10. The Thing (1982)
> Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
> Directed by: John Carpenter
> Runtime: 109 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Starz Play Amazon Channel, Amazon Video, AMC on Demand, DIRECTV, Microsoft Store, Starz, FandangoNOW
Director John Carpenter emphasized atmosphere and special effects in this remake of Christian Nyby’s “The Thing From Another World.” The movie tells the story of an isolated, Antarctica-based research team that is challenged with a horrific alien creature that can take the shape of other life forms. It received a rating of 84% from critics and 92% from users on Rotten Tomatoes.
9. The Exorcist (1973)
> Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
> Directed by: William Friedkin
> Runtime: 122 min
> Available on: Vudu, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Redbox, FandangoNOW
Nearly 50 years after its initial release, “The Exorcist” remains one of the most frightening movies of all time. The film, which won two Academy Awards, was directed by William Friedkin and written by William Peter Blatty, who was inspired by actual events. It contains some of the most horrific moments in movie history and caused some audiences to be physically ill at the time of its release. The movie tells the story of a young girl whose odd behavior defies medical solutions. A local priest, while questioning his own faith, believes she is possessed by a demonic entity and requests the help of an exorcist. The movie has an 83% Freshness score among Rotten Tomatoes critics.
8. Freaks (1932)
> Starring: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova
> Directed by: Tod Browning
> Runtime: 64 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Vudu, Screambox, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, IndieFlix, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW, HBO Max
Filmmaker 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. His fellow “freaks” have other plans. The shocking film hurt Browning’s career and was banned in several countries, including the U.K., for decades because of its depiction of the sideshow characters. But the film gained a cult in the 1960s — it now holds a Freshness rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes — and still shocks audiences today.
7. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
> Starring: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono
> Directed by: Robert Aldrich
> Runtime: 134 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Redbox, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW
“What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” relaunched the storied careers of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and prompted similar melodramas in the mid-1960s such as “Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte.” Davis plays an aging child vaudeville star living in a decrepit Hollywood mansion with her crippled sister, played by Crawford, herself a former star actress, whom Davis torments out of jealousy. Dark and highly entertaining, the film received positive reviews from 92% of both critics and users on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
> Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
> Directed by: Roman Polanski
> Runtime: 137 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Hulu, Amazon Video, AMC on Demand, Amazon Prime Video, DIRECTV, Redbox, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW, Pluto TV, CBS All Access Amazon Channel
Oscar winner “Rosemary’s Baby” takes an unsettlingly realistic approach to its premise of a woman (played by Mia Farrow) who believes her unborn child may have demonic origins. The result is one of the ’60s most frightening films, which spawned countless occult films. Critics nearly unanimously like it, delivering a 96% Freshness rating. Rotten Tomatoes users gave it 87%.