These 6 cult classic horror movies are the perfect watch for a dark winter’s night. As well as great preparation for Halloween. However, these movies are great watches (or should that be witches?) any time!
With so many horror classics your options can be overwhelming and all horror fans have preferences – whether that’s paranormal, suspense, or even serial killer classics. Of course, you can speed up the process of tracking your favourites down by heading over to the Bob App. Here you’ll be able to search and find even more great titles that fit the horror bill. If you sign up, you can even build playlists, connect with friends and more.
Let’s crack on though and launch into it? Here’s our favourite horror movie list.
The Exorcist (1973)
This classic tops our list for a reason. Based on the book by William Peter Blatty, this film follows a young girl named Regan who’s possessed by the demon Pazuzu. The film becomes even more disturbing when the priests, Father Merrin and Father Karras, try to exorcise the demon.
This movie is responsible for some of the most famous scenes in all of the horror genres, such as Regan twisting her head around, levitating above her bed, and puking up green bile. Even today, it serves as one of the most controversial films of all time. When the film premiered, many members of the audience fainted and suffered nausea.
Despite (or perhaps because of) these events, The Exorcist is the highest-grossing horror film of all time and was even nominated for an Oscar.
Directed by William Friedkin
We’re talking about the original directed by Dario Argento, not the remake. The 1977 film follows a young woman named Suzy enrolled at a prestigious ballet school in Germany. She quickly notices something sinister about the school. With the help of her friend, they discover the school is a front for a supernatural conspiracy and the school is led by a witch coven.
The film is very grisly, so be prepared for some extremely brutal scenes. It also has to be said that the look of the film is very stylish and is the epitome of the Golden Age of Italian Horror.
Directed by Dario Argento
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
If you were alive in the ’70s and liked horror then you will definitely have heard about this movie. The first Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a low-budget film that revolutionised the slasher genre while drawing on some real-life events and characters for inspiration. For example, there’s something inhuman and unsettling about Leatherface that still shakes horror fans to their core. Based on the infamous serial killer Ed Gein, Leatherface is a character that still echoes throughout the horror genre.
The film centres around a group of teenagers driving through the backwoods of Texas. They come across a cabin and decide to sneak in. Which, we all know, is never a good idea. Needless to say, the teenagers start to meet their demise, one by one, at the hands of Leatherface and his family of cannibals.
What separates Chainsaw Massacre from other slasher films is the menacing vibe of the whole film. We, as the viewers, are in a crazy world – rather than the more typical ‘stalker’ approach that slasher films go for. There have been several sequels and remakes that are cheesy and an unnecessary attempt to create a franchise from the cult classic, low-budget original. However, despite all this, the 1974 movie has a rarely matched, frightening vibe.
Directed by Tobe Hooper
The Shining (1980)
‘Heeeere’s Johnny!’ Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Shining centres around the Torrance family as they briefly move into an isolated hotel so Jack(played by Jack Nicholson) can write his novel. What follows is the unnerving tale of a haunted hotel as well as a father who goes slowly crazy and becomes violent against his own family. A true classic of the horror genre.
What chills viewers to this day is the mystery in the hotel and all of the unanswered questions. What exactly is going on with the hotel? What happened there to cause it? Why did Jack go crazy? How did the spirits bring violence to the family?
Overall, this is one of the most memorable horror movies in history. We can all picture the twins at the end of the hall, blood flooding the hotel floor, and Jack Nicholson breaking down the door with an axe as he dementedly hunts down his wife. *SHUDDERS*
If you want jump scares, The Shining probably isn’t the film for you. If, however, you want something that slowly and eerily drags you in, builds to an incredible finale and is full of ‘did you know’ film facts it is a perfect watch. The Shining is considered one of the greatest horror films of all time and must be on our first list of cult classic horror movies.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Again, we’re talking about the original here and not the subsequent reboots). Directed by legendary horror director John Carpenter and stars Jamie Lee Curtis making her big screen debut.
Halloween centres around killer Michael Myers as he escapes a mental institution. He surfaces again in his hometown during Halloween to prey upon Laurie Strode (played by Curtis).
While Halloween isn’t as gory (but is pretty grim) as some of its other slasher counterparts, it’s a tense, gripping film that makes us shatters the illusion of a small, safe little town. Michael Myers’ mask alone is enough to give us nightmares. This film also invented the premise of the “final girl standing” and, of course, Curtis is regarded as the most legendary “scream queen.”
Directed by John Carpenter
To end this list, we’re going to mention another notable inclusion in horror movies iconography (and it’s no horror comedy believe me!)- Pinhead, the leader of the Cenobites. Hellraiser is directed by Clive Barker and based on his novella “The Hellbound Heart.”
The movie follows Frank Cotton, his lover Julia, and Julia’s family. Frank finds a mysterious puzzle box and solves it, only to be brutally killed by hooks that emerge from the box.
After his corpse is reborn, Julia’s daughter, Kirsty, discovers what’s occurring and finds the box. She solves it herself, unleashing the Cenobites into the human world. When they threaten to take her with them and “tear her soul apart,” Kirsty promises to give them Frank back in exchange for her own life.
Many regard Hellraiser as one of the most inventive and best (if unsettling and occasionally confusing) horror films ever made. This is the most recognisable motion picture from Barker, who is also well regarded for his horror novels and short stories.
Directed by (book author) Clive Barker
Watch These Cult Classic Horror Movies and More
There are some notable absentees from this list and almost any horror fan will have their own list of great scary films. Nonetheless, if you haven’t seen one or two of the movies on this list then we recommend you correct that error as soon as you can. They all stand alone (in their sometimes different ways) as great films (just try and catch the originals if there has been a remake).