Top 100 Horror Films that Impressed & Influenced Me the Most

Latest update: November 2021 | Adrian Țofei

These are the horror films that impressed and/or influenced me the most from childhood till recently. They’re not necessarily the ones I consider to be the best or scariest ever made, it’s a highly subjective list of the horror films that marked my life. Colored green are the newly-added films and those that climbed in the top at the latest updates. Check out my other film lists as well, and find my reviews on Letterboxd!

Update: I’ve added ratings on a scale from 1 to 10 so you can also have my current “objective” opinion of these films for a more balanced understanding. My ratings’ meaning:

  • 10 – perfect
  • 8 – great
  • 6 – good
  • 4 – so so
  • 2 – bad

Top 10 Ranked:

  1. Carrie (1976, Brian De Palma) – 8/10
  2. The Blair Witch Project (1999, Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez) – 6/10
  3. Freaks (1932, Tod Browning) – 9/10
  4. Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock) – 6/10
  5. Bride of Frankenstein (1935, James Whale) – 8/10
  6. American Horror Story: Asylum (2012 mini-series, creators Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk) – 7/10
  7. The Haunting (1963, Robert Wise) – 8/10
  8. Peeping Tom (1960, Michael Powell) – 8/10
  9. Halloween (1978, John Carpenter) – 8/10
  10. The Witch (2015, Robert Eggers) – 8/10

Top 100 from Newest to Oldest:

  • Midnight Mass (2021 mini-series, Mike Flanagan) – 6/10
  • The Invisible Man (2020, Leigh Whannell) – 6/10
  • Death of a Vlogger (2019, Graham Hughes)
  • Doctor Sleep (2019, Mike Flanagan) – 7/10
  • I See You (2019, Adam Randall) – 7/10
  • Hush (2016, Mike Flanagan) – 7/10
  • Train to Busan (2016, Sang-ho Yeon) – 6/10
  • Under the Shadow (2016, Babak Anvari) – 6/10
  • Bone Tomahawk (2015, S. Craig Zahler) – 7/10
  • Selfie from Hell (2015 short, Erdal Ceylan) – 6/10
  • Backcountry (2014, Adam MacDonald) – 5/10
  • Starry Eyes (2014, Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer) – 6/10
  • Byzantium (2012, Neil Jordan) – 7/10
  • Sightseers (2012, Ben Wheatley) – 7/10
  • Sinister (2012, Scott Derrickson) – 6/10
  • Thanksgiving (2012 micro-short, Mark Ares) – 6/10
  • Absentia (2011, Mike Flanagan) – 7/10
  • American Horror Story: Murder House + Red Tide (2011/2021 mini-series, creators Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk) – 6/10 + 6/10
  • Buried (2010, Rodrigo Cortes) – 7/10
  • Frozen (2010, Adam Green) – 6/10
  • Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010, Eli Craig) – 6/10
  • The Walking Dead: Season 1 (2010 series, Frank Darabont) – 7/10
  • Drag Me to Hell (2009, Sam Raimi) – 7/10
  • The House of the Devil (2009, Ti West) – 6/10
  • The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009, Tom Six) – 6/10
  • Thirst (2009, Park Chan-Wook) – 8/10
  • The Children (2008, Tom Shankland) – 6/10
  • Cloverfield (2008, Matt Reeves) – 6/10
  • Eden Lake (2008, James Watkins) – 6/10
  • Home Movie (2008, Christopher Denham) – 6/10
  • The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon (2008 short, Richard Gale) – 8/10
  • Lake Mungo (2008, Joel Anderson) – 7/10
  • The Ruins (2008, Carter Smith) – 5/10
  • Snuff: A Documentary About Killing on Camera (2008 documentary, Paul von Stoetzel) – 4/10
  • The Mist (2007, Frank Darabont) – 6/10
  • Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006 documentary, Jeff McQueen) – 6/10
  • Hostel (2005, Eli Roth) – 6/10
  • Noroi: The Curse (2005, Koji Shiraishi) – 6/10
  • Wolf Creek (2005, Greg McLean) – 7/10
  • Saw (2004, James Wan) – 6/10
  • The Village (2004, M. Night Shyamalan) – 6/10
  • High Tension (2003, Alexandre Aja) – 7/10
  • Open Water (2003, Chris Kentis) – 6/10
  • Happy Tree Friends: Eye Candy + Out on a Limb (2002/2003 animated shorts, Rhode Montijo / Kenn Navarro) – 6/10 + 6/10
  • Panic Room (2002, David Fincher) – 6/10
  • The Ring (2002, Gore Verbinski) – 6/10
  • Frailty (2001, Bill Paxton) – 6/10
  • Session 9 (2001, Brad Anderson) – 6/10
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998, Steve Miner) + Halloween (2018, David Gordon Green) + Halloween: The Inside Story (2020 documentary, Phil Nobile Jr.) – 5/10 + 6/10 + 6/10
  • Cube (1997, Vincenzo Natali) – 6/10
  • Open Your Eyes (1997, Alejandro Amenabar) – 6/10
  • The Chicken from Outer Space (1996 animated short, John Dilworth) – 6/10
  • The Dentist (1996, Brian Yuzna) + The Dentist 2 (1998, Brian Yuzna) – 4/10 + 4/10
  • Mute Witness (1995, Anthony Waller) – 7/10
  • Braindead / Dead Alive (1992, Peter Jackson) – 7/10
  • Candyman (1992, Bernard Rose) – 7/10
  • The Lawnmower Man (1992, Brett Leonard) – 5/10
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Jonathan Demme) – 6/10
  • Misery (1990, Rob Reiner) – 6/10
  • Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990, Mick Garris) – 4/10
  • Tremors (1990, Ron Underwood) – 6/10
  • Twin Peaks: Pilot (1990 episode, David Lynch) – 7/10
  • Dead Calm (1989, Phillip Noyce) – 6/10
  • Pet Sematary (1989, Mary Lambert) – 5/10
  • Monsters: Pillow TalkThe Hole (1988/1990 episodes, Richard P. Rubinstein) – 5/10 + 6/10
  • Deadly Friend (1986, Wes Craven) – 4/10
  • Christine (1983, John Carpenter) – 6/10
  • Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983 music video, John Landis) – 6/10
  • Poltergeist (1982, Tobe Hooper & Steven Spielberg) – 7/10
  • Tenebre / Tenebrae (1982, Dario Argento) – 6/10
  • Videodrome (1982, David Cronenberg) – 7/10
  • The Howling (1981, Joe Dante) – 7/10
  • Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato) – 4/10
  • Friday the 13th (1980, Sean S. Cunningham) – 6/10
  • Alien (1979, Ridley Scott) + Aliens (1986, James Cameron) + Alien: Resurrection (1997, Jean-Pierre Jeunet) – 6/10 + 5/10 + 5/10
  • Piranha (1978, Joe Dante) – 6/10
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, John Carpenter) – 7/10
  • The Omen (1976, Richard Donner) – 6/10
  • Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg) – 5/10
  • The Wicker Man (1973, Robin Hardy) – 8/10
  • The Last House on the Left (1972, Wes Craven) – 7/10
  • A Bay of Blood (1971, Mario Bava) – 6/10
  • Duel (1971, Steven Spielberg) – 7/10
  • Africa Addio (1966 documentary, Gualtiero Jacopetti & Franco Prosperi) – 6/10
  • The Birds (1963, Alfred Hitchcock) – 6/10
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962, Robert Aldrich) – 7/10
  • The Twilight Zone: Time Enough at Last + Eye of the Beholder (1959/1960 episodes, Rod Serling) – 7/10 + 7/10
  • Hair-Raising Hare (1946 animated short, Chuck Jones) + Switchin’ Kitten (1961 animated short, Gene Deitch) – 6/10 + 5/10
  • Dead of Night (1945 anthology movie, various directors) – 6/10
  • King Kong (1933, Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack) – 7/10

Also a film I saw in my childhood (possibly from the 80s or the 90s) with a boy (teenage or young adult) saving a cute blonde girl from a kind of fire inferno in an industrial construction (probably sci-fi horror). The girl had this type of hair (the image is from Cherry 2000, but that’s not the film) and black shiny leggings. Let me know if you think you might know the title. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a theatrical feature, it might have been a tv movie or the episode of a series (although the scale of the effects I remember seem a bit too much for tv back then).

Listing these films doesn’t mean acceptance of the potentially illegal, unethical or immoral behaviour of any creator or star, neither that I agree with their opinions on any subject matter. It also doesn’t mean approval of the ideas expressed in the films or of the ways they were made.