100 Horror Movies to See before You Die

Monday, March 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm

With so many horror movies being released each year, it’s often difficult to keep up with all the must-see films of the genre. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 100 horror movies to see before you die. You’ll no doubt be familiar with many of these names, but a closer look may reveal some that have previously escaped your notice. The title of each movie links to an interesting page about that film–which is our way of supporting our pals across the World Wide Web.

100 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die

  1. Dracula (1931) – Bela Lugosi hams it up as the bloodthirsty nobleman of legend. Better vampire movies have been made, but none would have been possible without this one.
  2. Frankenstein (1931) – Boris Karloff creates a monster for the ages. Every sequel or remake would pale in comparison.
  3. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – The movie which started the entire zombie phenomenon. Holds up well over 40 years later.
  4. Freaks (1932) – Both touching and horrifying, this unique classic casts real circus “freaks” as the heroes.
  5. The Wolf Man (1941) – Lon Chaney, Jr. stars as a tragic soul cursed to transform into a mindless killing machine. Maria Ouspenskaya is great as the old gypsy woman.
  6. Psycho – This Hitchcock masterpiece caused millions to dread taking a shower.
  7. The Phantom of the Opera (1925) – Lon Chaney stretches the boundaries of make-up with his role as the Phantom. Even if they haven’t seen the film, his is still the image most associated with the character.
  8. Creature from the Black Lagoon – Another of the classic Universal monster movies.
  9. The Mummy (1932) – Boris Karloff plays Imhotep, a mummified Egyptian priest searching Cairo for the reincarnation of his lost love.

Zombie Movies to See Before You Die

  1. Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Romero uses the undead to comment on society. There’s also plenty of gore for those of you who don’t give a crap about society.
  2. The Return of the Living Dead – Zombies battle punks in this wickedly hilarious flick from the ‘80s.
  3. Evil Dead – A group of youngsters run afoul of Latin incantations and sexually aggressive trees. A watershed moment in the history of modern horror.
  4. Evil Dead II – Bruce Campbell’s back to face more undead shenanigans. A wacky blend of horror and slapstick physical comedy.
  5. Dead Alive – Before the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson was making gross-out horror films in New Zealand. This zombie flick is the best of the bunch, as it features a kung-fu-fighting priest and steamy zombie sex.
  6. Night of the Living Dead (1990) – Tom Savini directs this excellent zombie remake. Stars genre favorites Tony Todd, Tom Towles and Bill Moseley.
  7. Cemetery Man – Rupert Everett battles the undead as the caretaker of a cemetery with some slight resurrection problems. Italian zombie goodness.
  8. Shaun of the Dead – Nobody does it better when it comes to combining zombie action and sly British humor.
  9. 28 Days Later – Anyone infected with the “Rage Virus” becomes a complete nutjob. Excellent director (Danny Boyle) and superb cast (including Brendan Gleeson).
  10. Dawn of the Dead (2004) – Zack Snyder cranks up the action, and the zombies all get around like track stars. Ving Rhames is such a badass.
  11. Black Sheep – Zombie sheep! What more could you possibly want from a film?

Werewolf Movies to See Before You Die

  1. An American Werewolf in London – While on vacation, an American tourist is attacked by a werewolf. Great music and a memorable transformation scene highlight this John Landis film.
  2. The Howling – Rob Bottin’s werewolf effects kick all kinds of ass, plus it’s got Slim Pickens, John Carradine and Dick Miller.
  3. Dog Soldiers – Soldiers vs. werewolves. Yes!
  4. Ginger Snaps – A morbid goth girl attempts to deal with a nasty case of lycanthropy.

Foreign Horror Movies to See Before You Die

  1. Suspiria – This Italian horror film takes place in a German dance academy where girls are dropping dead. The finest work of director Dario Argento.
  2. Don’t Look Now – A couple travel to Venice to recover from the death of their child. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose. Do the two stories intertwine? You bet.
  3. Audition – A lonely man looks for the new love of his life in this Japanese film. Too bad she’s crazy as a sh*thouse rat.
  4. Brotherhood of the Wolf – Just look at what it has to offer: karate fights, killer beasts, political intrigue, one-armed perverts, and Monica Bellucci’s naked flesh.
  5. Suicide Club – Japanese schoolchildren are killing themselves in droves, and rolls of human flesh keep winding up at the crime scenes. Bizarre beyond belief.
  6. Demons – The tagline reads “They will make cemeteries their cathedrals, and the cities will be your tombs.” That about sums up this demonic Italian opus from Lamberto Bava.
  7. Cannibal Holocaust – The message to be learned from this controversial film is “don’t go into the Amazon Rainforest.” And if you do, don’t rape and murder the locals.
  8. Marebito – Chained up naked girls who can only survive on blood? Yep, sounds like J-Horror to me.
  9. Sheitan – Vincent Cassel is a real hoot as a deranged housekeeper named Joseph in this 2006 French film.
  10. Haute Tension – A killer gets a blowjob from a severed head in this nightmarish French horror film.
  11. The Cottage – Andy Serkis (aka Gollum) stars in this film which combines elements of comedy, horror and crime. Jennifer Ellison is so hot that it burns.
  12. The Wicker Man (1973) – An upright police officer investigates the disappearance of a young girl on an island populated by bizarre locals. The final 15 minutes are filmmaking at its finest.

Vampire Movies to See Before You Die

  1. Blood for Dracula – Produced by Andy Warhol, this over-the-top vampire flick has to be seen to be believed. Dracula pukes whenever he drinks non-virgin blood, and a Marxist handyman keeps talking about “the revolution” in between banging all the local noblewomen.
  2. Horror of Dracula – Christopher Lee owns the role of Dracula in this classic entry from Hammer.
  3. Fright Night – A teen with an overactive imagination believes his neighbor is a vampire. He’s right, of course. Roddy McDowall and Chris Sarandon stand out in this underrated classic from the ‘80s.
  4. From Dusk Till Dawn – Half crime drama and half vampire movie. Cheech Marin plays 58 parts, and Salma Hayek looks absolutely stunning with a snake draped across her shoulders.
  5. Let the Right One In – Who would’ve thought that Swedish vampires could be so terrifying?
  6. Martin – George Romero takes a more realistic look at the vampire phenomenon.
  7. The Lost Boys – Before he was whacking terrorists on 24, Kiefer Sutherland was sporting a spiked mullet and getting all bloodthirsty in this ‘80s vampire classic. Also features the powerhouse acting duo of Corey Feldman and Corey Haim.

Stephen King Movies to See Before You Die

  1. The Shining – How many Stephen King adaptations are going to make this list? Certainly any which star Jack Nicholson and were directed by Stanley Kubrick.
  2. Creepshow – Five tales of terror for the price of one in this horror anthology. Notable stars include Ted Danson, Leslie Nielsen, Hal Holbrook and Ed Harris.
  3. Carrie – Stephen King…again. Sissy Spacek kills with her creepy telekinetic powers and takes a bath in pig’s blood.
  4. The Dead Zone – Christopher Walken gains the ability to see the future. Along the way, he attempts to stop a serial killer and a politician bent on a nuclear holocaust.
  5. Christine (1983) – This tale about an evil car is based on a book by Stephen King and directed by John Carpenter. How can you go wrong with that?
  6. Pet Sematary – Sometimes, dead is better. Fred Gwynne (aka Herman Munster) steals the show in yet another film adapted from the works of Stephen King.
  7. Misery – Poor Jimmy Caan plays an author held prisoner by “his biggest fan.” The role that made Kathy Bates a star.
  8. Children of the Corn – Linda Hamilton takes on creepy religious kids in this 1984 classic. Based on a short story by Stephen King
  9. Cujo – Adapted from the Stephen King novel, Cujo is a lovable St. Bernard who goes on a rabies-induced killing spree.
best horror movies

Not only is Halloween one of the best horror movies, it also helped launch the slasher sub-genre.

Slasher Movies to See Before You Die

  1. Friday the 13th Part 3 – Jason gets his hockey mask in this franchise entry originally shown in 3D.
  2. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Jason Voorhees vs. Corey Feldman in an epic showdown. Crispin Glover also appears as one of the doomed teens.
  3. Halloween (1978) – Jamie Lee Curtis cements her status as a scream queen in this John Carpenter classic which popularized the slasher genre.
  4. My Bloody Valentine (1981) – The tender love story of a man and his pickaxe.
  5. Freddy vs. Jason – Not a great film, but it’s worth it to see these two screen icons go head-to-head.
  6. Tourist Trap – Chuck Connors plays a kindly old man who just so happens to enjoy mannequins and killing young people. This one will give you nightmares for sure.
  7. Scream – The movie which helped revive the horror genre (and get Courtney Cox and David Arquette together).
  8. Seed – From director Uwe Boll, this under-the-radar gem is about as dark and nihilistic as it gets.
  9. Black Christmas (1974) – This film pioneered the killer POV shot later made popular by Halloween. Elizabeth Hussey looks great, even while being terrorized.
  10. A Nightmare on Elm Street – Freddy Krueger became a horror icon in this film about a monster who murders teens in their dreams.
  11. The Burning – While it never received the attention of Halloween or Friday the 13th, The Burning is a fine example of ‘80s slasher goodness. Includes a young Jason Alexander and Fisher Stevens.
  12. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon – Follows an up-and-coming slasher legend as he prepares for a night of killing. Deftly combines horror with comedy.
  13. Botched – We all know the Russians are crazy: this movie proves it. The blood flows freely in this comedy/horror film, and a little romance is worked in for good measure.
  14. Child’s Play – A serial killer manages to cheat death and inhabit the body of a child’s doll. It spawned way too many sequels.

Supernatural Horror Movies to See Before You Die

  1. The Exorcist – The film that introduced projectile vomiting and crucifix masturbation into American pop culture. Stay away from Captain Howdy!
  2. The Exorcist III – Features George C. Scott and plenty of unexpected scares. Cameos by Patrick Ewing and Fabio.
  3. Phantasm – Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man, plus zombie dwarves and floating killer spheres. Completely surreal and not to be missed.
  4. The Omen – An otherwise happy couple begin to suspect that there’s something wrong with their newborn child. Could it be…..Satan?!
  5. Poltergeist – Ghosts come through the television set and menace a suburban California family. Spawned a number of sequels.
  6. Re-Animator – If you’ve ever wanted to see a guy’s severed head go down on a girl, then this is your chance. Equal parts maddening and hilarious, Re-Animator revolves around a scientist’s obsession with finding a cure for death.
  7. Hellraiser – Clive Barker and Pinhead. What more needs to be said?
  8. Angel Heart – Mickey Rourke plays a hard-boiled detective investigating a case for the creepy Louis Cypher (Robert DeNiro).
  9. Prince of Darkness – A priest finds Satan locked up in a basement beneath a church. Wanna take any bets on whether or not he stays that way?
  10. The Fog (1980) – Something in the fog is killing people in this classic from director John Carpenter.
  11. The Blair Witch Project – Made on a budget of $22,000, this story of a filmmaking crew slowly driven mad by ghosts has grossed over $248 million.
  12. The Ring (2002) – Naomi Watts must pass along a video or die. Sounds like a new Blockbuster policy to me.
top horror movies

The Thing is my all-time favorite horror film and a must-see for fans of scary movies.

Assorted Other Horror Movies to See Before You Die

  1. Willard (2003) – Crispin Glover doesn’t do any karate kicks, but he’s still creepy as a lonely fellow who befriends and trains a legion of killer rats.
  2. Alien (1979) – Heavy on atmosphere and suspense, Alien tells the story of a space crew who bring something horrible onto their ship. Excellent cast featuring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm and John Hurt.
  3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – An insane family of redneck cannibals hunt down a group of teens in this legendary Tobe Hooper film.
  4. The Fly (1986) – Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis are terrific in director David Cronenberg’s best-remembered picture. When he pushes the boundaries of science too far, Seth Brundle (Goldblum) must pay the price…by turning into a fly?!
  5. The Hills Have Eyes – Mutant cannibals attack a family stranded in the desert.
  6. The Thing (1982) – Kurt Russell battles a shape-shifting alien in Antarctica. The Rob Bottin creature effects were cutting edge for 1982.
  7. The Hitcher (1986) – If you see Rutger Hauer trying to hitch a ride, just keep right on driving.
  8. Jaws – Responsible for the modern-day summer blockbusters, Jaws tells the story of a boat, three men, and one really big freakin’ shark.
  9. Ravenous – The legend of the Wendigo threatens a military outpost in the 1840s. Stars Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle and Jeffrey Jones.
  10. Cabin Fever- This debut film from Eli Roth is filled with quality nudity and lots of gore.
  11. Frailty – Bill Paxton is a loving father when he’s not busy doing the work of God (i.e. chopping up supposed demons with an axe).
  12. House of 1000 Corpses – A group of teens get into big trouble when they go looking for the mysterious Dr. Satan. Never trust a clown.
  13. Saw – The movie that launched a franchise. The mysterious serial killer Jigsaw makes people face death so that they’ll appreciate life. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
  14. The Devil’s Rejects – The further adventures of Captain Spaulding, Baby, and Otis.
  15. Feast – Expect the unexpected in this cult classic. Horny monsters terrorize an eclectic group at a bar in the middle of nowhere.
  16. Hostel – The film which popularized the “torture porn” genre, Hostel teaches that Europeans are not to be trusted under any circumstances.
  17. Final Destination – After cheating death, a group of students are hunted down by the Grim Reaper.
  18. Grindhouse – Two tales of terror from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Get your friends together and have a blast.
  19. P2 – An office hottie is stalked by an obsessive security guard during the Christmas holidays.
  20. The Signal – When a strange signal is broadcast via television and radio, people are turned into homicidal maniacs.
  21. Se7en – A freaking masterpiece, sez I. Morgan Freeman turns in a brilliant performance as a weary cop trying to catch a serial killer. Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey also star
  22. Silence of the Lambs – You’ve probably already seen this blockbuster starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, but it’s still worth a mention. Now put the lotion in the basket.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 4:52 pm and is filed under Movie Megalists, Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “100 Horror Movies to See before You Die”

Leave a Comment

April 1, 2009

Garg Unzola

Wowee zowee! What a great list!
It’s to die for!

May 27, 2010

Morris Hudson

I love Hammer Horror. Been a big fan since I was a kid. My bro and I loved the Dracula and Frankenstein movies. I highly recommend some of the more obscure vampire titles such as Vampire Circus, Twins of Evil, and Kiss of the Vampire. They are very enjoyable movies and shouldn’t be missed by Hammer fans even though they don’t star Cushing and Lee.

May 27, 2010

Shane

Thanks for the recommendations, Morris.

June 10, 2010

Heather

Rather disappointed that there was not a single Vincent Price movie mentioned on here.

August 18, 2010

How Awful

House on haunted hill LOL

April 27, 2011

Camilla

Not “It” in the Stephen King-list? So disappointed :/

April 27, 2011

Shane

I was sticking with theatrical films for this list.

January 15, 2012

Dan

Excellent list! (And thanks for the link!)

March 29, 2012

Terry Snow

Okay, I’m at 51 and counting. I guess that means my life is a little more than half-over. What’s everyone else’s total at?

October 4, 2012

ralph mckendree

Ive seen all except a few of the foreign films. I wouldnt place brotherhood of the wolf as horror though; more action than supernatural

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