15. The Fly (1986)
> Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
> Directed by: David Cronenberg
> Runtime: 96 min
> Available on: Vudu, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, DIRECTV, Starz Play Amazon Channel, Starz, Redbox, FandangoNOW, Apple iTunes
David Cronenberg’s remake of the sometimes schlocky 1958 movie “The Fly” is frightening, funny, and, at times, grotesque. Jeff Goldblum plays scientist Seth Brundle who accidentally combines his DNA with that of a house fly, with horrifying results. The movie — made during the golden age of special effects in horror — benefits from the slow and sometimes hard-to-watch transformation of Brundle into “Brundlefly.” It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup in 1987. On Rotten Tomatoes, 92% of critics liked it.
14. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
> Starring: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
> Directed by: Tobe Hooper
> Runtime: 83 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Shudder, Vudu, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW
Although it wasn’t the first slasher flick, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” set a new standard of terror for the subgenre. Despite showing very little violence on-screen, the intensity of the film’s menacing atmosphere led to it being initially banned in numerous countries. The movie’s premise is simple enough — a group of young hippies stumble upon a family of cannibals deep in the Lone Star State — yet the nightmarish execution elevates the movie to classic status. On Rotten Tomatoes 88% of critics and 82% of users liked it.
13. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
> Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
> Directed by: Wes Craven
> Runtime: 91 min
> Available on: Vudu, Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes, YouTube, Microsoft Store, Amazon Video, AMC on Demand, DIRECTV, Redbox, FandangoNOW, HBO Max
Wes Craven’s movie about a relentless killer who stalks teenagers in their dreams sparked a nine-movie franchise. The original remains the best of the bunch, however. Combining its “intelligent premise” with “the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger,” as Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Consensus states, the movie managed to excite and terrify legions of moviegoers upon its release and currently has a Freshness rating of 94%.
12. Carrie (1976)
> Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
> Directed by: Brian De Palma
> Runtime: 98 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Vudu, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, AMC on Demand, DIRECTV, Showtime, Redbox, fuboTV, FandangoNOW, Hoopla, Amazon Video, Showtime Amazon Channel
Before her Oscar-winning Best Actress performance in “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Sissy Spacek shocked audiences as Carrie in the movie based on Stephen King’s debut novel. She played a friendless teen sheltered by her domineering, fervently religious mother (three-time Oscar nominee Piper Laurie) and ruthlessly bullied by her classmates. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave Brian De Palma’s horror flick a Freshness score of 92%.
11. The Birds (1963)
> Starring: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Runtime: 119 min
> Available on: Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, YouTube, DIRECTV, Microsoft Store, Redbox, FandangoNOW, Fandango
“The Birds,” based on the story by British writer Daphne du Maurier, is about our feathered friends who one day start attacking people for no reason. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the Alfred Hitchcock horror masterpiece a 95% Freshness rating. Village Voice critic J. Hoberman said the film “is arguably the greatest of all disaster films — a triumph of special effects, as well as the fountainhead of what has become known as gross-out horror.”