RT’s best horror movies of all time

Rotten Tomatoes went down into the crypt, opened the coffin, and summoned the 75 best-reviewed horror films of all time.
Here’s the top 20, for the complete list, follow the link.


EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1962)
#20

Critics Consensus: A horrific tale of guilt and obsession, Eyes Without a Face is just as chilling and poetic today as it was in 1959.
Synopsis: A brilliant but crazed surgeon resorts to horrifying measures to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured face…. [More]
Directed By: Georges Franju

 

FREAKS (1932)
#19

Critics Consensus: Time has been kind to this horror legend: Freaks manages to frighten, shock, and even touch viewers in ways that contemporary viewers missed.
Synopsis: Real sideshow performers star in Tod Browning’s infamous cult classic, a grotesque revenge drama set against a circus backdrop. Trapeze…[More]
Directed By: Tod Browning

 

ALIENS (1986)
#18

Critics Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
Synopsis: Big-budget special effects, swiftly paced action, and a distinct feminist subtext from writer/director James Cameron turned what should have been… [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

 

Critics Consensus: One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.
Synopsis: Director Don Siegel’s thinly-veiled examination of McCarthy-era hysteria stars Kevin McCarthy (no relation) as Miles Bennell, a California doctor who… [More]
Directed By: Don Siegel

 

Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.
Synopsis: A 12-year-old boy befriends a mysterious young girl whose appearance in town suspiciously coincides with a horrifying series of murders…[More]
Directed By: Tomas Alfredson

 

IT FOLLOWS (2015)
#15

Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and above all terrifying, It Follows is the rare modern horror film that works on multiple levels — and leaves a lingering sting.
Synopsis: After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is… [More]

 

THE BABADOOK (2014)
#14

Critics Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares — and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.
Synopsis: Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline… [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Kent

 

Critics Consensus: Full of disorienting visual effects, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr is as theoretically unsettling as it is conceptually disturbing.
Synopsis: Vampyr ranks in many circles as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s… [More]
Directed By: Carl Theodor Dreyer

 

JAWS (1975)
#12

Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg’s Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Synopsis: Based on Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg’s 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster… [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

 

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
#11

Critics Consensus: 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.
Synopsis: “Frankenstein” is a film about a mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Henry Frankenstein”, who creates a monster, by taking body parts… [More]
Directed By: James Whale

ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)
#10

Critics Consensus: A frightening tale of Satanism and pregnancy that is even more disturbing than it sounds thanks to convincing and committed performances by Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon.
Synopsis: In Roman Polanski’s first American film, adapted from Ira Levin’s horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her… [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Critics Consensus: Featuring Robert Mitchum’s formidable performance as child-hunting preacher, The Night of the Hunter is a disturbing look at good and evil.
Synopsis: Adapted by James Agee from a novel by Davis Grubb, The Night of the Hunter represented legendary actor Charles Laughton’s… [More]
Directed By: Charles Laughton

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)
#8

Critics Consensus: James Whale’s classic The Invisible Man features still-sharp special effects, loads of tension, a goofy sense of humor, and a memorable debut from Claude Rains.
Synopsis: A mysterious stranger, his face swathed in bandages and his eyes obscured by dark spectacles, has taken a room at… [More]
Directed By: James Whale

ALIEN (1979)
#7

Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when… [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Critics Consensus: An eccentric, campy, technically impressive, and frightening picture, James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein has aged remarkably well.
Synopsis: Dr. Frankenstein is forced to tempt fate once again by creating a suitable mate for his monster…. [More]
Directed By: James Whale

PSYCHO (1960)
#5

Critics Consensus: Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psycho was filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn’t just create modern horror, he validated it.
Synopsis: In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen’s master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in… [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

KING KONG (1933)
#4

Critics Consensus: King Kong explores the soul of a monster — making audiences scream and cry throughout the film — in large part due to Kong’s breakthrough special effects.
Synopsis: “How would you like to star opposite the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood?” Enticed by these words, brunette leading… [More]

REPULSION (1965)
#3

Critics Consensus: Roman Polanski’s first English film follows a schizophrenic woman’s descent into madness, and makes the audience feel as claustrophobic as the character.
Synopsis: When Carol, a shy young Belgian, is left alone for a few days in the Kensington flat she shares with… [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Critics Consensus: One of the silent era’s most influential masterpieces, Nosferatu’s eerie, gothic feel — and a chilling performance from Max Schreck as the vampire — set the template for the horror films that followed.
Synopsis: F. W. Murnau’s landmark vampire film begins in the Carpathian mountains, where real estate agent Hutter has arrived to close… [More]
Directed By: F.W. Murnau
Critics Consensus: Arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set a brilliantly high bar for the genre — and remains terrifying nearly a century after it first stalked the screen.
Synopsis: In one of the most influential films of the silent era, Werner Krauss plays the title character, a sinister hypnotist… [More]
Directed By: Robert Wiene

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