Top 10 Horror Movies of All Time

Ella Krug, Online Editor

  1. Friday the 13th 

With all the famous references to the movie in pop culture, you’d expect this movie to be higher on this list. But Rotten Tomatoes only gave the film a 62% while Metacritic rated it at 22%. It’s kind of unbelievable that a 50+ year old woman can pull off all the murders herself and pin a twenty-something year old perfectly on a door. But if you’re into all of the cliches of the horror genre, then this movie is the right one for you. A girl falls down approximately 3 times in a row and the counselors of Camp Crystal Lake all ignore the warnings of Crazy Ralph. Yes, there really is a character named Crazy Ralph. Despite all the bad components about the movie, it’s another classic slasher film that fans look forward to watching every year. 

9. Carrie

Everyone knows this classic film: Carrie gets splattered in pig’s blood at prom and then begins to get revenge on her tormentors using her special powers. Like The Shining, it started out as a book by Stephen King but Carrie was adapted by Brian De Palma. Sissy Spacek does a remarkable job of playing an awkward outcast who is always mocked and made fun of by her fellow classmates. But what her classmates don’t know is that she has telekinesis, the ability to control objects without physically touching them. Carrie’s life isn’t any easier as she lives with her very evangelical mother who often locks her daughter into a prayer room. No horror movie marathon would be complete without a contribution from the master of horror, Stephen King. 

  1. The Exorcist

The Exorcist is considered to be one of the scariest films ever made. When the film was released, the concept of demonic possession was relatively new. It features insane special effects and great acting from the mother, Ellen Burstyn. Many people believed that the movie and the set was haunted. A fire occurred on set which led to the shooting being delayed. Suspiciously, the only room that remained untouched by the fire was the room where the exorcism took pace. Coincidence? There was also a series of injuries, deaths, and other bad incidents. But nonetheless, The Exorcist is an experience that everyone should watch more than once in their life to fully understand the power and terror of the film.

7. Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger is one of the most recognizable villains in movie history thanks to this film. He took advantage of the dream setting to do whatever he could to terrorize his victims. There were no such things as rules in dreams. If you tried to run, Freddy could just be waiting around the corner, easily using the power of teleportation. The protagonist Nancy Thompson tried her hardest to stay awake, thriving off of coffee and energy pills to avoid Krueger. But her plan ultimately fails as she purposely drags Freddy out of the dream world to try to defeat him once and for all. This film will not disappoint as it is packed with scary dream sequences and a young Johnny Depp. Just whatever you do, don’t fall asleep… 

  1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Five teenagers on their way to visit a grandfather’s grave fall prey to a family of cannibals out in rural Texas. Not to mention, one of the teenagers is paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair. One by one, they come across the menacing Leatherface, who wears a mask made out of human skin. He actually has multiple masks that he wears depending on his different moods. Shocking and unsettling, TCSM is violently disturbing, especially when it comes to the infamous dinner scene, where the protagonist, Sally, is stuck at a table being tormented by all of the cannibals. Nothing is more terrifying than Sally laughing hysterically in the back of the truck after she gets away while Leatherface swings his chainsaw around in a fit of rage. 

5. The Shining

What started as a novel by Stephen King transformed into an unforgettable film adapted by Stanley Kubrick. Everyone is familiar with Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny” line and the creepy twins standing at the end of the hallway. The story follows Nicholson’s character who accepts the job as a winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. After moving his family to the Colorado Mountains, they begin experiencing strange phenomena. Their son Danny has psychic powers, causing the forces who reside in the Overlook able to negatively interact with him. This movie is so significant, it has led to multiple references in pop culture, such as The Simpsons. It’s so good, any horror aficionado should watch this movie if they want to consider themselves a movie buff. 

  1. Psycho

Did you know that Psycho was the first American film to feature a toilet? Psycho was Alfred Hitchcock’s most successful film and for good reasons. It features Anthony Perkins, who perfectly played the mentally disturbed character of Norman Bates. The plot twist at the end is astounding and will make the viewers drop their jaws. The shower murder scene is also one of the most famous scenes in cinema history. Who could forget the iconic violins wailing away as Marion Crane was just trying to take a shower? Psycho will forever remain a classic and it gives the same thrill to audiences of different generations. 

3. The Conjuring

Oh, The Conjuring. One of the most successful movie franchises with a whole storyline spanning across different decades. A family moves into a Rhode Island farmhouse and soon begins experiencing nightmarish behavior from the forces within. Two paranormal investigators are called in to assist them in dragging out the supernatural powers. This is easily one of the most terrifying paranormal films in horror movie history thanks to director James Wan. What makes The Conjuring different from other horror movies is that every film in the Conjuring universe is connected in some way. That’s not something you see in the horror genre everyday. There’s no denying that The Conjuring is scary as it is packed with jumpscares and spooky occurrences. It’s not surprising that so many teenagers say their favorite horror movie is The Conjuring. 

  1. Scream

What’s your favorite scary movie? Easily one of the most iconic lines ever uttered in a horror movie. With a star-studded lineup, including Neve Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette, this film revived the slasher genre for a new generation. Caller ID even tripled after Scream was released. Wes Craven, who directed Scream, was also the director of Nightmare on Elm Street, another exemplary horror movie. Scream is filled to the guts with good chase scenes, memorable characters (Randy *cough cough*), and a satisfying ending. Nothing is more iconic than Gale Weathers giving her news broadcast at the end of the movie while the camera pans over the sunrise to a Moby song. What could be more 90s? 

1. Halloween

John Carpenter’s Halloween remains a favorite among many horror fanatics. The story begins with Michael Myers killing his sister and being institutionalized. After he turns 21, he escapes and continues his killing spree, stalking our protagonist Laurie Strode and her friends. With only a small budget of $300,000, the movie perfectly encapsulates the horrifying figure that is Michael Myers, using as little blood and gore as possible. Michael’s expressionless, white mask and the iconic piano score only elevate the film to a cult classic.