Top Five Tens

Top Five Horror Movies of All Time

Horror is a distinct genre. It’s an adrenaline rush of pure shock, excitement, and terror, not just a creeping fear. That is why, for many people, scary movies are the ultimate source of entertainment. According to a recent study, fear has a “sweet spot” where it can actually cause pleasure in humans. According to Aarhus University researchers, physiological arousal plays a role in why people are drawn to horror films and haunted houses. This arousal would include a quickening pulse and the release of hormones in the terrified person’s brain.

Horror films gained popularity in the United States beginning in the 1970s, and filmmakers have flooded the film industry with the good, the bad, and the ugly over the last five decades. The following are the top 5 horror movies of all time:



  • DIRECTED BY: James Wan
  • WRITTEN BY: Carey W. Hayes, Chad Hayes
  • PRODUCED BY: Peter Safran, Tony DeRosa-Grund, Rob Cowan
  • STARRING: Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
  • DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • RELEASE DATE: July 15, 2013 (Cinerama Dome), July 19, 2013 (United States)
  • RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes
  • COUNTRY: United States
  • LANGUAGE: English
  • BUDGET: $20 million
  • BOX OFFICE: $319.5 million

The Conjuring is a 2013 supernatural horror film. It is the first film of the Conjuring Universe series and comes in at fifth spot on the list of top 5 horror movies of all time. Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors linked to notable haunting cases, are played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Their ostensibly true-life reports inspired the story and film franchise The Amityville Horror. In 1971, the Warrens assist the Perron family, who were experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their newly occupied Rhode Island farmhouse.

Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema released The Conjuring on July 19, 2013 in the United States and Canada. It received positive reviews from critics who praised the performances, direction, atmosphere, screenplay, and musical score. It grossed over $319 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. As a sequel, The Conjuring 2 was released in 2016.



  • DIRECTED BY: Ari Aster
  • WRITTEN BY: Ari Aster
  • PRODUCED BY: Lars Knudsen, Kevin Frakes, Buddy Patrick
  • STARRING: Toni Collette, Ann Dowd, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne
  • RELEASE DATE: January 21, 2018 (Sundance), June 8, 2018 (United States)
  • RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes
  • COUNTRY: United States
  • LANGUAGE: English
  • BUDGET: $10 million
  • BOX OFFICE: $82.5 million

Ari Aster’s feature directorial debut, a dark family drama about the nature of grief wrapped in a supernatural horror film, made a big impression. Toni Collette’s gradually ramped-up-to-11 performance as befuddled mother Annie earned her a place in the pantheon of great Oscar snubs, but the film’s biggest surprise came from. We won’t give anything away here. Suffice it to say, Hereditary struck such a chord with moviegoers that it immediately elevated Aster to fourth place on our list.


Paranormal Activity-TopFiveTens

  • DIRECTED BY: Oren Peli
  • WRITTEN BY: Oren Peli
  • PRODUCED BY: Oren Peli, Steven Schneider, Jason Blum
  • STARRING: Katie Featherston, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong, Micah Sloat, Ashley Palmer
  • DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount Pictures, IM Global
  • RELEASE DATE: October 14, 2007
  • RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes
  • COUNTRY: United States
  • LANGUAGE: English
  • BUDGET: Production: $15,000; Post-production: $215,000
  • BOX OFFICE: $194.2 million

Coming in at the third spot on our list of top 5 horror movies of all time is Paranormal Activity. It is a horror film fan favorite, particularly among those who enjoy ghost stories. The plot begins when a couple moves into a suburban home and discovers that they are being terrorized by a supernatural presence.

Oren Peli produced, wrote, directed, photographed, and edited the 2007 American supernatural horror film Paranormal Activity. It follows a young couple (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat) who are haunted in their home by a supernatural presence. They then set up a camera to record what is bothering them. The film employs found-footage conventions that are mirrored in the series’ later films.

The first film in the Paranormal Activity film series. In 2010, a sequel, Paranormal Activity 2, was released. The success of the first two films spawned additional films in the series: the prequel Paranormal Activity 3 in 2011, and the sequel to Paranormal Activity 2 in 2012. The Marked Ones, the fifth installment, and the spin-off was released in 2014, and The Ghost Dimension, the sixth installment, was released in 2015. The Lost Soul video game was released in 2017, and Next of Kin, the seventh film, will be released in 2021.



  • DIRECTED BY: John Carpenter
  • WRITTEN BY: Debra Hill, John Carpenter
  • PRODUCED BY: Debra Hill
  • STARRING: Donald Pleasence, P. J. Soles, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis
  • DISTRIBUTED BY: Compass International Pictures
  • RELEASE DATE: October 25, 1978
  • RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
  • COUNTRY: United States
  • LANGUAGE: English
  • BUDGET: $300,000–325,000
  • BOX OFFICE: $300,000–325,000

Movies about mysterious, masked psychopaths hunting down nubile teenagers are common these days, but this concept was novel in 1978. That’s when John Carpenter unleashed the world on Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Laurie Strode, a teen who has a very bad Halloween after her brother escapes from an insane asylum. The music alone will send shivers down your spine. Without this film, there would almost certainly be no Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street.

While it lacks the realistic gore, we’ve come to expect from slasher films, Halloween packs a lot of tension and some inventive thrills in a relatively small-scale package. The film’s legacy is also fairly untouchable: Michael Myers’ mask has become legendary, and the giant, unstoppable killer and “final girl” have become part of the horror lexicon. There’s a reason the franchise has lasted more than 40 years.


The Exorcist-TopFiveTens

  • DIRECTED BY: William Friedkin
  • WRITTEN BY: William Peter Blatty
  • PRODUCED BY: William Peter Blatty
  • STARRING: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Linda Blair
  • DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros.
  • RELEASE DATE: December 26, 1973 (United States)
  • RUNNING TIME: 122 minutes
  • COUNTRY: United States
  • LANGUAGE: English
  • BUDGET: $12 million
  • BOX OFFICE: $441.3 million

The Exorcist, based on the story of a Catholic-sanctioned exorcism of a 12-year-old girl, is number one in the list of top 5 horror movies of all time. The adaptation of William Friedkin’s eponymous novel about a demon-possessed child and his attempts to exorcise the demon became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time. People were passing out in some multiplexes, so paramedics were called in. Nobody had ever seen anything this bizarre, and no one could get enough of it. It persisted for months and months, despite boycott calls from various groups. Since then, there have been countless films about demonic possession, and all of them owe a great deal to The Exorcist.

Above are listed the top 5 horror movies of all time. The thing is, horror films are among the cheapest to produce. A horror film can be made in a single location with a small cast. Practical special effects are relatively inexpensive if you learn how to work with the materials, and nowadays, you can use a commercial program like AfterEffects to touch up what you need to. However, making a genuinely scary film is difficult. It is not expensive, but it requires good editing and pacing. When done well, a scary movie can engulf you and leave you with a lasting impression.


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