Business_news The 100 best horror movies of all time, according to critics


“Get Out”

Justin Lubin/Universal Studios

  • With Halloween a little more than a month away, business Insider looked at Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best horror movies of all time.
  • The list is based on Rotten Tomatoes’ adjusted score that accounts for the variation in the number of reviews for the movies.
  • Visit business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Halloween is a little more than a month away, which means horror-movie season will be in full swing for fans of the genre over the next month.

With that in mind, we turned toRotten Tomatoes’ listof the most acclaimed movies with the “horror” tag to determine the 100 best horror movies of all time, based on critic reviews.

The list ranks the movies by an adjusted critical score that Rotten Tomatoes derived from a weighted formula to account for the variation in number of reviews for each film.  That means that more recent movies like “Us” have an advantage over classics like “The Shining.”

The list includes horror-thrillers like “Silence of the Lambs” and “Psycho,” along with recent titles like the Oscar-winning “Get Out” and the acclaimed 2015 film “It Follows.”

John Lynch contributed to an earlier version of his post. 

Here are the 100 best horror-related movies of all time, according to critics:

Business_news 100. “Better Watch Out” (2017)

Storm Vision Entertainment

Critic score:89%

Number of reviews:64

What critics said:“Better Watch Out, directed and co-written by Chris Peckover, is a clever horror film that gets cleverer.” —Financial Times

Business_news 99. “An American Werewolf in London” (1981)

YouTube screencap

Critic score:87%

Number of reviews: 54

What critics said:“A clever mixture of comedy and horror which succeeds in being both funny and scary, ‘An American Werewolf in London’ possesses an overriding eagerness to please that prevents it from becoming off-putting.” —Variety

Business_news 98. “The Omen” (1976)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 86%

Number of reviews: 50

What critics said:“This apocalyptic movie mostly avoids physical gore to boost its relatively unoriginal storyline with suspense, some excellent acting (especially from Warner and Whitelaw), and a very deft, incident-packed script.” —Time Out

Business_news 97. “Crawl” (2019)


Paramount Pictures

Critic score:83%

Number of reviews: 198

What critics said:“A rare, straight-up horror film from Shyamalan, Split is a thrilling reminder of what a technical master he can be.” —

Business_news 96. “The Exorcist” (1973)

Warner Bros.

Critic score:83%

Number of reviews: 81

What critics said:“The movie that launched a new era in horror films, and which, for one generation, remains one of the scariest experiences of their lives.” —New York Daily News

Business_news 95. “Near Dark” (1987)

Lions Gate

Critic score: 88%

Number of reviews: 50

What critics said:“Bigelow’s artful handling of the magic and menace of the night is hauntingly apparent.” —Rolling Stone

Business_news 94. “Chronicle” (2012)

Fox via YouTube

Critic score: 85%

Number of reviews: 185

What critics said:“Although it dog-legs into silly mayhem in the homestretch, for a good portion of its quick 83-minute running time Chronicle is a quite clever boys-gone-wild-on-telekinetic-powers fantasy.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Business_news 93. “This Is the End” (2013)

Sony / Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 83%

Number of reviews: 226

What critics said:“Finds a balanced tone most horror comedies fail to deliver. Grossout humor melds easily with grossout horror, sometimes at the same moment.” —Chicago Sun-Times

Business_news 92. “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” (1971)


Critic score:88%

Number of reviews: 41

What critics said:“Anachronistic period horror musical camp fantasy is a fair description, loaded with comedic gore of the type that packs theatres and drives child psychologists up the walls.” —Variety

Business_news 91. “The Haunting” (1963)


Critic score:88%

Number of reviews: 40

What critics said:“When The Haunting digs into the internals of its story, summons its spirits and lets them play havoc with cold reason, it has a power and fervor unmatched by any film ghost stories.” —Hollywood Reporter

Business_news 90. “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Maljack Productions

Critic score:87%

Number of reviews: 62

What critics said:“[Director John McNaughton] shows few of Henry’s dozen or so crimes. Instead he reveals the victims, at the scenes of their deaths, in slow zoom shots accompanied by elegiac music. He is a coroner with a touch of the poet.” —Time

Business_news 89. “The Orphanage” (2007)


Critic score: 87%

Number of reviews: 177

What critics said:“A creepily effective exercise in gothic technique.” —NPR

Business_news 88. “The Shining” (1980)

“The Shining.”

Warner Bros.

Critic score:84%

Number of reviews:93

What critics said:“Kubrick has made a movie that will have to be reckoned with on the highest level.” —Time

Business_news 87. “The Dead Zone” (1983)

Paramount Pictures

Critic score:89%

Number of reviews: 47

What critics said:“The Dead Zone does what only a good supernatural thriller can do: It makes us forget it is supernatural.” —Chicago Sun-Times

Business_news 86. “Bone Tomahawk” (2015)

Image Entertainment

Critic score: 90%

Number of reviews: 94

What critics said:“Equal parts charming, strange, goofy, unpredictable and genuinely horrifying.” —Time Out

Business_news 85. “Backcountry” (2015)


Critic score:92%

Number of reviews: 50

What critics said:“A couple of weekend backpackers face off against man and beast in director Adam MacDonald’s accomplished, blunt-force wilderness adventure.” —Variety

Business_news 84. “The Blair Witch Project” (1999)


Critic score:86%

Number of reviews: 162

What critics said:“Whenever night falls, the movie takes off, but in a slow creep, with all your childhood fears of the dark suddenly revealing themselves as absolutely reasonable.” —CNN

Business_news 83. “The Devil’s Candy” (2017)

IFC Midnight

Critic score: 90%

Number of reviews: 51

What critics said:“A lean and slick homage to occult films, but with a knowing edge that suggests director Sean Byrne is aiming for the critical rafters.” —Global and Mail

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Business_news 82. “Gerald’s game” (2017)


Critic score: 91%

Number of reviews: 76

What critics said:“When the movie arrives at a phenomenal, breakneck climax, and then keeps going with a totally implausible twist, it’s adhering to the unwritten rule: No matter who’s driving, everyone must bow to the King.” —IndieWire

Business_news 81. “Hush” (2016)


Critic score: 93%

Number of reviews: 40

What critics said: “Once the premise kicks into high gear, Hush reveals itself as a finely craved one-trick pony.” —Indiewire

Business_news 80. “28 Days Later” (2003)

20th Century Fox

Critic score:87%

Number of reviews: 232

What critics said:“The movie’s craft makes the dread of a killer virus contagious: viewers may feel they have come down with a case of secondhand SARS or sympathetic monkeypox.” —Time

Business_news 79. “The Return of the Living Dead” (1985)

Fox Films

Critic score:91%

Number of reviews: 44

What critics said:“Any film which features a dead, bald and very hungry punk lurching towards the camera screaming ‘More Brains!’ gets my vote.” —Time Out

Business_news 78. “Cronos” (1994)


Critic score: 90%

Number of reviews: 53

What critics said:“Surprises with its sophisticated and spirited look at a tale straight from the crypt.” —Los Angeles Times

Business_news 77. “The Wicker Man” (1973)

British Lion Films

Critic score:89%

Number of reviews: 54

What critics said:“Like many of the best horror/thrillers, ‘The Wicker Man’ works because it surprises audiences, relying on carefully-nurtured suspense rather than cheap, theatrical shocks.” —ReelViews

Business_news 76. “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 90%

Number of reviews: 51

What critics said:“With its toe-tapping cadences, its class cast and its king-sized cabbage, it’s destined to become a classic of camp comedy.” —The Washington Post

Business_news 75. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”/Vortex

Critic score: 88%

Number of reviews:60

What critics said:“Despite the heavy doses of gore in ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,’ Tobe Hooper’s pic is well-made for an exploiter of its type.” —Variety

Business_news 74. “The Conjuring” (2013)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 86%

Number of reviews: 223

What critics said:“In ‘The Conjuring,’ the scary casts out the spirit of the silly, permanently, and with a vengeance.” —The Washington Post

Business_news 73. “Misery” (1990)

IMDB / MGM Studios

Critic score:90%

Number of reviews: 68

What critics said:“Reiner captures just the right level of physical tension, but for the most part wisely emphasises the mental duels. Terrific.” —Time Out

Business_news 72. “Frenzy” (1972)


Critic score:90%

Number of reviews: 42

What critics said:“There’s no sign of the serenity and settledness that generally mark the end of a career. Frenzy, instead, continues to question and probe, and there is a streak of sheer anger in it that seems shockingly alive.” —Chicago Reader

Business_news 71. “Let Me In” (2010)

Paramount Pictures

Critic score: 88%

Number of reviews: 236

What critics said:“One of the few horror films that will trouble you long after the credits roll.” —Newsday

Business_news 70. “Halloween” (2018)


Critic score:79%

Number of reviews: 371

What critics said:“It lays on the dread with finesse before turning the tables in mostly creative ways.” —Boston Globe

Business_news 69. “Frankenweenie” (2012)


Critic score: 87%

Number of reviews: 221

What critics said:“The best thing about an animated monster movie with this much heart is: It’s alive. In the best possible way.” —Miami Herald

Business_news 68. “Eraserhead” (1977)

Libra Films International

Critic score:91%

Number of reviews: 58

What critics said:“What a masterpiece of texture, a feat of artisanal attention, an ingenious assemblage of damp, dust, rock, wood, hair, flesh, metal, ooze.” —Village Voice

Business_news 67. “The Witches” (1990)

Jim Henson Productions

Critic score:93%

Number of reviews: 43

What critics said:“Real darkness seethes beneath the ‘Once upon a time’ surface, mostly due to Henson’s seemingly curious selection of the brilliant and audacious Roeg to direct.” —Los Angeles Times

Business_news 66. “Upgrade” (2018)


Critic score:88%

Number of reviews: 188

What critics said:“Upgrade is as fluid and exhilarating as anything the Wachowskis signed their names to in the days when they were brothers: the kind of nifty, sometimes nasty surprise our multiplexes sorely need.” —Guardian

Business_news 65. “We Are Still Here” (2015)

Dark Sky Films

Critic score:95%

Number of reviews: 44

What critics said:“Showcasing juicy performances by its actors who tear into their stock roles with admirable conviction, the film looks terrific.” —Hollywood Reporter

Business_news 64. “The Wolf Man” (1941)


Critic score:90%

Number of reviews: 40

What critics said: “It finds modern sophistication and cultured intellects unprepared to deal with a threat that’s already at hand, maybe even under our own skin.” —AV Club

Business_news 63. “Phantom Of The Opera” (1925)

Newtown Theater

Critic score:90%

Number of reviews: 49

What critics said:“Lon Chaney’s performance as the hideous organist prowling the sewers beneath the Paris Opera is still a cornerstone of gothic horror.” —Chicago Reader

Business_news 62. “CAM” (2018)


Critic score:93%

Number of reviews: 97

What critics said:“A fascinating conversation starter driven by a great performance. Turn it on.” —

Business_news 61. “Dawn of the Dead” (1979)

United Film

Critic score:93%

Number of reviews: 45

What critics said:“Undoubtedly the zombie movie to end ’em all.” —Time Out

Business_news 60. “Shaun of the Dead” (2004)


Critic score:91%

Number of reviews: 210

What critics said:“Mixing horror and humor is no mean feat, but Shaun Of The Dead tightens throats in fear without making the laughs stick there in the process.” —The AV Club

Business_news 59. “The Endless” (2018)

Well Go USA Entertainment

Critic score:92%

Number of reviews: 128

What critics said:“This impressive low-budget indie weaves a genre-defying tapestry of weirdness, atmospherics and cultish horrors across a dusty US setting.” —Time Out

Business_news 58. “Don’t Breathe” (2016)


Critic score:88%

Number of reviews: 232

What critics said:“A breathless, visceral, nerve-racking thrill ride that doesn’t stop coming at you until its final gasps.” —Detroit News

Business_news 57. “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962)

Warner Bros.

Critic score:92%

Number of reviews: 51

What critics said:“A lurid melodrama of hate, revenge and murder, a high-class horror film, in the Hitchcock vein.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Business_news 56. “Re-Animator” (1985)

Empire Pictures

Critic score:93%

Number of reviews: 61

What critics said:“Re-Animator is splatter heaven. Based on the sci-fi novel by H.P. Lovecraft, Re-Animator’s gore is exceeded only by its wit” —The Washington Post

Business_news 55. “Zombieland” (2009)

YouTube screenshot

Critic score:89%

Number of reviews: 255

What critics said:“It’s a black-blood-spitting mugging of a movie, but it’s also relentlessly funny and innovative, the sort of film that makes you writhe and laugh at the same time.” —Detroit News

Business_news 54. “It Comes At Night” (2017)


Critic score:87%

Number of reviews: 250

What critics said:“Scored intensely and photographed vividly, the electric film imagines a small slice of doomsday with horrific believability.” —Globe and Mail

Business_news 53. “Dracula” (1931)

Universal Pictures

Critic score:91%

Number of reviews: 47

What critics said:“A sublimated ghost story related with all surface seriousness and above all with a remarkably effective background of creepy atmosphere.” —Variety

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Business_news 52. “The fly” (1986)

20th Century Fox

Critic score:92%

Number of reviews: 65

What critics said:“Wildly imaginative, gut-wrenchingly scarifying and profoundly primal (not to mention funny), David Cronenberg’s ‘The fly’ is a movie that whacks you in the solar plexus and leaves you gasping.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

Business_news 51. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

New Line Cinema

Critic score:94%

Number of reviews: 53

What critics said:“A highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy.” —Variety

Business_news 50. “The Host” (2007)

Magnolia Pictures

Critic score:93%

Number of reviews: 156

What critics said:“Rarely plays out the way you expect. Director Bong is careful to deliver the promised scares, but he is also willing to overlook plot formulas to explore his own interests.” —Miami Herald

Business_news 49. “Train to Busan (Busanhaeng)” (2016)

Redpeter films

Critic score:94%

Number of reviews: 116

What critics said:“A zombie movie content not to aspire to any loftier subtextual readings needs little more than a skilled choreographer of action, and there’s plenty of evidence that this film had one in Yeon.” —The AV Club

Business_news 48. “Suspiria” (1977)

International Classic

Critic score:93%

Number of reviews: 57

What critics said:“Mr. Argento’s methods make potentially stomach-turning material more interesting than it ought to be.” —The New York Times

Business_news 47. “Werckmeister Harmonies” (2001)

13 Productions

Critic score:98%

Number of reviews: 40

What critics said:“Bela Tarr’s style seems to be an attempt to regard his characters with great intensity and respect, to observe them without jostling them, to follow unobtrusively as they move through their worlds, which look so ordinary and are so awesome, like ours.” —Chicago Sun-Times

Business_news 46. “Room 237” (2013)


Critic score:94%

Number of reviews: 131

What critics said:“There’s enough real evidence supporting the theory that Kubrick was a genius, and that’s pretty entertaining all by itself.” —Newsday

Business_news 45. “The Love Witch” (2016)

Oscilloscope Laboratories

Critic score:95%

Number of reviews: 131

What critics said:“A modern feminist horror tale that rewards deep exploration beneath its admittedly beautiful surface.” —Detroit News

Business_news 44. “Harpoon” (2019)

775 Media Corp

Critic score:97%

Number of reviews: 59

What critics said:“‘Harpoon’ offers stylish compositions, amusing running gags and sharp, snappy dialogue. It’s a sparse, nasty little thriller.” —New York Times

Business_news 43. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)

United Artists

Critic score:93%

Number of reviews: 58

What critics said:“Set at the intersection of post-Vietnam paranoia and the myopic introspection that became hippiedom’s most lasting cultural contribution, the Philip Kaufman-directed Invasion alternates social commentary with impeccably crafted scares.” —The AV Club

Business_news 42. “The Innocents” (1961)


Critic score:94%

Number of reviews: 51

What critics said:“Based on Henry James’ story ‘Turn of the Screw’ this catches an eerie, spine-chilling mood right at the start and never lets up on its grim, evil theme.” —Variety

Business_news 41. “The Loved Ones” (2012)

Independent Pictures

Critic score:98%

Number of reviews: 57

What critics said:“It’s a terrifying masterpiece that turns high school drama into a literal dead zone.” —IndieWire

Business_news 40. “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn” (1987)


Critic score:95%

Number of reviews: 60

What critics said:“Evil Dead 2’s rampant inventiveness and manic energy have ensured that it will endure as a cult classic.”  —The AV Club

Business_news 39. “The Evil Dead” (1981)

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