Here is a list of the movies that really define “horror genre” at its best.
20. Shutter (2004)
If you don’t abhor watching Asian movies with subtitles, then Shutter is the best one for you. Contrary to popular belief, Shutter is not a Japanese movie but a horror gem made in Thailand. Though almost overshadowed by The Ring in terms of popularity, any Asian horror fanatic will never be disappointed by Shutter’s unique visual effects, unpredictable storyline, and stunning scenes that will make you jump out of your seats. With Shutter, you will never look at your cameras and photographs the same way again.
19. House on Haunted Hill (1999)
How far would you go for million dollars? Are you willing to spend the night in a haunted house? Though it pales in comparison with the 1959 classic, in terms of critical reception. This movie, which stars Hollywood favourites Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen, will leave you scared and satisfied with its “haunted house”, classic horror theme accentuated by modern CGI.
18. What Lies Beneath (2000)
If you’re curious enough “what lies beneath”, then you will be greatly surprised by how this movie can bring you chills that will push you to scream at the top of your lungs. Anyone will be impressed by how Robert Zemeckis put a new flavour to those predictable spooky movies we have seen so far. A masterpiece fuelled by great acting (Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford are extremely amazing!) and shocking revelations, What Lies Beneath is a must for thriller addicts.
17. 1408 (2007)
Stephen King is excellent but to translate his short story to a stunning ghost movie is a feat equally commendable. Starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, 1408 is a psychological rollercoaster movie that will hook you from start to finish. With its spooky story confined within a mysterious hotel room, this movie will give more than you can ask for; no wonder it has been hailed by many as the “The Shining of 2007”.
16. Candyman (1992)
“There’s a truth in every myth”. Such was the premise of this 1992 horror flick by director Bernard Rose. Who’d ever thought that a surprising movie like this has been eclipsed by other no brainer and slasher movies of the 90’s? Well, with the hook-handed Candyman as the killer, this scary movie will surely satisfy every thinking man’s hunger for gory movies.
15. The Haunting (1963)
This movie is revered as a classic for many reasons. With its horrifying “haunted house” story, The Haunting is not just your ordinary black-and-white classic movie; its superb cast and creepy sound effects are only proving to us that you don’t need gory slasher movies with extra CGI to scare the hell out of the moviegoers.
14. The Orphanage (2007)
Just like The Haunting, this Spanish movie also believes in the notion that “less is more”. True enough, this sad and scary movie, which puts a sinister overtone to the term; “invisible friend”. It will also leave you both scared and heart-broken.
13. Poltergeist (1982)
If you want to see the late Heather O’Rourke on a movie, then go watch the Poltergeist, a 1980’s classic that best describes how scary and disturbing a movie can become. Hearing the statement; “They’re here” is but a perfect way to send chills down to your spine. Brilliant acting, brilliant story, what more can you ask for?
12. The Eye (2002)
The Eye is not just your ordinary Asian horror flick. With its fantastic “transplant gone awry” concept, The Eye offers you a riveting story which is also brimming with startling scenes that will certainly blow you away.
11. Al Final del Espectro (2006)
This movie is translated as At the End of the Spectra. This Colombian movie is an agoraphobic psychological thriller that will overwhelm you with stunning cinematography. The performances of its lead actors, Noëlle Schonwald and Julieth Restrepo were also commendable. If you want a spooky film that combines the artistic aspects of The Grudge, The Others and The Ring, this film will suit your taste.
10. The Others (2001)
To describe The Others as an excellently crafted horror movie is an understatement. With its old-fashioned style of telling a chilling story without even using modern special effects, this film, which stars the equally stunning Nicole Kidman, will captivate and leave you at the edge of your seats before being blown away by an ending you will never forget. Seriously, the ending really speaks for the ingenuity this movie has to offer.
9. Ju-on: The Grudge (2003)
The kind of movie that will leave you sleepless after watching it, Ju-on: The Grudge is the original Japanese movie that spawned several sequels and an American remake. They say that “the original is always the best”, but the harrowing supernatural story about two ghosts in this movie speaks for itself. No wonder that it’s considered one of the best Asian films ever to dominate worldwide movie theatres.
8. The Changeling (1980)
The Changeling is one of those movies that will give you scares as its purest form: no sound or visual manipulation, just pure acting and intense storytelling. The late George Scott nailed his role as the music composer who lost his family in a tragic accident. But the secrets hidden in the movie is what will keep the audiences hook to their seats. A great classic, The Changeling is another horror story at its finest.
7. The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Amityville Horror is a movie that really stands out among the other horror flicks released during its time. There is no other movie can give better old-fashioned scare than this film. Honestly revealing that the Devil can sometimes be more powerful than good, this movie is a must for every horror fanatic’s list of scariest.
6. The Sixth Sense (1999)
“I see dead people!” is the famous line immortalized by this heart-wrenching thriller from the 90’s. With an unforgettable ending reminiscent of “The Others”, this movie captured the child wonder Haley Joeal Osment at the height of his career. If you want to witness a unique ghost story that will affect you deep down into your bones, then this movie is a must-see.
5. Lake Mungo (2010)
Lake Mungo doesn’t have famous Hollywood actors in it nor does it showcases stunning visual effects to feast your eyes on, but one thing is for sure: it will leave you a long-lasting impact. Revolving around the sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer’s accidental death, the story will give you a quality scare and an eye opening lesson you will never forget.
4. The Ring (2002)
Who doesn’t know about “Sadako” and her killer videotape? Well, with an American remake of the Japanese horror flick The Ring, the fame of this grotesque monster became viral all over the world. This movie was considered epic because of the superb acting of Naomi Watts, stunning visual effects and script. It’s no brainer that The Ring is now considered as one of the “horror gems” of the present generation.
3. Session 9 (2001)
Don’t even dare to watch Session 9 alone because if you do, you might push yourself into a mental asylum, where the thought-provoking story of Session 9 revolves. Made with a low budget on hand, this masterpiece will clearly capture your attention with its three-dimensional characters.
2. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Wonderfully made to become one of horror movie history’s most engaging and enthralling movie; The Blair Witch Project is about students who travelled to Maryland to film a famous urban legend. With its unique style, this movie will give you the chills like you’re one of the protagonists, a movie experience that will top anyone’s list.
1. The Shining (1980)
Dubbed by many movie critics as one of the scariest movies of all time, The Shining is about the mental madness that paralyzed the character played by none other than Jack Nicholson. Based from another Stephen King masterpiece, this movie is a profound story of horror and insanity that will give you another quality scare.