D-Rock's Top 50 Scary Movies of All Time


In honor of Halloween, I put together a newly updated list of my all time top 50--I say "top" because it's sort of an amalgam of "best" and "favorite" as much as it can be. Anyway, these are my picks...

50. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Maybe the best plot of all of the Halloween movies and there are so many little moments that make this great. And of course, one of my favorite endings and favorite final girls, Jamie Lloyd.

49. Insidious

One of my favorite demon possession movies and I love that James Wan is never afraid to go a little campy or over the top or outside the box.

48. Anna and the Apocalypse

A zombie Christmas musical, need I say more? Actually doesn't skip on the drama and pathos when it needs to.

47. Bit

One of my favorite LGBTQ movies because they never even say the word "transgender" but it's understood and completely accepted. Also one of my favorite vampire movies which are not usually favorites of mine. <3

46. The Last Exorcism

Even though it deviates a bit from the found footage format, this is such a great story with such great characters and performances and one mother of an ending!

45. Errementari: The Blacksmith and The Devil

One of the best devil/demon/hell movies you can find, especially with that epic ending!

44. PG: Psycho Goreman

PG is the gay icon we deserve, he's got all the looks and he loves hunky boys!

43. Paranormal Activity 2

The original is great but I love how this one evolves the concept and adds to the lore.

42. Cloverfield

Saw this one at midnight so it has a special place in my heart. One of my favorite monster movies and found footage movies.

41. Under the Skin

This one is such a mindfuck and it's SO austere in the best way possible and just really beautiful.

40. The Babadook

Such a creepy yet complex movie about grief and loss.

39. Host

Quite possibly the scariest movie I've seen. I rarely scream watching a movie and this one made me scream three different times (even when I rewatched it).

38. 28 Days Later

The godfather of the modern zombie movie with amazing cinematography and music and a beautiful story.

37. As Above So Below

A true hidden gem of found footage and a uniquely constructed puzzle box with some great moments of claustrophobic terror.

36. Fresh

One of the best and most artfully done movies of this genre but I don't want to tell you what genre cuz it's better to go in cold.

35. Poltergeist

A classic ghost story for a reason. The fact that Tobe Hooper directed this and TCM is amazing. Plus the whole indigenous angle is great imo.

34. You’re Next

One of the most badass fucking final girls in horror cinema! Great subversion of the trope.

33. The Invitation

Such a fantastic slow burn that leads to one of the most haunting final shots of a movie ever.

32. A Quiet Place

Not only for the deaf representation but for what they were able to do with such a simple concept. Beautiful film.

31. The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Another one with an indigenous angle I really love and just a ruthlessly effective claustrophobic supernatural ride.

30. Creep 2

I love the original but this one definitely outdoes it with a powerhouse performance by Desiree Akhavan (director of "Appropriate Behavior" and "The Miseducation of Cameron Post").

29. It Follows

One of the best concepts for a horror movie I've ever seen, especially for the commentary it gives on rape culture and moralization of sexuality. Plus that 80s homage soundtrack and a great final scene.

28. The Night of the Hunter

One of my all time favorite old movies. So many hauntingly beautiful images and the soundtrack is amazing and just such a great film.

27. Paranormal Activity 3

This is the best of the first three to me because of how deep into the lore it goes and the commentary on generational wealth and the things people are willing to do to hold onto it.

26. Sea Fever

More people need to know about this amazing and super effective deep sea "monster" movie.

25. The Ring

Not just a terrifying movie but a beautiful, sad story which is always a great combination.

24. The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Just an incredibly effective, well-made slasher/demon movie with a little twist.

23. The VVitch: A New-England Folktale

The ultimate witch movie and one of the best endings of any horror film.

22. Scream

The king of self-referential meta-horror with one of the all time great final girls.

21. Halloween

Quite possibly the most influential horror movie ever and also possibly the greatest horror movie soundtrack ever. Also Rob Zombie's remake is one of my all time favorites don't @ me.

20. The Shining

As brilliant as this movie is, you won't believe how much better the book is.

19. Mother!

Amazing film, shot with a very specific purpose in mind (to show the experience of Mother) that can be interpreted in so many ways, with one of the most insane endings ever.

18. Audition

"Torture porn" has never been done better or more artistically or with more heart.

17. X

The conservative Christian morality underlying this amazing story of desire in old age and sex workers following their dreams, not to mention several amazing shots/scenes that I can't stop thinking about.

16. Always Shine

The epitome of a movie that needs to be rewatched to be understood. So many ways to interpret this one.

15. Sinister

One of the best top-to-bottom productions I've seen--music, sound design, lighting, cinematography, writing, acting, production design, on down the line.

14. Hereditary

An absolutely lacerating story of crumbling family dynamics and belief in the supernatural.

13. Midsommar

The great 21st century visual poem of horror cinema. Reminds me so much of 2001 in that way.

12. Get Out

Maybe the best social commentary concept ever in horror and the execution is unbelievable.

11. Us

An absolute masterpiece of humanist horror and commentary on societal caste systems. And the dual performances by everyone are magnificent.

10. Parasite

Brilliant melding and blurring of genres to tell a story of what people are willing to do in desperate situations.

9. Hellraiser

Horror's great masterpiece of blood, guts, and goop and of BDSM mindfucking and power dynamics and love and lust and so many things.

8. Psycho

Possibly the best film the horror genre has ever produced. So much subtlety and complexity and Anthony Perkins is unreal.

7. Thelma

An incredible meditation on Christian morality and queer identity with some of the most brilliant direction you'll find anywhere.

6. Train to Busan

I never thought a zombie movie could make me ugly cry but this movie is just that good.

5. The Thing

Quite possibly the greatest creature effects in cinema history and an incredibly effective story of trust between friends dissolving slowly and painfully.

4. Let the Right One In

The most beautiful and emotional horror movie I've ever seen and an amazing story of queer identity featuring a vampire who is basically nonbinary/intersex.

3. The Exorcist

The great "elevated horror" movie. The horror movie for people who don't watch horror movies. A masterpiece among masterpieces.

2. The Cabin in the Woods

The peak of meta-horror and the ultimate "not-what-you-think" movie with the greatest ending of all time in my opinion. Also explains every other horror movie. The horror film I return to most.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The first modern horror movie and the best. There's nothing like it and there never will be. In a class by itself. Raw, relentless, unforgiving, visceral, and all-too-real. Greatest final shot in film history.

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