Essential Horror Viewing

by Tippi_Redrum | created - 1 month ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

work in progress :-)

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1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

75 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 128,632 | Gross: $30.86M

2. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 217,583 | Gross: $47.00M

3. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

89 Metascore

A ragtag group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a bloodthirsty, flesh-eating breed of monsters who are ravaging the East Coast of the United States.

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

Votes: 110,437 | Gross: $0.09M

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

76 Metascore

The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 195,431 | Gross: $25.50M

5. 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: 350,268 | Gross: $13.78M

6. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

85 Metascore

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta

Votes: 160,147 | Gross: $33.80M

7. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

GP | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

An American expatriate in Rome witnesses an attempted murder. He learns later that it's connected to an ongoing murder spree in the city, and decides to do his own investigation, despite being personally targeted by the killer.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi

Votes: 16,720 | Gross: $0.42M

8. Phantasm (1979)

R | 89 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.

Director: Don Coscarelli | Stars: A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Kathy Lester

Votes: 30,085 | Gross: $11.99M

9. 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: 84,584

10. Dracula (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

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

Votes: 43,781

11. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars 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: 568,847 | Gross: $32.00M

12. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

22 Metascore

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp where, years before, it was the site of a child's drowning and a grisly double murder.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan

Votes: 112,353 | Gross: $39.75M

13. Frankenstein (1931)

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

91 Metascore

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

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

Votes: 61,730

14. 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: 53,568

15. Salem's Lot (1979)

PG | 200 min | Horror

A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.

Stars: David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia

Votes: 19,498

16. 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: 25,077 | Gross: $2.62M

17. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

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

Votes: 749,694 | Gross: $78.90M

18. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 86,938 | Gross: $30.57M

19. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

81 Metascore

When a 12 year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 347,799 | Gross: $232.91M

20. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror

62 Metascore

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens, David Warner

Votes: 102,514 | Gross: $4.27M

21. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

R | 137 min | Drama, Horror

96 Metascore

A young couple moves in to a fancy apartment surrounded by peculiar neighbors. When the timid and passive wife becomes mysteriously pregnant while the actor husband becomes successful, the safety of her fetus begins to control her life.

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

Votes: 181,484

22. 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 extremes to give her a new face.

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

Votes: 24,852 | Gross: $0.05M

23. The Haunting (1963)

G | 112 min | Horror

74 Metascore

A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

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

Votes: 32,867 | Gross: $2.62M

24. 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: 12,763

25. The Birds (1963)

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

88 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: 162,518 | Gross: $11.40M

26. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama

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: 40,166

27. 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, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart

Votes: 12,124

28. The Invisible Man (1933)

Not Rated | 71 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers

Votes: 28,275

29. Mill of the Stone Women (1960)

96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

In 19th century Holland, a professor of fine arts and an unlicensed surgeon run a secret lab where the professor's ill daughter receives blood-transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become macabre art.

Director: Giorgio Ferroni | Stars: Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel, Wolfgang Preiss, Dany Carrel

Votes: 1,234

30. 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: 28,663 | Gross: $0.08M

31. Onibaba (1964)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Horror

Two women kill samurai 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: 14,599

32. House of Usher (1960)

Not Rated | 79 min | Drama, Horror

75 Metascore

Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey, Harry Ellerbe

Votes: 11,287

33. The City of the Dead (1960)

PG-13 | 78 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young college student arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town to research witchcraft; during her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers a startling secret about the town and its inhabitants.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Patricia Jessel, Dennis Lotis, Christopher Lee, Tom Naylor

Votes: 5,672

34. Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

78 Metascore

In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, Luana Anders

Votes: 11,920 | Gross: $4.36M

35. The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

When a disease turns all of humanity into the living dead, the last man on earth becomes a reluctant vampire hunter.

Directors: Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow | Stars: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli, Giacomo Rossi Stuart

Votes: 16,467

36. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Not Rated | 81 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

Director: Jack Arnold | Stars: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton

Votes: 15,135

37. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal hatch a plan to murder him while having the perfect alibi. They carry out the plan...but then his body disappears.

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

Votes: 59,047

38. Dementia 13 (1963)

Unrated | 75 min | Horror, Thriller

Shocked by the death of her spouse, a scheming widow hatches a bold plan to get her hands on the inheritance, unaware that she is targeted by an axe-wielding murderer who lurks in the family's estate. What mystery shrouds the noble house?

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchel

Votes: 6,597

39. Kill, Baby... Kill! (1966)

GP | 83 min | Horror, Mystery

A Carpathian village is haunted by the ghost of a murderous little girl, prompting a coroner and a medical student to uncover her secrets while a witch attempts to protect the villagers.

Director: Mario Bava | Stars: Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Erika Blanc, Fabienne Dali, Piero Lulli

Votes: 5,480

40. 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: 47,460 | Gross: $4.05M

41. Witchfinder General (1968)

Unrated | 86 min | Biography, Drama, Horror

A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch-hunter when the latter terrorizes his fiancée and kills her uncle.

Director: Michael Reeves | Stars: Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies, Hilary Heath

Votes: 8,574

42. 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: 46,156

43. At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964)

84 min | Horror

A gravedigger prowls the city in search of a female to bear him a son.

Director: José Mojica Marins | Stars: José Mojica Marins, Magda Mei, Nivaldo Lima, Valéria Vasquez

Votes: 2,753

44. The Ghost of Yotsuya (1959)

76 min | Horror

The ghost of a samurai's wife takes revenge on her husband.

Director: Nobuo Nakagawa | Stars: Shigeru Amachi, Noriko Kitazawa, Katsuko Wakasugi, Shuntarô Emi

Votes: 1,141

45. The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance

A mystery novel-loving American tourist witnesses a murder in Rome, and soon finds herself and her suitor caught up in a series of killings.

Director: Mario Bava | Stars: John Saxon, Letícia Román, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino

Votes: 3,617



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