Good Horror Movies


Good horror movies will scare you, keep you in suspense, and sometimes even make you laugh out loud. While most scary movies are admittedly awful, there are those that manage to transcend the boundaries of the genre and enter into the realm of true art. And sometimes viewers just like to see a good shower scene or chainsaw to the face.

Whatever your preference, you’ve come to the right place for good horror movies. From listing the key ingredients to recommending a number of instant classics, we’re honored to be your guide into the world of terror.

Elements of a Good Horror Film

Good horror films often contain many of the same elements. While some may be more important to you than others, true horror fans will eventually be exposed to them all.

  • Scary Moments - Veteran horror buffs can be a difficult lot to scare, but top horror films can still accomplish this through a combinations of suspense, psychological elements, and solid acting. Anyone else will be screaming like a little girl within ten minutes.
  • Gore - While movies dealing with ghosts are often barren of internal organs and severed heads, slasher movies are awash in every blood type imaginable. A good horror movie doesn’t need lots of gore, but it never hurts.
  • Strong Acting - In pro wrestling, it always helps when one competitor “sells” the moves of the other; the same applies to good horror movies. A skilled actor can take a mildly horrifying scene and turn it into an iconic genre moment.
  • Screenplay - Horror films with strong screenplays will stand out over the legion of poorly-written releases. A select few will even gain entry into the pop culture lexicon and be remembered for decades to come.
  • Nudity - Like gore, nudity isn’t required to make a good horror movie, but it‘s always a nice momentary diversion for the male viewer. The films of the 1980s understood this, and modern directors like Eli Roth are bringing it back with a vengeance.

Good Horror Movies to Watch

If you’re looking for good horror movies to watch, you can’t go wrong with the films listed below. In fact, some might refer to these as the best horror movies ever made. I’ll let you be the judge.

  • Night of the Living Dead (1968) - The film that first popularized the zombie genre, George A. Romero’s black-and-white classic still manages to generate chills.
  • Re-Animator (1985) - A medical student searches for a way to conquer death. He takes his research too far, however, and soon the undead are running wild.
  • Alien 3 (1992) - Ellen Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver, once again would face the alien. Will she survive in this maximum security prison? Directed by David Fincher.
  • Scream (1996) - Directed by Wes Craven, this slasher film gave us Ghostface and helped revitalize the genre. Along the way, it also provided a tongue-in-cheek look at horror movies.
  • Feast (2006) - At a bar in the middle of nowhere, a group of customers must fight the onslaught of a pack of ravenous creatures. Loaded with dark humor and gore, you’ll have a hard time predicting who lives and what happens next.
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978) - As a zombie apocalypse unfolds, a group of survivors seek refuge in a shopping mall. Director George A. Romero’s zombie classic is still influencing filmmakers today.
  • The Exorcist (1973) - Linda Blair is cute little Regan MacNeil, a 12-year-old girl possessed by a demonic spirit. Two priests must attempt an exorcism, but at what price?
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004) - Combine the zombie genre with comedy and romance, and you’ll get this hilarious entry from Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright.
  • Halloween (1978) - Fifteen years after murdering his older sister, Michael Myers escapes from a mental institution and returns home. A number of brutal murders follow.
  • Let the Right One In (2008) - A bullied boy befriends a vampire who happens to look like a young girl in this dark and graphic Swedish film.
  • Ringu (1998) - This Japanese horror flick concerns a cursed videotape that causes viewers to die after a week. Remade into a hit American film starring Naomi Watts.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) - A group of teens stumble across a clan of cannibals in rural Texas.
  • I See You (2018) -  Stars Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Judah Lewis. Strange occurrences plague a small town detective and his family as he investigates the disappearance of a young boy.
  • Day of the Dead (1985) - The third film in George A. Romero’s zombie trilogy, this one takes place in an underground military base as the last vestiges of human society begin to crack and crumble.
  • Psycho (1960) - The story of a boy and his mother…and several murders. This Hitchcock classic made an entire generation nervous about taking a shower.
  • Evil Dead II (1987) - Genre icon Bruce Campbell uses a shotgun and chainsaw to protect the world from invading demonic forces. Plenty of gore and laughs thanks to director Sam Raimi.
  • Night of the Living Dead (1990) - Effects whiz Tom Savini steps behind the camera to direct this remake of the George A. Romero zombie classic.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - After being killed by an angry mob, the demented Freddy Krueger returns to gain bloody revenge in the realm of dreams.
  • Frankenstein (1931) - Based on the novel by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein tells the tragic story of a pitiful monstrosity stitched together from corpses and brought to life. He isn’t happy, and mayhem ensues.
  • The Thing (1982) - A shape shifting alien begins killing off the members of an Antarctic research station. Kurt Russell stars in this remake of a 1951 film.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004) - Zack Snyder directs this zombie remake with an emphasis on action over social commentary. Ving Rhames looks great wielding a shotgun. One of the best horror movies in recent memory.
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981) - Two American pals get attacked by a werewolf while backpacking through Europe. One dies while the other lives. The dead one was lucky.
  • Eyes Without a Face (1960) - This French classic features a mad doctor seeking to repair the face of his young daughter.
  • Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) - Jason Voorhees takes on the likes of Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover.
  • Audition (1999) - A man goes looking for love and picks the worst choice possible. The final 20 minutes will have even veteran horror fans flinching.
  • The Wicker Man (1973) - An uptight UK constable heads to an isolated island to investigate the case of a missing girl. Things do not go well for him.
  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985) - Punk rockers, Clu Gulagher and a Nazi war criminal fight back against hoards of hungry undead. Great punk soundtrack and a script that’s much smarter than it had to be.
  • The Shining (1980) - Jack Nicholson plays a struggling writer who slowly goes mad while acting as a caretaker for an isolated hotel. Stanley Kubrick directs, although a number of elements differ from the Stephen King novel. If you’re searching for good horror movies, don’t pass this one up.
  • Dracula (1958) - On a search for his missing friend Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen), vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is led to Count Dracula's (Christopher Lee) castle. 
  • Crimson Peak (2015) - An American Gothic romance film. This is a ghost story set in England in a Victorian era. Casts includes Mia WasikowskaJessica ChastainTom Hiddleston. Though originally, it was supposed to be Benedict Cumberbatch who takes the role but the latter dropped the part.
  • The Meg (2018) - If you were frightened by Bruce from The Jaws film, you will definitely be taken by this giant megalodon. Combined with today's digital technology, this monstrosity was given life with the latest digital effect and sound. Stars Jason Statham, he fights with this titan fish to save trapped people underwater.

See also:

  • Good Horror Movies
  • Good Recent Horror Movies
  • Little Remembered Horror Movies
  • IMDB's Good Horror Movies List
  • Good Horror Films at FilmSite.org

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