Our most primal emotion is that of fear. And the eeriest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown. Is that not what horror cinema is all about? All sub-genre of horror, have one thing in common, the power to effectively communicate the apprehension of the something. It could be a ghost, a demon, an aberration of the supernatural or even the monstrosity of human nature. This list comprises of horror movies which were considered landmarks in this celebrated genre. They have been chosen and ranked on the basis of originality of ideas, the accompanying visual and sound effects and the work of actors and directors.
A lot of effort has been made to make this list as objective and spoiler free as possible one can not be too vague about writing these, so Spoilers Ahead. These are some truly blood curdling and spine-chilling horror flicks here, let’s check them out!
- The Blair Witch Project (1999)
One of the most famous indie (independent) horror movie of all time, this movie not only has a huge cult following among the general public but was an absolute favorite of almost all the critics as well. The Blair Witch Project was the movie that initiated the hand-held camera footage genre of horror, that every other movie is trying to rip-off nowadays. One of the most interesting aspects of the movie was the way it was marketed. It sparked a frenzy over the internet because the entire marketing campaign was designed to make it look like a real story and not a fictional one. One of the most amazing movie of all times, The Blair Witch Project is the first entry on our list.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre was not at all a box office success at the time of the release, but it has cultivated a humongous cult following over the years. This was the original, the very first American-Slasher movie. Confronted by a family of Cannibal-Psycho killer family, who live next door to their grandfather’s farmhouse, the group of friends suffers the horrible fate in their innocent trip to the countryside. The first installment of a widely reproduced franchise, this first and most gruesomely amazing movie was directed by Tobe Hooper and is truly regarded as the groundbreaking work in this field. The rough rattling sound of the power-saw, yielded by the character Leatherface, will haunt many your nights and nightmares.
- The Orphanage (2007)
A Spanish horror film by J.A. Bayona, The Orphanage recounts a story of a woman who returns with her family to the orphanage she had grown up in. The Orphanage was extremely well received by the Spanish as well as International critics. One of the most Amazing horror flicks in the recent history, The Orphanage did not at all indulge in what has come to be known as cheap thrills. The music and background score is subtle and complementing to the situation and does not go into overboard with it. The theme of this horror movie is considerably infused with drama, which helps the viewers to relate to the protagonist far more easily.
- Frailty (2001)
One of the earlier movie of Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey, Frailty is about the story of two brothers, living with their schizophrenic father, who suffers from the delusions that he has been commanded by God to kill demons, hiding as human beings on earth. The story is recounted by one of the grown-up brother (Matthew McConaughey) to the FBI. This movie focuses more on the dramatization of gore rather than the on-screen visualization of it. The writing is sharp and it packs a great punch up until the very end of the movie. This was a directorial debut of Bill Paxton, who also plays the role of father. This is one of those horror movies that has been directed with a style of thriller flicks.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Before the franchise was destroyed by the horrible sequels and remakes, the first episode of A Nightmare on Elm Street was a movie that had garnered an immense cult following on its own. A true masterpiece, this movie introduced us to one of the greatest villains and horror characters of all times, Freddy Krueger. A being from another world, Freddy Krueger gets to his victims through their dreams and mauls them to death through his bladed gloves. A Nightmare on the Elm Street beautifully divulges into dream and reality and thereby distorting the perception of the viewers. Extremely popular among the critics, this movie is a must watch!
- The Omen (1976)
One of those horror movies, which have one of the best acting performances ever, it is a groundbreaking work in the Devil sub-genre of the horror world. It revolves around the son of an American diplomat which exhibits signs of being the Devil incarnate or the Anti-Christ. The seemingly innocent boy’s role is excellently played by Harvey Spencer Stephens, whose dead eyes and smiling face gives the viewer goosebumps every time one watches it. Packed with ghastly visuals of dismemberment and hangings, this movie has it all! Not only was it favorably rated amongst the critics, but it turned out to be a great success at the box office as well.
- The Exorcist (1973)
Surprised? You either expected it to be on the top or not on the list at all! Nevertheless, this movie is widely famous and is considered to the scariest movie of all time by popular votes. This movie deserves all the hyped attention and reverence it has enjoyed over the period of time. Though the opinions of people may differ, I for one consider this to be a truly amazing movie. Not only does it have one of the most amazing pieces of acting, the effects–both visual and sound–were years ahead of its time. One of the greatest work in the possession sub-genre, The Exorcist is an amazing movie, in which you can experience a shiver running down your spine in every scene.
- Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott’s Alien is a treasure of Science-Fiction horror-genre. Never before and never since then, has there been such an amalgamation of sci-fi and horror. The terror of being trapped in space, inside a ship with an alien predatory being who is hunting you and your friends one by one has been made obviously relatable by the great acting by Sigourney Weaver and the directorial brilliance of Ridley Scott. With a huge cult following, this movie has lived on as a legend.
- Psycho (1960)
The classic Alfred Hitchcock movie transcends genre and styles of movie making and is not only considered a work of genius as a horror movie but is regarded as one of the greatest movie to be ever made in history! Alfred Hitchcock completely overturned the on screen thriller portrayal. Each and every scene of the movie has a bold and finely maneuvered elegance of Alfred Hitchcock’s brush strokes. I would not talk much of the characters for the fear of committing the greatest sin a person could do, i.e to spoil the story of Psycho! If you have not seen this movie, I both pity you, for you have deprived yourself from arguably the greatest movie to be ever made and envy you for having a chance to watch it again with naive curiosity.
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The most amazingly horrifying movie of all time has to be Rosemary’s Baby! This movie has been accounted in the National Film Registry (NFR) – America as a treasured motion picture. Based on the works of Ira Levin, Roman Polanski wrote and directed this gem of a movie, which not only acclaimed visceral positive response from the viewers but has been constantly named the greatest horror movie by almost all the critics. If you truly love horror, you can not for the love of your life not watch this!
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