Essential Horror

The films on this ‘Essential’ list are important in terms of their global impact on the horror movie genre, either for their box office draw, artistic merit, cult credibility, or simple shock value. This selection has been compiled from a wide range of choices by critics and fans worldwide and does not just reflect the opinions of individual MOVIES & MANIA editors or contributors.

Many of these movies are not without flaws and the list is not meant to be a ‘best of’, or fully comprehensive; it simply offers a snapshot of significant fright films to seek out if you have not yet seen them.

Our ‘Recommended’ horror films are those that we recommend as being better than the average genre fare. These are listed on a separate page here

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Alien – UK | USA, 1979

American Psycho – film, 2000

An American Werewolf in London – USA, 1981

Audition – Japan, 1999

The Autopsy of Jane Doe – UK, USA, 2016

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7 Comments on “Essential Horror”

  1. Would that killer doll remake involve anyone named Chucky?
    I haven’t seen it, but I haven’t heard much good about it.

  2. You have essential, recommended and worst horror, so how about doing overrated horror? Movies that aren’t necessarily bad, but just don’t live up to the hype surrounding them. My first pick: Andy Muschietti’s ‘It.’

    1. Good suggestion, John! And I’d agree with IT being over-hyped, especially by Horrorfreak News (which now seems to be dead). However, there’s a lot more work to be done to add more Recommended movies and the list of Worst horror seems endless before we could even think of tackling over-hyped movies. We were recently asked to hype up a new killer doll reboot movie that shall remain nameless (guess!) but we honestly couldn’t think of anything good to say about the project. Essential zombie movies is our next listing, so feel free to suggest your choices. Thanks, Adrian

    1. In the Mouth of Madness is in our Recommended Horror Films list because although we feel it has genuine merit, it’s not “Essential”

  3. What a great list! I should definitely watch some I haven’t watched yet. And among new horrors, I’d mention The Conjuring 2. Yes, there are quite ordinary horror tricks in this movie such as inverted crosses, monsters in a tent and doors closing right behind your nose. But the plot and beautiful shooting cover these small flaws.

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