They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films

INTRODUCTION to the 1,000 Greatest Horror Films

Current Version: May 2016 (2nd edition)

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: Introduction | #1-#100 | #101-#200 | #201-#300 | #301-#400 | #401-#500 | #501-#600 | #601-#700 | #701-#800 | #801-#900 | #901-#1000 | Full List | Sources | The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Horror Films | Top 50 Directors

Welcome to the second edition of They Shoot Zombies, Don’t They? Over the last year, I’ve made some changes to the weighting systems and the formulas used to calculate the points in order to strengthen the ‘quality’ of this list as much as possible. Although some of these were fairly large changes, they had surprisingly little effect on the list itself. In addition to those changes I, of course, have been scouring the Earth for more lists, bringing in over 550 new lists. All of this has also resulted in a new #1.

There are 45 new additions to the 2016 edition of the list. Most of these are recent films and the 21st century is still quite strongly represented. Although the numbers show that the list mostly favours this century, looking at the stats of all the films with at least one vote, it’s actually a smaller percentage than most of the other decades. For example, only 15.2% of films nominated from the 2000s made it into the list, but 21.1% of films nominated from the 1930s made it into the list. So, while the list is skewed to more recent films, this is largely due to there being more horror films made in recent years (and the fact that they’re more widely seen).

2016 Edition Stats:

Decades

1910s: 1
1920s: 22
1930s: 30
1940s: 29
1950s: 43
1960s: 89
1970s: 171
1980s: 194
1990s: 114
2000s: 216
2010s: 91

Regions

USA/Canada: 614
Europe: 296
Asia: 60
Australia/New Zealand: 24
Latin America: 7
Africa: 1

Top 10 Highest New Entries

198. It Follows (2014)
466. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
648. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
685. We Are What We Are (2013)
711. Jennifer’s Body (2009)
771. Los cronocrímenes (2007)
822. El vampiro (1957)
826. Masters of Horror: John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns (2005)
844. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
849. The Sacrament (2013)

And for some further awareness of the most current films that have made the list, eight films from 2014 (and none from 2015) have made it into the list quite comfortably:
The Babadook (2014), ranked 142
It Follows (2014), ranked 198
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), ranked 466
What We Do in the Shadows (2014), ranked 648
Starry Eyes (2014), ranked 853
Housebound (2014), ranked 866
As Above, So Below (2014), ranked 937
Honeymoon (2014), ranked 985

Currently 1,806 lists have been compiled into the final result. Weighting each list based on its type and source and using a few formulas, I’ve managed to narrow down 5,779 films into possibly the most definitive guide to the best horror films. As with any consensus list, it’s never going to be perfect and it’s always going to be partly a popularity contest but hopefully this list will help to guide your horror diet and discover some new films. This list can also be found on iCheckMovies and IMDb. This site also uses information taken directly from IMDb, including the use of original titles. Please note that this list and website is not affiliated with Bill Georgaris’ ‘They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They’, but that the title, website design and compiling methods were inspired by it.

I’m always on the lookout for new lists, so if you find a list that you think could be useful, please send them to lauren@mightysparks.com.

Begin browsing the 1,000 Greatest Horror Films

  • Ryan S.

    Hi, just wanted to say that I love the whole format of this site. You are doing tremendous work! This is going to be my go to site for the future when I need to see a horror film. Right now, the list seems to be a great mix so I hope it is able to stay that way. The one thing that the list seems to be light on is Japanese giant monster films of the 60s and 70s, but I am not complaining too much since I actually am not a huge fan of that sort of thing, although I love the original Godzilla. I am surprised Destroy All Monsters or Mothra isn’t on it at least. I have a soft spot for those ones. Oh well. Still plenty to see here. I am currently only at 194/1000 checked. I probably have more actually, but I don’t count anything I haven’t seen as an adult. I have been trying to catch up with a lot of the others on here.

    • Thanks for the comment! Nice to see people are getting some use out of the list 🙂 Still has a long way to go, but I think it is a pretty nice mix. I think the lack of the old monster films may be due to some people classifying them as sci-fi rather than horror (and people just not watching them, I guess).

      Hopefully the site should be finished within the next few months as well – I have a little bit of help sometimes, but for one person it’s a lot of work so is taking a while.

      • Ryan S.

        This is a huge amount of work for one person. I am very impressed. I have been searching for a definitive horror list for a while but everyone I find seems to be missing something or hasn’t been updated in years, so this hits the spot for me.

        Another thing: How often do you plan to update the list after everything is finalized? Once a year like TSPDT? Just wondering… I am already getting excited about seeing which 2014 films make the list.

        • I was thinking of doing it once a year like TSPDT. It does depend on how many lists come out during each year though, but it does seem like more people/websites are getting into the list craze. I don’t think the results would change as dramatically as TSPDT but, if anything, it will at least strengthen the quality of the list. I can’t see too many 2014 films entering the list within the next couple of years, but when I get around to doing the 21st century list it should hopefully bring more attention to some of the newer films.

          • Ryan S.

            Sounds cool. I will definitely mention this site to my friends to use as reference.

            As for 2014, I haven’t seen anything this year that would fit the horror genre. I was keeping a list of horror films that seemed interesting but I looked up most of them and they all appear to actually be 2013 films according to IMDB, such as Under the Skin, Only Lovers Left Alive, Proxy, The Sacrament, Willow Creek, and Witching & Bitching. I haven’t seen any of these yet but I thought some of them might have a chance to enter if they got enough mentions of year end lists from the horror sites.

            There’s always the new Godzilla which is apparently the only actual 2014 film on my list, haha, but of course I haven’t seen that one either. In fact, I don’t even know if it is actually considered a horror film because IMDB only lists it as Sc-fi/Action/Thriller.

          • Only a handful of 2014 have been on any lists I’ve used so far: The Babadook, Sharknado 2: The Second One, Vampire Academy, Alien Abduction, Tusk, Creep, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. None of them are close to making it in yet though. I’ve only seen the last one, which isn’t that great and a handful of other 2014 films; Dead Snow 2 was great and I also liked Sororal (which seems to be doing the rounds at some festivals, but don’t think it will get a wide release).

          • Ryan S.

            I’ll have to check out the trailers of those and see if any seem interesting.

  • So, finally the first edition of this list is live! I’ve seen 999/1000 (Damn Terror Firmer!) and while they’re not all winners, there are very few films on here that I’d say are completely undeserving – whether it be for entertainment value, artistic value or historical value. Hopefully the list will just get better and better in the years to come though.

    • Ryan S.

      This is such an invaluable resource. Thank you for all of your hard work. To me, this is the place I will always go to find a great horror film recommendation. I really enjoy scanning through all the entries, each with their own eye-catching screenshot from the film, and pick random ones to read the review passages.

      I am not sure I will ever be able to see as many as you have but since I last commented on this site (7 months ago according to below), I have seen another 30 films off this list so I am at 224/1000. I am also planning to watch John Dies at the End tomorrow night so I will be at 225. Actually, tonight I watched Little Shop of Horrors (1986) but I had already seen that many times.

      Seeing John Carpenter top your list of directors makes me a little ambitious so I am planning to watch every film of his in chronological order at some point in the near future. I am doing the same thing with another director right now so it might be a while before I could get to it though.

  • Ben Larsen

    WOW! This is amazing!!!

    Thanks! 😀

  • Pingback: missing; one horror movie | beyond1001movies()

  • TSZDT

    Planning to try and update the list by the end of April. Likely no update for the director’s list or an official version of the 21st century list at the moment though.

    • Ryan S.

      Awesome! I still check the site frequently for recommendations and am trying to watch as many as I can. I’m about to watch The Ghost of Frankenstein tonight which will bring my total to 303/1000. Below in one of my other comments, I originally started out with only 194/1000 seen, so it is a little bit of improvement. I have also rewatched a bunch of my favorites recently. (I might watch Manhunter tomorrow, so I might get to 304.)

      I recently saw on the TSPDT 21st century list that they have included a television show (The Wire) on the list. Do you think that could ever happen on your list?

      • TSZDT

        It’s unlikely, since most of the lists only have feature films, short films or miniseries. There are a couple of TV shows with some votes – Twin Peaks and Ultraviolet off the top of my head – but I think only Twin Peaks would have a chance at this point.

    • Ryan S.

      A hint on the time of your update perhaps? (since April has gone) No pressure, just interested.

      • TSZDT

        Hopefully by the end of the day. I was on holiday overseas and then had some trouble with the program used to calculate the points >_> But it’s all sorted now.

        • Ryan S.

          Cool!

  • TSZDT

    The site is now updated for the 2016 edition! I am yet to do the hidden horrors section, that will come soon. The directors list hasn’t been updated due to lack of lists, and the 21st Century list is still under development.

    • Ryan S.

      Great! Thank you for this! This is a great resource for me for recommendations when I’m in the mood for horror films and it’ll most likely just get better for as long as you curate it. I’ll have to check out some of these newer entries. The only one I’ve seen from 2014 so far is It Follows which I thought was pretty awesome. What films from 2015 do you think might make it onto the list in the future? I haven’t been paying much attention to what came out but maybe The Visit, Crimson Peak, Bone Tomahawk, Yakuza Apocalypse…? I saw Crimson Peak and enjoyed it as well.

      When I first commented on this site, I was only sitting at 194/1000 seen but now I am at 318/1000. Are you at 1000/1000? I’ve been looking through my DVDs/Blu-Rays and I think the entries I’ll most likely check out soon are Braindead (Dead-Alive), Cannibal ferox, [REC]1+2 and Quarantine. Anyways, great job, I’m gonna check out the list now.

      • TSZDT

        Yep, I’m at 1000/1000. The Witch is currently the highest ranked 2015 film. I think that and Crimson Peak are definite entries next year. Bone Tomahawk and The Visit likely as well. Haven’t heard much about any others.

        • Ryan S.

          Do you think you could provide the list of 45 films that dropped off the list? I’d be interested in seeing what kinds of films were cleared out to make room for the new additions…

          • TSZDT

            Sorry for the late reply, the drop offs:
            (789) Fanatic (1965)
            (873) Altered (2006)
            (878) Wai dor lei ah yut ho (2010)
            (885) Town Creek (2009)
            (892) The ABCs of Death (2012)
            (898) Wasting Away (2007)
            (904) The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (1971)
            (905) Temnye vody (1993)
            (924) The Sorcerers (1967)
            (927) My Name Is Bruce (2007)
            (937) The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)
            (942) The Ghoul (1933)
            (943) The Sender (1982)
            (945) Gothic (1986)
            (949) Le sang des bêtes (1949)
            (950) The Gorgon (1964)
            (952) Sette orchidee macchiate di rosso (1972)
            (956) Nekromantik 2 (1991)
            (958) Il boia scarlatto (1965)
            (959) Un gatto nel cervello (1990)
            (960) Maniac Cop 2 (1990)
            (962) The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
            (963) Black Water (2007)
            (966) Linkeroever (2008)
            (967) The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)
            (969) The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)
            (972) Dead Calm (1989)
            (975) Play Misty for Me (1971)
            (978) The Cat and the Canary (1939)
            (979) Hands of the Ripper (1971)
            (980) Terror Firmer (1999)
            (981) Dread (2009)
            (982) Gaslight (1944)
            (985) Anatomie (2000)
            (987) Caché (2005)
            (989) The Gore Gore Girls (1972)
            (990) Slaughter High (1986)
            (991) La casa sperduta nel parco (1980)
            (992) The Boogey Man (1980)
            (993) Botched (2007)
            (994) Sugar Hill (1974)
            (995) Sleepwalkers (1992)
            (996) Paroxismus (1969)
            (998) Miss Muerte (1966)
            (1000) The Skull (1965)

          • Ryan S.

            Thank you very much. You should consider creating a page for former entries like TSPDT if you can. I’ve seen six from that list and I’m not too disappointed that any of them dropped from the main list. Some of them are great films but kind of don’t really belong on a Horror film list (meaning they have elements of horror but are not exclusively or primarily horror films.)

            The one that makes me laugh the most is Play Misty for Me. I actually do like the film but the main character is so obviously Clint Eastwood’s wish fulfillment: a hip radio DJ who plays only jazz while reciting poetry in between records. Oh yeah, and he also gets all the chicks! His girlfriend’s terrible sculpture art also amuses me because I’ve been to Carmel where the movie was filmed and there are hundreds of shops that sell crap just like that there and all over the Central Coast of California.

          • TSZDT

            There are a few I’m disappointed dropped off:
            Fanatic
            Wasting Away
            The Sender
            Linkeroever
            The Cat and the Canary
            Sleepwalkers

            The rest I’m either not that bothered about or are not horror enough. Not that all the new entries were that great either. For fun I made my own personal horror canon a while ago in case you’re interested (about 800 overlap with TSZDT): http://www.imdb.com/list/ls061672424/

          • Ryan S.

            Yeah, I haven’t seen any of those. I’ve checked out your personal list and will enjoy going through it. I like that you have some weirder stuff on there that isn’t on the main list like Father’s Day You should add it to icheckmovies if you haven’t already.

          • Lauren Donis

            I made a page for all the former entries and additions here: http://theyshootzombies.com/ghf1000/former-entries-and-additions/

            Nothing fancy though.

          • Andrew Duvall

            Is there any way to get.a list like this for the additions? I’ve already started watching my way through the list and it would be helpful to see JUST the new additions. Thanks!

          • TSZDT

            There’s this page which lists the drop-offs and additions: http://theyshootzombies.com/ghf1000/former-entries-and-additions/

  • SJHoneywell

    For what it’s worth, I count 47 changes.

    • SJHoneywell

      Nevermind–found my two mistakes.