(Photo by Lions Gate/courtesy Everett Collection)

The 80 Best 2000s Horror Movies

Welcome to the new millennium. The decade horror came home to America. The decade horror went global. Welcome to the 80 Best Horror Movies of the 2000s.

If horror movies reflect the fears and concerns of a people, it’s notable that America claimed torture-porn as their de rigueur subgenre. Something in Saw and its ilk’s slow-roasted dismantling of human flesh appealed to a nation consumed by post-9/11 paranoia and a bombardment of wartime images and atrocity. But while torture-porn movies made a killing at the box office, none were ever particularly well-reviewed; only Hostel arrives here. Recovering from the ’90s doldrums, the best horror movies came from overseas, as digital cameras lowered the cost to film and the rise of the internet made knowledge and dissemination of these movies as simple as a mouse click. In fact, of the top 10 movies here (which includes the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Host), only two were shot in America. Other trends seen during this decade: Asian originals and occasional remakes (The Ring, Thirst), found footage (Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield), the return of the living dead (Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later), and nostalgic throwbacks (Slither, Death Proof). The only stipulation for a movie to be considered for this list was a Fresh rating from at least 20 reviews.

Time to add some scary MIDIs to your MySpace and set AIM status to away (FOREVER), because here comes the best scary 2000s movies!

90 Best ’70s Horror Movies | 80 Best ’80s Horror Movies
40 Best ’90s Horror Movies| 140 Best 2010s Horror Movies
200 Best Horror Movies of All Time | Best Horror Movies of 2021

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 64959%
Critics Consensus: This gory, senses-assaulting slasher film is an unpretentious, effective mix of old-school horror stylings and modern 3D technology.
Synopsis: Ten years ago, an inexperienced coal miner named Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) caused an accident that killed five men and... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Lussier

#79

Them (2006)
62%

#79
Adjusted Score: 62490%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and tense from start to finish, the French horror film Them proves that a lack of gore doesn't mean a dearth of scares.
Synopsis: Lucas (Michaël Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) live in an isolated house near Bucharest. On one rainy night in their... [More]
Directed By: David Moreau, Xavier Palud

#78

Day Watch (2006)
62%

#78
Adjusted Score: 64644%
Critics Consensus: Day Watch is frequently cheesy but it offers enough twists, surprises, and inventive action sequences to maintain viewer interest.
Synopsis: Anton (Konstantin Khabensky), a member of a group of supernatural guardians who monitor the forces of the Dark, discovers that... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 65829%
Critics Consensus: As Diary of the Dead proves, time hasn't subdued George A. Romero's affection for mixing politics with gore, nor has it given him cinematic grace or subtlety.
Synopsis: The dead are returning to life to feast on the flesh of the living. As civilization dissolves in this nightmare... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#76

Cabin Fever (2002)
62%

#76
Adjusted Score: 66498%
Critics Consensus: More gory than scary, Cabin Fever is satisfied with paying homage to genre conventions rather than reinventing them.
Synopsis: Bert (James DeBello), a college student vacationing with friends in the mountains, mistakenly shoots a local man (Arie Verveen) with... [More]
Directed By: Eli Roth

#75

Identity (2003)
62%

#75
Adjusted Score: 66793%
Critics Consensus: Identity is a film that will divide audiences -- the twists of its plot will either impress or exasperate you.
Synopsis: When a vicious storm breaks out in the Nevada desert, 10 people seek refuge in an isolated motel. At the... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#74
Adjusted Score: 64121%
Critics Consensus: Poultrygeist may be relentlessly tasteless and juvenile, but it's also a lively slice of schlocky fun.
Synopsis: Some fast-food workers discover the restaurant they work in is built on an ancient burial ground, and the chickens they... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman

#73

Martyrs (2008)
64%

#73
Adjusted Score: 64775%
Critics Consensus: A real polarising movie, this Gallic torture-porn is graphic, brutal, nasty and gruesome and not to everyone's taste.
Synopsis: A young woman's quest for revenge leads her down a path of depravity.... [More]
Directed By: Pascal Laugier

#72

In My Skin (2002)
64%

#72
Adjusted Score: 64649%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Parisian marketing professional, Esther (Marina de Van) has a gruesome secret. She's been obsessed with the damage she can... [More]
Directed By: Marina de Van

#71

Session 9 (2001)
66%

#71
Adjusted Score: 67275%
Critics Consensus: Relying more on atmosphere than gore, Session 9 is effectively creepy.
Synopsis: A tale of terror when a group of asbestos removal workers start work in an abandoned insane asylum. The complex... [More]
Directed By: Brad Anderson

#70

The Eye (2002)
64%

#70
Adjusted Score: 66943%
Critics Consensus: Conventional ghost tale with a few genuine scares.
Synopsis: After 18 years of blindness, 20-year-old violinist Wong Kar Mun (Lee Sin-Je) regains her vision when she undergoes a corneal... [More]

#69

Willard (2003)
64%

#69
Adjusted Score: 67108%
Critics Consensus: In this creepy story of a man and his rodents, Glover seems born to play the oddball title character.
Synopsis: Desperate for companionship, the repressed Willard (Crispin Glover) befriends a group of rats that inhabit his late father's deteriorating mansion.... [More]
Directed By: Glen Morgan

#68

Lunacy (2005)
65%

#68
Adjusted Score: 64620%
Critics Consensus: A Svankmajer movie is not for everyone, but he displays his usual creative flair for surreal imagery.
Synopsis: In 19th-century France a young man (Pavel Liska) meets a nobleman (Jan Tríska) who invites him to spend the night... [More]
Directed By: Jan Svankmajer

#67

Ichi the Killer (2001)
65%

#67
Adjusted Score: 65806%
Critics Consensus: Ichi The Killer is a thoroughly shocking gorefest that will surely entertain those with strong stomachs and a penchant for brutal violence.
Synopsis: A bloodthirsty hoodlum (Tadanobu Asano) sparks a series of violent reprisals after his boss is apparently taken by a mysterious... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#66
Adjusted Score: 66058%
Critics Consensus: Death Proof may feel somewhat minor in the context of Tarantino's larger filmography, but on its own merits, it packs just enough of a wallop to deliver sufficiently high-octane grindhouse goods.
Synopsis: Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a professional body double who likes to take unsuspecting women for deadly drives in his... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#65

Carriers (2009)
66%

#65
Adjusted Score: 65727%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a virus threatens to wipe out humanity, Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), his brother Brian (Chris Pine), and their friends... [More]
Directed By: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor

#64

Severance (2006)
66%

#64
Adjusted Score: 68357%
Critics Consensus: A twisted and bloody spoof on office life, Severance nicely balances comedy and nasty horror.
Synopsis: Members (Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny) of the Palisades Defense Corp. sales group arrive in Europe for a team-building... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Smith

#63

My Little Eye (2002)
67%

#63
Adjusted Score: 52363%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As part of an Internet reality show, five people sign up to spend six months in a mansion while cameras... [More]
Directed By: Marc Evans

#62
Adjusted Score: 67391%
Critics Consensus: If nothing else, Happiness of the Katakuris scores points for its delirious, over-the-top originality.
Synopsis: Fearing bad publicity, an innkeeper and his family bury the bodies of their ill-fated guests themselves.... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#61

Red Dragon (2002)
68%

#61
Adjusted Score: 73209%
Critics Consensus: Competently made, but everything is a bit too familiar.
Synopsis: Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 68430%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Members of Charles Manson's cult tell their story.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Van Bebber

#59

Tormented (2009)
69%

#59
Adjusted Score: 69530%
Critics Consensus: It relies too heavily on American slasher cliches, but Tormented is a timely, funny, and even somewhat touching entry in the high school horror genre.
Synopsis: Darren Mullet (Calvin Dean) doesn't have it easy. He's overweight, uses an inhaler and is constantly bullied by his spoiled... [More]
Directed By: Jon Wright

#58

May (2002)
70%

#58
Adjusted Score: 70710%
Critics Consensus: Above average slasher flick.
Synopsis: Young misfit May (Angela Bettis) endured a difficult childhood because of her lazy eye. And though contact lenses have helped... [More]
Directed By: Lucky McKee

#57

Dead Snow (2009)
69%

#57
Adjusted Score: 70504%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't cover new ground, Dead Snow is an entertaining mix of camp, scares, and blood and guts.
Synopsis: A party of eight Norwegian medical students travel to a remote Arctic mountain for an Easter weekend filled with skiing... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Wirkola

#56

American Psycho (2000)
69%

#56
Adjusted Score: 74646%
Critics Consensus: If it falls short of the deadly satire of Bret Easton Ellis's novel, American Psycho still finds its own blend of horror and humor, thanks in part to a fittingly creepy performance by Christian Bale.
Synopsis: In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as... [More]
Directed By: Mary Harron

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 75479%
Critics Consensus: Snakes on a Plane lives up to its title, featuring snakes on a plane. It isn't perfect, but then again, it doesn't need to be.
Synopsis: FBI agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) boards a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, escorting a witness to trial.... [More]
Directed By: David R. Ellis

#54

The Mist (2007)
72%

#54
Adjusted Score: 77082%
Critics Consensus: Frank Darabont's impressive camerawork and politically incisive script make The Mist a truly frightening experience.
Synopsis: After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son head into town to... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#53

Open Water (2003)
71%

#53
Adjusted Score: 77700%
Critics Consensus: A low budget thriller with some intense moments.
Synopsis: Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan) embark on a tropical vacation with their scuba-diving certifications in tow. During a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Kentis

#52

28 Weeks Later (2007)
71%

#52
Adjusted Score: 79379%
Critics Consensus: While 28 Weeks Later lacks the humanism that made 28 Days Later a classic, it's made up with fantastic atmosphere and punchy direction.
Synopsis: Six months after the original epidemic, the rage virus has all but annihilated the population of the British Isles. Nevertheless... [More]

#51

The Ring (2002)
71%

#51
Adjusted Score: 76849%
Critics Consensus: With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts.
Synopsis: It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#50

Grace (2009)
72%

#50
Adjusted Score: 71456%
Critics Consensus: Though not entirely effective as a conventional horror flick, Grace is still a graphic, disturbing, and artful exploration of twisted maternal instinct.
Synopsis: In the wake of a horrific car accident that kills her husband, Michael (Stephen Park), expectant mother Madeline Matheson (Jordan... [More]
Directed By: Paul Solet

#49

Vampire Hunter D (2000)
72%

#49
Adjusted Score: 71436%
Critics Consensus: Vampire Hunter D's gothic charms may be lost on those unfamiliar with the anime series that spawned it, but the crisp action and nightmarish style will satiate horror aficionados' bloodlust.
Synopsis: In a dark and distant future, when the undead have arisen from apocalyptic ashes, an original story unfolds. Ten thousand... [More]
Directed By: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

#48

Dahmer (2002)
72%

#48
Adjusted Score: 71479%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this fictionalized, fragmented biopic of one of America's most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer (Jeremy Renner) contemplates his latest... [More]
Directed By: David Jacobson

#47

I Sell the Dead (2008)
72%

#47
Adjusted Score: 72093%
Critics Consensus: A horror comedy that's almost as chilling as it is funny, I Sell the Dead relies on its dark humor and offbeat charm to overcome its low budget shortcomings.
Synopsis: Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) is about to be executed by guillotine for the crime of grave robbing. But before he... [More]
Directed By: Glenn McQuaid

#46

Gozu (2003)
72%

#46
Adjusted Score: 72238%
Critics Consensus: Miike continues his run of compellingly bizarre flicks.
Synopsis: Chaos ensues when a yakuza boss orders a young gangster (Hideki Sone) to kill an insane colleague (Shô Aikawa).... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#45

Fido (2007)
72%

#45
Adjusted Score: 74637%
Critics Consensus: Making the most of its thin premise, Fido is an occasionally touching satire that provides big laughs and enough blood and guts to please gorehounds.
Synopsis: When a cloud of space dust causes the dead to rise as ravenous zombies, the ZomCon Corp. emerges to conquer... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Currie

#44

Black Sheep (2006)
72%

#44
Adjusted Score: 74596%
Critics Consensus: With an outrageous premise played completely straight, Black Sheep is a violent, grotesque, and very funny movie that takes B-movie lunacy to a delirious extreme.
Synopsis: Sheep-fearing Henry (Nathan Meister) returns to his brother's (Peter Feeney) New Zealand farm, hoping his sibling will buy out his... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan King

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 72502%
Critics Consensus: A creative and energetic adaptation of a Clive Barker short story, with enough scares and thrills to be a potential cult classic.
Synopsis: When struggling photographer Leon Kaufman (Bradley Cooper) meets the owner of a prominent art gallery, he sees a chance for... [More]
Directed By: Ryûhei Kitamura

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 74185%
Critics Consensus: This French animated horror portmanteau is monochrome and minimalist, visually stunning, but light on scares.
Synopsis: Animated sequences explore people's fear of darkness.... [More]

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 76664%
Critics Consensus: Brotherhood of the Wolf mixes its genres with little logic, but the end result is wildly entertaining.
Synopsis: In a rural province of France, a mysterious creature is laying waste to the countryside, savagely killing scores of women... [More]
Directed By: Christophe Gans

#40

Splinter (2008)
74%

#40
Adjusted Score: 73727%
Critics Consensus: Never taking itself too seriously, Splinter scores as a fast-paced, fun thriller with more than enough scares.
Synopsis: When their plans for a nature trip go awry, Polly Watt (Jill Wagner) and boyfriend Seth Belzer (Paulo Costanzo) decide... [More]
Directed By: Toby Wilkins

#39

Frailty (2002)
75%

#39
Adjusted Score: 78839%
Critics Consensus: Creepy and disturbing, Frailty is well-crafted, low-key horror.
Synopsis: Set in present day Texas, "Frailty" centers on the FBI's search for a serial killer who calls himself "God's Hands."... [More]
Directed By: Bill Paxton

#38

Land of the Dead (2005)
74%

#38
Adjusted Score: 80997%
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero's latest entry in his much-vaunted Dead series is not as fresh as his genre-inventing original, Night of the Living Dead. But Land of the Dead does deliver on the gore and zombies-feasting-on-flesh action.
Synopsis: In a world where zombies form the majority of the population, the remaining humans build a feudal society away from... [More]
Directed By: George Romero

#37

Hair High (2004)
75%

#37
Adjusted Score: 63757%
Critics Consensus: Hair High isn't first-tier Plympton, but like the rest of the animator's work, this is an assuredly odd tale that should resonate with fans of strange cinema.
Synopsis: As the prom approaches, the head cheerleader (Sarah Silverman) of Echo Lake High dumps her quarterback boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney) in... [More]
Directed By: Bill Plympton

#36

Planet Terror (2007)
76%

#36
Adjusted Score: 75388%
Critics Consensus: A cool and hip grindhouse throwback, Planet Terror is an unpredictable zombie thrillride.
Synopsis: An ordinary evening in a small Texas town becomes a grisly nightmare when a horde of flesh-eating zombies goes on... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#35
Adjusted Score: 77011%
Critics Consensus: A smart mockumentary that presents a gory, funny, and obviously affectionate skewering of the slasher genre.
Synopsis: Nice, normal-looking Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) has an obsession with movie-style slashers like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger.... [More]
Directed By: Scott Glosserman

#34

The Last Winter (2006)
76%

#34
Adjusted Score: 77442%
Critics Consensus: The Last Winter creatively and effectively uses horror tactics -- fear, tension, anticipation, and just enough gore -- to shock, but never repulse, its audience.
Synopsis: Sent to evaluate the environmental impact of oil drilling in the Arctic, James Hoffman (James Le Gros) clashes with the... [More]
Directed By: Larry Fessenden

#33

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
76%

#33
Adjusted Score: 82020%
Critics Consensus: A kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero's horror classic that pays homage to the original while working on its own terms.
Synopsis: When her husband is attacked by a zombified neighbor, Ana (Sarah Polley) manages to escape, only to realize her entire... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#32

Cloverfield (2008)
78%

#32
Adjusted Score: 85550%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares.
Synopsis: As a group of New Yorkers (Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman) enjoy a going-away party, little do they know... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#31

Eden Lake (2008)
80%

#31
Adjusted Score: 80363%
Critics Consensus: A brutal and effective British hoodie-horror that, despite the clichés, stays on the right side of scary.
Synopsis: During a romantic weekend getaway, a young couple confronts a gang of youths, and suffers brutal consequences.... [More]
Directed By: James Watkins

#30

Dog Soldiers (2002)
79%

#30
Adjusted Score: 78819%
Critics Consensus: Frightening, funny, and packed with action, Dog Soldiers is well worth checking out for genre fans -- and marks writer-director Neil Marshall as a talent to keep an eye on.
Synopsis: During a routine nighttime training mission in the Scottish Highlands, a small squad of British soldiers expected to rendezvous with... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#29

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
79%

#29
Adjusted Score: 81981%
Critics Consensus: The best movie to star both the King and JFK.
Synopsis: After falling into a lengthy coma following a freak accident involving hip gyration, a now aged Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell)... [More]
Directed By: Don Coscarelli

#28

1408 (2007)
79%

#28
Adjusted Score: 86378%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#27

Wake Wood (2011)
80%

#27
Adjusted Score: 80077%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The parents of a deceased girl are given three days with their dead daughter.... [More]
Directed By: David Keating

#26

Teeth (2007)
80%

#26
Adjusted Score: 82185%
Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and horrifically funny, Teeth puts a fresh feminist spin on horror movie tropes.
Synopsis: Dawn (Jess Weixler) is an active member of her high-school chastity club but, when she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), nature... [More]
Directed By: Mitchell Lichtenstein

#25

Thirst (2009)
80%

#25
Adjusted Score: 84278%
Critics Consensus: The stylish Thirst packs plenty of bloody thrills to satisfy fans of both vampire films and director Chan Wook Park.
Synopsis: Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a respected priest, volunteers for an experimental procedure that may lead to a cure for a deadly... [More]
Directed By: Park Chan-wook

#24

Taxidermia (2006)
81%

#24
Adjusted Score: 80995%
Critics Consensus: Surreal and visually striking, Taxidermia is, at times, graphic and difficult to watch, but creatively touches on disturbing subjects with imagination and wit.
Synopsis: Set over three generations and beginning with Morosgoványi Vendel, a sexually frustrated orderly during the war who relieves his tensions... [More]
Directed By: Gyorgy Palfi

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 86070%
Critics Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.
Synopsis: F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) is struggling to create his silent classic "Nosferatu" on location in Eastern Europe. The director... [More]
Directed By: E. Elias Merhige

#22

Trick 'r Treat (2007)
84%

#22
Adjusted Score: 84456%
Critics Consensus: A deftly crafted tribute to Halloween legends, Trick 'r' Treat hits all the genre marks with gusto and old fashioned suspense.
Synopsis: Interwoven stories demonstrate that some traditions are best not forgotten as the residents (Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker) of... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

#21

The Others (2001)
83%

#21
Adjusted Score: 89447%
Critics Consensus: The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn't need expensive special effects to be creepy.
Synopsis: Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 91418%
Critics Consensus: Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.
Synopsis: Soon after moving into a suburban tract home, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) become increasingly disturbed by what... [More]
Directed By: Oren Peli

#19
Adjusted Score: 84725%
Critics Consensus: This anthology contains brutal, powerful horror stories by three of Asia's top directors.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#18

Pontypool (2008)
84%

#18
Adjusted Score: 86999%
Critics Consensus: Witty and restrained but still taut and funny, this Pontypool is a different breed of low-budget zombie film.
Synopsis: When disc jockey Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) reports to his basement radio station in the Canadian town of Pontypool, he... [More]
Directed By: Bruce McDonald

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 86397%
Critics Consensus: Restrained but disturbing, A Tale of Two Sisters is a creepily effective, if at times confusing, horror movie.
Synopsis: After being institutionalized in a mental hospital, Korean teen Su-mi (Yum Jung-ah) reunites with her beloved sister, Su-yeon (Im Soo-jung),... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 88335%
Critics Consensus: Though its underlying themes are familiar, House of the Devil effectively sheds the loud and gory cliches of contemporary horror to deliver a tense, slowly building throwback to the fright flicks of decades past.
Synopsis: Desperate to make some money so she can move into a new apartment, college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes... [More]
Directed By: Ti West

#15

Requiem (2006)
86%

#15
Adjusted Score: 86715%
Critics Consensus: This harrowing, naturalistic drama holds you in its grip through Huller's intense performance.
Synopsis: Michaela, an epileptic, enrolls in college to study education. She goes off her medication and soon begins hearing voices and... [More]
Directed By: Hans-Christian Schmid

#14

The Descent (2005)
86%

#14
Adjusted Score: 93860%
Critics Consensus: Deft direction and strong performances from its all-female cast guide The Descent, a riveting, claustrophobic horror film.
Synopsis: A year after a severe emotional trauma, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) goes to North Carolina to spend some time exploring caves... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#13
Adjusted Score: 88435%
Critics Consensus: Guy Maddin's film is a richly sensuous and dreamy interpretation of Dracula that reinvigorates the genre.
Synopsis: In this ballet version of Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale, Dracula (Zhang Wei-Qiang) arrives in London and performs a dance... [More]
Directed By: Guy Maddin

#12

Slither (2006)
87%

#12
Adjusted Score: 91717%
Critics Consensus: A slimy, B-movie homage oozing with affection for low-budget horror films, Slither is creepy and funny -- if you've got the stomach for it.
Synopsis: Wheelsy is a small town where not much happens and everyone minds his own business. No one notices when evil... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#11

The Orphanage (2007)
87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 94026%
Critics Consensus: Deeply unnerving and surprisingly poignant, The Orphanage is an atmospheric, beautifully crafted haunted house horror film that earns scares with a minimum of blood.
Synopsis: Laura (Belén Rueda) has happy memories of her childhood in an orphanage. She convinces her husband to buy the place... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona

#10

28 Days Later (2002)
87%

#10
Adjusted Score: 94189%
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.
Synopsis: A group of misguided animal rights activists free a caged chimp infected with the "Rage" virus from a medical research... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#9

Rec (2007)
89%

#9
Adjusted Score: 89819%
Critics Consensus: Plunging viewers into the nightmarish hellscape of an apartment complex under siege, [Rec] proves that found footage can still be used as an effective delivery mechanism for sparse, economic horror.
Synopsis: A reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman record the horrifying outbreak of a disease that turns humans into vicious cannibals.... [More]

#8

Zombieland (2009)
89%

#8
Adjusted Score: 99788%
Critics Consensus: Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.
Synopsis: After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world's surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the... [More]
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

#7

Ginger Snaps (2000)
90%

#7
Adjusted Score: 90570%
Critics Consensus: The strong female cast and biting satire of teenage life makes Ginger Snaps far more memorable than your average werewolf movie -- or teen flick.
Synopsis: The story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey... [More]
Directed By: John Fawcett

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 96338%
Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric and haunting, The Devil's Backbone is both a potent ghost story and an intelligent political allegory.
Synopsis: After losing his father, 10-year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve) arrives at the Santa Lucia School, which shelters orphans of the Republican... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 98888%
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.
Synopsis: Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he's not working at the electronics store,... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#4

Drag Me to Hell (2009)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103288%
Critics Consensus: Sam Raimi returns to top form with Drag Me to Hell, a frightening, hilarious, delightfully campy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) has a loving boyfriend (Justin Long) and a great job at a Los Angeles bank. But... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#3

The Host (2006)
93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 98421%
Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.
Synopsis: Careless American military personnel dump chemicals into South Korea's Han River. Several years later, a creature emerges from the tainted... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#2

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 104442%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Synopsis: In 1944 Spain young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive at the post of her mother's... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104738%
Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.
Synopsis: When Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a sensitive, bullied 12-year-old boy living with his mother in suburban Sweden, meets his new neighbor,... [More]
Directed By: Tomas Alfredson

If you were poking around RT a week and a half or so ago, you might have come across a little poll we were taking on the site to try and determine the Scariest Movie Ever. Based on other lists and suggestions from the RT staff, we pulled together 40 of the scariest movies ever made and asked you to vote for the one that terrified you the most. As it happens, a British broadband service comparison website decided to conduct a science experiment to determine the same thing, and their results were… surprising, to say the least. Did Rotten Tomatoes readers agree with the findings? Read on to find out what our fans determined were the 10 Scariest Horror Movies Ever.


1. The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist

(Photo by ©Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)

You may not agree that The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever, but it probably also isn’t much of a surprise to see it at the top of our list — with a whopping 19% of all the votes cast. William Friedkin’s adaptation of the eponymous novel about a demon-possessed child and the attempts to banish said demon became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film ever and the first to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars (it earned nine other nominations and took home two trophies). But outside of its critical and commercial bona fides, the film is well-known for the mass hysteria it inspired across the country, from protests over its controversial subject matter to widespread reports of nausea and fainting in the audience. Its dramatic pacing and somewhat dated effects may seem quaint compared to some contemporary horror, but there’s no denying the power the film continues to have over those who see it for the first time.


2. Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary

(Photo by ©A24)

Writer-director Ari Aster made a huge splash with his feature directorial debut, a dark family drama about the nature of grief couched within a supernatural horror film. Toni Collette earned a spot in the pantheon of great Oscar snubs with her slowly-ratcheted-up-to-11 performance as bedeviled mother Annie, but the movie’s biggest shock came courtesy of… Well, we won’t spoil that here. Suffice it to say Hereditary struck such a nerve with moviegoers that it instantly turned Aster into a director to watch and shot up to second place on our list.


3. The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring

(Photo by Michael Tackett/©Warner Bros. Pictures)

James Wan has staked out a place among the modern masters of horror, directing films like SawDead SilenceInsidious, and this inspired-by-true-events chiller based on the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens, best known for their work on the strange case that inspired the Amityville Horror movies (which played a part in The Conjuring 2), were portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who grounded the effective jump scares and freak-out moments with a believable world-weariness. Together, Wan and his co-leads found fresh terror in familiar genre tropes, and the end result is a sprawling cinematic universe that only continues to grow.


4. The Shining (1980)

THE SHINING, Jack Nicholson, 1980.

(Photo by ©Warner Brothers)

Literally dozens of Stephen King’s novels and stories have been adapted for the big screen, and several of those films are considered classics today, like CarrieMisery, and Pet Sematary (and that doesn’t even account for non-horror stuff like The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me). But the mother of them all is easily Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining. A marvel of set and production design and a genuinely unnerving take on the traditional haunted house story, The Shining features a host of memorable images and an iconic Jack Nicholson performance. The film’s relatively few jumps scares are still absolutely chilling, but its true power lies in the way it crawls under your skin and makes you experience Jack Torrance’s slow descent into madness. It’s rightfully considered one of the greatest horror films ever made, and it ranked fourth in our poll.


5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

(Photo by Everett Collection)

While the top four movies on this list collectively garnered 42% of the total votes counted, they were followed by six films that all earned around 3% of the vote each. In other words, these last six films were separated by no more than 60 votes. The first of them is this low-budget slasher directed and co-written by Tobe Hooper, very loosely inspired by the crimes of Ed Gein. Texas Chainsaw’s grimy aesthetic helped lend it an air of authenticity, which made it all the more frightening (“This could actually happen, you guys!”), and the massive, menacing presence of Gunnar Hansen’s Leatherface paved the way for other brutes like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. Multiple attempts have been made to breathe new life into the franchise — and we have another one on the way — but none have equaled the original in sheer, over-the-top, power tool-inspired terror.


6. The Ring (2002)

The Ring

(Photo by ©DreamWorks courtesy Everett Collection)

It’s always a tricky proposition to take something that works well for one culture and try to translate that formula successfully for another, but Gore Verbinski managed that with The Ring. A remake of Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s acclaimed thriller about a cursed videotape, Verbinski’s take kept the original film’s striking visual imagery — the  ghost of a young girl in a white dress with long black hair covering her face — and found that it scared the hell out of audiences no matter where they were from. While the film wasn’t as well-regarded as its predecessor, it features a committed performance from a then up-and-coming Naomi Watts, and for many, it served as an introduction to East Asian horror cinema.


7. Halloween (1978)

Halloween

(Photo by ©Compass International Pictures)

Coming in at the seventh spot on our list is the film that introduced the world to all-time scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and put John Carpenter on the map. Halloween is frequently cited as one of the earliest examples of the slasher genre as we know it today, and while it may not feature the same kind of realistic gore we’ve come to expect of films in that category, it packs a lot of tension and some inventive thrills in a relatively small-scale package. The film’s legacy is also fairly untouchable: Michael Myers’ mask has become the stuff of legend, and the giant, unstoppable killer and the “final girl” have become ingrained in the horror lexicon. There’s a reason the franchise is still going after more than 40 years.


8. Sinister (2012)

Sinister

(Photo by ©Summit Entertainment)

For those who didn’t read the “scientific study” mentioned at the top, we’ve finally come to the film it crowned the scariest. Before he joined the MCU with 2016’s Doctor Strange, director Scott Derrickson had racked up a few horror films, a couple of which earned cult followings. One of them was this small-scale haunted house/possession story about a true-crime writer (Ethan Hawke) who moves his wife and kids into a house where a family was murdered, only to discover the new place might already have a rather evil tenant. Writer C. Robert Cargill was reportedly inspired to pen the script based on a nightmare he had after watching The Ring, and the story does share a minor similarity with that film, what with the creepy snuff film angle. But for many who saw it, the dramatic reveals and creepy set pieces far outweighed any recycled genre tropes that might have been present. Plus, there’s at least one report out there that says it’s the scariest movie ever made, so that must count for something.


9. Insidious (2010)

Insidious

(Photo by ©FilmDistrict courtesy Everett Collection)

James Wan has already shown up higher on the list, but before he and Patrick Wilson made The Conjuring, they worked together on this supernatural thriller about a young boy who falls into a coma and begins to channel a malevolent spirit. The bare bones of the story weren’t the most groundbreaking, but frequent Wan collaborator Leigh Whannell infused it with a compelling enough mythology that it spawned three more installments. Wan also stated that Insidious was meant to be something of a corrective to the outright violence of Saw, which compelled him to craft something on a more spiritual level, and the end result is an effective chiller featuring what is frequently regarded one of the best jump scares ever put on screen.


10. IT (2017)

Stephen King's IT

(Photo by Brooke Palmer/©Warner Bros.)

The fear of clowns is a very real thing, even if it’s become so commonplace to announce it that it feels disingenuous. If you needed any further evidence, we direct you to the box office haul of 2017’s IT, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, which went on to beat The Exorcist’s 44-year record as the highest-grossing horror film ever. Oh, and of course, its 10th-place finish on this list. Andy Muschietti’s big-budget adaptation drew on nostalgia to tell its story of children scarred by trauma, while Bill Skarsgard’s take on Pennywise the evil, shapeshifting clown was bizarre and unsettling in all the right ways. Add a healthy dose of jump scares, a handful of impressive set pieces, and some top-notch CGI, and you’ve got a recipe for a horror film that’s both fun and full of scares.


Thumbnail image by ©FilmDistrict courtesy Everett Collection

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There’s all manner of method to the madness in our selections of the scariest movie scenes ever. Some use high amounts of gore. Others deliver unnerving calm and quiet before shattering the senses. A few feature amazing monster makeup and effects. The one common thread between them all: They work. And work not just at producing a moment of fear, but sustaining that fear, sometimes for minutes on end, to drill deep into our psyche and staying there for decades. These are the stuff of nightmares, what we see when we close our eyes at night. These are the 25 scariest movie scenes of all time. Warning: spoilers abound!

What’s the scariest movie scene you’ve ever seen? Tell us in the comments. 


Alien (1979) 98%

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.)

The scene: The chest burst
One of the things that sets Ridley Scott’s sci-fi nightmare apart from the other horror fare of its era is its relatively slow burn, playing on the claustrophobia of space and the fear of the unknown. So it comes as a shock to the system when a “facehugger” hurtles out of an egg and attaches itself to John Hurt’s Kane, puncturing the atmospheric dread with a visceral jump scare. But the moment that became indelibly stamped in pop culture history comes just a few scenes later, after the facehugger has detached itself and Kane is recovering from the incident. As the crew enjoys a meal together, Kane suddenly begins to choke and convulse on the table, and a small, lizard-like creature bursts through his chest and scrambles away, effectively birthing a horror villain that would terrorize space crews for decades to come.


The Babadook (2014) 98%

(Photo by IFC Midnight/Courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: Baba breaches bedroom
A lot has been written about The Babadook: It’s a story about grief, and it’s a story about feminism; it’s less a horror film than a domestic drama; and somehow through it all its central bogeyman has emerged a wonderfully camp gay icon. We’re all for it. But in the midst of the think pieces and the movie’s surprising afterlife, one thing often goes overlooked: The Babadook is just a really, really scary horror traditional horror flick, too. Take the scene in which the Babadook (dook, dook) taunts Amelia (Essie Davis) in her bedroom. On paper, it’s nothing we haven’t seen in any Conjuring or Insidious flick, but as executed by director Jennifer Kent and acted by Davis (robbed of an Oscar nom, and yes we’re still sore) it’s almost unwatchably tense. Sound and darkness work overtime to drum up the suspense before the Babadook himself appears, jerkily terrorizing the woman on the edge of a breakdown.


The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%

(Photo by Artisan Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: Putting babies in the corner
Anyone who tells you this super-low-budget 1999 phenom isn’t actually scary just hasn’t watched it all the way to the end. Because if you can sit through the moment Heather discovers Mike standing in the corner of that abandoned house and not tear the leather off your La-Z-Boy’s arms then you’re a much tougher horror-watcher than we are. The traumatizing screams and image of Mike standing ultra-still in the corner are scary enough – add in the fact that none of it is explained and this is a fright-filled finale for the ages.


The Conjuring 2 (2016) 80%

(Photo by New Line Cinema / courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: The nun comes to life
Taken on its own merits, The Conjuring 2 was a solid movie, even if it didn’t quite reach the heights of its predecessor. But it’s somewhat telling that its most memorable scare came courtesy of an entity who spends much of the film on the fringes of the primary story and whose presence was so immediately chilling that it spawned its own spin-off movie. The scene in question takes place inside the Warrens’ (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) own home, when Lorraine experiences a vision in which she is trapped and attacked by the demon nun Valak. Director James Wan milks the tension for all its worth, as a dark shadow moves across the walls and positions itself behind the painting of the nun’s face before it lunges at Lorraine with a shriek. We all checked our pants after that.


The Descent (2005) 86%

(Photo by Lions Gate/courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: Monsters revealed
Neil Marshall’s The Descent is considered by some the scariest movie of the past 20 years, and for good reason. The movie hooks us in with its claustrophobic setting – a tiny and very unstable cave system somewhere in Appalachia – and its dynamic group of women with their complicated pasts and relationships. Then, when it has us right where it wants us… MONSTERS. And f—king scary ones at that. The movie’s most intense scene is also the first time we see these humanoid beasties, and Marshall masterfully mixes slow-building dread, dramatic distraction, and a helluva jump scare for the big reveal. We’re so caught up in the drama over Juno getting the group lost that we almost don’t notice that thing standing RIGHT THERE.


Don't Look Now (1973) 95%

(Photo by British Lion Films)

The scene: The ending
Up until the very end, you don’t know what the exact nature of the threat is in Don’t Look Now. You’re only aware that something sinister creeps on the fringes, vaguely menacing Donald Sutherland’s character as he wanders Venice with his wife after the accidental drowning of their young daughter in America. It’s the uncomfortable way people talk to him. Or is that just how it always feels in a foreign country? It’s in the way light reflects onto the camera. Or isn’t that how light always bounces around? It’s in Sutherland’s unsettling visions of his wife and daughter. Or is he just processing grief? But it all snaps into place for Don’t Look Now‘s vein-icing final sequence, giving terrible logic and clarity to the preceding 100 minutes.


The Exorcist (1973) 83%

(Photo by Warner Bros./ Courtesy: Everett Collection.)

The scene: Spinning heads
William Friedkin’s controversial film, based on a novel that fictionalized purportedly true events, is famous for the raucous reactions it inspired from terrified audiences who nevertheless flocked to see it in droves. It managed to entertain just as effectively as it scared the pants off of everyone, and perhaps no scene captures that special magic as well as the moment when Linda Blair’s possessed Regan – after having performed a rather sacrilegious act with a crucifix – spins her head 180 degrees to face her frightened mother (Ellen Burstyn). Regan does spin her head again later, during the climax of the film, but this first scene is so vulgar, violent, utterly shocking, and ultimately horrifying that it’s impossible to pull your gaze away from the screen.


Eyes Without a Face (1959) 98%

(Photo by Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France)

The scene: Face/off
Director Georges Franju started his career as a documentary filmmaker, an invaluable skill set for his second narrative feature Eyes Without a Face. It’s the story of a desperate father who, after disfiguring his daughter in a car accident, spends his night killing women, slicing off their faces, and attempting to attach them to his daughter’s. The concept is gross enough, but the way Franju uses his calm and deliberate camera (indeed, like shooting a documentary) during the film’s infamous central surgery scene gives the fictional proceedings the sheen of reality.


Hereditary (2018) 89%

(Photo by A24 /Courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: An allergic reaction
Like Alex Wolff’s Peter in the movie, we were left completely speechless and frozen the first time we saw THAT MOMENT in Hereditary. We’re being vague for now, because it’s such a recent film and the moment is such a spoiler, so if you haven’t seen the movie stop reading now…. OK, if you’re still with us, you know what we’re talking about: Charlie (Milly Shapiro), struggling for breath in the back seat, pushes her head out of the car window and connects with a passing telegraph pole. The whole sequence, from the chocolate cake at the party to the wheezing in the car to the moment of impact, is brilliantly choreographed, but this is one of those scares that was also heavily aided by the film’s publicity. Charlie was at the center of the marketing campaign, leaving viewers to think she would be a central figure right through to the end; when she gets it about a third of the way in, we suddenly know that anything can happen in Hereditary. If Psycho broke the “don’t kill your main character” rule, and Scream stepped all over the “don’t kill your biggest star” rule, Hereditary went one further: Don’t kill the kid.


Jaws (1975) 98%

(Photo by Universal)

The scene: The opening scene
Much has been made of Spielberg’s expert use of the unknown and unseen in Jaws, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the movie’s opening scene in which a woman is jerked to and fro by something moving beneath her in the black abyss. (Stuntwoman Susan Blacklinie had hooks attached to her Levi’s and was being pulled by divers.) The scene is also the first time the world got to hear that iconic John Williams score, its pulsing slow-build instantly becoming a mood-building classic. We eventually went back in the water after seeing Jaws, but never at night.


Martyrs (2008) 64%

(Photo by Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: A transcendental experience
Martyrs
was part of the New French Extremity movement, where a wave of filmmakers put out horror films hit harder than ever before. Part home invasion, part torture porn, all blood and gristle, Martyrs details a cult-like group who torture young, beautiful women to the brink of death to uncover insights into the afterlife. It all comes to a head with the final sequence, where one of the main characters is flayed alive. Worse: She survives. Even worser: The experiment actually works, as the character enters a transcendental state. The knowledge she gleans about the afterlife and passes on, however, proves too much for the living.


Misery (1990) 90%

(Photo by Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: Annie breaks Paul’s legs
When it comes to visceral gross-out scares, the Saw films may win for degree of difficulty and Hostel (remember that one?) may be the king of holy-f—k gore. But for impact, nothing beats Rob Reiner’s Misery, in which barely a drop of blood is spilled and not a single eyeball plucked. We’re cringing just remembering the moment Kathy Bates’ Annie Wilkes’ places a block of wood between a tied-down Paul Sheldon’s (James Caan) feet and breaks his ankles with the swoop of a giant sledgehammer. The crunch! The unnatural bend of the ankle! The slow and methodical description of “hobbling” that Wilkes gives before she takes her epic swing! Jigsaw ain’t got nothing.


Paranormal Activity (2007) 83%

(Photo by Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: The 21st night
Oren Peli’s game-changing found-footage film did for the bedroom what Blair Witch did for the woods. The fast-forwarded footage of Katie (Katie Featherstone) standing by her bed and watching Micah sleep was the reason some of us got separate bedrooms – with locks – from our loved ones for months after the hit film’s release. But the movie saved its best shock for last: On night 21, a now fully possessed Katie leaves the bedroom, lures Micah out with a torrent of screams, and then – after a seemingly endless silence – throws him at the screen and proceeds to eat him. Well, at least we think that’s what might happen. Like Blair Witch’s unexplained finale, this one leaves us with lots of theories to chew on.


Psycho (1960) 96%

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

The scene: The shower kill
Hitchcock didn’t invent the slasher, but we’ll be damned if he didn’t perfect it with Psycho and its seminal scene: Marion Crane’s iconic shower death. Even after you analyze the hell out of it – the Hershey’s chocolate syrup in place of blood; the edits that never once show knife penetrating skin – the moment loses none of its ability to shock. The key is the build-up, that wonderful shadow of Norman behind the curtain, and then the brutality: those quick-cut thrusts matched by that iconic burst of Bernard Herrmann’s score.


Rec (2007) 89%

(Photo by Filmax/Courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: Dragged into darkness
This is a found footage nightmare set in a quarantined building in Barcelona where a zombie virus infection is breaking out. Our protaganist Angela is a newscaster who at first merely wants to report on the mysterious closure of the building, and then becomes the news herself when she ges swept into the quarantine. [REC] is a roller coaster of a film, culminating in its final scene, presented in eerie quiet and night vision, as Angela, seeming like she just might make it out, is dragged into the darkness while the dropped camera rolls on. It’s such an effective moment, it was of course spoiled on the theatrical for the American remake Quarantine.


The Ring (2002) 71%

(Photo by DreamWorks/courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: The cursed video
It took us far longer than seven days to wipe the images from this bizarro piece of video art from our minds. Gore Verbinski’s U.S. remake of The Ring is full of excellent creepouts – Samara emerging from the TV; the distorted victims’ faces – but the ace up its sleeve is the video at its center. This unnerving mish-mash of static, random ominous imagery (a tree aflame, a woman brushing her hair), and insistent screeching is truly dread-inducing. Even after it’s been aped by the opening sequence of nearly every season of American Horror Story, the Ring video still makes an impact.


Rosemary's Baby (1968) 96%

(Photo by Paramount)

The scene: Mother and child
The tension rises and falls throughout Rosemary’s Baby, never allowing the viewer to quite settle in and fully process what’s happening. A demonic rape her, some weird juice there, just to keep the viewer discombobulated. It all reaches a boiling point in the dream-like coda, when Rosemary wakes up after giving birth, in her empty apartment. She finds a hidden room where her husband and neighobrs have gathered, all in on the conspiracy for her to deliver Satan’s child, and welcome her in. You never see the baby, but Rosemary’s line says it all: “What have you done to him? What have you done to his eyes?!”


Scream (1996) 79%

(Photo by Dimension Films)

The scene: ‘Do you like scary movies?’
Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s genre-reinvigorating classic kicks off with what many consider the greatest opening scene in horror history. Plot-wise, it’s basically When A Stranger Calls, ’90s-style – girl is alone in the house, receives stalk-y phone call, happens to have encyclopedia knowledge of the film genre in which she suddenly finds herself – but Craven brings so much smart and bravura skill to the direction of it that it kicks complete ass even decades later, after we’ve seen the countless imitators that followed and the shock of having a big-star snuffed out in the first 10 minutes has worn off. Credit too to Ghostface voice Roger L. Jackson, that perfectly placed pan of Jiffy Pop, and to Williamson’s script, a step-by-step screenwriting masterclass in how to ratchet up tension. “The question who am I, the question is where am I?”: Chills to this day.


The Shining (1980) 85%

(Photo by Warner Bros)

The scene: Jack on the attack
Kubrick stuffed his adaptation of Stephen King’s novel with so many scary moments and images, trying to pick just one could drive you to Jack Torrance levels of craziness. But we’re doing it anyway. While the Grady twins in the hallway are spooky as hell, and we still can’t erase the image of the bathtub woman from our minds, we had to go with the movie’s most iconic moment: Wendy trapped in a bathroom as Jack hammers at the door. Kubrick’s swinging camera, Jack Nicholson’s mania, and Shelley Duvall’s totally convincing fear combine to make this the most terrifying scene in one of cinema’s most terrifying movies.


Sleepaway Camp (1983) 78%

(Photo by United Film Distribution Company /courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: The big reveal
For much of its runtime, Sleepaway Camp plays like any other teen slasher of the 1980s, with a bunch of kids who are summarily executed one-by-one by a mysterious killer. If some of the kills are overly creative — death by a thousand bee stings? a curling iron in the hoo-ha? — none of them compares to the twist at the end of the film, which comes from way out of left field. The quiet, young, bullied girl at the center of the movie, Felissa Rose’s Angela, is not only revealed to be the killer, she’s also outed as a man, dressed up as the opposite gender by his demented aunt.


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) 89%

(Photo by Bryanston Distributing Company)

The scene: Leatherface appears
The Texas Chain Saw Massacare
is considered one of the most punishing, sickly transformative experiences in horror. And it’s not even 90 minutes long. And nothing happens for like the first 30 minutes. But once Leatherface appears, the movie never lets up afterwards. His grand debut happens inside his house, when a stupidly intrepid young adult enters looking for fuel for his car. Leathface pops out from a hallway and hits the dude in the hammer, the body crumpling and then twitching on the ground. Leatherface drags the body into the butcher room, and slams the door. There’s plenty of more scares to come, but this opening salvo is as disturbing as they come.


The Thing (1982) 82%

(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

The scene: Getting something off your chest
John Carpenter was well into his groove by the time he made The Thing, and he put all of his talents on display to contribute one of the most influential entries in the “body horror” genre not directed by David Cronenberg. We get our first glimpse of the “thing” fairly early in the movie when it absorbs a pack of huskies, and we see it again when it attempts to assimilate Peter Maloney’s Bennings. But the big scare comes when Charles Hallahan’s Norris appears to have a heart attack, and Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart) attempts to revive him with a defibrillator. Norris’ chest opens up like a giant mouth, complete with teeth, and rips Copper’s arms off before Kurt Russell’s MacReady blasts it with a flamethrower. Thanks to some top-notch practical effects and the judicious use of a jump-scare, the scene remains the most memorable and viscerally disturbing in the movie.


The Vanishing (1988) 98%

(Photo by Argos Films)

The scene: The truth
Forget everything you know about The Vanishing. Oh, that was fast — as if you’ve never seen the Jeff Bridges/Sandra Bullock kidnap thriller before. It was a lousy movie with the distinction of being a remake…with the same director. George Sluzier was brought to Hollywood to direct the remake, and it’s easy to see why: the 1988 Dutch original is a chilling, methodical examination about the mundane face of pure evil. Naturally, the American version has none of that. It also doesn’t have the original’s ending: When the hero finally confronts his girlfriend’s kidnapper, who offers him the opportunity to find out what happened to her. The answer is one of the most terrifying scenes in movie history.


When a Stranger Calls (1979) 41%

(Photo by Columbia Pictures)

The scene: The phone calls
Pop in When a Stranger Calls and for the first 20 minutes, you’ll think you’re watching the scariest movie ever made. Carol Kane plays the babysitter, and she keeps on getting increasingly menacing calls to check on the kids upstairs. When she gets the call traced, naturally it’s coming from inside the house! Think this scene won’t work anymore because it’s been parodied and referenced to death since? Think again. It remains a masterclass in editing and suspense. The rest of the movie is pretty lousy, but that opening act can still dial up the tension decades later.


The Wicker Man (1973) 88%

(Photo by British Lion Films)

The scene: The burning
Not quite a masterpiece these days but definitely a classic, The Wicker Man follows a prudish police officer as he investigates the disappearance of a young girl on a remote English island populated by pagans. As he follows the clues and contradicting statements of the village people, he edges ever closer to the titular wicker man, a sacrificial vessel to be burned at dusk. Even if you can get who gets put inside it, the sheer intensity and terror of the scene is still something to be witnessed.


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Horror has a way of making an unlit hallway look like a trek through hell, inducing heart attacks though jumping cats, and transforming everyday tools like chainsaws and double-barrel shotguns into instruments of doom. The marketing and posters for Us suggests that Jordan Peele’s new horror flick will do for golden scissors what Get Out did for tea cups, which also happens to be one of selections for the 25 most iconic props from horror movie history! Read on to get your fill of creaky carriages, demonic dolls, and bloody blades.


Hereditary torments viewers with every horror trick and trope in the book. It’s got jump scares, dreadful atmosphere, supernatural goings-on, the occult, spirits and seances, and, yes, creepy kids. You’ll be hard pressed to find a young girl more unsettling at the movies than Milly Shapiro as the forlorn Charlie, who may be channeling her dead grandmother…or worse. But enough tongue clucking: we present this week’s gallery of the 24 creepiest kids from horror movie history.

Best Horror Movies by Year Since 1920

Look, we know that it’s the time of year when everyone and their sister has a list of the best horror movies of all time. This time out, we at Rotten Tomatoes decided to take a slightly different tack. Using our weighted formula, we compiled a list of the best-reviewed fright fests from each year since 1920 — the year The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which created the template for horror cinema, was released. This wasn’t an easy assignment — there were several years, like 1932 and 1960, that boasted a slate of classic films (and a few others, like 1937 and 1938, in which we had trouble finding any solid contenders). What was the best horror flick the year you were born? Check out our list — if you dare.

 

#1920
#1920
Adjusted Score: 114559%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set a brilliantly high bar for the genre -- and remains terrifying nearly a century after it first stalked the screen.
Synopsis: At a carnival in Germany, Francis (Friedrich Feher) and his friend Alan (Rudolf Lettinger) encounter the crazed Dr. Caligari (Werner... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wiene

#1921
#1921
Adjusted Score: 99759%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man (Victor Sjöström) to look back at... [More]
Directed By: Victor Sjöström

#1922

Nosferatu (1922)
97%

#1922
Adjusted Score: 109964%
Critics Consensus: One of the silent era's most influential masterpieces, Nosferatu's eerie, gothic feel -- and a chilling performance from Max Schreck as the vampire -- set the template for the horror films that followed.
Synopsis: In this highly influential silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok (Max Schreck) summons Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) to... [More]
Directed By: F.W. Murnau

#1923
#1923
Adjusted Score: 95753%
Critics Consensus: A heart-rending take on the classic book, with a legendary performance by Lon Chaney.
Synopsis: In 15th-century Paris, Jehan (Brandon Hurst), the evil brother of the archdeacon, lusts after a Gypsy named Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth... [More]
Directed By: Wallace Worsley

#1924
#1924
Adjusted Score: 90704%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After losing his hands in an accident, a world-famous pianist receives transplanted hands that once belonged to a murderer.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wiene

#1925
#1925
Adjusted Score: 98698%
Critics Consensus: Decades later, it still retains its ability to scare -- and Lon Chaney's performance remains one of the benchmarks of the horror genre.
Synopsis: In this silent horror classic, aspiring young opera singer Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin) discovers that she has a mysterious admirer... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Julian

#1926

Faust (1926)
91%

#1926
Adjusted Score: 97591%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this classic of silent cinema, the demon Mephisto (Emil Jannings) makes a bet with an archangel that a good... [More]
Directed By: F.W. Murnau

#1927
#1927
Adjusted Score: 97729%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The relatives of Cyrus West gather at his estate on the 20th anniversary of his death to hear the reading... [More]
Directed By: Paul Leni

#1928

The Man Who Laughs (1928)
100%

#1928
Adjusted Score: 102099%
Critics Consensus: A meeting of brilliant creative minds, The Man Who Laughs serves as a stellar showcase for the talents of director Paul Leni and star Conrad Veidt.
Synopsis: Disfigured by a king as a child, an 18th-century clown (Conrad Veidt) again becomes the pawn of royalty.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Leni

#1929

Haxan (1922)
91%

#1929
Adjusted Score: 93452%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A hybrid of documentary and fiction, this silent film explores the history of witchcraft, demonology and satanism. It shows representations... [More]
Directed By: Benjamin Christensen

#1930

The Bat Whispers (1930)
64%

#1930
Adjusted Score: 63788%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Infamous burglar "The Bat" commits a daring jewelry theft despite heavy police presence. Soon after, a bank theft occurs, which... [More]
Directed By: Roland West

#1931

Frankenstein (1931)
100%

#1931
Adjusted Score: 106667%
Critics Consensus: Still unnerving to this day, Frankenstein adroitly explores the fine line between genius and madness, and features Boris Karloff's legendary, frightening performance as the monster.
Synopsis: This iconic horror film follows the obsessed scientist Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) as he attempts to create life by... [More]
Directed By: James Whale

#1932

Vampyr (1932)
97%

#1932
Adjusted Score: 97801%
Critics Consensus: Full of disorienting visual effects, Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr is as theoretically unsettling as it is conceptually disturbing.
Synopsis: After Allan Gray (Julian West) rents a room near Courtempierre in France, strange events unfold: An elderly man leaves a... [More]
Directed By: Carl Theodor Dreyer

#1933

King Kong (1933)
98%

#1933
Adjusted Score: 108185%
Critics Consensus: King Kong explores the soul of a monster -- making audiences scream and cry throughout the film -- in large part due to Kong's breakthrough special effects.
Synopsis: Actress Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and director Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) travel to the Indian Ocean to do location shoots... [More]

#1934

The Black Cat (1934)
89%

#1934
Adjusted Score: 93892%
Critics Consensus: Making the most of its Karloff-Lugosi star pairing and loads of creepy atmosphere, The Black Cat is an early classic in the Universal monster movie library.
Synopsis: Stranded Budapest honeymooners follow a mad doctor (Bela Lugosi) to a black-lipped architect's (Boris Karloff) Art Deco manor.... [More]
Directed By: Edgar G. Ulmer

#1935
#1935
Adjusted Score: 104904%
Critics Consensus: An eccentric, campy, technically impressive, and frightening picture, James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein has aged remarkably well.
Synopsis: After recovering from injuries sustained in the mob attack upon himself and his creation, Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) falls under... [More]
Directed By: James Whale

#1936

The Devil Doll (1936)
79%

#1936
Adjusted Score: 80389%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Wrongfully convicted of a robbery and murder, Paul Lavond (Lionel Barrymore) breaks out of prison with a genius scientist who... [More]
Directed By: Tod Browning

#1939
#1939
Adjusted Score: 97205%
Critics Consensus: Boris Karloff's final appearance as the Monster is a fitting farewell before the series descended into self-parody.
Synopsis: Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone) is determined to prove the legitimacy of his father's scientific work, thus rescuing the... [More]
Directed By: Rowland V. Lee

#1940

Dr. Cyclops (1940)
77%

#1940
Adjusted Score: 76666%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: To assist with his work due to his failing eyesight, renowned biologist Dr. Alexander Thorkel (Albert Dekker) invites two prominent... [More]
Directed By: Ernest B. Schoedsack

#1941

The Wolf Man (1941)
90%

#1941
Adjusted Score: 94981%
Critics Consensus: A handsomely told tale with an affecting performance from Lon Chaney, Jr., The Wolf Man remains one of the classics of the Universal horror stable.
Synopsis: When his brother dies, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney) returns to Wales and reconciles with his father (Claude Rains). While there,... [More]
Directed By: George Waggner

#1942

Cat People (1942)
91%

#1942
Adjusted Score: 97860%
Critics Consensus: Influential noir director Jacques Tourneau infused this sexy, moody horror film with some sly commentary about the psychology and the taboos of desire.
Synopsis: Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon), a New York City--based fashion designer who hails from Serbia, begins a romance with marine engineer... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Tourneur

#1943
#1943
Adjusted Score: 89753%
Critics Consensus: Evocative direction by Jacques Tourneur collides with the low-rent production values of exploitateer Val Lewton in I Walked with a Zombie, a sultry sleeper that's simultaneously smarmy, eloquent and fascinating.
Synopsis: Canadian nurse Betsey Connell (Frances Dee) is hired to care for Jessica Holland (Christine Gordon), a woman on a Caribbean... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Tourneur

#1944

Bluebeard (1944)
100%

#1944
Adjusted Score: 100887%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When seamstress Lucille (Jean Parker) accepts a job designing costumes for charismatic puppeteer and portrait artist Gaston Morrell (John Carradine),... [More]
Directed By: Edgar G. Ulmer

#1945

Dead of Night (1945)
93%

#1945
Adjusted Score: 97645%
Critics Consensus: With four accomplished directors contributing, Dead of Night is a classic horror anthology that remains highly influential.
Synopsis: Architect Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) goes to Pilgrim's Farm to see a potential client. When he arrives at the house,... [More]

#1946
#1946
Adjusted Score: 89351%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Astrologist Hilary Cummins (Peter Lorre) works as a personal assistant to the eccentric and mostly paralyzed pianist, Francis Ingram (Victor... [More]
Directed By: Robert Florey

#1947

Scared to Death (1947)
63%

#1947
Adjusted Score: 19478%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dr. Josef Van Ee (George Zucco) runs a private mental institution where he and his son, Ward (Roland Varno), are... [More]
Directed By: Christy Cabanne

#1948
Adjusted Score: 92019%
Critics Consensus: A zany horror spoof that plays up and then plays into the best of Universal horror cliches.
Synopsis: In the first of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's horror vehicles for Universal Pictures, the inimitable comic duo star as... [More]
Directed By: Charles Barton

#1949
#1949
Adjusted Score: 95649%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on a short story by Alexander Pushkin, this creepy drama tells the tale of Countess Ranevskaya (Edith Evans), an... [More]
Directed By: Thorold Dickinson

#1950
#1950
Adjusted Score: 57619%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man (Louis Hayward) kills his maid and dumps her in the river with his brother (Lee Bowman).... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#1951

The Thing (1951)
86%

#1951
Adjusted Score: 95528%
Critics Consensus: As flying saucer movies go, The Thing From Another World is better than most, thanks to well-drawn characters and concise, tense plotting.
Synopsis: When scientist Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) reports a UFO near his North Pole research base, the Air Force sends in... [More]
Directed By: Christian Nyby

#1952

The White Reindeer (1952)
100%

#1952
Adjusted Score: 78515%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A shaman turns a newlywed woman into a vampiric white reindeer after she seeks his help.... [More]
Directed By: Erik Blomberg

#1953

House of Wax (1953)
95%

#1953
Adjusted Score: 99423%
Critics Consensus: House of Wax is a 3-D horror delight that combines the atmospheric eerieness of the wax museum with the always chilling presence of Vincent Price.
Synopsis: Wax sculptor Henry (Vincent Price) is horrified to learn that his business partner, Matthew (Roy Roberts), plans on torching their... [More]
Directed By: Andre de Toth

#1954

Them! (1954)
93%

#1954
Adjusted Score: 97809%
Critics Consensus: One of the best creature features of the early atomic age, Them! features effectively menacing special effects and avoids the self-parody that would taint later monster movies.
Synopsis: While investigating a series of mysterious deaths, Sergeant Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) finds a young girl (Sandy Descher) who is... [More]
Directed By: Gordon Douglas

#1955
#1955
Adjusted Score: 102235%
Critics Consensus: Featuring Robert Mitchum's formidable performance as a child-hunting preacher, The Night of the Hunter is a disturbing look at good and evil.
Synopsis: The Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) is a religious fanatic and serial killer who targets women who use their sexuality... [More]
Directed By: Charles Laughton

#1956
Adjusted Score: 103701%
Critics Consensus: One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.
Synopsis: In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is baffled when all his patients come to him with the... [More]
Directed By: Don Siegel

#1957
#1957
Adjusted Score: 86662%
Critics Consensus: A curiously sensitive and spiritual addition to the Universal Monsters line-up, tacking on deep questions about a story who is shrinking to death.
Synopsis: While on a boating trip, Scott Carey (Grant Williams) is exposed to a radioactive cloud. Nothing seems amiss at first,... [More]
Directed By: Jack Arnold

#1958

The Fly (1958)
95%

#1958
Adjusted Score: 99604%
Critics Consensus: Deliciouly funny to some and eerily presicient to others, The Fly walks a fine line between shlocky fun and unnerving nature parable.
Synopsis: When scientist Andre Delambre (Al Hedison) tests his matter transporter on himself, an errant housefly makes its way into the... [More]
Directed By: Kurt Neumann

#1959
#1959
Adjusted Score: 89952%
Critics Consensus: Campy by modern standards but spooky and atmospheric, House on Haunted Hill is a fun, well-executed cult classic featuring a memorable performance from genre icon Vincent Price.
Synopsis: Rich oddball Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) has a proposal for five guests at a possibly haunted mansion: Show up, survive... [More]
Directed By: William Castle

#1960

Psycho (1960)
96%

#1960
Adjusted Score: 108159%
Critics Consensus: Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psycho was filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn't just create modern horror, he validated it.
Synopsis: Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#1961

The Innocents (1961)
95%

#1961
Adjusted Score: 99318%
Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric, The Innocents is a stylishly crafted, chilling British ghost tale with Deborah Kerr at her finest.
Synopsis: Based on the Henry James story "The Turn of the Screw," a psychological thriller about a woman who takes a... [More]
Directed By: Jack Clayton

#1962
#1962
Adjusted Score: 103060%
Critics Consensus: A horrific tale of guilt and obsession, Eyes Without a Face is just as chilling and poetic today as it was when it was first released.
Synopsis: Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) is riddled with guilt after an accident that he caused disfigures the face of his daughter,... [More]
Directed By: Georges Franju

#1963

The Birds (1963)
95%

#1963
Adjusted Score: 99741%
Critics Consensus: Proving once again that build-up is the key to suspense, Alfred Hitchcock successfully turned birds into some of the most terrifying villains in horror history.
Synopsis: Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet store and decides to follow him... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#1964

Kwaidan (1964)
91%

#1964
Adjusted Score: 93751%
Critics Consensus: Exquisitely designed and fastidiously ornate, Masaki Kobayashi's ambitious anthology operates less as a frightening example of horror and more as a meditative tribute to Japanese folklore.
Synopsis: Taking its title from an archaic Japanese word meaning "ghost story," this anthology adapts four folk tales. A penniless samurai... [More]
Directed By: Masaki Kobayashi

#1965

Repulsion (1965)
95%

#1965
Adjusted Score: 96904%
Critics Consensus: Roman Polanski's first English film follows a schizophrenic woman's descent into madness, and makes the audience feel as claustrophobic as the character.
Synopsis: In Roman Polanski's first English-language film, beautiful young manicurist Carole (Catherine Deneuve) suffers from androphobia (the pathological fear of interaction... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#1966
#1966
Adjusted Score: 81971%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Four tourists dine and spend the night at Dracula's (Christopher Lee) castle; two escape and warn a monk (Andrew Keir).... [More]
Directed By: Terence Fisher

#1967

The Sorcerers (1967)
100%

#1967
Adjusted Score: 100429%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A professor (Boris Karloff) and his wife (Catherine Lacey) can feel the sensations of a mod British teen (Ian Ogilvy)... [More]
Directed By: Michael Reeves

#1968

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
96%

#1968
Adjusted Score: 103775%
Critics Consensus: A frightening tale of Satanism and pregnancy that is even more disturbing than it sounds thanks to convincing and committed performances by Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon.
Synopsis: A young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#1969
#1969
Adjusted Score: 87051%
Critics Consensus: Three auteurs descend on the works of Poe, each putting on a ghoulish show -- adapting The Tomahawk Man's tales of dreams and fright, with Fellini's segment particularly out of sight.
Synopsis: In one chapter of this three-in-one feature inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's tales, a countess (Jane Fonda), shunned by a... [More]

#1970
Adjusted Score: 81532%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Valerie (Jaroslava Schallerová), a Czechoslovakian teenager living with her grandmother, is blossoming into womanhood, but that transformation proves secondary to... [More]
Directed By: Jaromil Jires

#1971
#1971
Adjusted Score: 90859%
Critics Consensus: The Abominable Dr. Phibes juggles horror and humor, but under the picture's campy façade, there's genuine pathos brought poignantly to life through Price's performance.
Synopsis: In a desperate attempt to reach his ill wife, organist Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) is horrifically disfigured in a car... [More]
Directed By: Robert Fuest

#1972
#1972
Adjusted Score: 64845%
Critics Consensus: Its visceral brutality is more repulsive than engrossing, but The Last House on the Left nevertheless introduces director Wes Craven as a distinctive voice in horror.
Synopsis: Teenagers Mari (Sandra Cassel) and Phyllis (Lucy Grantham) head to the city for a concert, then afterward go looking for... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#1973

Don't Look Now (1973)
95%

#1973
Adjusted Score: 101441%
Critics Consensus: Don't Look Now patiently builds suspense with haunting imagery and a chilling score -- causing viewers to feel Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's grief deep within.
Synopsis: Still grieving over the accidental death of their daughter, Christine (Sharon Williams), John (Donald Sutherland) and Laura Baxter (Julie Christie)... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

#1974
#1974
Adjusted Score: 94348%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script and documentary-style camerawork, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre achieves start-to-finish suspense, making it a classic in low-budget exploitation cinema.
Synopsis: When Sally (Marilyn Burns) hears that her grandfather's grave may have been vandalized, she and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#1975

Jaws (1975)
98%

#1975
Adjusted Score: 106303%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Synopsis: When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island,... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#1976

Carrie (1976)
93%

#1976
Adjusted Score: 98515%
Critics Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.
Synopsis: In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#1977

Suspiria (1977)
93%

#1977
Adjusted Score: 98568%
Critics Consensus: The blood pours freely in Argento's classic Suspiria, a giallo horror as grandiose and glossy as it is gory.
Synopsis: Suzy (Jessica Harper) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no one... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#1978
Adjusted Score: 97057%
Critics Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.
Synopsis: This remake of the classic horror film is set in San Francisco. Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) assumes that when a... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#1979

Alien (1979)
98%

#1979
Adjusted Score: 108927%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#1980

The Shining (1980)
85%

#1980
Adjusted Score: 93380%
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#1981

The Evil Dead (1981)
95%

#1981
Adjusted Score: 100024%
Critics Consensus: This classic low budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs.
Synopsis: Ashley "Ash" Williams (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend and three pals hike into the woods to a cabin for a fun... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#1982

Poltergeist (1982)
87%

#1982
Adjusted Score: 91799%
Critics Consensus: Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and -- most importantly -- consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic.
Synopsis: Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#1983

The Dead Zone (1983)
90%

#1983
Adjusted Score: 93083%
Critics Consensus: The Dead Zone combines taut direction from David Cronenberg and and a rich performance from Christopher Walken to create one of the strongest Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: When Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens from a coma caused by a car accident, he finds that years have passed,... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#1984
#1984
Adjusted Score: 98230%
Critics Consensus: Wes Craven's intelligent premise, combined with the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger, still causes nightmares to this day.
Synopsis: In Wes Craven's classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#1985

Re-Animator (1985)
94%

#1985
Adjusted Score: 98044%
Critics Consensus: Perfectly mixing humor and horror, the only thing more effective than Re-Animator's gory scares are its dry, deadpan jokes.
Synopsis: A medical student (Jeffrey Combs) brings his headless professor back from the dead with a special serum.... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Gordon

#1986

Aliens (1986)
97%

#1986
Adjusted Score: 104458%
Critics Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
Synopsis: After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team.... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#1987

Evil Dead 2 (1987)
95%

#1987
Adjusted Score: 99954%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
Synopsis: The second of three films in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell)... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#1988

The Vanishing (1988)
98%

#1988
Adjusted Score: 98303%
Critics Consensus: A clinical, maddening descent into the mind of a serial killer and a slowly unraveling hero, culminating with one of the scariest endings of all time.
Synopsis: Rex (Gene Bervoets) and Saskia (Johanna Ter Steege) are enjoying a biking holiday in France when, stopping at a gas... [More]
Directed By: George Sluizer

#1989

Holy Blood (1989)
86%

#1989
Adjusted Score: 88740%
Critics Consensus: Those unfamiliar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's style may find it overwhelming, but Santa Sangre is a provocative psychedelic journey featuring the director's signature touches of violence, vulgarity, and an oddly personal moral center.
Synopsis: In Mexico, the traumatized son (Axel Jodorowsky) of a knife-thrower (Guy Stockwell) and a trapeze artist bonds grotesquely with his... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#1990

Misery (1990)
90%

#1990
Adjusted Score: 95176%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by standout performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, this taut and frightening film is one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date.
Synopsis: After a serious car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#1991
#1991
Adjusted Score: 104402%
Critics Consensus: Director Jonathan Demme's smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.
Synopsis: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#1992
#1992
Adjusted Score: 79910%
Critics Consensus: Overblown in the best sense of the word, Francis Ford Coppola's vision of Bram Stoker's Dracula rescues the character from decades of campy interpretations -- and features some terrific performances to boot.
Synopsis: Adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. Gary Oldman plays Dracula whose lonely soul is determined to reunite with his... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#1993

Dead Alive (1992)
88%

#1993
Adjusted Score: 91071%
Critics Consensus: The delightfully gonzo tale of a lovestruck teen and his zombified mother, Dead Alive is extremely gory and exceedingly good fun, thanks to Peter Jackson's affection for the tastelessly sublime.
Synopsis: Overprotective mother Vera Cosgrove (Elizabeth Moody), spying on her grown son, Lionel (Timothy Balme), as he visits the zoo with... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#1994

Cronos (1993)
89%

#1994
Adjusted Score: 93331%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro's unique feature debut is not only gory and stylish, but also charming and intelligent.
Synopsis: Antique dealer Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi) stumbles across Cronos, a 400-year-old scarab that, when it latches onto him, grants him... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#1995

Mute Witness (1995)
83%

#1995
Adjusted Score: 83864%
Critics Consensus: Mute Witness is a slickly crafted horror/thriller with some surprising comic twists.
Synopsis: Billy (Mary Sudina) is mute, but it hasn't kept her from becoming a successful makeup artist. While in Russia, working... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Waller

#1996

Scream (1996)
79%

#1996
Adjusted Score: 83871%
Critics Consensus: Horror icon Wes Craven's subversive deconstruction of the genre is sly, witty, and surprisingly effective as a slasher film itself, even if it's a little too cheeky for some.
Synopsis: The sleepy little town of Woodsboro just woke up screaming. There's a killer in their midst who's seen a few... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#1997

Scream 2 (1997)
81%

#1997
Adjusted Score: 86056%
Critics Consensus: As with the first film, Scream 2 is a gleeful takedown of scary movie conventions that manages to poke fun at terrible horror sequels without falling victim to the same fate.
Synopsis: Sydney (Neve Campbell) and tabloid reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) survived the events of the first "Scream," but their nightmare... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#1998

The Ring (1998)
97%

#1998
Adjusted Score: 98522%
Critics Consensus: Ringu combines supernatural elements with anxieties about modern technology in a truly frightening and unnerving way.
Synopsis: When her niece is found dead along with three friends after viewing a supposedly cursed videotape, reporter Reiko Asakawa (Nanako... [More]
Directed By: Hideo Nakata

#1999
#1999
Adjusted Score: 93484%
Critics Consensus: Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain, proving once more that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.
Synopsis: Found video footage tells the tale of three film students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams) who've traveled to... [More]

#2000
#2000
Adjusted Score: 86070%
Critics Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.
Synopsis: F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) is struggling to create his silent classic "Nosferatu" on location in Eastern Europe. The director... [More]
Directed By: E. Elias Merhige

#2001
#2001
Adjusted Score: 96338%
Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric and haunting, The Devil's Backbone is both a potent ghost story and an intelligent political allegory.
Synopsis: After losing his father, 10-year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve) arrives at the Santa Lucia School, which shelters orphans of the Republican... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#2002

The Ring (2002)
71%

#2002
Adjusted Score: 76849%
Critics Consensus: With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts.
Synopsis: It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#2003

28 Days Later (2002)
87%

#2003
Adjusted Score: 94189%
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.
Synopsis: A group of misguided animal rights activists free a caged chimp infected with the "Rage" virus from a medical research... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#2004
#2004
Adjusted Score: 98888%
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.
Synopsis: Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he's not working at the electronics store,... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#2005

Land of the Dead (2005)
74%

#2005
Adjusted Score: 80997%
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero's latest entry in his much-vaunted Dead series is not as fresh as his genre-inventing original, Night of the Living Dead. But Land of the Dead does deliver on the gore and zombies-feasting-on-flesh action.
Synopsis: In a world where zombies form the majority of the population, the remaining humans build a feudal society away from... [More]
Directed By: George Romero

#2006

The Descent (2005)
86%

#2006
Adjusted Score: 93860%
Critics Consensus: Deft direction and strong performances from its all-female cast guide The Descent, a riveting, claustrophobic horror film.
Synopsis: A year after a severe emotional trauma, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) goes to North Carolina to spend some time exploring caves... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#2007

The Host (2006)
93%

#2007
Adjusted Score: 98421%
Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.
Synopsis: Careless American military personnel dump chemicals into South Korea's Han River. Several years later, a creature emerges from the tainted... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#2008
#2008
Adjusted Score: 104738%
Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.
Synopsis: When Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a sensitive, bullied 12-year-old boy living with his mother in suburban Sweden, meets his new neighbor,... [More]
Directed By: Tomas Alfredson

#2009

Drag Me to Hell (2009)
92%

#2009
Adjusted Score: 103288%
Critics Consensus: Sam Raimi returns to top form with Drag Me to Hell, a frightening, hilarious, delightfully campy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) has a loving boyfriend (Justin Long) and a great job at a Los Angeles bank. But... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#2010

Let Me In (2010)
88%

#2010
Adjusted Score: 97074%
Critics Consensus: Similar to the original in all the right ways -- but with enough changes to stand on its own -- Let Me In is the rare Hollywood remake that doesn't add insult to inspiration.
Synopsis: Bullied at school, neglected at home and incredibly lonely, 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) spends his days plotting revenge on his... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#2011

Attack the Block (2011)
90%

#2011
Adjusted Score: 96874%
Critics Consensus: Effortlessly mixing scares, laughs, and social commentary, Attack the Block is a thrilling, briskly-paced sci-fi yarn with a distinctly British flavor.
Synopsis: South London teenagers (John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones) defend their neighborhood from malevolent extraterrestrials.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Cornish

#2012
#2012
Adjusted Score: 103618%
Critics Consensus: The Cabin in the Woods is an astonishing meta-feat, capable of being funny, strange, and scary -- frequently all at the same time.
Synopsis: When five college friends (Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams) arrive at a remote forest cabin... [More]
Directed By: Drew Goddard

#2013

The Conjuring (2013)
86%

#2013
Adjusted Score: 93985%
Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.
Synopsis: In 1970, paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren are summoned to the home of... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#2014

The Babadook (2014)
98%

#2014
Adjusted Score: 106834%
Critics Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares -- and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.
Synopsis: A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Kent

#2015

It Follows (2014)
96%

#2015
Adjusted Score: 105969%
Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and above all terrifying, It Follows is the rare modern horror film that works on multiple levels -- and leaves a lingering sting.
Synopsis: After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), for the first time, she learns... [More]
Directed By: David Robert Mitchell

#2016

The Witch (2015)
90%

#2016
Adjusted Score: 111013%
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is visually compelling, The Witch delivers a deeply unsettling exercise in slow-building horror that suggests great things for debuting writer-director Robert Eggers.
Synopsis: In 1630 New England, panic and despair envelops a farmer, his wife and their children when youngest son Samuel suddenly... [More]
Directed By: Robert Eggers

#2017

Get Out (2017)
98%

#2017
Adjusted Score: 128249%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Peele

#2018

A Quiet Place (2018)
96%

#2018
Adjusted Score: 118865%
Critics Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

Since producing the American version of "The Ring" in 2002, producer Roy Lee has stayed firmly within the realm of the "re-imaginings" by producing movies like "The Grudge," "The Ring 2," "The Lake House," and "The Departed." And he’s not done yet! Seems we can expect a "Ring 3" and a remake of "The Host," too.

According to Bloody-Disgusting.com, Mr. Lee’s "plan is to hold the film for a few years and go into the franchise "with a new fresh story," and perhaps going back and doing the prequel thing — because the hardcore Ringfans really want to know Samara’s backstory. (Me, I’m done with the whole series, American and/or Japanese.) Unfortunately for those fans, another "Ring" flick is (at the very least) a few years away.

And while we don’t have any additional news on the project, Roy Lee is also preparing a remake of "The Host," which opens in American theaters on March 9th.

Apparently Naomi Watts is itching to become the Queen of the Horror Remake. She’s already done "The Ring" and "King Kong" — and now comes word that she might be toplining Michael Bay’s new production of "The Birds."

From IGN FilmForce: "Universal Pictures and Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes production company have been developing a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock suspense classic "The Birds" for over a year now.

The powers-that-be are reportedly eager to take the next step in the development process and attach a star. According to TMZ.com, Universal is poised to make an offer to scream queen Naomi Watts to star in the film.

The role would be the one played by Tippi Hedren in the original film. TMZ also claims that screenwriter Leslie Dixon has come onboard the pic."

Four new films open wide, but they may not be enough to stop the North American box office from suffering its third consecutive down weekend.

Leading the way is the Paramount sequel "Jackass: Number Two" which will enjoy the widest release by far. The rest of the films will take moviegoers back in time just as so many other recent releases have done. Focus Features unleashes Jet Li‘s martial arts epic "Fearless," MGM takes off with the World War I adventure "Flyboys," and Sony remakes the political thriller "All the King’s Men."

Four years ago, Paramount shocked the industry with the number one bow for its crude stunts flick "Jackass: The Movie" which managed to keep "The Ring" out of the top spot on the weekend right before Halloween. Its $22.8M debut and eventual $64.3M domestic take and DVD success helped to bring about a sequel, "Jackass: Number Two" which hopes to conquer the charts once again. The R-rated pic regroups the team from the hit MTV reality series including Johnny Knoxville and finds them taking part in another series of outlandish don’t-try-this-at-home antics. Males in their late teens and early twenties are the target audience here although slightly older guys who were devoted followers a half-decade ago might also be up for some nostalgia.

The first "Jackass" bowed to a muscular $9,073 average from 2,509 playdates which at today’s ticket prices would be over $10,000. "Number Two" is not likely to match that amount though. A wider launch will dilute the average a bit and the franchise has aged and is no longer at the peak of its popularity. But since Knoxville has found more mainstream success recently with films like "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "The Ringer," the studio is hoping that some new fans will give "Two" a try. Competition for males will be fierce with last weekend’s top film "Gridiron Gang" still playing to sports-loving boys and men while Jet Li’s new film "Fearless" will
steal away dudes who dig martial arts fighting, bones cracking, and necks breaking. Male dollars will be stretched to the limit this weekend and an already sluggish marketplace will mean that there will only be so much overall traffic. Busting into over 3,000 theaters, "Jackass: Number Two" will rank number one and may open with around $23M.


Mr. Knoxville and co. are back to cheat death and reason.

Also gunning for young men with R-rated fare is Focus Features with the historical martial arts actioner "Fearless" starring Jet Li. Already a hit at cinemas in Asia, Australia, and parts of Europe, the period pic tells the true story of a legendary fighter who inspired his nation in China at the start of the twentieth century. With a bigger star in the lead, "Fearless" is sure to perform better than Tony Jaa‘s Thai actioner "The Protector" which bowed to just $5M two weeks earlier. Li has a consistently loyal fan following that is likely to turn out especially since the marketing campaign is pushing the claim that this is his final martial arts film ever. This tactic gives the pic a level of urgency, although it should not mean much to those outside of his fan base. Crossover potential to mainstream action fans is not very likely, though the actor’s pull with urban males should not be underestimated.

Still, Li has posted some impressive numbers in his career. Each of his six films from this decade has launched with an opening weekend average of at least $5,500 with five having averaged more than $6,000. His last effort "Unleashed" bowed last summer to $10.9M and a solid $5,570 average while 2004’s Chinese blockbuster "Hero" conquered the North American charts for two straight weeks bowing to an impressive $18M and $8,865 average. Foreign language films pretty much never do that in the U.S. market. "Fearless" will not duplicate the success of "Hero" which used the "Quentin Tarantino Presents" tag to attract extra biz. Plus with "Jackass" taking away many young men this weekend, only the true followers will make it out. But reviews have been very positive (the best for any new
release) and advance buzz from overseas has been encouraging too. Kicking its way into roughly 1,806 theaters, "Fearless" might debut to about $9M.


Jet Li inviting us to his last Martial Arts flick.

World War I bi-planes are the draw in "Flyboys," a new historical action adventure being released by MGM. The PG-13 film stars James Franco as a courageous American pilot in France who devotes his life to fighting for the Allies. With a high pricetag and no proven stars that can sell in America, this is yet another risky period film packed into the slow month of September. The "inspired by a true story" description used by half of the films in the current top ten is once again in play here. With sex and bad language kept to a minimum, "Flyboys" hopes to appeal to a broad family audience so adults can bring their kids. However, the starpower and subject matter are both lacking making this a tough sell at the box office especially since the marketplace is already filled with mediocre product. Zooming into 2,033 theaters, "Flyboys" might climb to around $7M over the weekend.


The real star of "Flyboys": the CGI.

After taking a beating at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sony’s remake "All the King’s Men" enters the marketplace on Friday with more subdued expectations. The PG-13 reworking of the classic 1949 political thriller stars Sean Penn as a charismatic politician from the South who gains power and flirts with corruption in the process. The all-star cast also includes Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, and James Gandolfini. Distributors often utilize the Toronto fest to generate buzz for their Oscar contenders right before their fall commercial openings, but in this case, it seemed to have backfired with so many reviewers panning the pic. "Men" should play exclusively to a mature adult audience as teens will yawn at the premise. The marketplace has been flooded with period dramas in recent weeks with "The Black Dahlia," "Hollywoodland," and "The Illusionist" all going after the same audience. Competition will be a major factor.

Sony is not giving its usual saturation release to "King’s Men," but instead campaigning in just 1,514 theaters this weekend hoping some positive buzz will spread. The lack of screens will keep the gross in check and the bad reviews should sting even more. Last weekend, "Dahlia" found out the hard way how far a serious film for adults can go when the critics give a thumbs down. The film’s starpower is about its only major asset right now, but will it be enough to make moviegoers risk their dollars? With negative press, an abundance of direct competition, and only a moderate amount of theaters, "All the King’s Men" could find itself with only $7M this weekend and a rocky road ahead.


Sean Penn’s politician wins over his constituents, but not the critics.

In limited release, The Weinstein Co. unleashes its horror flick "Feast" in 140 theaters with special midnight shows across the country on Friday and Saturday. The latest winner from the Project Greenlight series is directed by John Gulager and finds a group of people trapped inside a bar fighting off flesh-eating creatures. Filmmaker Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") returns to the surreal with "The Science of Sleep," a new fantasy drama starring Gael García Bernal ("The Motorcycle Diaries") as a man whose dreams collide with reality. Warner Independent is opening the film on Friday in eight major U.S. markets and will expand it across the country next weekend. Miramax platforms its futuristic sci-fi toon "Renaissance" in New York and Los Angeles. Set in Paris in the year
2054, the R-rated tale is the latest film to bring the look of a graphic novel to the big screen.

Last weekend’s top film "Gridiron Gang" is sure to lose its first place ranking. The Rock‘s films never have very good legs on the second weekend as evidenced by the sophomore declines of his recent films – 48% for 2003’s "The Rundown," 46% for 2004’s "Walking Tall," and a horrendous 73% for last fall’s "Doom." While "Gang" was not a favorite with critics, it has been getting favorable responses from moviegoers so its drop this weekend may not be too bad. Competition for young males will be a factor with the dueling R pics "Jackass" and "Fearless," but younger boys may still be up for an uplifting football tale. "Gridiron Gang" might see a decline of 45% to around $8M giving Sony a reasonable ten-day cume of $25M.

Universal’s murder mystery "The Black Dahlia" was not too powerful in its opening last weekend and both critics and moviegoers are giving negative feedback. A 50% fall would leave the Brian De Palma flick with $5M for the frame and a weak $18M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: One A-list Hollywood blonde replaced another at the top of the charts. Jodie Foster‘s kidnapping thriller "Flightplan" flew to number one opening with a strong $24.6M. The Buena Vista release went on to gross $89.7M making it the top-grossing film in the September-October corridor for 2005. In second place, Warner Bros. expanded its animated film "Corpse Bride" nationally taking in $19.1M. The Tim BurtonJohnny Depp collaboration found its way to $53.4M. Reese Witherspoon fell from first to third with her comedy "Just Like Heaven" which collected $9.6M. Opening in fourth place with moderate results was the skating drama "Roll Bounce" which bowed to $7.6M on its way to $17.4M from less than 1,700 theaters. Close behind in fifth was the hit thriller "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" with $7.5M in its third round.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

RT’s "White Noise 2" set coverage, Part Three: producer Shawn Williamson, whose 50+ credits include "Slither," "White Noise," and many of Uwe Boll‘s thrillers, talks about the popularity of the horror remake, movie-hoppers, and "Dungeon Siege."

Shawn Williamson says was looking for the next hot Canuck horror director when Patrick Lussier came on board to "White Noise 2," and strangely, the term "Canadian horror" indeed seems to be increasingly relevant as more and more fright fests come from our friends to the north. Read on to hear what the Vancouver native thinks of the remake subgenre, shooting for a PG-13 audience, and working with Uwe Boll.

Rotten Tomatoes: How did you guys get Nathan Fillion and Katee Sackhoff involved in the project?

Shawn Williamson: Nathan we knew because we were all fans of "Serenity," but we also worked with him on "Slither," and found him to be an incredible actor, so it just seemed a natural fit for him in this role. Katee has a good following in "Battlestar" and we’ve loved her in the series. Her role is a quirky, cool, hip nurse and she seemed just perfect for it, so we were lucky to get both.

RT: Was there a conscious decision to get two actors from big sci-fi series with large followings?

SW: That was a bonus. The first priority was to get good actors. Secondarily, the fact that they both happen to work in the genre that our audience hopefully will respond to, that’s a big benefit.

RT: "Slither" was extremely well reviewed. What kind of reception are you expecting for "White Noise 2?"

SW: We hope we get reviewed in a similar manner to "Slither." We have a great script, a great cast, and a great director, but now we have to create something that the audience and the critics like, and frankly primarily what the audience likes. We need something that captures the audience and intrigues them, and does two things: makes something that a distributor can market well, but secondly that pleases the audience and makes them want to return or tell their friends to come see it.

It’s not a set formula; it’s a magical thing that happens. It’s an unquantifiable element that hopefully comes together in post, which combines the music with what we do in editing, with what Patrick does to it later. Hopefully that combination is successful commercially and critically.

RT: There has been a recent trend in horror films to show a lot of blood and gore, yet with "White Noise 2" you seem to be staying away from that and going a more realistic route.

SW: Personally, I find those films difficult to handle. The psychological horror we have here is done for a combination of reasons. That graphic element isn’t necessarily in this kind of film, and so there are some graphic moments. There’s a very brutal opening to the film, and some amazing prosthetics that are going to be shocking and graphic. But we aren’t relying on blood and guts to draw an audience; we’re relying on old-fashioned traditional "scare" moments. So we’re putting our energy primarily into scaring the audience when they’re not expecting it, and we’re going to do it without massive amounts of gore.

You can get a hard R-rating and limit your audience to a degree. When I went to the opening weekend of "White Noise," half of the audience was filled with teenage girls who went out looking to get scared, and if you make this an R-rated film, you can’t capture that audience.

They’ll probably go see the film, but they’ll buy a ticket for another film and sneak in to this one, so that doesn’t help our box-office, and that’s a lot of who our market is.

RT: So you guys are definitely shooting for a PG-13?

SW: We’re shooting multiple takes of different scenes, so we have an ability to test it different ways, but more than likely we’ll end up without an R-rating.

RT: A lot of horror remakes have been successful. What do you think of the current state of horror films?

SW: I think the remakes now are spectacular. "The Hills Have Eyes" and these films are recapturing why a lot of us grew up petrified of those sorts of films. They were made on a very tiny budget, but were classic horror. And now they’re being remade with a larger budget and perhaps a bit slicker. "Texas Chainsaw" is a perfect example, or "Dawn of the Dead" — great remakes of original classics, but they put a new spin on them that works well. I think it’s an opportunity to recognize a new class of horror fans that are kids that weren’t around when these films originally opened, but the concepts of the original films were so strong that it translates to a good film now.

RT: How do you think the Japanese horror films influence the horror films in the U.S.?

SW: Japanese and Korean films, they have such great visuals. And they’ve got a totally different style in how they shoot films. "Ringu" and the remake, "The Ring," are very different in some ways but very similar in style to a degree, but they also break tradition. They don’t follow standard mechanisms that we might use to create a horror film.

There are no rules in a lot of them. They create their own rules. The preconceptions of horror changed a lot with the Asian films coming in and really gained an audience in North America.

RT: How did you guys come across Patrick [Lussier] to direct?

SW: It was a combination of Universal and us looking for the next hot Canadian feature director in this genre. Patrick we’d probably want in any genre, but because this is a horror piece it’s something that we think with his background…as we did our searches for the right person to direct Canadian horror, he was the guy.

RT: Is it hard to adapt video games to films?

SW: It depends on the package. I think some films are done very well, and others are a challenge. The ones that are done haven’t met with huge critical success, but they have all met with financial success. I think "Silent Hill" is going to be a marvelous adaptation, because it’s a video game that lends itself well to adapt.

"House of the Dead" was a challenging one, because it’s a first-person shooting game, similar to "Doom." It didn’t get great reviews but it’s a good, solid first-person shooting game with a cast, a good video game adaptation that worked.

The problem with a lot of video games is that they are video games first, purely interactive for the gamer. Taking that process and adapting it to the screen is a very difficult transition.

"Mortal Kombat" I don’t think met with great critical success, but I think it was the first large one. Most haven’t met with huge critical success.

And the gaming community is incredibly critical, and they should be, because they’re coming from games that they love and are passionate about. Translating that from their passion and their vision of the game to what you can actually create on film is a very difficult process.
Sometimes it can end very well, and sometimes not as well.

RT: Given that you’ve done these video game adaptations, do you play video games yourself?

SW: Yes. It’s so busy that I don’t get to play as often as I can. I have a nine-year-old, so I play with him quite a bit. When I need to zone out, I’ll sit and lose myself in Halo like anyone might.

The video game adaptations that I’ve worked on typically are not horror films at all. They’re pretty much all action films, and they were never contrived as horror. Creating horror is very specific. It’s like comedy. They’re two of the hardest things to do.

It’s very much about shock composition and timing, and music combined. It’s very difficult to make a good horror film, a good classic horror. So the adaptations in the video game world that I’ve done were not horror at all, but pretty much straight action, and all Uwe Boll creations.

RT: How did you come to work with Uwe Boll?

SW: I met Uwe years ago when he was making smaller budget thrillers, and Uwe runs his own German financing fund. He is the only director I’ve ever worked with who finds the product he wants to adapt and pays for it from beginning to end. He self-finances his own movies. So Uwe is the ultimate creative decision maker on all of these films, and our job is to try to make the best film we can given all those parameters.

RT: Speaking of Uwe Boll, can you tell us about his latest movie that you’re producing, "Dungeon Siege?"

SW: There were two elements that were great. We had a great cast: Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Leelee Sobieski, Claire Forlani, and Burt Reynolds. It was an amazing cast we managed to put together, combined with Tony Ching doing our action — Tony did "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers," so the action in the film is absolutely amazing.

It’s a "Lord of the Rings" genre in essence, a medieval style mythical genre, but with some spectacular action. Tony brought a stunt team with him from China, and they coordinated an amazing action unit that shot here for three or four months, so the action in the battles is quite spectacular. Jason Statham is a natural acrobat and martial artist, so he wanted to do all of his own stunts and all of his own fighting and it works very, very well in the film. The action in that film is just marvelous.

Wondering what Vin Diesel‘s been up to lately? Well, he’s been off making a fact-based courtroom flick with … legendary director Sidney Lumet, that’s who. Entitled "Find Me Guilty," this one’s about a pinched mafia guy who refuses to rat on his friends while opting to act as his own attorney. Trailer here.

"Sent to prison on a drug charge, Jackie Dinorsio refuses to turn government witness against his former associates in the New Jersey Lucchesi crime family. However, prosecutor Sean Casey mounts a huge case under the RICO statutes involving dozens of defendants and their attorneys, including Nick Calabrese. For Casey, it looks like an open and shut case, until Jackie, who is already serving 30 years, decides to defend himself. Initially dismissed as a lunatic, Jackie has a forceful personality and an intrinsic understanding of the legal process that gradually change the course of the trial."

Co-starring Ron Silver, Peter Dinklage, and Alex Rocco, "Find Me Guilty" opens on March 17th. It’s Mr. Lumet’s first theatrical feature since 1999’s "Gloria," but with his body of work, the old master’s earned a misstep or two. Unless you can think of another guy who directed "12 Angry Men," "The Pawnbroker," "Fail-Safe," "The Anderson Tapes," "Serpico," "Murder on the Orient Express," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Network," "Prince of the City," "The Verdict," "Running on Empty," and "Q & A."

For those who just can’t get enough of American remakes like "The Ring," "The Grudge," and "Dark Water," get ready to celebrate. Paramount’s got a remake of "The Eye" on the way, and New Line is now set to distribute "In-Utero," which is a redo of "The Eye 2."

The "film is about a pregnant woman who has a near-death experience that results in her seeing dead spirits. Scribe Todd Stein has been set to adapt.

Gold Circle ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") will finance "In-Utero" with a budget around $25 million. Company has a first-look deal with Universal, which passed on the pic.

A U.S. remake of the original ("The Eye"), which had a completely separate plot, is in development with Vertigo at Paramount."

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