Best Anthology Horror Films

by thulsadoom1981 | created - 09 Jul 2014 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

A list of my personal favorites in the Anthology/Portmanteau Horror genre.

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1. Black Sabbath (1963)

Not Rated | 92 min | Horror

Boris Karloff hosts a trio of horror stories concerning a stalked call girl, a patriarch who has become a vampire-like monster, and a nurse who is haunted by her ring's rightful owner.

Director: Mario Bava | Stars: Michèle Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Boris Karloff, Mark Damon

Votes: 8,275

The namesake of the founders of Heavy Metal and one of Bava's best.

2. Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)

Unrated | 98 min | Horror

Aboard a British train, mysterious fortune teller Dr. Schreck uses tarot cards to read the futures of five fellow passengers.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Max Adrian, Ann Bell

Votes: 3,940

Amicus classic Donald Sutherland, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee get weird on a train. Great stuff.

3. Torture Garden (1967)

Approved | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror

An anthology of four short horror stories about people who visit Dr. Diabolo's fairground haunted-house attraction show.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing

Votes: 1,900

Amicus classic. Definitely not the best of the Amicus anthologies, but there are some decent moments.

4. Spirits of the Dead (1968)

R | 121 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Anthology film from three European directors based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe: a cruel princess haunted by a ghostly horse, a sadistic young man haunted by his double, and a alcoholic actor haunted by the Devil.

Directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, Roger Vadim | Stars: Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Terence Stamp

Votes: 4,604

Fellini, Malle, Vadim, and Poe...pure brilliance. Weird seeing the Fonda siblings doing their best Lannister impressions, but the Fellini Toby Dammit at the end is the icing on the cake for this atmospheric late 60s collaboration.

5. The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

GP | 102 min | Horror

An anthology of four horror stories revolving around a mysterious rental house in the UK.

Director: Peter Duffell | Stars: John Bryans, John Bennett, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

Votes: 3,708

Amicus classic Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt, and Denholm Elliot make this one awesome. The wax museum is fairly weak, but the other tales carry it by being fantastic.

6. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

PG | 92 min | Horror

Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Roy Dotrice, Richard Greene

Votes: 7,501

Amicus crowning achievement A true genre definer; this one features Sir Ralph Richardson, Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, and Patrick Magee.

7. Asylum (I) (1972)

PG | 88 min | Horror

In order to secure a job at a mental institution, a young psychiatrist must interview four patients inside the asylum.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee

Votes: 4,547

Amicus classic A unique entry into the Amicus catalog with regards to its premise. It veers slightly away from the gathering of strangers stuck in nightmarish morality plays of Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror.

8. The Vault of Horror (1973)

R | 87 min | Horror

An anthology of five horror stories shared by five men trapped in the basement of an office building.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Curd Jürgens, Terry-Thomas, Tom Baker, Mike Pratt

Votes: 3,768

Amicus classic,worthy follow up to Tales from the Crypt. Awesome entry into the genre. This film boasts Terry Thomas, Curd Jurgens, Denholm Elliott, Tom "Doctor Who" Baker, and Glynis Johns in a series of vignettes with morals and twists galore. If you liked Tales from the Crypt, you have to watch this.

9. Tales That Witness Madness (1973)

R | 90 min | Horror

A psychiatrist tells stories of four special cases to a colleague.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Pleasence, Kim Novak, Georgia Brown

Votes: 1,020

Not Amicus, feels like it though. A fair amount of flesh considering the time. The tiger one is cool, the antique one doesn't really make sense, the luau one has the hot rich girl meets cannibal plot, and the Joan Collins one is odd, but good.

10. From Beyond the Grave (1974)

PG | 97 min | Fantasy, Horror

An anthology of four short horror stories revolving around a British antique shop and its mysterious owner.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Peter Cushing, Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael, Diana Dors

Votes: 2,872

Amicus classic Just as good as Crypt or Vault, this one has some great stories revolving around a strange junk shop run by Peter Cushing. The "Elemental" story disguises itself as the "funny" one, but it gets creepy quick.

11. Trilogy of Terror (1975 TV Movie)

Unrated | 72 min | Horror, Thriller

Three bizarre horror stories all of which star Karen Black in four different roles playing tormented women.

Director: Dan Curtis | Stars: Karen Black, Robert Burton, John Karlen, George Gaynes

Votes: 4,444

Karen Black wears glasses and wigs. An evil doll goes ape *beep* The end.

12. The Monster Club (1981)

Unrated | 104 min | Comedy, Horror

A writer of horror stories is invited to a "monster club" by a mysterious old gentleman. There, three gruesome stories are told to him; between each story some musicians play their songs.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Vincent Price, John Carradine, Donald Pleasence, Stuart Whitman

Votes: 2,223

actually not an Amicus film, though it shares the same producer of the other classics, Milton Subotsky as well as composer Douglas Gamley. Most of the musical performances are goofy, and seeing Price and Carradine looking so old, is a bit rough, but some good stories within. The Stuart Whitman one is the best, genuinely creepy.

13. Creepshow (1982)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

59 Metascore

An anthology which tells five terrifying tales based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau, E.G. Marshall

Votes: 34,506 | Gross: $19.73M

Stephen King and George Romero, a match made in...HELL! (don't mean that in bad way at all). If a horror movie can make you afraid of Sam Malone and Lt. Frank Drebin, then it must be good. Just about everything in this one is perfect; the cast, the scripts, art direction, and a great score.

14. Nightmares (1983)

R | 99 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Anthology of four horror tales with a supernatural twist based on urban legends.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Cristina Raines, Joe Lambie, Anthony James, Clare Torao

Votes: 2,363 | Gross: $6.67M

This movie will make you want to quit smoking and playing video games. Also, if you're not afraid of rats already, you will be.

15. The Company of Wolves (1984)

R | 95 min | Horror, Fantasy

A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine, and has a disturbing dream involving wolves prowling the woods below her bedroom window.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Graham Crowden

Votes: 12,709 | Gross: $4.39M

This one is pretty good; it has a jacked up scene involving an 18th century outdoor banquet, which will probably haunt you for the rest of your life after seeing it, as well as a werewolf transformation scene worthy of An American Werewolf in London.

16. Night Train to Terror (1985)

R | 98 min | Horror

God and Satan are on a train discussing the fate of three individuals. The stories of the people in question are told in a trio of very strange vignettes. One involves an insane asylums ... See full summary »

Directors: John Carr, Phillip Marshak, Tom McGowan, Jay Schlossberg-Cohen, Gregg G. Tallas | Stars: Barbara Wyler, Jamie Scoggin, Stacey Lyons, Linda Maderas

Votes: 1,598

Freak appeal; this poorly constructed and strange collection of bits from other unreleased horror films is goofy but worth a look.

17. Deadtime Stories (1986)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Horror

A babysitting uncle tells his charges three horror stories - about a killer witch, Little Red Riding Hood and a werewolf, and "Goldi Lox" and the three bears.

Director: Jeffrey Delman | Stars: Scott Valentine, Nicole Picard, Matt Mitler, Cathryn de Prume

Votes: 1,030 | Gross: $2.75M

This one is truly messed up; A crap uncle is supposed to be babysitting his nephew. The kid keeps interrupting the uncle's porn time and insisting there's a monster in the closet. What follows is a string of wackiness with bent fairy tales.

18. From a Whisper to a Scream (1987)

R | 99 min | Action, Drama, Horror

In a small Tennessee town, an historian relates four horror stories to a reporter.

Director: Jeff Burr | Stars: Vincent Price, Clu Gulager, Terry Kiser, Harry Caesar

Votes: 1,552 | Gross: $1.36M

Vincent Price, using a Southern accent, tries to creep out a reporter with tales about his twisted home town. Not sure why the title "The Offspring" got thrown in there. "From a Whisper to a Scream" sounds cooler. The film is bloodier than expected. Give it a shot.

19. Creepshow 2 (1987)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

39 Metascore

Three more bone-chilling tales that include a vengeful wooden Native American, a monstrous blob in a lake, and a hitchhiker who wants revenge and will not die.

Director: Michael Gornick | Stars: George Kennedy, Lois Chiles, Domenick John, Tom Savini

Votes: 18,116 | Gross: $14.00M

Inferior sequel, but good film all-in-all.

20. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

54 Metascore

A young boy tells three stories of horror to distract a witch who plans to eat him.

Director: John Harrison | Stars: Debbie Harry, Matthew Lawrence, Christian Slater, David Forrester

Votes: 12,528 | Gross: $16.32M

Steve Buscemi terrorizing Julianne Moore and Christian Slater, Debbie Harry trying to eat a kid...what's not to like? Much like the classic TV series tales, though with a much bigger budget.

21. The Willies (1990)

PG-13 | 92 min | Horror, Comedy

Two brothers camping with their cousin try to frighten each other by telling stories. There are two main narrations: one involves strange happenings at an elementary school; the other, a ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Peck | Stars: Sean Astin, Jason Horst, Joshua Miller, James Karen

Votes: 1,193

Not the greatest but it boasts a surprising cast list; Kathleen Freeman, Sean Astin, Twin Peaks alums Dana Ashbrook and Kimmy Robertson, plus Growing Pains stars Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Chelsea Noble, and Jeremy Miller. This one is a bit different as it begins with super short urban legends then digs in with the longer vignettes.

22. Body Bags (1993 TV Movie)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

Three short stories in the horror genre. The first about a serial killer. The second about a hair transplant gone wrong. The third about a baseball player.

Directors: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Larry Sulkis | Stars: John Carpenter, Tom Arnold, Tobe Hooper, Robert Carradine

Votes: 6,110

John Carpenter + Tobe Hooper= Awesome Super underrated. This is actually a great entry into the genre with masters at the helm. It boasts an eclectic cast which includes, Stacy Keach, Debbie Harry, Mark Hamill, David Naughton, Twiggy, David Warner, Tom Arnold, and Sheena Easton. Look for several director cameos; Wes Craven, Roger Corman, Sam Raimi, Tobe Hooper, and John Carpenter.

23. V/H/S (2012)

R | 116 min | Horror, Thriller

55 Metascore

When a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, Adam Wingard | Stars: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Hannah Fierman

Votes: 50,129 | Gross: $0.10M

Though I'm not necessarily a fan of found-footage movies or this film to be honest, there are some great moments in this one. Clever camera work and some interesting twists make it worth a look.