Top 10 Horror Films Of All Time

By Craig McNair

It’s that time of year again for watching horror movies.  Being born on Halloween I have been watching scary movies since my birth, so here is my list for top 10 horror films of all time.

10. “The Exorcist” (1973) – What top 10 horror films of all time list would be
complete without this horrifying story of good vs. evil.  The film is notable for being one of the most controversial horror movies of all time.

Famous Quote – “What an excellent day for an exorcism.” – Regan MacNeil

9. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) – From Tobe Hooper, the director who also gave us 1982’s “Poltergeist”, comes one of the most terrifying films of all time.  The story of Leatherface horrified audiences upon it’s initial release.

Famous quote – “For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” – Narrator

8. “Bride Of Frankenstein” (1935) – From James Whale, the director who brought us 1931’s “Frankenstein” and 1933’s “The Invisible Man”, comes the masterpiece of all Universal monster movies.  “Bride Of Frankenstein” is notable for its innovative special effects and Boris Karloff’s stunning portrayal of the monster.

Famous quote – “I want friend like me.” – Frankenstein’s Monster

7. “Friday The 13th” (1980) – The film is most notable for introducing the world to Jason Voorhees even though it’s his mother who’s wielding the knife at Camp Crystal Lake.  The film features make up effects artist and Pittsburgh native, Tom Savini, who also worked on 1978’s “Dawn Of The Dead”.

Famous quote – “Kill her, Mommy! Kill her! Don’t let her get away, Mommy! Don’t let her live.” – Pamela Voorhees

6. “Nightmare On Elm Street” (1984) / “Scream” (1996) – This two way tie is due to the fact that both films were directed by Wes Craven who is also known for other horror classics such as 1972’s “The Last House On The Left” and 1977’s “The Hills Have Eyes”.

“Nightmare On Elm Street” is most notable for introducing the world to Freddy
Krueger.  The film was innovative amongst horror films because the killer could transcend into dreams to claim his victims.

Famous quote – “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.” – Children

“Scream” is the greatest horror film of the last twenty five years due to it’s impact on popular culture from halloween costumes to parody films.  The film is innovative due to Ghostface being embodied by multiple killers.

Famous quote – “What’s your favorite scary movie?” – Ghostface

5. “Night Of The Living Dead” (1968) – This George Romero classic is not only notable for being the first zombie movie of all time but it was also filmed in
Pittsburgh.  George Romero’s 1978 sequel “Dawn Of The Dead” was filmed at the Monroeville Mall.

Famous quote – “They’re coming to get you, Barbara, there’s one of them now!” – Johnny

4. “The Shining” (1980) – Author Stephen King and director Stanley Kubrick created one of the scariest films of all time with their story of a man who gradually descends into madness while snowed in at a hotel with his wife and son.  Jack Nicholson delivers one of his greatest performances as Jack Torrance.

Famous quote – “Here’s Johnny.” – Jack Torrance

3. “Psycho” (1960) – Alfred Hitchcock’s film regarding the story of a boy, his
mother, and their family hotel shocked audiences upon its release in 1960.  Norman Bates is the original serial killer that all other are compared to.  The
character of Marion Crane who is murdered in the famous shower scene is played by none other than Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother Janet Leigh.

Famous quote – “Mother! Oh God, mother! Blood! Blood!” – Norman Bates

2. “Dracula” (1931) / “The Wolf Man” (1941) – This two way tie is due to the
recent resurgence in popularity of both vampires and werewolves.

“Dracula”, the most influential vampire movie of all time stars Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula.  It was such an important role for Bela Lugosi that when he died in 1956 he was buried wearing the black silk cape he wore throughout the film.  The film also stars famous horror movie actors Edward Van Sloan and Dwight Frye who also star in 1931’s “Frankenstein”.

Famous quote – “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” – Count Dracula

“The Wolf Man” is the most influential werewolf movie of all time and it stars
Claude Rains, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot / The Wolf
Man.  Many of the modern myths surrounding werewolves originated in this film.

Famous quote – “Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” – Maleva

1. “Halloween” (1978) – The story of an escaped mental patient’s Halloween killing spree in his hometown started the trend of slasher films that are still popular to this day.  The John Carpenter masterpiece is notable for not only introducing the world to Michael Myers but also to scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis who makes her horror film debut as Laurie Strode.

Famous quote – “I met this six year old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach
him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil.” – Dr.
Sam Loomis

These ten films are perfect for any Halloween party or just to watch with the lights off and a bag of popcorn.  Happy Halloween to all of the Penn State students out there and have a safe night.


One response to “Top 10 Horror Films Of All Time

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Horror Films of the 80s & 90s | The Nittany Pride

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