I love horror films. They’re for sure my favourite genre of film. I’ve watched so many. Although I am yet to find one that truly scares me, there are a lot out there I can watch over and over again and still be sat on the edge of my seat!
If you’re anything like me (able to watch them alone at 3am in the dark) then you’ve definitely seen at least 90% of these films.
This list is a personal favourites list so we will most likely have different opinions on these movies. It was really hard to narrow it down to just 10 (6 drafts) so there will most probably be another list of another top 10 horror films! I’ve arranged them in some sort of order, but my opinions on them are likely to change quite often.
10. I know what you did last summer (1997).
I know what you did last summer is a suspenseful film about four teenagers who one night accidentally kill a man and cover up the murder. The next summer they all return home from college and work to discover they may not have been the only ones who know about what they did. Someone is tormenting them and they need to find out who else knows before things get too out of hand.
I love this film. It stars Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. Based loosely on the Lois Duncan novel of the same name and the urban legend of the killer mental hospital runaway with a hook as a hand – it has suspense around every corner. Scary Movie also did a spoof of the film (although you may have caught that already).
If you love slasher films I highly recommend seeking this one out, it’s got all the cliche moments throughout with a twist at the end of the film even I didn’t pick up (I like to think of myself as film savvy).
9. Carrie (1976)
Based on the very famous Stephen King novel, Carrie follows the story of a bullied, out-caste girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. After being humiliated at her school prom all Hell breaks loose!
The chances are you’ve seen the 2013 version featuring Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie, so you know the jist of what happens. But, I promise you the Sissy Spacek version is a hundred times better. I don’t know if it’s because I love older films or because it has so much more of a dramatic effect, but I definitely prefer the original. The first time I watched it I couldn’t look away, it was amazing!
8. 28 Days later (2002)
Gorgeous Cillian Murphy plays Jim, who wakes up from a coma to discover an incurable rage virus has taken over the world. The film follows Jim, and a few other survivors, as they try to find sanctuary.
It’s basically a really intense zombie film. One of the first ones I ever watched, and as soon as I did it was all over for me – I became a huge zombie film lover, I don’t think there’s any out there I don’t like.
Although the sequel 28 weeks later is a fantastic film too, this one is just a little superior in my opinion. Helps it was also directed by the brilliant Danny Boyle (trainspotting)!
7. Saw (franchise)
I know it’s not technically a singular film, but the saw franchise is too big and explosive for me to just narrow it down to just one film. There are too many traps and games for me to just pick one. There are currently 8 films in the Saw franchise, with the latest one, Jigsaw, coming out last year (2017). I thought it was really good, I know a lot of people would disagree with me though.
Saw has some of the most iconic movie deaths of all time. I can guarantee that everyone can name at least one trap or game from any of the saw films, even if they’ve never seen it.
6. A nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The one about the creepy guy with blades for fingers who haunts the dreams of teenagers. Sure, everyone has heard of this. But have you seen it? I hope so! The original 1984 version of this horror classic is so good.
Although I thought the 2010 remake was pretty good too, it doesn’t even compare to the original. The story lines are a little different too and I just think the original is constructed in a better way. Also the fashion in the 80’s version is killer (excuse the pun)!
5. Child’s play (1988)
Oh boy! I love the Chucky films. They’re hilarious and twisted and kinda crappy too, but that’s what I love about them so much. Out of all the franchise, this one is my favourite. It’s the origin story, and who does’t love an origin story?
Classed as an American ‘supernatural slasher’ film. A little boy is gifted a Doll named ‘Chucky’. But the doll actually contains the soul of a murderer who used witch-craft to move in to the doll just before he died. The foul-mouthed doll then goes on a murderous rampage.
It’s a cult classic that has to be seen at least once in your lifetime!
4. Paranormal Activity (2007)
The first Paranormal Activity was so good. The other ones, not so much. But I really loved the first one, it really stuck out to me. They way it was filmed and the subtle hints of horror you get in it.
It’s a psychological thriller that really makes you think whether or not it could happen. Filmed on a camcorder by the actors makes it one hundred times creepier. Also not actually seeing the ‘Demon’ is a great touch too that really messes with your head.
Although I think the sequels are a bit been-there-done-that this one was a first in many ways. I love watching it.
3. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
A classic. The Leather Face killer is a well known character. It’s such an iconic film that has truly stood the test of time.
A bunch of teenagers head to Texas to visit a grave, but stumble across a psychotic, cannibalistic family who have no problem brutally mutilating them. With Leather Face, the huge, muted bloke with the chainsaw, as the main face for this iconic family. We never see any gore or brutal murders happen in the film which, to me, makes it even scarier. It’s so fantastically filmed and directed.
Based on the real-life serial killer, Ed Gein, who famously murdered people and made furniture, clothes and bowls out of human skin and bones. Pretty grim, right? As well as Leather Face he was also the inspiration of Norman Bates from the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho due to his obsessive devotion to his mother, and also Jame Gumb from Silence of the Lambs.
If you’re going to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre, make sure it’s the original and not the 2010 remake. That was shockingly bad.
2. Scream (1996)
Scream and the Scream franchise are one of my favourite films/film series ever. I love them so much. I watch them all the time and could never get bored of them. That being said, the first one is definitely the best.
The most self-aware slasher film of all time. The year after the death of Sydney’s mother a killer is loose and after Sydney.
The script for this film is so spot-on. The 90’s fashion is something of a dream. The twist at the end. Everything about this film is just so so good. It’s my go-to film at Halloween and was famously ‘spoofed’ by Scary Movie.
The ‘Ghost-face’ killer is probably (along with Leather Face) one of the most iconic killers in film. I can see why! Totally check out this absolute classic if you ever get the chance! You wont be disappointed.
Finally we’ve reached my number 1.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
Of course this classic is in the number 1 position! It’s for sure my favourite horror film of all time. With classic one liners and fantastic acting.
It does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s about the exorcism of a little girl named Regan who gets possessed by the Devil. I don’t want to give too much away, just in case you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen this film (if you haven’t, what are you doing?!).
I think it’s probably a top favourite for most horror fans, because it’s just such a classic.
Fun Facts: When released in theatres, paramedics where called out often because people were so affected by the film they passed out!
It’s based on a true exorcism!
Many people believe the filmed is cursed because the set of the film caught fire during filming.
Thank you for reading!