The 100 best horror films: the full list

The best horror films, as voted for by more than 100 experts including Simon Pegg and Roger Corman

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Time Out proudly presents the 100 best horror movies, as chosen by those who write in, direct, star in and celebrate the genre. We polled well over 100 horror enthusiasts – including big names like Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro, Simon Pegg, Clive Barker and Alice Cooper, and horror legends like Coffin Joe, Kim Newman and Tom Six – and came up with a definitive top 100 list that you can browse below.

40

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Dir Herk Harvey (Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger)

See full entry

39

The Descent (2005)

Dir Neil Marshall (Shauna Macdonald, MyAnna Buring, Natalie Mendoza)

See full entry

38

Possession (1981)

Dir Andrzej Zulawski (Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Heinz Bennent)

See full entry

37

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Dir Don Siegel (Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter)

See full entry

36

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Dir Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez (Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard)

See full entry

35

Dead of Night (1945)

Dirs Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer (Michael Redgrave, Googie Withers, Ralph Michael)

See full entry

34

Eyes Without a Face (1959)

Dir Georges Franju (Edith Scob, Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel)

See full entry

33

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Dir Wes Craven (Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon)

See full entry

32

Cannibal Holocaust (1979)

Dir Ruggero Deodato (Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen)

See full entry

31

Martyrs (2008)

Dir Pascal Laugier (Mylene Jampanoi, Morjana Alaoiu)

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30

Frankenstein (1931)

Dir James Whale (Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, Mae Clarke)

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29

Cat People (1942)

Dir Jacques Tourneur (Simone Simon, Kent Smith)

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28

Let the Right One In (2008)

Dir Tomas Alfredson (Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson)

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27

Videodrome (1982)

Dir David Cronenberg (James Woods, Sonja Smits, Debbie Harry)

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26

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Dir James Whale (Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Elsa Lanchester, Ernest Thesiger)

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25

The Changeling (1979)

Dir Peter Medak (George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas)

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24

The Birds (1963)

Dir Alfred Hitchcock (Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor)

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23

The Fly (1986)

Dir David Cronenberg (Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis)

See full entry

22

Nosferatu – eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)

Dir FW Murnau (Max Schreck, Greta Schröder)

See full entry

21

Freaks (1932)

Dir Tod Browning (Olga Baclanova, Harry Earles)

See full entry



Users say

169 comments
Brad C
Brad C

Surely all of 5-8 are better than any of 1-4? 

Nigel G
Nigel G

These are all crap films except all the Alien films. 

Laura C
Laura C

can someone maybe help me? I"m looking for a movie I saw like 4 years ago ..Its about a man and the devil ,the devil takes over his body and makes him do all kind of things ,I also remember a scene where he is in the subway and gets hit by a train and just stands up again but all black and blue and missing an arm ...can someone please help me :(

Daniel B
Daniel B

As soon as I saw that "Come and See" was on here (even if it's at #100; seriously, specific rankings don't matter), I knew I was going to be dealing with a worthwhile list. Hell, I've seen most of these movies, but the ones I haven't I'm even more excited to watch based on what also made the cut.


"Salo", though by no means scary (in the traditional sense) is literally one of the most disturbing and uncomfortable movies of all time. I am glad I watched it only because I now have a specific thing to point to when someone asks "What is the worst (as in morally) thing you've ever seen?" The only more terrible thing I can imagine is a legit snuff film. 


All and all, a great list here.

Dawn M
Dawn M

Awesome list!!  My all time favorites are The Exorcist of course, saw it when I was 12 and I was hooked on horror movies ever since.  The other one is Poltergeist also saw it when I was 12.  I go to http://www.besthorrormovielist.com/ to look for horror movie suggestions to watch.  They have all the top rated horror movies of all time.  Super cool!  Re-animator, The Fog and Invasion of the Body Snatchers were awesome! 

karizma g
karizma g

this web site sucks never come on this web site i hate so much i could brake my computer right now so if yuo ever come on this wed site your so dumb so this is all i got to say

diluxsgan
diluxsgan

goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooodddddddddddddddddddddddd

Sean
Sean

Obviously, the author of this article is a learned horror critic. I get so tired of lists with the same classic films, films that aren't even scary like the Mummy or Dracula, or lists with only modern films. There's still a bit missing from this list (Messiah of Evil, Don't Look in the Basement, Devil's Nightmare, The Sentinel, The Brood, etc.), but anyone who has Suspiria towards the top is awesome in my book.

Kelly
Kelly

Omitting Scream, Ginger Snaps, and Friday the 13th is unforgivable.

Evelyne
Evelyne

Psycho should be number 1. And the 1970s Nosferatu should be on here too. Just as good as the fist one, but a bit more easy to watch (you know, sound, color) even though it's in German... it's still much better than any other vampire movie I've seen.

Kenny B
Kenny B

Wow. I don't see any mention of The Other, not only in the listing but also as a mention in the reviewers comments. Great psychological horror and yet consistently overlooked in film lists like this. I rank it in my top 5 among the original The Haunting, Psycho, Night Of The Living Dead and The Exorcist. Old-school horror, granted. My list woulda also found room for the original Village of the Damned, Seven, Return Of The Living Dead {"send more cops!") and Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte as well.

Darren Laken
Darren Laken

Great list and i was impressed to see threads on there...tame by todays standards but scared the life out of me in the 80's....but no friday the 13th films? granted after 6 they are awful films but i would have thought at least part 3 would have made the list?

Chris Jones
Chris Jones

It's so funny that all the films Lee likes are absolute rubbish. For Goodness Sake.. he likes Rob Zombie films and Human Centipede. And yet he trashes the classics. His eyes must be on inside out. This list is very good

ghazenfer
ghazenfer

where is stephen kings........ IT, and Rose red...........to outstanding horror movies in my opinion

Dan
Dan

You are Missing Scream, and Friday the 13th. and I disagree with lee about remakes only for Halloween 1 and 2 cuz they sucked hard because the originals seemed more scary and creepy then the remakes. But this was a good Job If you didn't add some that were kinda old except For Franken. I liked the 70's through 2000's but the other's really aren't that scary if you watch them. But still good job :D

Nathan Walsh
Nathan Walsh

@ Lee Human Centipede? Post-2000 Romero? Resident Evil? I know that all taste is subjective but...really?!! Are you 12?! It's cool if you like watching 'really sick shit man,' the kind of stuff that your 'dumb parents' recoil at, but you gotta realise that horror is more than just shock and gore or glossy remakes that were made yesterday. P.S. From a personal viewpoint, I find most of the films you listed dull, unoriginal and obvious. P.P.S. If you are over 12, I'm afraid I can't really offer much advice. Maybe watch more films. Good ones. @Time Out I love all of the films in the top ten. I'm not sure whether I'd place them in that specific order although it doesn't really matter what order they go in. That said, The Shining is the one I return to the most. It's such a hypnotic, atmospheric film that has a great cast, a haunting score and sublime photography and locations. My respect for the great job that Kubrick did was strengthened by a recent viewing of the 1997 TV version that was penned and approved by Stephen King himself. Although it stuck steadfastly to the original plot of the book (which Kubrick filleted mercilessly) it was bland and dull. It made me realise how relatively unimportant the plot is in the Kubrick version. The real power lies in the film-making and the manner in which Kubrick creates a living, breathing Overlook Hotel whose sublime, dangerous beauty is impossible to resist.

Lou
Lou

My only gripes about this list: -Missing Scream -Nightmare on Elm Street should be in the top 10 -Every list says The Exorcist is the scariest film ever. Throw us readers a curve, pick another film we wouldnt expect to see as #1

tash + han
tash + han

me and han think you should consider doing another list as none of them are scary and most of them are from 1980's and weve seen scarier movies than whats on your list.

Chris
Chris

Fairly nice list. The person who commented saying Human Centipede 1 & 2, Resident Evils, and post-2000 Romero (I do love Romero, but his best work was early on)- you do not know anything about film. The Resident Evil movies were such a let down compared to the games; waste of time. Human Centipede? Get real... movies that try to be so shocking, and aren't at all because they're nothing but torture and murder with no substance whatsoever. What a joke that comment is.

lee
lee

.Nope, this list is a massive fail. As horror films go the top 20 films that appear are mild thrillers at best. There are a tonne of good horror films missing, for example; The human centipede 1 & 2, Halloween 1 & 2 (remakes only) anything by Rob Zombie and Romero (post 2000 only), VHS 1 & 2, the horde, res evil's, the bay, and stake land etc etc, 90% of this list needs to be updated. It would seem that any good films that do appear (martyrs, elm street, switch blade romance) are not even close to the top ten. It pisses me off that morons like you are allowed to compile lists of 'horror' films that people use as a reference so man up and watch a few horrors you sissy and then make a list

lee
lee

.Nope, this list is a massive fail. As horror films go the top 20 films that appear are mild thrillers at best. There are a tonne of good horror films missing, for example; The human centipede 1 & 2, Halloween 1 & 2 (remakes only) anything by Rob Zombie and Romero (post 2000 only), VHS 1 & 2, the horde, res evil's, the bay, and stake land etc etc, 90% of this list needs to be updated. It would seem that any good films that do appear (martyrs, elm street, switch blade romance) are not even close to the top ten. It pisses me off that morons like you are allowed to compile lists of 'horror' films that people use as a reference so man up and watch a few horrors you sissy and then make a list

lee
lee

.Nope, this list is a massive fail. As horror films go the top 20 films that appear are mild thrillers at best. There are a tonne of good horror films missing, for example; The human centipede 1 & 2, Halloween 1 & 2 (remakes only) anything by Rob Zombie and Romero (post 2000 only), VHS 1 & 2, the horde, res evil's, the bay, and stake land etc etc, 90% of this list needs to be updated. It would seem that any good films that do appear (martyrs, elm street, switch blade romance) are not even close to the top ten. It pisses me off that morons like you are allowed to compile lists of 'horror' films that people use as a reference so man up and watch a few horrors you sissy and then make a list

lee
lee

.Nope, this list is a massive fail. As horror films go the top 20 films that appear are mild thrillers at best. There are a tonne of good horror films missing, for example; The human centipede 1 & 2, Halloween 1 & 2 (remakes only) anything by Rob Zombie and Romero (post 2000 only), VHS 1 & 2, the horde, res evil's, the bay, and stake land etc etc, 90% of this list needs to be updated. It would seem that any good films that do appear (martyrs, elm street, switch blade romance) are not even close to the top ten. It pisses me off that morons like you are allowed to compile lists of 'horror' films that people use as a reference so man up and watch a few horrors you sissy and then make a list

lee
lee

.Nope, this list is a massive fail. As horror films go the top 20 films that appear are mild thrillers at best. There are a tonne of good horror films missing, for example; The human centipede 1 & 2, Halloween 1 & 2 (remakes only) anything by Rob Zombie and Romero (post 2000 only), VHS 1 & 2, the horde, res evil's, the bay, and stake land etc etc, 90% of this list needs to be updated. It would seem that any good films that do appear (martyrs, elm street, switch blade romance) are not even close to the top ten. It pisses me off that morons like you are allowed to compile lists of 'horror' films that people use as a reference so man up and watch a few horrors you sissy and then make a list

lee
lee

.Nope, this list is a massive fail. As horror films go the top 20 films that appear are mild thrillers at best. There are a tonne of good horror films missing, for example; The human centipede 1 & 2, Halloween 1 & 2 (remakes only) anything by Rob Zombie and Romero (post 2000 only), VHS 1 & 2, the horde, res evil's, the bay, and stake land etc etc, 90% of this list needs to be updated. It would seem that any good films that do appear (martyrs, elm street, switch blade romance) are not even close to the top ten. It pisses me off that morons like you are allowed to compile lists of 'horror' films that people use as a reference so man up and watch a few horrors you sissy and then make a list

Sandy Neill
Sandy Neill

Where the hell is Scream? Come on it kick started the horror genre which was dead by the mid 90s. I can't respect this list if your missing out such influential films like that!

Cache
Cache

The exorcist and nightmare on elmstreet is also the best.

Cache
Cache

The exorcist and nightmare on elmstreet is also the best.

Cache
Cache

Psycho is the best I absolutely love Anthony Perkins in they movie.Alfred Hitchcock did a awsome job.

Cache
Cache

Psycho is the best I absolutely love Anthony Perkins in they movie.Alfred Hitchcock did a awsome job.

janith
janith

bulshit... whr's The Ring ?? nd The Grudge's da scariest movie in my openion. u people even dnt knw da meaning of horror

Diggs1979
Diggs1979

Very surprised Friday the 13th never made this list. A great movie that started the slasher genre. Descent list but I guess every horror fan has their own top 100 lol

Fag
Fag

Just because movies are old doesn't make them better. Shit list.

bob
bob

need agustmenst

HELENE BOURQUIN
HELENE BOURQUIN

I liked "EDEN LAKE" a lot, as well as "THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT".

Karen C
Karen C

Good list. I've seen probably 95% of these movies and I agree with most of these movies. But it is missing a few. Fulci's Zombie, I Spit on Your Grave, Last House on the Left, Demons, The Shining, The Silence of the Lambs, The Amityville Horror, to name a few. There are so many good horror movies its hard to make a short list of them.

Peter Nena
Peter Nena

Good list. I agree with most of it. But I think it needs review. It should be reviewed every year, actually. Some good horrors have come out lately like Mama, Paranormal Activity 3, Saw 1-3, American Mary, I Spit On Your Grave, Sinister, Woman In Black, Resident Evil, Wrong Turn, etc. Jaws is number 10 in this list; I watched it the other day; but, man, I've seen better horror! It was scary during its time, I think, but right now, Alexandre Aja's Piranha is better! Thanks.

jonny
jonny

the list is ok. most of the movies have a good rating. but wicker man should be way higher! and how... HOW is the exorcist at a higher rating than the shining. this is the only one that i definately do not agree with.

chuck schick
chuck schick

thanks for this list and for giving Phantasm some friggin credit.......this list is far superior to the bs they have on Rotten Tomatoes...their list doesn't even include The Exorcist

amir
amir

Nice Moves

IftyLondon
IftyLondon

The list is comprehensive. Some thing for every age group. However, what I found really terrifying was the atrocious spelling in the comments. The state of the education system is scary.

sarah lucker
sarah lucker

what about the fair haired child or the human centipede?

Raisin-h
Raisin-h

I have seen half the movies in the list. Not a single one with the exceptions of Ringu and [Rec] (one of my favorites) has even remotely scared me. All the one from 70s to early 90s were horrible to say the least - awful melodrama, awful acting, funny looking 'ghosts'. What is Alien doing in number 5? It is one of the best action movies of all time, not horror. I guess the meaning of 'horror' has been bent out of shape to suit a geek's obsession with 80s 'scare flicks'. The Orphanage, The Others, The Descent are the 3 other great movies in the list with an actual scare factor. Let the Right One In was good, but not scary at all. Jaws is a joke. Scary is something that would still make you peek through your fingers regardless of your age, and number 1 The Exorcist merely made me laugh...with one of the most comically 'diabolical' antagonist I have ever seen in movies. Sure in the 80s, some movies did scare people with new elements that were previously unseen, but a list including some of today's horror movies has no place for those long-gone scare tactics. Want to be scared shitless? If you don't have issues like epilepsy and don't mind candid and shaky camerawork, try Grave Encounters or V/H/S.

Daniyal B
Daniyal B

@mahendra  not good very goood