Are you a Scream kid or a Halloween baby? Horror movies always seem to stick out in our heads—whether they're good or...truly terrible. Take a trip down memory lane during spooky szn and reminisce on the most popular horror movie the year you were born, ahead.
Monster movies were really popular in 1970, probably because everyone was on "dope." A handful of them were released in one year, mostly having something to do with Dracula, Frankenstein, Bigfoot, or all three. This take on Bram Stoker's classic novel stars Christopher Lee as Dracula and is, comparatively, the least corny of the bunch.
Based on the novel Ratman's Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert, this tells the story of a social misfit who loves rats. Sure, why not? Bruce Davison (whom you may recognize from a few of the X-Men movies) plays Willard, the titular rat fan. I think we can all agree that there's nothing grosser than rats, and that's the main point to drive home here.
Frogs, man. Just straight-up frogs. Aside from being an actual movie about frog terror, this has the best poster text ever: "If you are squeamish stay home!!! Cold green skin against soft, warm flesh! A croak. A scream!" Apparently frogs were an issue that needed to be put on the table in 1972.
If you see this movie even once, you will be scared for the rest of your life, and that's a fact. Linda Blair plays Regan MacNeil, a little girl who becomes possessed by the devil after playing with an Ouija board. Then she barfs on everyone and says nasty things about putting a cross in her coo-coo. Good times!
There's so much to be afraid of in this movie: hitchhikers, gas stations, run-down towns, people who kill your friends and then make clothes out of their faces, etc. The grainy cinematography really adds to the chill factor.
I challenge you to think of a horror movie released since 1975 that uses music to inspire fear as effectively as Jaws does. When you hear that "dun-dun, dun-dun, dun-dun" sound (you know what I'm talking about), you know shit's about to get bloody.
Based on a novel by Stephen King, this tells the story of awkward, sheltered Carrie White, who uses her telekinetic abilities to get revenge on kids who make fun of her at school, as well as on her crazy mom. Even though she does kill a bunch of people with her mind, it's hard to not feel bad for Carrie in this.
This is David Lynch's first feature film, and while it's not a traditional horror movie per se, it's definitely terrifying. You could watch this a million times and still feel freaked out from the moment you press play all the way to the end credits.
An undeniable classic that pairs a constantly running and screaming Jamie Lee Curtis with a lurking creeper named Michael Myers. This movie set off the whole "Want to make something scary? Put a guy in a mask" trend.
Rarely do you see strong female leads in horror movies, but this one has two — one human, and one alien. Sigourney Weaver kicks ass all over the place and manages to survive without having anything disgusting erupt out of her chest.
Only a few movies based on Stephen King books come anywhere close to being as good as the book itself (flashback to 1976's Carrie) but this is one of them. This has it all: elevators filled with blood, Shelley Duvall, ghost twins, and Jack Nicholson at his craziest.
If you've ever dated someone who was really into metal, chances are you saw the poster for this movie in their room/apartment/mom's basement. Mixing a cabin in the woods with teens becoming possessed by demons is nothing new now, but it all started with this classic and hasn't really been done as well since.
You might think plenty of things are scarier than a little girl talking to ghosts in her television or an odd woman with a high-pitched voice investigating spirits in a haunted house, but there isn't. You know a movie is a classic when it has its own catch phrase: "They're heeeeeeeere." *Chills.*
Most horror movies are traditionally gross in at least a handful of ways — people look gross, or they do gross things, or the setting is gross. While some gross stuff does occasionally happen in this movie, it's primarily about not-gross sexy vampires, one of whom is played by David Bowie. You can't lose.
This poses the question, "What would happen if the insane things that went down in your nightmares could actually harm you?" You know all those dreams you have about pooping in front of a crowd? Now think about whether you'd rather be eaten by an actual monster with a knife glove or have those poop dreams come true. If you think you prefer the poop dreams, you might want to move on to 1985.
A kid who's obsessed with horror movies suspects his neighbors are up to something otherworldly. This is another classic take on vampires, but with sort of a punk-rock twist in the form of one of the coolest horror movie characters ever — Evil Ed. (This was remade in 2011 with Colin Farrell, but that one wasn't nearly as good as the original.)
Do you dream of a love so strong that you wouldn't even care if you saw the person you're dating throw up everywhere and then be like, "Oh, wait, my ear actually just fell off?" Yes? Then this is for you. Super-young and attractive Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis can do no wrong, even in one of the grossest movies ever.
Is it still a horror movie if you would absolutely sleep with every single person in it? This classic about hot teen vampires in California ended up setting off a vampire/goth frenzy that I honestly hope will last forever.
Have we all come to the conclusion by now that dolls of any sort are terrifying? Because be honest: You have never in your life seen a doll on a shelf and not thought, Please don't kill me in my sleep. Thanks. This movie about a doll that gets possessed and kills people is the absolute worst, but in the best possible way.
Dead kids? Check. Dead cats? Yep. Dead kids who come back to life and hide under your bed and slash at your ankles with a knife? Totally. This is another entry born from the twisted brain of Stephen King, and it's terribly amazing.
Even scarier than Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland's relationship is this thriller about med students who experiment with dying and bringing each other back to life. You know, for fun. Trigger warning: This contains one of the saddest dog scenes of all time.
Based on one of the best horror novels ever written, this movie has major staying power. After seeing it just once, you'll be making "it rubs the lotion on its skin" jokes until the end of time. Also, Jodie Foster as a takes-no-sass FBI agent searching for a serial killer will give you life.
In 1978, a man named Travis Walton wrote a book called The Walton Experience, which detailed his belief that he had been abducted by aliens. This movie is based on that book, so seeing as how it's a "true story" about a guy who got snatched up by actual E.T.'s, it should be illegal for how terrifying it is.
There are a few good scares to be had in this film adaptation of Anne Rice's beloved book, but really, the scariest aspect is the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat. Are Scientologists even allowed to be vampires?
This movie about a sexy lady alien who's just trying to make some alien babies by sleeping with every human man she can find was very trendsetting. After Species came out, there were suddenly a ton of movies where ladies used their sexuality "to kill." We see you, white male directors and producers. We see you.
Talking on the telephone is so horrifying that they based a whole movie around it. Who among us doesn't scream in terror every time that thing rings? Ew, send an email! This launched both a triumphant comeback for Drew Barrymore and a teen-slasher franchise that was surprisingly fun.
Prior to the late '90s, if a scary movie was funny, it probably wasn't intentional, but around 1997, writers and directors started injecting humor into the mix. This star-studded (for the time — hi, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt!) film about a group of teens that vow to conceal a crime they accidentally committed is clever in ways you don't expect from what would otherwise be a formulaic slasher.
This is a movie about figuring out that the DIY drug the hot boy in school sells can be used to kill teachers …who are aliens. Also, Clea DuVall is in it, and Clea DuVall in anything is a good sign.
When this movie premiered in theaters, it was marketed more as an event than a film. No one had much of a clue as to what it was about, but reviews were coming back saying that people who saw advanced screenings were passing out in the aisles. If you can stand the shaky camera work (which is now very much a thing used to show that something is real) then this found-footage pioneer is something you shouldn't miss.
Maybe you're like me and made the mistake of watching this with your parents, not knowing how much weird sex was in it. Or maybe you haven't seen it at all, in which case you're lucky to be able to watch this psycho-thriller for the very first time. It's disgusting and scary, but still a little funny at times. You also learn a lot about business cards and facial care.