Who doesn’t remember the very first horror flick they ever saw as a kid? For me it was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, featuring Bela Lugosi in 1931. It scared the pants off me, but oddly enough, I loved the way Dracula could attract his victims and creep in to take a bite from the pretty girls’ necks. He was terrifying and, needless to say, I was hooked—and another horror fan was born. To this very day I have to sleep with the blankets up around my neck! Lugosi’s dark set eyes, widow’s peak, and accent were just a few aesthetics that made his character deeply frightening and alluring. He made the perfect vampire that would set the tone for every other blood-sucking monster that came after him.
There are many genres of horror, from killer/slasher to monster to psychological and paranormal. I have compiled a list of some of the classic horror films that will make you keep the hall light on and check twice under your bed!
1. Dracula, 1931
“Children of the night”…still scares me today! The black and white aesthetic add such an elegance to the Bram Stoker timeless classic.
Ok, all I have to say is this movie is creepy as #uck! The monster rivals even creepers of today. The visuals are stunning in this silent film masterpiece.
3. Halloween (the original)
The music, the classic teenage sex scenes where they always get killed, and Michael Myers who never dies…love this slasher.
4. Friday the 13th
“Kill her mommy, kill her”… cursed Crystal Lake harbors a brutal killer that is stalking the camp counselors who are sex-crazed teens. This is one of the most successful media franchises to date, as Jason Voorhees, amazingly, never seems to die.
5. The Shining
“Here’s Johnny”! This psychological thriller is adapted from the novel by Stephen King. It’s based on his own experiences and has earned its place as one the best horror flicks of all time. Plus, who doesn’t love Jack Nicholson? To me it’s perfection.
6. The Exorcist
I only saw this movie once and that was enough for me! It was too psychologically messed up for my taste, but I can appreciate its popularity.
7. The Silence of the Lambs
The acting in this movie is incredible. A psychological thriller involving a cannibal who gets inside an FBI student Clarice Starling’s head. Who can ever forget the scene when the killer says “it puts the lotion in the basket.” Once you see it, it unfortunately can’t be unseen!
8. The Lost Boys
An ’80s flick that we all loved, The Lost Boys combined horror with cool, quirky characters who won our hearts. Add a cool soundtrack and you have an instant classic!
9. 28 Days Later
It’s an interesting take on the zombie genre focusing on the post-apocalyptic aspect set in London. The zombies run in this and it makes the thought of it happening even more terrifying.
10. The Village
A great movie by M. Night Shyamalan, this psychological thriller needed no blood to keep us on the edge of our seats. The storyline was unique and the aesthetics pleasing to the eye.
11. The Others
This movie was good. The surprising plot twists add an element of suspense along with a fear factor, making it an entertaining storyline.
12. Shaun of the Dead
One of my personal favorites, it has become a cult classic. Working as a comedy first, horror second, it’s a movie I just couldn’t leave off the list.
13. Evil Dead
Spring break will never be the same for Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his crew! Using the Book of the Dead, not such a great idea. It spawned the campy series including Army of Darkness (my personal favorite). Entertaining and a classic!
14. Nightmare on Elm Street
The wildly popular fright series scared millions of little kids who were afraid to go to sleep at night. Freddy Krueger came for you in your dreams with the knives he had as fingers. Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep!
15. Pan’s Labyrinth
This spellbinding fable is like an Alice in Wonderland house of horrors. “Pale Man” gave me nightmares!
Don’t go into the Bates Motel because you may never come out. Alfred Hitchcock was a genius storyteller. Who can forget the shower scene where crazy Norman Bates stabs the unsuspecting Marion Crane?
17. The Blair Witch Project
Ok…ok…some of you may not agree with this pick, but when it was first being advertised, my mum and I watched the backstory they put out about it on the SyFy channel showing scenes from the faux documentary. I was genuinely scared! It was one of the highest grossing independent films ever, taking in over $248 million worldwide.
18. Night of the Living Dead
An independent film made on a budget of just $114,000 became a financial success grossing over $12 million. A cult classic, it was criticized for the amount of gore for its time. It was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being historically, culturally, and aesthetically significant.
19. Sleepy Hollow
This classic tale was done in dark and dreamy tones that captured the original book very well. I thought it had a great cast. Tim Burton brings the headless horseman to life and it still remains one of my favorite tales and movies of all time.
20. The Amityville Horror
This movie is based on real events which make it even more scary. There have been remakes, but nothing compares to the original.