This Is the Best Horror Movie of All Time

“Le Manoir du Diable” (1896) has often been acknowledged as the first horror movie, although it was only two and a half minutes long. Since then, Hollywood and filmmakers all over the world have made thousands of horror movies, and the genre has become a mainstay of the industry. Some of the best-known horror flicks have been based on novels. “Frankenstein,” based on the novel by English author Mary Shelley, is probably the best known. 24/7 Tempo conducted an analysis of the top movies in the category and picked the best one.

Now there are more horror films than ever. Streaming services have given indie and subgenre horror movies a platform they never had. Most theaters do not run small-budget horror movies, and before streaming, films that went straight to TV or DVD were considered lower quality. Today, horror fans have a plethora of first-rate, fear-inducing options at their fingertips.

To identify the best horror movie ever made, 24/7 Tempo developed an index of ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and audience and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator. The films represent every decade from the 1920s to the present day and from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 nature-gone-wild thriller “The Birds” to slasher classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street” to experimental indie cult film “Eraserhead,” with an occasional horror comedy along the way.

Ratings are as of mid-March 2021. All three measures were weighted equally. Only films with at least 4,500 reviews on IMDb, a “horror” genre classification on IMDb, and a runtime greater than one hour were considered. Data on domestic box office came from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by consulting firm Nash Information Services. Cast information comes from IMDb.

While there have always been scary films, 2017 saw something of a horror renaissance. Both the supernatural horror film “It,” based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, and Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning “Get Out” were released that year. “It” went on to gross over $700 million worldwide and set a record for playing in 4,103 theaters, more than any other R-rated movie ever.

“Psycho” (1960) is the best horror movie ever made. Here are some of the details:

  • Combined score: 2.81 (50th highest out of movies in all genres)
  • Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Genres: Horror, mystery, thriller

Click here to see which are the 50 best horror movies ever made.


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