For a long time, horror was the most misunderstood film genre. In the 1970s and 1980s, it served as a means to score quick hits in a booming video market with a plethora of cheap, standardized films with blood on the screen and piles of adolescent corpses in the morgue. Sure, there are a few recognizable classics – The Shining,7starhd The Exorcist, Psycho, Night of the Living Dead … – but for the most part, “horror” has become a euphemism for “parody.”
This has changed in recent years; films such as A24, The Silent Land and Jordan Peele have helped make the horror more familiar to audiences and critics alike, leading to a reappraisal of the genre as a whole in the past. But as this list of the best horror films of all time shows, the genre never needed such affirmation – because if the purpose of a film is to evoke emotion, there is nothing better than a good horror film to do that. In our selection, you will find psychological horror films that explore the deepest universal human fears and traditional killer films that attack the most basic survival instincts. Some are outrageous, violent, and gory, yes, but others will leave you shocked, with only shadows and hints. After all, there are many ways to scare people, and these films do it better than others.
For some, Tim Curry will always be Pennywise, the dancing clown who is the manifestation of fear. But in this 2017 film adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel, set in the 1980s rather than the 1950s, it is Bill Skarsgård who instills fear. Skarsgård as Pennywise rolls his eyes in two different directions, making the character look truly scary and crazy. When he comes in contact with children, he drools, as if he is hungry and wants to devour children and their fears. The excellent performances by the young actors make the child characters seem out of place, and the themes of friendship and loss of innocence are reminiscent of Stand By Me (another post-King film) and ET. The film is sentimental at times, but when it’s scary – and it is – it’s a chilling reminder that clowns are scary no matter how old you are.
The Invisible Man (2020)
Leigh Whannell’s deft remake of HG Wells’ sci-fi novel is a painful and wicked reflection on toxic men and their seductive powers. Elisabeth Moss plays Cecilia, an architect traumatized by the violent behavior of her husband, tech entrepreneur Oliver Jackson-Cohen. It seems Griffin will soon commit suicide. 7starhd com channel was inspired by the classic Universal monster of the same name (note the appearance of the iconic bandage), but this is not a remake of that great film. It has its own ideas, especially about how violent relationships can change a life in prison. Moss, of course, is the perfect scream queen.
The Mist (2007)
Director Frank Darabont looks forward to every new film since his first adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shawshank Redemption. His latest film, set in a small Maine town and based on King’s creepy 1980s novel, may not achieve the “classic” status of its predecessor, but it is a surprisingly enjoyable old-fashioned adventure with a well-constructed story and B-movie scares.
David, a Thomas Jane book illustrator, is visiting a local mini-mart with his son and a neighbor when a mysterious fog begins to envelop the store. Bloodied men emerge from the mist, flesh-eating insects from outer space crawl out of the store’s windows, and when giant tentacles invade the loading bay, a micropolitical war erupts between David, the store’s employees, a black lawyer with inappropriate personal interests (Andre Braugher) and a strict Christian fundamentalist (Marsha Gay Harden).
Darabont’s Scarecrow is intriguing because of the care and dexterity with which it treats our complicity in this tense – and frustrating – internal dynamic. There’s a palpable sense of national crisis and military guilt in the air, with rumors of failed scientific experiments circulating in the local Ministry of Defense, and some soldiers urinating in their military boots while carefully shopping. Fortunately, however, Darabont doesn’t give away too much of the pre-9/11 liberal allegory and its post-9/11 overtones. Instead, he draws on old tried-and-true genre references from paranoid exploitation films of the 1950s and sci-fi horror films of the 1980s. He captures them with Hitchcockian attention to detail and well-differentiated characters who let monstrous flying animals speak for themselves, highlighting human stupidity, chaos, and primal fear.
God Told Me So (1976)
Horror can be a treacherous game. Larry Cohen is undoubtedly one of the most imaginative and fantastic American screenwriters and directors of the 1970s, with a body of work that includes low-budget social commentary, low-budget horror films, and politically engaged horror films. But after 35 years, he has managed to make it into our top 100 films. “God Told Me So” is undoubtedly one of the darkest,7starhd win most uplifting, and strangest films on this list – a tale of serial murder, religious obsession, and alien abduction, set on the meanest streets of New York in the mid-1970s. Cohen deserves to be listed alongside Carpenter and Craven in the horror canon, and this is undoubtedly his masterpiece, even in Q’s lifetime: The Winged Serpent and The Witches come close.
Santa Maude (2020)
Rose Glass’s brilliantly disturbing debut, in which religious obsession, psychological power plays, and moments of nocturnal madness touch a modest English seaside town. Morfida Clarke is superb as the deeply religious Maud, a nurse who first works in the home of Jennifer Ehle, a terminally ill and bitter former dancer. The dance that develops between the troubled ascetic and the voluptuous cigar smoker is reminiscent of the psychological friction in Persona, a film that profoundly affected Maude, and things go downhill fast from that point. Hell is great, and in a just world, Clarke would win awards for outstanding physical prowess. The result is the best British horror film since Under the Skin.
Some silly mix of Lovecraft’s original NR story and National Lampoon’s Animal House. “Re-Animators” is an animated horror film that combines horror and laughter in a dizzying parade of grotesque characters. Jeffrey “Thinking Bruce Campbell” Combs plays crazy anti-hero Herbert West (even the way he pronounces his name is hilarious), a certified scientist who comes across a glowing green resurrection serum and decides to test it on cocky Dean and his smelly daughter. “Re-Animator” is a prime example of the home video horror boom:7starhd in its a strange, wild, unpredictable, and often very silly, inventive but expertly executed horror genre that seems to have gone completely out of fashion.