100 Essential Horror Movies

I hope the slow moving apocalypse that has been 2020 is treating you all well. This year has been a lot of stress and live changes for myself. To give myself an occasionally respite from it all I turn to, as always, horror movies. At some point it popped into my head to attempt a fun little intellectual exercise of creating a list of what I would deem the one hundred essential horror films.

The goal was to create a list of one hundred titles that summed up the entire horror genre – all the major titles that broke ground, the gems that created or summed up subgenres, and titles that may not necessarily be “horror” but still made a major influence on the genre.

This is not the list of my one hundred favorite horror movies nor is this a list of what I believe to be the one hundred best horror movies. There are films here that I actively dislike but my personal opinions of them means nothing to how influential they were on the genre.

I thought about these choices for probably way too long. But, after lots of deliberation, I’m pretty pleased with this list of titles I have compiled. You can see the genre morph and develop over the past century as new artistic movements in the genre come up and what scares us as a society changes. I attempted to include at least film from every subgenre and movement within the genre that I could think of.

This is not the best of the best that horror has to offer but, if you watch every single one of these movies, you will have a broad understanding of the genre as a whole and how it has changed.

Agree or disagree with my choices? Did I overlook some super important titles that you feel should be included? Did I include something you feel has no place being on a list like this? Let me know in the comments.

1920 – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

1922 – Nosferatu

1929 – Un Chien Andalou

1932 – Freaks

1932 – White Zombie

1933 – King Kong

1935 – The Bride of Frankenstein

1941 – The Wolfman

1942 – Cat People

1944 – The Uninvited

1948 – Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

1954 – The Creature from the Black Lagoon

1954 – Godzilla

1954 – Them!

1956 – The Bad Seed

1958 – Horror of Dracula

1958 – The Blob

1959 – The House on Haunted Hill

1959 – Plan 9 from Outer Space

1960 – Psycho

1960 – Eyes Without a Face

1960 – Village of the Damned

1962 – Carnival of Souls

1963 – Blood Feast

1963 – The Haunting

1963 – The Birds

1964 – Kwaidan

1964 – The Masque of Red Death

1968 – Rosemary’s Baby

1968 – Night of the Living Dead

1973 – The Exorcist

1973 – The Wicker Man

1974 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

1974 – Black Christmas

1975 – Jaws

1975 – Deep Red

1975 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show

1976 – Carrie

1977 – Suspiria

1977 – Eraserhead

1978 – Halloween

1978 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers

1978 – Dawn of the Dead

1978 – I Spit on Your Grave

1979 – Alien

1979 – Phantasm

1979 – The Amityville Horror

1980 – The Shining

1980 – Cannibal Holocaust

1981 – The Evil Dead

1981 – The Beyond

1981 – An American Werewolf in London

1982 – The Thing

1982 – Poltergeist

1982 – Creepshow

1983 – Videodrome

1984 – Nightmare on Elm Street

1984 – The Toxic Avenger

1984 – Ghostbusters

1984 – Friday the 13th Part 4

1984 – Gremlins

1984 – The Company of Wolves

1985 – Re-Animator

1985 – Return of the Living Dead

1987 – Hellraiser

1987 – Predator

1988 – The Vanishing

1989 – Tetsuo: the Iron Man

1990 – Jacob’s Ladder

1990 – Tremors

1991 – The Silence of the Lambs

1992 – Man Bites Dog

1992 – Candyman

1994 – Cemetery Man

1995 – Tales from the Hood

1996 – Scream

1997 – Event Horizon

1997 – Cube

1998 – Ringu

1999 – The Blair Witch Project

1999 – Audition

1999 – The Sixth Sense

2000 – Final Destination

2000 – Battle Royale

2002 – 28 Days Later

2004 – Saw

2005 – Hostel

2005 – The Devil’s Rejects

2007 – Paranormal Activity

2007 – [REC]

2008 – Martyrs

2009 – The Human Centipede

2011 – The Cabin in the Woods

2013 – The Conjuring

2013 – The Purge

2014 – Unfriended

2015 – The Witch

2016 – Train to Busan

2017 – Get Out

2018 – Hereditary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: