The Best Classic Horror Movies

Genre-Defining Horror Movies to See

Anyone who enjoys jump scares and being a bit creeped out typically is a fan of horror movies. If you are new to the genre, however, there may be many horror films that you haven’t seen, but really should in order to understand the beginnings of the style. This article will outline some essential, genre-defining horror films that you should see.


This 1960 movie is one of the original horror films and certainly a defining part of the horror genre. Many modern horror films harken back to this and others in their iconography, including the many details that Alfred Hitchcock put into making the house where the movie was filmed truly horrifying. 

The Exorcist

The Exorcist was one of the first movies to deal with demonic possession as a plot device, but it has become of common trope for many following horror flicks. Filmed in 1973, this film is still thoroughly terrifying to modern viewers.


One of the many Stephen King novels that were adapted to film, this is one of the first movies to explore the turmoil of adolescence, high school, and puberty in a horrific light. These concepts are an important part of life and even if they don’t result in supernatural powers or death, they can be traumatic for many people.

Cabin in the Woods

Once you’ve watched a few of the classic horror flicks, it is definitely worth watching Cabin in the Woods. This 2012 film revisits concepts from the overarching horror genre and adds a comedic twist to them. While deconstructing the genre with good-natured self-referential humour, this film is also able to bring about contemplation in the watcher of how to define good and evil.