They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films

INTRODUCTION to the 1,000 Greatest Horror Films

Current Version: May 2023 (8th 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 2023 (8th edition) of They Shoot Zombies, Don’t They?. Apologies for the lack of an update in 2022–real life got in the way and I didn’t have enough time to do a significant update. When time was returned to me I continued working on my reclassifying and weighting of all included lists that has been slowly progressing for the last few years and it’s done!

Since the first edition of this list back in 2014 I have been tweaking the way lists are weighted and the formulas for calculating points and rankings of films. It never feels perfect to me and I’m sure I’ll continue tweaking things forever. This new system has added further classifications to lists as well as a ‘quality multiplier’ so each list is more individually and significantly weighed. For example, a list posted on some random blog with no accompanying reviews or comments is now worth less than a list from a similar source with some discussion of their choices. Or a list posted by someone who I can’t find any information about and has written no other articles or lists is worth less than someone who has written hundreds or thousands of reviews or lists. Or a list that calls itself ‘most obscure films you haven’t seen’ and has Don’t Look Now on it is now worth less than a similar list that includes Mister Designer.

I have also removed a number of lists–there were some duplicates that had been posted on other sites and I hadn’t noticed and I’ve decided, at least for now, to not include ‘best sequel/remake’ lists (surprisingly their removal didn’t have a huge impact but I noticed a lot of the lists had comments along the lines of ‘this series sucks but this one is watchable’ so I just scrapped them all) as well as ‘best bad movie’ lists for similar reasons. Some lists also had the wrong versions of films on there (eg Dawn of the Dead 1978 instead of Dawn of the Dead 2004) and hopefully I have fixed all of those. And lastly I upped the minimum number of lists a film has to appear in to make the list.

All of these changes means the list has had a significant overhaul with 112 new entries to the list this year! And while we might not still agree that all of the films in the top 1000 deserve a place in the top 1000 these changes hopefully continue to make the list more representative of the types of films we’d expect to find there. The updated 21st Century and Hidden Horrors lists can be found on iCM but will not be updated on the site for some time as I still have some data to gather for those. Subset lists will be updated soon and hopefully resumed.

There is also a Facebook page for this site in case anyone wishes to keep updated through Facebook. I now have a Google sheet with a master list and all previous editions. A full list of all films can also be found on IMDb.

There are 112 new additions to the 2023 edition of the list.

2023 Edition Stats:


1910s: 3
1920s: 20
1930s: 38
1940s: 31
1950s: 43
1960s: 83
1970s: 151
1980s: 191
1990s: 112
2000s: 201
2010s: 123
2020s: 3


USA/Canada: 627
Europe: 284
Asia: 61
Australia/New Zealand: 22
South America: 8
Africa: 1

Top 10 Highest New Entries

596. Ju-on 2 (2003)
605. Xtro (1982)
607. El libro de piedra (1969)
625. Phantom of the Opera (1943)
632. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
638. Ready or Not (2019)
658. V/H/S/2 (2013)
666. Ju-on (2000)
704. La bête (1975)
705. Would You Rather (2012)

Currently 3,769 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 8,924 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, IMDb and Letterboxd. 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.

If you want some extra viewing, check out the Hidden Horrors list.

I’m always on the lookout for new lists, so if you find a list that you think could be useful, please share them!

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