Are you in the mood for a good scare? Look no further! In this article, we will take you on a spine-chilling journey through the best horror movies of all time. From classics like "Psycho" and "The Exorcist" to modern hits like "Get Out" and "Hereditary," we have a terrifying treat for every horror enthusiast. Get ready to be thrilled, as we delve into the dark and twisted world of cinema's most chilling tales.
Meet M3gan, an autonomous and lethal robot with killer fashion sense. This high-tech marvel becomes the best friend and confidant of Cady, an orphaned eight-year-old girl. Cady is placed under the care of her Aunt Gemma, a brilliant robotics expert on the brink of a groundbreaking invention. Unprepared for the responsibilities of parenting and overwhelmed at work, Gemma introduces Cady to M3gan, unaware of the deadly consequences of trusting artificial intelligence.
Evil Dead Rise
Sometimes, all you need is a good, old-fashioned horror movie with a generous budget dedicated to blood and gore. Warner Bros.' Evil Dead Rise, the fifth installment of the popular series, follows the story of two estranged sisters. One sister is single and carefree, while the other is raising three kids in a cramped apartment. When demonic forces invade their lives, they must fight for survival. While this film lacks the iconic cabin and main character Ash, it offers a visceral and thrilling experience that would make director Sam Raimi proud.
In a world dominated by social media, the line between truth and fiction becomes blurred. Influencer is a getaway horror film that explores the story of a woman who goes missing during her lone vacation in Thailand. As viewers, we get an up-close look at the dangers of living life online. While the plot may be far-fetched at times, the film serves as a cautionary tale about the potential hazards of selfies and the potential consequences they may bring.
Jenna Ortega and Melissa Berrera star in the latest chapter of the Ghostface saga, Scream VI. In this installment, the sisters Tara and Sam leave their hometown of Woodsboro for a fresh start in New York City. However, they soon find themselves targeted by a mysterious psycho wearing a costume and wielding a dangerous knife. With the help of writer Kevin Williamson and an ensemble cast that includes Courteney Cox, Hayden Panettiere, and Skeet Ulrich reprising their iconic roles, this film delivers the perfect blend of nostalgia and thrills.
Imagine escaping to a serene lakeside cabin during a pandemic, only to discover that a hooded madman lurks in the nearby woods. Sick, written by the masterful Kevin Williamson (known for the Scream franchise), takes audiences on a horrifying journey. Beneath its slash-happy exterior, the film also delivers a powerful message about the impact of politics on individuals and society.
Before Parasite, acclaimed director Bong Joon Ho delighted audiences with another captivating film, The Host. This creature feature revolves around a mutant squid born from toxic chemicals dumped into Seoul's Han River. The creature emerges to attack people along the shoreline and kidnaps a young girl. The film blends horror, drama, and humor seamlessly, creating a unique viewing experience that is both terrifying and heartfelt.
Justin Long, known for his captivating performances in indie films such as Tusk, The Wave, House of Darkness, and Creepshow, stars in Barbarian. This wickedly fun viral gem, directed by Zach Cregger, takes viewers on a thrilling ride. The film's standout star is Georgina Campbell, who portrays Tess, a woman who finds herself in the most disturbing Airbnb imaginable. She must confront both real and imagined monsters, leading to nerve-shattering results.
If you thought The Exorcism of Emily Rose was terrifying, get ready for Saint Maud. This haunting film combines demonic and psychological terrors to deliver an unforgettable experience. Directed by Rose Glass, the story revolves around Maud, a young nurse who takes it upon herself to save the soul of her dying patient. From the very beginning, Saint Maud will leave you begging for mercy with its ominous atmosphere, bold filmmaking, and disturbing imagery.
Sissy, directed by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, is a truly unsettling watch that combines dark humor with genre carnage. The film follows Cecilia, also known as Sissy, an upbeat social media influencer. During her bachelorette trip, she finds herself stuck with her childhood bully in a challenging and nightmarish situation. Sissy pushes the boundaries of traditional horror flicks and keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with its unpredictable twists and turns.
Prepare yourself for a spine-chilling journey with The Wailing. Directed by Na Hong-jin, this film is a masterful blend of demonic, epidemic, and psychological horror. The story revolves around Jong-goo, a policeman who becomes entangled in a mysterious case that plagues his village and endangers his daughter. The film's eerie atmosphere and thought-provoking plot will leave you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
Near Dark (1987)
(Image credit: F/M Entertainment)The movie: Near Dark, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and released in 1987, is a Southern Gothic vampire film that has become a cult classic. The story follows Caleb, a young man who gets bitten by a member of a traveling group of vampires. He is then forced to join them in their nocturnal lifestyle. Starring Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Bill Paxton, Lance Henrickson, and Jenette Goldstein, this film offers a unique take on the vampire genre with its blend of romance and horror.
Why it's scary: Near Dark is scary because of the unpredictability and savagery of its vampire characters. These bloodthirsty killers, including the haunting vampire child Homer, are relentless and ruthless. The film emphasizes the terror of being trapped with these creatures, with no escape once the sun goes down. The combination of romance, violence, and atmospheric visuals makes Near Dark a chilling and unforgettable viewing experience.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Director: Wes CravenCast: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
A Nightmare on Elm Street, directed by Wes Craven, is a horror classic that stands out among the many entries in the series. The film follows a group of teenagers tormented by Freddy Krueger, a terrifying nightmare boogeyman. Craven's film is tightly crafted, blending scares, wit, and nightmarish visuals to create a chilling experience. With its innovative concept and iconic villain, A Nightmare on Elm Street remains a must-watch for horror fans.
Director: Dario ArgentoCast: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci
In Suspiria, director Dario Argento weaves a tale of dark supernatural forces and psychological terrors. The film follows a young American woman, Suzy, who enrolls at a prestigious ballet academy in Germany. She soon discovers that the school is a front for a sinister coven of witches. With its vibrant visuals, intense violence, and themes of obsession, Suspiria is a visually stunning and unsettling horror masterpiece.
The Descent (2005)
Director: Neil MarshallCast: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid
The Descent, directed by Neil Marshall, is a gripping and claustrophobic horror film. The story follows a group of adventurous women who explore an uncharted cave system. As they navigate the treacherous tunnels, they encounter a terrifying race of subterranean creatures. The film builds tension through its atmospheric setting, intense character dynamics, and shocking moments of horror, making it a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Director: John LandisCast: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine
An American Werewolf in London, directed by John Landis, is a unique blend of comedy and horror. The film follows David, who gets attacked by a werewolf while on a trip to England. As he undergoes a transformation, he must deal with the violent consequences of his new condition. This film stands out for its clever mix of scares and humor, along with its emotional depth and impressive special effects.
The Witch (2015)
Director: Robert EggersStarring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
The Witch, directed by Robert Eggers, is a chilling and atmospheric horror film set in 17th-century New England. The story follows a devout family living on the edge of a dark forest. As strange occurrences and supernatural forces disrupt their lives, paranoia and fear grip the family. The Witch stands out for its meticulous period setting, immersive language, and haunting portrayal of religious hysteria. It is a psychological and unsettling horror experience.
28 Days Later (2002)
The movie: 28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle, is a zombie film that revolutionized the genre. The story centers around Jim, who wakes up in a hospital to find himself in a post-apocalyptic London overrun by infected humans. As he navigates the deserted city and encounters both survivors and monsters, Jim's fight for survival becomes increasingly desperate and intense.
Why it’s scary: 28 Days Later is a nightmare come to life. With its heart-pounding soundtrack, intense cinematography, and realistic portrayal of a modern British apocalypse, the film delivers both jump scares and a grim atmosphere. The infected, fast and relentless, pose a constant threat, while the fractured society and mistrust among survivors heighten the tension. 28 Days Later is a gory and emotionally impactful horror film that will leave viewers on edge.
(Image credit: Tristar Pictures)The movie: Candyman, based on Clive Barker's short story "The Forbidden," is a haunting and brutal horror film. Set in Chicago, the story follows Helen Lyle, a graduate student researching urban myths and legends. She becomes obsessed with the Candyman legend, a vengeful spirit with a hook for a hand. As Helen delves deeper into the mystery, she becomes entangled in the horrifying truth behind the legend.
Why it’s scary: The character of Candyman, portrayed by Tony Todd, has become an iconic horror villain. He exudes a commanding presence and resonates with audiences due to his imposing stature and chilling voice. Candyman's kills are visceral and shocking, with the film's visual style and score heightening the impact. Candyman is a terrifying blend of gore, tension, and psychological horror that lingers in the minds of viewers long after the credits roll.
Get Out (2017)
The movie: Get Out tells the story of Chris, a photographer in his mid-20s, who is visiting his girlfriend's parents in rural New York for the first time. Chris is a little nervous about the situation and asks his girlfriend, Rose, if her parents know that he is Black. Rose assures him that her father, in fact, would have voted for Obama for a third term if he could have. Relieved, Chris proceeds with the visit. Little does he know that everything is about to go wrong. What he thought would be a slightly socially awkward encounter turns into something much more sinister.
Why it's scary: Get Out is a modern horror masterpiece that goes beyond simple scares. Director Jordan Peele skillfully weaves resonant social commentary, chilling suspense, and dark humor into a compelling narrative. The movie not only frightens viewers but also forces them to confront the uncomfortable truths of identity politics in contemporary America. It's a thought-provoking exploration of the deep-rooted fears and tensions that exist in society, making it more than just your typical horror film.
The Wicker Man (1973)
(Image credit: British Lion Films)The movie: The Wicker Man, directed by Robin Hardy, is a film that shouldn't be dismissed as just reaction gifs or a subject of mockery due to its infamous Nicolas Cage remake. This movie is a must-watch for anyone interested in the rural horror genre that has become popular in the 21st Century. The story follows Edward Woodward's character, a policeman named Neil Howie, who travels to the fictional island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. As he delves deeper into the island's mysterious and disturbing beliefs and practices, he realizes that all is not what it seems.
Why it's scary: The Wicker Man taps into the timeless fear of humans being the true monsters. The seemingly comedic inhabitants of Summerisle hide a darker truth that leaves viewers questioning who can be trusted and how to survive in a world full of deceit. Neil Howie's journey into the unknown and his encounters with the island's residents is a chilling exploration of the fear of the unfamiliar. And if you manage to avoid spoilers, the film's reveal will leave you devastated.
Director: Alfred HitchcockCast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera MilesIn 1960, moviegoers would have experienced the shock and surprise of watching Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho for the first time. With its unconventional marketing and Hitchcock's own enigmatic presence, the film cleverly lulls viewers into a false sense of security before delivering one of the most iconic scenes in horror history. The first half of the film sets up the noir-esque story of Janet Leigh's character, who steals money and attempts to start a new life, only to meet a gruesome fate in the infamous shower scene. The unexpected brutality of the film, accompanied by Bernard Herrmann's haunting score, takes audiences on an unforgettable and deeply unsettling journey.
American Werewolf in London
Director: John CarpenterCast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Nancy Kyes, P.J. SolesJohn Carpenter's Halloween is a true classic in the horror genre. Released in 1978, this film introduced audiences to the iconic character of Michael Myers and set the standard for slasher films that followed. The story revolves around Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis in her breakout role, and her terrifying encounter with the masked killer on Halloween night. Carpenter's mastery of tension-building and his ability to create a sense of dread are on full display in this atmospheric and suspenseful film.
The movie: Ridley Scott's Alien is a groundbreaking combination of science fiction and horror that has left a lasting impact on both genres. The film follows the crew of the spaceship Nostromo as they investigate a distress call from an abandoned alien spaceship. What starts as a seemingly innocent exploration quickly turns into a fight for survival as the crew members encounter a terrifying extraterrestrial creature. Sigourney Weaver's performance as the courageous final survivor, Ellen Ripley, solidifies her as one of the ultimate heroines in the genre.
Why it's scary: Alien taps into the fear of isolation and the unknown. Being trapped on a spaceship light years away from home with a deadly alien creature hunting the crew creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and intense suspense. The creature itself, designed by H.R. Giger, is a masterpiece of horror design and represents a deep well of primal fears. Ridley Scott's expert direction and the film's visual ambiguity during the final act keep viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering what lurks in the shadows. To truly appreciate the horror of Alien, it's best to watch it in the dark and let Scott's vision reignite your passion for the genre.
The movie: Hereditary is a deeply unnerving film that delves into the horrors that can exist within a family. The story revolves around a grieving family, led by Toni Collette's harrowing performance as a mother dealing with the loss of her own mother. As the family faces a series of increasingly disturbing and unsettling events, their seemingly perfect life begins to unravel, revealing dark secrets and a supernatural presence.
Why it’s scary: Hereditary is a film that constantly keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, never allowing them to feel safe or comfortable. Director Ari Aster crafts a tense and unsettling atmosphere that permeates every frame of the film. The movie challenges traditional horror conventions, mixing supernatural elements with an exploration of grief and family dynamics. Every scene is crafted with meticulous detail, leaving audiences with a lingering sense of unease long after the movie ends. Hereditary is an intelligent, emotional, and terrifying film that showcases the power of restraint in creating memorable horror experiences.
(Image credit: Toho)The movie: Ringu is often credited as one of the most notable and influential films in the J-horror genre. Directed by Hideo Nakata, the film follows journalist Reiko Asakawa and her ex-husband Ryuji as they investigate the mysterious death of Reiko's niece. The investigation leads them to a cursed video tape connected to an urban legend. As they dig deeper into the story of Sadako, a young girl with deadly psychic powers, they must find a way to break the curse before it claims their lives and the life of their son.
Why it’s scary: Ringu taps into various sources of fear, from the relentless ringing of a telephone symbolizing impending doom to the haunting imagery of the cursed video tape. The film explores themes of supernatural terror, the fear of imminent death, and the desperation to survive. The iconic visuals of Sadako crawling out of a well and the eerie recordings on the cursed tape have become iconic in horror cinema. Ringu is a chilling and atmospheric film that will leave you questioning the nature of fear itself.
Director: Takashi MiikeCast: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi ShiinaAudition, directed by Takashi Miike, is a film that defies expectations and challenges viewers' perceptions of horror. At first glance, it may not appear to be a horror film at all. The story revolves around a widower's attempt to find love again through a disingenuous audition process. However, as the film progresses, a sense of dread permeates the narrative, revealing a darker and more disturbing tale. The film's shocking moments, such as foot-sawing and eye-needles, are punctuated by Miike's masterful control of tension and suspense.
The Devil Rides Out (1968)
Director: Terence FisherCast: Christopher Lee, Paul Eddington, Charles GrayThe Devil Rides Out stands out from other Hammer horror films by embracing occult themes rather than the gothic fantasy elements usually associated with the studio. Directed by Terence Fisher and featuring performances by Christopher Lee and Charles Gray, the film follows the Duc de Richleau as he battles the forces of darkness and attempts to save his unsuspecting friends from an evil cult. The film's screenplay by Richard Matheson is sharp and engaging, delivering a thrilling story that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
Kill List (2011)
Director: Ben WheatleyCast: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna BuringKill List is a unique and unsettling film that defies easy categorization. Directed by Ben Wheatley, the film begins as a seemingly straightforward thriller about two hitmen on an assignment. However, as the story unfolds, small hints of something more sinister and otherworldly start to emerge. Wheatley's expert control of slow-building tension and his love for 1970s Brit folk-horror culminate in a shocking and unforgettable climax.
Cat People (1942)
Director: Jacques TourneurCast: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom ConwayCat People, directed by Jacques Tourneur, is a psychological horror film that subverts expectations and delivers scares through suspense and atmosphere rather than traditional horror elements. The story follows a woman named Irena, who believes that her sexual climax will turn her into a panther. As her marriage unravels and her fears escalate, the film delves into themes of sexual repression and the power of the mind. Tourneur's masterful use of shadows and stalking sequences create a sense of dread and unease throughout the film.
Day Of The Dead (1985)
Director: George A. RomeroCast: Richard Liberty, Lori Cardille, Sherman HowardGeorge A. Romero's Day of the Dead is the third installment in his iconic zombie series. Set in a world overrun by undead creatures, the film follows a group of survivors as they seek refuge in an underground bunker in Florida. Within the confines of the bunker, tensions rise as the survivors clash over their beliefs and struggle to maintain their humanity in the face of the apocalypse. Romero's film is a scathing critique of human nature, exploring themes of violence, greed, and the breakdown of society.
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Director: Sam RaimiCast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna RaverDrag Me To Hell is a wickedly entertaining horror film that combines Sam Raimi's signature blend of horror and humor. The story follows a bank employee named Christine, played by Alison Lohman, who incurs the wrath of a mysterious gypsy woman after denying her a loan extension. From that point on, Christine is plagued by a curse that threatens to drag her to hell. Raimi's mastery of visual and practical effects, coupled with Lohman's excellent performance, makes for a thrilling and often darkly comedic film.
Director: Julia DucournauCast: Garance Marillier, Ella RumpfRaw is a French horror film that defies expectations and challenges genre conventions. Directed by Julia Ducournau, the film tells the story of a young woman named Justine who begins her veterinary studies at university. As she goes through initiation rituals, her strict vegetarianism gives way to a disturbing craving for meat, leading to gruesome developments. Raw is a visceral and thought-provoking film that explores themes of identity, sexuality, and the dark desires within us all.
Director: Terence FisherCast: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael GoughHammer's Dracula, directed by Terence Fisher, is a vibrant and seductive take on Bram Stoker's classic novel. With performances by Peter Cushing as Van Helsing and Christopher Lee as Dracula, the film breathes new life into the iconic characters. The screenplay, written by Jimmy Sangster, offers a fresh and thrilling interpretation of the story, focusing on the battle between good and evil. With its rich colors, glamorous atmosphere, and bloodthirsty charm, Dracula is a standout entry in Hammer's catalog.
The Babadook (2014)
Director: Jennifer KentCast: Essie Davis, Noah WisemanThe Babadook, directed by Jennifer Kent, is a psychological horror film that explores the depths of grief and motherhood. The story centers around a widowed mother named Amelia and her troubled young son, Samuel. As Amelia grapples with her own inner demons and Samuel's increasingly disturbing behavior, they are tormented by the presence of a malevolent entity known as the Babadook. The film cleverly subverts expectations, using the supernatural elements as a metaphor for Amelia's struggle with her own emotions. Essie Davis gives a powerful performance as a mother on the edge, creating a chilling and emotionally charged film.
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Director: James WhaleCast: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Elsa Lanchester, Ernest ThesigerJames Whale's The Bride of Frankenstein is a sequel that surpasses its predecessor in terms of wit, sophistication, and pure entertainment. The film reunites Boris Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein. This time, the doctor is tasked with creating a mate for his creation. The film explores themes of loneliness, acceptance, and the consequences of playing God. With its rich blend of horror, emotion, and dark humor, The Bride of Frankenstein solidifies James Whale's status as a master of the genre.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Director: Dan Myrick, Eduardo SanchezCast: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua LeonardThe Blair Witch Project is a groundbreaking found-footage film that revolutionized the horror genre. Directed by Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, the film follows a group of student filmmakers as they venture into the woods to document the legend of the Blair Witch. As the characters become lost and increasingly terrified, the line between reality and fiction blurs, immersing viewers in the chilling experience. The film's minimalistic approach and innovative marketing campaign created a sense of authenticity and fear that remains unparalleled.
Director: Tod BrowningCast: Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan
Tod Browning's Dracula, although considered outdated by today's standards, holds a significant place in horror history. The film is particularly notable for Bela Lugosi's captivating performance as Count Dracula and the memorable portrayal of Renfield by Dwight Frye. The strongest moments of the film occur in its opening sequence, as Renfield explores the grand and eerie setting of Dracula's castle. The encounter with Dracula's ethereal brides is a visually stunning sequence of exquisite beauty. While the film may slow down in certain parts and the ending feels rushed, it still contains unforgettable elements that make it worth watching. For an enhanced experience, the film can be enjoyed with Philip Glass' 1999 score, or for those who prefer a more atmospheric approach, the original almost-silent version is also available. Read The Empire Review
Director: Tobe HooperCast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke
Moving into a family home built on an ancient burial ground presents a daunting real estate conundrum that even Kirstie and Phil would struggle to solve. The Freeling clan in Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg's Poltergeist find themselves dealing with supernatural phenomena such as ghostly beings, vortexes, levitating objects, and even the abduction of their children by interdimensional forces. These eerie occurrences combine to create a refreshingly scary blend, defying the limitations of its PG rating (initially R-rated but later changed on appeal).Read The Empire Review
Director: Ari AsterCast: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper
Ari Aster, known for his dark and relentless film Hereditary, ventured into the realm of bright sunlight with Midsommar, a chilling horror experience. The film's sun-drenched visuals still manage to evoke a sense of nightmarish unease as they portray Florence Pugh's grief-stricken character, Dani, losing touch with reality during a festival organized by a Swedish cult. Aster skillfully grounds the horror within the emotional devastation of a toxic relationship, where Jack Reynor's character, Christian, struggles to confront his feelings for Dani following a sudden tragedy. Midsommar offers a creepy and deeply unsettling journey, complemented by moments of brutal gore and a striking sense of beauty, especially in its unforgettable flower-wreathed finale.Read The Empire Review
Don't Look Now (1973)
Director: Nicolas RoegCast: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason
Nicolas Roeg's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's haunting short story goes beyond simple horror, delving into the depths of a crumbling marriage amidst loss and grief. Set against the eerie backdrop of Venice in off-season, Don't Look Now tackles themes of love and danger as a couple, played by Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, try to come to terms with the drowning of their daughter. Roeg's direction and editing, particularly in the famous sex scene, create a shattered mosaic of beauty and tragedy that resonates with viewers.Read The Empire Review
Let the Right One In (2008)
Director: Tomas AlfredsonCast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar
Let the Right One In takes the concept of spooky children and makes them disturbingly relatable. The film follows the story of Eli, a vampire who befriends Oskar, a social outcast. As the two form a bittersweet friendship, Let the Right One In explores themes of survival, loneliness, and the challenges of childhood. Based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's best-selling novel and set in Stockholm, the film combines horror elements with deeper commentary on anxiety, alcoholism, and the longing for connection. Let the Right One In's effective Scandi scarefest lingers in the mind long after the credits roll, and it's no wonder that Hollywood saw potential in remaking the story.Read The Empire Review
The Innocents (1961)
Director: Jack ClaytonCast: Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin
The Innocents is a faithful and elegant adaptation of Henry James' classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw. The film not only explores supernatural horror but also delves into the complexities of marriage and the deterioration of relationships under the weight of grief and loss. Set against the backdrop of an off-season Venice, The Innocents weaves a tale of mysterious encounters with spiritualists and a chilling presence lurking in the shadows. Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave deliver outstanding performances as a couple struggling with their personal demons, while Jack Clayton's direction and editing create a beautifully shattered mosaic of emotions.Read The Empire Review
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Director: Edgar WrightCast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis
While some may debate whether Shaun of the Dead can be considered a true horror film, there is no denying its combination of laughs and an understanding of fear aesthetics. The film strikes a balance between humor and scares, paying homage to classic zombie movies, such as Night of the Living Dead. The emotional depth that Edgar Wright and the talented cast bring to the characters elevates the film beyond a typical scary movie, making them more nuanced and relatable. Read The Empire Review
It Follows (2014)
Director: David Robert MitchellCast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto
Considered one of the best horror films of 2014, It Follows presents a brilliant and unique concept that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The film introduces a mysterious entity, simply known as "It," which is sexually transmitted and pursues its victims relentlessly. It can take the form of injured strangers or people known to the victims, creating a constant sense of paranoia. This twist on the traditional "promiscuous teens get killed" trope takes the film to dark and unsettling places, making it a standout in the genre. Read The Empire Review
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Director: George A. RomeroCast: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead holds an iconic place in the realm of zombies, shaping the modern conception of the undead. From the bearded genius from the Bronx, the film kickstarted a subgenre that remains influential and fruitful to this day. While the film is undeniably scary, catching audiences off guard with its violence at the time of its release, it also possesses a surprisingly witty and socially cognizant satire in a politically turbulent era. Quentin Tarantino once praised Romero as a "fucking genius," showcasing the enduring impact of Night of the Living Dead.Read The Empire Review
A Quiet Place (2018)
Director: John KrasinskiCast: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
John Krasinski's A Quiet Place explores the harrowing experience of parenthood in a world overrun by monsters sensitive to sound. The film manages to infuse emotional depth into its tense narrative by focusing on Krasinski's character, Lee, and his real-life wife Emily Blunt's portrayal of Evelyn. Their relentless efforts to protect their children in a world where any noise can be deadly becomes the driving force of the film. A Quiet Place leaves audiences breathless, both emotionally and in sheer terror. Read The Empire Review
The Fog (1980)
Director: John CarpenterCast: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins
The Fog is a chilling tale of revenge unleashed by ghost pirates upon a small coastal town. The film captures the essence of a campfire story, beginning with a scout troop gathered around the seaside, sharing one last terrifying tale. John Carpenter's atmospheric direction brings the eerie setting to life, immersing viewers in a world filled with supernatural menace. Although the film underwent post-production changes to heighten its scares, the impact remains undiminished, making The Fog one of Carpenter's most atmospheric achievements.Read The Empire Review
Director: Hideo NakataCast: Nanako Matsushuma, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Inō
Ring, directed by Hideo Nakata, propelled the terrifying Sadako Yamamura into the international spotlight. While deviating from Kōji Suzuki's original sci-fi material, Nakata's adaptation embraces an unsettling ambiguity and fuses Japanese folk horror with modern concerns about viral media and moral panic. The film takes viewers on a slow-burning journey, exploring themes of horror, loneliness, and the impact of technology on society. Ring's most famous setpiece is worth the unsettling journey, leaving audiences with an unforgettable cinematic experience.Read The Empire Review
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Director: George A. RomeroStarring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross
Building upon the foundation of Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead showcases the director at his best. The film primarily unfolds within the confines of an abandoned shopping mall, providing the backdrop for an intense, base-under-siege action thriller. While featuring creepy scares and shocking gore, Romero deftly incorporates sly social commentary on class, racial politics, and mindless consumerism. While Romero continued to create other films in the same vein, none could quite surpass the heights reached by Dawn of the Dead.Read The Empire Review
Director: Brian De PalmaCast: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Nancy Allen
Carrie, based on Stephen King's novel, taps into the terrifying aspects of puberty and adolescence. Director Brian De Palma embraces the horror elements of the story while infusing it with sadistic relish and visually stunning camerawork. Sissy Spacek, in a mesmerizing performance, brings forth the childlike innocence and pathos of Carrie, occasionally interrupted by her telekinetic outbursts. The film elicits simultaneous feelings of sympathy and fear, particularly during the unforgettable and spine-chilling climax. Read The Empire Review
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Director: Roman PolanskiCast: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
Rosemary's Baby intertwines the horror genre with themes of motherhood and paranoia. The film follows a couple, portrayed by Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes, as they settle into a new home in Manhattan. As their neighbors become increasingly disturbing, the sense of dread deepens, creating a claustrophobic and endlessly creepy atmosphere. Roman Polanski's commanding direction enhances the tight interior scenes and builds a slowly escalating mood of paranoia. Rosemary's Baby remains a haunting portrayal of the fears and anxieties that come with starting a family. Read The Empire Review
So whether you're a die-hard horror fan or just in the mood for a thrilling movie night, these iconic films are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. From the twisted nightmares of Freddy Krueger in "A Nightmare on Elm Street" to the bone-chilling suspense of "The Exorcist," there's something for every horror lover in this list. So grab your popcorn, turn down the lights, and prepare for a terrifying journey into the best horror movies that will haunt your dreams long after the credits roll.