It’s October, which means that it’s finally acceptable to watch horror movies all day and night (which hasn’t stopped us from doing it year round anyway). The horror genre is a complex and tangled web of movies and sub-genres that can leave a novice feeling helpless and lost in the midst of a sea of options.
Luckily, Rotten Tomatoes compiles reviews to lend a helping hand in picking through the massively populated lists of horror titles, usually pointing a general direction that most can be happy with.
While review sites exist partly to highlight the pinnacles of a given genre, they also exist to steer those that aren’t familiar with the films in question away from the worst of the worst.
Be grateful that resources like Rotten Tomatoes exist; even though they shouldn’t dictate your taste in film entirely, they can help you avoid complete train wrecks and tell you which films everyone thinks you should see.
So, in the spirit of all things spooky and spine tingling, grab your popcorn, don your gore slicker, and break the group up to explore this abandoned summer camp (because that makes sense), because here are The 10 Best And 10 Worst Horror Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes.
20. Best: Aliens (98%)
This isn’t much of a surprise– if you’ve ever seen James Cameron’s Aliens, you’ll know why it scores so high on Rotten Tomatoes: the movie is horrifying.
The sequel to Ridley Scott’s extraterrestrial fueled fright fest, some may argue that the movie is a bit too action packed to really qualify as horror. While the sequel does have a bit more action than traditional horror fans may prefer, there is an underlying terror that isn’t front and center, like some horror heads have come to expect.
The real horrifying part of Aliens isn’t the Xenomporhs; it’s the fragility of the human race in the face of the threat of the unknown. The Xenomporhs are one race of fearsome aliens in a universe that could potentially contain thousands, if not millions.
19. Worst: The Fog (4%)
A remake of the John Carpenter film of the same name, The Fog is a horror movie better left unseen.
While Carpenter’s original was alright and worth a viewing if you’re fond of the guy’s work, the remake is an abysmal turd that should not be seen by anyone.
The shoddy acting compliments the nonsensical plot that’ll leave most viewers scratching their heads the duration of the movie while undead sailors slaughter the residents of a small town.
Overall, the movie wasn’t the best to begin with and the remake makes it even worse. This DVD better serves as a coaster as opposed to an actual movie, just don’t let anyone see the front of the disc.
18. Best: The Babadook (98%)
Following a single mother and her emotionally disturbed son, The Babadook was a flop when it was released in its homeland of Australia. The movie later gained critical acclaim when it was screened at the Sundance festival in 2014, rocketing the film to one of the highest rated horror films on Rotten Tomatoes.
Like any lasting horror film, The Babadook is a commentary on a much larger issue, guised under the terror of some sort of awful event or creature.
The Babadook isn’t truly about a hat wearing boogeyman that haunts a suburban home, it’s about a single mother’s relationship to her troubled child and the repercussions that it has on her own life as she struggles to make it through the day.
17. Worst: The Darkness (4%)
Why Kevin Bacon, why? We loved you as a dancing rebel in Foot Loose and as an orange juice guzzling Chicagoan in Stir Of Echoes– even the commercials you did where you talked about yourself while playing yourself were good.
And then you have to give us The Darkness, one of the worst supernatural horror movies ever made.
Following a family that arrives home after a vacation to the Grand Canyon with a vengeful spirit on their shoulders, the movie is just about as good as anyone would expect.
Not even Kevin Bacon could save this pile of poop; relying on nearly every trope in the book, the ghosts aren’t scary and the plot is predictable to the point where you’ll wish you were watching anything else.
16. Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)
The Evil Dead 2 is essentially what every B-rated horror movie should aspire to be: gory, goofy, and heartfelt. Much like the first Evil Dead, the second installment in the series is a descent into the depths of Deadite madness, with all the viscerally silly bells and whistles that makes the franchise so memorable as a whole.
The sequel has some of the most memorable scenes in the entire trilogy, with headless dancing corpses, cackling deer heads, and Bruce Campbell’s chin all making appearances.
This is also the installment where Ash attaches his chainsaw arm after his hand becomes possessed and spends the majority of the movie flipping him off and skittering around.
Even though some horror fans may argue that it isn’t the smartest movie in the genre, it is definitely a fun one that has undoubtedly had a major effect on the genre at large; and that’s without even mentioning the effects, acting, and makeup.
15. Worst: The Roommate (4%)
Probably better slated as a Lifetime original, The Roommate was released in 2011 in theaters to the general outrage of moviegoers and critics alike.
The plot follows a deranged college freshman who becomes obsessed with her roommate and subsequently takes steps to become her by throwing a sequence of small wrenches into the gears of her existence. The movie is predictable, which isn’t a surprise with how trite the plot and characters are.
The acting is like watching someone throw two wet paper bags at each other in front of a camera, hoping that some kind of chemistry takes place before they inevitably come apart under the weight of their own existence.
14. Best: The Vanishing (98%)
Following a man obsessed with learning his kidnapped girlfriend’s fate and finding the serial killer who swiped her at a gas station, 1988’s The Vanishing is one of the most deeply unsettling films to have ever been made.
Featuring superb cinematography and acting, the movie was, and still is, one of the most genuinely creepy films on abduction to have ever been made (like the subject matter really needed any help).
The real reason that The Vanishing stands out is the terrifying ending that still sends chills up our spine when watching it for the seventh or seven hundredth time, always somehow remaining a surprise despite knowing what will happen.
The movie may be a chill fest in its own right, but it’s watching the obsessed boyfriend slowly lower himself into madness as his search really brings out his true nature that elevates the movie to such high regard.
13. Worst: The Darkness (3%)
Haunted houses are especially scary if they’re done right, and laughable if done the way that most media tends to churn them out.
The Darkness is unfortunately a study in the latter, a horrid excuse for a horror movie that will require some sort of eye bleach or palette cleanser after the first fifteen minutes.
Following a young daughter who must search for clues in her parent’s new house that is tearing her family apart, the movie is a textbook example of how not to make a movie, period.
The story is a hodgepodge of tired tropes and nonsensical twists and turns that climax into a pile of poop that mocks you for wasting your precious time on it in any capacity. If you own this, best turn the DVD case spine towards the wall, unless you want a jump scare every time you peruse your collection.
12. Best: Let The Right One In (98%)
The vampire genre had really started to be sucked dry of fresh ideas until 2008’s Let The Right One In rolled around. Part gory vampire tale and part coming of age love story, the film hits all the sweet spots that a horror film should.
Following a bullied boy who befriends the odd girl next door, the story focuses on the two oddballs’ relationship as it blossoms from an uneasy acquaintanceship into an adolescent romance.
Not to mention the hair raising scenes of Eli being a full blown vampire, especially the scene with the bullies and the pool, or any of the other frightening displays of her true power.
Even though the awkward boy realizes that Eli is actually a vampire (who has been killing and feeding on people as a vampire is wont to do), his love for her overshadows any fear he may have at her lashing out at him, speaking to the power of affection, and vampires, all at once.
11. Worst: The Covenant (3%)
The Covenant is what you’d get if you crossed Melrose Place with American Horror Story: Roanoke, while stripping away every characteristic that made either of those series enjoyable for viewers.
The plot beings with a covenant in the 1600’s between a bunch of families until one aspires for more power and is banished; disappearing from the face of the earth. When the banished clan rears its head a few hundred years later, its up to the descendants of the original families to put a stop to it.
Even though the original concept had a tiny chance of being somewhat decent, the bottom of the barrel writing, abysmal acting, and overall boring tone of the movie (literally nothing happens), keeps it from achieving mediocrity.
10. Best: Rosemary’s Baby (99%)
Based on the excellently suspenseful novel of the same name penned by Ira Levine, Rosemary’s Baby is an exceptionally terrifying flick about nosey neighbors and, you know, Satan.
Following a young New York couple in the midst of their first pregnancy, Roman Polanski’s 1968 film undoubtedly made film goers question having children, letting alone moving into a new apartment building, for fear that their offspring will totally become the second coming of the dark one himself.
Featuring a star studded cast, including Charles Grodin’s acting debut, Polanski’s vision and the actors ability really brings the suspense of the novel to the big screen.
9. Worst: House Of The Dead (3%)
One of the most unintentionally funny movies ever made, if House Of The Dead was billed as a comedy, it may have made a bit more sense.
Actually that’s a lie, nothing could save the nonsensical plot of this mess of a movie. Based off the arcade game series of the same name, the name seems to be the sole thing that the two franchises have in common, aside from the fact that the movie splices in clips from the game to use as transitions between scenes.
Following a band of teenagers at an island rave, people start turning into zombies and the teens begin to run all over the place, without much purpose.
Seriously, the movie consists of the protagonists running around and shooting at shadows, before feeding viewers some nonsensical piece of information that makes them turn and run in another direction. Save your sanity and just play the arcade game instead.
8. Best: Get Out (99%)
The movie that made filmgoers perpetually afraid of family gatherings and sprinting grounds keepers, Get Out is one of the most successful horror movies made in the last ten years.
Directed by funny man Jordan Peele, the movie is a study in psychological horror with the true underlying theme being an exploration of the role of race in modern society.
With an excellent performance by the entire cast, the movie’s strong writing and twist ending make it a slow burn that really pays off in the last twenty minutes or so.
Despite being a solid horror experience on the surface, the movie leaves film viewers with a lasting impression about the realities of race, it’s role in everyday life, and how it fits into societies’ preconceived impressions about the people around them.
7. Worst: Feardotcom (3%)
Feardotcom is essentially The Ring, but with a website instead and the exception that The Ring was somewhat decent.
A grizzled detective investigates a series of murders all linked together by the website feardotcom (that is the actual website’s name), with the help of a Department of Health employee, and tries to uncover why the website is killing people in ridiculous ways.
Seriously, a dude gets killed by a cigarette in this movie, and not in the usual “over an extended period of time” method. Also, why in the hell would a Department of Health employee be assisting an NYPD detective in investigating a homicide case?
6. Best: Under The Shadow (99%)
Taking place in an active Middle Eastern war zone, Under The Shadow is unique to the horror genre in a lot of ways.
The setting is one of a kind, detailing the horrors of simply existing in the midst of an active war, let alone all the crazy stuff that starts happening once a missile lands smack dab in the middle of the building occupied by the heroine and her young daughter.
The missile that implants itself firmly in the protagonists’ lives doesn’t detonate, it simply brings about Djinn; evil Middle Eastern spirits that are scary as hell.
The fascinating blend of the horrors of war and the terrors of the supernatural come together effortlessly in this film, making it easy to understand why it stands so high in the rankings on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Worst: The Apparition (3%)
If only the tagline of the movie had any validity to it; death is actually a viable alternative to watching 2012’s The Apparition. Actually, you’ll most likely fall into the clutches of Death’s lazy cousin Sleep while you watch this film– it’s actually that boring.
The story follows a young couple in their new home, which is haunted by a spirit conjured by a parapsychological experiment conducted by the nearby university.
Most of the movie is spent not being scary, instead focusing on a little wooden carved figurine and idle dialogue between the cast.
4. Best: Repulsion (100%)
Roman Polanski’s first English film has ascended to being considered one of the greatest horror flicks ever made, by critics and average horror heads alike.
Released in 1965, the film was met with critical fanfare and still is, as most viewers who have descended into the evolving madness of protagonist Carol are left with a fittingly disturbing impression after the credits role.
Carol is left by her sister in their shared apartment, where Carol slowly becomes a recluse prone to violent and disturbing delusions and hallucinations dealing with her repressed intimacy.
3. Worst: I, Frankenstein (3%)
As a film adaptation of the graphic novel series of the same name, I, Frankenstein is a failure on every level.
Essentially, Frankenstein’s monster is created, kills his creator and his wife, then becomes a demon slayer named Adam. In a graphic novel, sure; in an hour and a half film, no way.
The medium of film only offers so much time to craft a compelling experience, a simple principal that was apparently lost on writer and director Stuart Beattie.
The story is smashed into nonsense, the acting is phoned in, while the effects and fight sequences are of the lowest order. Spare yourself the embarrassment of using this as a coaster and dump it directly in the trash.
2. Best: The Witches (100%)
Based on the story of the same name written by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, The Witches follows a young boy turned mouse who must thwart a coven of witches planning to instill a similar fate on the children of Britain.
Featuring puppetry by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and a legendary performance by head witch Angelica Huston, the movie has made a special place in the hearts of many horror fans and children alike.
Although derived from a children’s story, the film is genuinely dark and unsettling, thanks to the excellent makeup, effects, and puppetry that will have parent’s double checking the film’s PG rating.
Although some may dismiss it as a film more befitting of an elementary school sleepover, the film balances on the tightrope of being classified as a kid’s affair, while still scaring the absolute poop out of full grown adults with ease.
1. Worst: Alone In The Dark (1%)
Two things should send any self respecting horror flick watcher scattering to safety; the line on the poster that reads “A Uwe Boll film”, and Tara Reid having any association with it.
Soiling the video game series of the same name, Alone In The Dark follows paranormal detective Edward Carnby as he ventures around with a revolver pointed toward the ceiling in front of his face.
Seriously, why do people keep giving Uwe Boll video game to movie adaptations? They have never been good, they’ll never be good, and they hemorrhage money worse than a trophy wife working on her collection of Birkin bags.
Stay far, far away from any Uwe Boll movie, especially Alone In The Dark, the director’s putrid crown forged from the stinkiest of turds to sit proudly upon the head of his abominable career.
What do you think? Did your favorite (or least favorite) horror movie make the list? Let us know in the comment section!
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