1. Psycho (1960)
When Psycho came out, the horror industry of movies was merely monsters, zombies, werewolves, and vampires. So when Psycho hit screens, the audience was finally introduced to psychological thrillers. It hit with such a huge bang that the audience was shocked...with fear and suspense. Psycho created what the thriller genre is today. It sliced through clique monster movies and changed it forever. Still today when you look at Norman Bates and his extremely freaky look when you see him watching the inspector's car sinking into the swamp sends chills down my spine.
2. The Shining (1980)
Frustrated writer Jack Torrance takes a job as the winter caretaker at the ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace. When he arrives there with his wife and son, they learn that the previous caretaker had gone mad. Slowly Jack becomes possessed by the evil, demonic presence in the hotel.
3. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
In this classic yet still creepy horror film, strangers hold up in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse and battle constant attacks from dead locals who have been brought back to life by mysterious radiation.
4. The Exorcist (1973)
Adapted by William Peter Blatty from his controversial bestseller, this shocking 1973 thriller set an intense and often-copied milestone for screen terror with its unflinching depiction of a young girl (Linda Blair) who is possessed by an evil spirit. Jason Miller and Max von Sydow are perfectly cast as the priests who risk their sanity and their lives to administer the rites of demonic exorcism, and Ellen Burstyn plays Blair's mother, who can only stand by in horror as her daughter's body is wracked by satanic disfiguration. One of the most frightening films ever made with a soundtrack that's guaranteed to curl your blood, The Exorcist was mysteriously plagued by troubles during production, and the years have not diminished its capacity to disturb even the most stoical viewers.
5. Halloween (1978)
On Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his sister in the small town of Haddonfield Illinois. Now, 15 years later, he has escaped from a mental institution to reek havoc amongst the trick or treaters. Jaime Lee Curtis stars in her first role as Laurie Strode and is pursued by Michael Myers throughout the entire movie. Donald Pleasance plays Dr. Sam Loomis (Michael Myers doctor) and warns Haddonfield Police of Michael's return. Hesitant to believe the wild accusation Dr. Loomis must hunt Michael down before he can do anymore harm. Halloween will scare and delight you at the same time.
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The plot of the film revolves primarily around a group of friends on a road trip in rural Texas. The purpose of the road trip is to visit the hometown of Sally and Franklin's father in order to check on their grandfather's grave after reports of grave robbing. After their van runs low on gas, the group of friends visits the childhood home of Sally and Franklin's father where they are attacked by a family of cannibalistic men, including the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface.
7. Frankenstein (1931)
The film's name was derived from the mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive), who experimentally creates an artificial life - an Unnamed Monster (Boris Karloff), that ultimately terrorizes the Bavarian countryside after being mistreated by his maker's assistant Fritz and society as a whole. The film's most famous scene is the one in which Frankenstein befriends a young girl named Maria at a lake's edge, and mistakenly throws her into the water (and drowns her) along with other flowers.
8. Dawn of the Dead(1978)
George Romero's 1978 follow-up to his classic Night of the Living Dead is quite terrifying and gory (those zombies do like the taste of living flesh). But in its own way, it is just as comically satiric as the first film in its take on contemporary values. This time, we follow the fortunes of four people who lock themselves inside a shopping mall to get away from the marauding dead and who then immerse themselves in unabashed consumerism, taking what they want from an array of clothing and jewelry shops, making gourmet meals, etc. It is Romero's take on Louis XVI in the modern world: keep the starving masses at bay and crank up the insulated indulgence. Still, this is a horror film when all is said and done, and even some of Romero's best visual jokes (a Hare Krishna turned blue-skinned zombie) can make you sweat. --Tom Keogh
9. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A group of teenagers are terrorized by "Freddy Krueger", an evil being from another world who gets to his victims by entering their dreams and killing them with gloves that have knife blades attached to each finger.
10. Poltergeist (1982)
While living an an average family house in a pleasant neighborhood, the youngest daughter of the Freeling family, Carol Anne, seems to be connecting with the supernatural through a dead channel on the televison. It is not for long when the mysterious beings enter the house’s walls. At first seeming like harmless ghosts, they play tricks and amuse the family, but they take a nasty turn- they horrify the family to death with angry trees and murderous dolls, and finally abduct Carol Anne into her bedroom closet, which seems like the entrance to the other side.