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100 Best Horror Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes

It’s October, and that means most movie fans are looking for some horror movies to watch. If you’re the type who likes to get recommendations, we’ve put together a list using Rotten Tomatoe’s ranking system – of the 100 best Horror Movies ever!

The list dates back quite a while, and ranges from this year’s IT movie to 1973’s The Exorcist.

100. Dressed To Kill (1980)

dressed to kill angie dickinson
Variety: Despite some major structural weaknesses, the cannily manipulated combination of mystery, gore and kinky sex adds up to a slick commercial package.

99. Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary (2003)

Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2003)
Critics Consensus: Guy Maddin’s film is a richly sensuous and dreamy interpretation of Dracula that reinvigorates the genre.

98. The House of the Devil (2009)

The House of the Devil (2009)
Critics Consensus: Though its underlying themes are familiar, House of the Devil effectively sheds the loud and gory cliches of contemporary horror to deliver a tense, slowly building throwback to the fright flicks of decades past.

97. We Are What We Are (2013)

what we are (2009)
Critics Consensus: A compelling story cleverly told, We Are What We Are quenches horror buffs’ thirst for gore while serving up serious-minded filmmaking and solid acting.

96. Paranormal Activity (2009)

Critics Consensus: Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.

95. Backcountry (2015)

backcountry missy peregrym
Critics Consensus: Tense, well-acted, and at once atmospheric as well as brutally impactful, Backcountry marks a memorably assured debut from writer-director Adam MacDonald.

94. Gremlins (1984)

gremlins gizmo
Critics Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.

93. Grindhouse (2007)

grindhouse rose mcgowan
Critics Consensus: Grindhouse delivers exhilarating exploitation fare with wit and panache, improving upon its source material with feral intelligence.

92. Spring (2015)

Critics Consensus: Rich in atmosphere and intelligence, Spring is a singular horror film with a sneaky, lingering impact.

91. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Critics Consensus: The Autopsy of Jane Doe subverts the gruesome expectations triggered by its title to deliver a smart, suggestively creepy thriller that bolsters director André Ovredal’s growing reputation.

90. Altered States (1980)

Critics Consensus: Extraordinarily daring for a Hollywood film, Altered States attacks the viewer with its inventive, aggressive mix of muddled sound effects and visual pyrotechnics.

89. A Field in England (2014)

Critics Consensus: Recklessly assembled and occasionally compelling in spite of itself, A Field in England showcases a singularly brilliant voice in British cinema.

88. Ginger Snaps (2001)

ginger snaps katharine isabelle emily perkins
Critics Consensus: The strong female cast and biting satire of teenage life makes Ginger Snaps far more memorable than your average werewolf movie — or teen flick.

87. Slither (2006)

slither michael rooker grant grant
Critics Consensus: A slimy, B-movie homage oozing with affection for low-budget horror films, Slither is creepy and funny — if you’ve got the stomach for it.

86. The Exorcist Version You’ve Never Seen (2000)

Critics Consensus: The Exorcist has withstood the test of time, and it still has that renegade feel and the power to shock.

85. The Omen (1976)

the omen damien
New York Times: A member of the Exorcist family, it is a dreadfully silly film, which is not to say that it is totally bad.

84. The Descent (2006)

Critics Consensus: Deft direction and strong performances from its all-female cast guide The Descent, a riveting, claustrophobic horror film.

83. Goodnight Mommy (2015)

Critics Consensus: Dark, violent, and drenched in dread, Goodnight Mommy is perfect for extreme horror enthusiasts — or filmgoers who prefer to watch between splayed fingers.

82. Chronicle (2012)

chronicle movie 2013
Critics Consensus: Chronicle transcends its found-footage gimmick with a smart script, fast-paced direction, and engaging performances from the young cast.

81. This Is The End (2013)

this is the end
Critics Consensus: Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End loosely written script.

80. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Critics Consensus: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is an effective, chilling profile of a killer that is sure to shock and disturb.

79. Russian Ark (2002)

Critics Consensus: As successful as it is ambitious, Russian Ark condenses three centuries of Russian history into a single, uninterrupted, 87-minute take.

78. Donnie Darko (2004)

donnie darko jake gyllenhaal
Critics Consensus: Richard Kelly’s debut feature Donnie Darko is a daring, original vision, packed with jarring ideas and intelligence and featuring a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled title character.

77. Gerald’s Game (2017)

Critics Consensus: Carla Gugino carries Gerald’s Game‘s small-scale suspense with a career-defining performance.

76. Near Dark (1987)

Critics Consensus: Near Darkis at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.

75. The Orphanage (2007)

the orphanage 2007
Critics Consensus: Deeply unnerving and surprisingly poignant, The Orphanage is an atmospheric, beautifully crafted haunted house horror film that earns scares with a minimum of blood.

74. Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Critics Consensus: Bone Tomahawk‘s peculiar genre blend won’t be for everyone, but its gripping performances and a slow-burning story should satisfy those in search of something different.

73. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

an american werewolf in london 1981
Critics Consensus: Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis’ horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker’s astounding make-up effects.

72. Cronos (1994)

Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro’s unique feature debut is not only gory and stylish, but also charming and intelligent.

71. 28 Days Later (2003)

28 days later cillian murphy
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.

70. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

the blair witch project
Critics Consensus: Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain — thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

69. Poltergeist (1982)

poltergeist 1982
Critics Consensus: Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and — most importantly — consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic.

68. Misery (1990)

misery kathy bates
Critics Consensus: Elevated by standout performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, this taut and frightening film is one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date.

67. The Conjuring (2013)

the conjuring
Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.

66. The Dead Zone (2003)

Critics Consensus: The Dead Zone combines taut direction from David Cronenberg and and a rich performance from Christopher Walken to create one of the strongest Stephen King adaptations.

65. The Exorcist

the exorcist 1973
Critics Consensus: The Exorcist has withstood the test of time, and it still has that renegade feel and the power to shock.

64. The Shining (1980)

the shining 1980 jack nicholson
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King’s novel, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness — exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson

63. Don’t Breathe (2016)

Critics Consensus: Don’t Breathe smartly twists its sturdy premise to offer a satisfyingly tense, chilling addition to the home invasion genre that’s all the more effective for its simplicity.

62. Frankenweenie (2012)

Critics Consensus: Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.

61. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

little shop of horrors 1986
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman’s B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure — plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.

60. Let Me In (2010)

let me in 2010 chloe grace moretz
Critics Consensus: Similar to the original in all the right ways — but with enough changes to stand on its own — Let Me In is the rare Hollywood remake that doesn’t add insult to inspiration.

59. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

the texas chainsaw massacre 1974 leatherface
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script and documentary-style camerawork, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre achieves start-to-finish suspense, making it a classic in low-budget exploitation cinema.

58. The Wicker Man (1973)

Critics Consensus: This intelligent horror film is subtle in its thrills and chills, with an ending that is both shocking and truly memorable.

57. We Are Still Here (2015)

Critics Consensus: Smart, powerfully acted, and devilishly clever, We Are Still Here offers some novel twists on familiar territory — and heralds the arrival of a major talent in writer-director Ted Geoghegan.

56. The Fly (1986)

the fly 1986 jeff goldblum
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.

55. Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Critics Consensus: Decades later, it still retains its ability to scare — and Lon Chaney’s performance remains one of the benchmarks of the horror genre.

54. Raw (2017)

raw movie 2017
Critics Consensus: Raw‘s lurid violence and sexuality live up to its title, but they’re anchored with an immersive atmosphere and deep symbolism that linger long after the provocative visuals fade.

53. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

dawn of the dead 1978
Critics Consensus: One of the most compelling and entertaining zombie films ever, Dawn of the Dead perfectly blends pure horror and gore with social commentary on material society.

52. Eraserhead (1977)

eraserhead david lynch
Critics Consensus: David Lynch’s surreal Eraserhead uses detailed visuals and a creepy score to create a bizarre and disturbing look into a man’s fear of parenthood.

51. What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)

Critics Consensus: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?combines powerhouse acting, rich atmosphere, and absorbing melodrama in service of a taut thriller with thought-provoking subtext.

50. Suspiria (1977)

Critics Consensus: The blood pours freely in Argento’s classic Suspiria, a giallo horror as grandiose and glossy as it is gory.

49. Zombieland (2009)

zombieland 2009
Critics Consensus: Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.

48. Dracula (1931)

dracula 1931
Critics Consensus: Bela Lugosi’s timeless portrayal of Dracula in this creepy and atmospheric 1931 film has set the standard for major vampiric roles since.

47. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

shaun of the dead
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.

46. Train to Busan (Busanhaeng) (2016)

Critics Consensus: Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique — and purely entertaining — take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action.

45. The Host (2007)

Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie

44. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

a nightmare on elm street 1984 freddy krueger
Critics Consensus: Wes Craven’s intelligent premise, combined with the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger, still causes nightmares to this day.

43. Green Room (2016)

green room 2016 patrick stewart
Critics Consensus: Green Room delivers unapologetic genre thrills with uncommon intelligence and powerfully acted élan.

42. Re-Animator (1985)

re-animator 1985
Critics Consensus: Perfectly mixing humor and horror, the only thing more effective than Re-Animator‘s gory scares are its dry, deadpan jokes.

41. IT (2017)

it 2017 pennywise bill skarsgård
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King’s classic story without losing touch with its heart.

40. It Comes At Night (2017)

it comes at night 2017
Critics Consensus: It Comes at Night makes lethally effective use of its bare-bones trappings while proving once again that what’s left unseen can be just as horrifying as anything on the screen.

39. The Love Witch (2016)

the love witch 2016
Critics Consensus: The Love Witch offers an absorbing visual homage to a bygone era, arranged subtly in service of a thought-provoking meditation on the battle of the sexes.

38. Room 237 (2013)

Critics Consensus: Mysterious and provocative, Room 237 is a fascinating journey into the world of obsessive cinephilles.

37. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu the Vampyre) (1979)

Critics Consensus: Stunning visuals from Werner Herzog and an intense portrayal of the famed bloodsucker from Klaus Kinski make this remake of Nosferatu a horror classic in its own right.

36. The Loved Ones (2012)

Critics Consensus: Successfully mixing the conventions of the teen and horror genres with a twist, Australian director Sean Byrne makes a striking directorial debut.

35. Halloween (1978)

halloween 1978 michael myers
Critics Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.

34. Carrie (1976)

carrie 1976 sissy spacek
Critics Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst — and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.

33. Young Frankenstein (1974)

young frankenstein 1974
Critics Consensus: Made with obvious affection for the original, Young Frankenstein is a riotously silly spoof featuring a fantastic performance by Gene Wilder.

32. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

invasion of the body snatchers 1978
Critics Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchersis a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.

31. The Evil Dead (1981)

the evil dead 1981 bruce campbell
Critics Consensus: This classic low budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs.

30. Drag Me To Hell (2009)

drag me to hell 2009 poster alison lohman
Critics Consensus: Sam Raimi returns to top form with Drag Me to Hell, a frightening, hilarious, delightfully campy thrill ride.

29. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)

Critics Consensus: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night blends conventional elements into something brilliantly original — and serves as a striking calling card for writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour.

28. Cat People (1942)

Critics Consensus: Influential noir director Jacques Tourneau infused this sexy, moody horror film with some sly commentary about the psychology and the taboos of desire.

27. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

the silence of the lambs hannibal lecter anthony hopkins
Critics Consensus: Director Jonathan Demme’s smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.

26. The Innocents (1961)

Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric, The Innocents is a stylishly crafted, chilling British ghost tale with Deborah Kerr at her finest.

25. Under The Shadow (2016)

Critics Consensus: Under the Shadow deftly blends seemingly disparate genres to deliver an effective chiller with timely themes and thought-provoking social subtext.

24. The Vanishing (Spoorloos) (1988)

Critics Consensus: A clinical, maddening descent into the mind of a serial killer and a slowly unraveling hero, culminating with one of the scariest endings of all time.

23. Don’t Look Now (1973)

Critics Consensus: Don’t Look Now patiently builds suspense with haunting imagery and a chilling score — causing viewers to feel Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie’s grief deep within.

22. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

the cabin in the woods 2012
Critics Consensus: The Cabin in the Woods is an astonishing meta-feat, capable of being funny, strange, and scary — frequently all at the same time.

21. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

night of the living dead 1968
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero’s debut set the template for the zombie film, and features tight editing, realistic gore, and a sly political undercurrent.

20. The Witch (2016)

the witch 2016
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is visually compelling, The Witch delivers a deeply unsettling exercise in slow-building horror that suggests great things for debuting writer-director Robert Eggers.

19. Gojira (1956)

gojira 1956
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.

18. The Birds (1963)

the birds 1963
Critics Consensus: Proving once again that build-up is the key to suspense, Alfred Hitchcock successfully turned birds into some of the most terrifying villains in horror history.

17. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

evil dead 2 bruce campbell
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2‘s increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good — if not better — than the original.

16. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

pan’s labyrinth 2006
Critics Consensus: Pan’s Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.

15. Eyes Without a Face (1962)

Critics Consensus: A horrific tale of guilt and obsession, Eyes Without a Face is just as chilling and poetic today as it was in 1959.

14. Freaks (1932)

Critics Consensus: Time has been kind to this horror legend: Freaks manages to frighten, shock, and even touch viewers in ways that contemporary viewers missed.

13. Aliens (1986)

aliens 1986 sigourney weaver
Critics Consensus: While Alienwas a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Alienspacks a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.

12. Let The Right One In (2008)

let the right one in
Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.

11. It Follows (2015)

it follows maika monroe
Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and above all terrifying, It Follows is the rare modern horror film that works on multiple levels — and leaves a lingering sting.

10. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

rosemary's baby poster 1968
Critics Consensus: A frightening tale of Satanism and pregnancy that is even more disturbing than it sounds thanks to convincing and committed performances by Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon.

9. Frankenstein (1931)

frankenstein movie 1931
Critics Consensus: Still unnerving to this day, Frankenstein adroitly explores the fine line between genius and madness, and features Boris Karloff’s legendary, frightening performance as the monster.

8. The Babadook (2014)

the babadook
Critics Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares — and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.

7. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

bride of frankenstein
Critics Consensus: An eccentric, campy, technically impressive, and frightening picture, James Whale’s Bride of Frankensteinhas aged remarkably well.

6. Repulsion (1965)

Critics Consensus: Roman Polanski’s first English film follows a schizophrenic woman’s descent into madness, and makes the audience feel as claustrophobic as the character.

5. King Kong (1933)

Critics Consensus: King Kongexplores the soul of a monster — making audiences scream and cry throughout the film — in large part due to Kong’s breakthrough special effects.

4. Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire) (1922)

Critics Consensus: One of the silent era’s most influential masterpieces, Nosferatu‘s eerie, gothic feel — and a chilling performance from Max Schreck as the vampire — set the template for the horror films that followed.

3. Psycho (1960)

Critics Consensus: Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psychowas filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn’t just create modern horror, he validated it.

2. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) (1920)

Critics Consensus: Arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set a brilliantly high bar for the genre — and remains terrifying nearly a century after it first stalked the screen.

1. Get Out (2017)

get out daniel kaluuya
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.

So there you have it. 100 of the best horror movies ever – according to Rotten Tomatoes. I’m sure a lot of people will have some strong opinions about some of the films on the list, but I guess that’s why we’re all fans isn’t it? To discuss and debate whether or not we think certain films are worth the praise or hate.

I’ll let you guys handle the discussion in the comments!


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