With over 36,000 horror titles on IMDb, it can be difficult to choose which horror movies to watch. However, IMDb has made it easier by compiling the highest-rated horror films by user rating. These movies all have at least 25,000 user votes on the platform, making them among some of the most popular horror films ever made, according to IMDb users.
From great psychological thrillers to slasher classics, here are the top 10 highest-rated horror movies by users on IMDb.
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10 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
This 1962 classic starring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis tells the story of two aging sisters who live together. "Baby" Jane Hudson (Davis) is a former child star slowly spiraling into madness while her sister Blanche (Crawford) is confined to a wheelchair after an accident. The two are terrorized by each other in a gripping rivalry that touches on themes of jealousy, loneliness, and mental illness.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane holds an 8.0 rating on IMDb and was nominated for numerous awards, crossing over from the horror genre and into the mainstream thanks to the film's major stars. Overall, the film has become one of the most iconic psychological thrillers in film history.
9 Rosemary's Baby
Another psychological horror film on the list is the 1968 Roman Polanski classic Rosemary's Baby. The movie follows a young pregnant woman, Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), who moves into a New York City apartment building with her husband, Guy (John Cassavetes). It's clear that the other occupants of the building are not exactly normal, but that's just the beginning of the horror Rosemary will face.
With an 8.0 user rating and several awards, this thriller is an excellent example of how danger can lurk in the most unexpected places. If you're looking for a subtle, suspenseful horror movie with an unnerving and escalating atmosphere, this is the one to watch.
8 The Blue Elephant
One of the newer horror films on the list, The Blue Elephant was first released in 2014 and hit audiences with its unique approach to the horror genre. It is an Egyptian film that follows a psychiatrist who is trying to transition back to work after a personal tragedy. Dealing with his own inner demons, finding out one of his friends is a patient in the criminal mental institution where he works sets off a series of events that viewers need to watch to get the full experience of The Blue Elephant.
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Also holding an 8.0 user rating on IMDb, this movie is a visually stunning adaptation of the 2012 novel of the same name. It's a perfect balance of suspense and intrigue, and an excellent addition to the highest-rated horror movies.
7 Les Diaboliques
Henri-Georges Clouzot's Les Diaboliques, also referred to as Diabolique, is a 1955 French horror film that has influenced thrillers in countless ways. The film follows two women, Christina Delasalle (Véra Clouzot) and Nicole Horner (Simone Signoret), who conspire to murder their mutual lover, Michel Delasalle (Paul Meurisse). They try to plan the perfect crime, but they find that things are not as easy as they had planned when Michel's body disappears.
This classic thriller has an 8.1 user rating on IMDb and is one that viewers need to watch until the end. If you're looking for a suspenseful, dramatic horror movie with unexpected twists, this is a must-watch.
6 The Exorcist
The Exorcist is one of the most well-known and highly-regarded horror films of all time. The 1973 classic follows a young girl, Regan (Linda Blair), who becomes possessed by the devil after playing with an Ouija board. Her mother (Ellen Burstyn) and two priests, Father Karras (Jason Miller) and Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), are determined to save Regan from the evil forces that have taken over her body.
The Exorcist has an 8.1 user rating on IMDb and won two Academy Awards, as well as four Golden Globes. It has been praised for its iconic '70s soundtrack, acting, and special effects, helping to make it one of the most iconic horror films ever made.
5 The Thing
Horror icon John Carpenter directed the 1982 classic The Thing, a loose remake which follows a group of scientists in Antarctica who discover an alien life form that can take the shape and form of its victims. The alien is able to spread rapidly, and the group must figure out how to fight it before it's too late. The tension and suspense in this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, and the grotesque special effects are nothing short of amazing for the 80s.
The Thing has an 8.2 user rating and has incredible performances from Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, and Keith David. It's a great example of how horror remakes can be done right, and is considered to be a masterpiece by fans of science fiction and horror.
Another recent horror movie, Tumbbad is an Indian horror-fantasy film released in 2018. It follows Vinayak (Sohum Shah), a man who is obsessed with discovering the source of wealth said to be hidden in an ancestral home. He ends up traveling to the home with his son, Pandurang, and together they become entangled in a web of deceit, greed, and danger as they try to uncover the mythological secrets of the property.
The cinematography and atmosphere of Tumbbad make it truly unique. It has an 8.2 user rating on IMDb, holding 17 awards and over 22 nominations. It's a fantastic movie for anyone who loves international horror and fantasy.
3 The Shining
The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980, is a horror movie that follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his family as they move into an isolated hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Jack is responsible for the Overlook Hotel as the winter caretaker, but his sanity begins to slip away the longer he is there. On the surface, The Shining looks like a standard thriller, but the deeper themes of evil and family tragedy (not to mention the many conspiracy theories about the film) make it a classic.
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The Shining has an 8.4 user rating on IMDb and has earned awards and nominations from both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. It's another horror movie that is guaranteed to linger in the back of your mind long after you've finished watching it, and one that has stuck in the cultural lexicon for nearly half a century.
One of Alfred Hitchcock's most iconic films, Psycho is a 1960 classic that follows Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) as she steals money and flees town, eventually ending up at the Bates Motel. She is greeted by the creepy owner of the motel (Anthony Perkins), who is hiding a dark secret. It doesn't take long for things to take a dark turn for both Marion and her sister (Vera Miles), who also finds herself in danger.
Psycho is a thrilling horror movie that can still hold up today, thanks to how revolutionary and ahead of its time the filmmaking was. It has an 8.5 user rating on IMDb and also won the Best Motion Picture award at the 1961 Edgar Allan Poe Awards. It is full of suspense and great performances, making it clear why it's often referred to as the blueprint for modern horror.
Ridley Scott's 1979 classic, Alien, tops IMDb's list of horror movies by user rating with an 8.5. It follows the crew of a spaceship who are sent to explore an unknown planet, only to be attacked by a terrifying alien creature. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is one of the few survivors and must battle against a creature that is relentless in its pursuit.
Alien has since become a classic sci-fi horror movie, and it's no surprise as to why. The combination of suspense and special effects creates a fantastic environment, and the performances of Weaver and her fellow crew members keep you invested throughout. Ripley has become an iconic female character, making this a movie that any fan of horror and feminism alike should watch at least once.