Almost every year, there will be a new sequel to successful horror franchises like Final Destination, Saw, Scream, and so on. Judging by the popularity of these horror films and more, it can be quite hard to understand why fans will pay to get scared. According to researchers, horror fans see a little bit of themselves in the protagonists of horror films, feeling their fear and weakness as they are hunted down by ghosts, aliens, supernatural characters, psychopaths, and the like. Other than the thrills and the screams, the audience derives a sense of relief and justification when the protagonist survives, against all the odds in sure-dead situations. Another explanation may simply be the fact that audiences know that the films are not real so they can just be frightened to their heart’s content, without going through the real consequences. Here’s a resource guide to some great horror movies, in no particular order.
1. Dawn of The Dead (2004)
The Zack Snyder remake of the 1978 classic by George A. Romero is a zombie flick that finds a group of strangers trapped in a suburban shopping mall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Spanning seven films as well as two video games, Saw is one of the most successful horror franchises in movie history. The films are centered on the “Jigsaw Killer” who traps his victims and tests their resolve to survive through torture.
3. The Grudge
Known as The Grudge in America, it’s a remake of the Japanese top horror hit Ju-On. When a housewife and her son were murdered, they take revenge on the tenants in their house and associated people. It’s one of the greatest scary movies of all time.
4. Black Christmas (2006)
A remake of the 1974 original, Black Christmas is a slasher movie set in sorority house. Instead of Christmas songs and festive cheer, you can expect a lot of screaming and blood.
5. Silent Hill
Silent Hill is based on the cult video games of the same name. A mother encounters demons, occult rituals, parallel worlds, and more when she loses her daughter in the mysterious town known as Silent Hill.
6. The Mist
Adapted from Stephen King’s novella, The Mist is directed by Frank Darabont who also directed The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. After a vicious thunderstorm, the town of Bridgton, Maine is covered by a strange mist where even stranger creatures seek to devour the people.
7. The Ring
Directed by Gore Verbinski, The Ring is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror hit Ring, based on the novel by Koji Suzuki. After watching a cursed video tape, the viewer will receive a phone call from a stranger who says “seven days”. What follows is horror magic at it's best.
8. Storm of the Century
Written by Stephen King as a screenplay, Storm of the Century is a horror TV miniseries directed by Craig R. Baxley. An evil, demanding stranger comes into Little Tall Island and threatens the inhabitants to give him an heir or else...
9. Amityville Horror (2005)
A remake of the original 1979 film based on Jay Anson’s novel of the same name, Amityville Horror is a haunted house flick directed by Andrew Douglas. When a family moves into their dream house in Amityville, New York, they are confronted with supernatural events which put their lives at risk.
10. The Silence of the Lambs
Hailed as a critical and commercial success, The Silence of the Lambs introduced Dr. Hannibal Lecter to the movie world. A psychological crime thriller with elements of the horror genre, the movie follows the FBI trainee Clarice Starling who enters the dark world of serial killers.
11. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Released in 1974, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a pioneer in the slasher horror genre. For novelty, Leatherface uses a chainsaw instead of a knife.
12. Nightmare on Elm Street
Directed and written by Wes Craven, A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984 and it marked the screen debut of Freddy Kruger, arguably the scariest slasher of them all.
Released in 1979, Alien is a science fiction horror movie. The crew of a spaceship must fight off an extraterrestrial creature which kills them, one after another.
14. The Strangers
The Strangers is a horror film in which three masked assailants terrorize a young couple on a remote getaway. The movie's been called, "an effective, scary, emotional work-out."
15. Land of the Dead
Released in 2005, Land of the Dead is part of the Living Dead series by George A. Romero. Zombies are taking over Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Can the people survive?
The Wes Craven-directed cult mystery slasher flick was a great box-office success in 1996. A high school student is targeted by the Ghostface killer who terrorizes her and the town.
17. Resident Evil
Released in 2002, and based on the popular video game of the same title, the movie follows a team of commandos trying to save the city of Raccoon City from the T-Virus released by the Umbrella Corporation.
18. Evil Dead 2
The sequel to Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 was directed by Sam Raimi and released in 1987. The horror flick has elements of comedy as Ash Williams battles the Evil Force.
19. Halloween (1978)
Directed by John Carpenter, Halloween was the original slasher horror movie which spawned a whole series of sequels. Can Laurie Strode escape from Michael Myers on Halloween?
20. The Audition
In this Japanese sadistic torture horror movie, a widower and his friend hold an audition to find the perfect woman. When Aoyama sees Asami Yamazaki, he’s completely mesmerized by the former ballerina but she’s more than what he seeks.
21. The Shining
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, The Shining is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. When Jack Torrance, a struggling writer, becomes a caretaker at a faraway hotel during the off-season, he thinks he has found the perfect place to write his novel and spend some quality time with his family but… some strange things start to happen.
Directed by Matt Reeves, Cloverfield is a monster disaster movie. New York City is attacked by gigantic monsters and a group of young people must fight back.
23. Quartermass & The Pit
In this science fiction horror movie, a Martian spacecraft from ancient times is discovered and it’s causing chaos in London. Can Professor Quartermass stop them?
Released in 1973, The Exorcist is one of the scariest movies of all time. When Regan MacNeil is possessed by a powerful demon, her mother finds two priests to perform an exorcism.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Jaws is a horror-thriller movie about a gigantic great white shark which is hunting for humans at a summer resort. Can Matt Hooper and Quint hunt it down?
26. Jacob's Ladder
Directed by Adrian Lyne and released in 1990, Jacob’s Ladder is a psychological horror movie. Serving in the Vietnam War, Jacob starts to experience strange and disturbing hallucinations which seem too real.
27. Pan's Labyrinth
Released in 2006 and directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fantasy movie revolving around a young girl named Ofelia. When her pregnant mother goes to stay with Captain Vidal, Ofelia begins to enter the fantastical world of fairies and fauns, descending into the darker realm.
28. 28 Days Later
In this 2002 horror movie, a “rage” virus is accidentally released in London, and it causes infected subjects to become aggressive. 28 days later, Britain is under siege by the Infected but a group of survivors tries to escape to a safer place.
29. The Changeling
Released in 1979, The Changeling is a horror movie directed by Peter Medak. John Russell moves to an isolated countryside house after his family is killed in an accident. In time, he discovers that the house is haunted.
Directed by Clive Barker who wrote the novella upon which Hellraiser is based, the horror film deals with the issue of morality and sadomasochism. When a man brings a mysterious puzzle box back to his house, he unwittingly releases Pinhead and his legion of monsters.
31. Friday The 13th
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham in 1980, this horror movie follows camp counselors as they are murdered one by one when they try to re-open a camp where a child once drowned.
32. Last House On The Left
Directed by Wes Craven in 1972, a couple teenage girls are kidnapped by psychotic convicts while trying to score some marijuana in the city. They make the mistake of stumbling into one of the girl's homes looking to stay the night, and once her parents realize who they are and what they did, they exact revenge.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960, the story follows a young woman who steals from her employer's client and runs with the money, deciding to stay the night in The Bates Motel. A decision that turns out to be a deadly one.
34. The Thing
This 1982 horror film directed by John Carpenter set in the Antarctic follows a group of Scientists as they're confronted by a shape-shifting alien that takes on the appearance of the people it kills.
In 2007 director Nimród Antal took viewers through a horror ride in a film that's been called, "Psycho meets Saw". A young couple stays at an isolated hotel, only to find their being taped, and if they don't escape soon they never will.
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