Movies – 1. The Shining (1980), 2. The Exorcist (1973), 3. Psycho (1960), 4. Alien (1979), 5. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920)
TV – 1. The Twilight Zone (1959), 2. Hannibal (2014), 3. Scream Queens (2013), 4. The Haunting Of Hill House (2018), 5. AHS (2010)
Top 50 Horror Films of All-Time
(Click Titles For Full Reviews Or In ‘Horror’ Category Above)
The Shining is a masterpiece of medium-shattering proportions. It might be the most game-changing entry in the genre since 1960’s Psycho starting the slasher boom and 1920’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari starting horror as a genre – this one setting off the chain reaction of psychological horror that’s still rocking and defining the genre to this day. What’s more is that the film is so complex in classic Kubrickian signature stylism, people are still trying to piece together all the hidden messages and nuances to this day: was it a film about Native American genocide, spousal/child abuse, the Holocaust, Gold Rush, alcoholism, Apollo 11 Moon landings, haunted hotels, or a mixture? As with 2001, A Clockwork Orange, & the rest of his filmography, that is up to the interpretation of the viewer and will beguile audiences and filmmakers for centures, but what’s for certain is that it’s one of the most complex & striking films ever made. A magnum opus of slowly-hypnotic cabin fever tragically underappreciated in its time, Kubrick’s The Shining is *unparalleled* psychological horror and perhaps the greatest horror film of All-Time – with easily the greatest scores, atmosphere, & lead performance in genre history. 10/10.
2. The Exorcist (1973)
Drawing on a primordial current of our most engrained fear, with aggressive horror, wildly-disturbing imagery, & religious combat as iconic as its Georgetown steps and demon-walk, The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever made. Adjusted ~10/10.
3. Psycho (1960)
Few films and filmmakers have ever changed the entire institution of cinema for generations to come like Alfred Hitchcock did with Psycho – through a small-budget lens of a female embezzler on the run and shy proprietor of an old motel twisted into an Academy Award-meriting, avant-garde innovation of the artform from its foundations. The film set a new benchmark of violence, deviant behavior, and sexuality’s acceptance on-screen while expanding the medium by showing it could be so much more through voyeurism and no more denial of cinematic sin, but embrasure of it. Impressionistically, it twisted pure themes of water and light into instruments of torture and false-security – ironically swirling events by a cruel fate such that its main themes of birds, gender dynamics, predators, psychoanalysis, and slashers can run wild. One of the most groundbreaking films of All-Time jumpstarting horror and creating the slasher genres with a Shower Scene that changed the entire trajectory of cinematic history, Hitchcock’s Psycho is a masterpiece horror/thriller/noir/detective film with unparalleled directorial elegance, hot escalation of suspense, iconic performances, psychological sin and gender dynamic analysis, irony, and bone-chilling slasher sequences brought to life by one of the greatest scores ever made. 9.9/10.
A beautifully crafted tale of suspense, horror, and science-fiction, Alien earns its status in the pantheon of Sci-Fi and moviemaking history. The chestburster scene alone will mess you up for life, but it manages to weave a narrative full of wonder, existential curiosity, and spectacular performances around it. One of the most influential & scariest movies ever made, the Xenomorph personifies humanity’s fears of the unknown lurking out there in the vast primordial atmospheric nothingness of space – where the film’s slogan rings true: No One Can Hear You Scream. A magnum opus of biological horror & sci-fi expedition with an Odysseic score, Promethean world-building, pitch-black omen tone, parenthood/sex metaphysical themes, groundbreaking genre blends, & best movie monster ever created, Alien is one of the greatest films of All-Time. 9.9/10.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is one of the most revolutionary and groundbreaking pieces of filmmaking ever made. It can be credited as the first horror picture, a painting-in-motion, an avant-garde dreamscape or nightmare whose events are open to interpretation, a plot twist ending shaking the foundations and norms of storytelling on-screen, a masterpiece of set/production design and powerful acting without resources or technological cruxes, and the beginning of the cult film, arthouse, and film-noir movements over a century before you’re reading this article. A visual masterpiece jolting postwar masses & changing history launching the German Expressionist movement, Wiene’s nightmarish, disturbing, metaphoric, silence-set psychological dreamscape is one of the greatest films of All-Time. 9.8/10.
6. Halloween (1978)
Viscerally-thrilling with slow tension-building & a “show not tell” motif taking horror & (chillingly-masked, perfect final-girl) slasher thrills to an unconscionable location: the suburbs, John Carpenter’s Halloween set the bar for modern horror films. Adjusted ~9.8/10.
7. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Twisted, dark, & as unforgettable as its H(c)annibalistic face restraints, The Silence of The Lambs earns its status amongst the most psychologically-complex scary films ever popularizing the now-widespread genre norm of realism-steeped serial killers. 9.7/10.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1982)
A surrealist attack on the shared, sacred human experience of dreams that hits genre fans hardest in what its films inspire: lack of sleep, horror icon Wes Craven delivers a film that will haunt your nightmares for decades to come. 9.7/10.
9. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1975)
Physically overwhelming & twisted beyond compare, while doing so without even the need for gore or cheap tricks + budgetary inflation, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is slasher movies on acid & the wildest horror movie ever made. 9.7/10.
10. The Witch (2016)
Showcasing chilling atmospheric build-up & high-realism suspense escalation with equally as-unsettling visuals, period authenticity, & crescendoed scoring, The Witch is old-world colonial darkness as never-before realized for the ultimate black magic experience. Adjusted ~9.7/10.
11. Frankenstein (1931)
The most iconic Monster movie from Universal’s Glorious ’30’s Dark Universe still electrifying audiences with deep creation analysis and reflection on man’s limits/curiosity trying to play God, 1931’s Frankenstein (complete with an imitable lead by Karloff as the cadaver/corpse-mangled man-of-the-hour and jaw-dropping cinematography & set pieces) is a timeless, parabolic allegorical piece. 9.6/10.
A new Pennywise straight out your nightmares, skillfully developed/characterized Losers’ Club, stylish direction + wild scares from architect Muschietti, and elegant tonal blending make the new IT a horror/pop culture phenomenon. Adjusted ~9.6/10.
13. Night of The Living Dead (1968)
A revolutionary idea that shocked audiences and changed the history of cinema taking cues from Frankenstein to reanimate dead corpses with a more insidious and bloodthirsty agenda, Romero’s NOTLD is a tightly-edited, realistically-gory, scary, politically-sly, trope-establishing icon of genre history – that established one of American horror’s greatest legacies: zombies. 9.6/10.
Filled with wildly-disturbing imagery that will mess you up from its chiaroscuric opening flicker, ghost horror’s thickest atmospherics in slow-burning majesty, & one of 2000’s most intriguing, complex avant-garde plot structures. 9.5/10.
15. Scream (1996)
Reinventing & reinvigorating the horror genre with perhaps the greatest slasher scene ever recorded in the history of filmmaking to open, Wes Craven’s subversive bone-chiller Scream changed the rules of the game as sharply as its killer’s sadistic traps/games. Adjusted ~9.5/10.
16. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Overall, F.F. Coppola’s reimagination Of Dracula is a masterpiece by a late-age maestro of cinematic genius that blends genres and creates a dark, thought-provoking fantasy it’s difficult to ascertain except by pure experience. Forget most original horror films: it might be one of the most idiosyncratic, innovative, and avant-garde films I’ve ever seen – of any kind. The film transcends the iconic Lugosi 1931 version and decades of Laemme-monster lore/serials to shockingly take the crown of not only the best film on the character, but best vampire film (of a subgenre loaded with competitors.) Bram Stoker can rest in peace knowing his 1897’s novel vision of the ultimate vision-accurate bloodsucker finally got its near-perfect iteration – one boasting some of the most twisted, beautiful, wild, complex, diverse, intricate, and unforgettable thematization, storytelling, visuals, humanity, macabre, and romance I’ve ever seen to-date: a true craftsman one-of-a-kind. An evil, wildly-aggressive evolution of Dracula with detailed novel-accuracy, brutal/twisted horror escalation, inexorably-dark religious themes, poetry in bizarre avant-garde cinematography style amongst the most striking ever, & poignant romance backstory exposition by mythical performances led by a herculean Academy Award-worthy Oldman showcase-of-range, Coppola has delivered the most powerful vampire film and a canvas of brilliance that showcases the magic that happens when cinematic legends take a trip to the dark side. 9.5/10.
‘What if there was a zombie movie that was actually.. good, intellectual cinema?’ Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle set out to answer that herculean call in the early-2000’s with jolting viscerality, bludgeoning ~realism, and slicing political allegory; a post-apocalyptica tour-de-force that’s as ghastly in 28-day societal-collapse and complex in social-commentary as it is unforgettable in the complete devolution of social order – with a haunting empty-London streets backdrop & zombies that don’t walk.. they RUN after you. Adjusted ~9.4/10.
18. The Thing (1982)
Attacking through anonymity & claustrophobic paranoia, albeit with some admittedly-shoddy CGI by today’s standards, Carpenter’s The Thing is still a horror/sci-fi genre staple that haunts you psychologically long after the credits roll. 9.4/10.
19. Jaws (1975)
Forever changing how we look at the sea (likely ruining it for most beachgoers to this day) while boasting perhaps the most iconic orchestral theme and score in moviemaking history, Spielberg’s Jaws redefined what blockbusters could be. 9.3/10.
Aggressively disturbing as a cult/splatter genre piece stoking paranoia in thrilling fog-set low-budget indie ways, The Evil Dead is a striking exposition of talent-over-resources with starmaking macabre by Raimi & Bruce Cambell’s Ash. 9.3/10.
Intricate in wildly sharp-cutting camerawork, paranoia-atmospheric, and with phenomenally chilly turns led by Dakota Johnson and Swinton, Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake is a slow-simmering, hypnotic descent into madness. 9.2/10.
Midsommar is one of the most breathtakingly original, messed-up, *wild* films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s like The Wicker Man meets The Sound Of Music – on crack, assaulting our senses in the best way possible for a cinematic acid-trip unlike any other of the 21st-century. Aster has proven that he, along with Peele and Eggers, are three of the best modern horror directors of our time. A masterclass of folk horror with some of most psychologically-disturbing macabre I’ve *ever* witnessed brilliantly juxtaposing a bright nature motif with fantasticism in daylit xenophobic bases, Midsommar is a visually-wondrous auteurist rococo presage and one of the best horror films of the 2000’s. 9.2/10.
A brilliant and original breath of fresh air for the increasingly-tired Horror that will hopefully signal a market shift to greenlighting more indie/independent idea-over-budget filmmaking, Get Out is the antidote to modern scares. Amazing performances, complex symbolism, racial messages, plot structure, and some of the best psychological/body horror this millennium are just some of the masterpiece achievements it boasts. The only flaw being the darker alternate ending that would’ve made the film even better and a huge disappointment they sold themselves short by going safer with the one we got, regardless, it’s safe to say: Peele has (triumphantly) arrived. A breath of fresh air for the Horror genre establishing a directorial talent-to-watch in Jordan Peele, Get Out explores the psychological and motivating undertones of racism in thrilling and intensely thought-provoking fashion. 9.1/10.
Overall, Mamoulian’s 1931 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is a masterwork of macabre and duality exposition. A film decades or even a century ahead of its time, it still remains a striking and scary product nearly 100 years later – thanks to its magnificence of intangibles stemming from a lovingly-crafted script authentic to the original while highlighting its biggest horror potential in the psychology of abuse as much as its green-faced murderous madman running around on the streets of London, and Frederic March’s iconic Oscar-winning performance as both Jekyll AND Hyde – one of the greatest performances in horror history. A psychologically-rich & VFX-groundbreaking analysis of the duality of mankind catalyzing gothic horror, aristocratic romance, and science-fiction with phenomenal screenwriting, macabre, twists, cinematography, and performances, Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is cinema’s definitive version of the literature and pure Golden Monster-Movie Age. 9.1/10.
25. Train To Busan (2015)
A South-Korean firecracker of zombie brilliance loaded with palpable social commentary on traditional Asian themes of hyper-cleanliness and order twisted into a heavy metal ballad of velocity and carnage, Train To Busan is a high-octane ride of pathos, prolific characterization / screenwriting, impossible cinematography stunts staging its pulse-rattling action sequences in a finite cabin space, some of the scariest zombies the genre’s ever seen, and breathtaking performances. Perhaps the best and most-complete zombie film EVER – a statement on the pure talent of the international film community taking America’s most sacred pop culture phenomenon and ~outdoing us.. on the their first attempt in the genre. Adjusted ~9/10.
Intricacy in camerawork with a synth-arpeggiated score, fine central performance, and dark, original, (needed) metaphoric reflection of the consequences of teen sex with plot holes but a slow-creeping burn paralleling its titular being. 9/10.
A masterstroke of identity horror, racial experience, and dark reflection on America’s past with effectively-chilly atmospherics, unparalleled originality for its time, shocking psychological twists, old-world suspense-building, and one of the best/most innovative orchestral scorings in any Horror film post-2000, Peele has further established himself as one of the most provocative new directorial talents in the game with this sophomore tour-de-force steeped in fresh, dark imagination & sociological injustice. 9/10.
Overall, The Wolf-Man is one of the best Universal Monster movies. The film exemplifies ’30’s/’40’s Golden Age-Horror at its finest: pure escapism of dark tales told in fantastically-shot and searched locations, compelling storytelling, influential narrative constructions, deeper themes analytical of mankind’s primal questions, and killer lead performances that cement their creations as pop culture icons for generations-to-follow. The werewolf tale painted by Richard Waggner and Lou Chaney Jr. is one with ancient roots, brought to life by era-cinematic wizardry to impressively create an entire world & script this good without any literary predecession like Dracula or Wolfman – one that captivates the imagination while loaded with social-commentary, atmosphere, VFX, and scares.. impossibly in a mere 1 hour 9 minutes. Despite the creepiness of Larry Talbot’s introduction to what would become a nice end-romance arc with Gwen, the film ironizes and projects a scary-but-thematically-resonant take on the animalism natural roots of boy-meets-girl, majestically-paints a macabric picture of a nightmare fairy tale village, and packs plenty of horror punch in a finely-acted morality parable that plays on our fear of non-control or hurting the ones we love most. Completing the Trinity Of Universal’s Classic Monsters, 1941’s The Wolf Man is a lyncanthropic fantasy parable amongst the franchise’s best movies – boasting incredible fogset supernatural aesthetics & Wales village setting, exotic and compelling proto-mystery-thrill narrative, humorous ironicization, predatory/sex/fate themes, and career-definitive handsome-and-affable Lou Chaney, Jr. lead performance. 9/10.
29. Insidious (2010)
2010’s Insidious is one of the best supernatural horror films post-2000 – as well as one of the scariest movies I’ve seen of this new millennium. A treasure-trove of slow-simmering, burning atmospheric darkness that takes an ostensibly-normal family and puts them through Hitchcockian trauma, the terror that follows is modern filmmaking and pedigreed-Wan direction at their finest. A wild, sadistic reimagination of the haunted house-film that subverts its norms – with phenomenal set & spectral design, a shrieking violin score, brutal/epic twist-ending, & some of modern-horror’s best supernatural terror in eons, Insidious purely exemplifies the macabric implications of its title in a red-faced, purgatorial imprint that will remain in your psyche like the ghouls of the Further. 8.3/10.
30. Sinister (2012)
Overall, Sinister is one of the scariest modern horror movies I’ve seen in a long time. Scott Derrickson has concocted an old school-meets-new school ghost thriller in every way possible: the film-spliced projector found-footage sequences, the genre clichés like attics/ghost-stories/child-horror/haunted-houses reimagined into a plot filled with diabolical and effective plot twists that subvert each nicely, dark ages iconography brought into the 21st century, clever intellectually-weighty themes like the drug of fame and legacy vs. sustenance, atmospheric escalation in supernatural scares, and character we *gasp* actually care about infused with life by strong Hawke-led performances. The quick-cut pacing and sharply-edited royal-blue-tinted camerawork adds modern edge, film within a film motif adds palpable bludgeoning scares through juxtaposition of golden-hued happy family moments and brutalized serial kills, demonic Babylonian child-eater antagonist design aptly-terrifying, and crime scene investigation plot far more ambitious in misdirection-riddled storytelling prowess far above almost all other ghost movies. If there are a couple of vexations, besides the everpresent hallmarks of horror every junkie and newcomer will immediately recognize (although they’re reinvented so they get a pass from us), it’s the ‘shh’ constanality, miscast girl child actress, and final frame being a exploitable jump-scare when the film does so well without the need for them beforehand – especially in that asylum-white blood-red painted walls legendary horror aesthetic sequence right before it. This is, of course, nitpicking a new age scarefest far above most of its genre-kin today. A collection of blood-curdling old-school-meets-new-school Blumhouse scares like Exorcist-meets-The-Shining-meets-Children-Of-The-Corn-meets-Ju-On earning the crown of (physiologically)-scariest movie ever made given by Science – with a classicism framework in plot-resonant old projector film splices, dark ages iconography, crime mystery investigation, meta-genre juxtapositions, and Hawke-led performances/characters to care about. 9/10.
Meta-comedic with B-movie charm, simplistic backpackers premise, foggy U.K. location sets, campy fun in werewolf deconstruction, & screen-stealing Naughton protagonist, AWIL is a definitive horror-comedy blend that boasts the first-ever Academy Award for Best Makeup and set a milestone in cinema by proof-of-concepting a now norm: genre-blending. 8.9/10.
32. Carrie (1976)
A masterpiece reflection on bullying and human cruelty through a HS-lens, Stephen King’s supernatural-powered, teenager/religion-expositioned, intense Carrie is given an adaptation as horrifying as Spacek’s prom death-stare. 9/10.
33. Friday the 13th (1980)
While the rest of the films in the series are bad, make no mistake about it: the first Friday The 13th is one of the best (and most important) slashers in horror – no Jason or hockey masked machete-wielding 6’5 guys required. An iconic backdrop of Camp Crystal Lake arguably still the best and most perfect slasher setting to date twisting summer fun and campfire-feel, effective scares archetyping many now-genre norms, & truly-shocking final reveal, the original F13 is one of the definitive and entertaining ’80’s golden-age slasher flicks – as well as one of the most influential films in genre history exploding the slasher genre in pop culture and setting a trend (for sometimes better, sometimes worse) of sequels with the most-ever to its name. 8.7/10.
A chilling concept meta-invoking fear of the horror movie you’re watching with undertonal analysis of the man’s mortality & fear of lives-unlived through a lost-tape, supernatural mystery unsettling-motif that bewilders and bludgeoningly-scares to this day. Adjusted 8.7/10.
35. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Disturbingly twisting the joyous occasion of expectant motherhood with a paranoia of the one’s you loved in elaborate chess-like motif undertonally, Rosemary’s Baby is a meticulously crafted & executed, albeit ~tame by today’s standards, scarefest. 8.5/10.
An imagistic, disorientating swashbuckle of gothic saturation with machismo-exploratory themes, glorious black-and-white chiaroscuric visuals, and career performances by its sea-chanteying central Dafoe & Pattinson icon-duo. 8.7/10.
37. [REC]/Quarantine (2007)
A *wild* found-footage outbreak filmed from patient-zero in real time, [REC] & Quarantine (being the same film in Spanish/American motifs, the U.S. Quarantine being superior in ~every aspect from cast to production value to setting to pace/excitement while ditching [REC]’s problematic racist/xenophobic rhetoric and tonally-incongruent comedy) have delivered one of the most pulse-rattling, creative, crescendoing visceral jolts of limewire electricity the modern pandemic genre and biological sci-fi/horror has witnessed. Found-footage’s new Queen. 8.5/10.
A complex, massively-influential slasher film blackening a joyous time of year as the first-ever holiday horror movie – with groundbreaking POV-transposition into the eyes of the killer, bone-chilling horror sequences, prognostic mental health cogitation, a fascinating central mystery, and wild twist-ending. 8.4/10.
39. Let The Right One In (2009)
Gorgeously-realized by Swedish auteur Tomas Alfredson revitalizing the sucked-dry vampire genre with a sugary children’s love-story set against a cold, loneliness-relatability backdrop of winter suburbia, LTROI is an arthouse sizzle of fresh idealism. 8.3/10.
40. Dracula (1931)
Overall, 1931’s Dracula is one of the most important horror movies ever – the reason vampires are so popular today. Bela Lugosi’s performance is truly a once-in-a-generation cultural phenomenon: a masterclass in physicality and aura that says more in bone-chilling stares than most actors do with soliloquies. The film’s Transylvania countryside, Dracula’s castle aesthetic and set-pieces, and lute-strummed ethnocentric score are the biggest otherwise accomplishments in the film and some of the best establishment works in movie history – alone cementing with its performances (just as many strong ones around Lugosi as the big bad Count himself) it as a hallmark of movie history. The problem is: they’re bizarrely-neglected for 80% of the movie running away to a London that feels common and like every other modernized monster movie, including fellow Universal franchise picture that year Mamoulian’s 1931 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Regardless, it is still a thoroughly-enjoyable textbook clinic of atmospherics that served as a precursor to supernatural, undead, and religious horror films as we know them today. A macabre Gothic portraiture of one of the mankind’s most ancient unholy fears with a majestic countryside setting, lute-strum ethnical score, ocular themes, & bone-chillingly intense physicality-centric Lugosi-led performances, Dracula created an icon of movie history and a new age of on-screen vampires. 8.7/10.
An eerie sci-fi tale steeped in dark atmosphere & schizophrenic idiosyncrasy with demented prophecy-rabbits, synthy distortion in score + stylistic VFX, complex themes, star-making Gyllenhaal lead, & amongst the most cryptic plots ever. Adjusted ~8.6/10.
A frame-story summarizing the original before snowballing its madness & creation-analytic Victorian/Old-Testament bedlam – w. crass humor, great technical work, & good Elsa bride, TBOF (despite some tonal goofiness distracting from the frightful realism & too little of the bride herself), TBOF popularized & proof-of-concepted an industry-changing idea: good sequels. Adjusted ~8.3/10.
43. The Conjuring (2013)
Slow-simmering in scares anchored by frightening true background inklings and progressive escalation bolstered by Wan’s painstaking direction and attention to detail, but hindered by a slow start & ill-cast family members. 8.5/10.
44. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Overall, Dawn Of The Dead is a groundbreaking part of zombie and movie history. Romero & co. take NOTLD’s antecedent subgenre-creation and further define the rules – sculpting the mastercraft that would eventually become one of the biggest brands of blockbusters by viral tangibility, apocalyptic exposition, and strong genre-blends of horror and comedy. The film has plenty of fun with its magnificently-set mall backdrop – a crux that supplies entertainment value in home-alone fashion with total freedom in a capitalist’s haven, a stage for blockbuster scale-upping by bringing droves of zombies into the city environment, and clever consumerism cogitation drawing clear, unmistakable parallels between the brainless-undead and routine daily life of shopping in these graveyards of money & materialism. The score is wildly-diverse playing up the horror when it needs to, action when it needs to, and comedic themes when it needs to, action thrilling, make-up/VFX next-level (the zombies are still some of the best-looking to-date), and gore everywhere enough to satisfy the ravenous lunatic fanatics of this new frontier of genre filmmaking. The characterization is by far the worst part – one great character in Ken Foree’s masculine proto-80’s badass Peter surrounded by idiots who waste bullets shooting at air, never learn to close the door, and take blood-pressure while surrounded by zombies. The zombies are also still too-slow; being able to evade/run through an entire crowd of them is simply not scary and creates an underwhelming subservience the genre (and 2004’s version) would later correct. Still, the film’s impact on zombies and movie history being the first major feature of consequence to combine one of history’s most successful genre-blends cannot be understated. A bold sequel with blockbuster aggrandization, clever racial/consumerism themes, classic ’80’s feel, proto-horror/comedy irreverence, and glorious gore in a fantastic city mall environment over rural farmhouses, DOTD further defined Romero’s groundbreaking concept – despite mixed characterization & too-slow zombies. 8.5/10.
45. The Babadook (2014)
A cornucopia of maternal failures, psychological lunacy, and children’s storybooks with high atmospheric tension & old-fashioned scares by a unique concept & stark artistic direction, The Babadook is a showcase of indie horror imagination. 8.2/10.
46. Paranormal Activity (2007)
One of the pioneers of found-footage being to-date amongst its most effective scare packages, Paranormal Activity shows what imagination & atmosphere over budget can bring Horror. 8/10.
A chilling, intense homage to classic monster flicks playing on natural fears & adding genre possibilities, Krasinski’s silence-set thriller is a tour-de-force. 8.2/10.
48. The Fly (1986)
Starkly beautiful in technically-impressive camerawork with grungy vintage-filtered cinematography and bludgeoningly fast war-revisionist zombie thrills, J.J. Abrams’ WWII thriller is one of the best zombie films in years. The film truly feels like Call Of Duty: Black Ops/Zombies in-film-carnate – and will slap a goofy nostalgic grin on any fan of that, or the undead in general being, in CLC’s vote, the best product to come out of the subgenre since 28 Days Later. 8.1/10.
50. The Crazies (2010)
An ‘America gone wrong’-nightmare with twisted, brilliant subversion of everything we’ve come to normalize as nostalgia & small-town USA – from ’50’s guitars to farmlands to baseball-pitch to gas-stations/diners reinvented in the most ghastly of kills, The Crazies is pure, imaginative horror of the highest authenticity in years. Beyond its perfect setting, omenic atmospherics, and bleak cinematography, the story of its virus and horrors of governmental experimentation fuel this phantasm of everything Christianity teaches, foremost in ‘love thy neighbor’ – packed with social-commentary on weighty themes like military, war, bioterrorism, & humanity, brought to life by fantastic Olymphant-led performances + rare characterization in 2000’s-horror. 8/10.
Top 25 Horror TV Shows of All-Time
(Click Titles For Full Reviews Or In ‘Horror’ Category Above)
A dreamlike masterseries redefining what was possible on TV & paving way for anthological horror while interweaving social commentary amongst incredibly imaginative dystopia, TTZ is one of TV’s greatest series of All-Time. 10/10.
2. Hannibal (2014)
S1 – 9.7/10 / S2 – 10/10 / S3 – 6.5/10 /// A prequel series to Silence of The Lambs, Hannibal is a masterpiece of extreme darkness & psychological analysis (not for the feint of heart), sublime acting bolstered by Mads Mikkelsen’s chilling performance & take on Dr. Lecter, & top-notch direction/writing by Bryan Fuller. 9.8/10.
S1 – 10/10 / S2 – 8.5/10 /// Series Review: Deftly blending deliciously-dark horror & macabre by a chillingly-designed slasher in The Red Devil with hilarious sorority/college comedy & 90’s nostalgia for one of the most unique combination mix formulas I’ve *ever* seen in the genre, SQ is absolutely brilliant and one of our favorite horror/comedy (and possibly-overall) TV Series of the 21st-century. Adjusted ~9.7/10.
Rich in storytelling & character development, technically-diverse, & compelling in atmospheric supernatural intrigue, although disappointingly ended & non-capitalized on horror potential, THOHH is a strong new Netflix project. 9.7/10.
Murder House – 7/10 / Asylum – 9.3/10 / Coven – 8.7/10 / Freak Show – 7.1/10 / Hotel – 5/10 / Roanoke – 8.1/10 / Cult – 4/10 / Apocalypse – 9.2/10 / 1984 – 7.3/10 /// A revolutionary, style-dripping anthological series innovatively pushing genre-boundaries with yearly, season-long, self-contained story arcs brought to life by breathtaking cinematography, artistic (dubstep-y) credits sequences, impeccable horror atmospherics/ideas reinvigorating classic tropes like Haunted Houses and Slasher Camps while paving the way for new ones like Election Night and Circuses, and a recurring superstar/A-tier Emmy-calibur cast from Lange to Paulson to Roberts to McDermott given top-notch character work/writing to flex with, AHS is all-time great horror TV. Adjusted ~9.6/10.
A smart, sexy reinvention of classic genre characters for a new age brought to life through transportive old-world touches in 1890’s London setting & sublime Shakespearean-pedigree performances, P.D.’s a horror binge junkies & cinephiles alike will guzzle like Dracula. Adjusted ~9.6/10.
7. Twin Peaks (2017)
Bigger, darker. weirder, and unrestrained by ’90’s broadcast televsion and bad acting like its comparatively-joke (somehow-hailed) predecessor while maintaining its expansive atmospherics and foggy murder mystery, the new Twin Peaks gets the concept done right. 9.5/10.
8. The Walking Dead (2010)
One of the biggest & boldest modern TV series, TWD revolutionized and redefined the zombie subgenre while skyrocketing it to new heights – with just as much humanity & sociology exposition as blood-splattered carnage, emotional resonance, iconic characters/performances led by a role-of-a-lifetime by Andrew Lincoln, & palpable post-apocalyptic storytelling that changed the cinematic industry by proof-of-concepting/trend-setting a new filming capital: Atlanta, GA. For the biggest zombie franchise by far, its actual zombies aren’t as nightmarish as many others – and it does self-indulge for way too many seasons its premise can’t support. Nonetheless, one of most complete, immersive, best production-value horror TV series. 9.5/10.
9. Bates Motel (2013)
S1 – 9/10 / S2 – 8.5/10 / S3 – 7.6/10 / S4 – 8/10 / S5 – 9.5/10 /// A prequel series to Psycho, Bates Motel chronicles Norman Bates’ life before he became the crazed killer in the film. The series explores his loving, if even uncomfortably close, relationship with his mother Norma and his slow-descent into madness from both his dissociative identity disorder as well as life experiences. Adjusted ~9.4/10.
S1 – 7.9/10 / S2 – 9.2/10 / S3 – 4/10 /// A nostalgia-riddled love-letter to the 80’s, Stranger Things is gripping, transportive television with rich characters, a sumptuous synthy soundtrack, and dark-tripped bite – although it’s more an imitation/amalgamation of sci-fi classics and others’ ideas than original. Adjusted ~9.1/10.
A stylish, macabric TV series right at home with its sister Archie Comics property Riverdale, Netflix/WB’s take on Sabrina is a well-cast love-letter to classic horror & coming-of-age stories, & better witch takes in media. 9.1/10.
S1 – 8.5/10 / S2 – 7.6/10 /// When a YouTube video goes viral in the small town of Lakewood, dark secrets in the town’s past spark a string of murders by a Ghostface Killer centering around Lakewood High. As more and more is revealed of students’ connection to the town’s history, not even closest friends can be trusted in this slasher series based off the original films. Adjusted ~9/10.
13. The Terror (2018)
With haunting mystery & artful slow tension building, period-authentic set pieces, & chilling cinematography/supernature, AMC’s Terror is an addictive binge. Adjusted ~8.9/10.
14. Castle Rock (2018)
A slow-burn with finely-sculpted shots, chilly signature atmospherics, tons of King-canon Easter Eggs, & fine performances/location, albeit burning really slowly. 8.8/10.
15. Swamp Thing (2019)
A dark, operatic horror series set in the Louisiana swamps, DC’s delightfully-macabre weirdfest steeped in biological terror is – despite an early problematic Alex Holland – one of the most unique offerings in comic book television. 8.7/10.
The verifiability of the concept of a horror/comedy on vampires spills over from Taika Waititi’s clever original into this fresh (~even better) remake with stronger plotting, great new characters, & more hilarious bloodsucker gags. 8.7/10.
17. Ash Vs. Evil Dead (2014)
Unmistakable in horror/comedy blend with original series-authenticity, glorious 80’s-funk action, funny slapstick, and the magnetic return of Bruce Campbell’s Ash, despite sometimes-overindulgent penchant for goofiness & subpar CGI. Adjusted ~8.6/10.
21. Dark (2017)
19. The Munsters (1966)
23. Wayward Pines (2015)
Perhaps the most paranoiac example of government survelliance, M. Night Shyamalan’s mysterious-and-imaginative distortion of Small Town America is a masterpiece of sociologically-heavy and – of course – plot-twisty dystopian nightmare. 9/10.
20. Supernatural (2005)
22. The Haunting Of Bly Manor (2020)
Overall, The Haunting Of Bly Manor is a series with glimpses of greatness and tons of phenomenally-storytold intellectual worth – but one can’t help but yearn it was more. The scares here are not bump-in-the-night things-that-go-boo; the scares of THOBM are realism-base, accessible, and deep-rooted in humanity: the love, loss, betrayal, trauma, lines not said, mistakes, regrets, and cruelty of fate we each walk through in life as The Lady Of The Lake does on her nightly rounds back to her once-throne. The performances are magnificent, the English Country Manor setting breathtaking, score elegant, characterization and screenwriting prowess rich, ghosts it does paint fantastic, episode 8 a masterpiece that paints a perfect ghost story itself in The Romance Of Certain Old Clothes, and anthological decision brilliant – but it has a pervasive sense of anticlimax. Maybe it’s the fact that it follows quite possibly the best and scariest supernatural horror project I’ve witnessed in a solid 10-20 years: The Haunting Of Hill House (that packed more scares in its first episode than this does the entire season, while still being competitive-or-better in every other aspect). Maybe it’s the poor-taste politicization of man-hate that comes across as a mandated agenda-checklist hypocritical to its horrors-of-trauma main theme – and betrays its one bad main character: Dani, while also detracting from the potential of its beautiful LGBTQ+ arc to a run-away backup plan than independent-prize all its own. A completely-different feel than HOHH with strong anthological performances, pure elegance in score, beautiful English Country Manor setting, rich storytelling & characterization, and traumatization/loss-themed atmospheric love tragedy, but politicization, poor start & main character, false advertisement, and too-few scares, The Haunting Of Bly Manor is a passable TV series that is often a dazzling one – just not at the level it, or its predecessor, deserved.
18. Salem (2014)
Although admittedly awful in child acting and constantly writing-cheesy, Goosebumps has serviceable kid-palatable macabre thanks to its atmospherics, set pieces, R.L. Stine stories, and orchestral themes. Adjusted ~8.2/10.
25. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997)