To celebrate Halloween, we look at the top 10 Horror movies of all time.

By Jonathan Reed

31 October 2019

We all love a good scare, but which movies have frightened audiences the most throughout the year? From the chest-bursting Alien to the head-spinning The Exorcist horror has been pushing audiences to the extremes of their fears.

10. Hereditary

One of the more modern movies in our list, Hereditary, directed by Ari Aster, had audiences running for the exits before the credits were even rolling. Deciding to choose slo-burning scares instead of jumps, Hereditary creeped out audience within an inch of their lives.

Now seen as a modern classic, Hereditary has cemented Aster’s place as a modern day horror maestro.

9. Get Out

The most successful horror pull their scares from real life and in creative ways, show the extremes of the societies we live in. Get Out is no different. The Jordan Peele movie received universal acclaim for its tackling of social injustice and racism.

Daniel Kaluuya would win a nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards and the movie would be a hit at the box office that year.

8. Paranormal Activity

The first of our ‘found footage’ horrors, Paranormal Activity became a box office smash. Made on a shoe-string budget, the movie would become one of the biggest successes that year.

Starring two unknown actors, when the movie was first advertised many thought the footage was real. Due to its sheer shock value and expert use of the ‘found footage’ perspective, it had to feature on our list.

7. Alien

For a long time Sci-Fi had been a family-friendly genre. With movies like E.T., Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Sci-Fi was anything but frightening. That was until Ridley Scott arrived.

Described as the Anti-Christ to E.T., Alien terrified audiences in 1979 and left them gasping for breath as the creature itself burst from the chest of John Hurt. Today it is widely regarded as the movie which transformed the Sci-Fi genre and was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress.

6. The Blair Witch Project

This is perhaps the most divisive Horror movie on our list. Some state it is the “most frightening horror movie ever made”, others say its “boring”. Irrespective of both opinions, The Blair Witch Project changed the way horror movies are made.

Becoming one of the first films ever to use a ‘found footage’ technique, The Blair Witch Project would scare audiences by what they couldn’t see on screen. Building the tension until the end, Blair Witch leaves audiences guessing about the horror which awaited the Witch’s victims.

5. Jaws

It is the ‘world’s first block buster’, and caused a phobia of the ocean, as well as arguably one of the greatest one-liners in a movie ever. Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws sent popcorn flying through the air as Chief Brody battled a man-eating Great White Shark.

The film would become the first to ever reach $100 million at the box office and would propel it’s director to global stardom. Today it is regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made and has left a frightening reputation around Great Whites ever since.

4. Halloween

John Carpenter is a horror genius, providing us with many horror classics, but perhaps his greatest is the movie which ignited the ‘slasher’ horrors – Halloween. Starring a young Jamie Lee Curtis, the Michael Myers horror would terrify audiences across the Globe.

With a recent sequel receiving praise from critics, Halloween still has the power to scare cinemas and create huge box office. Not to mention the millions made from the killer’s iconic mask creepy presence.

3. The Shining

Another horror classic, The Shining is beloved by generations of horror fans. One who isn’t such a fan is the original novel’s author Stephen King. But irrespective of King’s opinion on the Stanley Kubrick thriller, The Shining set the bar for horror films.

Throughout the years its iconic scenes, including the ‘here’s Johnny’ line, is still celebrated as a master of horror and has yet to be beaten.

2. Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary’s Baby horrified audiences in 1968 with Mia Farrow’s harrowing performance as a woman convinced a satanical cult wants to take her baby for use in their rituals, particularly powerful.

The film, directed by Roman Polanski, would become one of Hollywood’s most enduring horrors with Rosemary’s Baby being selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2014.

1. The Exorcist

Could there be another No.1? Arguably regarded as the ‘scariest horror movie of all time’, The Exorcist caused a tsunami of reaction across the world when it was released in 1973. The film was deemed so scary that some cities banned it from being shown in their cinemas! Even child-actor Linda Blair, who played the possessed Regan, was banned from some!

Today, The Exorcist is regarded as a horror classic and became the first horror movie to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. Many critics believe that the film single-handedly changed the way horror movies were received and raised the bar in Hollywood.