10 Best Horror Movies Of All Time
Horror filmmakers must master speed, intensity, and finding their niche, which is harder than humor
Horror is undoubtedly the most difficult genre to nail correctly if one is trying for scares. Horror filmmakers must not only master the art of pace and developing tension, but they frequently need to identify something that sets them unique, which is much more difficult than trying to get laughs in comedy movies. There are many possible explanations for this, like recognizing their target demographic in relation to the numerous horror subgenres and truly focusing on one.
Horror movie buffs are incredibly knowledgeable and frequently unduly critical of genre tropes, whether they’re seeing slasher, supernatural, psychological, or body horror movies. In addition to this, special effects technology, morality politics, and society are all evolving rapidly. So, in order to remain relevant and appeal to its audience, horror constantly reinvents itself. This reinvention found expression in the best of horror movies from which we have picked out what we believe is the top ten best horror films of all time. We will begin our list in a descending order.
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1. The Exorcist
For those who weren’t alive in 1973, it can be challenging to properly comprehend what transpired when The Exorcist premiered in theaters across the country. Some were practically passing out in several multiplexes, prompting the call for paramedics. Some viewers reportedly puked into their popcorn when young Regan projectile-vomitted at the priests.
Everyone was captivated by what they were watching because no one had ever seen anything so bizarre. Even as several organizations called for a boycott, it persisted for many months. Since then, a plethora of films about demonic possession have been produced, and The Exorcist is largely responsible for all of them.
2. The Shining
Throughout the past three decades, the 1980 picture The Shining by Stanley Kubrick has received an impressive public reevaluation. Following the failure of his last film, 1975’s painfully dreary Barry Lyndon, this was initially viewed as Kubrick’s first sell-out film—a popcorn flick guaranteed to make a ton of money. The relentless tension was adored by critics, and Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the murderous Jack Torrence received high praise.
People started returning again and time again to see it. Even sane people began to view the film as a twisted masterpiece as a result of the irrational beliefs they developed about its true meaning (which were documented in the amazing documentary Room 237).
Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most well-known filmmakers in the world by 1960, but Paramount still objected to him making Psycho. They objected to his request for a higher budget since they didn’t like the notion of making a movie about a murderous hotel clerk. Hitchcock refused to be dissuaded and swore to use the cast and crew from his TV program to shoot the film on a budget.
Few could have anticipated that they were producing a work of cultural significance that would somehow surpass practically everything Hitchcock had produced over the previous four decades. Three sequels, a remake, and a lot of money were generated with the movie.
Nowadays, films about elusive, masked psychopaths hunting down naive kids are abundant, but in 1978, this idea was relatively unusual. John Carpenter then let out Halloween on the world. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Laurie Strode in the movie, a young woman who has a horrific Halloween after her brother escapes from an asylum. Without this film, there most likely wouldn’t have been a Friday the 13th or a Nightmare on Elm Street.
5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
You can very much guess what this one is about just from the title. It goes down in Texas. A chainsaw is present. There is also a massacre. With a cast of well-known performers and a budget of only $300,000, this 1974 movie stunned audiences with its shocking brutality and iconic imagery, such as a woman being impaled on a meat hook.
The opening credits of the movie stated that it was “an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths.” This appears to be a pretty cunning hoax by the directors, who most likely had no idea they were revolutionizing filmmaking, unless there is an undocumented massacre by a chainsaw-wielding lunatic somewhere in Texas history.
Every alien-themed film has a certain unsettling quality. A crew of astronauts in the far future find themselves stranded on a spaceship with a ferocious space creature that popped out a poor guy’s stomach in Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic movie. The team is eliminated one by one by the creature before a last confrontation with Sigourney Weaver. Scott is a master artist who expertly builds tension to the point of total intolerability. Seven years later, James Cameron released Aliens, and unlike most sequels to horror films, it almost matches the original.
7. The Haunting
It may sound like the most cliched plot ever to have a movie about a varied collection of individuals being forced to spend the night in an ancient, haunted house, but that wasn’t the case in September 1963 when the film originally appeared in theaters. The Haunting, based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 book The Haunting of Hill House, is still incredibly spooky today. Watching the actor Julie Harris spiral into insanity contributes significantly to the suspense.
8. Night of the Living Dead
There was Night of the Living Dead long before The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, World War X, and the numerous other zombie motion pictures and TV shows of recent years. The film, which was directed by George Romero, is about a young couple who must defend themselves against a sizable zombie onslaught at a farm in Pennsylvania. Romero made the film on a very small budget, but its brutal violence rapidly caused controversy.
9. The Thing
There were numerous factors working against John Carpenter’s 1982 horror film The Thing. It had to debut on the same day as Blade Runner, but it also came out a short time after E.T., a film that portrayed aliens as adorable little beings who got along well with children. The Thing’s aliens had a very different goal in mind. These aliens are shape-shifters who harass Antarctic scientists rather than levitating bicycles. The men are never sure if they are dealing with a coworker or a dangerous alien who has assumed his shape. Although it couldn’t compete with E.T. and Blade Runner, it is now regarded as a true Horror classic.
Like many classic horror films, Poltergeist opens with a charming American family enjoying their carefree suburban life. Everything appears to be going according to plan until friendly ghosts start taking over their home. The daughter is pulled into a vortex in her closet and is only able to converse through the family television, so it goes without saying that the spirits’ true motives rapidly become apparent. It’s incredibly spooky, but avoid the sequels at all costs. You’ll thank us later.