The 10 Best Canadian Horror Films (According To IMDb)

Canada has a great film and television industry, and while they pale in comparison to Hollywood, some great movies came from the snowy north.

Canada has a great film and television industry, and while they pale in comparison to Hollywood, some great movies came from the snowy north. This fact is especially true of horror movies, as some of the fan's most beloved horror movies have come from north of the border.

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When it comes to horror movies from Canada, David Cronenberg is one of the top names, but he is just part of a film society that has produced some very scary, and iconic, horror cinema. Here is a look at the 10 best Canadian horror films based on IMDb ratings.

10 SCANNERS (6.8)

Released in 1981 by Canadian auteur David Cronenberg, Scanners is considered one of the masterpieces of horror to come out of Canada. The movie features a private military company that has a new weapon known as "scanners."

These are people with psychic powers, including telepathy, cyberpathy, psychokinesis, and more. When an extremely powerful scanner kills other scanners and handlers and escapes, they have to find him before the dark secrets of the organization are revealed to the public.


In a time where werewolf films began to make a comeback, Ginger Snaps was a step above the rest. This Canadian horror film starred Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle as teenage sisters with a fascination for death. However, when a werewolf bites Ginger, they get more than what they bargained for.

The movie had an interesting take on the werewolf theme, as it linked the idea of puberty and menstruation cycles with the changing into the werewolf and the increased bloodlust. The film was named one of the best horror films of 2001 and ended up with a sequel and a prequel.

8 MARTYRS (7.1)

Released in 2008 at the Cannes Film Festival, Martyrs was a Canadian horror movie that received polarizing reviews from critics but high praise from actual fans on IMDb. The film sees a girl escape a slaughterhouse where she was held captive for a year and follows her to an orphanage. She makes a friend named Anna, who realizes Lucie believes she is haunted and tortured by a disfigured woman.

Years later, Lucie kills a family she believes was responsible for her torture years before. Anna then sees Lucie hurting herself, while Lucie believes she is being attacked by the creature again. However, soon, Anna realizes that there is more truth to this than she initially thought.

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Released in 1980, The Changeling is a Canadian horror movie that follows a man (George C. Scott) who loses his wife and son in an accident.  The man moves into a new home and soon starts to find himself haunted by the supernatural, learning that there might be a message left behind.

Filmed in Vancouver, the movie uses the rainy Canadian town as a double for Seattle, although it is clearly the Vancouver skyline and not that of Seattle. This movie is terrifying, and Scott turns in an excellent performance.


Another David Cronenberg movie, The Dead Zone, is based on the novel by Stephen King and takes place in Maine. However, the film was made in Canada, with Toronto playing the role of Maine in the movie.

The movie starred Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith, a young man who was involved in an accident as a child where he almost died. When he came back, he had the power to touch someone and see a moment in their future. When he touches an aspiring politician, he sees the end of the world and realizes he has to stop this future before it is too late.


Here is some interesting trivia. John Carpenter's Halloween was supposed to be a sequel to the Canadian horror movie Black Christmas. However, Carpenter took his film in its own direction, and the two movies remain separate, but both iconic '70s horror movies.

Directed by Bob Clark, who also directed A Christmas Story and Porkys, to show has diverse talent, Black Christmas is a slasher movie taking place on a college campus during Christmas break. Margot Kidder is a college student who finds that her sorority sisters are being killed, and she ends up in a battle for survival.

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4 CUBE (7.2)

Cube is one of those movies that has become a cult classic through the years since its 1997 release. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, who returned in 2019 for the Stephen King and Joe Hill adaptation of In the Tall Grass on Netflix, created this puzzle-style horror movie in Canada.

A group of strangers wakes up in a labyrinth and realize that they have to find their way out without dying. One wrong turn or wrong decision results in death. They also have to figure out why they are here and what they have to do with each other. This was Saw before anyone ever dreamed up Saw.


Released in 1988, Dead Ringers is another David Cronenberg Canadian horror movie, this one starring Jeremy Irons in dual roles as two brothers who both work as gynecologists. Elliot and Beverly are twins who run a successful practice in Toronto, but they have dark secrets.

Elliot seduces women and brings them back to his clinic. When he gets bored with them, he passes them on to his brother, and the women don't know any better. However, when Beverly becomes attached to one of the women, the brothers fall into a new level of depravity than ends in tragedy for everyone involved.


Yet another David Cronenberg horror movie made in Canada, the best of his body of work is Videodrome. The film stars James Woods as the president of a television network who is desperately looking for something new he can present to the audience to break through to the next level.

When he learns of a new television show broadcast supposedly out of Malaysia, he orders it to start broadcasting on his network. It turns out that the show's creators hoped to create a series that could replace all aspects of human life but was actually designed for much more malicious purposes.


While the horror-comedy Tucker and Dale vs. Evil took place in the woods of West Virginia, it was actually shot and made in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The movie is a satire and parody of backwoods slasher movies, but with an interesting twist. In this film, the scary hillbillies are completely innocent.

Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are good-hearted hillbillies who live in the woods in peace but then end up crossing paths with some college students who mistaken them for cannibal serial killers. The students then start attacking and trying to kill Tucker and Dale, who cluelessly defend themselves without understanding what is going on.

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