Horror films with a good intelligent story

All the rage: the 13 best horror films of all time

Horror is always booming. Bit like undertakers, appropriately. Because people always die, even on the screen. Another reason: horror films are cheap to make but often become big hits. This attraction has something to do with primal fears that people consciously or unconsciously like to expose themselves to. Biblical satan figures, half-humans, undead, completely dead, small children standing around in the shade, psychopathic ax murderers or just mega-mean horror clowns: Filmmakers love the symbols of our fears.

Dismissing horror films as mere entertainment does not do justice to this. Socially critical subtexts have made some of them milestones in film history. The horror film also lives from countless sub-genres - splatter, found footage and torture porn, in short: the genre is as diverse as our fears themselves. We have put together the - in our humble opinion - 13 best horror films of all time.

These are the 13 best horror films of all time

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The great father of all vampires: Nosferatu

1. Nosferatu - A symphony of horror (1922)

Dracula goes Northern Germany. Director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau made his mark with his silent film classic Nosferatu - A symphony of horrorfrom 1922 all subsequent films about vampires. The adaptation of Bram Stoker's literary bestseller Dracula tells the story of the legendary vampire - played by Max Schreck - in the fictional town of Wisborg somewhere in northern Germany. Against the backdrop of Lübeck, Rostock and Wismar, Murnau brought a bloodthirsty tyrant to life in the middle of the village idyll and turned against expressionist classics of his time such as Fritz Langs with realistic, almost documentary-looking recordings The golem as he came into the world and Robert Wienes The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. What all these horror characters in these films have in common: They are synonymous with the horrors of World War I and you can literally feel the approach of the greatest horror in human history: National Socialism.

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Hell trip: Rosemary's baby is one of the psychedelic horror films.

2. Rosemary's baby (1968)

In the 1960s, filmmakers countered traditional superstitions with rationally comprehensible psychoanalysis. Roman Polanski, for example, is trueRosemary's baby (as the spelling in the original)from 1968 as one of the first psychedelic horror films. Rosemary - Mia Farrow in one of her star roles - lives with husband Guy (John Cassavetes) in a New York apartment building where weird things are going on. She suspects to be pregnant with Satan himself. The psychological thriller is Polanski's attack on the prudery of the 50s and 60s of Presbyterian America. Cult director Alfred Hitchcock also counted with the classics The birds and Psycho to the most important representatives of the psychedelic horror film.

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Would be much worse in colorful: the splatter film The night of the living dead

3. The night of the living dead (1968)

The splatter is one of the most important sub-genres of horror film with a large following among film lovers. The most important stylistic device of these films: The explicit depiction of violence and blood - splatter means “to squirt” in German. George A. Romeros The night of the living dead from 1968 is considered to be the founder of this genre. Here man-eating zombies attack a group of friends who are barricading themselves in an old farmhouse. The brutal slaughter of the splatter films of the 60s and 70s, which brought horror into the American suburban idyll, symbolized the political climate in America at that time. Between civil rights struggles, the Vietnam War and political corruption, the population felt left in the stick.

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Please do not watch it at home alone: ​​the scariest of all horror thrillers The exorcist

William Friedkin linked to that Exorcists from 1973 sent the elements of the psychological thriller and the horror film. The horror story told by poets was rewarded with two Oscars. The plot of the thriller: Max von Sydow drives out the devil as the aging priest of the twelve-year-old Regan - the horror that comes from within. The director leaves the interpretation to each viewer individually. “Everyone sees the Exorcistswhat he already has in him, ”says Friedkin. Linda Blair's acting performance as an obsessed girl is astounding and terrifying to this day.

Photo: Compass International Pictures / Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images

5. Halloween - The night of horror (1978)

For babysitter Laurie - the breakthrough for actress Jamie Lee Curtis - Halloween night turns into horror in this slasher film. She and her high school friends are persecuted by the psychopathic serial killer Michael Myers. Suspense, lots of blood and dismembered, loving teenagers are the ingredients of this low-budget horror and the start of the so-called slasher genre. With the continuation Halloween II - The horror returns, Three years later they tried to build on the great success of the first part. In 2018 the ensemble even got back together with a super tough Laurie who had four decades to prepare for Michael's return from Michael.

Photo: Warner Brothers / Getty Images

It is not for nothing that bestselling author Stephen King has the title King of Horror inside. With the horror novels It, Carrie and Shining he provided the material for several important horror films. The latter Stephen King classic then made cult director Stanley Kubrick the most nerve-wracking and, for many fans, best horror film of the 80s. Shining uses claustrophobic images and dizzying tracking shots to tell the story of the writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), who is supposed to look after a lonely hotel with his wife and son in the remote mountains of Colorado. Ironically, Stephen King hates this film adaptation and has distanced himself from it. Kings are not infallible either.

Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Getty Images

Is the neighbor moving furniture again or is it after all Poltergeist?

Director Tobe Hooper and producer Steven Spielberg, who was also responsible for the script, succeeded with the horror blockbuster poltergeist a criticism of the American affluent society of the 1980s that could not have been more entertaining. Steve (Craig T. Nelson) and Diane (JoBeth Williams) move to the American suburbs with their three children. The dream of owning a home with a garden and pool (oh god, the scene in the pool!) Quickly turns into a nightmare: the house was built on an old cemetery. Now the poltergeist takes revenge for the desecration of the grave and turns the house into a murderous trap. The fight against the uninvited household spirit turned into great cinema fun with special effects that were revolutionary at the time!

Photo: New Line Cinema / Getty Images)

Never lets you sleep peacefully again: Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elmstreet

8. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

In the 1980s, horror icon Wes Craven turned a child killer into a popcorn horror hero who made the box office ring. Freddy Kruger, played by Robert Englund, has returned from the dead and is now haunted by his victims. Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her classmates - Johnny Depp in one of his first roles - must escape the serial killer with the blade hand. Your greatest enemy: sleep. A total of nine sequels of the Freddy Krueger saga followed the original.

Photo by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection Filmstill

The horror fade away: the teen horror film Scream

Again a blockbuster, again Wes Craven, again many sequels: The teenage horror Scream, which with the most important ingredients of the slasher film became the greatest horror success of the 90s. The plot follows the simple slasher concept: fraternity student (Neve Campell) and her clique are chased by a psychopathic killer with a ghost mask and knife. Horror genius Craven takes the tension to extremes with sophisticated horror effects. Popcorn horror at its finest that drew audiences to the cinema and grossed more than $ 150 million worldwide.

Photo: Artisan Entertainment

Even if some don't believe it - that Blair Witch Project is not real, but a pseudo-documentary ...

10. Blair Witch Project (1999)

In the 1990s, documentary footage of three film students who wanted to shoot a report on the Blair Witch in the woods of Maryland and has been lost since then surfaced. What was supposed to look like real film recordings were actually the trailers for a sophisticated digital campaign that featured the horror film by independent directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez Blair Witch Project announced and with the so-called Found footage (so found footage) invented a new subgenre. The pseudo-documentary, shot with a hand-held camera, did not even cost $ 32,000 to produce and brought in $ 140 million at the box office in the United States alone. To this day there are people who believe Blair Witch Project be a real story. Also Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield and the great Spanish zombie movie REC use the stylistic devices of found footage.

Photo: Lions Gate / courtesy Everett

Not for the faint of heart: the Saddist shocker Saw

The Australian film student Leigh Whannell and director James Wan brought the horror genre with the perfidious sadist shocker Saw to a brutal new level and influenced a number of new horror films that came under the term Torture Porn have gone down in horror film history. The escape rooms sprouting from the ground would also be without it Saw hardly conceivable. The now legendary jigsaw killer forces his victims Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) embarks on a brutal fight for survival. Trapped in a basement hole, the two are forced to play sadistic games.

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Better than any contraceptive: In It follows sex becomes a curse.

Sex becomes terror among American tea fans: admittedly, the story of the film It follows sounds grotesque. A deadly curse is transmitted during sexual intercourse. who it has, will it just going by itit Passing it back on to someone else through sex. Jay (Maika Monroe) wants to break the curse, so a race for life and death begins. Against the backdrop of fallow Detroit, long camera shots to nerve-wracking synthesizer sounds convey an incredibly disturbing shocker in moving images, which is staged more intelligently than the storyline suggests.

Photo: ddp images

Director Jordan Peele also providedGet out the most innovative and best horror film of the past few years. The plot, in the tradition of the 70s cult film The Stepford Wifes there was a debate about racism in America - how much of it is still in the liberal bourgeoisie today? African American Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) has to find out in a violent way. His new girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) is white, which shouldn't cause any problems in enlightened America. Until Chris meets her parents and the psychological terror begins. With iconic motifs of the horror genre, the film exposes the facade in a more pseudo-tolerant mannerLiberals.

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