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

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

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 39,550

16. Village of the Damned (1960)

Not Rated | 77 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

7.3
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In the English village of Midwich, the blonde-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

Director: Wolf Rilla | Stars: George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 12,035

17. 28 Days Later... (2002)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

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

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Alex Palmer

Votes: 323,537 | Gross: $45.06M

18. 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: 278,832 | Gross: $129.13M

19. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 775,913 | Gross: $293.51M

20. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

8.0
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71 Metascore

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.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross

Votes: 97,200 | Gross: $5.10M

21. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
70 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 156,260 | Gross: $2.40M

22. The Thing (1982)

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

8.2
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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: 293,428 | Gross: $13.78M

23. The Wicker Man (1973)

R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

7.6
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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.

Director: Robin Hardy | Stars: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland

Votes: 53,373 | Gross: $0.06M

24. 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: 118,089 | Gross: $76.61M

25. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.0
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A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned on by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 27,840 | Gross: $3.37M

26. Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

R | 92 min | Horror

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
48 Metascore

A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides.

Director: Takashi Shimizu | Stars: Megumi Okina, Misaki Itô, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa

Votes: 34,701 | Gross: $0.33M

27. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

R | 137 min | Drama, Horror

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
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: 155,145

28. Saw (2004)

R | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
46 Metascore

Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung

Votes: 328,683 | Gross: $56.00M

29. The Descent (2005)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
71 Metascore

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder

Votes: 170,408 | Gross: $26.02M

30. The Wolf Man (1941)

Approved | 70 min | Horror

7.4
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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.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy

Votes: 18,805

31. The Brood (1979)

R | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

6.9
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A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, amidst a series of brutal murders.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Henry Beckman

Votes: 20,378

32. The Hunger (1983)

R | 97 min | Horror

6.7
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A love triangle develops between a beautiful yet dangerous vampire, her cellist companion, and a gerontologist.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Cliff De Young

Votes: 19,244 | Gross: $5.98M

33. Insidious (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye

Votes: 229,697 | Gross: $54.01M

34. Cujo (1983)

R | 93 min | Horror, Thriller

6.0
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57 Metascore

Cujo, a friendly St. Bernard, contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, Christopher Stone

Votes: 30,868 | Gross: $21.20M

35. Don't Look Now (1973)

R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

7.3
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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.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania

Votes: 38,350

36. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
68 Metascore

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Director: Oren Peli | Stars: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong

Votes: 197,532 | Gross: $107.92M