Top-Rated Horror Films That Aren’t For The Faint Of Heart, According To Rotten Tomatoes
For those of you who are having difficulty picking the next sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat horror movie to watch, have no fear! According to the go-to online rating system, Rotten Tomatoes, these upcoming films are some of the best horror movies of all time.
From the Predator sequel Prey to the film adaptation of Stephen King's It, these horror movies should be on the top of every horror lover's must-watch list.
Dawn Breaks Behind The Eyes
With 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the horror film Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes clearly did something right!
Paying homage to the mystery thrillers of the 1960s and 70s, this particular film will have people questioning pretty much everything halfway through the film when an interesting new couple is introduced out of the blue.
In 2017, director Andy Muschietti brought author Stephen King's It back to the silver screen. Set in the small town of Derry, Maine, a group of kids gets caught up in the tale of Pennywise, The Dancing Clown.
With an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, one reviewer on the site said the film was "Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core; It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart."
The Blair Witch Project
Beautifully presented in a mock-doc sort of way, The Blair Witch Project is one of those films that has viewers on the edge of their seats the entire way through.
Revolving around three film students documenting the mythical Blair Witch, viewers see nothing more than the "found footage" they left behind in the woods after never returning home. With 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is said to be "a groundbreaker in fright that reinvents scary for the new millennium."
There is nothing quite like watching a nice family get endlessly taunted by their evil doppelgängers. That is exactly what happens in the horror film Us, with the Wilson family fighting for their lives against none other than themselves.
The film holds 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and one critic even said, "All the elements of the production work together to create an atmospheric menace that occupies a breathless two-thirds of the high-intensity 116-minute running time."
We Are Still Here
There is nothing quite like a spooky old house in the middle of a field that "wakes up" every 30 years demanding a sacrifice. Well, that is pretty much the plot of the 2015 film We Are Still Here, a movie that every horror buff should watch.
The film has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and has been called "Smart, powerfully acted, and devilishly clever, We Are Still Here offers some novel twists on familiar territory..."
Dawn Of The Dead
What is the horror genre without some original content, such as Dawn of the Dead from 1978? And, with 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems as though viewers agree that the zombie film is worthy of a top spot in the horror genre.
Even film reviewer Roger Ebert said the film was "one of the best horror films ever made. Gruesome, sickening, disgusting, violent, brutal, and appalling, nobody ever said art had to be in good taste."
Bringing it back to 1931, Dracula is one horror film no one should miss out on watching. A classic, the film revolves around the title character as he moves from Transylvania to wreak havoc in London. Of course, Van Helsing has something to say about him sucking the blood out of innocents!
The film has a solid 945 on Rotten Tomatoes.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
One, two, Freddy's coming for you if you don't put A Nightmare on Elm Street on your "to watch" list. The 1984 slasher film was the start of the Elm Street franchise, introducing viewers to the nightmare that is Freddy Kreuger and how people get so caught up in life they can't distinguish dreams from reality.
With a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, one reviewer said, "A highly imaginative horror film that provides the requisite shocks to keep fans of the genre happy."
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
Released in 1978, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a new kind of horror film remake, following the story of people who tried their hardest to figure out why friends and loved ones were acting very oddly, never anticipating it was because of an alien taking over their bodies!
The film has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, with one reviewer saying, "Surprisingly... the film is a triumph. For once, a remake has not trespassed the original but re-explored, updated, and defined it for a new audience."
Don't let the coming-of-age distinction in the genre fool you; Raw is a horror movie that will have people putting a pillow over their faces in no time. A vegetarian, Justine attends veterinary school only to find out that she has a weird craving for blood and, wait for it, raw meat and flesh!
Bring on the cannibalistic tendencies and horror tropes, and this movie definitely deserves its 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. David Fear of Rolling Stone even went as far as calling the 2016 film "a contender for [the] best horror movie of the decade."
The Evil Dead
Released in 1981, The Evil Dead began director Sam Raimi's iconic horror franchise. It all starts with five Michigan State college students, one being the famous Ash Williams. Sadly, he and his friends stumble upon an ancient book able to raise the dead. Now, it's up to Ash to save himself before being turned into one of the evil dead.
With a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, one reviewer said, "This classic low-budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs."
Under the genre of "found footage psychological horror," the 2014 film Creep is not for the light of heart. Based on director Patrick Brice's own experience with Craigslist, the film revolves around a man answering an ad to film his life for a day.
The thing is, what starts out as a normal day winds up being anything but. The film has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and is said to be "a smart, oddball take on found-footage horror."
Sissy Spacek stars as the title character in the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King's horror book Carrie. An outcast who is taunted by her classmates, Carrie eventually learns she has supernatural abilities. But after being bullied all her life, things take a dark turn.
The film holds 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers saying, "It's unsettling, incredibly brutal, and satisfying by the end.
A Quiet Place
Ironically, A Quiet Place is scarier since there is virtually no sound aside from the characters' breathing and nature around them. With the premise of "if they hear you, they hunt you," the 2018 horror film follows a family fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters.
The film has 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, with site critics saying, "Sure, it's just a movie, but A Quiet Place is so effective that you'll be deathly afraid of making a sound - just like the main characters."
With a pagan cult, human sacrifices, and unsettling rituals, Midsommer is one of those horror films that leave people with a feeling of their skin crawling. Even so, it is still one of the best in the horror genre.
The film holds 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, with one reviewer saying, "Ambitious, impressively crafted, and above all unsettling, Midsommar further proves writer-director Ari Aster is a horror auteur to be reckoned with."
Of course, what is the horror genre without Alfred Hitchcock's expertise, including the 1960 film Psycho? Set in the thrilling location of the Bate's Motel, Marion Crane has no idea what awaits her with Norman and his dual personalities.
Holding 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is considered one of the greatest of all time.
In his directorial debut, Jordan Peele created an insanely horrific world in the film Get Out. The movie follows Chris as he meets his girlfriend's parents for the first time. Though not everything is as it seems, Chris soon finds himself in an auction.
An auction for what? People will have to watch the 98% Rotten Tomatoes-approval movie to find out!
Filmed on Zoom with the cast and crew setting up their own lighting, stunts, and cameras, Host is one of those films that might have flown over some people's heads. After summoning a demonic presence during an online séance, six friends have to figure out how to survive the evil spirit terrorizing their homes.
The film holds a solid 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling the movie "Lean, suspenseful, and scary; Host uses its timely premise to deliver a nastily effective treat for horror enthusiasts.
10 Cloverfield Lane
In a psychological horror film, 10 Cloverfield Lane finds the protagonist, Michelle, in an underground bunker, totally unaware of what is happening outside. All she is told is the air is unbreathable, and she, and the two men she is with, have to stay underground.
With a twist ending for the ages, 10 Cloverfield Lane has 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics saying, "Smart, solidly crafted, and palpably tense, 10 Cloverfield Lane makes the most of its confined setting and outstanding cast—and suggests a new frontier for franchise filmmaking."
The 1931 film Frankenstein is a film adaptation of author Mary Shelly's novel of the same name. A movie revolving around a mad scientist wanting to play god, the classic film has a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
On the website, critics said, "Still unnerving to this day, Frankenstein adroitly explores the fine line between genius and madness and features Boris Karloff's legendary, frightening performance as the monster."
The Cabin In The Woods
While The Cabin in the Woods has a "comedy" tag in its genre, it is still a jump-worthy horror film featuring great acting, a solid plot of monsters and underground facilities manipulating events, and an apocalypse.
The comedy-horror film holds 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics saying, "The Cabin in the Woods is an astonishing meta-feat, capable of being funny, strange, and scary — frequently all at the same time."
What is a horror movie list without including the original Halloween film from 1978? Starring Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, Halloween brings viewers into the scary misadventures of the teen as she tries to escape the horrifying Michael Myers.
Considered one of the most influential horror films ever made, Halloween holds 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, with one critic saying, "This is a classic horror film if there ever was one. Perfect blend of suspense and "slash em up" horror."
The Silence Of The Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs went on to win an Academy Award in all five of the major categories of the ceremony, including Best Picture, for a reason. The acting chops of Anthony Hopkins as the cannibal Doctor Hannibal Lector next to the wonderful performance of Jodie Foster as FBI trainee Clarice Starling is not something people see every day, especially in horror films.
Holding a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, reviewers call the film a "smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster."
The prequel film to Predator, the 2022 film Prey, is a horror film that should not be overlooked. The movie follows Naru, a skilled Comanche warrior who protects her tribe from an alien species that enjoys hunting humans for fun.
The movie actually has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling the film "The rare action thriller that spikes adrenaline without skimping on character development; Prey is a Predator sequel done right."
A mysterious presence, occultist symbols, and family secrets are littered throughout the plot of the 2018 horror film Hereditary. After the death of their grandmother, the Graham family has to figure out what secrets she left behind, as they believe they are being haunted.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Hereditary holds a 90% rating, with critics saying the film "uses its classic setup as the framework for a harrowing, uncommonly unsettling horror film whose cold touch lingers long beyond the closing credits."
While technically a thriller film, Steven Spielberg's 1975 film Jaws is still a horror movie from beginning to end. A small seaside town in New England is under "attack" as a massive great white shark invades its waters.
Spielberg's film has 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics like Roger Ebert calling it "a sensationally effective action picture, a scary thriller that works all the better because it's populated with characters that have been developed into human beings.
Golden Age actors Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor bring Alfred Hitchcock's horror film The Birds to life on the silver screen, running around San Francisco, California, as they try their best to steer clear of birds who, for some reason, are bent on attacking people.
Holding 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, film critic Bosley Crowther called The Birds "a horror film that should raise the hackles on the most courageous and put goose-pimples on the toughest hide."
Starring Kevin Bacon as handymen Val McKee, Tremors follows the character as he and his friend stumble upon mysterious deaths on their way out of town. Eventually, they find out that there are giant, human-eating worms underground, bringing them to the fight of their lives.
While the premise is campy at best, the horror film still holds 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling it "An affectionate throwback to 1950s creature features, Tremors reinvigorates its genre tropes with a finely balanced combination of horror and humor."
While the ghosts in the television initially seem to want nothing more than to play with the children of the family, they soon turn menacing, evil, and deadly. Chicago Film Critics Association named Poltergeist one of the scariest films ever made, which should be a huge selling point for horror lovers.
The film holds 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling the movie "Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and—most importantly—consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic."
Based on Stephen King's novella of the same name, 1922 is a psychological horror story that deserves people's attention. After conspiring with his young son to kill his wife for monetary gain, Wif and Hank soon become delirious and horrible things happen around their farm.
The film earned 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics saying, "Thanks to director Zak Hilditch's patient storytelling and strong work from lead Thomas Jane, 1922 ranks among the more satisfying Stephen King adaptations."
The Wicker Man
Released in 1973, The Wicker Man is a folk horror film following the story of Police Sergeant Neil Howie as he travels to Summerisle in search of a missing girl. What he finds there, though, is beyond his wildest imagination -- paganism and ritualistic sacrifices.
The Wicker Man holds 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's critics saying, "This intelligent horror film is subtle in its thrills and chills, with an ending that is both shocking and truly memorable."