Best horror movies in no particular order. These that are the films that fill us with as much nightmare as they do joy. While this is a growing list of our all time favorite horror films, we have also sorted out the top scary movies of 2013.
“Caretaker Jack Terrence and his family are snowed in at the isolated hotel. His son seems to think that bad things are going to happen, but Jack has to finish what he started.”
Based on Stephen King’s tale of haunted hallways and at the time not-so-cliché axe murder, this 1980 classic inevitably features in the top ten list of best horror movies for any avid horror movie fan. While the movie faithfully follows the book on most points, it’s definitely fast-paced and eerily snail paced at just the right points. While how to present blood and gore in an artistic manner is constant dilemma for producers, The Shining manages to pull this off in a way that makes the audience forget that the graphic violence is supposed to be made tasteful for the average moviegoer. The scenes that truly give you nightmares for months include julienned twin girls and the bloated rotting corpse in the bathtub. While the wave of blood was obviously supposed to make one squeamish, instead it just made me hungry for melted cherry pops. Other serious yet somewhat hilarious scenes include Jack Terrence busily punching out nursery rhymes on his typewriter with a look that says he’s been stopped up for a week, and his long abstract conversations with the homicidal ghost of the previous caretaker. And, as usual, the black guy dies.
“What if your husband and neighbors where all a part of some mysterious cult, you were craving raw meat and giving birth to the child of Satan?”
Rosemary’s Baby is an absolute classic with a cult following, based on Roman Polanski’s seminal work of the same name. The story follows a young woman who moves into New York City with her husband to settle down and start a family, only to find herself being indirectly influenced by her eccentric neighbors who seem to take great interest in her pregnancy. The hushed political commentary which whispers somewhat annoyingly in your ear throughout the movie is hard to ignore, but the delightfully kitsch setting and the stereotypical retired Jewish couple’s antics entirely make up for this. Highlights of the movie include Rosemary stuffing her face with raw and bloody chicken livers, the occult ritual performed to impregnate Rosemary with the Devil’s spawn and the cult members gathering for a little post birth-of-the-lord-of-darkness tête-à-tête . Rosemary’s dream about being on a Catholics Only boat manned by none other than JFK also gives you the nagging feeling that it represents something fantastically political. With a combination of chicken livers and demon spawn, how could this film NOT make our list of best horror movies?
“A group of film students venture into the unknown as they follow the trail of the Blair Witch, stumbling upon the hidden word of witchcraft and voodoo. Whatever it is which lurks in the woods doesn’t seem entirely happy that they’re there.”
The Blair Witch Project popularized that particular style of horror film-making and launched a thousand other copycat movies, none of which could begin to compare to the original. This movie/mocumentary makes being lost in the woods that much scarier, with the excruciating mental and emotional breakdown of the group and the gradual disappearance of each of its members in the middle of the pitch black night. The voodoo stick figures and morbid sculptures hanging by the branches of every tree in the vicinity and the discovery of a missing group member’s remains including teeth and hair prove to be exceptionally creepy. The movie makes us constantly shift between belief and doubt, is the Blair Witch real or is it all just an elaborate prank? The combination of starvation, cold, witches and murder make for a thrilling viewing experience and a life-long fear of camping out in the woods.
“Teenagers in a tiny town are dropping dead one by one. Can it really be a coincidence? Or is the real terror lurking on the edge of their nightmares?”
Everybody knows Freddy Krueger. The Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic slasher movie which spawned a franchise of sequels, a TV series and most recently, a remake. Freddy secures a spot on our list of best horror movies through his insanely creative and nightmarish kills. The storyline revolves around a group of teenagers, all who begin to dream of a strange man, a horribly burned and disfigured man with a gloved arm full of razor sharp blades who simply wants to kill them. But the catch is, you die in your dreams, you die for real. The movie’s raging success may not be just due to the fact that it’s about a psychopathic child molesting killer who lives in people’s dreams but also probably because it constantly shifts the boundaries between the real and the imaginary, and also because its crap-your-pants terrifying and spill-your-popcorn brilliant.
“A home-schooled and often bullied teenage girl raised a fanatically religious mother is asked to prom by the most popular boy in school, only to be publicly humiliated. How can she exact a punishment to suit the crime using her new found gift of psychokinesis?”
Based on a early work of Stephen King, ‘Carrie’ may appear to be just another high school horror movie at first, but the intensity of the storyline and the direction by Brian de Palma resulted in a classic horror film. Highlights of the movie include Carrie’s bloodbath (prior to the actual bloodbath inflicted by her pyrokinesis) and her maddened mother being strung up on the wall by an assortment of kitchen knives. While most of us will probably never get in the bad books of an emotionally unstable teenager with supernatural powers, this movie leaves us with the tiniest doubt in our brains as to whether such powers do not exist. You might just find yourself trying to burn down that SUV which cut you off. The seemingly peaceful end is a shocking and memorable seen for all who have the heart to finish this movie. We were actually forced by Carrie herself, through her pyrokinesis powers, to be added to our best horror movies list.
“Old Leatherface is coming for you. And he’s bringing his chainsaw to the party.”
Even the music and the opening titles are scary. The only thing which is scarier is that it’s based on a true story. While the ‘true story’ gimmick may have been pulled out of the bag of tricks too many times than anyone’s comfortable with, Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s artistic brutality makes one almost unwilling to accommodate the fact that it just might be. Leatherface’s creative use of his beloved chainsaw, meat hooks and other paraphernalia is a definite shocker which makes you just about toss your cookies every single time. While most slasher films rely on ‘gore without plot’, TCM gives you an engaging plot with enough tension to make you cling onto the very edge of your seat. Leatherface carves his name onto our list of best horror movies with his trademark chainsaw.
“Their every move is perfectly orchestrated and documented as a group of college kids drive to a cabin deep in the heart of the woods, where real evil dwells as does a chance for the redemption of mankind.”
Ancient gods who live beneath the earth, werewolves, zombies, college students fitting into neat little archetypes; this movie has them all. Overflowing with satire, The Cabin in the Woods is categorized as a comedy horror movie. No, it has nothing to do with Scary Movie if that’s what you’re thinking. While facing the horrors which pursue them in the woods, the group being to think they are being filmed for a reality TV series, but no, it’s just a little ancient ritual to save the world from the ancients. While the scares come from good old trusty sources, the laughs are not quite rib tickling but still manages to produce a good snort. Favorites include Japanese grade schoolers exorcising a demon, a murderous unicorn, corporate cogs pumping pheromone mist into the air to promote fornication and redneck zombies, which make The Cabin in the Woods a recent favorite on our list of best horror movies.
“It’s alive! Chucky is back to wreak his revenge after many long years, and this time he isn’t going anywhere.”
The sixth installment of the Child’s Play series, Curse of Chucky is set four years after the end of the last film, Seed of Chucky. While some who are unused to the basics of horror movies may wonder how a killer doll could be the least scary and may even find the concept of it rather amusing, Chucky will sure put their doubts to rest. Rated R for graphic violence and language, Chucky doesn’t hold back. From pouring rat poison into pasta sauce and gouging out eyeballs to electrocuting the hot nanny and cutting off fingers, the camera leers delightedly at every scene, making the viewer jump out of his skin each time Chucky comes violently alive. Curse of Chucky works on the basic elements of slasher films, namely blood, gore, and an element of suspense and surprise, heightened to a level which can satisfy even the best horror movie craving.
“Regan is an adorable little girl, but something seems to have taken residence inside her, something evil. Can a doubting Thomas and an ageing priest defeat the pinnacle of all evil?”
The Exorcist reached the high of its fame in the 70’s, and with special effects and talented filmmaking achieved memorable scenes such as the possessed girl Regan’s pea-soup vomit and contorted body. Innocence versus evil is the name of the game as the child’s mother and a duo of priests set up an exorcism as a last resort to save Regan from the clutches of the demon Pazuzu. The Exorcist is famed to be the possession movie numero uno, anyone watching it can clearly see why. The movie’s main selling point is the mysterious aspect of the possession. Whether it was merely a psychological reaction to the divorce of the girl’s parents or whether she was actually possessed by a dark entity is never revealed, although the case for both options is made very eloquently. To the very end and for days after, you may be asking yourself whether it was all real. One of the best horror movies of all time, this film has been remade and parodied time and time again.
“Renowned paranormal investigators seek to help a family who are plagued by paranormal entities who set about to destroy their lives. Can they emerge victorious? Or will the evil tear them apart?”
The Conjuring gained great success and positive critical reception in recent months, greatly due to the fact that it travelled back in time to reconnect with the roots of good horror filmmaking as well as modern cinematography. Inspired by the real life celebrity paranormal investigators and partners Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring follows the couple’s most intriguing case to date involving the case of the Peron family which reportedly provided material for Amityville Horror. The strange occurrences lead the ghost hunting duo on a journey to save the family from the clutches of a spirit who long ago possessed a woman and compelled her to murder her children, and has returned looking for another victim. A particularly terrifying feature of the movie is the doll Annabelle who is, wait for it, real and is to date under the watch of the Warrens. The high points of the movie are the story of Annabelle, Lorraine Warren being trapped in the walls of the house with an evil paranormal presence, the children’s interactions with the spirits and the nail-biting conclusion.
Here is a link to Rotten Tomatoes, which in my opinion is one of the best rating sites there is. In fact, I often disagree with many other sites whose rating seem to be just off the wall and inconsistent. Here is Rotten Tomatoes list of best horror movies!
Best Horror Movies…The End?
This is not the end! We will work to continue adding to this list of best horror movies. Thank you so much for sharing our love of these gory, terrifying, and often hilarious films.