The top FIVE horror films of all-time

Written by on 29th May 2024

By Ben Hanson

Horror is a genre which has swept the globe and made people have nightmares throughout many households. As a result, society is always searching for the next big cultural phenomenon. This list names new and old movies from slashers to paranormal allowing something for every form of horror fan.

Halloween (1978)

To begin with, we will start with one of the greats. Whilst killers from other slasher franchises such as Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street follow vengeful killing sprees, Halloween offers no reason for its events. This iconic slasher which was directed by John Carpenter follows a young woman named Laurie Strode as she navigates her normal day. However, her brother, Michael Myers who yearns for her demise is seen stalking her until the ultimate climax as the iconic final girl fights back against Michael. This cast list is loaded with iconic actors such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Kyle Richards, Tony Moran, Nick Castle. Following this a franchise began which resulted in 13 movies.

Halloween 1978 film poster. Photo credit: Alamy

Scream (1996)

Following on from the horror phenomenon which was Halloween, we have the movie which broke the genre from its ways, Scream. The original Scream movie came out in 1996 and was directed by Wes Craven who built a phenomenal cast list which went as follows, Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard and many more. This film attempted to make fun of horror tropes and stereotypes, even at one point debating using the name ‘Scary Movie’ which went on to be its own comedic phenomenon. Scream followed Neve Campbell’s character, Sidney, who is being terrorised by Woodsboro’s very own psychopath Ghost Face. Who is this mysterious killer you may be asking; well, you’ll have to watch to find out. This film is sure to keep you on your toes as it throws curveballs and hints which spread throughout its story. Can you guess who the killer is? 

The Conjuring (2013)

Perhaps slasher movies aren’t your kind of horror, well don’t worry because next up is The Conjuring. This movie was directed by James Wan who also was the creator of the Saw franchise but unlike the Saw franchise, this is based on Ed and Lorraine Warrens’s experience at The Conjuring house in Rhode Island, USA. The cast list consists of stars such as Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King, Lili Taylor and more. The film uses the Warrens’s paranormal experiences within The Conjuring house and the journey which the family and them had to take to vanquish the evil from their lives. This film in some parts can touch on some sensitive subjects such as suicide so it is not for the faint-hearted.

The Conjuring 2. Photo credit: Alamy

BagHead (2023)

Carrying on this theme of unnatural encounters is Baghead. Baghead was directed by Alberto Corredor and uses a supernatural being known as Baghead who was cursed to be entrapped with whoever signed the deed to a bar in Berlin. As a result, after a failed attempt to remove the spirit from the world, a young woman comes to own the bar which is when her life starts to become fractured. The film’s cast consists of Freya Allan, Ruby Barker, Jeremy Irvine, Anne Muller and more. If you are looking for a lesser-known, underrated film, I would highly recommend this one.

Late Night with the Devil (2023)

Finally, we have the most up-to-date horror phenomenon which plays with time period, colour/greyscale and performance. This movie was directed by Cameron and Colin Cairnes and follows a talk show hosts, show during a Halloween special where there is death, criticism and comedy. If you like cult and conspiracy films then this is the film for you as it follows the idea of giving up your soul or somebody else’s in return for fame and fortune but also possession and demonic entities. Within this film, there are actors such as David Dastmalchian, Laura Gordon, Fayssal Bazzi, Georgina Haig, Ingrid Torelli and more 

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