Skip To Content
  • Yasss badge

24 Movies That Are Vital For All Horror Fans To See

"I wanna play a game."

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community which movies are absolutely essential for every horror fan to see. Here are the seriously spooky results.

1. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Paramount Pictures

What it's about: A pregnant woman begins to fear her husband has joined forces with their questionable new neighbors, and her paranoia starts to take over.

Why it's essential: "I thought I knew of great cult films, but then I saw this one. The controversial conception scene is forever burned into my mind! Easily one of the best, a classic."

Submitted by nicolec4be56055d

2. It (1990)

Warner Bros. Television

What it's about: Though It is for the most part seen in the form of Pennywise the Clown, It has the ability to appear in the form of everyone's worst fears, and uses those fears to exploit its victims.

Why it's essential: "Pennywise was everyone's childhood worst nightmare."

Submitted by Karla Garcia, Facebook

3. Poltergeist (1982)


What it's about: A suburban California family's life spirals out of control when their home is invaded by ghosts who want to take their daughter. What makes this movie even more terrifying is that terrifying events happened off camera as well.

Why it's essential: "This movie is terrifying. I still can't believe it's only rated PG."

Submitted by jbrown378

4. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Artisan Entertainment

What it's about: Three student filmmakers learn about the legend of the Blair Witch, and decide to head into the woods to film a documentary about it. They disappear in 1994, and a year later their footage is found.

Why it's essential: "It's wonderfully effective because it manages to scare the pants off you without showing you ANYTHING, except the evidence of the monster. Convincing, compelling, unsettling, and totally unforgettable."

Submitted by Katlyn Minard, Facebook

5. Saw (2004)

Twisted Pictures

What it's about: Two men awaken chained to pipes in an old, underground bathroom, and have to play a series of games and solve riddles to try to find a way to break free. Along the way, they try to figure out how they got there in the first place.

Why it's essential: "They're gory, but make you wonder what you'd do in those situations. Makes you think and value your life more."

Submitted by aniay

6. House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)

Lions Gate Films

What it's about: Two couples pick up a hitchhiker on Halloween, and when she takes them to her home, her sadistic family holds them hostage. True to form, this Rob Zombie film is full of aesthetic gore.

Why it's essential: "Rob Zombie's vision may seem incredibly odd at first, but it's nothing if not genius."

Submitted by arewethereyeti

7. Halloween (1978)

Compass International Pictures

What it's about: A 6-year-old named Michael Myers murders his sister in an Illinois town on Halloween in 1963. Years later, he escapes from a psychiatric hospital and stalks a group of young girls.

Why it's essential: "Not only for horror fans, but anyone who likes movies in general. Even horror movies today, like It Follows, take HUGE cues from Halloween."

Submitted by Mathew Rodriguez, Facebook

8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Orion Pictures

What it's about: A young FBI trainee seeks the insight of imprisoned former psychiatrist and serial killer Hannibal Lecter to solve another serial killer case.

Why it's essential: "The main character is a nasty genius."

Submitted by shannont478674912

9. The Shining (1980)

Warner Bros.

What it's about: Writer and recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance uproots his family and takes a job at an isolated hotel to be a caretaker for the entire winter. Evil spirits start influencing Torrance and taunting him with violent thoughts.

Why it's essential: "It's a classic, and Jack Nicholson is seriously on-point when playing someone crazy."

Submitted by Emily Yuriko Erickson, Facebook

10. The Evil Dead (1981)

New Line Cinema

What it's about: Five college students head to an isolated cabin getaway, and after they find a tape that releases a myriad of spirits, each person begins suffering from demonic possession.

Why it's essential: "The most classic cult classic in the horror genre, the effects are campy, but creepy as hell. Evil Dead is one of the only horror movies I can watch on repeat."

Submitted by sarahs451092448

11. The Exorcist (1973)

Warner Bros.

What it's about: The movie, based on the book by William Peter Blatty, tells the story of a 12-year-old girl dealing with demonic possession, and the several attempts her mother makes to get her daughter back through an exorcism. It's a classic, truly.

Why it's essential: "It's the devil, and I still do NOT watch this movie with the lights off."

Submitted by Latanya Ivey, Facebook

12. Psycho (1960)

Paramount Pictures

What it's about: A secretary steals $40,000 from her job and attempts to escape. She checks into a motel off of what used to be a very prominent highway and meets the owner, a troubled young man who is taking care of his old mother.

Why it's essential: "After you watch it, you sit in silent respect for the king of the psychological thriller, Alfred Hitchcock, for still being able to trick and scare audiences over 50 years later."

Submitted by Emily Yuriko Erickson, Facebook

13. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)


What it's about: On a weekend getaway at a remote cabin in the woods, a group of friends attempt to figure out the story behind strange relics they find in the cabin. Little do they know, they're being watched.

Why it's essential: "It uses old horror tropes say something about the genre and why we watch it. It's creepy, funny, AND smart."

Submitted by Michelle Shavlik, Facebook

14. The Amityville Horror (1979)

American International Pictures

What it's about: A family moves into a house in Amityville, New York, where a mass murder was committed years prior. They all start to have experiences with the supernatural, but the person most affected is the father.

Why it's essential: "I still pee a little thinking about certain terrifying scenes."

Submitted by meganw4ba0ae157

15. Cujo (1983)

Warner Bros.

What it's about: A once very friendly Saint Bernard contracts rabies from a bat, and becomes one family's worst violent nightmare.

Why it's essential: "It will always be horrifying. I can't even type the name without getting a bad feeling in my stomach."

Submitted by Debbie Ritter, Facebook

16. The Babadook (2014)

IFC Films

What it's about: A single mother still overwhelmed by the death of her husband several years prior tries to balance being a good mother and dealing with sinister spirits that are taking over her thoughts.

Why it's essential: "The acting's superb, cinematography is great, and the artistic style is downright spooky."

Submitted by Cipher

17. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Bryanston Pictures

What it's about: A group of teens go to visit their grandfather's grave, and along the way, they pick up a hitchhiker, drive past a slaughterhouse, and end up at an old family home, where they are met with a horrid onslaught of events.

Why it's essential: "The creepy, backwoods-slasher premise has inspired countless films since."

Submitted by Joy Barr, Facebook

18. The Grudge (2004)

Columbia Pictures / Universal Pictures

What it's about: An American nurse working in Tokyo begins to notice strong supernatural occurrences surrounding the house she is working in, and must find a way to break the curse before it takes her life.

Why it's essential: "The scene where the girl finds the rabbit paw keychain in her bed gave me nightmares. Don't go in your bed."

Submitted by shanzyh

19. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Hollywood Pictures / Spyglass Entertainment

What it's about: A young boy has the ability to communicate with spirits that aren't aware of their current state. In an attempt to figure out how to deal with his special ability, the young boy seeks the help of an award-winning child psychologist.

Why it's essential: "It's a moderately scary movie that is great for those trying to get to know the horror genre, and has a classic horror movie plot!"

Submitted by sportingtreble6

20. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

New Line Cinema

What it's about: A serial killer taunts a group of friends in their dreams, picking them off one by one.

Why it's essential: "So many scenes still haunt my dreams, like Freddy running in an alley with long arms, the bloody body bag being dragged down the hallway...the list goes on."

Submitted by Eleanor Stevenson, Facebook

21. Sinister (2012)

Summit Entertainment

What it's about: A true-crime author uproots his family and moves into a home where a tragic incident occurred, but his family doesn't know that little detail. Soon, his family is overwhelmed by the presence of the undead.

Why it's essential: "Even if you don't get freaked out easily, it will stay with you for what seems like ages!"

Submitted by helenr485b89aeb

22. Child's Play (1988)

United Artists

What it's about: A woman gives her son a seemingly harmless doll for his birthday, but is unaware that the doll is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

Why it's essential: "This traumatized me as a kid, and still haunts me to this very day."

Submitted by Mike Fatone, Facebook

23. The Ring (2002)

Dreamworks Pictures

What it's about: A journalist investigates the stories surrounding a videotape that supposedly brings death within seven days to anyone who watches it. If the legend is true, she only has seven days to save her son's life — and her own.

Why it's essential: "This whole movie really messed with my head... those images may never leave my brain."

Submitted by saraho4a20298d2

24. Scream (1996)

Dimension Films

What it's about: A high school student and her friends become the target of a serial killer who likes to play mind games and align his methods with popular horror films.

Why it's essential: "If you haven't seen it, you need to reevaluate your life! Delightfully self-referential, and perfectly '90s!"

Submitted by Jubilee91

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form