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Reddit’s 15 Best Horror Movies Are Worth Checking Out Today

Horror movies have a unique ability to captivate and terrify audiences, tapping into our deepest fears and leaving us jumping at shadows long after the credits roll. With countless scary flicks to choose from, it can be daunting to separate the truly spine-chilling classics from the clichéd clunkers. Fortunately, the dedicated horror hounds on Reddit‘s r/horror community have done the heavy lifting for us, carefully curating a list of the top rated R horror movies that are guaranteed to send shivers down your spine. Drawing from both timeless favorites and modern masterpieces, this list represents the cream of the horror crop.

So dim the lights, lock the doors, and steel your nerves as we count down Reddit‘s definitive ranking of the greatest horror films ever made. These 13 diabolical gems aren‘t just great horror movies – they‘re landmark pieces of cinema that pushed boundaries, spawned franchises, and embedded themselves in the pop culture consciousness. If you consider yourself a true connoisseur of terror, you owe it to yourself to experience these macabre milestones at least once… if you dare.

  1. The Exorcist (1973)
    Widely regarded as the gold standard of possession films, The Exorcist shocked audiences with its disturbing portrayal of a young girl (Linda Blair) possessed by a malevolent demonic entity. Packed with iconic moments like the notorious pea soup scene, the film‘s unrelenting intensity is enhanced by its dead serious tone and refusal to pull any punches. Based on an allegedly true story and bolstered by powerhouse performances from Blair and Max von Sydow, The Exorcist transcends the genre to become an enduring classic. Nearly 50 years later, director William Friedkin‘s magnum opus has lost none of its ability to disturb.

  2. Scream (1996)
    Breathing new life into the slasher subgenre, Scream turned tired horror tropes on their head with its self-aware, biting satire. Directed by fright master Wes Craven, the movie follows a group of snarky teens stalked by a masked killer who uses the "rules" of slasher flicks as part of his deadly game. Featuring a clever script, charismatic cast, and plenty of genuine scares alongside the laughs, Scream succeeds as both a brilliant deconstruction of horror clichés and a serious slasher in its own right. Ghostface‘s quippy, menacing phone calls instantly achieved iconic status, setting the stage for a lucrative franchise.

  3. Re-Animator (1985)
    A deliriously campy take on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale, Re-Animator revels in its own outrageous absurdity. Jeffrey Combs stars as an unhinged medical student who whips up a neon green potion capable of reanimating the dead, with predictably gory results. Boasting plentiful gore, far-out practical effects, loony slapstick humor, and an unflappable commitment to its gonzo premise, the film is a wildly entertaining ride for those who like their horror on the quirky side. It may be too weird and bloody for casual viewers, but gorehounds and Halloween crowds can‘t get enough of director Stuart Gordon‘s jubilantly disgusting vision.

  4. Don‘t Look Now (1973)
    An underseen gem from Nicholas Roeg, Don‘t Look Now uses a fragmented, nonlinear structure to slowly draw viewers into its unsettling world of grief and the occult. When a couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) relocate to Venice after the tragic death of their daughter, they start catching glimpses of a red-coated figure resembling their lost child. Dripping with dread-soaked atmosphere and punctuated with shocking moments of violence, the film keeps you constantly on edge, building to a haunting final twist. Roeg‘s disorienting editing, vivid cinematography, and the palpable anguish of his leads elevate Don‘t Look Now into the realm of arthouse horror.

  5. The Evil Dead (1981)
    Made on a shoestring budget by a group of young friends, The Evil Dead is a testament to the power of DIY filmmaking and unbridled creativity. Director Sam Raimi squeezes every ounce of innovation out of his limited resources, employing frenetic camerawork, gross-out effects, and manic energy to tell the tale of five college students battling ancient demons in a remote cabin. The end result is a giddy funhouse of splatter and pitch black comedy that manages to be exhilarating and genuinely frightening despite its humble origins. Without this scrappy upstart of a film, we wouldn‘t have Bruce Campbell‘s chainsaw-wielding Ash or Raimi‘s later blockbusters.

  6. Suspiria (1977)
    A phantasmagoric nightmare drenched in garish colors and gothic dread, Dario Argento‘s Suspiria is a towering achievement in stylish supernatural horror. When an American ballerina (Jessica Harper) arrives at a prestigious German dance academy, she stumbles upon a deadly coven of witches operating behind its walls. murder, madness, and black magic mayhem ensue as the surreal mystery unfolds to the tune of a thundering score by Goblin. What the plot lacks in coherence, it more than makes up for in hallucinatory visuals, operatic violence, and haunting imagery that sears itself into your psyche. Suspiria envelops you in its fever dream and refuses to let go.

  7. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
    Unrelentingly grim and grimy, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre helped solidify the slasher genre while pushing the boundaries of acceptable violence for the time. Allegedly based on true events, the minimalist plot involves a vanful of friends falling prey to a family of deranged cannibals, including the chainsaw-revving maniac Leatherface. There‘s an almost documentary-like rawness to the film, making the horrors depicted feel all too plausible. Director Tobe Hooper‘s sweat-soaked vision of rural depravity spawned countless imitators and kicked off a still-running franchise, but none can match the sheer visceral impact of the original.

  8. Hellraiser (1987)
    Boldly original and thoroughly uncompromising, Clive Barker‘s feature debut Hellraiser introduces one of horror‘s most enduring boogeymen: Pinhead, leader of the extra-dimensional Cenobites. These sadomasochistic beings from beyond are summoned by an innocuous-looking puzzle box to inflict pleasurable torture upon those who solve it. Barker gleefully subverts the conventions of the genre, crafting a darkly poetic and shockingly gory fairy tale that explores the taboo intersection between desire and pain, sex and death, fantasy and flesh. With its dense mythos, perverse eroticism, and imaginatively gruesome set pieces, it‘s no wonder Hellraiser became a sensation among hardcore horror fans.

  9. Alien (1979)
    Ridley Scott‘s masterful blend of sci-fi and horror proved that in space, no one can hear you scream… but that doesn‘t stop audiences from shrieking at the terrors of Alien. The crew of a deep space towing vessel is hunted by a vicious extraterrestrial stowaway that bleeds acid, breeds inside human hosts, and can‘t be reasoned with or escaped. Tracing a clear line from gothic horror to futuristic dread, Scott uses long silences and dim corridors to create an almost unbearable sense of claustrophobic tension. In one of cinema‘s most unforgettable scenes, a baby xenomorph memorably bursts out of John Hurt‘s chest, launching a thousand imitators. Few creature features are as primal or potent in delivering scares.

  10. Hereditary (2018)
    One of the most confident and accomplished debut films in recent memory, Ari Aster‘s slow burn chiller Hereditary starts as an intense domestic drama about an unraveling family before spiraling into full-blown supernatural insanity. Anchored by an astonishing performance from Toni Collette as a mother processing the loss of her secretive mom, the movie plays upon universal fears of inherited trauma, mental illness, and losing control over your own mind and body. Impeccably directed and utterly draining, Hereditary burrows under your skin, its gut punch of an ending lingering like a sinister specter. Believe the hype: this is elevated horror at its most emotionally bruising.

  11. The Shining (1980)
    All work and no play makes The Shining a chilling stay at the Overlook Hotel. Stanley Kubrick‘s meticulous adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel keeps the page-turner‘s basic premise of a family man driven to madness and murder by the malevolent forces in an isolated hotel, but imbues the familiar story with dreamlike dread through his mastery of the medium. Every frame is composed like a waking nightmare, the hypnotic camerawork pulling you helplessly into the fracturing mind of Jack Nicholson‘s Jack Torrance. With its ambiguous ending, hedge maze climax, and the most iconic axe-wielding maniac in cinema, The Shining remains a gold standard of elegant psychological horror.

  12. Halloween (1978)
    The night he came home… and changed the face of horror forever. John Carpenter‘s trendsetting slasher introduced the world to Michael Myers, the original masked killer who started the unstoppable stalker craze. But there‘s more to Halloween than just jump scares and a William Shatner mask: Carpenter imbues the film with a pervasive sense of inescapable dread, turning the sleepy suburbs into a labyrinth of shadows hiding untold evil. Imitated but never equaled, the film maintains a vice grip of suspense through deliberate pacing, atmospheric cinematography, and an instantly recognizable synth score. While subsequent sequels diluted the boogeyman‘s mystique, the original remains a master class in tension and technique.

  13. The Thing (1982)
    At the lonely outpost of an Antarctic research station, an unfathomable alien threat emerges, capable of perfectly imitating and gorily assimilating any living being into its cells. So begins John Carpenter‘s frost-bitten masterwork The Thing, which traps a crew of bearded, increasingly paranoid men in a pressure cooker of fear and mistrust. Who‘s still human and who‘s been replaced? With its groundbreaking creature effects, nihilistic outlook, and relentlessly oppressive atmosphere of dread, the film bombed in 1982 before ascending to its rightful place in the horror pantheon. An all-timer that only grows more unnerving with age, The Thing is the ultimate in icy cosmic terror and a high-water mark Carpenter hasn‘t topped since.

So there you have it: 13 of the absolute best horror movies as decided by the aficionados of r/horror. Whether you prefer your scares served straight-up or spiked with a twist of comedy, gore, surrealism, or existential angst, you‘re sure to find something to give you goosebumps on this list. These flicks represent horror at its most stylish, subversive, singular, and downright terrifying.

Watching them, you‘ll notice common themes emerge: the dangers of playing God, the inescapable influence of the past, the breakdown of the nuclear family unit, the way extreme circumstances bring out the worst in people. But they also encapsulate what makes the horror genre so addictive and cathartic. These movies thrill us, challenge us, and trigger the fight-or-flight response with their immersive journeys into the heart of darkness. By facing our fears in a controlled environment, we come out the other side feeling a little braver. So queue up these blood-curdling classics and get ready for a bumpy ride – just don‘t blame us when you have trouble sleeping afterward.