Must See Horror Thriller Movies

For people who enjoy staying on top of what’s new in the horror and thriller moviegenre, the choice can be overwhelming. And for those who take a keen interest increating a good film list of must-see horror and thrillers, the task can be evenmore daunting. For both seasoned regulars, and for those only just introduced tothe genre one of the key components would be selecting the truly great horror andthriller movies from the long list of classic, semi-recent and current offerings.

The horror and thriller genre involves very deep emotion and intensity. Whilehorror horror and thriller movies can be scary, they also offer a psychological thrill.Moreover, it’s difficult to create a great modern horror and thriller movie as manyof them have been done in the past which makes it hard to come up with truly originalideas. Thus, it can be said that a part of the challenge consists of curating anoutstanding list of horror and thriller movies.

A modern classic in the horror and thriller genre is ‘The Shining’. Starring JackNicholson in what many say is a career defining role. Besides its popularity, ‘TheShining’ has gathered acclaim for the way it dealt with subjects such asmental illness and alcoholism which made it stand out from other horror and thrillerworks at the time. It is also well remembered for its bold and gritty depiction of thestory along with Nicholson’s intense and manic performance.

An example from the post-2000 era is ‘The Conjuring’, a film based on the life andcases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators. The movie showcases thecouple’s ability to investigate the paranormal and to set up an effective plan tocombat the supernatural forces. Director James Wan’s mastery of suspense and NewLine Cinema’s knack for making killer horror and thriller movies combine tobreathtaking effect.

For an absolute classic flick, ‘The Exorcist’ should be at the top of any list. Adirtectorial effort from the master of horror William Friedkin, this film is likelyone of the greatest horror and thriller movies ever made. Featuring innovative cinematographyand realist scares, ‘The Exorcist’ stands out for its atmospheric tension as wellas its clever blending of supernatural and religious elements.

Finally, it would be a mistake to leave out one of the most iconic horror andthriller performances by an actor, Anthony Hopkins in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.Directed by Jonathan Demme and based on Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel, ‘TheSilence of the Lambs’ stands the test of time with its chilling atmosphere and utterlycaptivating story. Especially Hopkins’ performance is one of the main reasons whythe film resonates with viewers.

Alfred Hitchcock Horror

The horror- and thriller movie maestro Alfred Hitchcock isto this day hailed as one of the greatest directors of all time. Picking one of his7 classic horror-thrillers from the selection is a difficult task, but here aresome of his greatest works in the genre that must be seen. ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Psycho’are arguably two of his most iconic films and still to this day remain two of themost genius exercises in storytelling the genre has seen. Of course, there are manyVother films from Hitch’s impressive career, like the gripping and strangely beautiful’Rebecca’ and the iconic ‘The Birds’

Besides being associated with the macabre and horror films, Hitchcock also had alight comedic touch and although ‘The Trouble With Harry’ is not as well known asmany of Hitch’s darker films, it nevertheless deserves to be viewed due to itsfunny and clever blend of mystery, horror and comedy.

Hitchcock was also obsessed with innocent characters being accused of crimes theydid not commit. ‘North By Northwest’ and ‘The Fugitive’ are examples of this, thefirst one being a classic chase-thriller and the latter an edge-of-your-seat thrillride.

Olden Horror

Classics horror-thrillers were made long before films like ‘The Shining’ or ‘TheExorcist’. Films like ‘Nosferatu’ or ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’, shape thehorror-film genre and create the mood. Movies like these have a certain creepy atmosphereas they rely heavily on of sets and mise en scene, as well as camera work to telltheir story.

The ‘Universal Horror’ era was an era of horror films from the early; typicallymade by Universal Studio. Films like ‘Dracula’, ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘The Wolfman’helped define an entire genre. These films were cinematic classics, the one thingthey all had in common is that the monsters were often sympathetic creatures that weremisfits of society instead of being evil or out to do harm.

The television anthology series’The Twilight Zone’ and ‘The Outer Limits’ also achieveda kind of horror-thriller aura, as well as the classic sitcom ‘Tales from theCrypt’. Television horror-thriller anthologies did a lot to create a certain tensionfor the viewers, as they could never guess what the surprise twist of each episode wasgoing to be.

Modern Horror and Thriller

Contemporary horror- and thriller films still have that spark that makes them standout amongst the rest. ‘The Babadook’ is a horror-drama movie starring EssieDavis and Noah Wishaw. Fortunately, The Babadook, which is about a newly widowedwoman discovering a children’s book character which seems to be a manifestation ofher inner demons, was a success both critically and commercially.

‘Saw’ is another classic example of modern horror. This shocker from James Wancombines horror, suspense and mystery. ‘Saw’ is a thrilling adventure that combinesclever twists along with stomach-churning violence and gore all of which lift itabove the realm of your average horror flick.

‘Get Out’ is a particularly interesting offering for horror and thriller fans. Thefilm focuses on themes such as racism and the psychological effects of oppression andexploitation. The setting is a secluded estate home of the Armitage family, who havea hidden secret. Although this movie is not only an interesting thriller, but alsoprovides a powerful statement on the human condition.

Horror and Thriller Crossovers

Finally, horror- and thriller movie crossovers are also noteworthy. Crossovers like’Freddy Vs. Jason’ and ‘Alien Vs. Predator’ are some examples. This kind of crossoverbrought two iconic characters together in a thrilling situation and created a newset of circumstances for these characters to interact in. These movies feature someawesome thrills and some of the most iconic horror match-ups.

The horror-thriller crossover is still alive and kicking with the recent release of’Godzilla Vs. Kong’. This movie is an action-packed thrill-ride, with both titanic monsters fighting in spectacular fashion. It definitely stands out as a trendsetter, with its blend of science fiction, horror and monster carnage.

All in all, horror- and thriller movies provide a fantastic variety of titles forviewers to enjoy. With the sheer amount of movies in the genre, it can be quitechallenging to pick the right ones to binge watch. But, this list of must-seehorror and thrillers should certainly provide a great starting point, whilestill giving someone enough variety to enjoy a full weekend of horror and thrillercinema.

Vicki Strouth is a life-long film enthusiast, having grown up watching classic cinema in her childhood. She has since gone on to pursue writing about films and movie news, with her work being published on various online platforms. She is passionate about supporting independent filmmakers and highlighting important stories from around the world. She has also written a successful book about classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age era. Vicki currently lives in Seattle, where she continues to explore films of all genres and eras.

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