These Are The Best Horror Movies Of Every Decade

These Are The Best Horror Movies Of Every Decade

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There have been great horror movies from every
decade, but if you get brutal and start hacking away, eventually each decade will have just
one classic horror film left standing. Directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook deals
with one of the most serious and studied topics in all of horror: grief. Whether the title’s top-hat wearing demon
is real, metaphorical, or a weird combo of both, he’s one of the most powerful symbols
of death and anguish in cinema history. Then there’s Essie Davis, whose performance
as a mother on the verge of collapse is both heartbreaking and horrific. And even looking past the symbolism, The Babadook
is just straight-up terrifying. Everything here drips with dread, from that
creepy pop-up book to Noah Wiseman’s devilish performance as a troubled little kid. In a decade filled with remarkable films,
The Babadook that will haunt horror fans for years to come. “See him in your room at night…” “Mom, does it hurt the boy? Mom!” Set in a desolate Stockholm, Let the Right
One In follows a 12-year-old boy named Oskar who befriends a seemingly young girl named
Eli. Both look innocent, but they harbor disturbing
secrets. Oskar is regularly bullied at school and spends
his nights plotting gruesome revenge. And Eli is a centuries-old vampire who drinks
the life force of human beings. Bleak and snowy on the surface, the movie’s
heart is bloody and red. It isn’t easy being a monster, and Let the
Right One In takes a look at these twisted creatures in all their messy, murderous complexity. The Silence of the Lambs is the only horror
movie so far to win the Best Picture Oscar, and only a fool would argue that it wasn’t
deserved. While the movie is anchored by Jodie Foster’s
tough-as-nails performance as Clarice Starling, its legend has lasted so long thanks to Anthony
Hopkins. As Hannibal Lecter, Hopkins created one of
the greatest movie monsters of all time. Calm, creepy, and charismatic, he can discuss
literature one minute, devour your liver the next. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans a nice
chianti.” Directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick,
The Shining is a big, cold, labyrinth of a movie. Kubrick’s use of the steadicam — following
little Danny Torrance around the Overlook — is groundbreaking, and both Jack Nicholson
and Shelley Duvall give heightened performances that perfectly match the overwhelming presence
of the hotel. While it’s a technical masterpiece, it’s also
one of the scariest films ever made. The Shining is a nightmare that never stops,
and just like a bad dream, we’ll be trying to decipher its meaning for years to come. “Stay away from me.” “Wendy. Darling. Light of my life. I’m not gonna hurt you. You didn’t let me finish my sentence.” William Friedkin’s The Exorcist is a film
so iconic that it’s become the standard for every scary movie ever since. Nearly 50 years later, we’ve seen this possession
story a million times, so it might be hard for modern audiences to appreciate The Exorcist
as the world-shattering, nausea-inducing game-changer that it was. At the time, the special effects were out
of this world, and audiences were repelled by the puking and the head-twisting. But under all the slimy green goo, this movie
works so well because it’s got such beautifully well-written characters. The acting is Oscar-worthy, and the final
confrontation between good and evil still resonates. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho was a
game-changing film that’s buried its way deep into the pop culture consciousness. Bernard Herrmann’s violent score is just as
iconic as Anthony Perkins’ performance as the quietly creepy Norman Bates. He’s both sympathetic and psychotic, and that
infamous shower scene is still one of the scariest horror moments of all time. “ahh” Sure, it’s been parodied to death, but in
1960, it was an absolute shock. With that brutal knife attack, Psycho became
the granddaddy of the slasher genre. While it’s not as bloody as modern horror,
Psycho is still an unsettling film that will make you think twice about checking into a
hotel. In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dr. Miles
Bennell is a clean-cut doctor living in a wholesome American neighborhood. However, the good doctor soon realizes that
all his friends are being replaced by alien doppelgängers. These replacements are cold, calculating,
and planning to take over the world, using plant pods that grow clones to replace human
beings. Sure, the idea of pod people might sound a
little corny, and some of the effects are a bit hokey, but the movie is still effective
because it’s completely soaked in suspicion and dread. The idea of being replaced — consumed and
changed by some malevolent force — is truly chilling. Cat People follows a young woman named Irene
who’s got a bit of trouble in the intimacy department. She’s worried about getting intimate with
her new husband because she thinks if she gets aroused, she’ll turn into a black panther
and rip his head off. It’s a pretty strong case for abstinence,
although we’re not sure if Irene is just troubled or if there’s actually some evil magic running
through her family tree. And that’s why Cat People is such a masterpiece. It plays on the fear of the unknown by keeping
the killer cat-woman offscreen. In the film’s most famous sequence, a woman
is walking down a deserted street late at night, becoming more and more sure that she’s
being pursued by something inhuman. It’s a powerfully paced sequence and proof
enough that Cat People holds up. Released in 1931, Dracula wasn’t the first
vampire movie, or even the first movie inspired by Bram Stoker’s novel. But it did establish the undead ideal, all
thanks to actor Bela Lugosi. With his hypnotic hands and Hungarian accent,
Lugosi set the mold for every vampire film to come, and every line he delivers is both
creepy and charming, aristocratic and eerie. Thanks to this seductive bloodsucker, horror
became one of Hollywood’s most popular genres. “It’s delicious.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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100 comments

  1. I'd have to disagree with the pick for the 2000's. Martyrs from 2008 was way better. That movie was mind blowing. Foreign film unlike all the rest on this list but it should be considered. And from the 80's either The Thing or Aliens. Shining just doesn't cut it.

  2. I agree with the Babadook. If you understand it properly, it's scary. Mental illness is a scary thing that can affect anyone.

  3. I don’t count silence of the lambs and if you did you would also have to count seven which is much better than silence of the lambs

  4. Let The Right One In is the classiest horror movie on this list,How dare you call people fools for not liking the deeply homophobic Silence Of The Lambs😡 it’s derivative and predictable also Anthony Hopkins was a slice of ham

  5. Honestly the babadook is not that good and some great movies out there and nosferatu the vampyre 1979 is the greatests vampire movie ever

  6. Cat People definitely deserves to be on this list, but even though Simone Simon doesn't get a proper transformation scene, Val Lewton made it pretty clear she was changing for real.

  7. I could never take babadook seriously, Ive been wondering this whole time, what movie were you watching because that movie sucks balls whether the entity is real or not.baba! Dook dook dooooooook. Smdh

  8. I actually like the other version of the shinning. it was based more off the book. this version didn't have anything from the book except the maze and it was more funny than scary. I would also love to see Dracula.

  9. Horror movies that use animal deaths in my opinion are weak and I can’t stand that cliché shit like the babadook did. It follows was simple and sweet

  10. To claim in the intro that there is only one classic horror film of each decade is ridiculous.

    The 70s also has Don't Look Now, Carrie & Halloween.

    The 80s also has Friday the 13th, An American Werewolf in London & A Nightmare on Elm Street.

  11. Just seeing The Babbadook on your list turned me off completely. How you going to choose that trash over The Conjuring or even Get Out?

  12. If you're categorising The Silence of the Lambs as a horror film, then you'd have to regard many other thrillers with horror elements as horror films, including: Fatal Attraction, Seven, Black Swan, Manhunter, Basic Instinct, Single White Female, American Psycho & Shallow Grave.

  13. 1970s – Alien, Black Christmas, Halloween, Carrie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Suspiria, Jaws, Dawn of the Dead.
    1980s – The Thing, Aliens, The Shining, Hellraiser, Sleepaway Camp, Tenebre, The Beyond, Cannibal Holocaust.
    1990s – Cube, Scream, Candyman, Event Horizon, Jacob's Ladder.
    2000s – Rec, Session 9, Saw, Wrong Turn, Final Destination, Inside, High Tension, Martyrs, Trick r Treat, The Descent, original Let the Right One In, The Others, Cabin Fever.

  14. Personally my list would go:
    2010s: It Follows
    (It breaks horror down to it's most basic elements)
    2000s: Let the Right One In
    (I've Read the book, seen the movie and the American adaptation loved all of them)
    1990s: Ringu
    1980s: 3 way tie between A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Thing & They Live
    1970s: Halloween
    (Sorry Exorcist)
    1960s: Night of the Living Dead
    1950s: House on Haunted Hill
    1940s: The Wolf Man
    1930s: The Mummy
    1920s: Noseferatu

  15. For this decade I would mention Goodnight Mommy, It Follows, The Loved Ones, The Woman, You're Next, Devil, Train to Busan, The Invitation, The Conjuring, Hereditary, The Visit, American Mary and only then The Babadook

  16. It would be interesting to know your reasoning behind your choosing. Is it a personal choosing or are there weighted reviews? I for one would not have chosen the same on 2000s and 2010s. Let the right one in is a great movie, but best horror movie of 2000s would probably be [REC] or Paranormal Activity. 2010s is harder since there are very few good horror movies but one that definitively is a better horror movie is Bone Tomahawk.
    Also weird how you ended on 1930 when 1920's have Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens that is so iconic

  17. Can’t stand that people automatically disregard Silence of the lambs as a horror. It’s just as much a psychological horror as a crime thriller, can’t it be either, both or even something else? Call it what you want but there’s plenty of horror there and we all know it. Anybody worth their salt knows it was marketed as a thriller to get the acclaim and Oscar nod…haha

  18. All in all, this is a very strong list. I do think you stopped too soon, because the decade of the 1920's is a particularly strong one for horror. In fact, narrowing it down to one film may be daunting, considering the list would include: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) , Nosferatu (1922), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), and Metropolis (1927), to name a few.

  19. I wanted Jaws on here but I understand why Exorcist won. REALLY thrilled that Dracula is on here. Dracula is my dude <3

  20. Really? The Babakood? Did Looper just not see any recent horror moives? I feel like there was a much more terrifying, more icon movie for the 2010's cough*IT*cough

  21. I think it's from the 60's, but definitely worth a mention. The original 1962 (I think?) 'Carnival of Souls' is excellent. Every year Rolling Stone puts out a list of the Top Ten scariest movies, and it's been on there often. Another good one is 'Deliver Us From Evil' with Eric Bana.

  22. What?? The listing merely finishes at 1930s horror movie?? What about horror movies from silent era cinemas like 1920s, 1910s or maybe from 1890s?? (since the intertitles in silent movies will add up more horror nuance)

  23. When you're a parent, particularly a single parent who's had to deal with tragedy and trauma, and/or dealing with any kind of mental illness, the Babadook is real world horror and dread. The Babadook monster is a manifestation/representation of her fears, negative thoughts. It's a magnificent psychological horror film, with master-class acting.
    Comparing it to fantasy horror like The Ring or anything of that sort is ridiculous. BUT – One has to understand the complexities of the movie. If you don't have children, suffer from any mental illnesses or have lived a sheltered life with little tragedy or sorrow, then the ignorance for not liking it is understandable. Stick to your hyper realistic fantasy scares.

  24. Babadook is the most overrated horror film. Not to mention the characters are so annoying it’s hard to sympathize with them. Definitely been better horror films in the 2010’s than that.

  25. The shining is good but there are a dozens horror films far better such as:
    Evil dead
    The thing
    A nightmare on elm street
    Re-animator
    The beyond
    Hellraiser
    They live

  26. Ok. I am tired of people saying The Babadook is one of the scariest movies. It is a good movie and a little scary but I wouldn't place it under the scariest.

  27. Mine:
    2010s: The Witch
    2000s: Saw
    1990s: The Sixth Sense (Scream if you’re not counting 6th Sense as horror)
    1980s: The Shining
    1970s: The Omen
    1960s: Psycho

  28. 2010s: It
    2000s: Final Destination
    1990s: Silence of the Lambs
    1980s: Nightmare on Elm Street
    1970s: Halloween
    1960s Psycho
    My opinions

  29. The 2010 decade has not finished yet, and The Babadook wasn't the best of the decade, I think Hereditary and The Witch were better.

  30. How do u know whether in 1 year later we wouldnt have one that would get the place of babadook?plus i think hereditary is better than that

  31. (Soulja boi voice) THE BABADOOK !? Veronica’s way better than that & that’s not even the movie I’ll pick for best of the decade lmao

  32. 2010's: The Witch
    2000's: 30 Days Of Night
    1990s: New Nightmare
    1980's: The Shining
    1970's: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
    1960's: Rosemary's Baby
    1950's: House On Haunted Hill

  33. sinister scared the shit out of me,also the thing 1982,and i watched alone at night,when i was kid,i almost shit my pants 🙁

  34. Should've gone back to the 1920s to pick Nosferatu. Good choices from the 50s through 2000s. Still haven't seen Babadook so I can't speak to that one but I think you could've done better than Cat People in the 1940s.

  35. i disagree with most of the list. plus that wasn't every decade. that only went to the 30's. heres my choices…
    2010's – Hush
    2000's – Freddy Vs Jason
    90's – Candy Man
    80's – Maniac
    70's – Halloween
    60's – Night of the living dead
    50's – The Blob
    40's – The Wolf Man
    30's – Freaks
    20's – nosferatu (would probably like london after midnight better if they ever find the footage)
    10's – Dr Jeckell Mr hyde
    1900's – The house of Ghosts
    1890's the astronomers dream
    1880's – none exist to my knowledge.

  36. I find Halloween and texas chainsaw massacre more scary than the exorcist. The main reason why is because they could potentially happen to some degree.

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