Flavorwire’s 50 Essential Horror Filmsby freak3086 | created - 23 Apr 2014 | updated - 23 Apr 2014 | Public
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1. Halloween (1978)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
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.
Votes: 183,119 | Gross: $47.00M
2. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
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.
Votes: 502,547 | Gross: $32.00M
3. Jaws (1975)
PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
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.
Votes: 484,387 | Gross: $260.00M
6. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror
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.
Votes: 99,711 | Gross: $0.09M
8. The Shining (1980)
R | 146 min | Drama, Horror
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.
Votes: 728,576 | Gross: $44.02M
9. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
R | 137 min | Drama, Horror
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.
10. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.
11. Alien (1979)
R | 116 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 674,550 | Gross: $78.90M
12. Suspiria (1977)
R | 92 min | Horror
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.
13. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller
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.
Votes: 99,518 | Gross: $5.10M
15. Friday the 13th (1980)
R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.
Votes: 98,454 | Gross: $39.75M
16. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Not Rated | 83 min | Horror
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.
Votes: 113,486 | Gross: $30.86M
17. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
R | 91 min | Horror
The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.
Votes: 173,923 | Gross: $25.50M
18. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
PG | 115 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.
Votes: 43,422 | Gross: $24.95M
20. Freaks (1932)
Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror
A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.
21. The Haunting (1963)
G | 112 min | Horror
A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.
Votes: 29,575 | Gross: $2.62M
22. Les yeux sans visage (1960)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Horror
A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and goes to extremes to give her a new face.
Votes: 20,630 | Gross: $0.05M
23. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
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.
Votes: 1,057,272 | Gross: $130.74M
25. The Birds (1963)
PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
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.
Votes: 147,452 | Gross: $11.40M
26. Diabolique (1955)
Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal hatch a plan to murder him while having the perfect alibi. They carry out the plan...but then his body disappears.
27. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Approved | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Victor Frankenstein builds a creature and brings it to life, but it behaves not as he intended.
Votes: 7,578 | Gross: $7.00M
28. Cat People (1942)
Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.
Votes: 15,997 | Gross: $4.00M
29. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery
Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.
Votes: 208,823 | Gross: $140.54M
30. Scream (1996)
R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery
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.
Votes: 248,787 | Gross: $103.05M
31. Hostel (2005)
R | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.
Votes: 153,325 | Gross: $47.33M
32. The Thing (1982)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 310,914 | Gross: $13.78M
33. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
Votes: 77,245 | Gross: $30.57M
34. The Fly (1986)
R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.
Votes: 137,038 | Gross: $40.46M
35. Hellraiser (1987)
R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller
An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.
Votes: 87,457 | Gross: $14.56M
37. Audition (1999)
R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.
38. The Wolf Man (1941)
Not Rated | 70 min | Horror
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.
40. Evil Dead II (1987)
R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror
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.
Votes: 129,113 | Gross: $5.92M
41. Carrie (1976)
R | 98 min | Horror
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.
Votes: 143,559 | Gross: $33.80M
42. Zombie (1979)
R | 91 min | Horror
Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.
44. The Wicker Man (1973)
R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
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.
Votes: 55,450 | Gross: $0.06M
46. Phantasm (1979)
R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.
Votes: 26,750 | Gross: $11.99M
47. The Orphanage (2007)
R | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
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.
Votes: 132,808 | Gross: $7.16M
50. The Amityville Horror (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror