Best Horror Movie Each Year Since 1973

by movielistman | created - 18 Sep 2016 | updated - 18 Sep 2016 | Public
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1. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

81 Metascore

When a 12 year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 347,582 | Gross: $232.91M

2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

75 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 128,500 | Gross: $30.86M

3. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 525,028 | Gross: $260.00M

4. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror

62 Metascore

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens, David Warner

Votes: 102,436 | Gross: $4.27M

5. Suspiria (1977)

R | 92 min | Horror

79 Metascore

An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé

Votes: 73,762

6. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 217,411 | Gross: $47.00M

7. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 749,011 | Gross: $78.90M

8. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 841,869 | Gross: $44.02M

9. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 178,108 | Gross: $2.40M

10. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 349,896 | Gross: $13.78M

11. Cujo (1983)

R | 93 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

Cujo, a friendly St. Bernard, contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, Christopher Stone

Votes: 36,944 | Gross: $21.20M

12. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

76 Metascore

The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 195,249 | Gross: $25.50M

13. Fright Night (1985)

R | 106 min | Horror, Thriller

62 Metascore

A teenager discovers that the newcomer in his neighborhood is a vampire, so he turns to an actor in a television horror show for help dealing with the undead.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 56,628 | Gross: $24.92M

14. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 625,443 | Gross: $85.16M

15. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

69 Metascore

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 141,760 | Gross: $5.92M

16. Pumpkinhead (1988)

R | 86 min | Fantasy, Horror

47 Metascore

After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.

Director: Stan Winston | Stars: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D'Aquino, Kimberly Ross

Votes: 19,019 | Gross: $4.39M

17. Pet Sematary (1989)

R | 103 min | Horror, Thriller

38 Metascore

After tragedy strikes, a grieving father discovers an ancient burial ground behind his home with the power to raise the dead.

Director: Mary Lambert | Stars: Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne, Brad Greenquist

Votes: 90,048 | Gross: $57.47M

18. It (1990)

TV-PG | 192 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown.

Stars: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson

Votes: 110,559

19. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,198,873 | Gross: $130.74M

20. Army of Darkness (1992)

R | 81 min | Comedy, Horror

57 Metascore

A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie

Votes: 157,008 | Gross: $11.50M

21. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

A pragmatic paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 820,178 | Gross: $402.45M

22. The Crow (1994)

R | 102 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

71 Metascore

A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée's murder.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson

Votes: 160,566 | Gross: $50.69M

23. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,361,165 | Gross: $100.13M

24. Scream (1996)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich

Votes: 272,769 | Gross: $103.05M

25. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

PG-13 | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there, while an InGen team approaches with another agenda.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn

Votes: 361,293 | Gross: $229.09M

26. The X Files (1998)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

60 Metascore

Mulder and Scully must fight the government in a conspiracy and find the truth about an alien colonization of Earth.

Director: Rob Bowman | Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville, William B. Davis

Votes: 98,105 | Gross: $83.90M

27. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery

81 Metascore

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

Directors: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez | Stars: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard, Bob Griffin

Votes: 223,482 | Gross: $140.54M

28. Final Destination (2000)

R | 98 min | Horror, Thriller

36 Metascore

After a teenager has a terrifying vision of him and his friends dying in a plane crash, he prevents the accident only to have Death hunt them down, one by one.

Director: James Wong | Stars: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith, Kristen Cloke

Votes: 220,058 | Gross: $53.33M

29. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery

49 Metascore

A brother and sister driving home through isolated countryside for spring break encounter a flesh-eating creature which is in the midst of its ritualistic eating spree.

Director: Victor Salva | Stars: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher

Votes: 106,379 | Gross: $37.90M

30. The Ring (2002)

PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox, David Dorfman

Votes: 309,182 | Gross: $129.13M

31. Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

R | 104 min | Horror

36 Metascore

Set a few days after the original, a championship basketball team's bus is attacked by The Creeper, the winged, flesh-eating terror, on the last day of his 23-day feeding frenzy.

Director: Victor Salva | Stars: Jonathan Breck, Ray Wise, Nicki Aycox, Garikayi Mutambirwa

Votes: 56,138 | Gross: $35.67M

32. The Grudge (2004)

PG-13 | 91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

49 Metascore

An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.

Director: Takashi Shimizu | Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Clea DuVall, William Mapother

Votes: 135,532 | Gross: $110.36M

33. The Descent (2005)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder

Votes: 192,425 | Gross: $26.02M

34. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

66 Metascore

The next great psycho horror slasher has given a documentary crew exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo.

Director: Scott Glosserman | Stars: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Zelda Rubinstein, Robert Englund

Votes: 20,613 | Gross: $0.07M

35. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Director: Oren Peli | Stars: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong

Votes: 213,767 | Gross: $107.92M

36. Cloverfield (2008)

PG-13 | 85 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack.

Director: Matt Reeves | Stars: Mike Vogel, Jessica Lucas, Lizzy Caplan, T.J. Miller

Votes: 361,916 | Gross: $80.05M

37. The Fourth Kind (2009)

PG-13 | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

34 Metascore

A thriller involving an ongoing unsolved mystery in Alaska, where one town has seen an extraordinary number of unexplained disappearances during the past 40 years and there are accusations of a federal cover up.

Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi | Stars: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Votes: 71,736 | Gross: $25.46M

38. The Last Exorcism (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

63 Metascore

A troubled evangelical minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew.

Director: Daniel Stamm | Stars: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum

Votes: 46,889 | Gross: $41.03M

39. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

R | 83 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

59 Metascore

In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman | Stars: Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner

Votes: 87,703 | Gross: $104.01M

40. The Possession (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

45 Metascore

A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

Director: Ole Bornedal | Stars: Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport

Votes: 55,158 | Gross: $49.13M

41. The Conjuring (2013)

R | 112 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor

Votes: 419,963 | Gross: $137.40M

42. It Follows (2014)

R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

Director: David Robert Mitchell | Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe

Votes: 196,567 | Gross: $14.67M

43. Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

PG-13 | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Director: Leigh Whannell | Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell

Votes: 88,126 | Gross: $52.22M

44. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

R | 134 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to North London to help a single mother raising 4 children alone in a house plagued by a supernatural spirit.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Frances O'Connor

Votes: 210,853 | Gross: $102.47M



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