Hollywood 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 Movies since from its inception. This genre was more likely developed as an art just like comedy. Unlike the 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 Films 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 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 Movies that would literally give you nightmares once you watch them.
If you are from India or South Asia then you can also watch these Hollywood Horror Films in Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, and other Indian regional Languages.
Best Hollywood Horror Movies of All Time
We have created a list of best Horror movies of all time from Hollywood, we are sharing the Best old horror films first then you will see the list of best Horror films of recent times.
Best Old Horror Movies
The Exorcist (1973)
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.
The Evil Dead (1981)
The Evil Dead is a 1981 American supernatural horror film directed by Sam Raimi.
The film follows the vacation of five college students in an isolated cabin in the woods, After playing a strange unknown audio tape, they release a legion of demons and spirits with the group suffering from demonic possession creating chaos.
The success of this film and its legacy can be witnessed by the fact that there was 2 sequels and reboot released in the Evil Dead film franchise as well as several video games, comic books, and a TV series. The Evil Dead is one of the Best Hollywood Horror Movies of All The time.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
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 lives 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.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
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.
The Thing (1982)
The Thing is the first science fiction Horror film on our list of greatest horror films of all time.
Directed by John Carpenter, the film is based on the John W. Campbell’s novel Who Goes There? The film is primarily about a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that assimilated and takes the form of its victims.
The Thing infiltrates the Antarctic research station and starts taking appearances of the researchers, hence, creating paranoia within the group. The film stars Kurt Russell in the lead role.
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 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 from 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.
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.
Scream is yet another slasher film on our list of best Horror Movies of all time. This is also the film that introduced us to Ghostface, one of the most dreadful serial killer characters in the Hollywood history.
Directed by Wes Craven, the film follows the life of Sidney Prescott, portrayed by Neve Campbell, who becomes the target of a mysterious killer wearing a scary mask and is identified as Ghostface because of the mask.
The film was a successful attempt to blend comedy and “whodunit” mystery combined with the ruthlessness of the slasher genre to change the cliché set by popular horror films like Halloween and Friday the 13th.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sixth Sense is a supernatural horror film that would keep you in the secret until the end. And, when the suspense is finally out, you will be shocked to death to see the secret and main surprise element of this Hollywood horror film.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the film is about a boy Cole Sear, played by Haley Joel Osment, and the child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe, played by Bruce Willis.
Cole is able to see and talk to the dead which frightens him, while Dr. Crowe is fighting his own demons. Both the child and the psychologist form a bond that helps each other counter their fears. However, a big truth is about to be revealed that will shock everyone at the end.
Best Hollywood Horror Movies of Recent Times
The Conjuring (2013)
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.
Sinister is a 2012 Hollywood 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 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.
Also Read: Best Hollywood Movies About Aliens
The Ring (2002)
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.
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.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Activity is a 2007 independent found footage horror film written and directed by Oren Peli.
The film marks the debut of the Paranormal Activity film franchise. Basically, the film revolves around a couple, Katie, and Micah, who feel the presence of supernatural activity in their home.
To understand what’s haunting them, they decide to film everything by setting up cameras in their bedroom to document the happenings while they are asleep. The film is shown in the found footage format and is undoubtedly one of the scariest films I have ever watched.
Primarily a prequel/spin-off to the famous “The Conjuring Series”, Annabelle is a 2014 horror film directed by John R. Leonetti and written by Gary Dauberman.
Being the first film of the Annabelle film series, it becomes a must watch if you want to understand the plot behind the Annabelle film franchise as well as some events of The Conjuring film series.
The film is in fact inspired by the story about a doll named Annabelle narrated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, the real-life paranormal investigators.
Oculus is an interesting psychological horror Film directed by Mike Flanagan that keeps you confused and startled throughout the film.
Based on another short film by Flanagan, Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan, the film is centered upon a mirror that is believed to be haunted that’s causing chaos in the lives of the Russell family.
Set in parallel with two different times set apart by 11 years, the film follows the life of Russell family who has moved into a new house. However, things start getting ugly and scary when Alan, the head of the family, purchases an antique mirror to decorate his office without any knowledge that it is malevolent with the capability of inducing hallucinations.
The aftermath of these hallucinations is drastic as the effects are even active after 11 years when the Russell kids have grown up and decide to end it once and for all.
It Follows (2014)
It Follows is a 2014 supernatural psychological horror film directed by David Robert Mitchell. The film is about a girl who is pursued by a supernatural entity that follows her after a sexual encounter with her boyfriend. The film introduces us to a new Urban Legend with a pinch of sex in it. The film stars Maika Monroe as Jay, who is the victim targeted by some unknown supernatural entity, along with Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary and others in supporting roles.
Another horror franchise film that makes it to our list of horror movies is the 2011 American supernatural horror film Insidious.
The film is about a couple played by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, whose son goes into a comatose state and becomes a vessel for ghosts in an astral dimension who wants to take over his body to live once again.
However, the father Patrick Wilson takes the help of demonologists to get his son back by using his ability to astral project. Whether he is successful to save his son or not forms the rest of the film.
Lights Out (2016)
Lights Out is yet another great horror film on our list that is based on a short film of the same name. Both Lights Out and the short films were directed by David F. Sandberg. The film is about a family that’s haunted by a supernatural apparition that is visible in the dark but disappears in the light.
Being a vengeful ghost, Rebecca, the stepdaughter of Paul’s who is the head of the family and has already been killed by the ghost must find a way to get rid of it to save her family.
The film stars Teresa Palmer in the lead role as Rebecca, while Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello, Emily Alyn Lind, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke and others play supporting roles.
The Mist (2007)
The Mist is the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Directed by Frank Darabont, The Mist is the second science fiction horror film on our list of best Hollywood Horror Movies.
Unlike other films that portray ghosts or supernatural entities as antagonists, The Mist is very different and unique entry in this genre.
The theme of the film revolves around a group of people in the small town of Bridgton, Maine who find themselves under threat from otherworldly monsters as an unusual mist spreads across the town after a huge thunderstorm. Now, the group must unite to survive the attack by all means.
Now, Share your favorite Hollywood Horror Films list in the comment section, or you can suggest some movies, so we can update the list after watching them.