Retrospace's 100 Greatest Horror Films of All Time

Is there a single magazine or blog left that hasn't listed out their favorite horror films of all time? Well, I didn't want to be the only one, so here's my list in order.

  1. Halloween (1978)
  2. The Exorcist (1973)
  3. The Shining (1980)
  4. Trick 'r Treat (2009)
  5. Tutti i Colori del Buio (1972)
  6. Don't Look Now (1973)
  7. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
  8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  9. The Omen (1976)
  10. The Amityville Horror (1979)
  11. Tales from the Crypt (1972)
  12. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  13. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
  14. The Brood (1979)
  15. Mulholland Drive (2001)
  16. Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
  17. Carrie (1976)
  18. The Devil's Backbone (2001)
  19. Black Sabbath (1963)
  20. Psycho (1960)
  21. I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1958)
  22. Scream and Scream Again (1969)
  23. Phantasm (1979)
  24. The Sentinel (1977)
  25. Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
  26. Damien: Omen II (1978)
  27. Alice, Sweet Alice (1977)
  28. Friday the 13th (1980)
  29. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
  30. The Sixth Sense (1999)
  31. Ghost Story (1981)
  32. Planet Terror (2007)
  33. The Ring (2002)
  34. Pet Semetary (1989)
  35. The Wicker Man (1973)
  36. Deep Red (1975)
  37. The House that Dripped Blood (1970)
  38. What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)
  39. Ju On- The Grudge (2003)
  40. Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
  41. Hell Night (1981)
  42. Race with the Devil (1975)
  43. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
  44. Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)
  45. Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)
  46. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  47. Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
  48. Exorcist III (1990)
  49. Duel (1970)
  50. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  51. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  52. Blood Splattered Bride (1972)
  53. Dressed to Kill (1980)
  54. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)
  55. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  56. It's Alive (1973)
  57. Scars of Dracula (1970)
  58. A Tale of Two Sisters (2004)
  59. Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968)
  60. Creepshow (1982)
  61. The Legacy (1979)
  62. High Tension (2003)
  63. The Funhouse (1981)
  64. Demoniacs (1974)
  65. The Changeling (1980)
  66. The Case of the Bloody Iris (1971)
  67. Friday the 13th (2009)
  68. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  69. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
  70. Scanners (1980)
  71. Twins of Evil (1971)
  72. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
  73. Audition (1999)
  74. Blood and Black Lace (1963)
  75. Poltergeist (1982)
  76. The Believers (1987)
  77. Halloween II (1981)
  78. Scream (1996)
  79. Trilogy of Terror (1975)
  80. Saw (2004)
  81. The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane (1976)
  82. Stir of Echoes (1999)
  83. Re-Animator (1985)
  84. The Mothman Prophesies (2002)
  85. The Howling (1981)
  86. The Devil's Rejects (2005)
  87. Creepshow 2 (1987)
  88. Prince of Darkness (1987)
  89. Hostel (2006)
  90. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
  91. Se7en (1995)
  92. The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
  93. Vacancy (2007)
  94. House on Sorority Row (1983)
  95. Toolbox Murders (1977)
  96. The Descent (2006)
  97. Dead and Buried (1981)
  98. Lisa and the Devil (1973)
  99. Misery (1990)
  100. Kill, Baby.... Kill! (1968)

Please comment with any glaring omissions on my part. I'd like to hear some of your top horror films, and any disagreements with any on my list. I'm always interested in recommendations - especially in lesser known gems or newer releases. Or, better yet, make your own list and link back!

(1) In another post, I've already explained my reasoning for putting Halloween at the top.
(2) You'll notice there's no real classics on the list like Universal's Frankenstein and Dracula. True horror enthusiasts will probably scoff at my lack of respect for the classics. My apologies - it is what it is. Perhaps, I'll learn to appreciate the horror film grandaddies one day.
(3) I have yet to see Eden LakeSuspiria, Let the Right One In, Wrong Turn, Zombieland or Paranormal Activity - all highly regarded. Perhaps, once I see them, I'll add them to the list.
(4) I'm not real big on the horror/comedy thing. Thus, Scary Movie, Evil Dead, Slither and Student Bodies didn't make the list.
(5) Funny Games was certainly horrifying, but IMHO didn't quite qualify as horror. I was afraid I'd have to then include Bully, Happiness, etc... a slippery slope.


  1. How come nobody ever puts Exorcist II: The Heretic. The horror of Linda blair's tap dancing routine
    still makes me shiver. Good pick with Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. An under appreciated film that loses some of it's potency on the TV screen.

  2. I'm really surprised you have no appreciation for a film like the original Dracula or Bride of Frankenstein or The Black Cat.

    As you said "it is what it is," but also very strange. I have trouble understanding how anyone could be a movie buff period (not just a horror one) and not like Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff.

  3. "4. Trick 'r Treat (2009)"

    Is this even out yet? Never heard of it - how does this make it into the top 5 ahead of so many other veritible classics? Poor choice.

  4. Brian- Yeah, it's a problem. I don't even like Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, or Citizen Kane, etc... no appreciation for the classics whatsoever.

    Let me put things in perspective for you - I'd much rather listen to Foghat than Beethoven. There. I said it.

    ciaran- Have you seen Trick 'r Treat? I'm thinking future classic. You'll look back at this post and your comment twenty years from now and see how prophetic I was. :-) Seriously, it was like Creepshow, but better.... much better. I saw it last week and was stunned by how good it was. It has a 7.4 IMDb rating, which is very good for a horror flick (the original Halloween is an 8.0).

    I point this out not to convince you, but to demonstrate that I'm not alone in my opinion.

  5. That is a a quality list, but would put The Excorcist at number one personally. And No Nosferatu on the list? The Herzog remake is a corker!

  6. I enjoyed the list, but I have to say...Nightmare on Elm Street at #50? Whoa! That's my only gripe. That's definitely in my top 10 or even 5! Aside from that, awesome list!

  7. Mondo - Haven't seen Nosferatu. I don't pretend to be a true horror connoisseur, I just enjoy the genre. I figured die hard enthusiasts would be disturbed by the lack of older films.

    Jay- Once upon a time it would've been in the top ten, but Freddy has been sort of ruined for me with all the lousy sequels - they really took the edge off for me.

  8. Normally the types of horror movies I like are limited to British Horror from about 1957-1974, old Universals and Mario Bava films. I don't like a whole lot after 1980 except for the Evil Dead films. Glad to see Scars of Dracula here. I like it too, but many British Horror fans seem to hate it.

  9. Great list. I've seen pretty much all of these. I enjoyed all the ones I've seen. You did a cool job with this list.

  10. In regards to Brian's recommendation: I'm not a fan of universal horror films, but "black cat" is definitely my exception. Karloff plays aliester crowley, commits necrophilia with bela lugosi's wife and violates his daughter, and gets skinned alive. What more could you want from a sick horror movie?

    "Trick R Treat" definitely belongs in the top five. I'm amazed it didn't get a theatrical release.

    My additions are both "suspiria" and "inferno" by argento, the spanish zombie flick "living dead in the manchester morgue", Jean Rollin's "grapes of death" and william castle's "tingler".

  11. This is an exceptional list, and given the source, I will be more likely to seek out many of these films. You're right, every blog out there has a top horror film list, but your picks are much less conventional and epitomize the golden age of horror films. Thanks for putting this together.

  12. I'd include John Carpenter's The Fog on any list of horror favorites myself. I've never understood why it isn't more widely appreciated. It's wonderfully atmospheric and eerie, IMO.

  13. Nice list. I can think of a few others that should've made it...

    The Haunting (1963)
    The Thing (1982)
    [•REC] (2007)
    Amityville II: The Possession (1981)
    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

    A friend of mine saw The Haunting in a theater when it first came out. I tried to warn him away from seeing Paranormal Activity. "Dude, if you paid 50 cents to see The Haunting in '63. you're gonna feel ripped off paying 9 bucks for Paranormal Activity."

    Someone on Kindertrauma said: "I'm not sure I want to live in a world where P.A. gets the wide theatrical release and Trick 'R Treat doesn't." Exactly!

  14. Metal mark- I like most anything by Hammer and Amicus; Scars of Dracula kicks ass - I can't imagine what the naysayers have against it.

    Keith- Thanks. I did such a "cool job", Google paid me $0.00 for all my hard work. :-)

    stexe- I'm glad to hear someone agree with me on the Trick R Treat choice. Netflix has been recommending Suspiria (based on my ratings, etc.) for literally years, but I haven't put it in my queue yet... what's my problem?

    Stephen - Thanks!!

    Jason- Just watched The Fog actually. It had some incredible moments (the undead in the church scene was possibly one of the best in horror history IMHO); however, as a whole it just didn't quite do it for me. It wasn't particularly scary, Jamie Lee Curtis is painfully under-used, and Barbeau is easy on the eyes, but makes for an annoying disc jockey with fake raspy voice.

    anonymous- Great quote about Trick R Treat.... and I'll consider myself warned about Paranormal Activity. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer made me feel depressed and dirty... a bit too real and nihilistic for my tastes (like Last House on the Left or House by the Cemetary).

  15. How come "Alien" isn't on here - or did I miss it?

  16. Evil Dead ?!?

  17. GREAT list!!! We have very similar tastes in flicks. And it drives me nuts that you like Trick 'r Treat so much... I CAN'T FIND A COPY!!! ARGH... Hopefully soon. :)

  18. Gil

    I am surprised that I ave seen abut 75% of these films and am going to try to the others. The only omissions I am curious about have been mentioned already and those are Ridley Scott's Alien and John Carpenter's remake of The Thing. These are huge films in the annals of horror and not to be dismissed lightly.

    Just kiddin'. This is pretty thorough over all and I might say your whole Halloween themed posts are great. I guess at my two blogs everyday is Halloween and I am in China where the holiday is not celebrated, so today. Halloween is about as non-cool here as Christmas or the 4th of July. Can you believe people in communist China do not celebrate the 4th of the July!

    I think I will go do a happy 'hollow-weinie' post since I am about a day ahead of you.

    Maybe you notice I am posting more comments? I can connect to Blogger lately because of a service we are using.


  19. Wow - this list blows. Halloween is No. 1? Well, maybe the No. 1 overrated horror movie. It's cheap, boring and predictable. The Exorcist? Oh, hell yeah. THAT is a well-made and terrifying movie. Psycho No. 20? Again, wow.

  20. Interesting post... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often. George from romantic films.

  21. I'm not sure where I saw you wishing for a horror movie channel but thee is a channel called chiller.

  22. Where is the original Haunting? I was the projectionist for an art cinema and we gave certificates to those who stayed through it. The scene where the door pounds from the outside was something I'd never expected. And whose hand was she holding...?