7 Wonders of the Horror Movie World

Yep, that’s right. Get Out (2017), a modern-day quirky remake of another fright film, The Stepford Wives (1975), is a top box-office draw of the summer, pulling in more than a $175 million worldwide. Not bad for a movie made for at a cost of, wait for it, $5 million.

There is a lesson here.

Americans love a good scare — as does the rest of the planet.

When it comes to horror movies, the world is a global village. Fears of things that go bump in the night travel from continent to continent until their dark shadows reappear in every American bedroom closet.

Here are 7 films that reflect man’s common love of being scared to death.

7. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Picking the silent horror movie that started it all is no easy task. As soon as folks began telling stories on celluloid, they tried to scare the pants off us. Ground zero for the first and best fright factories was the German cinematic scene. But which silent film is the best? You could make an argument for Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922), the great-grandfather of all vampire flicks. But the right selection is that quintessential work of German Expression telling a tale of murder and madness. Film critic Roger Ebert described The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari as “the first true horror film.” I would explain the plot, but that would ruin it. Watch—and then sleep with the lights on.