Even today, Tod Browning's film remains downright unnerving: the gothic cinematography, the sensual undercurrent, Lugosi's iconic portrait of elegant malice ("I never drink ... wine"). More than the novel or any other movie, 'Dracula' defined forever what we fear about vampires ... and what we love about them, too.
19. 'Evil Dead 2' (1987)
Who says horror can't be hilarious? There's plenty of gruesomeness in Sam Raimi's cult classic -- ever see a man saw off his own hand? -- but there's also that priceless humor that plays off the absurdity of horror scenarios. It's a ridiculously fun film that tops 'An American Werewolf in London' as the best of its kind.
18. 'Carrie' (1976)
It has a deceptively humble premise (shy girl with a crazy mom and supernatural powers just wants to fit in), but even in a pre-Columbine world, Brian De Palma's take on a Stephen King novel was enough to give teens and their parents nightmares. And in today's climate, it simply resonates with horror.
17. 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' (1978)
Philip Kaufman's flick about aliens bent on repopulating Earth with emotionless "pod people" packs an even more terrifying punch than the '56 original. Its bleak ending -- featuring a bug-eyed, screaming Donald Sutherland -- is enough to give grown men nightmares.
16. 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968)
George A. Romero made a shocking entrance to B-movie fame with his black-and-white zombie thriller. It plays out almost like a documentary, with very little narrative -- the zombies just keep coming, they have an insatiable hunger for human flesh ... what more do you need to know?
15. 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)
Ingeniously marketed as a documentary -- its stars were listed as "missing and presumed dead" -- this indie grossed $240 mil and proved that eerie sounds, visceral camerawork and adhering to the less-is-more principle (we never see the witch) make for one hell of a harrowing flick.
14. 'The Bride of Frankenstein' (1935)
The monster takes a wife -- and horror fans were invited to the reception. James Whale's compelling classic is the perfect marriage of poignant romance and creature discomforts. And as for the unholy union, turns out the couple was catastrophically mismatched.
13. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)
The ratty red-and-green sweater, the grotesquely burned visage, the glove made of knives, the ability to turn Johnny Depp into a puree of blood and guts: If ever a man was made to haunt dreams -- and murder people in them -- it was Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).
12. 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968)
Roman Polanski's deliciously paced thriller is part satanic horror, part paranoid delusion. We know something's not right with hubby (John Cassavetes), but isn't pregnant Rosemary (Mia Farrow) letting hormones get the best of her, suspecting everyone she meets? Nope, she's right. Never mind.
11. 'Frailty' (2002)
Director-star Bill Paxton wields religious fanaticism like a blunt instrument -- or say, an ax -- as a father who enlists his young sons' help in carrying out "God's work," aka slaying sinners with the aforementioned ax. Taut, twisty and thrilling, the root of its terror lies in the fact that it's not so farfetched.