15. The Innocents (1961)
> Directed by: Jack Clayton
> Starring: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins
> Runtime: 100 min.
This adaptation of Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw” follows British governess Miss Giddens — played by Deborah Kerr — as she takes on the task of caring for two young children, Miles and Flora, in a grand mansion. It soon appears that the children may have malevolent intentions, however. The chilling British tale was co-written by Truman Capote.
14. Freaks (1932)
> Directed by: Tod Browning
> Starring: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova
> Runtime: 64 min.
Director Tod Browning followed up his directorial triumph “Dracula” with this macabre tale of vengeance set against a circus sideshow. The story revolves around a trapeze artist who schemes to marry a midget and kill him for his fortune. The plot is foiled by his fellow “freaks” who exact terrible revenge on the woman. The movie shocked audiences, including one woman who claimed it caused her to have a miscarriage. The film hurt Browning’s career and was banned in several countries, including the United Kingdom, for decades because of its depiction of the sideshow characters. But the film gained a cult in the 1960s, and it still shocks audiences today.
13. Frankenstein (1931)
> Directed by: James Whale
> Starring: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
> Runtime: 70 min.
“Frankenstein,” made by Universal Pictures, is among the greatest of the classic monster movies. It was among English director James Whale’s earliest films and was heavily influenced by German Expressionist movies such as “Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari” (1919) and “Der Golem” (1915). The movie was added to the United States National Film Registry in 1991 — 60 years after its release.
12. Repulsion (1965)
> Directed by: Roman Polanski
> Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser
> Runtime: 105 min.
While many may be more familiar with Roman Polanski’s first American film, “Rosemary’s Baby,” it is not the director’s only popular horror film. “Repulsion,” released in 1965, chronicles a schizophrenic woman’s plunge into depression and madness. The film currently holds a 98% freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the site declaring that it “makes the audience feel as claustrophobic as the character.”
11. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
> Directed by: George A. Romero
> Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger
> Runtime: 127 min.
Ten years after the release of his groundbreaking “Night of the Living Dead,” director George A. Romero returned to the subject of zombies with another classic, “Dawn of the Dead.” This time, the zombies return to that which they were most familiar with during their lives. For many, one such place is the shopping mall in which most of the film takes place.