There’s a lot of patter about how we live in a golden age of fright. Boutique distributor A24 has become the paragon of ‘elevated horror‘ thanks to the elegant scares of Hereditary, The Witch and Saint Maude. Indie darlings like David Gordon Green have taken the reins of the Halloween and Exorcist franchises. James Wan keeps cranking out blockbuster funhouse fare like The Conjuring. Jim from the American Office has become a horror icon thanks to his A Quiet Place franchise and former sketch-comedy headliner Jordan Peele netted an Oscar by tapping Rod Sterling and The Stepford Wives for the zeitgeisty Get Out.
But the truth is, horror’s golden age has spanned the entire lifetime of cinema, eternally lurking in the shadows like Count Orlok and tempting more respectable cineastes to live deliciously by indulging in their baser emotions. Video Nasties and seedy B-movies have been reappraised as brilliant. Slasher films have been re-evaluated as art. And genre filmmakers like Wes Craven and John Carpenter have been elevated to the same storied tier as genre forebears like Michael Powell and Hitchcock… directors whose credentials belied a bloodlust that shocked audiences like a maniac lurking behind the shower curtain.
As with our picks of the best comedy movies or best thrillers, the below list is a proper smorgasbord of horror movies, including genre-busting science fiction like Alien and murderous serial killer thrillers such as The Silence of the Lambs. The list is also full of the classics, as well as some recent releases that left us terrified and a generous helping of B-movie monster mania. Prepare for many sleepless nights: here are the 100 best horror films of all time.
Written by Tom Huddleston, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Nigel Floyd, Phil de Semlyen, David Ehrlich, Joshua Rothkopf, Nigel Floyd, Andy Kryza and Alim Kheraj
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