CATEGORIES Halloween
Best Horror Movies: Dawn of the DeadSome horror movies are just scary enough to make you jump in your seat. Others give you nightmares for weeks, months, years afterwards.

Occasionally, they seem too close to reality for comfort (see Witch, Blair), while other-worldly characters (ghosts, zombies, aliens, etc.) inhabiting others keep a safe distance.

We count down the best horror movies -- 31 films so bone chillingly suspenseful it made picking just 25 shriekingly difficult. Best Horror Movies: Dawn of the DeadSome horror movies are just scary enough to make you jump in your seat. Others give you nightmares for weeks, months, years afterwards.

Occasionally, they seem too close to reality for comfort (see Witch, Blair), while other-worldly characters (ghosts, zombies, aliens, etc.) inhabiting others keep a safe distance.

We count down the best horror movies ever -- 31 films so bone-chillingly suspenseful it gave us the willies just writing about them.




31. 'The Ring' (2002)
Naomi Watts proves she's got the pipes of a true scream queen in this remake of the J-horror hit 'Ringu,' about a mysterious video tape that kills anyone who watches it (no, not the Pamela-Tommy Lee tape). It's drenched in taut suspense, and boasts a finale that'll have you sprinting away from your TV set.



30. 'Hellraiser' (1987)
Novelist Clive Barker's directorial debut has everything a great horror flick needs: a puzzle box that, when solved, tears your soul to shreds; a villain who gorges himself on human blood; and a pasty white minion of Satan with a British accent and pins jutting from his head (the iconic -- and aptly named -- Pinhead).



29. 'Nosferatu' (1922)
Despite being an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' novel, director F.W. Murnau's seminal vampire flick is lauded as one of the best silent films ever. And Max Schreck is so chillingly creepy as bloodthirsty antagonist Count Orlok (aka Count Dracula) that the actor himself was believed to be a vampire.




28. 'The Descent' (2006)
Six sexy female spelunkers trapped in a cave sounds like the setup for Cinemax soft-core porn. But in this pulse-pounding, scream-a-minute Scottish import, it's the backdrop for a gloriously gory battle to the death between said spelunkers and a horde of blind, flesh-hungry cave mutants.




27. 'The Omen' (1976)
Being possessed by the devil is one thing, but to discover your child is actually the seed of Satan? Now that's freaky. A few shocking moments (and Jerry Goldsmith's eerie Oscar-winning score) elevate a thoroughly chilling film, while Harvey Stephens' Damien still holds the title as all-time creepiest kid in horror movies.



26. 'The Fly' (1986)
While the 1958 original was frightful (Vincent Price's tiny little fly voice pleading "Help me!" still gives us chills), David Cronenberg's remake is disquieting, disturbing, weird ... in a word, awesome. And Jeff Goldblum is indescribably alluring as the man mutating to a creepy crawler -- emphasis on "creepy."





25. 'The Wicker Man' (1973)
No, the much-maligned Nic Cage remake hasn't permanently tainted the sanctity of its title (it did leave scars). That's because the original is far too traumatic an experience -- in a good way. It's a genre-bending film that challenges viewers every step of the way through one supremely creepy Scottish isle.




24. 'Carnival of Souls' (1962)
This B-movie chiller is a marvel of atmosphere: There are virtually no special effects, no monsters, no serial killers in the shadows ... and yet the story of a church organist who seemingly escapes death in a car accident is frighteningly taut. You'll never hear organ music the same way again.




23. 'Let the Right One In' (2008)
Young bullied Oskar finally gets a friend when Eli, a quiet girl moves into the apartment next to him, unaware that she's actually a vampire. Even if the film didn't have shocking images of a young 12-year-old-looking "girl" preying on unsuspecting victims -- which it totally does -- the film would still be noted for its striking, stylized depiction of a tender, tragic friendship amidst a beautiful, snow-filled setting.





22. 'Scream' (1996)
Only a fright master like Wes Craven could parody slasher "rules" (e.g., sex equals certain death), pay winking homage to classic horror films, and STILL make us jump 10 feet in the air. With one fell swoop, Craven both revived the genre and proved that a slasher flick needn't be as dumb as its dopey teen victims.




21. 'Friday the 13th' (1980)
Admit it, just the mention of "summer camp" or "Crystal Lake" has you glancing over your shoulder, listening for a noise in the woods and swearing off hockey masks. This classic teen slash-fest is a little bit 'Psycho,' a little bit 'Halloween' and a whole lot of terrifying fun.