Great Atmospheric Horror Movies

by Decadentor | created - 06 Oct 2012 | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

The list of some great atmospheric horror and dark themed movies i liked.

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1. Sauna (2008)

Unrated | 83 min | Horror

As a 25-year war between Russia and Sweden concludes, two brothers who are part of an effort to outline new border accords become undone by their actions, and their mistreatment of a young woman during their journey.

Director: Antti-Jussi Annila | Stars: Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen, Viktor Klimenko, Rain Tolk

Votes: 6,445

2. Calvaire (2004)

Not Rated | 88 min | Horror

52 Metascore

Marc, a traveling entertainer, is on his way home for Christmas when his van brakes in the middle of a jerkwater town with some strange inhabitans.

Director: Fabrice du Welz | Stars: Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigny, Jean-Luc Couchard

Votes: 10,914 | Gross: $0.00M

3. Antichrist (2009)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Horror

49 Metascore

A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, but nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

Votes: 107,638 | Gross: $0.40M

4. The Wicker Man (1973)

R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

87 Metascore

A Police Sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl who the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

Director: Robin Hardy | Stars: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland

Votes: 60,288 | Gross: $0.06M

5. A Holy Place (1990)

90 min | Drama, Horror

Sveto mesto (A Holy Place, 1990) is based on a literary classic, Nikolai Gogol's 1835 short story, 'Viy'. However, Kadijevic uses it only as a starting point for his own explorations into ... See full summary »

Director: Djordje Kadijevic | Stars: Dragan Jovanovic, Branka Pujic, Aleksandar Bercek, Mira Banjac

Votes: 744

6. Wilczyca (1983)

98 min | Horror

Kacper, an ex-guerrilla soldier is chased by a female werewolf, realizes that he is possessed by the spirit of his deceased wife Maryna. He also recognizes the same werewolf symptoms in ... See full summary »

Director: Marek Piestrak | Stars: Krzysztof Jasinski, Iwona Bielska, Stanislaw Brejdygant, Olgierd Lukaszewicz

Votes: 242

Pretty unknown polish horror movie. I loved it so much, great "real" atmosphere, story based on folk tales and superstitious tradition.

7. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

R | 137 min | Drama, Horror

96 Metascore

A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

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

Votes: 172,137

8. REC (2007)

R | 78 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

69 Metascore

A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza | Stars: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano, Pablo Rosso

Votes: 154,565

9. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 335,470 | Gross: $13.78M

10. Let the Right One In (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

82 Metascore

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl

Votes: 196,106 | Gross: $2.12M

11. Shutter (II) (2004)

Not Rated | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past.

Directors: Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom | Stars: Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, Achita Sikamana, Unnop Chanpaibool

Votes: 37,671

12. The Shrine (2010)

Not Rated | 85 min | Horror

Two female journalists and a photographer travel to Europe to investigate a series of mysterious disappearances, only to find themselves embroiled in a struggle against a kind of evil they never expected.

Director: Jon Knautz | Stars: Aaron Ashmore, Cindy Sampson, Meghan Heffern, Trevor Matthews

Votes: 12,610

13. Häxan (1922)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Fantasy, Horror

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

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

Votes: 10,353

14. Cemetery Man (1994)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Horror

A cemetery man must kill the dead a second time when they become zombies.

Director: Michele Soavi | Stars: Rupert Everett, François Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi, Mickey Knox

Votes: 18,643 | Gross: $0.25M

15. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard

Votes: 12,758

Beautiful audiovisual experience

16. Black Sabbath (1963)

Not Rated | 92 min | Horror

Boris Karloff hosts a trio of horror stories concerning a stalked call girl, a vampire-like monster who preys on his family, and a nurse who is haunted by her ring's rightful owner.

Director: Mario Bava | Stars: Michèle Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Boris Karloff, Mark Damon

Votes: 9,143

17. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 792,861 | Gross: $44.02M

18. Storm of the Century (1999– )

PG-13 | 257 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A dangerous blizzard hits an isolated town and brings along a mysterious stranger intent on terrorizing people for his own desires.

Stars: Becky Ann Baker, Kathleen Chalfant, Adam Zolotin, Adam LeFevre

Votes: 18,620

19. Black Death (2010)

R | 102 min | Action, Drama, History

71 Metascore

Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is given the task of learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village.

Director: Christopher Smith | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Carice van Houten, Kimberley Nixon

Votes: 41,391 | Gross: $0.02M

20. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

R | 89 min | Horror

31 Metascore

Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

Director: Rob Zombie | Stars: Sid Haig, Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie

Votes: 69,928 | Gross: $12.63M

21. The Woman in Black (1989 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror, Mystery

When a friendless old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young solicitor is sent by his firm to settle the estate. The lawyer finds the townspeople reluctant to talk about or go ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Wise | Stars: Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauline Moran

Votes: 4,222

22. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R | 95 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

53 Metascore

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner

Votes: 54,728 | Gross: $8.95M

23. Wild Flowers (2000)

81 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Seven seemingly unconnected fairy tales - glued together only by folklore, mood, color and light - make up this Czech collection of visual poetry. The original piece of literature, written ... See full summary »

Director: F.A. Brabec | Stars: Martina Bezousková, Sylvie Kraslová, Sára Vorísková, Anna Bezousková

Votes: 1,175

Omnibus of 7 folklore poems, beautiful and atmospheric, not too scary, barley a horror, but its must see especially if you are into folklore stuff.

24. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

R | 128 min | Horror

57 Metascore

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves

Votes: 175,309 | Gross: $82.52M

25. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

R | 123 min | Drama, Horror

59 Metascore

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst

Votes: 276,209 | Gross: $105.26M

26. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Not Rated | 89 min | Horror

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: 11,023

27. Beauty and the Beast (1978)

83 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

In this gothic rendition of the classic fairy tale, a merchant's youngest daughter is held prisoner by a mysterious winged beast.

Director: Juraj Herz | Stars: Zdena Studenková, Vlastimil Harapes, Václav Voska, Jana Brejchová

Votes: 882

A more horrific and gloomy version of The Beauty and the Beast as IMDb says. Only adjective i need to add is gothic.

28. The Devil (1972)

Not Rated | 119 min | Drama, History, Horror

During the Prussian army's invasion to Poland in 1793, a young Polish nobleman Jakub is saved from the imprisonment by a stranger who wants in return to obtain a list of Jakub's fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Wojciech Pszoniak, Leszek Teleszynski, Malgorzata Braunek, Iga Mayr

Votes: 1,467

29. The Church (1989)

R | 102 min | Horror

An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.

Director: Michele Soavi | Stars: Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Barbara Cupisti

Votes: 6,012

30. The Company of Wolves (1984)

R | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine, and has a disturbing dream involving wolves prowling the woods below her bedroom window.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Graham Crowden

Votes: 13,764 | Gross: $4.39M

Great movie with great fairytale and dreamy but still creepy atmosphere and folk elements

31. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

R | 105 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, with the culprit being the legendary apparition, The Headless Horseman.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon

Votes: 308,385 | Gross: $101.07M

Great atmospheric well known horror movie. Only minuses are cgi atmosphere/effects and sometimes bad acting, i expected much more from Depp...but i dont mind it in this beauty

32. Viy (1967)

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: 4,769

33. Dark Waters (1993)

R | 94 min | Horror, Mystery

A girl travels to an island, after the death of her father, to find out why the father funded a monestary on the island.

Director: Mariano Baino | Stars: Louise Salter, Venera Simmons, Mariya Kapnist, Lubov Snegur

Votes: 1,481

34. Begotten (1990)

Unrated | 72 min | Fantasy, Horror

Presented in a surreal, gory and entirely visual manner, Begotten tells of the death of religion, the abuse of nature by Man and a nihilistic outlook on what life ultimately is.

Director: E. Elias Merhige | Stars: Brian Salzberg, Donna Dempsey, Stephen Charles Barry, James Gandia

Votes: 9,086

Hmmmmm i really don't know what to say about this movie. With Its distorted and maximum contrast visual effects and natural but still weird sound this movie makes you feel strange. There is also a plenty of morbid and unusual scene that makes that feel even vorse. But on the other side beggoten have a dose of monotony and repetition. Really slow movie with an ful artistic experimentation.

35. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 145,286

36. On the Silver Globe (1988)

Unrated | 166 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

72 Metascore

A team of astronauts land on an inhabitable planet and form a society. Many years later, a single astronaut is sent to the planet and becomes a messiah.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Andrzej Seweryn, Jerzy Trela, Grazyna Dylag, Waldemar Kownacki

Votes: 1,835

Really dark SF with an bizzare scenes and somehow realistic look on human psyhology and religion. After all that "eye candy" stuff the movie is full of deep philosophy and its really mindblowing. One of best movies i've seen lately.

37. La cinquième saison (2012)

93 min | Drama, Mystery

In a scenic Belgian village, nature is turning its back on man. How will the locals cope with this new reality?

Directors: Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth | Stars: Aurélia Poirier, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck, Gill Vancompernolle

Votes: 1,258

Beautiful and slow surreal movie with a folk elements.

38. Witchhammer (1970)

103 min | Drama, History, Horror

A very popular movie on the medieval persecution of witches (inquisition).

Director: Otakar Vávra | Stars: Vladimír Smeral, Elo Romancik, Josef Kemr, Sona Valentová

Votes: 1,474

39. Gothic (1986)

R | 87 min | Horror

The Shelleys visit Lord Byron and compete to write a horror story.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson, Myriam Cyr

Votes: 6,569 | Gross: $0.92M

40. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 722,568 | Gross: $78.90M

41. Possession (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Horror

72 Metascore

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent

Votes: 20,752 | Gross: $1.11M

42. The Witch (2015)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery

83 Metascore

A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.

Director: Robert Eggers | Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Julian Richings

Votes: 158,601 | Gross: $25.14M

43. Kill List (2011)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

67 Metascore

Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.

Director: Ben Wheatley | Stars: Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Harry Simpson, Michael Smiley

Votes: 33,216 | Gross: $0.03M

44. Cremator (1969)

95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Set in World War II, a demented cremator believes cremation relieves earthly suffering and sets out to save the world.

Director: Juraj Herz | Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Milos Vognic

Votes: 5,970

45. The Ritual (I) (2017)

TV-MA | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

57 Metascore

A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that's stalking them.

Director: David Bruckner | Stars: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton

Votes: 58,025

46. Hagazussa (2017)

102 min | Drama, Horror

72 Metascore

Paranoia & Superstition in 15th Century Europe.

Director: Lukas Feigelfeld | Stars: Aleksandra Cwen, Celina Peter, Claudia Martini, Tanja Petrovsky

Votes: 2,007 | Gross: $0.01M

47. Midsommar (I) (2019)

R | 147 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

73 Metascore

A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

Director: Ari Aster | Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren, William Jackson Harper

Votes: 31,423 | Gross: $25.83M



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