The best horror movies of all time aren’t without their perils. This is because the scariest movies are those in which you have no idea what will happen next or where the next scare will come from. Even the main character’s survival is not always certain. While the best horror movies have evolved rules through time – as perfectly broken down and then destroyed in Scream – the finest scary films are the ones that break the mold.
Although some of the films on this list have a classic plot, there will always be moments when you wonder how things could get much worse, just to find out. It’s enough to make you wonder why we subject ourselves to such suffering.
Here’s a list of 15 best horror movies from Hollywood with IMDb ratings:
1. The Ring (4.5)
The Ring, directed by Gore Verbinski, was hailed as a breakthrough in best horror movies Hollywood in the fall of 2002, and it is a film that is both stylish and effective—particularly its the opening set-up of the “cursed tape” and the “I saw her face” cutaway, which had theatre audiences jumping out of their seats. As investigative journalist Rachel Keller, Naomi Watts gives one of the best core performances in the genre, delving into the tape’s history while racing against the clock for herself and her son.
The Ring established an expressively creepy, morose visual identity with its memorably creepy, darkly shaded, green-and-blue-tinged visuals, which would be lifted by many lesser, PG-13 horror films over the next decade—as would the aesthetic of the ghost girl Samara, who memorably emerges from the TV screen in the film’s big conclusion. The Ring has gotten some critical backlash in the years since, but Verbinski’s version merited the attention it received in the United States. It is the best horror movies in Hollywood.
2. Under The Shadow (6.9)
Babak Anvari spends the majority of the film building a suffocating period drama, a different kind of horror picture that realistically communicates the claustrophobia of Iran during its turbulent post-revolutionary time. Under the Shadow is a statement of resistance and a tribute to Anvari’s mother, who came from a family that eventually fled the Ayatollah’s tyranny.
Shideh (Narges Rashidi) is presented as a brave woman battling back against larger hostile forces, a horror movie cliché that gains even more power in this environment. Shideh’s defiance of the Khomeini government by watching a state-banned Jane Fonda workout video is almost as moving as seeing her overcome her internal demons by shielding her child from a more physical one. It is termed as best horror movie of all time.
3. Insidious (6.8)
Insidious was the picture where James Wan established once and for all that his success in the original Saw was no accident, a couple of years before he effectively perfected the modern, big-budget haunted home thriller with The Conjuring.
It’s a film that benefits from the audience’s low expectations for its complexity—the audience goes in expecting to see the same basic haunting/possession/poltergeist-type story they’ve seen before, and Wan then dazzles them with a mythos that’s far more detailed (and batshit) than what they expected.
The film also benefits from a few significant performances, such as Patrick Wilson’s portrayal of an anxious father (and secret source of psychic energy) seeking for his son, or Lin Shaye’s portrayal of the family’s sole chance, the knowledgeable demonologist.
The appearance of older women as stars/protagonists in the horror genre is nearly nonexistent—the Insidious series did the odd task of taking a woman who was in the supporting position of Zelda Rubinstein in Poltergeist and making her into the franchise’s actual hero. The picture holds up well now, undone a little by its sequels’ fixation on canonical retconning, but with jump scares (especially the red-faced demon) that are as effective as anything in their age.
4. The Witch (6.8)
The Witch was one of the most talked-about films of 2016, and it appeared on numerous best-of lists. Even though the IMDb rating indicates that audiences were not as enthusiastic as critics, it is nevertheless a must-see horror picture.
The Witch is one of the year’s most critically regarded horror flicks. The Witch is a film set in the 1630s about a family that begins to come apart owing to the practice of witchcraft. Rather than being a typical nasty horror film, the film is an intriguing and engrossing psychological voyage into the dark.
5. Green Room (7.0)
Green Room is uncomfortable because of how grounded it is in reality, despite the fact that many of these horror films deal with monsters, masked killers, or the occult. A punk rock band grudgingly performs at a neo-Nazi compound is the subject of the film. Things quickly go wrong, and they are forced to battle for their life.
The claustrophobic atmosphere is successfully used in the film to make the audience feel trapped and doomed in the same way that the protagonists do. It’s difficult to watch since the violence is realistic and horrific. Patrick Stewart, on the other hand, dominates the stage with his chilly, evil performance.
6. The Conjuring (7.5)
You can’t get much better than James Wan’s The Conjuring for a modern take on the haunted house story. Following a family who is haunted by ghosts and demonic forces in their new house, the film introduces Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are confronted with one of their most horrifying cases.
Wan’s signature style is on full display here, leading to some of his most enduring creature creations and scariest scenes, and while The Conjuring’s legacy has grown into a billion-dollar franchise, 2013 original still stands on its own as a super-scary, self-container horror film. It is termed as best horror movies of all time. Also, the best horror movies IMDb.
7. Pan’s Labyrinth (8.2)
Guillermo Del Toro’s masterwork, while arguably more fantasy than horror, has just enough nightmare fuel to qualify, and that’s without even mentioning the film’s profoundly gloomy “real-world” themes.
During the Spanish Civil War, Del Toro’s first Oscar winner combines the imaginary world of a young girl named Ofelia with her stepfather’s heinous violence. Even in a film about a child-eating monster known as the Pale Man, the true monster could be human. It is marked as the best horror movies IMDb.
8. Shutter (7.1)
You should seek out the cream of the crop, like this excellent 2004 Thai film about a magical camera, because there isn’t nearly enough good foreign horror on Netflix — there is a lot of it, but most of it is terrible — so you should seek out the cream of the crop, like this excellent 2004 Thai film about a magical camera. (The 2008 American remake is not to be confused with the original.)
It’s a picture that masterfully merges several genres, reimagining the ghost story in a new way that includes aspects of retribution or regret. After a night of drinking, a couple smashes a woman with their car and flees. Strange things begin to happen to their photos after that. It is surely in the top 10 horror movies of all time.
9. Scream (7.2)
Slasher movies have long been a staple of the horror genre, but by the 1990s, they had become a touch stale. Scream then came along to breathe new life into the subgenre. As a disguised killer begins to attack a group of high school students, the young teenagers begin to suspect everyone in their immediate vicinity.
The fact that Scream is a horror film about folks who watch horror films adds to its appeal. The characters’ “rules” for slasher-movie survival provide commentary on the film’s own genre cliches. It’s a witty and entertaining movie with some terrific scares thrown in for good measure.
10. Underworld (7.0)
Before Twilight swept the globe and repopularized vampire fiction, Underworld was conquering the globe with the horrible truth of what a world where vampires are real might look like. This 2003 epic, featuring Kate Beckinsale as a vampire warrior caught up in a centuries-old fight between bloodsuckers and werewolves, is merely the first installment of what would later become a trilogy. There’s plenty of gore to satisfy horror enthusiasts, and Netflix has every single film available to watch.
11. Carrie (7.4)
Without a little Stephen King, no list of horror flicks would be complete. Sissy Spacek stars as a young girl who is an outcast in her school in Carrie, one of the most well-known films based on King’s work. She discovers a method to avenge those who have mistreated her as she begins to develop remarkable talents.
The film is a dark and gripping character study of a destitute little girl who is abused by everyone she encounters. The film, on the other hand, masterfully makes you sympathize with Carrie until you are scared of her. Because of the horror, it is in the top 10 horror movies of all time.
12. Creep (6.3)
Brice, who previously directed The Overnight, directs Creep, a somewhat predictable but joyfully crazy little indie horror picture. It’s a character study of two men—a naive videographer and a not-so-secretly psychotic recluse, the latter of whom hire the former to come document his life out in a cabin in the woods. It stars the ever-prolific Mark Duplass. It is solely reliant on its exceptional performances.
Duplass, who can be charming and quirky in films like Safety Not Guaranteed, shines as the crazed madman who infiltrates the protagonist’s life and follows him around at all times. The initial exchanges between the two have an unsettling intensity to them. Anyone familiar with the genre will understand where it’s heading, but it’s a well-made ride that succeeds on the strength of chemistry between its two main characters in a way that reminds me of Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac’s sequences in Ex Machina.
13. The Babysitter (6.3)
In horror movies, babysitters are often overlooked. It’s rarely what you’d call a “pleasant gig” for them, whether they’re being harassed, stabbed, or taunted on the phone. McG’s The Babysitter subverts this notion in probably its only subversion, which we won’t reveal here, elevating this Netflix Original from a mediocre slasher.
This isn’t your standard blood-soaked voyage to suburbia, based on the neon-drenched palette of its marketing. This horror, on the other hand, tries hard to seem cool. That’s thanks in part to Samara Weaving’s breezy cool.
Whether she’s discussing the merits of horror icons with preteen scamp Cole or finding out how to accomplish the life she genuinely wishes, it’s her turn in the lead as the world’s best babysitter that cements the film as a fun take on horrors past. While the highly styled screen pop-ups appear to be necessary, they are insufficient to detract from the popcorn frivolity.
14. His House (6.5)
His House is a fantastic horror film that is best appreciated on Halloween but can be enjoyed at any time of year. The plot centers on two refugees who abandon their war-torn homeland in search of a better life in England. They are, however, given a new home, which is infiltrated by a certain… presence.
This is a relevant story with two outstanding central performances by Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu. We’ll let you figure out the rest, but this is one haunted house horror that had to be on the list of best horror movies.
15. CAM (5.9)
The terror of having your online identity stolen is at the center of this very terrifying 2018 film. Madeline Brewer of Orange Is the New Black portrays Lola, a webcam model for a popular live females website. She collects tokens and likes from her fans in the hopes of climbing to the top 10 on the site, where true celebrity awaits.
When Lola wakes up one morning to find her profile has been taken over… by a carbon copy of herself, her dream comes crashing down. The uncanny valley issue at the heart of CAM is the most unnerving, and it’s sure to send shivers up your spine.
It’s one thing to have your identity stolen from you. However, being confronted with a sinister lookalike, a dangerous doppelganger, or a crafty cop—well, you get the idea. This is a terrifying thought. The novel, written by a former real-life cam girl, delves into the website’s dark past, showing the genuine misery of Lola’s situation.