Best Horror Movies – Iconic, Cult and Classic Horror Movies

When it comes to best horror movies, who’s to say which ones should make it to the top? In this case, we’ll rely on the test of time.

These best horror films are iconic, cult and classic horror movies that still have power to terrify and petrify. They are treasures of the horror genre because we never forget the first time we saw them, nor do we get used to the effects these classic horror films have on us.

Top 10 Horror Movies and Horror Movie Reviews

Best Horror Movies - The Exorcist 1973

The Exorcist movie (1973)

This horror movie is a staple on most top 10 horror movies lists. It was the first horror movie to be nominated for the Academy award. In fact, it was nominated for 10 Oscars.

On a budget of around $12 million, The Exorcist, one of the best horror movies ever, made over $440 million back. Apparently, theatres gave out “barf bags” during screenings of this classic.

The Haunting (1963)

The Haunting 1963 is a classic ghost film and one of the best British films of the genre. Martin Scorsese gave this horror film the top spot on his list of best horror films.

Similar to other scary classic black and white movies it plays on colour contrast, shadows, shapes and angles to create a distinguishably spooky look of one of the best horror movies of all time.

Best Horror Movies - The Haunting 1963

Best Horror Movies - Night of the Living Dead 1968

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

One of the best independent horror films, it was also one of the cheapest - made on a budget of $114,000. It revolutionized the horror genre introducing “slasher” movies.

First George A. Romero film, it gave start to the career of a legendary horror movie director who would create some of the best horror movies of all time.

The Wicker Man (1973)

The British know a thing or two about making the best horror movies. Unlike other scary films on this list, the subject matter of this horror classic is paganism and human sacrifice. Over the years the film received a cult following.

Christopher Lee, who had become famous playing vampires countless times in British classic horror movies, delivers a memorable performance in this horror movie classic. He considers it his best. We agree.

Best Horror Movies - The Wicker Man 1973

Best Horror Movies - The Omen 1976

The Omen (1976)

When talking about best classic horror movies, one must include this classic British psychological suspense thriller. Similar to the Exorcist, this horror movie involves a possessed child. And similar to the Exorcist, a series of events happened during filming that got people talking about “the curse”. Another horror classic with great commercial success and critics’ blessings.

Les Diaboliques (1955)

The oldest film on this list is a classic of French horror genre. It was greatly admired by Alfred Hitchcock and proved to be a great influence on one of his best horror movies - Psycho. In fact, the author of the Psycho book considered this horror classic to be his favorite film as well.

Best Horror Movies - Les Diaboliques 1955

Best Horror Movies - Rosemary's Baby 1968

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

This scary movie is Roman Polanski’s first project filmed in America. He was already a well-known director of psychological horror films in Europe after making a highly successful horror thriller Repulsion (1965). The exterior shots in this horror movie were of the Dakota building. John Lennon lived in the Dakota and was shot by the building’s entrance in 1980.

The Shining (1980)

What do you get if you combine the talents of Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick? – An iconic one-of-a-kind horror movie no less. The Shining was named the perfect scary movie by some scientists due to a perfect combination of “suspense, realism and gore, plus shock value”. The film is full of ambiguities and half-clues that leave us hanging well after we’re done watching.

Best Horror Movies - The Shining 1980

Best Horror Movies - The Innocents 1961

The Innocents (1961)

Similar to The Haunting 1963 movie, this film uses the power of suggestion rather than elements of gore and repulsion. A black and white classic, it also contains memorable imagery and an unforgettable score. One of the best horror movies caused controversy because of a scene in which a middle-aged heroine kisses a boy on the lips.

Psycho (1960)

Until Hitchcock made Psycho, the ultimate American classic horror film, American villains were very obviously evil. Here comes the Psycho’s serial killer who looks like an average Joe and suddenly you’re not sure of your friendly-looking neighbours. The Iconic status of the film comes partly from the unforgettable score. The sound of screeching violins is as memorable as Janet Leigh’s shower scene.

Best Horror Movies - Psycho 1960

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