10 must-watch horror movies, according to Reddit

Horror films vary wildly in quality, with some films in the genre fostering the stereotype of their poor quality, while others defy all expectations and become classic films in their own right. However, there are countless horror movies worth watching, which can be daunting for viewers looking to step into the spooky scene for the first time.

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Recently, a Reddit poll hosted by JacksonCableTV sought to help potential horror viewers by rounding up “Ten Essential Horror Movies” to watch. Other Redditors were invited to weigh in with their own favorite horror movies. These mentions were then counted in a list of the most important horror movies to watch for viewers at home.


Hereditary (2018)

Annie watches a model of her mother in Hereditary

Reddit user firesharknado provided his own review of the best horror movies, including a brief discussion of the 2018 film. Hereditary, with Toni Collette and Alex Wolff. They describe this film as composed of “pure terror and despair”, also adding that the horror of this film “really sticks to your skin”.

Hereditary was the surprise horror hit of 2018, with many describing the film as exactly what the horror genre is supposed to be like. The various dark twists the film takes are part of what makes Hereditary a horror film to see more than once.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974

Redditor theolderthefiddle includes the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in their list of essential horror films, citing that it was “originally banned from many cinemas in the UK”. After finally getting to see the film, they write that it “opened up a whole new genre of film” for them.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre falsely marketed itself as a “true story”, luring audiences to see it in droves, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the era. The film is remembered for its terrifying atmosphere and irreverent use of blood and gore throughout its story. The franchise is set to receive a reboot with the same name as the original film in February.

Psycho (1960)

Janet Leigh screams in the shower scene in Psycho.

Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic psychology is another popular choice offered by the folks at Reddit, with user lcthatch1 including it among their group of movies needed to “get the full horror picture”. They also add that the film is among their favorites in the genre.

psychology is a complete horror classic that still holds today, with the iconic shower murder scene being constantly remade, parodied and referenced in everything from Scream Queens at looney tunes. Nonetheless, the rest of the film is worth remembering for instilling genuine fear in its viewers for over sixty years.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 Freddy Krueger Smoky Alley

the original freddie is getting a lot of love from Redditors in their discussions of the horror genre. A user by the name of Dark_Vengeance even goes so far as to call the film’s villain Freddy Krueger the “ultimate horror villain.”

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freddie is just one of many horror movies to redefine the genre from the late 70s to the early 80s, a new golden age of horror movies. The franchise is indeed best known for its iconic villain in Freddy Krueger, the monstrous humanoid capable of stalking people in their own dreams, making nightmares even scarier after watching this film.

Scream (1996)

Scream 1996

Some movies seem predisposed to make just about any top ten list of their respective genres. This was the case for the first Scream film, according to T-408, who humorously writes “If your list excludes Scream, rethink your list.”

the Scream The franchise has long been known for referencing other genre classics. His horror movie satire was so poignant and effective that it introduced a whole new set of tropes and archetypes for the entire slasher horror movie genre, rekindling the love of horror movies a la late 90s.

The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson looks out the door in The Shining.

Firesharknado writes that Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s horror classic the brilliant is “the best descent into horror-type madness for me. The performances really elevate it into something special.”

Although King disliked this adaptation of his work, the general public tended to disagree with his assessment, as the film became a staple of the genre. As mentioned in the Reddit post above, Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall’s performances as Jack and Wendy Torrance were praised by critics and fans alike for really elevating the film as a whole.

The Thing (1982)

Palmer turns into the Thing in The Thing 1982

John Carpenter’s 1982 monster horror movie The thing got a lot of love from Reddit, as different users compiled their favorite horror movies. A Redditor by the name of bacardiwynn included the film in a list of films that “reflected on me”, alongside other classics of the genre, such as Extraterrestrial and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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the original The thing The movie is a fun movie to rewatch these days, as it features recognizable faces like Kurt Russel and Keith David. While the film initially opened to poor reviews from critics, it pioneered many special effects techniques that moved cinema forward. It has gained a cult following over the years with fans who have come to appreciate the film for its flaws, even becoming a classic in the horror genre.

The Exorcist (1973)

A Redditor with the handle theolderthefiddle tells a story about the first time they saw The Exorcist, which had been given an ‘X’ rating in the UK. “Me and two homies snuck into the cinema,” they wrote, “and I just know the movie deserved its X rating.”

The Exorcist is a film that manages to be both chilling and profound, a rare distinction among other films in the horror genre. It also managed to be incredibly controversial given its unapologetic depiction of supernatural elements, including demons and possession. It remains one of the most terrifying films of all time, even decades later.

Halloween (1978)

Michael Myers in Halloween 1978

Reddit user firesharknado writes about the original Halloween movie, calling it “the absolute best slasher movie” with “great characters [and] the best horror score.” They also later called the movie’s killer Michael Myers “genuinely scary” compared to other classic horror villains.

Like many of the greatest horror films, the 1978 Halloween Completely reimagined horror, especially the “slasher” subset of the genre. The film spawned several lesser sequels and ultimately the 2018 reboot which was equally well received. Even so, none of the franchise’s follow-up movies ever did justice to the original, which made the most of its tiny budget to deliver one of the scariest horror movies of all time.

Alien (1979)


When discussing the original Extraterrestrial movie, Redditor Youreturningviolet writes “I spend a lot of time thinking about how completely terrifying this is Extraterrestrial was to be on its first run in theaters before it was woven into the fabric of pop culture… the terror must have been delicious.”

This 1979 film from the mind of Ridley Scott completely changed the horror game, spawning endless pop culture hints and rip-offs. His tone of complete and utter terror persists even to this day, over forty years later. While other horror films have made their way since, none have quite reached the level of the original. Extraterrestrial.

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