The best horror movies ever should put you on the edge of your seat. The audience should never know what’s coming next, or which dark corner the killer is lurking around.
When done right, the fear and dread should create a lasting impression. When a master filmmaker is at work, they don’t need to rely on cheap thrills, like jump scares. They’ll build an engaging story and characters you care about. Then, they’ll make the ultimate monster that will haunt your nights for years.
In cinema’s long history, we’ve seen a long string of iconic villains. Below, we’ll look at some of the most fearsome killers to haunt the screen.From aliens that bleed acidic blood, zombies with unstoppable rage, and a madman who wears the skin of his victims.
We’ll also look at some of the masters of the best ever horror movies, from Stanley Kubrick to Stephen Spielberg. Making a marathon of these horror films will be sure to leave you with nightmares.
So, grab the popcorn and turn out the lights. Then, if you dare, watch this collection of some of the scariest best horror movies ever!
This film revolutionized both the science-fiction and horror genres. The crew of the Nostromo receives a distress signal from a planet. They decide to investigate it and find their ship under attack from the Xenomorph. This powerful alien foe quickly proves to be a formidable opponent, as it slaughters the crew. To survive, Ripley will need to find a way to stop the unstoppable.
There are many reasons why this film has earned its place as one of the best horror movies ever. First, it helped prove that Ridley Scott is one of the best directors in the world. Though it was shot in 1979, it still feels like it was in the far future. The technology still thrills modern audiences.
Viewers also love the star-studded cast. Sigourney Weaver stars as Ripley, in the role that would define her career. This character also proves that women can be just as tough and resilient as men. This message would inspire generations of moviegoers for years to come.
“This thing bleeds acid. What will it do when it’s dead?”
Stephen King, the author of the book, famously hates this adaption. Thankfully, audiences around the world disagree, with many people viewing it as one of the best horror movies ever.
Jack Torrance and his family move into the remove Overlook hotel, where he will be the winter caretaker. But it doesn’t take long before he starts to realize that something is wrong. A dark presence in the hotel slowly starts to take over his body and his mind. As he slips further into madness, he starts to act more violently towards his family.
There is a lot to like about this film. First, it has a standout performance by Jack Nicholson. It also has some amazing costumes and special effects.
However, the true star of the show is Stanley Kubrick. The director made sure that the audience spent the entire film on the edge of their seats. Many of the shots continue to be replicated, even to this day. If you liked this movie, it’s worth checking out the sequel, Doctor Sleep.
Banned from theatres. Audience members passing out in the aisle. The audiences of the 1970s had never seen anything like this. Though modern audiences are a little more familiar with people who have been possessed by the devil, this film can still terrify people.
Regan is a twelve-year-old child who is possessed by a demon. Her parents are desperate to get her help. So, they call for the local priest. As he battles the demon, the priest begins to question his own faith.
This film has some of the best special effects in the world. From spinning heads, walking down the stairs backward and levitation there’s still a lot to frighten people. The acting is also top-notch, with Linda Blair getting nominated for an Academy Award for her role.
Though you might not be fainting in your chair, there’s still a good chance that you’ll get nightmares after seeing this movie.
“What an excellent day for an exorcism.”
28 Days Later
Anger is infectious in this post-apocalypse zombie world. In this film, a hospital patient wakes up from a coma, to find empty streets. While he was sleeping a rage virus has infected the United Kingdom. Alone and confused about the origins of the disease, he teams up with a group of survivors. Together, they will need to make a dangerous journey to a place where they hope they will be safe.
There is a lot to like about this film, directed by Academy Award winner, Danny Boyle. It presents a fast-paced tone. Zombies used to be stumbling forces, capable of little more than a speed walk. In this movie, they will run you down. This will have you gripping the edge of your seat, as you try to think about how the characters will escape. It also does a great job of making sure that no-one is ever safe. This ensures that the audience never feels comfortable enough to relax.
“Before the TV and radio stopped broadcasting there were reports of infection in Paris and New York. We didn’t hear anything more after that.”
Just when you thought it was safe to go for a swim at the beach, Jaws came along. The story of how the town of Amity was terrorized by a giant shark was a hit with audiences and critics alike. Though it only cost $9 million, it went on to break box office records, becoming one of the biggest earners of 1975 and one of the best horror movies ever.
Now, everyone is familiar with how the local sheriff needed to team up with a marine fisherman and a fisherman to take down the monster predator. There’s even a ride at Universal Studios dedicated to the film, complete with a giant shark.
While the film might be celebrated for its terrifying shark, it’s also had some tragic real-life consequences. Real Great Whites, started to become portrayed as the dangerous predators seen in the film, stalking beachgoers. This has led to a dramatic reduction in shark populations. So, while you’re watching remember that it’s just a movie. You’re far more likely to die from fireworks, accidental poisoning, and a lightning strike than you are from a shark attack.
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This is often cited as one of the most disturbing films of all time. In fact, it was so gory that it got banned from several cinemas around the world.
It tells the story of a group of teenagers whose car breaks down. Luckily, they are near a house and decide to ask for help. Unfortunately, that house is populated by a family of cannibals. Chief among them is Leatherface. This iconic film monster wears a mask of human flesh. Wielding a chainsaw, the teenagers will need to fight hard if they expect to escape his clutches.
If one Chainsaw Massacre film isn’t enough, there are many others to explore in this long-running franchise. Currently, there are eight movies and several comic books. You can even play a video game based on the movie. Though they decline in quality over time, audiences still love watching Leatherface cut people down to size, literally.
“Well, I can’t take no pleasure in killing. There are just some things you got to do.”
Based on a novel by horror master Stephen King, Misery tells the tale of Annie Wilks. She’s a huge fan of author Paul Sheldon. So, when she finds him in a car accident, she takes him to her house.
Using her background as a nurse, she fixes up his injuries. However, when she finds out he killed her favorite character, she demands that he writes a new book. If he doesn’t comply, she’ll torture him. As the film progresses, she becomes increasingly unhinged and maniacal. If Paul has any chance of surviving, he’ll need to find a way of escaping.
Part of what makes this film so outstanding is the quality of the acting. This is the role that defined Kathy Bates’s career, turning her into a household name. She was so talented that she ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. This story also struck a chord with audiences. It perfectly captures the feeling of being trapped and held against your will.
“I just wanted you to know, I’m your number one fan.”
This is a perfect example of a modern horror film. It follows a group of teenagers that decide to break into the house of a blind man. Easy target, right? Wrong. The blind man turns out to be a highly trained ex-solider. He decides he’s going to take revenge on the people who broke into his house. It soon becomes clear that getting out alive is going to be a much harder challenge than they first thought.
This is an ideal example of how tension can be used in horror. It feels like there’s danger at every turn, where just the slightest sound can alert the blind man to their presence. Stephen Lang makes the ideal villain, switching between vulnerable and vicious. Though a haunted house has become a cliched setting, Sam Rami breathes new life into the trope. The audience feels as trapped as the characters. What results is a film that is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
“Just because he’s blind doesn’t mean he’s a saint.”
John Carpenter created one of the most iconic horror movie villains of all time when he made Michael Myers. Wearing a mask, he stalks the streets.
One of this film’s strongest qualities is the tension it creates. You never know where Michael is going to pop up or who his next victim is going to be. This is one of the first slasher films, launching that sub-genre into the popular consciousness. It also helped launch the career of Jamie Lee Curtis.
This has since gone on to be one of the longest-running horror franchises in cinematic history. Though the story does get a little convoluted as the series goes on. Currently, there are 13 movies in the franchise, with plans to add at least two more over the coming years. This longevity will ensure that Michael Myers will always stay in the public consciousness, continuing to hunt down babysitters for many years to come. Halloween continues to be one of the best horror movies ever.
“He came home.”
The last amazing horror that you might want to check out is It Follows. This is a classic example of how a talented director can build tension.
The story is relatively simple. Jay has intercourse with her boyfriend. However, after they are finished, he reveals that she has been cursed. There is now a creature that will follow her until she is killed. Her only choice is to pass on the curse or wait for the creature to kill her. At first, she thinks it’s an unfunny joke. But then she sees the creature. With no way to kill or outsmart it, her fate seems sealed.
This film works on a range of levels. First, it builds an ominous tension. The audience is never sure where the monster is, they just know that it’s getting closer. This is made even more unsettling by the slow pace of the creature and its ability to take on the body of anyone it chooses. This film also gets people to question what they would do in that situation.
“It could look like someone you know or a stranger in the crowd.”
So tell us in the comments, what are YOUR best horror movies ever that we missed?
(Cough, Cujo, Cough…)
Don’t miss our other Best Movies Ever features:
Leave A Comment