Years for Fear the greatest horror movies

With the thread about the Barry Stone book thread stiring such passion I’d love to do a list on the horror genre. Including every sub genre in Chronological order I would consider cultural impact of a film more important than critical acclaim and box office gross.

Wow.

There are sub genre films I have a only seen a few of so it would be great to learn more about them from the members.

So with a lot of help from Ghost of Sartana this is the list we made:
1920s:
1922 NOSFERATU (Germany)
1925 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (USA)
1926 FAUST (Germany )
1930s:
1931 DRACULA (ENGLISH AND SPANISH VERSIONS) DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (USA)
1932 THE MUMMY (USA), VAMPYR (Ger/Fra)
1933 KING KONG, THE INVISIBLE MAN (USA)
1935 THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (USA)
1936 DRACULA’S DAUGHTER (USA)
1940s:
1941 THE WOLF MAN
1942 CAT PEOPLE
1945 DEAD OF Night (UK)
1946 THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS
1950s:
1953 HOUSE OF WAX
1954 Godzilla (Jap) CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
1955 LES DIABOLIQUES (Fr)
1957 CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN
1958 HORROR OF DRACULA, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (UK)
1959 THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL (UK)
1960s:
1960 PSYCHO, HOUSE OF USHER, CIRCUS OF HORRORS
1961 PIT AND THE PENDULUM, THE INNOCENTS (UK)
1962 WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
1963 THE HAUNTING, THE BIRDS
1964 BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (IT) ONIBABA, KWAIDAN (Jap)
1965 PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, THE SKULL, DR TERROR’S HOUSE OF HORRORS
1966 KILL BABY, KILL (IT)
1968 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, ROSEMARY’S BABY,
THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (UK)

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Including international movies, from the birth of cinema, it would be a long list. Just consider how many sub and sub-sub genres there are. A few key films in a few of the most prolific subgenres:

Ghosts (The Innocents, The Shining)
Possession (The Exorcist, The Omen)
Psychological (Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs)
Rogue Nature (The Birds, Jaws, )
Pandemic (Shivers, 28 Days Later)
Slasher (Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes)
Body Angst (Freaks, Eyes Without a Face)
Dystopian (Coma, Akira)

And aside from King Kong and Godzilla, the Monster sub genre includes:
Vampire (Nosfuratu, Dracula)
Werewolf (The Wolfman, The Company of Wolves)
Mummy (Mummy, Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb)
Man-made (Frankenstein, Westworld)
Zombie (White Zombie, Night of the Living Dead)
Alien (Day of the Triffids, Alien)

Rather than reinvent the wheel, l just Googled “horror film subgenres” and see a chart with many of the same categories and films to my little off-the-top-of-my-head list: https://popcornhorror.com/genres/

That’s great! I will build my own list from mine and the other members imput so you have given me a major leg up. You have introduced some sub genres I didn’t think of. Nice one. :cowboy_hat_face:

Here’s the 50 Best Horror Films Ever, according to the good folk at Film School Rejects (list was compiled in 2017):

  1. The Thing (Carpenter, 1982)
  2. Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960)
  3. Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
  4. Halloween (Carpenter, 1978)
  5. Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski, 1968)
  6. The Shining (Kubrick, 1980)
  7. Alien (Scott, 1979)
  8. Bride of Frankenstein (Whale, 1935)
  9. Scream (Craven, 1996)
  10. An American Werewolf in London (Landis, 1981)
  11. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Hooper, 1974)
  12. The Cabin in the Woods (Goddard, 2012)
  13. Night of the Living Dead (Romero, 1968)
  14. Poltergeist (Hooper, 1982)
  15. The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)
  16. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, 1920)
  17. Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004)
  18. The Babadook (Kent, 2014)
  19. Let the Right One In (Alfredson, 2008)
  20. Dawn of the Dead (Romero, 1978)
  21. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Craven, 1984)
  22. Suspiria (Argento, 1977)
  23. The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, 1955)
  24. [REC] (Balagueró/Plaza, 2007)
  25. Frankenstein (Whale, 1931)
  26. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman, 1978)
  27. Re-Animator (Gordon, 1985)
  28. The Descent (Marshall, 2005)
  29. The Fly (Cronenberg, 1986)
  30. Pulse (Kurosawa, 2001)
  31. The Witch (Eggers, 2015)
  32. The Devil’s Backbone (Del Toro, 2001)
  33. 28 Days Later (Boyle, 2002)
  34. The Orphanage (Boyana, 2007)
  35. Under the Skin (Glazer, 2013)
  36. The Innocents (Clayton, 1961)
  37. The Wicker Man (Hardy, 1973)
  38. Evil Dead II (Raimi, 1987)
  39. Audition (Miike, 1999)
  40. The Legend of Hell House (Hough, 1973)
  41. Martyrs (Laugier, 2008)
  42. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (McNaughton, 1986)
  43. Les Diaboliques (Clouzot, 1955)
  44. Seven (Fincher, 1995)
  45. The Beyond (Fulci, 1981)
  46. Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001)
  47. Carnival of Souls (Harvey, 1962)
  48. Funny Games (Haneke, 1997)
  49. Evil Dead (Álvarez, 2013)
  50. It Follows (Mitchell, 2014)
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Thanks I am looking forward to comparing it to the one I am doing. :+1:

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I’ve seen and enjoyed about 90% of what’s on this list, and I don’t consider myself a horror fan … :thinking:

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My list is chronological so will be longer. There is stuff on the list LC provided that can’t be argued with but there are a few ‘Are You kidding me?’ entries.

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My pleasure to be of assistance, my friend :wink:

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Yeah, it’s a pretty standard list of horror staples, with all of the usual suspects present and correct.

Listing great horror films is hard. Harder than other genres. If ‘horror’ is defined by what horrified the viewer, then horror changes from decade to decade, and within each individual through familiarity. What I mean by that is this: a great western will always be great at being a great western, no matter how old it is or how many times one sees it. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is 54 years old and I must have seen it a hundred times by now. But, for that age and frequency if viewing, it’s no less western-y. Its no weaker than any of its more recent genre counterparts (indeed, it’s stronger). Now, Alien is my favourite movie of all time and it’s obviously a horror but it hasn’t horrified me, hasn’t successfully performed its function as a horror movie for me in decades. So is it still a horror movie? Well, yes, but I have to kind-of remember it within its intended context. Would it scare anyone who saw it today for the first time? Possibly. Probably. But almost certainly not in the way that it had people wretching at it in sack-jawed disbelief in the cinemas of 1979. How would James Whale’s genre classic Bride of Frankenstein - a movie set high upon this list - fare at horrifying anybody in 2020? The Beeb could air BoF on a cosy Sunday afternoon while the nation enjoyed a nice roast dinner and a nap in front of it. So is it a horror anymore? Or can it only function now as an historically relevant artifact?

And then of course there’s the line of what constitutes a horror (I guess given some of the discussions we’ve had here about what constitutes a western, this is an issue which blights all genres). Mulholland Drive is, in my humble opinion, still the finest movie of the 21st century so far, and it certainly contains a horrifying set piece or two, but I’ve never thought of it as a horror picture. Yet the Film School Rejects people evidently consider it to be the 46th best horror film ever made.

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Me too. Like last.caress, I’m not sure I’d include Mulholland Drive, nor Night of the Hunter as horrors. The litmus test - was the prime intent to horrify or scare? There’s an element of that in most Lynch movies, perhaps more so in Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway and Inland Empire. It’s a thin line between horror and Psychological Thriller (Awake in Fright) - speaking of which, just examine Donald Pleasence’s filmography for a heap of assorted horrors - The Good, The Bad and the Indifferent! Also, speaking of which, he was in Django Strikes Again…

A few other seminal vintage horrors, not mentioned yet: The Invisible Man (33), The Incredible Shrinking Man (57), The Man with X-Ray Eyes (63), Repulsion (65), Peeping Tom (60), and some other interesting ones: Circus of Horrors (60), Death Line (72), Plague of the Zombies (anticipating by a couple of years the zombie deluge that Night of the Living Dead triggered)…

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Scared the life out of me when I first saw it on telly, and I still enjoy it very much - agree with what you mean on this one … but it’s such a well made movie that it works beyond it’s ‘prime objective’ :wink:

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Vintage horrors are not included enough that list that’s why the list I am compiling starts in the silent era. The genre grew from these movies and I think that is forgotten.
The term Horror film may be misleading. Horror as in to disgust was disliked by Boris Karloff who preferred Terror films - Terrify. Gore actually becomes less scary when it is over used. The SAW films are a great example. They are just dumb and gross. The sequels are anyway.

I get your point. Bride of Frankenstein was and is a black comedy. It was probably scary in 1935. A product of it’s time. But it is still remembered. It made an impact on the public consciousness. I very much doubt people will be taking about CABIN IN THE WOODS in 80+ years. Or REC.

Not too many people are talking about Bride of Frankenstein right now.

[REC] is imo one of the best horrors of this century. Doesn’t do a single original thing but everything it does do, it does brilliantly.

Coming as it does from 85 years past, Bride of Frankenstein isn’t really remembered at all in the strictest sense. Almost everybody alive who has seen it has done so with an asterisk, an addendum: Please consider that this was horror in its time. Please view through the prism of a 1930s audience. I’m not necessarily saying it shouldn’t be considered any more (and fwiw I love BoF), but it’s not an issue which often rears its head with other genres. Westerns from the 30s are still great westerns, comparable without special dispensation, to their genre counterparts from any other decade from then to now. Horrors lose their punch. Great ones keep theirs for longer than poor ones, but time and familiarity dilutes them.

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That list is not be taken seriously, in my opinion. No Hellraiser. Scream better than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? A lot of borderline horror, if horror at all. The remake of Evil Dead, but not the original. Too many post 2000 films, which only reveals the approximate age of the ones who compiled it. And so on.

1970s:
1970 THE VAMPIRE LOVERS UK, BIRD WITH CRYSTAL PLUMAGE
1971
ABOMINABLE DR PHIBES USA, BAY OF BLOOD (IT)
1972 LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
1973 THE EXORCIST, THEATRE OF BLOOD, DON’T LOOK NOW, LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE
1974 BLACK CHRISTMAS, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
1975 DEEP RED
1976 THE OMEN CARRIE
1977 SUSPRIA,
1978 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, HALLOWEEN
1979 AMITYVILLE HORROR, ALIEN, NOSFERATU PHANTOM DER NACHT, ZOMBIE FLEASH EATERS, SALEM’S LOT

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