Top 5 most influential horror films

I’ll check it out.
Rosemary’s baby was a good early one too.

If you’re talking about Birth of a Nation, then yeah, from what I’ve read it was a very influential movie (not for horror). Not that I’ve watched it or will bother to watch it.

So yes, @BiggusDickus, I agree with you! The earlier ones that lots of people have imitated or built on would be the influential ones. Influential may overlap with best, but they’re not the same.

Frankenstein spawned the sub-genre of body horror movies as well as the horror sub-genre about human hubris. For example, The Fly (body horror) as well as The Thing From Another World and Alien (both are examples of human hubris horror movies, and both are about other horror themes as well).

The Thing From Another World inflenced all extra-terrestrial horror movies. Very influential on the Alien franchise.

Psycho influenced the sub-genre of psychological horror films, for example Silence of the Lambs.

Night of the Living Dead influenced many (if not all) zombie horror movies that followed.

And Blair has influenced every found-footage horror movie made since 1999.

There’s lots of crossover among these five, of course. There are also plenty of horror movies that were not influenced by these five, but imo these are the most influential five.

This is a completely different list from my list of 5 Best Horror movies or my 5 Scariest Horror movies etc, by the way.


I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with anything that @bojack has posted before, but he’s spot-on here.:+1:
I would add The Exorcist because of its stupid demonic possession sub-genre influence, and Jaws for tangible, believable, real creature horror.


There’s a story, probably true, that the producers of Alien sold it to the movie company executives as “Jaws in space”. It was the only way they could understand the concept.

Isn’t Alien Sci Fi?.How about "Deliverance "?
And no mention of “IT” ? Pennywise will be pissed.

1- The Ring (OG)
2- Birds
3- The Shining
4- Paranormal Activity
5- Every single Zack Snyder movie


Have to add

the original Amityville Horror.

That thing rolled over into daytime tv shows.

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The Exorcist
The Thing (Kurt Russell version)
The Shining

For me, something like that anyway.

The for me part is crucial. Many of these films I watched alone for the first time glued to the new fangled “Ca-ble” Television.

This episode of Johnny Quest scared the crap out of me…like gave me night horrors:

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I loved Jonny Quest and that ep was one of my favorites. I think it was pretty much taken straight from one of the first sci-fi movie hits, Forbidden Planet (1956). This scene:

(Yes, that’s Canada’s very own Frank Drebin as a smooth-cheeked yoot.)

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These are all American films.

Personally I’d insert a J-Horror film in there like Ju-On (The Grudge) or The Ring.

I think you’ve missed this one:

I didn’t see it. I was just replying to OP’s list.

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“The Wicker Man” should be in the list… the original that is.


I thought the ‘Hannibal’ TV show gave us the best interpretation of Red Dragon.

Hmpf. You suffer from henophthalmophobia, like most Earthlings. :frowning_face:

Should it? It obviously inspired Midsommar, and the remake of itself, and it was part of a trilogy. But beyond that, what?

I never got the appeal of that movie.