New Line/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by New Line/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Guillermo del Toro Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

One easy way to get that Best Picture win at the Oscars? Spend your burgeoning directing career on strange and grotesque genre pictures, then hook up with a major studio to work on Lord of the Rings, with hundreds of millions of dollars in budget. Obviously! It worked for Peter Jackson, whose Dead Alive and Meet the Feebles movies did little to suggest he would one day get the gold trophy for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

And it worked for Guillermo del Toro, whose success with cult cinema fanatics led him to toil for years on The Hobbit movies. Del Toro didn’t win anything for those movies — hell, he didn’t even end up directing them. But he did get the top prize for The Shape of Water, an unlikely win for the unlikeliest of love stories, which currently puts a lovely bow on a career characterized by dark fantasy, big sci-fi, and creature features, of visions where the lines between dream and nightmare blur.

Del Toro got his start in his native Mexico in the early ’90s with the mythological Cronos, featuring Ron Perlman in the first of several collaborations. As with many international filmmakers with a hit on their hands, del Toro was wooed to Hollywood to do exactly his thing… except, of course, with tons of studio interference, notes, and meddling. The result was the compromised Mimic, whose lackluster reception was enough to get del Toro to go back abroad for his next film. The Spain set-and-shot The Devil’s Backbone was another cult hit, again enough for him to get tempted back to the States.

What followed was Blade II and Hellboy, which gave the pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe era of comic book movies an unpredictable shot in the arm. The latter film reunited him with Perlman, along with physical artist Doug Jones, who he first worked with on Mimic and would be crucial on his journey towards The Shape of Water.

2005’s Pan’s Labyrinth was a cross-cultural phenomenon, a grim fantasy and political commentary that’s still heavily watched today. Then 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army had the unfortunate luck of being released a week before The Dark Knight. It took del Toro five years to return with the mech brawler Pacific Rim, which was followed by the Gothic ghost love story Crimson Peak. And then we come to The Shape of Water, his tender ode to Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Del Toro is currently prepping noir-thriller Nightmare Alley for a December 2021 release. Now, we’re ranking all Guillermo del Toro movies by Tomatometer!

#10

Blade II (2002)
57%

#10
Adjusted Score: 60725%
Critics Consensus: Though Blade II offers more of what worked in the original, its plot and character development appear to have been left on the cutting room floor.
Synopsis: Exploding from the pages of Marvel Comics comes the thrilling follow-up to the blockbuster "Blade." Half Man ... half vampire,... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#9

Mimic (1997)

#9
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a cockroach-spread plague threatens to decimate the child population of New York City, evolutionary biologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino)... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#8

Crimson Peak (2015)
72%

#8
Adjusted Score: 83689%
Critics Consensus: Crimson Peak offers an engaging -- albeit somewhat slight -- diversion driven by a delightfully creepy atmosphere and director Guillermo del Toro's brilliant knack for unforgettable visuals.
Synopsis: After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#7

Pacific Rim (2013)
72%

#7
Adjusted Score: 84303%
Critics Consensus: It may sport more style than substance, but Pacific Rim is a solid modern creature feature bolstered by fantastical imagery and an irresistible sense of fun.
Synopsis: Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#6

Hellboy (2004)
81%

#6
Adjusted Score: 88433%
Critics Consensus: With wit, humor and Guillermo del Toro's fantastic visuals, the entertaining Hellboy transcends the derivative nature of the genre.
Synopsis: At the end of World War II, the Nazis attempt to open a portal to a paranormal dimension in order... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#5
Adjusted Score: 96254%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro crafts a stellar comic book sequel, boasting visuals that are as imaginative as the characters are endearing.
Synopsis: Hellboy (Ron Perlman), his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair), and aquatic empath, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), face their biggest battle... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#4

Cronos (1993)
89%

#4
Adjusted Score: 93330%
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

#3
#3
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

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 127114%
Critics Consensus: The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best -- and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance.
Synopsis: Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#1

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104435%
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

The 40 Best 90s Horror Movies

Historically low gas prices. A boy band for every block. Philips CD-i. POGS. Maybe we just had it too good during the ’90s because audiences weren’t flocking much to horror movies this decade. As a result, there are less entries here than on our ’70s and ’80s lists. Nevertheless, if you feel like getting grungy and/or jiggy with it (in whichever order, we’re fair) then check out Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 40 Best ’90s Horror Movies!

The first half of this decade was notoriously rough for horror, as diminishing production value, lost craft, and sequel bloat buried the genre. Jason, Michael, and Freddy all got canceled, with only Wes Craven’s New Nightmare getting good enough reviews to show up on this list. Even more, New Nightmare‘s post-modern meta-story would pave the way for Craven’s own Scream, which would revive horror leading into the 21st century. Other highlights from this era in horror movies include the only one to ever win Best Picture (The Silence of the Lambs), the rise of Peter Jackson (Dead Alive, The Frighteners) and Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Mimic), sophisticated adult fare (Jacob’s Ladder, Candyman), and winking B-movie mashups (From Dusk Till Dawn, Tremors). The only stipulation for a movie to be considered for this list was a Fresh rating, before we sorted by a ranking formula that factors a movie’s number of reviews and release year.

Like a kiss from a rose or a rotting vegetable, here comes the best scary 1990s movies…TO THE EXTREME!

90 Best ’70s Horror Movies | 80 Best ’80s Horror Movies
80 Best 2000s Horror Movies | 140 Best 2010s Horror Movies
200 Best Horror Movies of All Time | Best Horror Movies of 2021

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 60942%
Critics Consensus: Lord of Illusions may come as something of a disappointment in the context of writer-director Clive Barker's best work, but genre fans should be reasonably diverted.
Synopsis: Private eye Harry D'Amour (Scott Bakula) travels to Los Angeles and meets with a new client, Dorothea Swann (Famke Janssen).... [More]
Directed By: Clive Barker

#39

Cemetery Man (1995)
60%

#39
Adjusted Score: 61138%
Critics Consensus: Cemetery Man will frustrate viewers seeking narrative cohesion or coherence, but this surreal blend of humor and horror should satisfy B-movie fans in the mood for quirk.
Synopsis: Something is causing the dead to rise from their graves as flesh-eating zombies, and cemetery custodian Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett)... [More]
Directed By: Michele Soavi

#38

Raising Cain (1992)
59%

#38
Adjusted Score: 59530%
Critics Consensus: Raising Cain doesn't rank with Brian De Palma's best work, but John Lithgow's spellbinding split-personality performance makes this thriller hard to dismiss.
Synopsis: A highly regarded child psychologist, Dr. Carter Nix (John Lithgow) has shown signs of being unstable, but he completely snaps... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 61544%
Critics Consensus: If you're only going to watch one black comedy about a real-life explorer whose fellow travelers ended up eaten, make it Cannibal! The Musical.
Synopsis: A man (Juan Schwartz) convicted of cannibalism tells a reporter his story, complete with singing and dancing.... [More]
Directed By: Trey Parker

#36

Wolf (1994)
63%

#36
Adjusted Score: 65433%
Critics Consensus: Wolf misses the jugular after showing flashes of killer instinct early on, but engaging stars and deft direction make this a unique horror-romance worth watching.
Synopsis: After being bitten by a wolf in rural Vermont, aging book editor Will Randall (Jack Nicholson) finds himself full of... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 64564%
Critics Consensus: A pulpy crime drama/vampire film hybrid, From Dusk Till Dawn is an uneven but often deliriously enjoyable B-movie.
Synopsis: On the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 65187%
Critics Consensus: Though it is ultimately somewhat undone by its own lofty ambitions, The Devil's Advocate is a mostly effective blend of supernatural thrills and character exploration.
Synopsis: Aspiring Florida defense lawyer Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) accepts a high-powered position at a New York law firm headed by... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#33

Cube (1997)
64%

#33
Adjusted Score: 65916%
Critics Consensus: Cube sometimes struggles with where to take its intriguing premise, but gripping pace and an impressive intelligence make it hard to turn away.
Synopsis: Without remembering how they got there, several strangers awaken in a prison of cubic cells, some of them booby-trapped. There's... [More]
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali

#32

Mimic (1997)

#32
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a cockroach-spread plague threatens to decimate the child population of New York City, evolutionary biologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino)... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#31
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer. Suicidal after... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 66782%
Critics Consensus: Night of the Living Dead doesn't quite reinvent the original's narrative, but its sleek action and amplified gore turn it into a worthy horror showcase.
Synopsis: For reasons unknown, the recently deceased are rising from the grave as flesh-hungry zombies. Fleeing from the undead horde, a... [More]
Directed By: Tom Savini

#29

The Frighteners (1996)
67%

#29
Adjusted Score: 67994%
Critics Consensus: Boasting top-notch special effects and exuberant direction from Peter Jackson, The Frighteners is visually striking but tonally uneven.
Synopsis: Once an architect, Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) now passes himself off as an exorcist of evil spirits. To bolster... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#28

It (1990)
68%

#28
Adjusted Score: 69174%
Critics Consensus: Though hampered by an uneven second half, It supplies a wealth of funhouse thrills and an idelible turn from Tim Curry as Pennywise.
Synopsis: In 1960, seven preteen outcasts fight an evil demon that poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Lee Wallace

#27
Adjusted Score: 67693%
Critics Consensus: Held aloft by gonzo black comedy and socially conscious subtext, The People Under The Stairs marks a unique -- though wildly uneven -- change of pace for director Wes Craven.
Synopsis: When young Fool (Brandon Adams) breaks into the home of his family's greedy and uncaring landlords, he discovers a disturbing... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#26

Stir of Echoes (1999)
68%

#26
Adjusted Score: 71399%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Bacon's acting is so genuine that it's creepy and director David Keopp knows how to create true suspense.
Synopsis: Blue-collar family man Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) scoffs at supernatural phenomena -- until he lets his wife's sister, Lisa (Illeana... [More]
Directed By: David Koepp

#25

Body Snatchers (1993)
70%

#25
Adjusted Score: 71907%
Critics Consensus: Body Snatchers may not topple previous adaptions, but it boasts an effective sense of dread and strong characterizations.
Synopsis: When Environmental Protection Agency inspector Steve Malone (Terry Kinney) travels to a remote military base in order to check for... [More]
Directed By: Abel Ferrara

#24

Habit (1996)
74%

#24
Adjusted Score: 73420%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sam (Larry Fessenden), a down-and-out New Yorker who is grieving over his father's death and has just broken up with... [More]
Directed By: Larry Fessenden

#23

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
69%

#23
Adjusted Score: 74375%
Critics Consensus: It isn't Tim Burton's best work, but Sleepy Hollow entertains with its stunning visuals and creepy atmosphere.
Synopsis: Set in 1799, "Sleepy Hollow" is based on Washington Irving's classic tale "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Faithful to the... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 74635%
Critics Consensus: Gremlins 2 trades the spiky thrills of its predecessor for looney satire, yielding a succession of sporadically clever gags that add some flavor to a recycled plot.
Synopsis: The magical collectibles store that Gizmo calls home has just been destroyed, and the tiny monster finds his way into... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 70426%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A police detective falls under hallucinatory spells while trying to capture the sadistic man who raped her.... [More]
Directed By: Dario Argento

#20

Army of Darkness (1992)
73%

#20
Adjusted Score: 76746%
Critics Consensus: Army of Darkness is a madcap adventure worth taking thanks to Bruce Campbell's hammy charm and Sam Raimi's acrobatic direction, although an intentional lack of shocks make this a discordant capper to the Evil Dead franchise.
Synopsis: 3rd Evil Dead movie. Ash (Bruce Campbell) finds himself trapped in medieval times. He must quest for the Necronomicon, a... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#19

Jacob's Ladder (1990)
73%

#19
Adjusted Score: 77808%
Critics Consensus: Even with its disorienting leaps of logic and structure, Jacob's Ladder is an engrossing, nerve-shattering experience.
Synopsis: After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne

#18

Poison (1991)
77%

#18
Adjusted Score: 77970%
Critics Consensus: Claustrophobic and quirky horror, this is a decently dirty debut for director Todd Haynes.
Synopsis: Three stories: "Hero," about a boy who kills his father; "Horror," black-and-white sci-fi; and "Homo," set in prison.... [More]
Directed By: Todd Haynes

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 79908%
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

#16

Beloved (1998)

#16
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1873 Ohio, Sethe (Oprah Winfrey) is a mother of three haunted by her horrific slavery past and her desperate... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#15
Adjusted Score: 82167%
Critics Consensus: Wes Craven's New Nightmare adds an unexpectedly satisfying - not to mention intelligent - meta layer to a horror franchise that had long since lost its way.
Synopsis: Reality and fantasy meet in unsettling ways in this installment of the long-running horror series, which finds director Wes Craven... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#14

Scream (1996)
79%

#14
Adjusted Score: 83845%
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

#13

Mute Witness (1995)
83%

#13
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

#12

Candyman (1992)
77%

#12
Adjusted Score: 83265%
Critics Consensus: Though it ultimately sacrifices some mystery in the name of gory thrills, Candyman is a nuanced, effectively chilling tale that benefits from an interesting premise and some fine performances.
Synopsis: Skeptical graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) befriends Anne-Marie McCoy (Vanessa Williams) while researching superstitions in a housing project on... [More]
Directed By: Bernard Rose

#11

Audition (1999)
82%

#11
Adjusted Score: 85010%
Critics Consensus: An audacious, unsettling Japanese horror film from director Takashi Miike, Audition entertains as both a grisly shocker and a psychological drama.
Synopsis: This disturbing Japanese thriller follows Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), a widower who decides to start dating again. Aided by a film-producer... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#10

Scream 2 (1997)
81%

#10
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

#9

Tremors (1990)

#9
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Repairmen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are tired of their dull lives in the small desert... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#8

Dead Alive (1992)
88%

#8
Adjusted Score: 91070%
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

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 93483%
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]

#6

Cronos (1993)
89%

#6
Adjusted Score: 93330%
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

#5

The Sixth Sense (1999)
86%

#5
Adjusted Score: 93226%
Critics Consensus: M Night Shayamalan's The Sixth Sense is a twisty ghost story with all the style of a classical Hollywood picture, but all the chills of a modern horror flick.
Synopsis: Young Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is haunted by a dark secret: he is visited by ghosts. Cole is frightened... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#4

Misery (1990)
90%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95173%
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

#3

Arachnophobia (1990)
93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95739%
Critics Consensus: Arachnophobia may not deliver genuine chills, but it's an affectionate, solidly built tribute to Hollywood's classic creature features.
Synopsis: After a nature photographer (Mark L. Taylor) dies on assignment in Venezuela, a poisonous spider hitches a ride in his... [More]
Directed By: Frank Marshall

#2

The Ring (1998)

#2
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104400%
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

(Photo by Magnolia Pictures, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Classics, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

The 30 Essential Vampire Movies To Watch Right Now

Werewolves, mummies, and cobbled-together lab freaks have been around since the earliest decades of film, but no monster was perhaps more camera-ready than the vampire. Those counts and lords who love to mug and menace for the camera, mesmerize with their fancy capes, and whose pale skin glows in the luminous flicker of old film cameras. So no surprise that some of the best vampire movies back then are some of the best vampires now, like Dracula, Nosferatu, and Vampyr, even as they approach their centennial anniversaries. That’s the bar that’s been set for our guide to the essential and best vampire movies, and still we found plenty worthy to follow in their fang-steps.

Across legend, we know vampires for their allure and seductive properties. (Or at least, just their property — who wouldn’t be charmed by a 600-bedroom castle?) The sex appeal of the vampires has especially been played up in movies since the ’80s: As the sexy suburban neighbor (Fright Night), the upper-strata socialites (The Hunger), and a smoulderer’s row of hot guys (Interview with the Vampire) and leather jacket rebels (The Lost Boys).

Or if you just want some action, see From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Daybreakers, Underworld, and 30 Days of Night.

So, looking for something to watch on your next open-coffin-and-chill night? Then go to bat with our 30 Essential Vampire Movies!

#30

Blacula (1972)

#30
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During a visit to Transylvania, an African prince (William Marshall) gets turned into a vampire by Count Dracula (Charles McCauley).... [More]
Directed By: William Crain

#29

Daybreakers (2009)

#29
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ten years after a plague turns most of the world's population into vampires, a critical blood shortage causes panic and... [More]

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the far Northern Hemisphere, the small town of Barrow, Alaska, experiences a solid month of darkness every year. Though... [More]
Directed By: David Slade

#27

The Hunger (1983)

#27
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John (David Bowie) is the lover of the gorgeous immortal vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve), and he's been led to believe... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#26

Twilight (2008)

#26
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: High-school student Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), always a bit of a misfit, doesn't expect life to change much when she... [More]
Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

#25
#25
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

#24
Adjusted Score: 70519%
Critics Consensus: This uneven but amiable 1967 vampire picture is part horror spoof, part central European epic, and 100 percent Roman Polanski, whose signature sensibility colors every frame.
Synopsis: Vampire hunter Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) and his faithful assistant, Alfred (Roman Polanski), are traveling across Transylvania when they stop... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#23

Near Dark (1987)
81%

#23
Adjusted Score: 85526%
Critics Consensus: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.
Synopsis: Cowboy Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) meets gorgeous Mae (Jenny Wright) at a bar, and the two have an immediate attraction.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#22

Martin (1978)

#22
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Young Martin (John Amplas) is entirely convinced that he is an 84-year-old blood-sucking vampire. Without fangs or mystical powers, Martin... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#21

Blood Couple (1973)
90%

#21
Adjusted Score: 90108%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Germs from the stab of an ancient dagger turn two lovers (Duane Jones, Marlene Clark) into immortal vampires.... [More]
Directed By: Bill Gunn

#20

Black Sunday (1960)
86%

#20
Adjusted Score: 86591%
Critics Consensus: Mario Bava's official narrative debut is a witchy nightmare steeped in gothic splendor, shot in chiaroscuro black and white and punctuated with startling gore.
Synopsis: Burned at the stake, a vampire witch princess (Barbara Steele) wakes up centuries later with her undead henchman.... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#19

Cronos (1993)
89%

#19
Adjusted Score: 93330%
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

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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

#17

Fright Night (1985)
92%

#17
Adjusted Score: 94704%
Critics Consensus: Fright Night deftly combines thrills and humor in this ghostly tale about a man living next to a vampire.
Synopsis: Teenage Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a horror-film junkie, so it's no surprise that, when a reclusive new neighbor named... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#16

Blade (1998)

#16
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A half-mortal, half-immortal is out to avenge his mother's death and rid the world of vampires. The modern-day technologically advanced... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Norrington

#15

Underworld (2003)

#15
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Under cover of night, vampires engage in an age-old battle with their sworn enemies, the Lycans, a clan of violent... [More]
Directed By: Len Wiseman

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 64564%
Critics Consensus: A pulpy crime drama/vampire film hybrid, From Dusk Till Dawn is an uneven but often deliriously enjoyable B-movie.
Synopsis: On the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#13
Adjusted Score: 101047%
Critics Consensus: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night blends conventional elements into something brilliantly original -- and serves as a striking calling card for writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour.
Synopsis: Residents of a worn-down Iranian city encounter a skateboarding vampire (Sheila Vand) who preys on men who disrespect women.... [More]
Directed By: Ana Lily Amirpour

#12

Thirst (2009)
80%

#12
Adjusted Score: 84279%
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

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 94770%
Critics Consensus: Worth watching for Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton's performances alone, Only Lovers Left Alive finds writer-director Jim Jarmusch adding a typically offbeat entry to the vampire genre.
Synopsis: Artistic, sophisticated and centuries old, two vampire lovers (Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston) ponder their ultimate place in modern society.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 79908%
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

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On a search for his missing friend Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen), vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is... [More]
Directed By: Terence Fisher

#8

Dracula (1931)
94%

#8
Adjusted Score: 99077%
Critics Consensus: Bela Lugosi's timeless portrayal of Dracula in this creepy and atmospheric 1931 film has set the standard for major vampiric roles since.
Synopsis: The dashing, mysterious Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), after hypnotizing a British soldier, Renfield (Dwight Frye), into his mindless slave, travels... [More]
Directed By: Tod Browning

#7

Nosferatu (1979)

#7
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jonathan Harker is sent away to Count Dracula's castle to sell him a house in Virna, where he lives. But... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

#6

Vampyr (1932)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97800%
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

#5

The Lost Boys (1987)
77%

#5
Adjusted Score: 81622%
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#4
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer. Suicidal after... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#3
Adjusted Score: 103474%
Critics Consensus: Smarter, fresher, and funnier than a modern vampire movie has any right to be, What We Do in the Shadows is bloody good fun.
Synopsis: Vampire housemates (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh) try to cope with the complexities of modern life and show a... [More]

#2
#2
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

#1

Nosferatu (1922)

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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

In the 1970s and 1980s, a horror renaissance rocked the film industry, riding on the wave of George Romero’s 1969 low-budget zombie breakout Night of the Living Dead. There was a general feeling that something special was happening, where even directors as esteemed as Stanley Kubrick, Nicolas Roeg, and Peter Medak were flocking to the genre, while others more dedicated to horror, like Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven were pushing the goal posts for scares. Even though the enthusiasm for innovative horror waned somewhat in the past couple of decades, with notable exceptions from the likes of Craven and newcomers like James Wan, the special feeling of a “movement” in horror seems to have finally returned, and with it a new class of the Masters of Horror who will lead us through the dark.

Whittling this list to 21 was a near-impossible task when you’ve got so many visionary filmmakers working in the genre, including queen Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), the Soska sisters (Rabid), Julia Ducournau (Raw), Coralie Fargeat (Revenge), Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (Amer), Chelsea Stardust (Satanic Panic), Ana Asensio (Most Beautiful Island), Nia DaCosta (the upcoming Candyman), Na Hong-jin (The Wailing), Ti West (The Innkeepers), Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are), Jennifer Wexler (The Ranger), Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves), Mattie Do (Dearest Sister), Gigi Guerrero (Culture Shock), Xander Robin (Are We Not Cats), and Demian Rugna (Terrified). (That’s not to mention producers like Jason Blum, dedicating their professional lives to scaring us stupid; but we’re limiting this roll call to directors, though some of those produce, as you’ll see. )

The list goes on and on, but here’s 21 that have made our blood pump and eyes pop recently, and are pushing the genre forward with every new work they make.


Ari Aster

Ari Aster

(Photo by James Minchin /© A24 /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Ari Aster, much like George Romero, did not see himself as a horror director before his breakout debut. Hereditary, starring Toni Collette in an awards-worthy performance, is a family drama that plays out like one long exhilarating gasp for breath. Aster’s follow-up, Midsommar digs around in the same psychological playground, though this time covering the dissolution of a romantic relationship. Both films recategorize the meaning of “scare,” as Aster mines the terror of simply being uncomfortable with other people to a nearly wacky psycho-comedy effect.


Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele

(Photo by Claudette Barius / © Universal)

What else is there to say about Jordan Peele? He single-handedly proved that black people want to see themselves in horror films and that other people all over the world would like to see it too. His films stray so far from what many would deem commercially acceptable — a lengthy monologue about inequality delivered amongst a bunch of rabbits in a kind of magical basement world? And yet his stories are compelling because they’re unlike anything else in theaters, their cinematic influences evident but not overbearing. Peele’s making horror weird again, and he’s making it matter.


Jennifer Kent

Jennifer KEnt

(Photo by ©IFC Midnight/Courtesy Everett Collection)

When Jennifer Kent’s debut horror The Babadook shocked audiences, the potential for horror to mine desperate grief came into 20/20 view. Not only that, but distinctly down-and-dirty, terrible, feminine grief. It’s not unusual for horror films to star women — this has been a defining characteristic of the genre — but it was unusual to see a heroine slowly morph into a highly relatable villain in such a visceral manner. In her newest film The Nightingale, Kent continues to push her heroines past a point of likeability with an eye on doing away with the “strong woman” trope that has rendered so many female characters into caricatures of femininity.


Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan

(Photo by Justin M. Lubin/© Universal Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Mike Flanagan has toiled in the genre fields for almost two decades, writing, directing, and editing his own films, which included Ghosts of Hamilton Street, Absentia, Oculus, and Hush, before he got his name-making box office hit, Ouija: Origin of Evil. Flanagan has a rare ability to please mainstream audiences while still pushing boundaries of horror, as he did with the wildly popular Haunting of Hill House Netflix series, which, among other cool tricks, hid a number of ghosts in the frame. That kind of subtle innovation comes from a filmmaker who’s familiar with all tools at their disposal, and his adaptation of a sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, is much anticipated for that reason.


Issa Lopez

Mexican director Issa Lopez made a name for herself in her native country by directing a series of comic films, but her debut horror film Tigers Are Not Afraid (trailer above) couldn’t have been a bigger departure from her earlier career. Filled with wonder and grit and meaningful insights into childhood, trauma, and the human soul in the harshest environment imaginable, the film has been racking up fans and awards long before its U.S. release on Shudder. Guillermo del Toro luckily saw the film and immediately signed up to produce her next movies, so this Master in the making is already well on her way.


Guillermo del Toro

(Photo by Kerry Hayes/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Speaking of Guillermo del Toro, it’s difficult to overstate how much of a boon for horror this visionary director has been, but del Toro was pioneering new directions for horror years before it came back in fashion. From Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone all the way up to Pan’s Labyrinth and the slept-on Crimson Peak, del Toro’s body of work feels so ingrained in the culture that it’s almost easy to take him for granted. Not to mention that he’s spent a great deal of time championing the newer generation of horror directors like Issa Lopez, Scott Cooper, and André Øvredal, producing double the number of films he directs himself. He is, for all intents and purposes, the godfather of the new Masters of Horror.


Isa Mazzei & Daniel Goldhaber

Cam

(Photo by © Netflix)

This pair of collaborators burst on the scene with last year’s Netflix horror hit, Cam (pictured above), about a cam girl sex worker whose identity is stolen and used against her. In a novel twist, the film was also respectful of women, Johns, and sex workers, never resorting to staid clichés, signaling that the pair could inclusively expand the frontiers of horror. Announcements for their next project with Blumhouse have been thin, but the film is certainly driven by women, and they’ll also be wading into TV horror with a segment for Quibi’s new 50 States of Fear.


Pascal Laugier

Martyrs

(Photo by ©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Martyrs (pictured above) is not what many would call an easy film to watch. But Pascal Laugier’s most notorious feature is quite masterful. A story that opens like a revenge flick but closes with a hammer-to-the-nose of philosophical insights into perceived womanhood and spirituality, Martyrs follows in the New French Extremity footsteps of Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day. After Martyrs, Laugier tried his hand at American horror with Jessica Biel starrer The Tall Man, but returned to his roots in 2018’s Incident in a Ghostland. Laugier shows that gore with a brain is on the menu for horror fans.


Andy Muschietti

Andy Muschietti

(Photo by Brooke Palmer/© Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection)

In 2013, Argentine director Andy Muschietti had an international hit on his hands with Mamá, about a young couple who take in their two young nieces but find that a malicious supernatural entity has decided they’re her next victims of a haunting. The film starred Jessica Chastain, setting up Muschietti’s desire to make genre but with actors of high esteem attached, which led to his re-envisioning Stephen King’s It in a two-movie release, vaunted for its playful but serious take on the story. Next up, Muschietti’s going the monster route with an adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan, and is rumored to be directing DC’s The Flash.


Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa

(Photo by © Kimstim Films / courtesy Everett Collection)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is not a newcomer by any means. He’s been working steadily in genre and outside of it since the 1980s, as a critic, commercial artist, and a creative filmmaker. In 2001, he released his most well-known cult film Pulse, but his recent return to genre suggests he’s not quite finished being a Master. In 2016, he released Creepy, a thrilling hardboiled mystery, which he then followed up with Before We Vanish, which is an alien invasion story equal parts horror and humor that opens with a risky, bloody bang.


Nicolas Pesce

Eyes of My Mother

(Photo by © Magnet Releasing /Courtesy Everett Collection)

The Eyes of My Mother (pictured above), Nicolas Pesce’s debut feature, bucks so many contemporary trends of horror, shot in black and white like a high-art film but with the creeping childishness of Tobe Hooper. He followed that up with a Cronenberg Crash-style film called Piercing that turns a sex-torture story into a screwball comedy of errors and power dynamics. Pesce’s films explore loneliness and connection with wry humor, and yet somehow it’s his visual style, evocative of classic films filled with texture and tactile pleasantness like every object has meaning and purpose, that make him a new Master.


Anna Biller

The Love Witch

(Photo by © Oscilloscope / courtesy Everett Collection)

Anna Biller’s version of horror feels akin to classic fairy tales. They are rife with artifice yet also completely honest. Focused on sex and sexuality but coy and childlike. There is the sense that the director is telling the story of the world as it is while simultaneously wishing the world to be different. Viva is more an off-kilter soapy drama, while her film The Love Witch (pictured above) more fully embodies horror. Rumor has it she’s been shopping another horror story based on the Bluebeard tale, but be patient for her next one: Biller’s obsessive about costuming, locations, and production design, and makes most everything herself, which is a time-consuming act but is ultimately the key to her success as a modern Master.


Agnieszka Smoczynska

The Lure

(Photo by ©Janus Films)

Half the fun of Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s debut feature The Lure (pictured above) is describing it for those who don’t know: a gritty, glittery Polish mermaid horror disco musical. The film was a time capsule of Cold War-era dancing clubs, mixed with classic fairy tales and contemporary rage-filled feminism. Music that’s as catchy as it is dark and an almost surreal, theatrical production design set The Lure apart, earning it an almost instant Criterion release. Her follow-up, Fugue, looks inward for a more cerebral melodrama of psychological terror, with the kind of innovative camera work and sensitivity that display Smoczynska’s ability to play with mind as well as body in her horror.


Peter Strickland

In Fabric

(Photo by © A24)

Peter Strickland digested decades of Italian gore and giallo films, then washed it down the exploitation work of Jess Franco and spit out such atmospheric insta-classics as Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy. His newest film In Fabric (poster above) had so much hype and magic behind it that A24 quickly snapped it up out of the festivals. Both eerie and ethereal, In Fabric tells the story of a murderous red dress; like a chilling version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, this thing will fit everyone but also kill them. And like his predecessors, Strickland squeezes every inch of terror out of sound design and trippy, mirrored effects, perfectly marrying the past with the present.


Ana Lily Amirpour

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

(Photo by ©Kino Lorber)

Ana Lily Amirpour’s low-budget indie hit A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (pictured above) thrilled for its simple but fully realized black-and-white graphic novel aesthetics. It’s not every filmmaker whose first film creates some of the most memorable iconography in recent horror film history, but Amirpour’s vision of a young woman gliding on a skateboard with her veil flowing behind her struck a chord for women, a seeming statement about feminine violence and traditional values butting up against Western ideals. Her follow-up The Bad Batch was a sunny apocalyptic trip through the desert, but in the meantime she directed a beloved episode of the new Twilight Zone and has been attached to the remake of Cliffhanger.


Babak Anvari

Under the Shadow

(Photo by Kit Fraser / © Vertical Entertainment / courtesy Everett Collection)

Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow (pictured above) broke new ground in folk horror and is a rare Certified Fresh at 99%. In it, he exploited the tale of jinn, those malevolent spirits of Islamic mythology, but grounded the story in the very real cultural conflict of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, as told through a belabored mother who’d much rather finish her medical degree than stay at home with the young daughter who acts almost like an anchor to a more traditional life. Vivid and tense, the film found an international audience, leading to his newest release, an American production called Wounds and a new television series titled North American Lake Monsters, where Anvari can further dig into local lore.


David F. Sandberg

David F. Sandberg

(Photo by Justin Lubin. ©Warner Bros.)

David F. Sandberg’s short “Lights Out” terrified audiences internationally with a simple light trick that harkened back to the early days of horror. That short, made for nothing and starring his charismatic wife Lotta Losten, was then developed into a feature starring Teresa Palmer. James Wan continued to help Sandberg develop his career, giving him a spot in The Conjuring franchise, directing Annabelle: Creation. Sandberg has temporarily waded into superheroes with the lighthearted Shazam!, but he’s stated he’s looking forward to coming back to horror real soon, hopefully utilizing the same creative low-budget ideas that gave him his big break.


James Wan

James Wan

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

Speaking of James Wan, no Masters of Horror list would be complete without the Aussie who harnessed the powers of surprise and low budgets to flip the entire industry on its head with the Saw and Insidious franchises, and then again with The Conjuring. He’s the pop filmmaker of our time, delivering the kind of popcorn fare that actually brings people to the theater, a rare feat. Like his Mexican counterpart Guillermo del Toro, Wan is also producing others’ work at a breakneck pace, passing the torch to his longtime collaborator Leigh Whannell, and Patrick Brice, Akela Cooper, and Michael Chaves.


Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer

Kolsch and Widmyer

(Photo by Kerry Hayes / © Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection)

Starry Eyes wasn’t Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s first feature, but it was the one that got them long applause at SXSW and a whole lot of horror cred with its black comic take on the entertainment industry, imagining the casting couch as a place to reap souls for Satan. Alex Essoe’s performance as a desperate starlet was one for the history books. At times gruesome and wacky, the film got them the gig remaking Pet Sematary and working on the Scream TV series.


Robert Eggers

The Lighthouse

(Photo by ©A24)

Robert Eggers may be known for The VVitch, but he might also be known for his obsessively detailed nature, which had him mastering settler’s English for the script and getting the period details correct down to the tiniest nib, likely from his time as a production and costume designer in theater and film. Like Kubrick before him, Eggers is intent on crafting worlds, and his newest film The Lighthouse (pictured above), though more horror-adjacent than his debut, is just as meticulous, digging again into hysteria and how isolation and harsh environments can unravel the mind.


Sophia Takal

Always Shine

(Photo by . © Oscilloscope / courtesy Everett Collection)

Sophia Takal’s trajectory into horror began with low-budget psychological romps through feminine hysteria, in both Green and then her more defined follow-up Always Shine (pictured above), which pitted two young actresses against one another in a remote Big Sur cabin. Her episode of Into the Dark marked an entry into the world of slashers, marrying the cerebral with the bloody physical, and her next film, a remake of the very first slasher, Black Christmas [disclosure: the author of this article is the co-writer of this film], will test that marriage and the viability of slashers in general in this day and age.


Don’t see our favorite horror filmmaker above? Let us know whose scares you’re loving right now in the comments. 


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Guillermo del Toro just took home the Best Director Oscar (hell, let’s thrown in a Best Picture statue as well) for The Shape of Water. Look, everyone who’s been paying attention to Del Toro knows he’s your guy to turn a monster romance movie into the best of the year. But if you’re new to GDT, then watch this video with his highest-rated movies, including Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, and the Hellboy series.

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: 99732%
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)

#1922
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 90691%
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: 97679%
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
#1928
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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)

#1931
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 97800%
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: 108176%
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: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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
#1936
Adjusted Score: -1%
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: 76665%
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)

#1941
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 89741%
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: 100886%
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: 19484%
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: 95648%
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: 95515%
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: 78508%
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: 97797%
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: 102200%
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: 103694%
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: 86658%
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: 89941%
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: 107953%
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: 99303%
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: 93742%
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: 96905%
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: 81966%
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: 103760%
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: 87047%
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: 90864%
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: 64852%
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: 101424%
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: 94340%
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)

#1975
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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)

#1976
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 98580%
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: 97055%
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: 108924%
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: 93374%
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: 100023%
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: 91793%
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
#1983
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 98225%
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: 98043%
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)

#1986
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 100047%
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: 98302%
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)

#1989
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 95173%
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: 104400%
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: 79908%
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: 91070%
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: 93330%
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: 83845%
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)

#1998
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 93483%
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: 76848%
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: 94188%
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: 81000%
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: 93863%
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: 98416%
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
#2009
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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: 97057%
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: 106851%
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: 105955%
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: 111005%
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: 128243%
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: 118868%
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

For those who aren’t aware, Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday commemorating the dearly departed, and it’s traditionally celebrated between October 31 and November 2. In other words, today is the last day of festivities, and our Spanish-language sister site, Tomatazos, has published a list of definitive Mexican horror films to mark the occasion. What you’ll find below incorporates both classic films from the silent era and newer entries in the genre, including one from Guillermo del Toro. Read on to brush up on the most noteworthy fright flicks from south of the border.


La Llorona (1933)

Llorona

Director: Ramón Peón
In Mexico, a man is brutally murdered after he hears the cries of a weeping woman. Later, in the house of a rich family who are celebrating the birthday of one of their children, a cloaked figure stalks them. Finally, the possessed intruder tries to murder the child in ritualistic form.


Macario (1960) 100%

Macario

Director: Roberto Gavaldón
Macario, a very poor villager who has a wife and several children, makes a living selling firewood. Tired of a life of hardship and distress, his greatest wish is simply to one day have a whole turkey to himself, without having to share with anyone. In an effort to help him fulfill this wish, his wife steals one from a wealthy family farm, but when Macario prepares to eat it, God , the Devil and Death appear to him and ask him to share. He choose only to shares his meal with death, and in return, Death gives him a bottle of elixir that will cure any disease. Before long, Macario is earning much more money than the village doctor, but he also draws the attention of the dreaded Inquisition.

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The Vampire (1957)

El-Vampiro

Director: Fernando Méndez
A young Mexican woman returns to her hometown to make funeral arrangements for her beloved aunt who just died. Soon she begins to hear disturbing stories about the city, which is reportedly infested by vampires, and she ultimately begins to suspect that her aunt and her mysterious neighbor may be involved.

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Mas-Negro-que-la-noche

Director: Carlos Enrique Taboada
Four women move into an old house together when one of them receives it as part of an inheritance from her deceased aunt. But soon, they are plagued by strange voices, mysterious noises, and visions of ghosts, which lead them to discover the dark powers at work and experience agony beyond terror.

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Poison for the Fairies (1984)

Veneno-para-las-hadas

Director: Carlos Enrique Taboada
A 10-year-old girl convinces a classmate that she is a witch, forcing the girl to become her assistant. Things begin innocently enough, but they gradually take a nasty and violent turn.

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Cronos (1993) 89%

Cronos-Movie

Director: Guillermo del Toro
A mysterious device designed to provide its owner with eternal life resurfaces after 400 years, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.

Watch trailer


You can find the original article in Spanish at Tomatazos.com.

If you’re casting a television series about a judge who suffers a breakdown and thinks he’s receiving messages from God that put him on a path of vigilante justice, you need a guy with both gravitas and imposing menace — and fortunately Amazon’s new Hand of God series, debuting this week, found a leading man with both of those qualities in Ron Perlman, occasional Hellboy and character actor supreme. Whether he’s appeared au naturel or under makeup, worked live action or voiced animated characters, Perlman’s distinctive talent has been entertaining audiences for 30 years, and he’s assembled an eclectic filmography along the way. It’s about time we honored Mr. Perlman with the Total Recall treatment, wouldn’t you say?


Amoukar, Quest for Fire (1981)

Quest for Fire

A latex-covered Perlman got his big break in this award-winning adaptation of the 1911 novel, about a Neanderthal war for fire — and the dangerous quest undertaken by a small band of tribesmen who are forced to find another source after their clan’s fire is stolen by a rival tribe. An hour and 40 minutes of grunted dialogue and dirty caveman sex obviously isn’t what most filmgoers have in mind when they head out for a night at the cineplex, but Quest for Fire managed to perform relatively well at the box office, and became something of an early ‘80s cult favorite — as well as a hit with critics like Janet Maslin of the New York Times, who said it was “more than just a hugely enterprising science lesson, although it certainly is that. It’s also a touching, funny and suspenseful drama about prehumans.”

Watch Trailer


Vincent, Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)

Beauty and the Beast

Going under heavy makeup for Quest for Fire helped Perlman launch his career, so perhaps it’s fitting that things didn’t truly take off for him until he put on prosthetics again — this time for Beauty and the Beast, an unlikely-seeming hit drama that aired for three seasons on CBS between 1987-’90. A modern retelling of the oft-adapted fable, this Beauty posited our hero as a member of a secret community below New York City whose disfigurement masks a noble warrior’s heart — as evidenced when he rescues a lawyer (Linda Hamilton) from a brutal attack, saving her life and starting one of the era’s most swoonworthy TV love affairs. The show burned bright but fast — ratings started fading in the second season, and Hamilton’s departure the following year cemented its fate in the third and final batch of episodes — but it earned Perlman a Golden Globe and a whole new lease on his professional life.

Watch Videos


Angel de la Guardia, Cronos (1993)

Cronos

Perlman started his continuing association with Guillermo del Toro in this 1993 horror movie, about the gruesome series of events that unfolds after an old man (Federico Luppi) discovers an ancient scarab that injects him with a mysterious substance — one which restores his youthful vitality, but leaves him with a thirst for blood. Perlman stars in a supporting role as the ironically named Angel de la Guardia, a hoodlum sent on a quest by his elderly uncle, who craves the scarab’s restorative powers; the path of violence he carves in pursuit of his goal sets in motion some of Cronos’ most memorably horrific sequences. It barely registered a blip on the U.S. box office, but Cronos was an instant hit with critics; as an appreciative Ken Hanke wrote for the Asheville Mountain Xpress, it is “one of the most intelligent — and strangely moving — horror films ever made.”

Watch Trailer


One, The City of Lost Children (1995)

City of Lost Children

Perlman’s work with Guillermo del Toro has placed him within some pretty remarkable cinematic worlds, but his sojourn into Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s City of Lost Children might be the most visually striking of them all: a dense, whirring dystopia where an evil scientist (Daniel Emilfork) steals the dreams of kidnapped children. Their only hope is One (Perlman), a circus strongman whose younger brother is among the lost — and for whom he’ll set out on an arduous journey to rescue. Rife with sights that will haunt the viewer long after the credits roll, City won praise from critics like Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle, who recommended it as “a dark phantasmagoria so visually amazing and provocative — yet dense and confusing — that viewers may need to see it more than once to take it all in.”

Watch Trailer


Norman Arbuthnot, The Last Supper (1996)

Ron Perlman
Witty equal-opportunity political humor has become something of a lost art on the big screen over the last decade or so, but thing’s weren’t always this way. For proof, simply look to 1995’s The Last Supper, an ensemble indie comedy about a group of young liberals (including Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, and Annabeth Gish) who begin poisoning conservative dinner guests as part of a misguided campaign to save the world. While the murder victims aren’t terribly sympathetic, their murderers aren’t especially likable either — so by the time they cross paths with a Limbaugh-esque conservative pundit (played by Perlman), loyalties to either ideological extreme have been tested. “In today’s divisive political climate, where compromise is a dirty word,” observed Leslie Rigoulot of Film Scouts, “The Last Supper raises not only timely questions but moral dilemmas as well.”

Watch Trailer


Marshal Nalhober, Happy, Texas (1999)

Happy Texas

A goofy Steve Zahn comedy with a minuscule budget and a box office tally that wasn’t much bigger, Happy, Texas gave Perlman the opportunity to steal scenes in another supporting role: Marshal Nalhober, a straight-shooting cop in hot pursuit of three escaped prisoners (Zahn, Jeremy Northam, and M.C. Gainey) posing as the organizers of a local beauty pageant. Eminently quotable and buoyed by a smart, rootsy soundtrack, Happy provoked appreciative guffaws from critics like Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, who called it “a hoot, a hilarious comedy that’s smart and caring, yet sexy and ingenious enough that it just might stir up some of that elusive Full Monty-style box-office appeal.”

Watch Trailer


Hellboy, The Hellboy Franchise

Hellboy

Perlman went back under the makeup — and reunited with his Cronos and Blade II director, Guillermo del Toro — for 2004’s Hellboy, an adaptation of the popular Dark Horse Comics title. Grossing under $60 million in the U.S., it was something of a disappointment at the box office, but Perlman and Del Toro were a natural fit for the franchise; four years after the first Hellboy, Perlman teamed up again with Guillermo del Toro for another round of supernatural fun — and while the original Hellboy earned mostly positive reviews, the sequel was an even bigger critical winner. A gleeful blend of popcorn thrills and uniquely del Toro visual splendor, Hellboy II: The Golden Army reunited the original cast for an epic battle between the forces of good and an irate elven king (Luke Goss) who wants to reignite the long-dormant war between elves and humans. While it was overshadowed at the box office by The Dark Knight and Iron Man, it still earned over $160 million — and earned the admiration of critics like Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who called it “the biggest, richest, most imaginative superhero movie of the summer.”

Watch Trailer


Ed Pollack, The Last Winter (2006)

The Last Winter

A sort of cross between An Inconvenient Truth and The Thing, this wintry thriller found writer/director Larry Fessenden returning to the themes of isolation he explored in Wendigo, while adding an ecologically conscious twist: at a remote ANWR drilling base, a team of workers (led by Perlman) starts dying off, casualties of “sour gas” released as a side effect of global warming — or are they under attack from vengeful spirits of the Earth? Though it screened in extremely limited release, The Last Winter received more than a few positive reviews from critics, including Aaron Hillis of Premiere Magazine, who called it “A richly drawn, ambitious character piece both socially relevant and genuinely suspenseful” before concluding, “This is filmmaking both gorgeous and deeply unsettling.”

Watch Trailer


Father Duffy, I Sell the Dead (2008)

I Sell the Dead

Perlman and his Last Winter director, Larry Fessenden, re-teamed for this 2008 black comedy — only this time, they were both on the same side of the camera. Helmed by Glenn McQuaid (who also worked behind the scenes on The Last Winter), I Sell the Dead recounts the story of a pair of Irish grave robbers (played by Fessenden and Dominic Monaghan), as told to a jailhouse priest (Perlman). A bizarre mashup of 19th-century period thriller and zombie/alien comic gore, Dead had a blink-and-you-missed it theatrical run, playing on only two screens, but even some of the critics who couldn’t recommend it found the film impossible to dislike — such as Ty Burr of the Boston Globe, who mused, “If it’s not actually a good movie, on some level you have to admire the chutzpah of a film set in 1850s Ireland but shot on Staten Island.”

Watch Trailer


Clay Morrow, Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014)

Sons of Anarchy

Perlman stayed busy on television in the years after Beauty and the Beast, consistently booking voice work and episodic guest spots on shows even as his film roles continued to pile up — and putting him in a uniquely enviable position as the small screen’s new golden age made the prospect of snagging a regular series gig increasingly appealing to a widening circle of Hollywood vets. It paid fresh dividends with Sons of Anarchy, the 2008-’14 FX hit that spun circles of tightly woven (and increasingly dark) drama out of the inner lives of a California motorcycle gang whose second-generation vice-president (Charlie Hunnam) finds himself increasingly at odds with the gang’s morally ambiguous leader (Perlman). Consistently critically acclaimed, Sons set ratings records for the network — and offered Perlman an opportunity to prove he could help anchor a series without a lion-shaped prosthetic covering his face.

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Finally, here’s one of Mr. Perlman’s first television appearances — the role of Dr. Bernie Marx on a 1979 episode of the daytime serial Ryan’s Hope:

When Nicolas Cage goes up against the forces of the supernatural in Season of the Witch this weekend, he’ll have another awesome wig and his very best intense/befuddled stare in his arsenal. But to really improve his odds of victory, he’ll need something more — like the imposing menace of Ron Perlman, occasional Hellboy and character actor supreme. Whether he’s appeared au naturel or under makeup, worked live action or voiced animated characters, Perlman’s distinctive talent has been entertaining audiences for 30 years, and he’s assembled an eclectic filmography along the way. It’s about time Ron Perlman received the Total Recall treatment, wouldn’t you say?


 

 10. The Last Supper (1995)

The-Last-Supper

Witty equal-opportunity political humor has become something of a lost art on the big screen over the last decade or so, but things weren’t always this way. For proof, simply look to 1995’s The Last Supper, an ensemble indie comedy about a group of young liberals (including Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, and Annabeth Gish) who begin poisoning conservative dinner guests as part of a misguided campaign to save the world. While the murder victims aren’t terribly sympathetic, their murderers aren’t especially likable either — so by the time they cross paths with a Limbaugh-esque conservative pundit (played by Perlman), loyalties to either ideological extreme have been tested. “In today’s divisive political climate, where compromise is a dirty word,” observed Leslie Rigoulot of Film Scouts, “The Last Supper raises not only timely questions but moral dilemmas as well.”

Watch Trailer


 

9. I Sell the Dead (2008) 72%

I-Sell-the-Dead

Perlman and his Last Winter director, Larry Fessenden, re-teamed for this 2008 black comedy — only this time, they were both on the same side of the camera. Helmed by Glenn McQuaid (who also worked behind the scenes on The Last Winter), I Sell the Dead recounts the story of a pair of Irish grave robbers (played by Fessenden and Dominic Monaghan), as told to a jailhouse priest (Perlman). A bizarre mashup of 19th-century period thriller and zombie/alien comic gore,Dead had a blink-and-you-missed-it theatrical run, playing on only two screens, but even some of the critics who couldn’t recommend it found the film impossible to dislike — such as Ty Burr of the Boston Globe, who mused, “If it’s not actually a good movie, on some level you have to admire the chutzpah of a film set in 1850s Ireland but shot on Staten Island.”

Watch Trailer


 

8. The Last Winter (2006) 76%

The-Last-Winter

A sort of cross between An Inconvenient Truth and The Thing, this wintry thriller found writer/director Larry Fessenden returning to the themes of isolation he explored in Wendigo, while adding an ecologically conscious twist: at a remote ANWR drilling base, a team of workers (led by Perlman) starts dying off, casualties of “sour gas” released as a side effect of global warming — or are they under attack from vengeful spirits of the Earth? Though it screened in extremely limited release, The Last Winter received more than a few positive reviews from critics, including Aaron Hillis of Premiere Magazine, who called it “A richly drawn, ambitious character piece both socially relevant and genuinely suspenseful” before concluding, “This is filmmaking both gorgeous and deeply unsettling.”

Watch Trailer


 

7. Hellboy (2004) 81%

Hellboy

No stranger to prosthetics, Perlman went back under the makeup — and reunited with his Cronos and Blade II director, Guillermo del Toro — for 2004’s Hellboy, an adaptation of the popular Dark Horse Comics title. Grossing under $60 million in the U.S., it was something of a disappointment at the box office, but Perlman and Del Toro were a natural fit for the franchise, as Hellboy‘s steadily growing cult audience would come to realize — and as appreciative critics were quick to recognize, including Rob Gonsalves of eFilmCritic, who noted, “Perlman, at age 53, strides in like a hungry young actor itching to prove something, only with 22 years of experience lending him charisma and confidence.”

Watch Trailer


 

6. The City of Lost Children (1995) 79%

City-of-Lost-Children

Perlman’s work with Guillermo del Toro has placed him within some pretty remarkable cinematic worlds, but his sojourn into Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s City of Lost Children might be the most visually striking of them all: a dense, whirring dystopia where an evil scientist (Daniel Emilfork) steals the dreams of kidnapped children. Their only hope is One (Perlman), a circus strongman whose younger brother is among the lost — and for whom he’ll set out on an arduous journey to rescue. Rife with sights that will haunt the viewer long after the credits roll, City won praise from critics like Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle, who recommended it as “a dark phantasmagoria so visually amazing and provocative — yet dense and confusing — that viewers may need to see it more than once to take it all in.”

Watch Trailer


 

5. Happy, Texas (1999) 81%

Happy,-Texas

A goofy Steve Zahn comedy with a minuscule budget and a box office tally that wasn’t much bigger, Happy, Texas gave Perlman the opportunity to steal scenes in another supporting role: Marshal Nalhober, a straight-shooting cop in hot pursuit of three escaped prisoners (Zahn, Jeremy Northam, and M.C. Gainey) posing as the organizers of a local beauty pageant. Eminently quotable and buoyed by a smart, rootsy soundtrack, Happy provoked appreciative guffaws from critics like Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, who called it “a hoot, a hilarious comedy that’s smart and caring, yet sexy and ingenious enough that it just might stir up some of that elusive Full Monty-style box-office appeal.”

Watch Trailer


 

4. Quest for Fire (1981) 86%

Quest-for-Fire

A latex-covered Perlman got his big break in this award-winning adaptation of the 1911 novel, about a Neanderthal war for fire — and the dangerous quest undertaken by a small band of tribesmen who are forced to find another source after their clan’s fire is stolen by a rival tribe. An hour and 40 minutes of grunted dialogue and dirty caveman sex obviously isn’t what most filmgoers have in mind when they head out for a night at the cineplex, but Quest for Fire managed to perform relatively well at the box office, and became something of an early ’80s cult favorite — as well as a hit with critics like Janet Maslin of the New York Times, who said it was “more than just a hugely enterprising science lesson, although it certainly is that. It’s also a touching, funny and suspenseful drama about prehumans.”

Watch Trailer


 

3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) 86%

Hellboy-2

Four years after the first Hellboy, Perlman teamed up again with Guillermo del Toro for another round of supernatural fun — and while the original Hellboy earned mostly positive reviews, the sequel was an even bigger critical winner. A gleeful blend of popcorn thrills and uniquely del Toro visual splendor, Hellboy II: The Golden Army reunited the original cast for an epic battle between the forces of good and an irate elven king (Luke Goss) who wants to reignite the long-dormant war between elves and humans. While it was overshadowed at the box office by The Dark Knight and Iron Man, it still earned over $160 million — and earned the admiration of critics like Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who called it “the biggest, richest, most imaginative superhero movie of the summer.”

Watch Trailer

 


 

2. Cronos (1993) 89%

Cronos

Perlman started his continuing association with Guillermo del Toro in this 1993 horror movie, about the gruesome series of events that unfolds after an old man (Federico Luppi) discovers an ancient scarab that injects him with a mysterious substance — one which restores his youthful vitality, but leaves him with a thirst for blood. Perlman stars in a supporting role as the ironically named Angel de la Guardia, a hoodlum sent on a quest by his elderly uncle, who craves the scarab’s restorative powers; the path of violence he carves in pursuit of his goal sets in motion some of Cronos‘ most memorably horrific sequences. It barely registered a blip on the U.S. box office, but Cronos was an instant hit with critics; as an appreciative Ken Hanke wrote for the Asheville Mountain Xpress, it is “one of the most intelligent — and strangely moving — horror films ever made.”

Watch Trailer


 

1. Tangled (2010) 89%

Tangled

We always see a little bit of an outcry when animated efforts make the cut in Total Recall — and there’s even more consternation when a ‘toon tops the list. But for a guy like Ron Perlman, who’s spent so much of his career under heavy makeup, it makes a certain kind of sense that Disney’s Tangled would be a top-rated effort; while it’s true that he could only use his voice to bring the malicious twin Stabbington Brothers to life in this film, those constraints really weren’t so very different from some of his previous live-action roles — or, for that matter, Perlman’s long list of voice credits. In the end, it’s hard to argue with Tangled‘s overwhelmingly positive reviews, summed up concisely by Tom Long of the Detroit News, who wrote, “Tangled is the best animated film from Disney in the past 15 years.”

Watch Trailer


Finally, here’s Perlman (in character) pitching DirecTV:

Guillermo del Toro - Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.comWith a reputation for excellence in the realms of fantasy and horror, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro brought a visionary touch to such critically-acclaimed films as Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone, Cronos, and last year’s The Orphanage, which he produced. When del Toro turned his attentions to Dark Horse Comics’ Hellboy franchise in 2004 — infusing the big, horned anti-hero with a distinct sense of style and wit — fans and critics were summarily delighted, and the reins came loose for a bigger and more fantastical sequel. Hellboy II: The Golden Army surpassed the critical and box office performances of its predecessor and is Certified Fresh at 88 percent on the Tomatometer.

Rotten Tomatoes caught up with del Toro at the Hellboy II: The Golden Army DVD/Blu-ray Launch Party, where, in signature self-deprecating fashion, he guided those in attendance through the immersive Hellboy II Blu-ray experience. More importantly, del Toro announced plans to join fans in a ground-breaking BD-Live chat event (November 23rd at 6pm PST), where Blu-ray owners can log in and ask him their most burning questions. Except for, say, his favorite movies of all time; we’ve got that covered below.

Read on for Guillermo del Toro‘s Five Favorite Films (click for the Five Favorite Films of Hellboy II star Doug Jones and Hellboy comics creator Mike Mignola, who shared at least one top movie with del Toro himself)…

Bride of Frankenstein (1935, 100% Tomatometer)



Bride of Frankenstein
Bride of Frankenstein is absolutely perfect. It has the innocence and beauty of a fairy tale, but has the darkness of a gothic horror tale. So the combination is irresistible. [On hearing that Hellboy comics creator Mike Mignola also named Bride of Frankenstein among his favorite films, del Toro said with a smile, “Well, we are alike in some aspects.”]

Blade Runner (1982, 91% Tomatometer)



Blade Runner

Blade Runner is simply one of those cinematic drugs, that when I first saw it, I never saw the world the same way again.

The Forgotten Ones (Los Olvidados) (1950, 93% Tomatometer)



Los Olvidados

The third film, Los OlvidadosBunuel‘s movie — which I think is one of the best depictions of childhood ever made.

The Road Warrior (1981, 100% Tomatometer)



Henry V

The Road Warrior — again, it transformed the way I see the world.

The Gold Rush (1925, 100%) / City Lights (1931, 100% Tomatometer)



The Gold Rush


City Lights
And [lastly] probably The Gold Rush, or City Lights, by Chaplin, because they are absolute pinnacles of filmmaking. You have precision comedy, precision filmmaking, and one of the best directors ever. He and Buster Keaton were fantastic, and they were two of my idols.




Click for images from Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy II production diary!
For more on Hellboy II: The Golden Army, click here.

Guillermo del Toro - Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com

The Hellboy II posters rightly – and finally – tout Guillermo del Toro as the visionary director of Pan’s Labyrinth, but his films have had a visionary streak since his first, Cronos, a decidedly different twist on a vampire movie.

All through his dabbles with Hollywood with the likes of Mimic, Blade 2 and Hellboy, del Toro has successfully managed to remain true to his roots, with the masterful Devil’s Backbone and 2006’s brilliant Pan’s Labyrinth.

But it’s his unwillingness to compromise that makes del Toro a powerful filmmaker, even if it often means he’s had to turn down projects that would otherwise have been a good fit. And it’s a talent learned, no doubt, from the bad experience he had with the brothers Weinstein on Mimic.

Now he faces his greatest challenges. Hellboy II has just been released in the US and he’s already hard at work adapting JRR Tolkien’s book The Hobbit with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. Can Hellboy II prove del Toro a master of audience moviemaking, and will he be able to make the same impact with The Hobbit as Jackson did with the Rings?

As part of our ongoing series of Dinner and the Movies conversations – which kicked off with a mammoth chat with Kevin Smith and continued with similarly-gargantuan catch-ups with Neil Gaiman and Edgar Wright – we visited del Toro last month at De Lane Lea post-production facility in London where he was hard at work putting the finishing touches to Hellboy II.

For an hour we talked about his career past, present and future, and for the first time in Dinner and the Movies‘ short history, we present the entire experience as video. With our apologies for some technical troubles with sound, over twelve parts which can be watched back-to-back for a full experience, our Dinner and the Movies conversation with Guillermo del Toro is about as comprehensive as it could be.

Dinner and the Movies
Left to Right: RT-UK Writer Orlando Parfitt, RT-UK Editor Joe Utichi and Guillermo del Toro.

The topics under discussion in each part include:

Part 1 – On finishing Hellboy II and where the character goes from here…
Part 2 – On the projects he’s turned down over the years…
Part 3 – On a change of plans after being offered The Hobbit
Part 4 – On the weight of expectation on his back for The Hobbit
Part 5 – On the so-called “bridge” film and how it will be shaped…
Part 6 – On why characters like Bilbo appeal…
Part 7 – On his grand ambitions from early on in his career…
Part 8 – On learning when to say no…
Part 9 – On the Mimic experience, and talk of a special edition…
Part 10 – On critical and commercial success and balancing the two…
Part 11 – On his love of idiosyncrasy…
Part 12 – On the trouble with modern moviemaking…

On each page you can watch the segments in full and enjoy text highlights should you be so inclined. So get watching!

Part 1 of 12: On finishing Hellboy II and where the character goes from here…


Highlights from the video:

We were shooting in Budapest and we wanted to post in Europe. London has some of the best VFX facilities in the world right now, and a tax rebate!

I think we would all come back [to do a third Hellboy], if they can wait for me to get out of Middle Earth, but we don’t know. Ron may want to do it sooner, but I certainly know where we’re going with the movie on the third one.



Continue on part 2, in which del Toro expands on the many film projects he’s turned down over the years…

Part 2 of 12: On the projects he’s turned down over the years…


Highlights from the video:

I wish I could work every twenty seconds but the problem is making a movie – if you’re really invested in it – takes at least two years of your life, if not three.

I rightfully said no to Se7en, because it was a great script but it was a very cynical view of the world. I loved it, I wanted to see it, but I’m a romantic, fat bastard and I don’t subscribe to that view.

When I read Blade 2, I turned it down three times … Goyer said, “Do you want Hellboy?” I said, “Yeah,” and he said, “Then do Blade. They’re not going to finance Hellboy from looking at Devil’s Backbone.”



Continue on part 3, as we get stuck into The Hobbit and discuss the plans that had to change to make room for the diminutive hero.

Part 3 of 12: On a change of plans after being offered The Hobbit


Highlights from the video:

I was planning to stay in Los Angeles and start two animation companies to start doing genre animated films, but doing them in a different way – doing them through an anime house in Japan and doing them 3D in America.

And then I got the call and my life changed completely. I’m still finishing the building for the company, but I’m not going to use it for three or four years!



Continue on part 4, as del Toro explains his approach to The Hobbit and how he’s been managing the incredible weight of expectation hanging over the project.

Part 4 of 12: On the weight of expectation on his back for The Hobbit


Highlights from the video:

I feel very comfortable with it technically and creatively. In the writing of it I’m partnering up with people I absolutely admire – Peter, Fran and Philippa, when you re-watch the Lord of the Rings movies, which I’ve done recently many, many times, you realise the human and emotional quality of the writing is suberb.

It’s a very different book than the trilogy. It’s a book that’s written from a start of innocence and an ending of disappointment. The ending is quite bittersweet and melancholic. The Hobbit as a self-contained movie will have its own personality.

The reason I connect with The Hobbit is because it’s all seen from a really humble, honest, little guy point of view. I’m not saying Bilbo is a child, but he is a very sheltered character and I love the journey. The dynamic of the hobbit with the dwarves is a great interaction. You have the proper guy and these foul, adorable creatures around him.



Continue on to part 5, as del Toro talks about the so-called “bridge” movie and explains how he plans to shape it.

Part 5 of 12: On the so-called “bridge” film and how it will be shaped…


Highlights from the video:

I’ll only do it if it works and if it feels like it’s going to work on paper. I don’t think any of us is going to do it just to do it. There’s no outside pressure. We’re coming to the idea of the second film with glee and with the desire to utilise something that expands rather than bridges.

If you think of the Lord of the Rings films as a symphony than the Hobbit films – or film if it’s decided to be a movie in two parts or whatever we come to – is an overture. It’s a grand way of not repeating the colours of the rest of the symphony, but expanding it. I believe it’s going to expand that universe.

When Tolkien wrote the book he was not making a prequel … and if there are gaps in the logic of the use or the powers of the ring between the first film and the trilogy, they will be the same gaps that Tolkien had writing the book. We’ll try to deal with it, but I’m not going to betray the spirit of the book in order to fit the cinematic incarnation.



Continue on to part 6, as del Toro explains why he loves Bilbo as a character and why he can’t wait to explore his journey.

Part 6 of 12: On why characters like Bilbo appeal…


Highlights from the video:

War either creates an affirmation of ethics and morality or destroys them. It has that effect, there’s nothing in between. For example in Pan’s Labyrinth the girl becomes so absolutely certain of her internal reality that she does not mind her physical death. She conquers death by absolutely just saying, “I’m in a throne room with my family, I’m happy.” It’s a conquest, but she dies. In my mind that’s not a failure.

In Bilbo’s case, the easiest thing for him to do would be to stay loyal to the dwarves and, frankly, to take a different stance on Smaug. Who knows what the easier choices were – many of them – but he takes the hardest choice.



Continue on to part 7, as we discuss del Toro’s ambitions and he tells details the projects he couldn’t that have come and gone.

Part 7 of 12: On his grand ambitions from early on in his career…


Highlights from the video:

The journey has been a difficult one because people think the movies I’ve made are exactly the movies I planned to make. The movies that I planned to make after Cronos are still screenplays – I never got to make them. But they’re beautiful pieces and I’m in love with them.

We developed a great, crazy adaptation of the novel List of Seven with Mark Frost, At the Mountains of Madness, The Count of Monte Cristo done as a gothic Western, an adaptation of Christopher Fowler’s novel, Spanky. Wind in the Willows, which I adapted to do animated. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and all that – it was a beautiful book, and then I went to meet with the executives and they said, “Could you give Toad a skateboard and make him say, “radical, dude,” things, and that’s when I said, “It’s been a pleasure!”

The adventure has been weird.



Continue onto part 8, in which del Toro explains the importance of saying “no”.

Part 8 of 12: On learning when to say no…


Highlights from the video:

When I go through a project for a first-time filmmaker, or I hear the horror stories of European filmmakers that have gone to Hollywood and they come back and say they don’t want to do a Hollywood movie, it’s because there are still a lot of people in Hollywood in power positions who don’t listen.

No is a very peculiar word. It’s a word, as a filmmaker, that you have to learn to use and a word that the power people in Hollywood use very often but hear very little.

That’s the lesson to be learned from Mimic – you have to say it. The pulse that can only be gained with experience is when to say it. If you say it too soon, it’s useless. If you say it too late, it’s useless. Better to say it, at some point, than never to say it. You have to be 300lbs and 42 years old at least to know exactly when!



Continue onto part 9, in which we further explore Mimic and the possibility of a Director’s Cut.

Part 9 of 12: On the Mimic experience, and talk of a special edition…


Highlights from the video:

It’s worth going back [to Mimic] for me, and I’m trying to do it. It’ll not make a massive difference, but I think tonally it will.

I would retrieve those fake scares, I would put back some of the other content, and I would hope it makes a different. But who knows?

It’s not going to be the Director’s Cut to end all Director’s Cuts, it’s just going to make a minute difference to a movie that is not a lost classic by any stretch of the imagination but I do believe the screenplay is really good and I urge people to read it on the net.



Continue onto part 10, as del Toro weighs commercial and critical success and shares his troubles balancing the two.

Part 10 of 12: On critical and commercial success and balancing the two…


Highlights from the video:

What I do think is intriguing is that in the past there was either success on the critical front or the economical front but it never really came together. It is my hope that that is not viewed as one movie was more successful than another – by either camp.

I remember the first review out of Cannes on the ‘net for Pan’s Labyrinth was a very genuine review, and it said, “Well, it ain’t Blade 2!” I find, a lot of the time the people that like the movies hate others.



Continue onto part 11, as del Toro speaks of his love of idiosyncrasy and why it’s important to include it in Hollywood movies.

Part 11 of 12: On his love of idiosyncrasy…


Highlights from the video:

The only moral crossroads, really, is when it really happens. You cannot be an armchair moralist. You can be a film purist only if you have gone through the grinder. You can’t be a film purist from the comfort of your home. It’s the same thing as saying, “I never sold out.” How would you know if no-one has ever tried to buy you? In that sense, the degree to which you reaffirm your personality is important.

That was one of the reasons I didn’t do [the third Harry Potter film] – because the books I loved – but the first two movies didn’t connect with me. Alfonso went in and did what remains my favourite of the movies so far.

I think Hellboy II is going to be an interesting thing because it is infinitely more idiosyncratic than the first. Hellboy is kind-of a klutz, and I love him for that. What is the everyday life of one of these super-powerful guys? Does he have to pick his socks? Who rinses the ball-sweat from the Batsuit? Those are aspects that intrigue me to a point!



Continue onto part 12, as we conclude our conversation with del Toro by discussing the trouble with modern-day Hollywood.

Part 12 of 12: On the trouble with modern moviemaking…


Highlights from the video:

The way we view film is really vertical. We look up to filmmakers in the way that we look up to classic painters or writers or so on. But the leeway for failure that we give a painter or a writer or a poet is far less public or far wider than a filmmaker has.

We’re coming to a dangerous point in many ways, both as creators and as spectators we’re responding to the model of moviemaking and screenplay writing that Hollywood has created and has been enunciated by people like Syd Field. Even people with a deeper cinematic culture, people that you think should know that there’s no need for a “payoff” – they still can say, “That or that didn’t pay off.”

So many characters get thwarted that way because they’re made to have logical journeys instead of emotionally charged journeys.



Back to the start.

Production on "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army" gets underway in May, and leading man Ron Perlman is hard at work pumping iron and eating pizzas.

Mr. P seems to enjoy his voice-work on the animated "Hellboy" spinoffs, but he also seems more than a little pumped to get back together with old pal Guillermo del Toro. Perlman promises that the "Hellboy" follow-up will be a bit more "epic" than its predecessor, but also that the wonderfully childish mega-hero will also be the center of attention. (Sounds good to me!)

Perlman also gets a little defensive when asked about Senor del Toro’s non-win at the Oscars: "I felt he was robbed. Guillermo’s movie was flawless from beginning to end and didn’t look like anything you’d ever seen before. He set a new bar." He’s talking about "Pan’s Labyrinth," of course.

As you probably recall, Ron Perlman and Guillermo del Toro also worked together on "Cronos" and "Blade 2."

Source: L.A. Daily News

Some movies (like "The Departed" for example) don’t even need plot synopses to get people into the multiplex. All they need are names like Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, and Robert De Niro — like "The Good Shepherd" does. Plus it’s also got Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, Joe Pesci (remember him?), John Turturro, Billy Crudup, and a whole bunch more. Plus there’s a brand-new trailer.

Click here for the trailer.

Plot synopsis, courtesy of ComingSoon.net: "The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man’s life in "The Good Shepherd," an espionage drama starring Academy Award® winners Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Robert De Niro and directed by Robert De Niro.

Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) understands the value of secrecy-discretion and commitment to honor have been embedded in him since childhood. As an eager, optimistic student at Yale, he is recruited to join the secret society Skull and Bones, a brotherhood and breeding ground for future world leaders. Wilson’s acute mind, spotless reputation and sincere belief in American values render him a prime candidate for a career in intelligence, and he is soon recruited to work for the OSS (the precursor to the CIA) during WWII.

As one of the covert founders of the CIA, working in the heart of an organization where duplicity is required and nothing is taken at face value, Edward’s’ idealism is steadily eroded by a growing suspicious nature, reflective of a world settling into the long paranoia of the Cold War. As his methods are adopted as standard operating procedure, Wilson develops into one of the Agency’s veteran operatives, all the while combating his KGB counterpart. However, his steely dedication to his country comes at an ever-increasing price. Not even his wife Clover (Angelina Jolie) or his beloved son can divert Wilson from a path that will force him to sacrifice everything in pursuit of this job."

The flick opens on December 22nd.

One of the most easy-to-admire filmmakers out there has GOT to be Guillermo del Toro, and it’s not just because he makes darn good horror and action movies. (Check out the guy’s commentaries or DVD interviews to get a taste of how smart, passionate, and wonderfully geeky this guy is!) Anyway, two fine websites have recently posted interviews with the man, one of the main topics is (of course) "Hellboy 2."

From Latino Review: "Can you talk about the transition with ‘Hellboy,’ the sequel finally getting done? I saw something online about the plot.
Del Toro: The plot that was described in that article was off by very little, but it’s off enough that I think the screenplay and the plot itself are slightly different than described especially in terms of the interaction of Johan with the BPRD, but it’s accurate in as much as that it’s sort of the magical world declaring war on the human world.

Latino Review: How did that transition come about, moving to Universal?
Del Toro: Frankly, that came out of left field for me. I was on track to try and do ‘Mountains of Madness.’ We were having difficulty adjusting the scope of the movie because it’s a very broad world that [H.P.] Lovecraft describes. It’s a very big palette. We were having problems sort of syncing with a budget that would make it work for the studio and as we were doing that, in the middle of that process and the process of developing other things like ‘Carnival Row’ and so forth, all of a sudden and completely out of left field – if you saw my answers at Comic Con, I had no idea. It came out of left field, and Universal was responding to the screenplay…"

The CHUD boys have also posted a rather excellent interview with the director of "Cronos," "Mimic," "Blade 2," "The Devil’s Backbone," "Hellboy," and the impending "Pan’s Labyrinth," so go check it out!

With his latest flick ("Pan’s Labyrinth") in the can and sold to HBO/New Line, genre favorite Guillermo del Toro is about to sign on for another rather intriguing project. The logline on "Killing on Carnival Street" includes nouns like "elves," "faeries," "vampires," and "serial killer," which means I know of at least one person who’ll be there on opening night. (Yes, me.)

According to Variety, "New Line has tapped Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro to helm futuristic fantasy-thriller "Killing on Carnival Row" … New Line acquired "Killing on Carnival Row," a spec script by tyro (first-time) scribe Travis Beacham, last fall in a preemptive bid. Story’s set in a Victorian city inhabited by humans, faeries, elves and vampires, with a detective pursuing a serial killer."

Also: "Picturehouse, the HBO-New Line joint venture, recently paid close to $6 million for North American rights to Del Toro’s dark fairy tale "Pan’s Labyrinth.""

Guillermo del Toro is the widely-adored creator of "Cronos," "Blade 2," "Hellboy," "Mimic," and (my favorite) "The Devil’s Backbone."

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