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Reddit’s 15 Best Horror Movies Are Worth Checking Out Today

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Reddit’s 15 Best Horror Movies Are Worth Checking Out Today

Key Points

  • Reddit’s r/horror subreddit has compiled a list of the best horror movies of all time, based on the diverse opinions of its 2.7 million members.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) helped launch New Line Cinema and became a dream come true for the studio’s executives.
  • The Witch (2015) marked Anya Taylor-Joy’s debut film role and solidified her as a contemporary scream queen.
  • The Exorcist (1973) changed the horror genre and became the first horror movie to receive a Best Picture nomination.
  • Scream (1996) subverted horror movie tropes and became a favorite among both horror enthusiasts and newcomers to the genre.

If you ever find yourself without a movie to watch, Reddit‘s a great place to look for recommendations. There’s a subreddit for every imaginable genre and sub-genre out there. Plus, the more popular threads compile frequent best-of lists to help provide even further guidance. The scary movie-obsessed subreddit r/horror is the perfect example. All 2.7 million members of r/horror have decided on the best horror movies of all time. Does your favorite make the cut? And do you agree with their choices? Take a look below.

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Reddit’s large user base consists of thousands of mini communities called subreddits.

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Reddit’s Best Horror Movies of All Time

Why trust Reddit to judge the best horror movies ever made? Simple. Reddit is made up of a massive user base of Internet users from all different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. When it comes to horror movie recommendations, this diversity means that you’ll encounter opinions from horror enthusiasts, casual viewers, critics, and everyone in between. This eclectic mix offers a more comprehensive understanding of a horror movie’s appeal and flaws, ensuring that the reviews are not skewed by a single perspective. Check out Reddit’s 15 favorites below.

15: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Best Supernatural Slasher
A Nightmare on Elm Street (Blu-Ray)
$7.75
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Director: Wes Craven
  • Starring: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Amanda Wyss, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
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11/26/2023 08:51 pm GMT

Even if you don’t care for any of the franchise’s increasingly ridiculous sequels or its meta-referential final film, there’s no doubt the first A Nightmare on Elm Street is a true terror. The pinnacle of supernatural slashers, Wes Craven’s iconic ’80s classic introduced the world to one of the most feared horror villains ever: Freddy Krueger.

A fun fact is that A Nightmare on Elm Street singlehandedly helped launch New Line Cinema. A significant studio still to this day, the newly formed studio might not have survived nearly as long as it has without the success of Wes Craven’s film in 1984. Turns out this Nightmare was a dream come true for the studio’s executives.

14: The Witch (2015)

Best Funko Horror
Funko POP! Horror: The Witch – Black Phillip, Multicolor
$89.84
  • Black Phillip from The Witch (2015) stylized as a Funko POP!
  • Arrives in a window display box
  • Stars Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Never look at goats the same again!
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11/27/2023 12:21 am GMT

One of only two 21st-century films on this list, Robert Eggers’ 2015 debut The Witch has taken r/horror’s lists by storm. Subtitled A New England Folktale, the film follows a Puritan family who encounters various evil forces in the forest near their farm. You’ll never look at goats the same after this one.

Interestingly, this modern cult classic stars Anya Taylor-Joy in her very first film role. Given her star power today, it’s not hard to see why the film was such a success for her. As the film’s lead, Anya Taylor-Joy was able to immediately cement herself as a contemporary scream queen.

13: The Exorcist (1973)

Best Classic Horror
The Exorcist: Extended Director's Cut (Blu-Ray)
$7.99
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Starring: Ellen McRae, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran
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11/26/2023 09:06 pm GMT

If you start a conversation about the best horror movies ever made, it’s probably going to veer toward The Exorcist at one point or another. And deservedly so! At the time, William Friedkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel completely changed the genre as we know it. Friedkin’s horror staple scared ’70s audiences so badly that some reportedly fainted in their seats.

There’s a reason The Exorcist became the first horror movie to get a Best Picture nomination. Friedkin was a rising talent in the film industry, a key part of a fresh generation of filmmakers we now know as New Hollywood. His skill as a director resulted in the film’s massive success in the ’70s and drives its continued popularity over 50 years later.

12: Scream (1996)

Best Slasher Thriller
Scream (4K UHD + Blu-Ray + Digital Copy) Special Steelbook Release
$32.49
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Director: Wes Craven
  • Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan
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11/27/2023 03:46 am GMT

With Scream VI hitting home video recently, it’s no surprise Wes Craven’s first Scream film remains relevant today. Members of r/horror continually name the tongue-in-cheek, self-aware slasher as one of their favorites, even more than a quarter of a century after its debut. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s scary, and — according to Reddit — it’s one of the best horror movies ever.

Fans are divided over which sequel is best. But, all can agree that the first movie is truly something special. Scream tackled popular horror movie tropes and subverted them at every turn. Its intelligence and style make it a treat for both scary movie lovers and newbies to the genre alike. Clearly, Wes Craven deserves to have two films on this list.

11: Re-Animator (1985)

Best Horror-Comedy
Re-Animator: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
$20.39
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Director: Stuart Gordon
  • Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
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11/27/2023 03:46 am GMT

If you haven’t noticed by now, horror fans aren’t far off from comedy fans. It’s because of how often the two genres tend to overlap. Cult classic horror-comedy Re-Animator is one of the best examples of this. Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, Stuart Gordon’s movie examines the terrifying (and campy) implications of a young med student’s invention that can revive the dead.

It might not be the scariest movie you’ve ever seen, but that’s not why r/horror loves it. You see, Re-Animator is the epitome of a midnight movie. For some scary movie fans, its imperfect special effects, gonzo plot, and questionable acting are what horror is all about. It’s not easy to be both funny and scary, but Re-Animator pulls it off without a hitch.

10: Don’t Look Now (1973)

Best Psychological Thriller
Don't Look Now (Blu-ray + Digital Copy)
$12.99
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Director: Nicholas Roeg
  • Starring: Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie
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11/27/2023 03:47 am GMT

Real horror heads know that Nicolas Roeg was one of the best to ever work in the genre. Though he might not be the kind of household name that Stanley Kubrick or John Carpenter is, his reputation as a master of the genre doesn’t put him too far off from that status. Take his 1973 film Don’t Look Now, for example.

Don’t Look Now is a psychologically terrifying look at what suffocating grief can do to a person. From its grisly visuals to its jarring editing, Nicholas Roeg’s film is more than good enough to earn the #10 spot. In fact, it’s mentioned often enough for r/horror to name it one of the top horror movies ever.

9: The Evil Dead (1981)

Cult Classic
The Evil Dead: Groovy Collection (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital Copy)
$69.99
  • Starring Bruce Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss
  • Inspired by a short film by Sam Raimi
  • Special Effects by Tom Sullivan
  • Some scenes were shot using the “shaky cam” technique
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11/27/2023 04:12 am GMT

Low budget. Amateur actors. First-time director. Homemade special effects. Filmed in a garage. You wouldn’t be wrong to think these were complaints about one of the worst movies ever made. In reality, these are all things that make Sam Raimi’s 1981 film The Evil Dead so incredible.

An all-time favorite for many r/horror members, The Evil Dead follows a group of young college students who accidentally unleash a horde of demons while vacationing at a cabin in the woods. Despite all the budget constraints that threatened to destroy the production, Raimi and Co. miraculously managed to create one of the best horror movies ever made.

8: Suspiria (1977)

Terrifying Supernatural
Suspiria: Special Edition (4K UHD)
$35.80
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Starring: Jessica Harper, Udo Kier, Barbara Magnolfi, Joan Bennett
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11/27/2023 04:17 am GMT

If ever there was a director to divide r/horror, it’d be Dario Argento. With equal parts incredible movies and terrible ones, the Italian slasher movie icon belongs on the horror Mount Rushmore for Suspiria alone.

Based on a story from the 1840s, the film follows an American ballet student who enrolls in a high-class dance academy only to realize that the school is home to a terrifying supernatural conspiracy. Its vibrant colors, stylish direction, and unforgettable score have made it a beloved horror title for nearly fifty years now.

7: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Best Low-Budget
Funko POP! Horror: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Leatherface, Pretty Woman Mask
  • From The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Leatherface stylized as a Funko POP!
  • Arrives in a window display box
  • Hot Topic Exclusive
  • Limited production
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Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has a lot in common with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise. The first film is a low-budget cult classic on r/horror’s list of favorites, its second film is a satirical comedy-horror, and its reputation has made it an instantly recognizable title even decades after its release.

With films such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the low-budget aspects make it scarier. It all just looks dirtier, making it that much more frightening when things get gruesome. Plus, what other films have the power to make a once-innocuous power tool seem so terrifying?

6: Hellraiser (1987)

Best Gory Character
Funko POP! Movies: Hellraiser III – Chatterer
$48.49
  • Cenobite Chatterer from Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
  • Arrives in a window display box
  • Very detailed
  • Movie by Clive Barker
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11/26/2023 09:31 pm GMT

Do you know how many Hellraiser sequels there are? Including 2022’s reboot on Hulu, the total comes to… far too many to count. (It’s ten. Ten sequels!) Ignore all those, because r/horror only seems to care about the first: 1987’s Hellraiser.

From the twisted mind of Clive Barker — the same guy behind Candyman (1992) and Nightbreed (1990) — Hellraiser is so unabashedly gory it’ll make even the strongest stomachs churn. Plus, its main villain Pinhead is nightmare fuel in his own right.

5: Alien (1979)

Best Outer Space
Alien: 40th Anniversary Edition (4K UHD + Blu-Ray + Digital Copy)
$18.99
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Henry Dean Stanton, John Hurt
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11/27/2023 08:17 am GMT

Are you noticing a common theme yet? Many of Reddit’s best horror movies of all time have a bunch of sequels, spinoffs, prequels, and reboots under their belt. No matter how many other films in the franchise there are, though, the first always seems to be the favorite. Alien is no exception.

While Aliens (1986) has its fair share of fans, the first Alien movie in the franchise is the one r/horror placed at #5. Following a crew stranded alone with a killer creature in the outer reaches of space, one look at this monster will have you looking for the nearest escape pod yourself.

4: Hereditary (2018)

Best Recent Film
Hereditary (4K UHD + Blu-Ray + Digital Copy)
$23.99
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Director: Ari Aster
  • Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne
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11/27/2023 09:36 am GMT

Call it recency bias, but Ari Aster’s 2018 feature debut Hereditary shows up again and again in these horror movie discussions. Of course, his second film Midsommar (2019) and third film Beau Is Afraid (2023) both have plenty of fans in their own right. However, according to r/horror, nothing can truly compare to the sheer quality and success of Hereditary.

Don’t agree with such a high placement for such a recent film? It’s possible that, in the years to come, Hereditary might fall lower on the list. The newer the film, the more prominent it is in the viewer’s mind. This undoubtedly factors into Hereditary‘s placement at #4. Not to suggest it’s not a good movie, but simply one that may be a tad bit overrated due to its recency.

3: The Shining (1980)

Exclusive Chase Variant
Pop! Vinyl Figure: The Shining - Jack Torrance (Chase Variant) with Pop Box Protector Case
$69.96
  • Scene from the famous ending of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining
  • Jack and his signature axe
  • Vinyl figure is 3.75 inches
  • Chase variant
  • Comes in window box with box protector
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11/25/2023 05:36 pm GMT

Stephen King might hate this film adaptation of his novel, but unsurprisingly, r/horror loves it. Stanley Kubrick is one of the most revered names in film history, and his horror movie The Shining is a big reason why.

Starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall as a mother and father living in a remote hotel during the off-season with their son, the family soon begins to realize things are not as they seem at the Overlook. Who knew you could get cabin fever in a luxury hotel?

2: Halloween (1978)

Classic Thriller
Halloween: Collector's Edition (4K UHD + Blu-Ray)
$23.99
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Director: John Carpenter
  • Starring: Donald Pleasence, Nick Castle, Debra Hill, Jamie Lee Curtis
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11/25/2023 05:42 pm GMT

Believe it or not, both of r/horror’s most beloved horror movies come from the same director: John Carpenter. Many other John Carpenter movies barely missed the cutoff. He’s a modern horror master through and through. It all began with his first movie, Halloween.

From the unforgettable score to the breakout performance from Jamie Lee Curtis to the perfect fall setting, Halloween is an absolute favorite for thousands (if not millions) of horror fanatics. Plus, it spawned one of the genre’s most well-known (and well-feared) characters: Michael Myers.

1: The Thing (1982)

Best Overall
The Thing (4K UHD + Blu-Ray + Digital Copy)
$11.49
  • Rated R
  • Runtime: 109 minutes
  • Director: John Carpenter
  • Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David
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11/25/2023 05:47 pm GMT

Coming in at #1, it’s John Carpenter’s The Thing. Though it’s loosely based on a novella from 1938, The Thing never could have come out in the ’30s. It’s too gross, too scary, and too violent for any other decade but the 1980s.

Featuring some of the most impressive (and nightmare-inducing) special effects in movie history, The Thing will have viewers looking at everyone else in the room a little differently as the credits roll. After all, any one of us could be an extraterrestrial life form in disguise. It’s r/horror’s very favorite film by a long shot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes horror movies so scary?

Horror movies are designed to evoke fear and unease through various filmmaking techniques. They often use suspenseful music, shocking visuals, unexpected jump scares, and disturbing themes to create a sense of terror. Plus, horror films explore primal fears such as the supernatural, monsters, or the unknown to amp up the scare factor. In other words, they’re specifically made to employ as many possible scare tactics as the filmmaker can imagine.

Why do people watch horror movies?

Some people enjoy watching horror movies simply for the adrenaline rush and excitement of being scared. Alternatively, horror movies can provide a cathartic release by allowing us to confront our fears vicariously. Generally speaking, they offer an escape from reality and can be a source of entertainment for those who enjoy the genre’s unique blend of suspense, tension, and gore. Additionally, horror movies can creatively explore deeper themes, societal issues, or psychological concepts — making horror an intellectually stimulating genre when done right.

Do horror movies make you feel bad?

While horror may elicit fear and provoke intense emotions, these reactions are temporary and do not cause any lasting harm. Horror movies are not inherently harmful or dangerous to watch. Watching horror movies can be a way for individuals to safely experience fear and confront their anxieties within a controlled setting. Of course, personal preferences and sensitivities may make certain content more distressing or uncomfortable for some.

How old do you need to be to watch horror?

The age you allow a child to watch horror movies depends on their maturity and individual sensitivities. Many horror movies are intended for mature audiences due to their intense and disturbing content. Parents should consider the movie’s rating, content warnings, and their child’s ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality before making such a decision. Parents may benefit from screening the movie before allowing their child to watch it.

Are classic horror movies worth watching?

Absolutely. In fact, many horror fans prefer 20th-century horror to more recent entries in the genre. Countless classic horror movies have stood the test of time and are still highly regarded in the genre to this day. Some popular examples include Alfred Hitchcock films, Universal horror films from the ’20s and ’30s, Stanley Kubrick films, John Carpenter films, and George A. Romero films, among many other less common examples. These classics provide a useful foundation for understanding the evolution of horror movies and their overall impact on popular culture.

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