21 Cult Classic Horror Movies

There would be no M3GAN without Chucky.

One sure guarantee in life is that horror movies will never go out of style. Horror is one of those all encompassing genres that is evergreen. The human desire to be scared out of your mind within the confines of your own home is a common phenomenon that is deeply baked into society. Horror movies serve as an opportunity for someone to face their deepest fears while also confining the true danger to a silver screen. Horror movies would not be what they are today if the early slasher films of the 70’s-90’s did not hadn’t paved the way.

There would be no “Midsommar” without the psychological mind games played between the slimy Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Clarice. There wouldn’t be a little android named M3gan running around slaughtering children if it weren’t for the deranged pursuit of Chucky in “Child’s Play.” Without a shadow of a doubt, I can promise you that there wouldn’t be an onslaught of masked killers in more recent slashers like “Happy Death Day” and “Totally Killer” without the likes of Ghostface, Michael Meyers, and Jason Voorhees.

Cult Classic horror movies have earned their place as horror royalty, which is why we have gathered 21 Cult Classic Horror movies for your viewing pleasure.

21. “Saw” (James Wan, 2004)


Obsessed with teaching his victims the value of life, a deranged, sadistic serial killer abducts the morally wayward. Once captured, they must face impossible choices in a horrific game of survival. The victims must fight to win their lives back, or die trying.

20. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (Tobe Hooper, 1974)

Vortex Inc.

When Sally hears that her grandfather’s grave may have been vandalized, she and her paraplegic brother, Franklin, set out with their friends to investigate. After a detour to their family’s old farmhouse, they discover a group of crazed, murderous outcasts living next door. As the group is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, who wears a mask of human skin, the survivors must do everything they can to escape.

19. “Candyman” (Bernard Rose, 1992)

TriStar Pictures

The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth.

18. “The Silence of the Lambs” (Jonathan Demme, 1991)

Orion Pictures

Clarice Starling is a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Jack Crawford wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

17. “Scream” (Wes Craven, 1996)

Paramount Pictures

A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off teenagers, and as the body count begins rising, one girl and her friends find themselves contemplating the ‘rules’ of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.

16. “The Exorcist” (William Friedkin, 1973)

Warner Bros.

12-year-old Regan MacNeil begins to adapt an explicit new personality as strange events befall the local area of Georgetown. Her mother becomes torn between science and superstition in a desperate bid to save her daughter, and ultimately turns to her last hope: Father Damien Karras, a troubled priest who is struggling with his own faith.

15. “Terrifier” (Damien Leone, 2016)

Dread Central Presents

A maniacal clown named Art terrorizes three young women and everyone else who stands in his way on Halloween night.

14. “Halloween” (John Carpenter, 1978)

Compass International Pictures

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween Night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

13. “Child’s Play” (Tom Holland, 1988)


A single mother gives her son a beloved doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

12. “Friday the 13th” (Sean S. Cunningham)

Paramount Pictures

Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child’s drowning.

11. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (Wes Craven, 1984)

New Line Cinema

Teenagers in a small town are dropping like flies, apparently in the grip of mass hysteria causing their suicides. A cop’s daughter, Nancy Thompson, traces the cause to child molester Fred Krueger, who was burned alive by angry parents many years before. Krueger has now come back in the dreams of his killers’ children, claiming their lives as his revenge. Nancy and her boyfriend, Glen, must devise a plan to lure the monster out of the realm of nightmares and into the real world.

10. “Jennifer’s Body” (Karyn Kusama, 2009)

20th century Fox

A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specializes in offing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

9. “The Lost Boys” (Joel Schumacher, 1987)

Warner Bros.

A mother and her two teenage sons move to a seemingly nice and quiet small coastal California town yet soon find out that it’s overrun by bike gangs and vampires. A couple of teenage friends take it upon themselves to hunt down the vampires that they suspect of a few mysterious murders and restore peace and calm to their town.

8. “Hellraiser” (Clive Barker, 1987)

Paramount Pictures

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover while the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

7. “Children of the Corn” (Fritz Kiersch, 1984)

New World Pictures

A boy preacher named Isaac goes to a town in Nebraska called Gatlin and gets all the children to murder every adult in town.

6. “The Blair Witch Project” (Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)

Summit Entertainment

In October of 1994 three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found.

5. “House of Wax” (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2005)

Warner Bros.

A group of unwitting teens are stranded near a strange wax museum and soon must fight to survive and keep from becoming the next exhibit.

4. “Poltergeist” (Tobe Hooper, 1982)


Steve Freeling lives with his wife, Diane, and their three children, Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne, in Southern California where he sells houses for the company that built the neighborhood. It starts with just a few odd occurrences, such as broken dishes and furniture moving around by itself. However, when he realizes that something truly evil haunts his home, Steve calls in a team of parapsychologists led by Dr. Lesh to help before it’s too late.

3. “The Evil Dead” (Sam Raimi, 1981)

New Line Cinema

When a group of college students finds a mysterious book and recording in the old wilderness cabin they’ve rented for the weekend, they unwittingly unleash a demonic force from the surrounding forest.

2. “Psycho” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

Universal Pictures

When a group of college students finds a mysterious book and recording in the old wilderness cabin they’ve rented for the weekend, they unwittingly unleash a demonic force from the surrounding forest.

1. “The Shining” (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

Warner Bros.

Jack Torrance accepts a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel, where he, along with his wife Wendy and their son Danny, must live isolated from the rest of the world for the winter. But they aren’t prepared for the madness that lurks within.

To learn a little bit more about all of these iconic movies and to find out where to watch them, check out this Letterboxd list.