101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die

by Maverick22 | created - 15 Sep 2017 | updated - 15 Sep 2017 | Public

This list was created from the 2016 edition by Steven Jay Schneider. All titles are listed chronologically.

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1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 58,694

2. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener | Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova

Votes: 7,015

3. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 94 min | Fantasy, Horror

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 90,314

4. Häxan (1922)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Fantasy, History

Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in Eastern Europe.

Director: Benjamin Christensen | Stars: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan

Votes: 12,832

5. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Passed | 93 min | Horror

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick | Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe

Votes: 17,106 | Gross: $3.75M

6. Dracula (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

71 Metascore

After a naive real estate agent succumbs to the will of Count Dracula, the two head to London where the vampire sleeps in his coffin by day and searches for potential victims by night.

Directors: Tod Browning, Karl Freund | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye

Votes: 47,842

7. M (1931)

Passed | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 146,924 | Gross: $0.03M

8. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

Dr. Frankenstein dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster out of lifeless body parts.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 66,660

9. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Passed | 98 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Jekyll faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that transforms him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert

Votes: 12,798

10. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

80 Metascore

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 42,838

11. Vampyr (1932)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz

Votes: 16,360

12. White Zombie (1932)

Passed | 69 min | Horror

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer

Votes: 9,633

13. The Old Dark House (1932)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

Votes: 9,814 | Gross: $0.03M

14. Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Passed | 70 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A mad doctor conducts ghastly genetic experiments on a remote island in the South Seas, much to the fear and disgust of the shipwrecked sailor who finds himself trapped there.

Director: Erle C. Kenton | Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams

Votes: 8,469

15. King Kong (1933)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 80,788 | Gross: $10.00M

16. The Black Cat (1934)

Not Rated | 65 min | Adventure, Crime, Horror

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Julie Bishop

Votes: 9,913 | Gross: $0.51M

17. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

95 Metascore

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 44,317 | Gross: $4.36M

18. The Wolf Man (1941)

Passed | 70 min | Horror, Mystery, Romance

72 Metascore

Larry Talbot returns to his father's castle in Wales and meets a beautiful woman. One fateful night, Talbot escorts her to a local carnival where they meet a mysterious gypsy fortune teller.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles

Votes: 24,538

19. Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 20,611 | Gross: $4.00M

20. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved | 69 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett

Votes: 11,389

21. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal plan to murder him with what they believe is the perfect alibi.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 62,453

22. The Bad Seed (1956)

Approved | 129 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

51 Metascore

A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect eight-year-old daughter is a heartless killer.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Gage Clarke, Jesse White

Votes: 13,298

23. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Approved | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

59 Metascore

While awaiting execution for murder, Baron Victor Frankenstein tells the story of a creature he built and brought to life - only for it to behave not as he intended.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Christopher Lee

Votes: 9,913 | Gross: $17.44M

24. Horror of Dracula (1958)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Horror

67 Metascore

Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to hunt the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling

Votes: 21,472

25. The Tingler (1959)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

An obsessed pathologist discovers and captures a parasitic creature that grows when fear grips its host.

Director: William Castle | Stars: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts

Votes: 7,480

26. Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Horror

90 Metascore

A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured and goes to extreme lengths to give her a new face.

Director: Georges Franju | Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel, Alexandre Rignault

Votes: 28,519 | Gross: $0.05M

27. Peeping Tom (1960)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A young man murders women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror.

Director: Michael Powell | Stars: Karlheinz Böhm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer, Maxine Audley

Votes: 32,360 | Gross: $0.08M

28. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 618,153 | Gross: $32.00M

29. Black Sunday (1960)

Not Rated | 87 min | Horror

A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

Director: Mario Bava | Stars: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani

Votes: 14,145

30. The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

88 Metascore

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave

Votes: 27,772 | Gross: $2.62M

31. Carnival of Souls (1962)

Approved | 78 min | Horror, Mystery

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

Director: Herk Harvey | Stars: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison

Votes: 21,884

32. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Passed | 134 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

75 Metascore

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy

Votes: 51,433 | Gross: $4.05M

33. The Birds (1963)

PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

90 Metascore

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette

Votes: 175,217 | Gross: $11.40M

34. The Haunting (1963)

G | 112 min | Horror

74 Metascore

Hill House has stood for about 90 years and appears haunted: its inhabitants have always met strange, tragic ends. Now Dr. John Markway has assembled a team of people who he thinks will prove whether or not the house is haunted.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 35,571 | Gross: $2.62M

35. Onibaba (1964)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Horror

Two women kill samurais and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.

Director: Kaneto Shindô | Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satô, Jûkichi Uno

Votes: 16,985

36. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Not Rated | 89 min | Horror

77 Metascore

A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, David Weston

Votes: 13,168

37. Repulsion (1965)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

91 Metascore

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 49,910

38. Viy (1967)

Not Rated | 77 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A young priest is ordered to preside over the wake of witch in a small old wooden church of a remote village. This means spending three nights alone with the corpse with only his faith to protect him.

Directors: Konstantin Ershov, Georgiy Kropachyov | Stars: Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksey Glazyrin, Nikolay Kutuzov

Votes: 6,305

39. Hour of the Wolf (1968)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Horror

While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg

Votes: 19,130

40. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Approved | 137 min | Drama, Horror

96 Metascore

A young couple trying for a baby move into a fancy apartment surrounded by peculiar neighbors.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 199,156

41. The Devil Rides Out (1968)

G | 95 min | Horror

Devil worshipers plan to convert two new victims.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi, Leon Greene

Votes: 8,236

42. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Thriller

89 Metascore

A ragtag group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a horde of flesh-eating ghouls that are ravaging the East Coast of the United States.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman

Votes: 119,177 | Gross: $0.09M

43. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

Not Rated | 77 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Inspired by fairytales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood, is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.

Director: Jaromil Jires | Stars: Jaroslava Schallerová, Helena Anýzová, Petr Kopriva, Jirí Prýmek

Votes: 8,674

44. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Horror

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director: Robert Fuest | Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Virginia North, Terry-Thomas

Votes: 13,757 | Gross: $0.55M

45. Daughters of Darkness (1971)

R | 87 min | Horror

74 Metascore

While passing through a vacation resort, a newlywed couple encounters a mysterious, strikingly beautiful countess and her aide.

Director: Harry Kümel | Stars: Delphine Seyrig, John Karlen, Danielle Ouimet, Andrea Rau

Votes: 5,213

46. Blacula (1972)

PG | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror, Romance

5.7