Time Out proudly presents the 100 best horror films, as chosen by those who write in, direct, star in and celebrate the genre.
Horror cinema is a monster. Mistreated, misunderstood and subjected to vicious critical attacks, somehow it keeps lumbering forward, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. For some, horror films are little better than pornography, focused purely on evoking a reaction - be it terror, disquiet or disgust - with little thought for 'higher' aspirations. For others, they're just a bit of fun: a chance to shriek and snigger at someone's second-hand nightmare.
But look again, and the story of horror is also the story of innovation and non-conformity in cinema, a place where dangerous ideas can be expressed, radical techniques can be explored, and filmmakers outside the mainstream can still make a big cultural splash. If cinema itself has an unconscious, a dark little corner from which new ideas emerge, blinking and malformed, it must be horror. The question is - which are the best horror films?
We polled well over 100 horror enthusiasts - with big names like Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro, Simon Pegg, Clive Barkerand Alice Cooper, and horror legends like Coffin Joe, Kim Newman and Tom Six - and came up with a definitive top 100 list.
As always, we're keen to know what we got wrong and what we got right, so leave your opinionated rants ('Where the hell was "I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle"?!') on Facebook or on Twitter using #besthorrorfilms, by voting in our poll or in the comments below. Meanwhile, enjoy the list and prepare to be frightened. Very, very frightened.