(Photo by International Classics)

The Best Italian Horror Movies

The golden age of Italian horror may have been brief, but the country’s innovations in style and genre have given the era’s movies an enduring appeal sustained in the decades since. Among the most exciting contributions to horror from Italy include the wonderfully spooky supernatural Suspiria, proto-slasher A Bay of Blood, and Cannibal Holocaust, the notorious, heavily banned found footage movie. Of course, we can’t leave out giallo films (murder mysteries featuring high body counts and erotic content, with the identity of the killer saved for a big finale reveal) like Deep Red and The Cat o’ Nine Tails.

And now we’ve collected every Italian horror movie with a Fresh score (expect to see lots from Mario Bava and Dario Argento) and have ranked them in our guide to the Best Italian Horror Movies of All Time.


Best Spanish-Language Horror Movies | Best Korean Horror Movies | Best French Horror Movies
2020’s Best Horror Movies | 200 Best Horror Movies Ever

#25

Dèmoni (Demons) (1985)
60%

#25
Adjusted Score: 52.632%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Italian horror auteur Dario Argento produced and co-wrote (with director Lamberto Bava) this gory, nightmarish horror film set almost entirely... [More]
Directed By: Lamberto Bava

#24
Adjusted Score: 56.261%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Writer-producer Dario Argento and director Lamberto Bava follow up their gory shocker Demoni with this derivative sequel, basically a carbon-copy... [More]
Directed By: Lamberto Bava

#23
Adjusted Score: 62.951%
Critics Consensus: Cemetery Man will frustrate viewers seeking narrative cohesion or coherence, but this surreal blend of humor and horror should satisfy B-movie fans in the mood for quirk.
Synopsis: Achingly romantic and creepy-funny, this funereal fantasy from the director of La Chiesa (1989) is unlike any Italian film in... [More]
Directed By: Michele Soavi

#22
Adjusted Score: 62.51%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After being dissatisfied with Mario Bava]'s original cut of {$Lisa and the Devil, producer Alfredo Leone decided to capitalize on... [More]

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 63.84%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Also known as The Church, this Italian supernatural shocker comes from Dario Argento aficionado, Michele Soavi (the two men wrote... [More]
Directed By: Michele Soavi

#20

Inferno (1980)
64%

#20
Adjusted Score: 64.475%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 65.791%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An anthropologist heads a rescue party into the South American jungle to find a missing film team making a documentary... [More]
Directed By: Ruggero Deodato

#18
Adjusted Score: 67.112%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A drummer's nightmare unfolds after he encounters a malevolent stranger and stumbles into a mystery, culminating in a string of... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#17
Adjusted Score: 67.947%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where after a series of supernatural 'accidents', she learns that the... [More]
Directed By: Lucio Fulci

#16
Adjusted Score: 69.892%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this spooky low-budget horror outing from Mario Bava, a team of rescuers head for Mars to find missing astronauts... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#15
Adjusted Score: 66.015%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Marred by controversy at the time of its release, this horror fantasy from Italy's legendary horror director Mario Bava centers... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#14
Adjusted Score: 66.015%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Generally considered the first real giallo film, Mario Bava's stylish thriller stars Leticia Roman as Nora, who travels to Rome... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#13

Tenebre (Unsane) (1982)
75%

#13
Adjusted Score: 76.107%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Despite the lurid slasher-movie trappings of his output, filmmaker Dario Argento has always been able to attract "name" actors to... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#12
Adjusted Score: 67.328%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The title affliction causes sufferers to react to paintings in extreme and bizarre ways. In the case of police detective... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#11
Adjusted Score: 80.68%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: If a serial killer isn't stopped, there won't be any beautiful young models left in Rome. The killer always wears... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#10
Adjusted Score: 83.718%
Critics Consensus: The Cat O'Nine Tails is a solidly entertaining Argento outing elevated by a well-chosen cast and the director's distinctive visual style.
Synopsis: In this flawed mystery-thriller from flamboyant horror director Dario Argento, Karl Malden portrays a blind man who joins forces with... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 72.762%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When several young boys are brutally murdered in a small southern Italian village, the superstitious locals react with ignorance and... [More]
Directed By: Lucio Fulci

#8
Adjusted Score: 85.899%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This Italian shockerama was originally released as Twitch of the Death Nerve in 1971. When distributed to the US, it... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#7

Black Sunday (1960)
86%

#7
Adjusted Score: 87.99%
Critics Consensus: Mario Bava's official narrative debut is a witchy nightmare steeped in gothic splendor, shot in chiaroscuro black and white and punctuated with startling gore.
Synopsis: Generally considered to be the foremost example of Italian Gothic horror, this darkly atmospheric black-and-white chiller put director Mario Bava... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#6
Adjusted Score: 89.259%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Originally Operazione Paura, this Mario Bava horrorama has travelled under a multitude of English-language titles: Operation Fear, Kill, Baby Kill,... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#5
Adjusted Score: 89.258%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This anthology features three chilling horror stories. "Il Telefono" is credited to Guy de Maupassant, although he never wrote such... [More]

#4

Opera (1987)
91%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92.063%
Critics Consensus: The Opera house location gives plenty to work with for director Dario Argento, who hits his decadently bloody high notes here.
Synopsis: An obsessed fan stalks a young opperata and kills those who are closest to her.... [More]
Directed By:

#3
Adjusted Score: 95.989%
Critics Consensus: Combining a deadly thriller plot with the stylized violence that would become his trademark, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage marked an impressive horror debut for Dario Argento.
Synopsis: This trend-setting thriller put its director, Dario Argento, on the international map and began a flood of imitative mystery-horror hybrids... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#2

Suspiria (1977)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98.366%
Critics Consensus: The blood pours freely in Argento's classic Suspiria, a giallo horror as grandiose and glossy as it is gory.
Synopsis: An innocent American ballet dancer's excitement at being accepted to a prestigious European dance school turns to terror when she... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#1
Adjusted Score: 97.938%
Critics Consensus: The kinetic camerawork and brutal over-the-top gore that made Dario Argento famous is on full display, but the addition of a compelling, complex story makes Deep Red a masterpiece.
Synopsis: The film that has become the master work in Italian horror maestro Dario Argento's canon, Deep Red holds up brilliantly... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

Tag Cloud

jamie lee curtis GoT Marvel emmy awards First Look batman Lifetime Christmas movies Comedy Dark Horse Comics diversity Hear Us Out dark spain Pixar VICE 21st Century Fox hollywood asian-american comic psycho vampires USA rotten movies we love Ellie Kemper romance romantic comedy Summer Epix GLAAD YouTube concert Fall TV The Witch Tarantino Travel Channel Emmy Nominations TCM Mary Poppins Returns Mindy Kaling Television Academy spider-man black football child's play strong female leads Classic Film award winner dogs Apple American Society of Cinematographers Cartoon Network true crime rotten OneApp Photos boxoffice Country ESPN video superhero films Warner Bros. comedies Superheroes dragons CBS anime Western YouTube Premium Black Mirror stand-up comedy movies Sundance Now revenge reviews singing competition Awards BET Awards crime thriller Holidays Winners sag awards Certified Fresh 007 scary movies History Animation Sundance TV Rocky DC Universe Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TCA Awards Endgame documentary DGA Valentine's Day witnail game of thrones spy thriller indiana jones Disney Channel Ghostbusters New York Comic Con Pirates directors science fiction scorecard cancelled TV shows Box Office President transformers TCA Winter 2020 HBO Go 24 frames 20th Century Fox comiccon TV Land Peacock Elton John Trophy Talk 2020 E3 Apple TV+ Pop finale Spring TV werewolf USA Network period drama Columbia Pictures Logo Mary poppins cooking franchise natural history WGN television binge zero dark thirty Podcast aliens LGBT all-time Ovation Captain marvel nfl Esquire theme song CNN HBO Max MCU San Diego Comic-Con MTV talk show Baby Yoda 2017 quibi Winter TV crossover halloween tv versus laika Family stoner 2015 LGBTQ Disney streaming service criterion independent Walt Disney Pictures First Reviews Calendar A24 what to watch Fox News dramedy Shudder E! AMC VH1 45 Black History Month sequels Song of Ice and Fire VOD Shondaland slashers chucky Anna Paquin Red Carpet X-Men Film Disney Fantasy CMT zombie hist crime drama war cars Mudbound DC streaming service cats toronto Masterpiece FOX Television Critics Association Pride Month SDCC Stephen King Schedule Musicals nature Turner Vudu screenings justice league biography Discovery Channel anthology police drama serial killer parents Chernobyl foreign PBS cults Bravo thriller political drama Tumblr BBC One Film Festival Mary Tyler Moore Emmys sitcom comic books cancelled TV series Nat Geo ITV based on movie italian Rocketman FXX teaser 2019 FX 4/20 NYCC james bond Paramount Sundance halloween Tubi Comedy Central facebook classics cartoon Freeform WarnerMedia Trivia Awards Tour ABC Drama Adult Swim festivals TV renewals Cosplay Funimation Opinion Biopics Quiz The CW universal monsters worst movies BBC best APB Binge Guide composers Tomatazos TNT a nightmare on elm street Disney+ Disney Plus Marathons unscripted National Geographic adaptation Premiere Dates Amazon doctor who Mystery Creative Arts Emmys crime spinoff Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Video Games DC Comics The Walking Dead BET Avengers Superheroe Amazon Prime Video Thanksgiving DirecTV TIFF Year in Review Pop TV Hallmark Christmas movies Interview BAFTA Watching Series documentaries green book SXSW Nominations blockbuster Nickelodeon Rock Acorn TV Lifetime Academy Awards El Rey Star Trek A&E critics Teen series golden globes children's TV Sneak Peek TBS TruTV mockumentary Polls and Games Sony Pictures indie Netflix Music Arrowverse obituary Extras Food Network dc Amazon Prime mutant zombies Infographic adventure elevated horror robots TLC stop motion OWN french Women's History Month Marvel Television PaleyFest The Arrangement japanese The Purge cancelled venice Writers Guild of America CBS All Access Fox Searchlight comics latino Action screen actors guild Reality Competition Character Guide Musical TV IFC Films Turner Classic Movies RT21 canceled historical drama YouTube Red Apple TV Plus dceu australia discovery Universal Hulu space travel toy story Sci-Fi Showtime Spectrum Originals Spike GIFs IFC cinemax book nbcuniversal Cannes news sequel SundanceTV Britbox ratings south america PlayStation satire supernatural miniseries Trailer ABC Family twilight Holiday The Academy Netflix Christmas movies breaking bad Martial Arts ghosts medical drama Toys docudrama Marvel Studios Disney Plus Lucasfilm technology politics joker Pet Sematary social media movie canceled TV shows worst Reality See It Skip It HBO rt archives spanish language Brie Larson YA 71st Emmy Awards Countdown name the review kids Star Wars archives blaxploitation BBC America die hard harry potter deadpool Rom-Com richard e. Grant CW Seed Super Bowl streaming disaster casting sports remakes cops NBC Comics on TV Hallmark 2018 Syfy TCA mission: impossible Horror festival Oscars 2016 animated tv talk TCA 2017 spanish Crunchyroll Kids & Family game show psychological thriller Election hispanic cancelled television renewed TV shows reboot Paramount Network fast and furious Comic Book MSNBC Christmas free movies Set visit Lionsgate Best and Worst FX on Hulu Amazon Studios Starz RT History ID video on demand 72 Emmy Awards Heroines christmas movies Crackle Grammys