Top 100 Horror Films that Impressed & Influenced Me the Most

Latest update: September 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. For a full unranked list of all the horror films I liked, go to IMDb or Letterboxd. Check out my other film lists as well!

Top 10:

  1. Carrie (1976, Brian De Palma)
  2. The Blair Witch Project (1999, Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez) – review
  3. Freaks (1932, Tod Browning)
  4. Bride of Frankenstein (1935, James Whale)
  5. American Horror Story: Asylum (2012 tv mini-series, Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk) – review
  6. The Haunting (1963, Robert Wise)
  7. Peeping Tom (1960, Michael Powell)
  8. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, Peter Weir)
  9. Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)
  10. The Witch (2015, Robert Eggers) – review

Top 25:

(in chronological order from 11th to 25th)

  • Byzantium (2012, Neil Jordan) – review
  • Absentia (2011, Mike Flanagan)
  • Buried (2010, Rodrigo Cortes)
  • The Walking Dead: Season 1 (2010 tv series, Frank Darabont)
  • The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon (2008 short, Richard Gale)
  • The Mist (2007, Frank Darabont)
  • Wolf Creek (2005, Greg McLean)
  • Candyman (1992, Bernard Rose)
  • Dead Alive / Braindead (1992, Peter Jackson)
  • Deadly Friend (1986, Wes Craven)
  • Poltergeist (1982, Tobe Hooper & Steven Spielberg)
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, John Carpenter)
  • The Last House on the Left (1972, Wes Craven)
  • Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock) + Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990 tv movie, Mick Garris)
  • King Kong (1933, Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack)

Top 50:

(in chronological order from 26th to 50th)

  • American Horror Story: Red Tide (2021 tv mini-series, Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk) – review
  • Doctor Sleep (2019, Mike Flanagan) – review
  • Bone Tomahawk (2015, S. Craig Zahler)
  • Sinister (2012, Scott Derrickson) – review
  • American Horror Story: Murder House (2011 tv mini-series, Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk)
  • Frozen (2010, Adam Green)
  • Drag Me to Hell (2009, Sam Raimi) – review
  • The House of the Devil (2009, Ti West)
  • The Children (2008, Tom Shankland)
  • Home Movie (2008, Christopher Denham)
  • Hostel (2005, Eli Roth)
  • Noroi: The Curse (2005, Koji Shiraishi)
  • High Tension / Haute tension (2003, Alexandre Aja)
  • Happy Tree Friends: Eye Candy (2002 animated short, Rhode Montijo)
  • Session 9 (2001, Brad Anderson)
  • The Chicken from Outer Space (1996 animated short, John Dilworth)
  • The Lawnmower Man (1992, Brett Leonard)
  • Misery (1990, Rob Reiner)
  • Tremors (1990, Ron Underwood)
  • Twin Peaks: Pilot (1990 tv episode, David Lynch)
  • Videodrome (1982, David Cronenberg)
  • The Howling (1981, Joe Dante)
  • Piranha (1978, Joe Dante)
  • The Wicker Man (1973, Robin Hardy) – review
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962, Robert Aldrich)

Top 100:

(in chronological order from 51st to 100th)

  • The Invisible Man (2020, Leigh Whannell)
  • Death of a Vlogger (2019, Graham Hughes) – review
  • Halloween (2018, David Gordon Green) + Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998, Steve Miner)
  • Found Footage 3D (2016, Steven DeGennaro)
  • Hush (2016, Mike Flanagan)
  • Train to Busan (2016, Sang-ho Yeon)
  • Under the Shadow (2016, Babak Anvari)
  • Selfie from Hell (2015 short, Erdal Ceylan)
  • As Above, So Below (2014, John Erick Dowdle)
  • Backcountry (2014, Adam MacDonald)
  • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014, Christopher Landon)
  • Starry Eyes (2014, Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer) – review
  • Thanksgiving (2012 micro-short, Mark Ares)
  • Kill List (2011, Ben Wheatley)
  • Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010, Troy Nixey)
  • Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010, Eli Craig)
  • The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009, Tom Six)
  • Eden Lake (2008, James Watkins)
  • Cloverfield (2008, Matt Reeves)
  • Lake Mungo (2008, Joel Anderson)
  • The Ruins (2008, Carter Smith)
  • Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006 documentary)
  • Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns (2005 tv episode, John Carpenter)
  • Saw (2004, James Wan)
  • The Village (2004, M. Night Shyamalan)
  • Identity (2003, James Mangold)
  • Open Water (2003, Chris Kentis)
  • The Ring (2002, Gore Verbinski)
  • Signs (2002, M. Night Shyamalan)
  • Frailty (2001, Bill Paxton)
  • The Dentist (1996, Brian Yuzna) + The Dentist 2 (1998, Brian Yuzna)
  • Mute Witness (1995, Anthony Waller)
  • Toys (1992, Barry Levinson)
  • 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. Please contact me 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).
  • Dead Calm (1989, Phillip Noyce)
  • Monsters: Pillow TalkThe Hole (1988-1990 tv episodes, Richard P. Rubinstein)
  • The Name of the Rose (1986, Jean-Jacques Annaud)
  • Christine (1983, John Carpenter)
  • Tenebre / Tenebrae (1982, Dario Argento)
  • Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato)
  • Friday the 13th (1980, Sean S. Cunningham)
  • Alien (1979, Ridley Scott) + Aliens (1986, James Cameron) + Alien: Resurrection (1997, Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
  • The Omen (1976, Richard Donner)
  • Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg)
  • A Bay of Blood / Reazione a catena (1971, Mario Bava)
  • Africa Addio (1966 documentary, Gualtiero Jacopetti & Franco Prosperi)
  • The Birds (1963, Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Twilight Zone: Time Enough at Last (1959 tv episode, John Brahm)
  • Dead of Night (1945 anthology movie, various directors)
  • Hair-Raising Hare (1946 animated short, Chuck Jones)

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.