The 15 Best Horror Movies Ever, According To Letterboxd



With October usually comes the desire to get into the spookiest of moods. A lot of people do just that by checking out their favorite horror movies, whether they’re meant to truly terrify them or just to enjoy the frights. If you don’t already have your ultimate horror flicks, it can be tough to pick out which one to watch.

RELATED: The 10 Best Horror Movie Franchises, Ranked By Rotten Tomatoes

The genre is filled with some low budget films that might not be to your taste, so it’s worth finding out what the consensus is for the best of the best. Letterboxd users have given out their ratings and picked out their top horror films.

Updated on March 16th, 2022 by Kevin Pantoja: Finding the best horror movies can be a difficult task. The genre has been a staple of cinema for decades and includes some of the most iconic films ever made. There’s also the tough task of pinpointing the best because a lot of horror movies have received lackluster ratings from critics even if audience members love them. Thankfully, Letterboxd can help pick out the best but with so many great ones, it can’t simply be narrowed down to the top 10 horror movies. Instead, it can be expanded upon to truly find the best horror films.

15 The Lighthouse (2019) – 4.05

Stream On Amazon Prime & Kanopy

The two lighthouse keepers outdoors in The Lighthouse.

He has only been making feature films for a short time but director Robert Eggers has already established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the horror genre. His debut with The Witch in 2015 put him on the map and he followed it up in a big way with The Lighthouse.

While some of the content isn’t for everyone, there’s no doubt that this movie about two men descending into madness while working alone at a lighthouse is led by two excellent performances from Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. Most users gave it four stars (30%) though a lot went the full five (25%).

14 The Innocents (1961) – 4.07

Stream On Fubo TV

Deborah Kerr answering the door in The Innocents.

A huge reason why The Innocents works so well as a horror movie is that it mostly keeps things simple. Based on 1898’s The Turn of the Screw, the film follows a governess who watches over two children at a large estate before coming to believe that the home is haunted.

The Turn of the Screw has been adapted many times over the years, including most recently in the well-received Netflix miniseries The Haunting of Bly Manor. However, many still hold The Innocents as the best. Four stars is the most common score (34%) given to it as well.


13 What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962) – 4.10

Stream On HBO Max

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane

Sometimes, the best horror has nothing to do with gore, violence, or jump scares. The psychological side of things is more threatening than anything else at times, which is the focal point of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

RELATED: The 10 Best Horror Movies Of The 2010s, According To Letterboxd

Based on a 1960 novel of the same name, the film tells the story of a former child star who takes care of her ill sister, who became a bigger star than her in their careers. The movie goes to dark places and viewers responded by giving it four stars (35%) most often.

12 Black Swan (2010) – 4.10

Stream On Hulu

Natalie Portman in Black Swan

This is yet another impressive psychological horror. This time, it’s Darren Aronofsky in the director’s chair and he used a visual style similar to what worked in The Wrestler as a lot of Black Swan feels like it comes from a handheld camera in the best possible way.

That gives it a gritty, realistic, and claustrophobic feel a lot of the time. The story sees a woman go mad and do extreme things to get the lead role in a ballet production of Swan Lake. Four (32%) and five stars (27%) are the common scores in this classic led by a Best Actress winning performance from Natalie Portman.

11 Kisapmata (1981) – 4.13

Not Available To Stream

Kisapmata (1981)

Continuing the trend of great horror films from Asia, there’s Kisapmata. Although it struggled commercially early on, it was a huge critical hit, even winning Best Film at the Metro Manila Film Festival. From there, it continued to gain traction.

This claustrophobic tale focuses on a domineering father and the despicable control he has over his daughter to the point where things get harrowing. The majority of reviews have it at a perfect five-star score (31%), showing just how highly users think of it.

10 Possession (1981) – 4.13

Stream On Metrograph

There aren’t a ton of international films ranked among the best but one of them is Possession, a movie that comes from West Germany and France. The 1981 horror flick sees the relationship between a spy and his wife deteriorate after she asks for a divorce.

RELATED: 10 Modern Films That Are Spiritual Successors To Classic Horror Movies

On the surface, that doesn’t sound like much of a horror movie but that changes when you consider that the wife exhibits some disturbing behavior that’ll chill the viewer to the bone. Five stars (29%) is the score given out the most with four (27%) following closely.

9 Kwaidan (1964) – 4.14

Stream On HBO Max & The Criterion Channel

The tattooed face from Kwaidan.

Sometimes, the scariest of options for a horror movie is to be an anthology film. Instead of telling one story over two or so hours, they deliver several in that timeframe. Kwaidan showcases four memorable horror stories over the course of three hours.

The Japanese movie retells some classic folk tales and was so well received that it earned the coveted Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The most common rating on Letterboxd for it is four stars (32%) but 23% of viewers also have it at five stars.

8 Demons (1971) – 4.16

Not Available To Stream

Demons (1971)

Judging by some of these ratings, it seems like Japan has produced some of the most revered horror films ever crafted. That was the case again in 1971 with the release of Demons from director Toshio Matsumoto.

Combining the scares with the popular samurai genre allowed Demons to be something special. The story follows an exiled rōnin who goes on a bloody warpath for revenge. Most of the reviews are sparkling, with 31% at four stars and 26% at four and a half.

7 Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – 4.16

Stream On Hulu, Paramount+, & Epix

Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby

Another horror flick based on a novel, this one by Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby remains an iconic film in the genre over five decades later. The themes evident here, which include women’s liberation and paranoia, are the kind of things that remain relevant all this time later.

The plot follows a pregnant woman in Manhattan who believes that her neighbors are part of a satanic cult and fears for the life of her baby, who she thinks they want for a ritual. The performance of Mia Farrow is as harrowing as they come, and it even won an Oscar, helping this film to 31% of its ratings being four stars.

6 The Cremator (1969) – 4.17

Stream On The Criterion Channel

The protagonist of The Cremator looks up at the camera

Based on a Ladislav Fuks novel, The Cremator is a Czech film that tells the story of a cremator who slowly goes from being something of an outcast into being a full-on murderer who ends up working at extermination camps run by the Nazis.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movies Everyone Should Stream On The Criterion Channel Now

The film was a controversial one that actually was out of circulation for nearly two decades due to the subject matter. After it returned in 1990, it went on to gain a cult following and is held up as one of the better movies of its era. 30% of Letterboxd ratings have it an impressive four stars.

5 Get Out (2017) – 4.17

Rent On Apple TV

Get Out

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive debut into the horror realm than Jordan Peele had in 2017. Primarily known for his comedic efforts to that point, Peele wrote and directed Get Out, which dealt with themes of racism and trauma while also being scary.

Audiences were taken on a wild ride that ended up being the rare horror film to earn nominations at the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. It even won for Best Original Screenplay. The success is reflected in the ratings on Letterboxd, with four stars (33%) and five stars (30%) being the most common scores.

4 The Shining (1980) – 4.28

Stream On HBO Max

Jack Nicholson laughing at the camera in The Gold Room of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining

There are many moviegoers who consider The Shining to be the greatest horror film ever made. While it’s not at the top of the Letterboxd rankings, it’s still among the very best, even if Stephen King, who wrote the book it’s based on, isn’t a fan of it.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movie Performances That Were Snubbed For Oscar Nominations

The Stanley Kubrick picture features some of the most iconic scenes in cinema history regardless of genre including the bloody elevator and the ghost girls in the hallway. Jack Nicholson’s performance is also among the actor’s finest. It’s no wonder five stars is the most common rating (38%) for this film.

3 Psycho (1960) – 4.30

Stream On Peacock


If there’s one director who stands above the rest when it comes to horror, it’s Alfred Hitchcock. The iconic filmmaker has greatly influenced almost everyone who has come after him and many believe that the best work of his storied career was Psycho.

Instead of telling a story of possession or of a mythical beast, this was a more realistic take as it centered on Norman Bates as he showcased how much of a monster a human being can be. The legendary film set the tone for the future of horror and there’s a reason why 35% of the reviews on Letterboxd have it at a perfect five stars.

2 The Thing (1982) – 4.31

Rent On Vudu

MacReady talks to Childs at the end of The Thing

John Carpenter is one of the most prominent names in horror. Following the likes of Halloween and The Fog, he got in the director’s seat for The Thing, which went down more of a sci-fi route. Still, it features some pretty terrifying moments that remain scary today.

A 2011 remake wasn’t met with nearly as much success but the original is constantly named among the best films in the genre. Set in remote Antarctica, it centers on a group of research scientists who are attacked by the titular beast and must survive. Five stars is the rating given out most often (37%).

1 The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) – 4.31

Stream On Amazon Prime

It makes complete sense that The Silence of the Lambs stands at the top of the greatest horror movies ever considering how historic the film is. It remains the only horror movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars and did so while also winning Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster deliver powerhouse performances as a sadistic cannibal and the FBI agent who works with him to catch a killer. The characters have become iconic and it led to various sequels and television series. The film has received the perfect rating a whopping 35% of the time on the website.

NEXT: 10 Most Atmospheric Horror Movies

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