“Be afraid, be very afraid.” – The Fly (1986)
If you crave sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrilling cinema, you’ve come to the right place. For one reason or another, when it comes to movies, we all secretly love the wave of fear a horror film inflicts on us. That is up until those five simple and dreaded words appear on the screen…’Based on a True Story‘.
So, to fuel your thirst for nightmare-inducing films, sit back, grab a blanket, a loved one and plenty of snacks, as we’re about to scare you through the 10 best horror movies of all time.
This trilogy will be sure to quash any future travel plans. Directed by American film producer, editor, writer, and actor, Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds), Hostel follows the story of three friends travelling across Europe who are introduced to a man and are convinced to visit a hostel in Slovakia. Their fateful decision sees the three friends auctioned off to an elite mainly American-run black market where the highest bidder can torture their new prized item to fulfil their wildest desires. Just think of it as a black market eBay… but for humans… to kill…
Twisted till the very last second, this 2020 film will have you in absolute-horror thanks to its devilish storyline. Starring horror film favourites Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and Leigh Whannell (Saw) alongside Lin Shaye and Rose Byrne, Insidious follows the story of Josh and Renai Lambert who move to a new home for a fresh start. After the move, their son, Dalton, mysteriously falls into a coma. From here the Lambert family become the target of a sequence of paranormal events that start to occur in the house. Although you might be scared, don’t forget to follow this with the remaining two chapters of the trilogy.
Based on the 1986 novel and 1990 film of the same name, It (2017) is yet another Stephen King success. Starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise; It follows the story of seven helpless and bullied children (part of the Losers Club) in the town of Derry, Maine. Here, the troop of Losers are forced to face their worst nightmares whilst searching for the links to the missing children – all thanks to the reappearing, shape-shifting, children stealing and devilish clown, Pennywise. It (2017) was followed by its sequel, It Chapter Two – a look into the future lives of the Losers Club.
Twisted, dramatic and nonetheless a cult-favourite horror, Midsommar will be the cure to your boredom if you want to get drawn into a production like no other. Starring Will Poulter (We’re the Millers, Maze Runner), Midsommar follows the story of a couple who travel to Sweden to visit a friend’s rural hometown. Renowned for its midsummer festival, the couple’s retreat soon turns into a twisted, violent and bizarre compilation of events as they end up at the hands of a weirdly idolised pagan cult. Ditch the flower crown for this one.
If you’re after something more gruesome, Saw might be the missing piece to your puzzle. Written by Australian screenwriters, Leigh Whannell and James Wan, Saw is based on a short film of the same name by the duo. Saw (2004) follows the story of two men who awaken in a bathroom to find themselves trapped with a dead body. Both prisoners of the Jigsaw killer must follow specific instructions on how to escape and kill their way to freedom. Following the success of the first instalment, Saw later grew its franchise to a total of eight films which we’d highly recommend watching too. Be sure to follow up the films with the director’s cut to see how each of the traps are made.
The Conjuring, 2013
Inspired by true events, The Conjuring follows the twisted story of paranormal investigators and demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren who visit the Perron family farmhouse to resolve supernatural occurrences. During the engrossing two-hours of film, you will be hiding behind pillows or covering your eyes anticipating every subtle movement caused by the evil entities. Be sure to explore the later instalments of the trilogy and, if you’re in search of more horror thrills, try and attempt to sit through the 2014 film Annabelle – another Warren entity extraordinaire.
The Omen, 1976
They say that you can’t put a face to the devil, but The Omen will prove you otherwise. A 1976 production directed by American producer and comic book writer Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon, Superman, The Goonies), The Omen tells the story of the Thorn family – both wealthy and successful – who was unfortunately gifted, after a baby switch, with an orphaned infant, who on his fifth birthday, turns to a sinister and unfortunate-event-provoking beast. A horror film classic, The Omen (1976) was later followed by Damien: Omen II and Omen III: The Final Conflict to complete the trilogy.
The Platform, 2019
How far would you go for your next meal? The Platform tests exactly that. Set in the future, the film tells the story of how prisoners housed in vertical cells indulge in their next meal. Here, the top-tiered upper cell inmates are fed generous banquets of food whilst those below are either starved or become heavily reliant on those from the above cells to feed them. Available to watch on Netflix, this sci-fi horror will have you sitting through an hour-and-a-half of nail-biting gluttony. We can assure you that you’ll be thankful for your next home-cooked dinner.
The Shining, 1980
Starring Jack Nicholson as an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic, The Shining is a must-watch for any horror film fanatic. Based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Stephen King, The Shining follows the story of Jack and his family of three as they move into an isolated hotel that’s home to a violent and tragic past. From the start, the audience is swept into the film and soon viewers watch as Jack loses his sanity which later affects his family. Once finished with The Shining, be sure to watch its sequel, the 2019 horror thriller Doctor Sleep.
Directed by Jordan Peele (Get Out), Us was destined for success thanks to its hauntingly delicious recipe including a seamlessly evil storyline and an impeccable soundtrack with the likes of Luniz, The Beach Boys and even late 80s hip-hop group, N.W.A. Us follows the story of the Wilson family who return to their mother’s beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by past traumatic experiences, Adelaide, the mother, is concerned that something bad is going to happen. As the film progresses, four masked strangers approach the house forcing the family to fight for survival.