100 best horror movies, according to critics
What makes for a truly great horror movie? Is it the jump scares and buckets of blood? A solid directorial voice? Creativity? Originality? Deeper layers of meaning? These are the questions critics might ask themselves when examining the genre from an analytical perspective. And as one will soon discover, their conclusions aren’t always tuned in to audience expectations. Nevertheless, critically-acclaimed horror is usually unique in one way or the other, and therefore worth checking out. After all, one can only take so many rote formulas and generic clichés. Right?
On the following list of top-rated horror films, there’s a little bit of everything and then some. Movies such as “Tigers Are Not Afraid” and “Under the Shadow” juxtapose supernatural terror with real-life atrocities. By contrast, films like “Halloween” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” let the slasher subgenre speak for itself. “Alien” incorporates sci-fi elements while “The Babadook” and “Rosemary’s Baby” play upon psychological tropes. Horror comedies like “Shaun of the Dead” and “What We Do in the Shadows” have also garnered loyal fanbases.
With these wide-reaching parameters in mind, some might say that horror is more an emotive state than it is an outright genre. Indeed, a taut war drama or compelling sci-fi premise will occasionally render far greater an impression than the standard splatter flick. Of course, don’t take that to mean the critics aren’t game for grindhouse fare, presuming it’s executed with a certain tier of originality.
To celebrate this genre in all its permutations and possibilities, Stacker compiled data on the top-ranked horror films of all time from Metacritic as of June 30, 2020. They’re presented here in order of their Metascore, going from low to high. Expect some surprises and not just because audiences didn’t always agree with the critical assessments. Here are the best horror movies, according to critics.
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