In this age of geekery governing supreme and academics no longer dismiss the genre as disreputable with the regularity. But even now there’s talk of “elevate horror,” of artier explorations of dread and fright. Also, the idea is that they engage your brain more than just dispensing brains splatters against the wall. We have put together this list of the 10 Greatest Horror Movies of All-Time to celebrate these intensely primal, personal films.
So, let us start the list of 10 Best Horror Movies of All Time.
1. THE EXORCIST (1973)
William Friedkin’s acclimatization of the eponymous novel about a demon-possessed child and the attempts to banish demons became the highest-grossing R-rated Best Horror Movies of All Time. This movie was also first nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars (it gained nine other nominations and took home two trophies). But outside of its critical and commercial bona fides, the film is renowned for the mass hysteria it inspired across the country, from protests over its controversial subject matter to comprehensive reports of nausea and fainting in the audience. Its tense pacing and somewhat dated effects may seem quaint compared to some contemporary horror, but there is no denying the power the film continues to have its impact over those who see it for the first time.
2. HEREDITARY (2018)
Writer-director Ari Aster made a huge slop with his feature directorial debut. It is a dark family drama about the nature of grief couched within a supernatural horror film. Toni Collette earned a spot in the pantheon of famous Oscar snubs with her slowly-ratcheted-up-to-11 performance as bedeviled mother Annie. But the movie’s biggest shock came courtesy. Suffice it to say Hereditary punched such a nerve with moviegoers that it instantly turned Aster into a director to watch and shot up to second place on our list.
3. THE CONJURING (2013)
James Wan has staked out a position among the modern masters of horror, directing films like Saw, Dead Silence, Insidious. This inspired-by-true-events chiller based on the experiences of real-life paranormal researchers Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens, best known for their work on the strange case that sparked the Amityville Horror movies (which played a part in The Conjuring 2), were portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. They grounded the effective jump scares and freak-out flashes with a believable world-weariness. Together, Wan and his co-leads found fresh terror in familiar genre tropes, and the result is a sprawling cinematic universe that only maintains to grow.
4. THE SHINING (1980)
Dozens of Stephen King’s novels and stories suits for the big screen. Many of those films are considered classics today, like Carrie, Misery, and Pet Sematary. But the mother of them all is surely Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining. A marvel of set and production design and a genuinely unnerving take on the classic haunted house story. The Shining features a multitude of memorable images and an iconic Jack Nicholson performance. The film’s relatively few jump alarms are still absolutely chilling. But its true power lies in the way it crawls under your skin and makes you experience Jack Torrance’s slow fall into madness. It’s rightfully considered one of the Best Horror Movies of All Time.
5. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
The is the low-budget slasher directed and co-written by Tobe Hooper, very loosely inspired by the evils of Ed Gein. Texas Chainsaw’s dingy aesthetic helped lend it an air of authenticity, which make it all the more frightening. The massive, menacing appearance of Gunnar Hansen’s Leatherface graveled the way for other brutes like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. Multiple trials made to breathe new life into the franchise.
6. THE RING (2002)
It is always a tricky position to take something that works well for one culture and try to translate that formula successfully for another, but Gore Verbinski managed that with The Ring. It is a remake of Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s acclaimed thriller about a cursed videotape. Verbinski’s take kept the original film’s striking visual representation — the ghost of a young girl in a white dress with long black hair covering her face — and found that it frightened the hell out of audiences no matter where they were from. While the film wasn’t as well-regarded as its antecedent. But, it features a dedicated performance from a then up-and-coming Naomi Watts, and for many, it served as an introduction to East Asian horror cinema.
7. HALLOWEEN (1978)
This film introduced the world to all-time scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and put John Carpenter on the map. Halloween, frequently cited as one of the pioneer examples of the slasher genre as we know it today. While it may not feature the same kind of realistic carnage we’ve come to expect of films in that category, it packs a lot of tautness and some inventive thrills in a relatively small-scale package. The film’s legacy is also fairly forbidden: Michael Myers’ mask has become the stuff of legend, and the giant, unstoppable killer and the “final girl” have become established in the horror lexicon. It is also among the Best Horror Movies of All time. That is why the franchise is still going after more than 40 years.
8. SINISTER (2012)
Director Scott Derrickson had racked up some horror films, a couple of which gained cult followings. One of them was this small-scale haunted house/possession story about a true-crime writer (Ethan Hawke). A person who leaves his wife and kids into a house where there was a muder of family, only to discover the new place might already have a rather evil resident. The dramatic reveals and offensive set-pieces far outweighed any recycled genre comparisons that might have been present.
9. IT (2017)
The fear of comics is a very real thing, even if it’s become so commonplace to advertise it that it feels deceitful. If you need any further evidence, we direct you to the box office voyage of 2017’s IT, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The movie went on to beat The Exorcist’s 44-year record as the highest-grossing horror film ever.
10. INSIDIOUS (2010)
This is a supernatural thriller about a young boy who falls into a coma and begins to channel a malevolent ghost. The bare bones of the story weren’t the most groundbreaking. But frequent Wan collaborator Leigh Whannell infused it with a compelling enough mythology that it spawned three more installments.
Here the list of Best Horror Movies of All time ends. So, grab your popcorns and get ready for a frightful weekend.
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