by jamjameepolk | created - 14 Feb 2017 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

Some may have psychological elements, but these are generally intended to scare the audience, not really make them think.Post-apocalyptic titles will go in "Horror", given that they're technically in that genre. The over-saturation of the market with apocalyptic scenarios has diminished the horror aspect for me, but they're still good films that belong in this list. See related lists "Psychological" or "Thriller" for similar titles

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1. The Witch (2015)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery

83 Metascore

A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.

Director: Robert Eggers | Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Julian Richings

Votes: 159,053 | Gross: $25.14M

While this was a slow film, the archaic dialogue and religious themes intrigued me. It was surprisingly gripping throughout and the acting was impressive. I watched it mostly for context of Eggers' work when I watch The Lighthouse later this year, but it was a really nice watch. "Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?" is a great line Watched May 30th, 2019

2. I Am Legend (2007)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

65 Metascore

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Votes: 640,150 | Gross: $256.39M

This stuck with me for a long time; I only saw it once and I still remember a lot about it. Very cool take on a post-apocalyptic world, and the acting was solid from what I remember

3. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

85 Metascore

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta

Votes: 153,746 | Gross: $33.80M

A beautifully executed prom scene with a heartbreaking resolution. The opening scene is pretty harrowing as well for its dark realism. There were a few too many slow-motion shots for me but I otherwise enjoyed it. Much better than I anticipated Watched June 6th, 2019

4. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

84 Metascore

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

Votes: 415,543 | Gross: $176.04M

I think the hype for this movie kind of killed it for me, but it was still an enjoyable watch. The social commentary was refreshing, and the direction and acting was pretty great as well. Watched June 3rd, 2017

5. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 852,873 | Gross: $293.51M

I liked this more than I expected to; I can see why it became such a hit and continues to be referenced in pop culture to this day. Solid cast, soundtrack and plot. Watched January 27th, 2018

6. 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: 794,071 | Gross: $44.02M

"Here's Johnny!" I mostly remember this for establishing several common horror tropes, but it was a bit dense of a watch for younger me. Probably deserves a rewatch Written 4/8/19

7. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

79 Metascore

A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson, Beatrice Straight

Votes: 130,645 | Gross: $76.61M

The special effects were amazing for the time period, and there were definitely some iconic quotes throughout. Glad I watched it but won't necessarily be returning Watched February 16th, 2019

8. 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: 263,335 | Gross: $103.05M

Despite having seen this parodied so many times, the original film actually holds up fairly well. The opening scene is iconic and probably my favorite part of the movie, but the blend between slasher horror and satire was refreshing. The ending was a bit lackluster for me but I otherwise enjoyed it Watched May 27th, 2019

9. 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: 516,162 | Gross: $260.00M

Considering this was revolutionary in horror and film in general, it was an enjoyable watch. The horror was much more slow-burn than I anticipated (and heavily influenced by Moby Dick), and I feel like the movie could have been shortened without losing any of its gravitas. Nonetheless, I appreciate the film Watched February 16th, 2019

10. A Quiet Place (2018)

PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

Director: John Krasinski | Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe

Votes: 318,162 | Gross: $188.02M

I liked the originality of the premise, but was otherwise underwhelmed. Many questions were left unanswered, and while one could argue the point of the movie was to show the strength of a family versus describing this apocalyptic world, I was nonetheless disgruntled. Watched September 1st, 2018 with family

11. Grave Encounters (2011)

Not Rated | 92 min | Horror

33 Metascore

For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that's supposedly haunted - and it might prove to be all too true.

Directors: Colin Minihan, Stuart Ortiz, The Vicious Brothers | Stars: Ben Wilkinson, Sean Rogerson, Ashleigh Gryzko, Merwin Mondesir

Votes: 48,630

I liked the found footage aspect of this and thought it was entertaining, but many plot instances were unexplained Watched in a friend's dorm

12. The Woman in Black (2012)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

62 Metascore

A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Director: James Watkins | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds, Emma Shorey

Votes: 166,429 | Gross: $54.33M

Radcliffe did a stellar job and the Gothic atmosphere was really cool, but the resolution was fairly sloppy from what I remember Watched at a friend's apartment

13. Oculus (I) (2013)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery

61 Metascore

A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

Director: Mike Flanagan | Stars: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane

Votes: 108,122 | Gross: $27.70M

I vividly remember the apple/light bulb scene and thought the trippy nature was really cool, but I didn't like the resolution Watched in the dorms

14. The Babadook (2014)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Horror

86 Metascore

A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Director: Jennifer Kent | Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney

Votes: 174,768 | Gross: $0.92M

Absolutely the most annoying and obnoxious child I have ever seen in any form of media ever. The ending was certainly original and seemed mildly humorous to me at the time, but it was vastly overhyped Watched in the dorms

15. World War Z (2013)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

63 Metascore

Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale

Votes: 558,966 | Gross: $202.36M

Veered heavily from the book as far as I remember. Entertaining action but overall generic Watched in theaters Written 4/8/19

16. American Psycho (2000)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron | Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage

Votes: 436,884 | Gross: $15.07M

Vastly overhyped. Some iconic scenes and Bale did a nice job but nothing else of note I believe this was in the movie splurge of Winter Break 2014, but it could have been Summer 2015 as well Written 4/8/19

17. 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: 300,684 | Gross: $129.13M

For being hailed as a "modern classic" of the horror genre, it was pretty underwhelming. Can't remember much about it at this point, so that doesn't help its case either Watched in the dorms

18. Sinister (I) (2012)

R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

53 Metascore

Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson

Votes: 200,873 | Gross: $48.09M

This was marketed aggressively when it came out but ended up being fairly mediocre upon my actual watch. I liked Hawke but that was about it Watched in the dorms Written 4/8/19

19. Evil Dead (2013)

R | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.

Director: Fede Alvarez | Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci

Votes: 147,551 | Gross: $54.24M

I remember thinking the gore was a bit over-the-top and tasteless, and wasn't very entertained through the movie. That being said, the cast did a decent job and the special effects were solid from what I remember Watched in the dorms

20. Antibirth (2016)

Not Rated | 94 min | Horror

56 Metascore

In a desolate community full of drug-addled Marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a wild night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and ... See full summary »

Director: Danny Perez | Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny, Meg Tilly, Mark Webber

Votes: 2,792

Watched this only because of a friend's recommendation Not a good time, very surreal, so it's good for trippy visuals I suppose, but would not recommend Watched February 21st, 2017

21. Jigsaw (I) (2017)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

39 Metascore

Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.

Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig | Stars: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson

Votes: 58,710 | Gross: $38.05M

The movie itself wasn't entirely horrible, but I felt absolutely no attachment to the characters and the plot twists at the end threw all context out of the window and seemed unnecessarily confusing. A genuine bore and would never recommend Watched July 29th, 2018 with friends

22. Troll 2 (1990)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

A family vacationing in a small town discovers the entire town is inhabited by goblins in disguise as humans, who plan to eat them.

Director: Claudio Fragasso | Stars: Michael Paul Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie Young

Votes: 29,080

Watched with friends when I was little. Truly a horrible film, I would only recommend it if you're looking for unintentional comedy (this might be better placed in the "Comedy" list as it is)

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