The Top 250 Horror Films of All Time (2013 edition)

by Marginal_Crogeny | created - 08 Oct 2013 | updated - 31 Mar 2016 | Public

The best horror films of all time, in order. This is the October of 2013 edition of this annual list. For the current list, check here: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls079342764/

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1. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

81 Metascore

When a 12-year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.

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

Votes: 354,861 | Gross: $232.91M

2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

TV-14 | 91 min | Horror

76 Metascore

The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

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

Votes: 200,809 | Gross: $25.50M

3. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

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

Votes: 770,802 | Gross: $78.90M

4. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

87 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, Illinois to kill again.

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

Votes: 223,000 | Gross: $47.00M

5. Black Christmas (1974)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon

Votes: 31,603 | Gross: $4.05M

6. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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: 588,678 | Gross: $32.00M

7. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

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

Votes: 872,135 | Gross: $44.02M

8. The Thing (1982)

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

57 Metascore

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

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

Votes: 361,183 | Gross: $13.78M

9. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

22 Metascore

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which was the site of a child's drowning and a grisly double murder years before.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan

Votes: 115,849 | Gross: $39.75M

10. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

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

Votes: 536,608 | Gross: $260.00M

11. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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: 1,237,670 | Gross: $130.74M

12. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

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: 109,404 | Gross: $5.10M

13. Suspiria (1977)

R | 92 min | Horror

79 Metascore

An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé

Votes: 77,415

14. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

Director: Clive Barker | Stars: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman

Votes: 100,864 | Gross: $14.56M

15. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,406,067 | Gross: $100.13M

16. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 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: 182,752 | Gross: $2.40M

17. Scream (1996)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich

Votes: 279,524 | Gross: $103.05M

18. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

PG | 115 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

When strange seeds drift to earth from space, mysterious pods begin to grow and invade San Francisco, California, where they replicate the residents into emotionless automatons one body at a time.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 51,167 | Gross: $24.95M

19. Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

R | 92 min | Horror

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: 40,391 | Gross: $0.33M

20. Candyman (1992)

R | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

61 Metascore

The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth.

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Tony Todd, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 68,384 | Gross: $25.79M

21. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Thriller

89 Metascore

A ragtag group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a bloodthirsty, flesh-eating breed of monsters who are ravaging the East Coast of the United States.

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

Votes: 113,519 | Gross: $0.09M

22. Saw (2004)

R | 103 min | Horror, Mystery

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: 372,651 | Gross: $56.00M

23. Dead Alive (1992)

R | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

54 Metascore

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin

Votes: 90,181 | Gross: $0.24M

24. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

R | 123 min | Drama, Horror

59 Metascore

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst

Votes: 289,994 | Gross: $105.26M

25. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

79 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 139,584 | Gross: $76.61M

26. The Ring (2002)

PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.

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

Votes: 315,595 | Gross: $129.13M

27. Videodrome (1983)

R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky

Votes: 81,516 | Gross: $2.12M

28. The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

88 Metascore

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: 25,968 | Gross: $2.62M

29. Predator (1987)

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

45 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: 365,334 | Gross: $59.74M

30. Aliens (1986)

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

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited 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: 640,865 | Gross: $85.16M

31. Zombie (1979)

R | 91 min | Horror

54 Metascore

Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately seeks the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver

Votes: 25,008

32. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

78 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 132,772 | Gross: $30.86M

33. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

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: 164,418 | Gross: $33.80M

34. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

95 Metascore

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 42,311 | Gross: $4.36M

35. High Tension (2003)

R | 91 min | Horror

42 Metascore

Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.

Director: Alexandre Aja | Stars: Cécile de France, Maïwenn, Philippe Nahon, Franck Khalfoun

Votes: 66,524 | Gross: $3.68M

36. Frailty (2001)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A mysterious man arrives at the offices of an FBI agent and recounts his childhood: how his religious fanatic father received visions telling him to destroy people who were in fact "demons."

Director: Bill Paxton | Stars: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe, Matt O'Leary

Votes: 75,631 | Gross: $13.10M

37. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

R | 114 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Kap-su Kim, Jung-ah Yum, Soo-jung Lim, Geun-young Moon

Votes: 55,039

38. It (1990)

TV-PG | 192 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown.

Stars: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson

Votes: 112,401

39. Tenebrae (1982)

R | 101 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi

Votes: 19,948

40. Misery (1990)

R | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

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.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen

Votes: 179,748 | Gross: $61.28M

41. The Fly (1986)

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

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: 155,931 | Gross: $40.46M

42. Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | 104 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

After an odd new medical student arrives on campus, a dedicated local and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale

Votes: 54,880 | Gross: $2.02M

43. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror

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: 105,030 | Gross: $4.27M

44. Fallen (1998)

R | 124 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Homicide detective John Hobbes witnesses the execution of serial killer Edgar Reese. Soon after the execution the killings start again, and they are very similar to Reese's style.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, Embeth Davidtz

Votes: 73,531 | Gross: $25.19M

45. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

R | 137 min | Drama, Horror

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