1170 Horror Films Ranked, Rated & Reviewed
ALL THE HORROR FILMS I'VE SEEN RANKED RATED AND REVIEWED
Basically, the list should help you choose good films, while warning you which turkeys to avoid. This is why it's ranked in the order of quality. Although, you might find the bottom-pile reviews more fun, coz bashing films is more fun than praising them.
Until I was around 18 or 19 I had very little interest in horror. But once I subdued my inner snob (the same deluded snob that had prevented me from trying out metal until I was 15) I realized that there's a distinct advantage to watching demons and zombies slug it out in mindless movies over most other movie genres. The majority of horror films are pretty bad, mediocre at best, but give me a bad horror flick any time over an Oscar-awarded drama or a mediocre western, not to mention a boring, pretentious "art" film devoid of a story, with lazy actors staring emptily into walls while contemplating the meaning of life or suicide, or both. Horror films are refreshingly unpretentious, unpompous: usually cretinous but certainly more entertaining than Meryl Streep doing a Moroccan accent while tied to a wheelchair because she'd been raped and beaten by skinheads in some abominable Hollywood flick.
Which advantages does this list have over other horror lists from my highly esteemed horror-aficionado colleagues?
1. I've seen a lot more horror films than most horror fans. Over 1000. That's a sample big enough to give me some bragging rights.
2. I am a bit of a stickler for logic. This means I don't let the really dumb ones get away with contradictory, far-fetched or plain stupid scripts. If a movie is dumb, I call it out, sometimes in great detail. You don't get that from most horror critics who are quite happy to ignore blatant disregard for common sense. I try not to nit-pick though, coz they are mostly fantasy films.
3. My opinions are completely independent from the majority. If a "classic" that everyone loves stinks, I will rate it low and harass its badness. I don't let myself be influenced by general consensus. I get the impression that many horror reviewers follow the herd a little too much, and that some are afraid to admit not liking a "classic" that one is supposed to like. I don't give a hoot for these unwritten rules: I will bash and smash any overrated piece of crap. Reversely, if a good movie is underrated, I shall praise it. I am not interested, in the slightest, what is or isn't considered a classic. I decide what's classic and what isn't. (I love my arrogance sometimes!)
What is a horror film? Which kind of movies qualify? I've decided to include thrillers but only when they're filmed with an obvious horror slant, with gore or an appropriate atmosphere. So the list doesn't only deal with supernatural films, although fantasy is part of at least 90% of the titles here: that's coz I am not a fan of thrillers at all; I consider them hands down the most idiotic movie genre, far too stupid/illogical/absurd, so you won't be finding many of them here. Sorry to disappoint you if you're into home invasion and superpowerful-serial-killer flicks, there aren't many of those here. I am primarily a fan of supernatural horrors, whereas I've grown to despise horror thrillers so much over the years that I hardly even watch them anymore - except when I make a misjudgement (due to someone's flawed synopsis) and one sneaks in and I end up wasting my time on it. I don't see the point in including every thriller, far from it, as most of them are a separate genre. Sci-fi is also allowed, but only if it has emphasis on monsters and/or gore.
What isn't a horror film? Which kind of movies do not qualify? Young Frankenstein, Scary Movie, Arsenic & Old Lace - any kind of totally harmless comedy that merely uses a horror backdrop to string gags to. These movies are neither gory (or at least not in the real sense) nor remotely scary or intended to be such, and often use extreme humour such as farce or absurdist comedy which simply has zero to do with horror. There are many horror comedies on this list, but they're firmly entrenched in the horror genre. Short films don't qualify: if you think I'm going to bore you with every Tom Dick and 5-minute Harry, you're wrong. Rather than use this list as a dumping ground for EVERYTHING even vaguely related to horror, I decided it's better to focus on ACTUAL horror films, because that's what the list title promises to the reader.
RATINGS: Many of these films I'd seen in the 90s, and back then I was less strict, more easy-to-please. Hence not every rating here represents my opinions realistically. The newer movies have more reliable ratings, in general. I don't pretentiously rate films according to how ground-breaking, unique or technically accomplished they are; I focus much more on the entertainment value. AND I am a stickler for logic; I can tolerate a certain amount of stupidity (almost inevitable in horror, and just films in general), but I don't tolerate movies that break all idiocy records. So if a movie is a critics' darling but boring and/or stupid it gets a low score.
NO RATING: Movies without a rating are the ones whose level of quality I can't pin down anymore because I'd seen them decades ago. I placed them roughly where I believe they should be. But generally, films with no rating could be potentially much higher or lower ranked than they should be.
SPOILERS: I have done my best not to spoil any good films for you, even the smaller events and plot-twists that might not necessarily count as proper spoilers. However, I have hidden spoilers for the good and averages films. I can't vouch for the bad ones, for those that are rated 2 stars or lower: those reviews sometimes don't have hidden spoilers, simply because those are all turds and there is nothing to spoil. They're already spoiled. Nevertheless, even most of those have spoiler warnings.
REVIEWS: For some movies I have two reviews: a brief one consisting of one paragraph, and a proper lengthy one. Some reviews are copy-pasted in their entirety, but most only have the first few paragraphs offered. You have to go the link provided below each text to read the rest i.e. the whole thing. Some reviews aren't posted on IMDb (yet): these are, obviously, pasted in their entirety.
ADVICE: Concerning the top 100-200 movies, i.e. the ones I recommend the most, do NOT read IMDb's synopsis of any of them. They often contain spoilers which could diminish the fun factor if/when you decide to watch them. Whoever is in charge of writing "synopsises" is clearly not doing a good job i.e. some of the contributors need to finally realize that you shouldn't tell the film-goer what happens half-way into the movie, but only the broad outline of what is given early on, BEFORE the first twists.
non-supernatural - Since the vast majority of these films are supernatural, I've decided to simply mark those that aren't.
non-supernatural(?) - Can't remember for sure.
zombapocalypse - When the plague is shown to be all-encompassing, and when the movie shows the outbreak itself not just the later events.
zombie - When the plague is focused in a smaller area, or is occurring in a post-apocalyptic environment.
infection - Of course every zombie plague has to do with infection of some sort, but I've added it when a zombie movie focuses on the whys and whats of the plague, rather than just show the resulting mayhem.
townsfolk conspiracy - When the inhabitants of a little town or village are all part of some sinister conspiracy or have a major secret. This is nearly always within a spoiler.
camcorder - I don't like the name "found footage". I thought of calling it "wobbly footage" or "found-in-sewage" but this will do.
mono-setting - When at least 90% of a movie is set in just one room/house/whatever. Does not apply to a large singular area, only smaller spaces/areas.
religious - Films with Biblical themes or a priest running around fighting demons.
mono-colour - A bunch of modern horror films are filmed in doom-n-gloom-o-vision, with only 2-3 colours, or are photoshopped to have just one colour dominate. I am very much an opponent of both these drab-o-vision styles and this descriptor serves to warn you when a film is visually unappealing, when it is drenched in blue, green or just overall grey. I.e. some movies labeled this way may not be drab-looking but are dominated by just one colour basically.
teens - Obviously, teens doesn't mean literally teens coz most "teen" actors are in their 20s, but refers to any flick with all the sheep-for-the-slaughter being presented as teens.
older teens - 20somethings; instead of "a group of teens goes out into the woods for a picnic" it's "a group of 20somethings goes out into the woods for a picnic", for example a bunch of dim-witted students.
malevolent - Films with a lack of moral compass that tend to glorify evil. Often they reveal the film-maker's or the writer's latent misanthropy.
nickotrash - Films with Nicholas Cage.
kingotrash - Films based on Stephen King's trashy writing.
wesocravenia - Films by Wes Craven, the master of crappy, shoddy horror.
argentontoidiota - Films by Dario Argento, legendary for his idiotic movies devoid of logic.
Some genres include others by definition: i.e. haunted house is automatically mystery as well, hence I don't add mystery to that descriptor. A western horror is automatically historic, so no need to add "historic" as a descriptor.
Here is where you can comment: