The Atlantic

25 of the Best Horror Films You Can Watch, Ranked by Scariness

This list should have something for everyone, no matter your fear-tolerance level.
Source: Warner Brothers / Everett Collection

Horror means something different to everyone. One of my most traumatic movie memories remains the execution of a cartoon shoe in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, a comedy made for children. I’ve also yawned through many an R-rated slasher flick, untroubled as the death and viscera piled up. So in curating a list of horror films to watch this month, I tried to pull from every corner of the genre, bringing in supernatural mind-trips, knowing satires, spectacular gore-fests, and quiet dramas. Though many viewers are automatically put off by horror, so many underseen masterpieces are worth discovering, all within various comfort zones.

I ranked these 25 films according to how scary I think they are, starting with titles that are mildly unsettling and ramping up to those I’d deem intensely disturbing. But scariness is in the eye of the beholder—sometimes it’s not depictions of violence that frighten people, but the emotional tenor of a story, the resonance of the themes, or the power of certain visuals. Still, there should be something for everyone here, whether you’re into vampires, werewolves, serial killers, cannibals, witches, or bug-monsters, or if you’re more in the mood for existential dread, paranoia, grief, or the pitiless fear of the unknown.

Vanilla Sky (2001, directed by Cameron Crowe)

A tale about a millionaire (played by Tom Cruise) who is disfigured in a car accident and comes to question the reality of his circumstances, isn’t scary so much as it is eerie. The film moves between genres—from romantic comedy to erotic drama to sci-fi thriller—while always seeming a little ... off. The Spanish film it’s based on, Alejandro Amenábar’s , is a more coherent and complete work. But Cameron Crowe’s movie also has its bizarre highs, like in which Cruise runs through an abandoned Times Square. feels like a definitive piece of pre-9/11 filmmaking, suffused with angst over America’s post–Cold War aimlessness. It’s an excellent starting point on this list, for viewers who might balk at traditional horror.

Вы читаете отрывок, зарегистрируйтесь, чтобы читать полное издание.

Похожие интересы

Другое от: The Atlantic

The Atlantic2 мин. чтенияLGBTQIA+ Studies
A Marching Band’s ‘Mountaintop’
Photographs by Dina Litovsky The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps, one of the first queer marching bands in the United States, was founded in 1979 in New York City, a decade after the Stonewall uprising. This year, the Big Apple Corps reached what Marit
The Atlantic3 мин. чтенияMedical
Paging Dr. Hamblin: Is It Safe to See My Therapist in Person?
Editor’s Note: On Wednesdays, James Hamblin takes questions from readers about health-related curiosities, concerns, and obsessions. Have one? Email him at Dear Dr. Hamblin, I need to see my therapist, but she isn’t
The Atlantic7 мин. чтенияMedical
The Logic of Pandemic Restrictions Is Falling Apart
Two weeks ago, I staged a reluctant intervention via Instagram direct message. The subject was a longtime friend, Josh, who had been sharing photos of himself and his fiancé occasionally dining indoors at restaurants since New York City, where we bot