10. Halloween (1978)
> Directed by: John Carpenter
> Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
> Runtime: 91 min.
John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is a slasher classic that inspired countless imitations. The film’s premise is relatively simple: a man who murdered his sister as a young boy returns to terrorize the town in which the crime took place after spending years in a mental asylum. The movie’s restraint works in its favor, however, as the masked, silent killer proved hugely popular.
9. Diabolique (1955)
> Directed by: Henri-Georges Clouzot
> Starring: Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot, Paul Meurisse
> Runtime: 117 min.
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s taut thriller has all the earmarks of the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock, with an ending that viewers don’t see coming. “Diabolique” is about a philandering boarding school headmaster who is targeted for murder by his ailing wife and his current mistress. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 95% Freshness rating and 93% of audiences liked the movie.
8. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
> Directed by: Don Siegel
> Starring: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates
> Runtime: 80 min.
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is a thinly veiled commentary on the communist witch hunt in the 1950s by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the accompanying blacklist of artists said to have had communist leanings. The plot is about a small-town doctor who sees behavior changes among his friends and neighbors, and to his horror he discovers aliens are replacing humans.
7. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
> Directed by: George A. Romero
> Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman
> Runtime: 96 min.
George A. Romero’s debut film “Night of the Living Dead” created the prototype for the modern zombie film genre. The movie, which was independently produced with only a small budget, has grown to be considered one of the best horror movies ever because of its raw violence, bleak vision, and political subtext.
6. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
> Directed by: Roman Polanski
> Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
> Runtime: 137 min.
“Rosemary’s Baby” takes an unfantastic approach to its premise of a woman who believes her unborn child may have have demonic origins. The result is one of the decade’s most frightening films, which spawned countless occult films.