The top 25 best horror movies

Gore, angst, found footage, B movies, auteur films, Oscar films… The best scary movies.

Where we meet the greatest filmmakers, who exploited nightmare scenarios to deploy their talent as a storyteller, director, to operate criticisms in order of morals and society. Or purely and simply to freak out. Of Rendezvous with the littler at ItFollows Passing by The Exorcist, shining Where Miseryfollow the guide to the greatest funk movies, the ones that make you look over your shoulder on the way out.

Misery by Rob Reiner (1990)
Adaptation of Stephen King where a writer is kidnapped by a psycho who wants him to resuscitate his paper heroine, Misery has no supernatural elements and merely makes you identify with a helpless victim.

Alien, Ridley Scott’s 8th passenger (1979)
The genius idea of ​​the first Alien : mix horror and science fiction. The result could have been a big boob. Thanks to a team of geniuses (Dan O’ Bannon on the script, Giger on the design, Ridley Scott on the director), Alien is a suffocating camera of pure terror, devilishly Lovecraftian, placing the spectator face to face with the icy infinity of an indifferent cosmos.

The Blair Witch Project by Daniel Myrick and Edouardo Sanchez (1999)
Whether Blair Witch did not invent found footage, it made the recipe bankable in the eyes of US studios by becoming the most profitable film in history (budget: 60,000 dollars, takings: 248 million…). Big marketing coup, but also a great freak film of formidable efficiency where the biggest scene of anxiety takes place in a Quechua tent at night.

The Descent by Neil Marshall (2005)
Neil Marshall traps a gang of caving girls in a sinkhole full of cannibal filth. There are two films – both equally successful – in The Descent : a survival in the caves and a horror film gore. The result is choking with fear and despair.

Halloween – The Night of the Masks by John Carpenter (1978)
Incredibly shot (it is imperative to see the film in its original format) by Big John who gives the slasher its first masterpiece, Halloween is a real lesson in directing and a terrifying film where the boogeyman literally arises from the smallest corner of the image.

Insidious by James Wan (2010)
James Wan once again demonstrates the effectiveness of his staging with this classic and neat ghost film, which manages to stick the chips at you with relentless regularity.

Ben Wheatley’s Kill List (2012)
More distressing than truly terrifying, Kill List plays on pure suggestion and the connection with pagan archetypes emerging from our most reptilian memory. We are not sure to have understood everything about what happens in the film – unless we are simply afraid to understand.

The Curse of Richard Donner (1976)
Beyond its pitch (Satan’s son lands on Earth), The curse is a symphony of horror that rises, rises, escalates and never stops, carried by Jerry Goldsmith’s satirically sublime score.

The Others by Alejandro Amenabar (2001)
A house and six actors confronting ghosts. That’s all. Far from the baroque of a Guillermo Del Toro, The Others plays on absolute sobriety and includes striking and terrifying ideas for writing and staging (children allergic to the sun, the “book of the dead”, the old lady) . The final twist will drive you crazy.

Psychosis by Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
Thanks, Psychosis, to have made us allergic to the shower for 55 years. But don’t forget the film’s second half, a brilliant whodunnit of gothic horror that ends with an incredible shot of Anthony Perkins staring at you through the camera to haunt your dreams forever.

Rendezvous with Fear by Jacques Tourneur (1957)
Don’t be fooled by the spoiler poster (already, at the time…) of Rendezvous with the littler, in reality a big piece of pure angst playing the card of realism, where a follower of black magic tests the limits of an investigator of the supernatural.

Ring by Hideo Nakata (1998)
A videotape that kills its viewers. The silhouette of a ghost with its face hidden by its hair, crawling out of a TV screen. The association urban legend + ghost image of Hideo Nakata’s masterpiece is still responsible for many insomnias.

Rosmeray’Baby by Roman Polanski (1968)
Eight years before The curse, Roman Polanski gives a baby to Lucifer. Film of contemporary Satanism awakening the deepest inquisitorial anxieties (your neighbors are sorcerers), film exploring the female unconscious, film source of legends (John Lennon was killed in front of the Dakota where the film was shot, no relation but the freaking link), total anxiety film.

The Shining by Stanley Kubrick (1980)
There are some to say that shining has aged badly. Too long, too slow, too intellectual, too dolly forward, too Kubrick. Stephen King hates the film: too bad for him, The Shining remains monumental. The visions (the blood elevator, the phantom twins), the end shot, Nicholson’s freakout. It’s all scary, for real.

The Strangers by Na Hong-jin (2016)
A mountain village, savage and unexplained murders, trampling cops, inhabitants contaminated by a mysterious evil and an old hermit in the woods: after the false lead of the criminal investigation, Na Hong-Jin leads us into a fable biblical and horrifying, which mixes genres and themes. Dizzy.

Midsommar by Ari Aster (2019)
After his terrifying Heredity (which could very well have landed in this top), Ari Aster is working to bring up to date the folk horror and propels a band of young Americans to the depths of Sweden, in a pagan sect which celebrates the summer solstice. Psychedelic bad trip and funk in full light. Very very strong.

Mary Lambert’s Simetery (1989)
Another adaptation of the King. There’s nothing we can do about it. Here an Indian cemetery brings buried bodies back to life. Far from a zombie flick nanar, Simetierre live autopsy of the family, mourning and the meeting of the two concepts. Without any happy ending. Creepy.

Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan (1998)
Second biggest US box office hit of 1999 behind Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Sixth Sense made the world discover in amazement how the name of Mr. Night Shyamalan was spelled: a twisted ghost story of incredible beauty, illustrating with demented simplicity the daily terrors of childhood in the face of the world.

It Follows by David Robert Mitchell (2015)
A little bombshell from a real author, who uses the codes of horror cinema to better evoke adolescent concerns, It Follows keeps you on the alert with an economy of means, a sense of rhythm and a consummate art of suggestion that almost makes it one without fault.

Grave by Julia Ducourneau (2017)
Another small author bomb, but French this time, Grave caused a sensation in all the festivals (where spectators fainted) before arriving in theaters. For Ducourneau, horrific codes are a means more than an end – to film sex, family codependency, enraged youth… In their raw state.

The Exorcist by William Friedkin (1973)
Friedkin did everything to make the filming of The Exorcist nightmarish, for example using a gun as a clapperboard. The result is a terrifying ghost train ride that mostly tells how two churchmen torture a young girl according to their fantasies.

The Devil’s House by Robert Wise (1963)
A haunted house film calling on pure suggestion and an unprecedented use of image distortions, The House of the Devil has the intelligence to cast doubt on the reality of the phenomena beyond its epilogue. Classic.

George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Inspired by Matheson’s I Am Legend, George Romero opens America’s graves and besieges its establishment with corpses. Nihilistic, gore, pessimistic, and above all terribly scary.

The Thing by John Carpenter (1981)
A gory and repugnant trip with mind-blowing SFX, a Lovecraftian camera on the fear of the other at the conclusion of an abyssal pessimism: a big failure in theaters in the USA against AND The Extra-Terrestrial. Normal, The Thing embodies everything that Spielberg is not.

Mister Babadook by Jennifer Kent (2014)
Jennifer Kent hits hard with her feature debut, which tells how a single woman protects her son from a terrifying creature from a children’s book. Subtle, complex and above all as frightening as a night terror. Ba-ba-dook, dook, DOOK!

The top 25 best horror movies