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LawrenceA

Top 100 Horror Films

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Here's my list of the Top 100 Horror Films of All Time. These include near-universally acclaimed movies, personal favorites, and even some that I'm not that crazy about, but made a major, influential impression on the genre. I have listed them in order of release. I'll post them in groups of 20.

 

1)  Nosferatu (1922)

2)  Dracula (1931)

3)  Frankenstein  (1931)

4)  The Mummy (1932)

5)  The Wolf Man  (1941)

6)  The Uninvited (1944)

7)  House of Wax  (1953)

8)  Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

9)  Curse of Frankenstein  (1957)

10)  Night of the Demon  (1957)

11)  Horror of Dracula  (1958)

12)  House on Haunted Hill (1959)

13)  The Mummy  (1959)

14)  Black Sunday  (1960)

15)  Eyes Without a Face (1960)

16)  Fall of the House of Usher  (1960)

17)  Psycho  (1960)

18)  Curse of the Werewolf  (1961)

19)  The Innocents  (1961)

20)  Carnival of Souls  (1962)  

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21)  The Birds  (1963)

22)  Black Sabbath  (1963)

23)  The Haunting  (1963)

24)  Kwaidan  (1964)

25)  VIY  (1967)

26)  Night of the Living Dead  (1968)

27)  Rosemary's Baby  (1968)

28)  Bay of Blood  (1971)

29)  Tombs of the Blind Dead  (1971)

30)  Last House On the Left  (1972)

31)  The Exorcist  (1973)

32)  Legend of Hell House  (1973)

33)  The Wicker Man  (1973)

34)  The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue  (1974)

35)  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre  (1974)

36)  Deep Red  (1975)

37)  Carrie  (1976)

38)  The Omen  (1976)

39)  Martin  (1977)

40)  Suspiria  (1977)

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41)  Dawn of the Dead  (1978)

42)  Halloween  (1978)

43)  The Amityville Horror  (1979)

44)  Phantasm  (1979)

45)  Zombie  (1979)

46)  Cannibal Holocaust  (1980)

47)  The Changeling  (1980)

48)  The Fog  (1980)

49)  The Shining  (1980)

50)  An American Werewolf in London  (1981)

51)  The Beyond  (1981)

52)  Dead & Buried  (1981)

53)  The Evil Dead  (1981)

54)  The Howling  (1981)

55)  Creepshow  (1982)

56)  Poltergeist  (1982)

57)  The Hunger  (1983)

58)  The Keep  (1983)

59)  Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter  (1984)

60)  A Nightmare On Elm Street  (1984)

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61)  Day of the Dead  (1985)

62)  Fright Night  (1985)

63)  Re-Animator  (1985)

64)  Return of the Living Dead  (1985)

65)  From Beyond  (1986)

66)  House  (1986)

67)  Night of the Creeps  (1986)

68)  Evil Dead 2  (1987)

69)  Hellraiser  (1987)

70)  The Lost Boys  (1987)

71)  The Monster Squad  (1987)

72)  Near Dark  (1987)

73)  Prince of Darkness (1987)

74)  Child's Play  (1988)

75)  Pumpkinhead  (1988)

76)  Pet Sematary  (1989)

77)  Bram Stoker's Dracula  (1992)

78)  Dead Alive/Braindead  (1992)

79)  Cronos  (1993)

80)  Cemetery Man  (1994)

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81)  The Prophecy  (1995)

82)  Scream  (1996)

83)  Audition  (1999)

84)  The Blair Witch Project  (1999)

85)  The Sixth Sense  (1999)

86)  Stir of Echoes  (1999)

87)  Final Destination  (2000)

88)  Ginger Snaps  (2000)

89)  The Others  (2001)

90)  The Ring  (2002)

91)  28 Days Later  (2002)

92)  Dawn of the Dead  (2004)

93)  Shaun of the Dead  (2004)

94)  Inside  (2007)

95)  Planet Terror  (2007)

96)  Let the Right One In  (2008)

97)  Paranormal Activity  (2009)

98)  Zombieland  (2009)

99)  The Cabin In the Woods  (2012)

100)  The Babadook  (2014)

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Lawrence,

Thanks for all the work putting this together.

Good to see some humor listed like "Zombieland" and "Shaun of the Dead".

Why did you list "Planet Terror"?  It's a movie I enjoyed and even had some laughs but didn't think the critics liked.

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Why did you list "Planet Terror"?  It's a movie I enjoyed and even had some laughs but didn't think the critics liked.

 

Because I liked it! :D

 

I thought it was a great send-up of 70's/80's horror, with a game cast and some humorously disgusting effects moments.

 

Like any list of this sort, there will be a lot of disagreement, which is fine, and even hoped for. That generates discussion, and maybe some recommendations along the way. I wrote the majority of this list back in 2012. I've added The Babadook since then (I removed House of 1000 Corpses), but while typing this list, I realize there are several I would add now that I passed over back then, such as Cat People, The Seventh Victim, and The Black Cat. But then I have to cut more, and it gets difficult to choose!

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LawrenceA--Ten I would pick or add to the list;

 

(1)--"The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)

 

(2)--"The Black Cat" (1934)

 

(3)--"The Old Dark House" (1932)

 

(4)--"I Walked With A Zombie" (1943)

 

(5)--"The Masque of the Red Death" (1964)

 

(6)--"The Body Snatcher (1945)

 

(7)--"Isle of the Dead" (1945)

 

(8)--"Horror of Dracula" (1958)

 

(9)--"The Conqueror Worm" (1968)

 

(10)--"The Lair of the White Worm" (1988)--Bram Stoker plus Ken Russell mesh for a fun parody/horror film. 

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film lover, I did have Horror of Dracula on my list. 

 

Bride of Frankenstein is a favorite, but I may have left it out to make room for something else, or combined it with Frankenstein.

 

I wasn't certain which Corman/Poe movie to list. While many critics cite Masque of the Red Death as the best, others list House of Usher, so I settled on that one since it was also first. My personal favorite of the lot is The Haunted Palace, although that's really Lovecraft.

 

I like The Black Cat a lot. It's in my top ten films of that year. I also really like The Old Dark House, which is probably the prime example of those comedy/horror/mystery films so popular in the 30's.

 

I mentioned earlier how I should have had some Lewton in there. I mentioned Cat People and The Seventh Victim, but the 3 you mention (I Walked with a Zombie, The Body Snatcher, Isle of the Dead) were all good, too.

 

I've seen The Conqueror Worm, and while I recall enjoying it alright, I wasn't blown away by it. Many people have mentioned it very favorably on the message boards over the last few months, so I need to re-watch it and see what I think this time. Part of my problem may have been the source I watched: a faded, fuzzy old VHS tape.

 

Lair of the White Worm was inspired Russell lunacy. My favorite of his is The Devils.

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Lawrence--I see you did have Horror of Dracula listed--My bad, LOL.

 

So, in its' place in my list,  I"ll list "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919), the film that moved the horror genre to exploring its possibilities.

  

VIY (1967) sounds wonderful; I had to go to imdb to read a summary of it because TCM only gave Roman numerals when I searched.

 

"O Cacador de Bruxas"--"The Conqueror Worm" was on YouTube in May, under the Portuguese(?) name, with subtitles, but in English--I don't know if it's still there or not.  Looked like a good copy when I saw it in May.

 

Lon Chaney Sr. Has to have one film--I know this is overplayed, but "The Phantom of the Opera" got me into Silent horror films.  The unmasking is classic.

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VIY (1967) sounds wonderful; I had to go to imdb to read a summary of it because TCM only gave Roman numerals when I searched.

 

I notice that Viy (1967) is available, with a clear picture and subtitles, on YouTube, if you want to see it. It's only 70 something minutes long.

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These aren't necessarily in order. They are the horror films that I never tire of.

 

1. Dracula (1931)

2. Psycho (1960)

2. The Shining (1980)

3. The Exorcist (1973)

4. The Ring (2002)

4. Cat People (1942)

5. Frankenstein (1931)

6. The Mummy (1932)

7. The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1932)

8. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

9. The Leopard Man (1943)

10. Pet Sematary (1986)

11. The Innocents (1961)

12. The Omen (1976)

13. The Lost Boys (1986)

14. The Others (2001)

15. Burnt Offerings (1976) - (I get one guilty pleasure, right?)

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The Conquerer Worm would certainly be on my list -- but in the English version -- Witchfinder General.  Paul Ferris' score is key to the whole concept, and it was not used in the American edition.

 

Also on a British note, I would add to my list, The Blood on Satan's Claw and City of the Dead.

 

I'm not a big fan of many of Hammer's films, though I like many of them. Of the three British films above, non are Hammer: the first two are Tigon, the third one British Lion. But I would put Hammer's Quatermass and the Pit on my list, and probably Curse of the Werewolf as well.

 

I love Lair of the White Worm! Smart, well acted, creepy, and very clever (how about Amanda Donohoe squirming to the snake charming music? Brilliant!) And along with Maurice, one of Hugh Grants top two films, for me.

 

I can't absorb the enormity of Larry's list, but The Black Cat would certainly be on my list as would King of the Zombies, The Invisible Ray, Werewolf of London, Dracula's Daughter, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.  Larry does well by the early '80s films, but I would add Pieces.

 

And I'm surprised that Larry doesn't include a certain film about an Egyptian caterer.

 

And now here is some of Paul Ferris' brilliant score from Witchfinder General. The gorgeous love theme comes in around 2:30. Beauty in the midst of all that horror, a film about the total degradation of humanity:

 

 

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And I'm surprised that Larry doesn't include a certain film about an Egyptian caterer.

 

This line made me do a spit take.

 

After reading everyone's suggestions, I think I'm going to attempt to make two lists: a Top 100 Horror from the beginning to 1969, and another Top 100 from 1970 to now. I'll ask for help from anyone who would like to contribute when I start working on it, maybe later this week.

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These aren't necessarily in order. They are the horror films that I never tire of.

 

 

10. Pet Sematary (1986)

 

 

Thanks for your list.

"Pet Sematary" as a movie has never been on any good list for me.  Maybe because I found the book so unsettling and terrifying that any film version would be a letdown.  To me, this is the scariest of King's early novels.

I think the best of King's novels as a horror film would be the first "Carrie" and my favorite movie version would be "The Dead Zone".

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Thanks for your list.

"Pet Sematary" as a movie has never been on any good list for me.  Maybe because I found the book so unsettling and terrifying that any film version would be a letdown.  To me, this is the scariest of King's early novels.

I think the best of King's novels as a horror film would be the first "Carrie" and my favorite movie version would be "The Dead Zone".

 

I'm sorry to say that, apart from Carrie, which is great; and The Shining, which is not really (I don't think) totally a horror film, films based on Stephen King stories/books have never appealed to me. Maybe it's because he's so popular that too much money is spent on the films, and they are therefore too slick -- which works against a good modern horror film. (I think the early films of Cronenberg, like They Came from Within, were terrific; when he became famous, the films became dull.) With regard to King, I was bored by Pet Sematary. 

 

I really wanted to like Stephen King's TV miniseries Storm of the Century.  The concept was fascinating. But I was disappointed. I wanted to know more about the nature of the beast, but the film was more about the bickering of the townspeople. Maybe that's my problem -- I don't always find King's work to be about what one might call "mystery" or some inverted version of what Rudolf Otto called "the sacred/holy -- das Heilige."  Instead, King's work tends to me to be more about creating some "thing" so that he can write about peoples' reactions to it. That's a different kind of movie in my book.

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I really wanted to like Stephen King's TV miniseries Storm of the Century.  The concept was fascinating. But I was disappointed. I wanted to know more about the nature of the beast, but the film was more about the bickering of the townspeople. Maybe that's my problem -- I don't always find King's work to be about what one might call "mystery" or some inverted version of what Rudolf Otto called "the sacred/holy -- das Heilige."  Instead, King's work tends to me to be more about creating some "thing" so that he can write about peoples' reactions to it. That's a different kind of movie in my book.

 

You're absolutely right about that, Swithin. King's focus has always been (from what I've read/seen) more on the dysfunctional families or surrogate families than on the actual supernatural or alien nemeses. There was a popular horror author in the 1970's and 1980's named Graham Masterton who excelled at depicting the "creatures", although his books tended to have excessive sex and grotesque violence, too. He had a string of novels, unconnected for the most part, that each featured a menace from a different culture and/or religion, and his detailing of the various mythos of these "evils" was very enjoyable. Clive Barker also wrote "good monsters", but his human protagonists often felt undercooked or unappealing. 

 

Pet Sematary as a film has maintained a following primarily on the well-done bits with the resurrected boy in the last act. It's one of the few truly bloodthirsty kid menaces in films that seemed child-like. The nightmares involving the sickly relative were also unsettling. 

 

I've stated my adoration for The Shining before. My second favorite King movie is The Dead Zone but I may have that listed with the SF movies. I treat psychic stories on a case-by-case basis as to whether they are more horror or SF. Carrie is very good. I liked parts of Christine. The original Salem's Lot is excellent for a TV movie of its time. Cujo I found dull, and would probably like less now, due to the animal element. Firestarter was enjoyable, if a bit campy, but it's definitely SF. Creepshow is a lot of fun. The more dramatic King films have been good: Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Green Mile, Dolores Claiborne. 

 

A minor film based on King that I liked was The Night Flier. It had some grisly originality. And I really liked The Mist.

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Okay, I'm working on my Top 100 Horror Films Up to 1969.

 

I've added those titles that people have mentioned that I didn't have on my original list, plus a few others. Currently I'm at 50 titles.

 

So please submit any titles that you think should be under consideration from the dawn of cinema up to and including the year 1969.

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Update: I'm up to 85 titles, but I'm stuck.  What were some of the better George Zucco titles? It's been too long since I've seen them to recall which was which, but I recall liking a few of them.

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Update: I'm up to 85 titles, but I'm stuck.  What were some of the better George Zucco titles? It's been too long since I've seen them to recall which was which, but I recall liking a few of them.

 

The great George Zucco appeared in many horrors films, including some very low budget PRC titles. They all have a charm and display Zucco's greatness. I particularly like his supporting performances as the priest in the two Mummy remakes; and as the lead in Dead Men Walk and The Mad Monster, in which he delivers his great monologue, perhaps PRC's equivalent to "To Be or not to Be:"  "He's no longer human, he's a wolf, snarling, ferocious, lusting for the kill...! "

 

The Black Raven

The Cat and the Canary (1939)

Dead Men Walk

The Flying Serpent

Fog Island

House of Frankenstein

The Mad Ghoul

The Mad Monster

The Monster and the Girl

The Mummy's Ghost

The Mummy's Hand

Return of the Ape Man

Scared to Death

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TOP 100 HORROR FILMS OF 1900-1969

 

The Silent Era

 

1)  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari  (1919)

2)  The Phantom Carriage  (1921)

3)  Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages  (1922)

4)  Nosferatu  (1922)

5)  The Phantom of the Opera  (1925)

6)  Faust  (1926)

7)  The Cat and the Canary  (1927)

8)  The Unknown  (1927)

 

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1930's

 

9)  Dracula  (1931)

10)  Frankenstein  (1931)

11)  Doctor X  (1932)

12)  Freaks  (1932)

13)  The Mummy  (1932)

14)  The Old Dark House  (1932)

15)  Vampyr  (1932)

16)  White Zombie  (1932)

17)  The Ghoul  (1933)

18)  Mystery of the Wax Museum  (1933)

19)  The Black Cat  (1934)

20)  Bride of Frankenstein  (1935)

21)  Mad Love  (1935)

22)  Werewolf of London  (1935)

23)  Dracula's Daughter  (1936)

24)  The Invisible Ray  (1936)

25)  Son of Frankenstein  (1939)

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1940's

 

26)  The Mummy's Hand  (1940)

27)  King of the Zombies  (1941)

28)  The Wolf Man  (1941)

29)  Cat People  (1942)

30)  The Ghost of Frankenstein  (1942)

31)  The Mad Monster  (1942)

32)  Dead Men Walk  (1943)

33)  Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man  (1943)

34)  I Walked With a Zombie  (1943)

35)  The Seventh Victim  (1943)

36)  Son of Dracula  (1943)

37)  House of Frankenstein  (1944)

38)  The Uninvited  (1944)

39)  The Body Snatcher  (1945)

40)  Dead of Night  (1945)

41)  House of Dracula  (1945)

42)  Isle of the Dead  (1945)

43)  The Beast With Five Fingers  (1946)

44)  Bedlam  (1946)

45)  Strangler of the Swamp  (1946)

46)  Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein  (1948)

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