(Photo by United Film Distribution Company/Courtesy Everett Collection)

100 Best ’70s Horror Movies

Comb your porn ’stache, put on some vinyl (records or disco boots, your choice), and smell that lead in the gasoline – we’re heading back to the Me Decade with the 100 Best 1970s Horror Movies!

The ’70s were a decade of upheaval for the genre, transforming horror into a legitimate vessel for awards recognition (The Exorcist) and the birth of the blockbuster (Jaws). The reign of Hammer gothic horror had its last gasp here (Vampire Circus), giving way to the whodunit sleaze of Italian giallo (Deep Red), American realism (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and grindhouse (Last House on the Left). Meanwhile, legends-in-the-making made their name off horror: Steven Spielberg (Duel), Ridley Scott (Alien), David Lynch (Eraserhead), and John Carpenter (Halloween) to name a few. The only stipulation for a movie to be considered for this list was a Fresh rating, before we ranked them all by Adjusted Tomatometer.

Now that you’re keyed up, get down for some boo-gie nights as we get off on the best scary movies the 1970s offered!

84 Best ’80s Horror Movies | 40 Best ’90s Horror Movies
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#100
Adjusted Score: 36.047%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This creepy, atmospheric horror film from England's Amicus Productions dispenses with much of the tongue-in-cheek presentation of their popular '70s... [More]
Directed By: Roy Ward Baker

#99

Ruby (1977)
67%

#99
Adjusted Score: 46.201%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The deaf-mute daughter of a drive-in movie-theater owner becomes possessed by the evil spirit of her deceased gangster father in... [More]

#98

Creeping Flesh (1973)
80%

#98
Adjusted Score: 48.062%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Peter Cushing delivers one of his finest hand-wringing performances as Emmanuel Hildern, a Victorian man of science who relates a... [More]
Directed By: Freddie Francis

#97

Schlock (1973)
67%

#97
Adjusted Score: 48.303%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Southern California is being terrorized by a mysterious murderous monster living in a cave. As the bodies pile up --... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#96

The Asphyx (1973)
67%

#96
Adjusted Score: 48.303%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this horror-fantasy, set during the 19th century, Dr. Stephens discovers that just before a person dies, their body is... [More]
Directed By: Peter Newbrook

#95
Adjusted Score: 48.303%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An old housea mysterious locked room a terrifying secret. Elements that make a horror movie memorably chilling get a taut,... [More]
Directed By: John Newland

#94
Adjusted Score: 48.581%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Also known as Phantom Love, the French/Japanese co-production L'Empire de la Passion follows famed Japanese director Nagisa Oshima's multinational production,... [More]
Directed By: Nagisa Oshima

#93
#93
Adjusted Score: 50.994%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this horror film, an alluring California woman, Diane (Celeste Yarnall), meets and befriends, Lee (Michael Blodgett) and Susan (Sherry... [More]
Directed By: Stephanie Rothman

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 50.994%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Adapted from a Fred Mustard Stewart novel, this offbeat occult thriller stars Alan Alda (just prior to his eleven-year stint... [More]
Directed By: Paul Wendkos

#91

Blue Sunshine (1976)
80%

#91
Adjusted Score: 50.38%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The frightening flashbacks of a group of LSD users cause them to commit murders. Only one person who understands the... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Lieberman

#90

Vampire Circus (1972)
80%

#90
Adjusted Score: 58.551%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An interesting premise as a nineteenth century circus of vampires returns to exact revenge from a small town whose inhabitants... [More]
Directed By: Robert Young

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 58.551%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When several young boys are brutally murdered in a small southern Italian village, the superstitious locals react with ignorance and... [More]
Directed By: Lucio Fulci

#88
Adjusted Score: 58.551%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: One of the final links between the Edgar Wallace-based German krimi genre and the Italian giallo thriller, this creepy mystery... [More]
Directed By: Massimo Dallamano

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 59.838%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A gang of ruthless but inept kidnappers pull off a crime with startling and unexpected consequences in this tough, nervy... [More]
Directed By: Guerdon Trueblood

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 60.943%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This first effort from acclaimed writer/director Peter Weir is set in the secluded rural town of Paris, Australia, where the... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#85
#85
Adjusted Score: 61.196%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The sequel to The Abominable Dr. Phibes, this film follows the quest of Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) to bring... [More]
Directed By: Robert Fuest

#84
Adjusted Score: 62.562%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After being dissatisfied with Mario Bava]'s original cut of {$Lisa and the Devil, producer Alfredo Leone decided to capitalize on... [More]

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 63.172%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This clever reworking of the "Jack the Ripper" legend stars Angharad Rees as Anna, daughter of the infamous serial killer.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sasdy

#82

Psychomania (1971)
83%

#82
Adjusted Score: 63.172%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An annoying devil-worshipping British biker gang calling themselves "The Living Dead" decide to take their moniker to heart when their... [More]
Directed By: Don Sharp

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 63.171%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frustrated with her uncommunicative husband and distant daughter, a suburban housewife seeks solace in witchcraft.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By:

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 62.598%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A new-in-town teenager decides to kill the members of a destructive gang at his high school, but finds himself unable... [More]

#79

Long Weekend (1979)
86%

#79
Adjusted Score: 63.414%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this mystery a troubled couple goes camping in the forest to relax and work out their differences. Things do... [More]
Directed By: Colin Eggleston

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 63.523%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Richard Matheson adapted the screenplay of The Legend of Hell House from his own novel. In the tradition of Shirley... [More]
Directed By: John Hough

#77

Dracula (1979)
59%

#77
Adjusted Score: 59.791%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the late '70s, Frank Langella starred in the hit Broadway play Dracula, written by Hamilton Deane and John L.... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#76

Asylum (1972)
64%

#76
Adjusted Score: 64.61%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this film, four short stories by master-of-macabre Robert Bloch are related by the inmates of a mental institution. Robert... [More]
Directed By: Roy Ward Baker

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 64.61%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This sexy horror story from Britain's Hammer Films finds Ingrid Pitt playing three roles, the most notable being a lesbian... [More]
Directed By: Roy Ward Baker

#74
Adjusted Score: 65.27%
Critics Consensus: Its visceral brutality is more repulsive than engrossing, but The Last House on the Left nevertheless introduces director Wes Craven as a distinctive voice in horror.
Synopsis: Based on Bergman's The Virgin Spring, Wes Craven's cult classic is an account of a group of sadistic killers who... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#73

Demon Seed (1977)
67%

#73
Adjusted Score: 68.069%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A brilliant scientist's marriage is strained by his devotion to his latest project, the creation of an intelligent supercomputer. When... [More]
Directed By: Donald Cammell

#72

Ben (1972)
67%

#72
Adjusted Score: 67.317%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As a sequel to Willard, this strange film tells of the friendship between an ill boy and a highly intelligent... [More]
Directed By: Phil Karlson

#71
Adjusted Score: 67.757%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Victorian English lord hosts a black-magic ceremony that resurrects Count Dracula in this, the fourth Hammer horror production to... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sasdy

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 70.072%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Director Paul Morrissey's companion piece to "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein." Udo Kier. Mario: Joe Dallesandro. Marquis: Vittorio De Sica. Marquise: Maxime... [More]

#69
#69
Adjusted Score: 68.758%
Critics Consensus: When it's not bludgeoning the viewer with its more off-putting, cruder elements, The Hills Have Eyes wields some clever storytelling and a sly sense of dark humor.
Synopsis: Horror auteur Wes Craven followed his threadbare but horrifically compelling cult classic Last House on the Left with this wonderfully... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#68

The Crazies (1973)
67%

#68
Adjusted Score: 68.884%
Critics Consensus: The Crazies isn't top-shelf Romero, but its blend of genre thrills and social subtext should still be enough to satisfy discerning horror fans.
Synopsis: George A. Romero returns to Night of the Living Dead turf with middling success in this quirky end-of-civilization thriller, also... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 69.317%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: George Hamilton confounded his detractors by turning in a first-rate comic performance in Love at First Bite. Hamilton plays Count... [More]
Directed By: Stan Dragoti

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 69.369%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This New York-made independent film, the auspicious debut of talented filmmaker Abel Ferrara, who also starred in the film and... [More]

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 64.767%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When two vacationing couples accidentally oversee a Satanic cult's sacrificial (human-type) offering ceremony, they soon wish they were camping elsewhere.... [More]
Directed By: Jack Starrett

#64
#64
Adjusted Score: 72.039%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the William Goldman-scripted, Bryan Forbes-directed adaptation of Ira Levin's savagely satiric sci-fi novel The Stepford Wives, housewife Joanna (Katharine... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Forbes

#63

Ganja & Hess (1973)
86%

#63
Adjusted Score: 72.334%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: What could have been a mere blaxploitation picture is elevated above the norm by two factors. The first is the... [More]
Directed By: Bill Gunn

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 72.334%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Night Strangler is the sequel to the enormously successful 1972 TV movie The Night Stalker. Darren McGavin returns as... [More]
Directed By: Dan Curtis

#61
Adjusted Score: 73.395%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: International screen icon Delphine Seyrig (of LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD fame) stars as Elizabeth Bathory, an ageless Countess with a... [More]
Directed By: Harry Kümel

#60

Black Christmas (1974)
70%

#60
Adjusted Score: 73.274%
Critics Consensus: The rare slasher with enough intelligence to wind up the tension between bloody outbursts, Black Christmas offers fiendishly enjoyable holiday viewing for genre fans.
Synopsis: Black Christmas is an effective, frightening above average slasher movie with a good cast and a frightening, surprise ending. Barb... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#59

Piranha (1978)
72%

#59
Adjusted Score: 74.036%
Critics Consensus: Performed with a wink and directed with wry self-awareness, Piranha is an unabashed B-movie with satirical bite.
Synopsis: The sophomore effort for director Joe Dante, a future protégé of Steven Spielberg, this low-budget, high-camp horror spoof of Jaws... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#58

Rabid (1979)
73%

#58
Adjusted Score: 74.739%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Porn star Marilyn Chambers heads the cast of the early David Cronenberg horror effort Rage. The plot concerns a deranged... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#57
Adjusted Score: 75.015%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A drummer's nightmare unfolds after he encounters a malevolent stranger and stumbles into a mystery, culminating in a string of... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#56

Images (1972)
75%

#56
Adjusted Score: 75.757%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A woman walks a razor's edge between reality and madness in this impressionistic drama written and directed by Robert Altman.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 76.364%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this TV thriller, newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak is assigned to the Las Vegas police beat. Kolchak is covering a... [More]

#54

It's Alive (1973)
75%

#54
Adjusted Score: 76.403%
Critics Consensus: Tough and unpleasant, It's Alive throttles the viewer with its bizarre mutant baby theatrics.
Synopsis: Larry Cohen's disturbing little potboiler is mixed with measures of The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby and features a chilling Bernard... [More]
Directed By: Larry Cohen

#53

Phantasm (1979)
73%

#53
Adjusted Score: 76.74%
Critics Consensus: Phantasm: Remastered adds visual clarity to the first installment in one of horror's most enduring -- and endearingly idiosyncratic -- franchises.
Synopsis: The remastered original classic that started it all, in which two brothers discover their local mortuary hides a legion of... [More]
Directed By: Don Coscarelli

#52
Adjusted Score: 77.792%
Critics Consensus: Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom will strike some viewers as irredeemably depraved, but its unflinching view of human cruelty makes it impossible to ignore.
Synopsis: The final work of notorious Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, this film updates the Marquis de Sade's most extreme novel... [More]
Directed By: Pier Paolo Pasolini

#51
Adjusted Score: 78.134%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two interesting figures in offbeat cinema -- director Matt Cimber (who was married to Jayne Mansfield and directed her final... [More]
Directed By: Matt Cimber

#50

God Told Me To (1976)
80%

#50
Adjusted Score: 80.26%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A New York detective investigates a series of murders committed by random New Yorkers who claim that "God told them... [More]
Directed By: Larry Cohen

#49

Twins of Evil (1971)
79%

#49
Adjusted Score: 80.41%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This entry in Hammer Films' long-running vampire series of the '60s and '70s is one of the most evocative and... [More]
Directed By: John Hough

#48
Adjusted Score: 83.202%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A new insect-killing device somehow backfires and manages to raise the dead from their graves. The newly created zombies terrorize... [More]
Directed By: Jorge Grau

#47

Coma (1978)
80%

#47
Adjusted Score: 82.036%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A feisty, feminist intern uncovers a medical conspiracy in this icy thriller about mysterious goings-on at Boston Memorial Hospital. When... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#46

The Brood (1979)
81%

#46
Adjusted Score: 82.212%
Critics Consensus: The Brood is a grotesque, squirming, hilariously shrill exploration of the bizarre and deadly side of motherhood.
Synopsis: As the result of an unorthodox scientific experiment, a woman gives birth to a group of murderous, sexless mutant children.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#45
Adjusted Score: 82.385%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The shockingly brutal murder of a little girl in a church where she was just about to receive her first... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Sole

#44
Adjusted Score: 82.664%
Critics Consensus: The Cat O'Nine Tails is a solidly entertaining Argento outing elevated by a well-chosen cast and the director's distinctive visual style.
Synopsis: In this flawed mystery-thriller from flamboyant horror director Dario Argento, Karl Malden portrays a blind man who joins forces with... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#43

The Visitor (1979)
82%

#43
Adjusted Score: 82.791%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the dawn of '70s American blockbusters, European production companies emerged stateside, attempting to recreate box office gold by cloning... [More]

#42

The Fury (1978)
78%

#42
Adjusted Score: 80.279%
Critics Consensus: Brian De Palma reins in his stylistic flamboyance to eerie effect in The Fury, a telekinetic slow burn that rewards patient viewers with its startling set pieces.
Synopsis: Brian De Palma returns to the mind-blowing potential of telekinesis in the follow-up to his 1976 horror hit Carrie. While... [More]
Directed By: Brian DePalma

#41

The Shout (1979)
83%

#41
Adjusted Score: 83.264%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An asylum director begins telling a visitor to a cricket game the story of one of his "better" patients, Crossley... [More]
Directed By: Jerzy Skolimowski

#40
Adjusted Score: 83.554%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young Soldier is killed in the line of duty in Vietnam. That same night, the soldier returns home, brought... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#39
Adjusted Score: 83.757%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This Italian shockerama was originally released as Twitch of the Death Nerve in 1971. When distributed to the US, it... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#38

Magic (1978)
83%

#38
Adjusted Score: 84.186%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this film, Anthony Hopkins plays Corky, a schizophrenic ventriloquist who believes his dummy Fats is about to come alive... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#37
Adjusted Score: 85.649%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This anthology picture about a bad-luck mansion is a thriller with four episodes--all framed by a police investigation. A review... [More]
Directed By: Peter Duffell

#36
Adjusted Score: 87.826%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A novelist suffering from a bad case of writer's block finds his troubles compounded when the violent murder of his... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Martino

#35

The Other (1972)
88%

#35
Adjusted Score: 88.171%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The atmospheric direction of Robert Mulligan and the first-rate writing of Tom Tryon (based on his own novel) place The... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#34

The Omen (1976)
85%

#34
Adjusted Score: 90.046%
Critics Consensus: The Omen eschews an excess of gore in favor of ramping up the suspense -- and creates an enduring, dread-soaked horror classic along the way.
Synopsis: The young son of an American diplomat and his wife, living in London, turns out to be marked with the... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#33

Sisters (1973)
86%

#33
Adjusted Score: 89.205%
Critics Consensus: Clever yet clearly indebted to the masters of the genre, Sisters offers an early glimpse of De Palma at his stylishly crafty peak.
Synopsis: Reporter Jennifer Salt thinks she has witnessed a murder; apparently, Margot Kidder is the killer and Lisle Wilson is the... [More]
Directed By: Brian DePalma

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 89.567%
Critics Consensus: The Abominable Dr. Phibes juggles horror and humor, but under the picture's campy façade, there's genuine pathos brought poignantly to life through Price's performance.
Synopsis: Long thought dead, the victim of a horrible accident, Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) still lives, surrounded by art-deco bric-a-brac... [More]
Directed By: Robert Fuest

#31

Salem's Lot (1979)
89%

#31
Adjusted Score: 89.896%
Critics Consensus: Director Tobe Hooper and a devilishly charismatic James Mason elevate this television adaptation of the Stephen King novel, injecting the vampiric tradition with fresh blood and lingering scares.
Synopsis: When Ben (David Soul) returns to his hometown to work on his novel, he discovers a series of strange events... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#30
Adjusted Score: 90.029%
Critics Consensus: Shivers uses elementally effective basic ingredients to brilliant effect - and lays the profoundly unsettling foundation for director David Cronenberg's career to follow.
Synopsis: A gripping exercise in body horror and social paranoia, prolific Canadian director David Cronenberg's debut feature offers a startling look... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#29
Adjusted Score: 91.385%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this horror film, Jodie Foster plays a reclusive, fiercely self-reliant teenager who lives alone in her father's house. He's... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Gessner

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 90.781%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The phenomenon of Tales from the Crypt seems to have no endings, only changes. This successful pun-filled style of presenting... [More]
Directed By: Freddie Francis

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 91.388%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this made-for-TV horror showcase, Karen Black plays four separate roles in three successive tales written or based on the... [More]
Directed By: Dan Curtis

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 91.61%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gary Sherman's Death Line is one of those little-seen, long-forgotten 1970s horror films that's still championed by its core of... [More]
Directed By: Gary Sherman

#25

House (Hausu) (1977)
90%

#25
Adjusted Score: 92.333%
Critics Consensus: House is a gleefully demented collage of grand guginol guffaws and bizarre sequences.
Synopsis: A schoolgirl travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt's creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits, a... [More]
Directed By: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

#24
Adjusted Score: 86.813%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Director Paul Morrissey's gory send-up of the horror classic. A.k.a. "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein." Udo Kier. Nicholas: Joe Dallesandro. Katrin: Monique... [More]

#23

Martin (1977)
90%

#23
Adjusted Score: 92.448%
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero's contribution to vampire lore contains the expected gore and social satire -- but it's also surprisingly thoughtful, and boasts a whopper of a final act.
Synopsis: One of horror filmmaker George Romero's many "small" 1970s films, Martin was fortunate enough to foster a cult following that... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 88.979%
Critics Consensus: Brian De Palma's subversive streak is on full display in Phantom of the Paradise, an ebullient rock opera that rhapsodizes creativity when it isn't seething with disdain for the music industry.
Synopsis: Combining rock & roll, horror, and the classic tale of Phantom of the Opera this musical makes fun of all... [More]
Directed By: Brian DePalma

#21

Duel (1972)
88%

#21
Adjusted Score: 93.001%
Critics Consensus: Duel makes brilliant use of its simple premise, serving up rock-solid genre thrills while heralding the arrival of a generational talent behind the lens.
Synopsis: In this TV movie, Dennis Weaver is driving down a deserted Southern California highway when he passes a large gas... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#20

The Tenant (1976)
88%

#20
Adjusted Score: 91.03%
Critics Consensus: A rough-edged thriller that lacks the precision of Polanski's best work, but makes up for it with its skillful mounting of paranoia, dread, and dark themes.
Synopsis: Director Roman Polanski casts himself in the lead of the psychological thriller The Tenant. Trelkovsky (Polanski) rents an apartment in... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#19

The Exorcist (1973)
85%

#19
Adjusted Score: 93.012%
Critics Consensus: The Exorcist rides its supernatural theme to magical effect, with remarkable special effects and an eerie atmosphere, resulting in one of the scariest films of all time.
Synopsis: Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the... [More]
Directed By: William Friedkin

#18

The Wicker Man (1973)
88%

#18
Adjusted Score: 93.248%
Critics Consensus: This intelligent horror film is subtle in its thrills and chills, with an ending that is both shocking and truly memorable.
Synopsis: A righteous police officer investigating the disappearance of a young girl comes into conflict with the unusual residents of a... [More]
Directed By: Robin Hardy

#17

The Baby (1973)
93%

#17
Adjusted Score: 93.802%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An insane, alcoholic woman redirects her hatred for the husband who abandoned her onto their teenage son, forcing him to... [More]
Directed By: Ted Post

#16
Adjusted Score: 94.641%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script and documentary-style camerawork, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre achieves start-to-finish suspense, making it a classic in low-budget exploitation cinema.
Synopsis: Just as Hitchcock's Psycho was based on the life of deeply disturbed farmer Ed Gein, so is this little story... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#15
Adjusted Score: 95.364%
Critics Consensus: Deliciously campy and wonderfully funny, Theater of Blood features Vincent Price at his melodramatic best.
Synopsis: A Shakespearean actor becomes enraged after losing a prominent acting award and decides to seek revenge on the critics responsible,... [More]
Directed By: Douglas Hickox

#14

Eraserhead (1977)
90%

#14
Adjusted Score: 95.666%
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's surreal Eraserhead uses detailed visuals and a creepy score to create a bizarre and disturbing look into a man's fear of parenthood.
Synopsis: This surreal nightmare examines male paranoia. Our hero and title character, Henry, faces a number of horrifying obstacles in meeting... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch

#13
Adjusted Score: 95.953%
Critics Consensus: Combining a deadly thriller plot with the stylized violence that would become his trademark, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage marked an impressive horror debut for Dario Argento.
Synopsis: This trend-setting thriller put its director, Dario Argento, on the international map and began a flood of imitative mystery-horror hybrids... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#12

Dawn of the Dead (1979)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 96.424%
Critics Consensus: One of the most compelling and entertaining zombie films ever, Dawn of the Dead perfectly blends pure horror and gore with social commentary on material society.
Synopsis: Viewers who haven't seen George Romero's low-budget horror masterpiece Night of the Living Dead, might be at a loss during... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 98.029%
Critics Consensus: The kinetic camerawork and brutal over-the-top gore that made Dario Argento famous is on full display, but the addition of a compelling, complex story makes Deep Red a masterpiece.
Synopsis: The film that has become the master work in Italian horror maestro Dario Argento's canon, Deep Red holds up brilliantly... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#10

Suspiria (1977)
93%

#10
Adjusted Score: 98.551%
Critics Consensus: The blood pours freely in Argento's classic Suspiria, a giallo horror as grandiose and glossy as it is gory.
Synopsis: An innocent American ballet dancer's excitement at being accepted to a prestigious European dance school turns to terror when she... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 101.288%
Critics Consensus: Made with obvious affection for the original, Young Frankenstein is a riotously silly spoof featuring a fantastic performance by Gene Wilder.
Synopsis: In this spoof of Mary Shelley's gothic tale, the grandson of Victor Frankenstein, a neurosurgeon, has spent his life living... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#8
Adjusted Score: 100.11%
Critics Consensus: Stunning visuals from Werner Herzog and an intense portrayal of the famed bloodsucker from Klaus Kinski make this remake of Nosferatu a horror classic in its own right.
Synopsis: For Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 silent horror-fest Nosferatu, star Klaus Kinski adopts the same makeup... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

#7
Adjusted Score: 98.923%
Critics Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.
Synopsis: In this elaborate remake of the 1956 horror classic, health inspector Donald Sutherland is dispatched to investigate the curious behavior... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#6

Carrie (1976)
92%

#6
Adjusted Score: 99.313%
Critics Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.
Synopsis: This classic horror movie based on Stephen King's first novel stars Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, a shy, diffident teenager... [More]
Directed By: Brian DePalma

#5
Adjusted Score: 101.05%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this surreal psychological fantasy, young Valerie lives with her grandmother. She feels the first stirring of sexual awareness when... [More]
Directed By: Jaromil Jires

#4

Halloween (1978)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103.259%
Critics Consensus: Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.
Synopsis: A young boy kills his sister on Halloween of 1963, and is sent to a mental hospital. 15 years later... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#3

Don't Look Now (1973)
97%

#3
Adjusted Score: 104.171%
Critics Consensus: Don't Look Now patiently builds suspense with haunting imagery and a chilling score -- causing viewers to feel Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's grief deep within.
Synopsis: A married couple is haunted by a series of mysterious occurrences after the death of their young daughter in this... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

#2

Jaws (1975)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 107.224%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Synopsis: Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#1

Alien (1979)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108.43%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: "In space, no one can hear you scream." A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

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