So it’s the traditional horror movie season. I know this is coming in late for the season, but think of it as an invitation to extend the season: Stay inside and keep the horrors outside at bay.

This is a massive list of virtually every horror-flavored film I got something valuable out of. They’re not all great films. Some are classics worth repeating, some are best for a single night’s distraction. Some are funny, some are designed to shake your foundations. It’s not an objectively comprehensive list by any means—it’s an entirely subjective collection of what I personally find interesting and/or compelling. It’s limited by my own experience. I have not yet seen every movie that exists (although I’m working on it).

In effort to provide some method to the madness, I’ve loosely organized the list into sections according to theme and subject matter. Feel like a ghost story? Focus on that section. Same for zombies, slow burn tales, etc. Of course, dividing up art like this is always slippery, and in some cases I avoided spoilers by placing a film in a category that it will later reveal to be inaccurate. In other cases, I had to make a judgment call. As with all categories, take them with a grain a salt and use them more for navigation purposes rather than decrees of significance.

If you’re relatively new to horror films, this might give you some places to start. If you’re already well-versed, maybe you’ll find some hidden gems. Stay home, stay safe and turn the lights on.

Vampires

Ghosts & Such

Monsters

Zombies & Plagues

Killers

Psychological

Folklore, Witchcraft, Demons & Curses

Atmospheric & Slow Burn

Anthologies

  • Tales of Terror (1962) Roger Corman
  • Black Sabbath (1963) Mario Bava
  • Southbound (2015) Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella & Roxanne Benjamin
  • XX (2017) Karyn Kusama, Jovanka Vuckovic, Roxanne Benjamin & St. Vincent

If you want more, I also sent a list of horror documentaries to paid subscribers of my newsletter.