50 best HORROR MOVIES of all time
50. Repulsion (1965)
The eye observes, yet the answer to whether it sees anything remains with the viewer. However, the eye does see, and as a result, it increasingly departs from the gaze considered by the majority as the proper, healthy, survival-oriented one. Because life appears to be the greatest value, and denying it an unforgivable crime. And a dead rabbit neither looks nor sees, yet it fulfills its function perfectly. It measures time for Polanski. It is the gauge of the growing disgust, leading the viewer through the sparsely told story, gradually fueling emotions until the ultimate decomposition. In black and white, only Bergman could construct a film in such a way that the viewer would feel a particular kind of existential disgust beyond the screen. Polanski learned the master’s lesson perfectly.
49. Shutter (2004)
Like most reviewers, I also believe that the greatest strength of the Thai film is tied to its ending. I’ll add – a fully surprising ending that leaves your jaw hanging (and regardless of how worn-out that phrase is, in this case, it’s entirely appropriate). Equally important, this ending gives all the events followed in the film an entirely new, even more terrifying significance. The impact becomes even stronger. It’s very difficult then to shake off the feeling of shock, which in this case seals the constant and lasting position of Shutter in our memory.
48. 28 days later (2002)
In 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle breathed new life into zombie survival and paved the way for Cillian Murphy’s acting career. This refreshing, intelligent, yet quite intimate work by the Briton can boast one of the most magnificent depictions of the deserted center of London in the history of cinema, excellent cinematography, and music. When I think of the living dead from 28 Days Later, I get shivers down my spine, although should I really fear them more than the survivors?
47. Braindead (1992)
In my journeys through the darkest realms of Z-grade cinema, I’ve come across so many nightmarish, revolting films that revisiting Braindead didn’t evoke emotions as intense as it did eighteen years ago. However, I found in the depths of the internet reactions from the younger generation of viewers, and segments like dismembering a full house of corpses with a lawnmower still hold immense power. And no wonder, as for the filming of that one scene, three hundred liters of fake blood were used (pumped at a speed of around nineteen liters per second), and the entire film is considered the bloodiest in the history of cinema. The exceptional nature of Braindead is not only determined by the extensive use of practical special effects. The plot is just as important. A simple, shallow plot beautifully blends the schematic zombie film with a schematic romance straight out of the 1950s.
46. Candyman (1992)
Although Candyman is often mentioned alongside other slasher classics, in my opinion, it remains a far more ambitious and socially engaged film, which surprisingly brings it close to the new wave of horror we’ve been witnessing in cinema for the past few years, thanks to releases like Get Out and It Follows. It’s a poignant tale of racial inequality and social issues in the early 90s United States, making it not only thrilling but also a thought-provoking horror with an impressive visual presentation and an excellent soundtrack.
45. The Descent (2005)
In comparison to the current horror cinema, British production stands out as a horror that derives its strength not from changing the genre code or utilizing plot schemes, but from focusing on the most basic sources of fear. We fear the darkness, tight spaces, cold, losing loved ones, and all of this Marshall presents to us in the first hour of his film, only to then shake us with even more nightmarish ideas and images. The pickaxe comes into play, piercing various body parts, throats are torn apart, entrails are devoured, and skulls are crushed. Fear turns into terror, and emotional pain gives way to the physical. Suffice it to say that after the screening, we are as drained as the main characters.
44. The Ring (2002)
Verbinski creates high-budget, visually refined cinema that aims to give the viewer the impression of an A-class production right from the start. The creator of later Pirates of the Caribbean films approaches horror in the same way as an adventure movie – he believes in doing justice to the genre through meticulous execution and visual splendor. It’s a noble approach, although in horror cinema, it’s not necessarily about extravagance. However, in this case, I won’t level that criticism. The Ring looks fantastic, departing from the cheapness and amateurishness that horror is often associated with.
43. Poltergeist (1982)
Poltergeist still amazes today. With its lightness, execution, and heart on the right side, embodying all that characterizes Spielberg’s cinema. On the other hand, it isn’t afraid to employ more direct effects, causing the Freeling house to, after a while, cease to resemble a typical American dream and instead become more of a nightmare – situated on an Indian burial ground (similar to the entire neighborhood), it is more likely to collapse than to rejuvenate. The television accompanying the family from the very first scenes ceases to symbolize prosperity, becoming a tool of evil. However, the most crucial aspect is the little girl and her safe return to her family. This is the only thing that interests Spielberg, and Hooper, whose contribution is still debated to this day, executes this intention excellently.
42. The Lighthouse (2019)
Robert Eggers’ second film is a kind of reverse of The Witch. Instead of focusing on femininity, the director delves into masculinity. In contrast to minimalist scares, he presents a spectacular, stylized spectacle that blends psychological drama, grotesque elements, and horror drawn from legends. The intricate performances of the brilliant Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse provide an intense and meaning-rich experience, accompanied by numerous genuinely terrifying sequences.
41. Interview with the Vampire (1994)
My favorite vampire film and perhaps my favorite film overall. Neil Jordan created an adaptation so excellent that even Anne Rice, the author of the book, praised it. Interview with the Vampire mainly revolves around themes of love, loneliness, and eternal pain, yet it’s definitely not devoid of terrifying moments. There are numerous fiery scenes and bloody murders, all accompanied by Elliot Goldenthal’s outstanding music, which still resonates in my ears and sends shivers down my spine.