The best horror movies out there are not only scary but also leave a lasting impression on your mind. If you are brave enough, watch these 20 scariest horror movies of all time.
When we set out to watch a horror movie, not only do we look for a good scare, but we also look for a gripping story that will keep us hooked to the screen. Horror movies have been there since the beginning of the cinema. Even though the genre is often branded with the stigma of being low-brow, cheap, and only for hardcore fans of jump scares and gore, it is also responsible for some of the greatest films of all-time. It's true that there are plenty of trashy, unforgettable horror movies out there, there are also a number of movies that play upon our greatest fears to create tension, an ominous atmosphere, and to terrify us to our very core. Monsters play a major role in our history, and plenty of movies have been made that thrill us, scare us, keep us on the proverbial edge of our seats, and stick around to haunt our nightmares long after we leave the theater. This is a curated list of 20 best horror movies of all time. So sit back, hit the lights, and enjoy reading the article.
What started as a standalone movie, now has a cinematic universe of its own. This is one such movie that has all the jump scares in the right place. The story is based on real-life experiences, which makes it even scarier. The script is taken from the pages of the paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren themselves, where they tried to save the Perron family from the things that are haunting them.
This movie follows the story of the Wilson family as they head to a holiday home and take a trip to the beach. As they are getting ready for bed after a long day of fun, another 'family arrives' in the drive that has uncanny similarities with their family. And the worst part is not that they are not welcoming or friendly, it is the fact that they are carrying a pair of extremely sharp scissors with them.
Home is where we feel the most comfortable. But for some, home can also be the place where their worst fear resides. Hereditary follows a similar strain wherein a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences after their matriarch passes away. Throughout the entire movie, you will not be able to take your eyes off of the screen and you can never guess what is coming next. Without a doubt, it is one of the masterpieces of modern horror.
This movie follows the vengeful spirit of a murdered janitor who is taking revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death. We get to see one of the scariest villains of all time in this movie, aka, Freddie Kruger. And this movie has everything. From gory, tense, and full of over the top death scenes, to how all the children managed to join the dots, this movie brings something new to the horror genre which made it go down in history as one of the best horror movies ever made.
Coming from the Master of Horror himself, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining stands high above all other horror films. The movie shows how Jack slowly descends into madness as his alcoholism takes hold of him. Kubrick meticulously took each maddening piece of this story that makes you feel extremely claustrophobic. By far one of THE BEST horror movies of all time. It might be one of the movies that take the top three spots of the movies you need to watch in your lifetime.
This movie by John Carpenter was initially dismissed by a number of critics, but decades later, the movie has been reappreciated and became recognized as one of the great offerings of the genre. It is a sci-fi thriller that manages to create a tense, taut atmosphere of paranoia and doubt.
Danny Boyle became the cool uncle of zombie flicks after the release of 28 Days Later in 2002. Very different from all the zombie movies out there. 28 Days Later will actually make you wonder what will you do in case a zombie outbreak takes place.
The found-footage horror movie of 1999 follows 3 young documentary makers as they journey to Burkittsville. They start by interviewing the local people of the region about the Blair Witch, whose story is as bad as you can hope for, especially used by mothers to trick their children into eating vegetables. This movie also serves as a landmark for being the cornerstone that pushed the 'found footage' format into the mainstream. The cinematography of the movie is so real that many people confused it with a real found-footage movie.
The story of this movie follows the life of a writer, who moves to a suburb along with his family. He discovers a set of snuff tapes. While the tapes began as normal happy recordings the previous families made, they take a very quick turn into something twisted and what happens next, you need to see for yourself. Any movie that involves children is creepy, but a movie about children murdering their entire families and disappearing into oblivion is what amps up the creep factor of the movie by a thousand times.
This movie follows the story of Regan, the daughter of a successful movie actress who one day plays with an ouija board in the basement of her house. After that, what happened in the movie went down in cinematic history. If you have ever wondered why our parents asked us to stay away from innocuous objects, this movie will give you an answer.
The story of this movie follows a young African-American boy and his girlfriend as they go upstate to visit her parents for the weekend. At first, he finds the family to be overly accommodating, but as the week progresses, he discovers a disturbing truth that he could have never imagined.
This movie by Roman Polanski is like a master class on cinematic terror and tension. Every scene of the movie is filled with dread and foreboding even the most innocuous domestic moments. On one hand, this movie is grounded in the concrete reality that plays on the dark fear of parenthood, there’s also a demonic side, as the forces of evil and darkness work against a young couple.
Set in 1905, this movie follows the story of a man who infiltrates a religious cult on a remote island with the intention of rescuing his kidnapped sister. The movie embraces the supernatural with open arms and along with it, the movie also throws some horrific torture, surreal, nightmarish imagery, and even a couple of bone-crunching fights along the way. Definitely a one of a kind movie that lingers in our minds long after we've have watched it.
This movie is a gem of cinema in itself as it shows a movie can make you feel equally creepy and give you a skin-crawling experience without a single dialogue being present. German director Robert Wiene’s 1920 classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari astounds in every way, boasting a progressively frightening narrative of the hypnotist where he uses another man to commit his murders. Not only is this a cinematic gem, but this movie also has one of the most twisted endings ever.
The movie that is based on an urban legend says that once you have watched the videotape, the person will die after seven days. This movie represents a pure nightmare and also shows Japanese horror in its purest form.
The movie follows the events after the tragic death of Sarah's family and how her friends take her on a cave trip to make her feel better. The moment the group descends into darkness, it gets clear that getting back out into the light again is not going to be likely. The bonus part, the movie will make you feel claustrophobic while you are comfortably sitting inside your room.
This is less of a movie and will feel more like an assault on your senses. It follows the story of a young dancer as she arrives at a famous ballet school. Sadly, she does not follow the girl running in the other direction and finds herself surrounded by horrific murders as young women are picked off one by one. Additionally, the soundtrack of the movie is so disturbing that it might make you feel that if Hell had a personal playlist on Spotify, this would be it.
This movie follows the story of a young grieving widow trying to look after her young son. It is one such movie that gets under your skin and stays there. It is also a movie that will make you ask multiple questions.
Anthony Hopkins' role as the legendary Hannibal Lecter is as perfect as it gets in the movie. In one moment he is giving out calm, affable vibes, but in the very next moment, he can turn into a sadistic monster who can commit such atrocities that we can even barely think of. Along with Hopkins, Jodie Foster gave her career-changing performance as Clarice Sterling. The cat and mouse game in the movie continues till the end and it doesn't let up until its harrowing climax in the dark. This movie is a perfect mix of both horror, that is both psychological and visceral.
It is not an easy job to get the title of 'master of suspense' and none other than Alfred Hitchcock is more deserving than it. He has justified this moniker with many movies he had made over the years, but 'Psycho' was THE movie of his entire career. The character of Norman Bates is going to stay with everyone who has watched the movie. Marion Crane ends up at the worst possible motel on the road after she stole thousands of dollars from her boss. Using this noir-ish setup, Hitchcock slyly subverts expectations and very carefully weaves an intricate psychoanalytical thriller that deconstructs fear, desire, sexuality, and the human psyche.