Horror films always have a set of audience who actually relish getting scared or frightened every now and then. While there are many who love this genre, most of us are watching it simply to feel that thrill or send chills down the spine. It’s kind of an addiction that makes you watch films that are prone to scare the hell out of you.
Hollywood has been making all kinds of horror films since from its inception. This genre was more likely developed as an art just like comedy. Unlike comedy genre, which is, of course, used to make people laugh, the horror genre was to scare people. Till date, there have been a lot of Hollywood movies under horror genre creating multiple sub-genres such as supernatural horror, paranormal horror, comedy horror, psychological horror, horror thrillers, serial killer themes, bloodshed themes, cannibal themes, etc.
Over the time, this genre has been used by the filmmakers as an experiment to try something new that could scare people across the globe. While some of the movies are based on true events, there are many that are fiction stories developed by the screenwriters or adapted from popular novels and books by well-known authors of this genre in the literature world.
Just like many, even I watch horror films simply to get the shivers and shocks at times as I believe it gives a whole new experience and different kind of thrill and excitement. So, today I will share some of the best Hollywood Horror films that would literally give you nightmares once you watch them.
Best Hollywood Horror Movies of All Time
Well, I am an Indian and the terms like exorcism and exorcists were alien to me, the first time I watched Hollywood horror films. However, with time I have been educated with these terms, especially after watching the 1973 film The Exorcist. The film is adapted from the novel of the same name written by William Peter Blatty in 1971. Directed by William Friedkin, the film tells the story of a 12-year old girl under demonic possession and her mother’s attempts to get her daughter back with the help of exorcisms led by two priests. The film features Linda Blair as the twelve-year-old Regan MacNeil.
Based on true events and haunting cases handled by real-life Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring is a 2013 Horror Film based on Real Life directed by James Wan. The film is a must watch for those who have a liking towards the concept of haunted houses. Starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, the film tells us the story of a family who is convinced that their house is haunted and they request the help from popular paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively. Owing to the success of the film, a sequel to the film The Conjuring 2 was released in 2016.
If you are a fan of Hollywood films, then no matter where you live, you must definitely be familiar with the term Halloween. The Halloween theme is the most widely used concept in Hollywood, especially in the horror genre. Most of the dreadful events often happen on or during Halloween in most of the Hollywood horror films. And, there’s no exception for the 1978 American independent slasher film Halloween directed by John Carpenter. The film is about Michael Myers, who killed his sister by stabbing her at the age of 6 on a Halloween night and now 15 years later, he has escaped the psychiatric ward to kill again. Whether Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis, who realizes his intentions will be able to stop him or not forms the rest of the story.
Sinister is a 2012 horror film directed by Scott Derrickson. The film is about a true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt, played by Ethan Hawke, who discovers a bunch of home movies in his attic and starts watching them. However, what he doesn’t know is that these movies are actually snuffed films displaying different families suffering unfortunate deaths with a common demonic figure present in all the movies. After watching these films, strange and unexplainable things start happening in the house leading Ellison to investigate further about the movies as well as the strange things going around in the house. Before he realizes that he has put his family in great danger, it’s too late.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name penned by Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski. Well, as the title of the film suggests, the central theme of the film is the baby. The film follows the life of a pregnant woman named Rosemary, who discovers the fact that her husband has made a pact with some religious cult and the true father of her baby is actually the Devil himself. The film is dark and would make you think about the extent that people can go for greed.
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The Ring is a supernatural psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring Naomi Watts in the lead role, the film is actually the remake of a Japanese horror film titled Ring, which in turn was a movie adaptation based on the novel of the same name written by Koji Suzuki. The film is highly notable across the globe for its suspense element and silent horror that literally sends shivers through your spine at times. Owing to his huge success among the mass, the film is followed by two sequels The Ring Two and Rings.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Well, A Nightmare on Elm Street is another slasher film that made it to our list and it also marks the debut film of Johnny Depp. The film is directed by Wes Craven and features as the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Set in a fictional town of Springwood, Ohio, the film follows the life of some teenagers, who are one by one stalked and killed in their dreams by Freddy Krueger. Strangely, the dream death also becomes death in reality without any trace or logic behind this connection. However, the secret is eventually revealed by their parents who have kept it hidden for a long time. Despite garnering rave reviews, the film had a significant impact over horror genre resulting in multiple sequels and television series and a crossover with Friday, the 13th.
Saw is a psychological horror film directed by James Wan. It also marks the directorial debut of James Wan. The film is also the first film of the Saw franchise and follows a bloody and ruthless game set up by an unidentified serial killer that goes by the name Jigsaw Killer. The film is full of violence, brutality, and sadism and it is nowhere fit for the light-hearted souls as it is a very dark film full of bloodshed and ruthless killing. Despite being such a dark film, the Saw franchise went on to produce 6 more films in the same genre.
Poltergeist, as the title suggests, is a film about haunting and ghosts inhabiting a house. Directed by Tobe Hooper, the film’s script is written by Steven Spielberg. The film marks the debut of the Poltergeist franchise and also turns out to be the most successful film in the franchise consisting of a trilogy and a reboot film released in 2015. The main plot of the film revolves around Freeling family whose home is invaded by malevolent ghosts that abduct their youngest daughter Carol Anne. The rest of the film is about tracing their daughter with the help of parapsychologists.