Horror experts’ top 10 movies

See which 10 scary movies our panel picked

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Derek Adams

Derek Adams is a Film Writer at Time Out London and a globetrotting rock ‘n’ roll drummer. Take a look at his mullet during a 1980s appearance with Dream Academy on Saturday Night Live and you’ll understand the true meaning of horror.

1. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
3. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
4. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
5. Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005)
6. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
7. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
8. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
10. House of Wax (André De Toth, 1953)

Chris Alexander

Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of the world’s finest horror magazine, Fangoria.

1. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
2. Angel Heart (Alan Parker, 1987)
3. Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979)
4. Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel, 1970)
5. The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)
6. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)
7. House of Dark Shadows (Dan Curtis, 1970)
8. Fright Night (Tom Holland, 1985)
9. Horror of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)
10. City of the Living Dead (Lucio Fulci, 1980)

'Dawn of the Dead is Romero’s masterpiece. This epic and repellently gory satirical tragedy has haunted me since I first saw it at the tender age of 10. I still watch it once a month. Full of pathos, humour, great music, Tom Savini’s go-for-broke effects, bone chilling terror and kick ass action, for me, it’s not only the greatest American horror movie of all time, it’s one of the greatest American movies, full stop. Underneath its garish horror veneer, the wonderful Daughters of Darkness is really an elegant and perverse comedy of manners. Visually arresting, cheeky, and voyeuristic, it’s my personal favourite vampire film. Antichrist is simply one of the most devastating movies I’ve ever endured, though one filled with typical von Trier style, poetry and subtext. Not for the faint of heart, parents, suburbanites etc. And House of Dark Shadows is the theatrical film version of the TV series Dark Shadows. Pure gothic, romantic delirium with great Dick Smith FX, amazing performances, PG-straining levels of violence and a grim, serious tone that still shocks.'

Clive Barker

Clive Barker spearheaded the renaissance of British horror with his Books of Blood short story series and his remarkable 1987 debut as a writer-director, Hellraiser. He hasn’t directed a film since 1995’s Lord of Illusions, but his stories remain a treasure trove for horror directors, from Candyman to the still ongoing Hellraiser franchise.

(In no particular order)
1. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Education for Death (Dir unknown, 1943)
4. Ataque de Panico (Fede Alvarez, 2009)
5. A Serbian Film (Srdjan Spasojevic, 2010)
6. Saló (Pier Palo Pasolini, 1975)
7. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
8. High Tension (Alexandre Aja, 2003)
9. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
10. Le Sange des Betes (Georges Franju,1949)

Anne Billson

Anne Billson is a film critic, novelist and photographer. Her books include studies of John Carpenter's The Thing and Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In, as well as horror novels Suckers, Stiff Lips and The Ex.

(In chronological order)
1. Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon, Robert Hamer, 1945)
2. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
3. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
4. Black Sabbath (Mario Bava, 1963)
5. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
6. The Fury (Brian de Palma, 1978)
7. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
8. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)
9. Pulse (Kairo) (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)
10. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

Anton Bitel

Anton Bitel is a film critic and horror expert who has written for UK publications Sight & Sound, Little White Lies andTotal Film.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
4. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
5. Pontypool (Bruce Mcdonald, 2008)
6. Dark Water (Hideo Nakata, 2002)
7. The Signal (David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry, Dan Bush, 2007)
8. Lake Mungo (Joel Anderson, 2008)
9. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
10. Long Weekend (Colin Eggleston, 1978)

Michael Blyth

Michael Blyth works in the festivals department at the British Film Institute. He is a gentleman of impeccable taste and breeding.

1. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
2. Creepshow (George A Romero,1982)
3. Tenebrae (Dario Argento, 1982)
4. Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992)
5. Ms .45 (Abel Ferrara, 1981)
6. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
7. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski , 1981)
8. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
9. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
10. May (Lucky McKee, 2002)

‘A top ten horror list with no Bava, Fulci, Carpenter or Cronenberg? Seems somehow inexcusable, so here's ten more that deserve a mention, if only so I can sleep at night: Anguish (Luna, 1987), The Beyond (Fulci, 1981), The Fog (Carpenter, 1980), Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931), Les Yeux Sans Visage (Franju, 1960), Onibaba (Shindo, 1964), Shock (Bava, 1977), Stagefright (Soavi, 1987), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974), Videodrome (Cronenberg, 1983).’

Emily Booth

Actress Emily Booth is best known for her roles in Pervirella, Cradle of Fear, Evil Aliens and the BAFTA-nominated short Inferno. She appeared in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez's Grindhouse. She is also a presenter on The Horror Channel.

1. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
2. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
3. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
4. The Company of Wolves (Neil Jordan, 1984)
5. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
7. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
8. Trick or Treat (Charles Martin Smith, 1986)
9. The Orphanage (JA Bayona, 2007)
10. The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002)

Catherine Bray

Catherine Bray is a regular guest presenter on BBC Film 2012, the editor of Film4.com and a member of the London Critics’ Circle. She will watch any film in which a giant whatever attacks something.

1. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
2. The Fly (David Cronenberg , 1986)
3. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. Scream (Wes Craven, 1986)
6. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)
7. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)
8. Society (Brian Yuzna, 1989)
9. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
10. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)

‘There’s a badass monster. On a spaceship. And you’re trapped with it. It’s just so damn simple. It’s hard to explain why it works as well as it does, but Alien is one of those films I can’t fault on any level. Perfect. And heartbreaking but also scary is a tough mix to pull off, but Jeff Goldblum nails it in The Fly. David Cronenberg’s clinical approach is heaven – you feel that if Cronenberg found himself turning into a fly, this is exactly how he would handle it, documenting the disgusting detail and confusing emotions with a scientist’s objective fascination. The Wicker Man should not work. On paper, it’s completely ridiculous. In practice, it’s that weird thing – a charming horror movie. I would hang out with these people.’

Jurgen Bruning

Jurgen Bruning is a German-born producer, writer and director working in the independent movie scene. His horror credentials include producing insane zombie flicks Otto, or Up With Dead People and LA Zombie for director Bruce LaBruce.

1. Flesh for Frankenstein (Paul Morrissey, Antonio Margheriti, 1973)
2. Nekromantik (Joerg Buttgereit, 1987)
3. Nekromantik 2 (Joerg Buttgereit, 1991)
4. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
5. Science of Horror (Katharina Klewinghaus, 2008)
6. Otto, or Up with Dead People (Bruce LaBruce, 2008)
7. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
8. From Dusk till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez, 1996)
9. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
10. Blood for Dracula (Paul Morrissey, 1974)

Dave Calhoun

Dave Calhoun is the Film Editor at Time Out London.

1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
4. Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
5. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)
6. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
7. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
8. Hidden (Caché) Michael Haneke, 2005)
9. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
10. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)

Antonio Campos

Antonio Campos is part of the Borderline Collective with his fellow writer-director Sean Durkin. His stunning debut feature Afterschool may be a high school drama on the surface, but it’s more shocking and unsettling than most straight horror pictures.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. Hour of the Wolf (Ingmar Bergman, 1967)
3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
4. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
5. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
6. Angel Heart (Alan Parker, 1987)
7. Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi , 1964)
8. Ju-on: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, 2002)
9. Turin Horse (Bela Tarr, Agnes Hranitzky, 2011)
10. The Other (Robert Mulligan, 1972)

‘I really wanted to put together a diverse list of films. I think The Turin Horse is the one that might someone scratch their head at , but to me it was one of the most frightening films I've ever seen.’

Zack Carlson

Zack Carlson has the enviable title of horror programmer for the legendary Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas. He’s also the co-editor of ‘Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film’.

1. Sleepaway Camp (Robert Hiltzik, 1983)
2. Tourist Trap (David Schmoeller, 1979)
3. Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder, 2004)
4. Xtro (Harry Bromley Davenport, 1983)
5. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
6. God Told Me To (Larry Cohen, 1976)
7. The Pit (Lew Lehman, 1981)
8. The Abominable Dr Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971)
9. Race with the Devil (Jack Starrett, 1971)
10. Devil Fetus (Hung Chuen Lau, 1983)

Axelle Carolyn

Belgium-born writer-director-actor Axelle Carolyn began her career as a film journalist specialising in horror. She has appeared in Doomsday and upcoming British film The 4th Reich, and is the director of three shorts, most recently The Halloween Kid. Her latest book is It Lives Again! Horror Movies in the New Millennium.

1. The Fly (David Cronenberg , 1986)
2. The Fog (John Carpenter, 1979)
3. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
4. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962)
5. Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985)
6. The Mummy (Karl Freund, 1932)
7. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
8. The Wolfman (George Waggner, 1941)
9. Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton, 1999)

Billy Chainsaw

Billy Chainsaw is the film editor for Bizarre magazine. With a name like that, he’d better know a thing or two about horror movies.

(In chronological order)
1. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
2. Mad Love (aka The Hands of Orlac) (Karl Freund, 1935)
3. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
4. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
5. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
6. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)
7. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
9. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
10. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)

'Freaks remains a truly fascinating and disturbing film (note: Browning and I share a birthday). Mad Love is a gripping tale of all-consuming obsession which sees Peter Lorre turning in a career best performance – his creepiest too. It doesn’t matter that the storyline is absurd, not when what transpires is such a perfect blend of droll humour and chills. I have fond memories of seeing The Exorcist on the day of its original release with priests walking the queue handing out flyers with details about after-care for those disturbed by the film. Every time there was a shot of Father Karras closing the door inside Regan’s bedroom, the fear that welled up inside regarding what further hideousness awaited me when he turned around was monumental. And yes, I slept with the lights on that night.’

Nick Cheek

Nick Cheek won our horror movie pitch competition with this idea: 'A British guy discovers he was adopted and goes to America to meet his real family. Upon arrival, he discovers his family are crazed cannibal killers. Can he stop them?'

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
4. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
5. Dellamorte Dellamore (Michele Soavi, 1994)
6. Switchblade Romance (Alexandre Aja, 2003)
7. Tenebrae (Dario Argento, 1982)
8. Society (Brian Yuzna, 1989)
9. The Loved Ones (Sean Byrne, 2009)
10. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

I love so many horror films that it's almost impossible to choose just ten, so I've gone for a mix of classics and a few close personal 'friends' such as Dellamorte Dellamore, Society and The Loved Ones. The main connection between all the films in the latter group is the seam of black comedy woven within each. As much as I adore pure `horror, leavening it with a little laughter often makes it all the more perfect (and, on occasion, bleak). It's a hard thing to do, but directors like John Carpenter, Sam Raimi and George A Romero make it look so easy.

Paul and Ben China

The China brothers – Paul writes and directs, Ben produces – are the latest horror filmmakers to emerge from Australia. Their slow-burning, low-budget debut Crawl screened as part of FrightFest Glasgow earlier this year.

1. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
2. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
3. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
5. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
6. [Rec] (Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, 2007)
7. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
8. A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim Jee-woon, 2003)
9. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
10. Scream (Wes Craven, 1986)

Cath Clarke

Cath Clarke is deputy film editor at Time Out London.

1. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
4. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
5. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
6. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
7. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
8. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
9. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
10. Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)

Coffin Joe (aka Jose Majica Marins)

Jose Marica Marins invented Brazilian horror with his first two Coffin Joe movies: At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul from 1963 and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse in 1967. It took him 40 years to complete the trilogy – Embodiment of Evil was released in 2008, by which time the name of Coffin Joe was known across the world.

1. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
2. Tower of London (Rowland V Lee, 1939)
3. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
4. Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper, 1982)
5. The Abominable Dr Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971)
6. Dr. Phibes Rises Again (Robert Fuest, 1972)
7. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
8. The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964)
9. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
10. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

‘I think Rosemary’s Baby is remarkable because it allows us to see abnormality beneath the surface of normality, or the subtle nuance of madness tainting our everyday existence. Steven Spielberg’s script for Poltergeist revolutionised fantasy cinema, creating history and taking horror into a new dimension, making a big thing out of nothing. After all, our fear comes from the unknown, from the unseen. The Dr Phibes films have a strange power. They allow us to gradually discover the horror in such a way that we know we will not escape. Vincent Price was an amazing actor who set himself in stone with this performance. The character is totally diabolical and true to his own self and his principles, rather like Coffin Joe himself. I defy those who argue that these films have aged. They are forever.’

Martyn Conterio

Martyn Conterio is a film critic based in London. He’s the man behind the Cinemart website, and also contributes to Little White Lies, Film International, Flux, Scream: the horror magazine, Starburst and Scene 360.

1. The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)
2. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
3. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
4. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)
5. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
6. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
7. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
8. Black Sunday (aka The Mask of Satan, Revenge of the Vampire) (1960)
9. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
10. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)

‘For those attuned to its dream logic scenario and nightmare sensibility, The Beyond is a masterwork of creeping fear and gory theatrics. Romero's second foray into the world of zombies, Dawn of the Dead is intelligent, satirical and most of all, terrifying.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper is the dark lord of heavy rock, who has used horror movie imagery on stage and in album art throughout his career. We are still a long way from being worthy.

1. Salem's Lot (Tobe Hooper, 1979)
2. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
3. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
4. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
5. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
6. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
7. Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)
8. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
9. 30 Days Of Night (David Slade, 2007)
10. Silent Hill (Christopher Gans, 2006)

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Roger Corman

Roger Corman is the king of the B-movie, the producer of over 1,000 low-budget exploitation movies and mentor to everyone from Joe Dante to James Cameron. He’s also a very fine writer and director in his own right, whose works include Poe adaptations like The Masque of the Red Death and The Pit and the Pendulum. Almost every film in our top 100 owes a debt to this man.

1. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
2. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
3. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
6. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
7. Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
8. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
9. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
10. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)

Eli Craig

Actor turned writer-director Eli Craig’s 2010 debut feature Tucker and Dale vs Evil is one of the wittiest, bloodiest, most loveable inversions of horror cliché in recent years. We can’t wait to see what he does next.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
3. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
4. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
5. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
6. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
7. Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper, 1982)
8. Scream (Wes Craven, 1986)
9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)
10. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (John De Bello, 1978)

''Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! was the first B-horror movie I ever saw, and I just love that people got together and decided to make that movie!’

Sybil Danning

German-born scream queen Sybil Danning has been appearing in movies since 1972. Her key roles include Meteor, Battle Beyond the Stars, Chained Heat, The Howling 2: Stirba, Werewolf Bitch, Grindhouse and the remake of Halloween.

1. When a Stranger Calls (Fred Walton, 1979)
2. The Howling (Joe Dante, 1981)
3. Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi, 2009)
4. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
5. The Fog (John Carpenter, 1979)
6. Silent Hill (Christopher Gans, 2006)
7. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
8. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
9. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
10. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)

'When A Stranger Calls must have scared the hell out of babysitters at the time. I love The Howling, I love Joe Dante and everything about the movie. And of course I worked on Howling 2, which is a very entertaining, fun movie. Working with Christopher Lee is always special. The Fog is all about atmosphere, which is so important in a horror movie, not to mention incredible music. I’ve met and love the great dames Adrienne Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis as women as well as actors. That also goes for The Descent – a group of women on PMS, what’s not to love?!’

Joe Dante

Joe Dante has forgotten more about movies than most of us will ever know. He directed his first two features for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures: Hollywood Boulevard and the horror classic Piranha. Both are ripe with the sense of fun that has run through all his work, from bloody werewolf satire The Howling to Gremlins, a horror movie for all the family. He is currently working on Paris-set comedy Monster Love.

1. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
2. The Devil and Daniel Webster (William Dieterle, 1941)
3. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
4. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
5. The Body Snatcher (Robert Wise, 1945)
6. The Wolf Man (George Waggner, 1941)
7. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
8. Lisa and the Devil (Mario Bava, Alfredo Leone,1974)
9. Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)
10. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)

‘Ask me tomorrow and I'd list ten different titles. With all due respect to The Haunting, Jack Clayton's multi-layered Henry James adaptation, The Innocents, is the finest ghost story movie, period. The Devil and Daniel Webster is a film maudit for sure. A poetic adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's fable, it features the greatest of all Mr. Scratches, Walter Huston. Retitled, recut and generally underrated for nearly 70 years, it's a true American classic. Whether you're in the show-the-demon or don't show-the-demon camp, The Night of the Demon (or Curse of in the US), Jacques Tourneur’s beautiful masterpiece proves he learned a lot from Val Lewton. It’s one of the smartest and most atmospheric of occult movies (as opposed to cult movies, which this also is). Charles Laughton's only directorial effort Night of the Hunter is an American Gothic nightmare and certainly the most terrifying film I saw as a child (at a kiddie matinee no less!). Its critical and commercial failure robbed the world of any subsequent Laughtonian exercises in expressionistic terror.’

Frank Darabont

Frank Darabont is the writer-director behind Stephen King adaptations The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He won his horror spurs with his terrific adaptation of King’s The Mist, and by bringing zombie-based graphic novel The Walking Dead to the small screen.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
4. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
5. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)
7. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990)
9. Se7en (David Fincher, 1995)
10. Day of the Dead (George A Romero, 1985)

Donna Davies

Donna Davies is a Canadian filmmaker whose work includes Pretty Bloody, a documentary of interviews with influential women working in horror.

1. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
2. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
3. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, 2000)
4. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
5. May (Lucky McKee, 2002)
6. Day of the Dead (George A Romero, 1985)
7. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
8. Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987)
9. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
10. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

Greg Day

Greg Day is the co-director of Film4 FrightFest, London’s leading horror movie festival. The next instalment of the festival kicks off on August 23.

1. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton, 1986)
2. Switchblade Romance (Alexandre Aja, 2003)
3. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)
4. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
5. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
6. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)
7. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
9. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
10. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

Ruggero Deodato

Ruggero Deodato is the legendary Italian director behind The House on the Edge of the Park and Cannibal Holocaust, a pioneering found-footage film so vile and convincing that it was originally assumed to be a snuff movie.

1. The Spiral Staircase (Robert Siodmak, 1945)
2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
3. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
6. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
7. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
8. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
9. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001)
10. Hostel (Eli Roth, 2005)

'The Spiral Staircase was the first horror-thriller I saw as a child. In its reproducing anxiety for the spectator through the vicissitudes of a mute girl, the film reaches extraordinary peaks. And at No 10, I wanted to reward the film of my friend Eli Roth, who has been able to show in a superb fashion the aggressiveness hidden in every single one of us, that aggressiveness which spectators satisfy by enjoying blood and death on the screen in massive amounts.’

Sean Durkin

Writer-producer-director Sean Durkin is one third of the Brooklyn collective Borderline Film. His debut feature is the icily clever arthouse thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
3. Images (Robert Altman, 1972)
4. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
5. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
6. Hour of the Wolf (Ingmar Bergman, 1967)
7. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
8. House of The Devil (Ti West, 2009)
9. See The Sea (Francois Ozon, 1997)
10. Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970)

'9 and 10 are not traditional choices, but they have haunted me more than any horror movie ever could.’

Gareth Evans

Writer-director Gareth Evans made his low-budget debut Footsteps after graduating from Cardiff University. But soon afterwards, he jumped ship for the Philippines, where he makes hyperactive and gory action flicks including the stunning The Raid, which hit UK cinemas in May.

(In no order)
1. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. Ring (Ringu) (Hideo Nakata, 1998)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
6. Misery (Rob Reiner, 1990)
7. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
8. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
9. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
10. Pulse (Kairo) (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)

When Ringu got released on DVD, Tartan put a thing on the DVD, an extra feature, so you could watch the clip. And it had a disclaimer saying that if anything happens to you, we are not legally responsible for your life. And, true story, a friend of mine was too afraid to watch it, he left the room. We all watched it, but it was okay, we made a copy for someone else and they died instead. And Texas Chain Saw is the only film that, as an adult, has made me have a sleepless night. I saw it in the cinema in Cardiff, after it had been banned. From the moment that Leatherface killed that first guy with the hammer, I couldn’t leave the seat. I was trapped. I just wanted the lights to come up so I could leave the cinema.

David Fear

David Fear is the film editor at Time Out New York. He is the most appropriately named man on this list, with the arguable exception of Coffin Joe and Billy Chainsaw.

1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
2. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
3. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)
4. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
5. The Devil Rides Out (Terence Fisher, 1968)
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
7. Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)
8. The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979)
9. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
10. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)

Anthony C Ferrante

Multi-disciplined horror fan Anthony C Ferrante worked as a make-up technician and occasional writer before making his directorial debut with haunted hospital horror Boo in 2005.

(In alphabetical order)
1. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
2. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
3. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
4. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
5. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel , 1956)
7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)
8. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
9. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
10. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)

Ten is such a limiting number for the best horror movies, because there are so many deserving films that should be on this list. I limited myself to only one film per director (hence, The Thing over Halloween). I’d also like to note a few honourable mentions – cheating, I know. Blow Out, Brian De Palma’s underrated thriller with a tour-de-force performance by John Travolta. The Evil Dead, or Evil Dead 2 if you prefer your horror with a little Three Stooges comedy. The Howling, another werewolf movie from 1981 with its own mix of horror and comedy. Martin, the most unconventional vampire film ever. Pan’s Labyrinth, Phantasm, Psycho, Re-Animator, Suspiria and last but not least, Videodrome. Cronenberg was way ahead of his time with this surreal, strange and utterly brilliant film.

Filmbar70

Filmbar70 is one of London’s best outsider movie nights: a monthly club dedicated to screening amazing cult films at the Roxy Bar and Screen.

1. The Quatermass Xperiment (Val Guest, 1955)
2. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
3. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
4. La Cabina (Bruno Bozzetto, 1973)
5. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
6. Frightmare (Pete Walker, 1974)
7. Vampyres (José Ramón Larraz, 1975)
8. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)
9. Possession (Andrej Zulawski, 1981)
10. Threads (Mick Jackson, 1984)

'The post-war father of science-horror, Quatermass influenced a generation of filmmakers, most notably David Cronenberg. Antonio Mercero’s blackly comic short La Cabina takes us through the journey of life to the final, despairing punch line, revealing that ultimately, for all our protestations, we are mere prisoners in this passage from birth to death. Set in a grubby, urban cesspit of a London mythologised by kitchen sink dramas and Lindsey Anderson’s Free Cinema, Pete Walker’s Frightmare is a Brit-grot masterpiece, a tea and scones take on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Walker’s attack on the institution of the family leads to the horrifying realisation that your parents not only cannot be relied on, but also possess the capability of turning against you. Possession is a film that drives you as potty as the protagonists. It straddles portentousness and profundity with an unhinged disregard for the rational. Focusing on a convulsive performance from Isabelle Adjani, Zulawski pushes his cast, and the viewer, past the brink of mania into a void where one is totally lost.

Rosie Fletcher

Rosie Fletcher is associate editor at Total Film magazine in London.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Ring (Ringu) (Hideo Nakata, 1998)
4. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
5. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg. 1988)
6. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
7. Lake Mungo (Joel Anderson, 2008)
8. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
9. Picnic At Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
10. Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005)

Nigel Floyd

Nigel Floyd is Time Out London’s resident horror expert, known across the nation for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre, not to mention his impeccable taste and his unbounded hatred of Top 10 lists.

(In alphabetical order)
1. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
2. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
3. Dracula (James Whale, 1931)
4. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
5. Inferno (Dario Argento, 1980)
6. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
7. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
8. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
10. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)

Howard Ford

Howard Ford cut his teeth directing more than 100 commercials. In 2010 he co-directed The Dead with his brother Jonathan, an Africa-set zombie movie shot in Burkina Faso, Ghana and the Sahara desert.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
3. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
5. The Sixth Sense (M Night Shyamalan, 1999)
6. Jacob's Ladder (Adrian Lyne, 1990)
7. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001)
8. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
9. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
10. The Hills Have Eyes (Wes Craven, 1977)

Matt Glasby

Matt Glasby is a critic for Total Film magazine in London.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. The Orphanage (JA Bayona, 2007)
3. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
4. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
5. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
6. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001)
7. Ring (Ringu) (Hideo Nakata, 1998)
8. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
9. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
10. Lake Mungo (Joel Anderson, 2008)

‘The first 15 minutes of Suspiria might be the purest horror sequence ever filmed. Argento is only trying to scare us – nothing more – and he succeeds with tornado finesse. Neil Marshall directed the hell out of The Descent, but the key is that the cave setting would be scary even it weren’t full of rampaging, kill-crazy man beasts. which it is. The mundane-seeming Aussie mock-doc Lake Mungo has much to say about the bereaved’s need to believe, plus it’s spooky as hell.’

Jonathan Glendening

Jonathan Glendening is the writer-director behind homegrown comedy-horror Strippers vs Werewolves, which stars Robert Englund and Steven Berkoff. His others films include Summer Rain, 13 Hrs and the forthcoming Night Wolf.

1. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
4. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
5. Se7en (David Fincher, 1995)
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
7. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990)
9. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)

Drew Goddard

Drew Goddard is the co-writer and director of The Cabin in the Woods, the most insanely inventive and wildly entertaining horror movie in recent memory. He also wrote Cloverfield, and worked on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel with Joss Whedon.

1. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
4. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
5. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
6. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
7. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
8. Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987)
9. The Strangers (Bryan Bertino, 2008)
10. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)

The Gothique Film Society (list by Dave Simpson)

The Gothique Film Society in Holborn is currently enjoyings its 46th season. Started in 1967 (Bob Monkhouse was honorary president in the ’70s) the society meets monthly to screen double bills of horror classics.

1. The Old Dark House (James Whale, 1932)
2. The Invisible Man (James Whale 1933)
3. Mad Love (Karl Freund, 1935)
4. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
5. The Phantom of the Opera (Arthur Lubin, 1942)
6. The Picture of Dorian Grey (Albert Lewin, 1945)
7. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
8. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
9. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (Terence Fisher, 1969)
10. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

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Jamie Graham

Jamie Graham is deputy editor of Total Film magazine in London.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
3. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
4. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
5. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
6. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
8. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
9. I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943)
10. Kill, Baby… Kill! (aka Operazione Paura, Curse of the Dead) (Mario Bava, 1966)

'An impossible task! It pains me to exclude titles by Polanski, Cronenberg, Corman, Dreyer, Weir, Lynch, De Palma, Browning, Avati, etc, and it seems ludicrous to not find room for Hammer, Tigon, Amicus or, indeed, a single UK entry – our horror heritage is gloriously rich, and Peeping Tom, The Wicker Man, Don’t Look Now, The Innocents, Witchfinder General, Night Of The Demon, Theatre Of Blood, Whistle And I’ll Come To You, Penda’s Fen, The Curse Of Frankenstein and Dracula all come close. One final note: the list above consists of copper-bottomed classics. But a compilation of the underseen and underappreciated might make for more interesting reading.'

Jorge Michel Grau

Mexican director Jorge Michel Grau’s first feature, the creepy, slow-burning cannibal tale We Are What We Are premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight strand at Cannes in 2010.

1. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
4. Cronos (Guillermo del Toro, 1993)
5. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
6. Skeleton of Mrs Morales (Rogelio A González, 1960)
7. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
9. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
10. Alucarda (Juan López Moctezuma, 1978)

‘It was a very difficult task to choose only 10 movies. I felt as if I was in a pet shop and was leaving behind six little puppies that watched me with sad and nostalgic eyes. The truth is that I owe them what I am now. Because of this I put my list of 10 in order, and kept six small puppies with whom I’m emotionally compromised, knowing that you won’t take them into account, but it makes me feel less guilty: Black Sunday, Battle Royale, Martyrs, Taxidermia, Cold Fish and Hellraiser.

Adam Green

Adam Green has been the lead singer in a metal band and a DJ, but is now better known as the writer and director of Hatchet and Frozen. He is currently working on Killer Pizza, a coming-of-age comedy produced by Chris Columbus.

1. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Trick 'r Treat (Michael Dougherty, 2007)
4. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
5. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
7. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
8. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
9. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
10. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

Tony Grisoni

Tony Grisoni is the British-born screenwriter of, among many others, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland, Brothers of the Head and the Red Riding trilogy.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
3. The Strangers (Bryan Bertino, 2008)
4. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
5. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
6. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
7. [Rec] (Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, 2007)
8. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
9. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
10. The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)

Richard Haines

After editing Troma’s first schlock masterpiece The Toxic Avenger, Richard Haines became one of the Z-grade production house’s go-to directors, overseeing the likes of Splatter University, Class of Nuke ’em High and Space Avenger.

(In alphabetical order)
1. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton, 1948)
2. Andy Warhol's Dracula (Paul Morrisey, 1974)
3. Andy Warhol's Flesh for Frankenstein (Paul Morrisey, Antonio Marghereti, 1973)
4. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
5. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
6. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
7. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
9. Space Avenger (Richard W. Haines, 1989)
10. What Really Frightens You (Richard W. Haines 2009)

Robin Hardy

Robin Hardy is the director of beloved British classic The Wicker Man, though its financial failure meant that he struggled to find funding for other projects. In 1986, he directed The Fantasist, and has recently returned with a loose sequel to his masterpiece, entitled The Wicker Tree.'

1. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
4. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
5. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
6. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
7. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
8. Straw Dogs (Sam Peckinpah, 1971)
9. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
10. Hour of the Wolf (Ingmar Bergman, 1967)

‘I once liked Hammer horror films for their camp improbability, and also for making me want to cast Christopher Lee in a role worthy of his extraordinary screen presence. But sheer, unbridled horror I don’t enjoy. It’s like lingering at the sight of a sanguinary accident. I’ve listed the films that most impressed me, all because they had dimensions well beyond the horrific. Dimensions of pathos, beauty, humour, in short of real life, which made what was horrific in them palpably more real.’

Adele Hartley

Adele Hartley established the annual Dead By Dawn festival in Edinburgh, screening new and classic horror movies.

1. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
2. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
3. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
4. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
5. Los Sin Nombre (Jaume Balaguero, 1999)
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
7. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
8. The Dark Hours (Paul Fox, 2005)
9. Cronos (Guillermo del Toro, 1993)
10. May (Lucky McKee, 2002)

Monte Hellman

A product of the Roger Corman school, Monte Hellman is the cult director behind The Shooting and Two-Lane Blacktop. In 1989 he directed slasher sequel Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, which has been hailed as a lost classic of the genre.

1. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel , 1956)
3. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
4. Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931)
5. Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon, Robert Hamer, 1945)
6. The Ghost Breakers (George Marshall, 1945)
7. The Mummy (Karl Freund, 1932)
8. The Picture of Dorian Grey (Albert Lewin, 1945)
9. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
10. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)

‘Honourable mentions: The Omen, The Silence of the Lambs and A Nightmare on Elm Street. And of course I'm fond of my own Better Watch Out!, but I recognize the possibility of bias.’

Sean Hogan

Writer/director Sean Hogan made his feature debut in 2005 with the haunted house horror Lie Still. His latest film The Devil’s Business premiered at last year’s FrightFest.

1. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
4. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
5. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John D Hancock, 1971)
6. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
7. Day of the Dead (George A Romero, 1985)
8. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg. 1988)
9. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch, 1992)
10. Pulse (Kairo) (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)

Tom Huddleston

Tom Huddleston is a film writer at Time Out London. He also runs the Exploding Head Film Club.

1. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski , 1981)
2. The Fly (David Cronenberg , 1986)
3. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
4. God Told Me To (Larry Cohen, 1976)
5. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
6. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
7. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
8. Martin (George A Romero, 1976)
9. Society (Brian Yuzna, 1989)
10. Phantasm (Don Coscarelli, 1978)

'I’ll admit, there was a certain amount of tactical voting going on here. I won’t hear a word against Alien, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw or Dawn of the Dead, but I wanted to throw my weight behind a few films which might have slipped off the bottom if not for an extra vote. A horror movies list without anything by Larry Cohen or Don Coscarelli – or indeed masterpieces like Martin and Society – was not about to happen on my watch. I also left off a couple of my all-time favourite films – Night of the Hunter and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – because I simply don’t view them as horror movies.

David Jenkins

David Jenkins is a former Time Out film writer who now works for East London’s hipster movie bible Little White Lies.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski , 1981)
3. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
4. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
5. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
6. I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943)
7. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)
8. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
9. Switchblade Romance (Alexandre Aja, 2003)
10. Pulse (Kairo) (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is one of the UK’s leading critics of horror, fantasy and sci-fi cinema. He is co-organiser of London’s annual Film4 Frightfest, and has written countless books and articles on genre cinema.

1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
4. Inferno (Dario Argento, 1980)
5. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)
6. Braindead (Peter Jackson, 1992)
7. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
8. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
9. Blood and Black Lace (Mario Bava, 1964)
10. Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)

Chris Kentis and Laura Lau

Chris Kentis and Laura Lau are the husband and wife writer-director team behind DIY shark-attack classic Open Water. Their new film Silent House will be released in the UK later this year.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
3. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
4. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
5. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)
6. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)
7. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
8. Irreversible (Gaspar Noe, 2002)
9. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)
10. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado

Writer-directing team Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado made their debut with 2010’s horror triumph Rabies (Kavelet), which has played to acclaim at film festivals worldwide.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)
4. Save the Green Planet! (Joon-Hwan Jang, 2003)
5. Altered (Eduardo Sánchez, 2006)
6. Hitch-Hike (Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1977)
7. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
8. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
9. Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000)
10. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

'Apart from Poltergeist, The Exorcist was the only film to make us scared of ghosts and possessions! This movie also enjoys the best depiction of a real, hard hangover. Alien and The Thing are like twisted twins that were separated at birth. Two different groups in two deserted landscapes meet up with two of the most horrific monsters in movie history. Alien also enjoy the best depiction of a food-court food poisoning. Save the Green Planet is one of the best genre-blender pieces Korea has ever made. A simple man plans to kidnap and torture the corrupt CEO of a Korean chemical firm in an attempt to prove he’s an alien. Altered is an unrated horror film which has a great concept at its core: a group of young people wants to take revenge on the alien that killed their friend a few years before. This movie offers you rednecks v aliens in the battle of the superior species. And we can imagine the pitch for The Descent: it’s Deliverance in a cave, with British hotties instead of Ned Beatty.'

Johnny Kevorkain

Johnny Kevorkian is the writer and director of atmospheric British horror flick The Disappeared, which stars Harry Treadaway and Tom Felton.

1. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
4. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
5. Salem's Lot (Tobe Hooper, 1979)
6. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
7. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)
8. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)
9. Friday the 13th (Sean S Cunningham, 1980)
10. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)

Robert Kirkman

A longtime employee of Marvel Comics, writer Robert Kirkman co-created the comic book series The Walking Dead with his colleagues Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. He is credited as an executive producer on the succesful TV show based on the comic. For some reason, he only suggested eight films.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
3. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
4. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
5. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
6. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
7. Day of the Dead (George A Romero, 1985)
8. Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987)

Bruce LaBruce

Bruce LaBruce is a writer and director working in Canada’s independent movie scene. His most recent work was LA Zombie, which provoked walkouts at its London premiere and was banned in Australia.

(In no particular order)
1. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
2. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
3. Martin (George A Romero, 1976)
4. Night Tide (Curtis Harrington, 1961)
5. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
6. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
7. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
8. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
9. The Legend of Hell House (John Hough, 1973)
10. The Entity (Sidney J Furie, 1982)

'There were two Canadian horror films tied for 10th place and I couldn’t decide between them. The Entity stars Barbara Hershey as a single mum who is attacked by a poltergeist – supposedly based on a true story! The other was Pin, about a teenage boy whose paranoid schizophrenia makes him believe that his doctor father's medical mannequin is his psychic twin and best friend, with murderous results. And Night Tide is interesting: Dennis Hopper's first starring role casts him as a sailor who is fixated on the girl who plays the mermaid in the seashore sideshow. Is she really a mythic creature who lures men to their death at sea, or just a disturbed girl who pretends to be one in the carnival? Low-budget, but beautifully atmospheric and romantic.

Yam Laramas

Yam Laramas is the writer-director-cinematographer behind succesful Philipino horror flicks The Echo, Patient X and The Road.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
4. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
5. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
6. Jacob's Ladder (Adrian Lyne, 1990)
7. The Devil's Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001)
8. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
9. Ring (Ringu) (Hideo Nakata, 1998)
10. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990)

Danny Leigh

Danny Leigh is an author, TV presenter and journalist who writes for many UK publications including The Guardian.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon, Robert Hamer, 1945)
3. Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)
4. Threads (Mick Jackson, 1984)
5. Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966)
6. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
7. Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi , 1964)
8. The Black Cat (Edward G Ulmer, 1934)
9. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
10. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)

Jeff Lieberman

One of America’s great undiscovered outsider filmmakers, Jeff Lieberman rose to prominence with killer earthworm flick Squirm before going on to write and direct the archetypal psychedelic schlock classic Blue Sunshine and post-modern alien invasion movie Remote Control.

1. Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon, Robert Hamer, 1945)
2. Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold, 1957)
3. The Day the World Ended (Roger Corman, 1955)
4. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
5. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
6. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
7. Triumph of the Will (Leni Riefensthal, 1935)
8. Cape Fear (Martin Scorsese, 1991)
9. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)

'Triumph of the Will shows how easily truth can be spun from whole lies. Groundhog Day might be a comedy, but the central idea gives us a glimpse into an identifiable living hell. And The Diving Bell and the Butterfly allows us to empathise so much with the main character, it makes for an excruciatingly horrifying experience.'

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Guy Lodge

Guy Lodge is a freelance film critic and writer at Time Out London.

1. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)
2. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg. 1988)
3. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
4. The Last Wave (Peter Weir, 1977)
5. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)
6. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
7. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
8. Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005)
9. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
10. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, 2000)

Marek Losey

Marek Losey’s feature debut The Hide was one of the best British thrillers of 2008. He is the grandson of iconic director Joseph, in case you were wondering.

1. Angel Heart (Alan Parker, 1987)
2. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
3. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
4. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
5. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
6. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
8. The Orphanage (JA Bayona, 2007)
9. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
10. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

‘Pure gore bores the hell out of me. I like my horror to be strong on narrative with all the atmospheric aspects of a taut thriller. The music and the overall look is the fabric of great horror. If you think about it, you can instantly recall the setting of any great horror flick, because the ambience plays as important a role as the actors. But ultimately it is the actors' great performances that carry us through, only when we connect with them on an emotional level are we convinced the horror is real. It's hard to strike the perfect balance between all these elements, but when you see it, there is nothing else quite like it.'

Tim Lucas

Tim Lucas is the publisher and editor of Video Watchdog magazine. He’s also a novelist, and his books include Throat Sprockets and The Book of Renfield – A Gospel of Dracula. We wish we could’ve found space for more of his extensive comments, because they were brilliant.

1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
2. Toby Dammit (Federico Fellini, 1968)
3. The Black Cat (Edward G Ulmer, 1934)
4. Black Narcissus (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1947)
5. Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi , 1964)
6. The Unknown (Tod Browning, 1927)
7. Kill, Baby… Kill! (aka Operazione Paura, Curse of the Dead) (Mario Bava, 1966)
8. The Tomb of Ligeia (Roger Corman, 1964)
9. Hakujitsumo (Tetsuji Takechi, 1981)
10. Les Possédées du Diable (Lorna the Exorcist) (Jesus Franco, 1974)

‘My top 10 changes all the time. The absence of some traditional contenders - The Bride of Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, Witchfinder General etc -- is due to overfamiliarity, but I think it’s right to take into account which films continue to deliver the goods even when we know what’s coming. I limited myself to one film per director, and my list is offered in the order I think is best. That said, I’ve opted to champion a couple of worthy titles unlikely to make other lists. Toby Dammit defines invention and innovation within the genre. Working from a classic Edgar Allan Poe text, Fellini and Bernardino Zapponi adapt a work of horror and satire from another era and contemporise it, reinventing the very totems of horror and finding its analogy in the trappings of Hollywood, human goals (like the perfect wife, the perfect car), and (as Sartre said) other people.'

The Manetti Bros

Marco and Antonio Manetti made their name in their native Italy directing music videos. Their feature films include DeGenerazione (1995) and Zora Vampira (2000). Their latest, Wang’s Arrival, featuring a Chinese-speaking alien, premiered at last year’s Venice Festival.

1. Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
4. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)
5. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
6. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
7. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
8. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
9. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
10. Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)

Rona Mark

Writer and director Rona Marks’s debut film Strange Girls, a dark tale of murderous twin sisters, premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2008. She followed it up with The Crab and is currently working on a new film, Objects Attack!.

1. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
3. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
4. Martin (George A Romero, 1976)
5. The Witchfinder General (Matt Reeves, 1968)
6. The Baby (Ted Post, 1973)
7. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
8. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
9. The Abominable Dr Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971)
10. The Stuff (Larry Cohen 1985)

''Freaks tops my list because it taps right into people’s fear of difference, fear of other people, and fear of humiliation. The Baby almost made me feel as dirty as The Sinful Dwarf but not quite, so I can recommend it wholeheartedly.'

Neil Marshall

Neil Marshall is the writer-director who reinvigorated British horror with Dog Soldiers and The Descent. He has recently worked on HBO’s groundbreaking fantasy series Game of Thrones.

(In no particular order)
1. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
2. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
3. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
4. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
5. Braindead (Peter Jackson, 1992)
6. The Fog (John Carpenter, 1979)
7. Deliverance (1972, John Boorman)
8. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
9. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
10. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

Glen Mazzara

Glen Mazzara is the executive producer (and sometimes writer) of the hugely popular zombie TV series The Walking Dead.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
3. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
5. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
6. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
8. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
9. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990)
10. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)

Nicholas McCarthy

After several acclaimed short films, writer/director Nicholas McCarthy made his feature debut this year with The Pact, an icy thriller which will be released in June.

(In chronological order)
1. Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932)
2. I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943)
3. The Thing That Couldn’t Die (Will Cowan, 1958)
4. The Vampire and the Ballerina (Renato Polselli, 1960)
5. Burn, Witch, Burn (Sidney Hayers, 1962)
6. Les Possédées du Diable (Lorna the Exorcist) (Jesus Franco, 1974)
7. The Last House on Dead End Street (Roger Watkins, 1977)
8. The Car (Elliot Silverstein, 1977)
9. Don’t Go in the House (Joseph Ellison, 1980)
10. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)

Paul McEvoy

Paul McEvoy is one quarter of Film 4 FrightFest.

1. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)
4. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
5. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
6. Inferno (Dario Argento, 1980)
7. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
8. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
9. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
10. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)

Lucky McKee

Lucky McKee’s debut feature May is one of the most highly regarded horror films of the last decade. Following The Woods, his reputation as an indie director to watch was cemented last year with the release of furious feminist drama The Woman.

(In no particular order, except for Chain Saw which is the greatest horror film of all-time)
1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch, 1992)
3. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
4. The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)
5. The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979)
6. Dressed to Kill (Brian de Palma, 1980)
7. Cape Fear (Martin Scorsese, 1991)
8. Cujo (Lewis Teague, 1983)
9. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
10. Straw Dogs (Sam Peckinpah, 1971)

John McNaughton

Writer-director John McNaughton’s debut Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer redefined modern horror. His films since have included Mad Dog and Glory and Wild Things.

1. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
2. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
3. Trilogy of Terror (Dan Curtis, 1975)
4. Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon, Robert Hamer, 1945)
5. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
6. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
8. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
9. The Face of Another (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1966)
10. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

Xavier Mendik

Xavier Mendik is the director of both the Cine-Excess conference and its offshoot DVD label, which has released such genre classics as Suspiria and Amsterdamned. He is also curator of Brunel University’s Cult Film Archive.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
3. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
4. The Last House on Dead End Street (Roger Watkins, 1977)
5. Welcome Home Brother Charles (aka Soul Vengeance) (Jamaa Fanaka, 1975 )
6. Blue Sunshine (Jeff Lieberman, 1978)
7. Cabin Fever (Eli Roth, 2002)
8. From Dusk till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez, 1996)
9. Venus in Furs (Jesus Franco, 1967)
10. Eden Lake (James Watkins, 2008)

Vincent Monton

Vincent Monton is a cinematographer who shot some of the best known Australian exploitation movies, including the likes of Long Weekend, Roadgames and Race for the Yankee Zephyr.

1. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
4. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
5. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
6. Black Sunday (aka The Mask of Satan, Revenge of the Vampire) (1960)
7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel , 1956)
8. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)
9. House of Wax (André De Toth, 1953)
10. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)

Guillem Morales

Spanish writer-director Guillem Morales broke through internationally with his second film Julia’s Eyes in 2010. His first film, home invasion thriller The Uninvited Guest, is also highly regarded among European horror buffs.

1. The Unknown (Tod Browning, 1927)
2. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
3. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
4. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
5. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
7. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
8. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
9. The Sixth Sense (M Night Shyamalan, 1999)
10. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aranofsky, 2000)

‘I chose The Unknown because, despite being a silent film, it is 1000 times more hypnotic without any soundtrack that most modern films with a soundtrack. The cruelty of the plot is still absolutely shocking and Lon Chaney makes you feel his excruciating pain in an unforgettable way. The Exorcist is in there because, even if you don’t believe in God, that film makes you believe in Satan! And Requiem for a Dream isn’t a genre film, but the last twenty minutes is pure horror.’

Helen Mullane

Helen Mullane spent five years at Studio Canal product managing a diverse range of films from Attack the Block to Quatermass and the Pit, delving into the deepest recesses of the catalogue for lost gems such as Lizard in a Woman’s Skin. She now works freelance across marketing, development and festival management for film and television.

1. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
2. The Mist (Frank Darabont, 2007)
3. Next of Kin (Tony Williams, 1984)
4. The Ninth Configuration (William Peter Blatty, 1980)
5. A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Lucio Fulci, 1971)
6. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
7. Even the Wind is Afraid (Carlos Enrique Taboada, 1968)
8. Blind Beast (Yasuzo Masumura, 1969)
9. Thriller: A Cruel Picture (Bo Arne Vibenius, 1974)
10. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John D Hancock, 1971)

‘For me, The Descent is the greatest Western horror movie of recent times: claustrophobic, utterly terrifying and admirably controlled, letting the tension build unbearably until the madness of its final act. The Mist is a classic monster movie, especially in its beautiful black and white form, bringing together many of the best qualities of the films that preceded it. A brilliant portrayal of society’s moral breakdown in the face of fear, the power of hope and the horror of hopelessness, the film is made by the singularly bleak ending, which reduced me to tears.'

Kim Newman

Kim Newman is Britain’s leading popular expert on genre movies, especially horror. He writes for the likes of Empire and Sight & Sound, appears regularly on British TV, and has a smashing hat.

(In chronological order)
1. The Old Dark House (James Whale, 1932)
2. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
3. A Bucket of Blood (Roger Corman, 1959)
4. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
5. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
6. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John D Hancock, 1971)
7. Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel, 1970)
8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
9. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
10. Mulholland Dr (David Lynch, 2001)

Greg Nicotero

Greg Nicotero is a legend of special make-up effects whose CV includes work on the Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm St, Halloween, Hostel and Living Dead sagas, not to mention creating the broken foot in Misery and the exploding head in Pulp Fiction. He is currently supervising effects on The Walking Dead, which screens on FX.

1. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
2. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
4. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
5. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
6. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
8. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
9. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
10. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)

Andy Nyman

Andy Nyman is an actor, writer and magician who has co-written and created TV shows with Derren Brown. Last year he co-wrote (with Jeremy Dyson), directed and starred in the West End horror play Ghost Stories.

1. [Rec] (Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, 2007)
2. Dark Water (Hideo Nakata, 2002)
3. Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)
4. Switchblade Romance (Alexandre Aja, 2003)
5. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)
6. Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi, 2009)
7. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
8. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
9. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
10. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)

Alex Orr

Writer/director Alex Orr’s feature debut, the low budget horror flick Blood Car, cleverly combined eco-fear and slapstick splat. He’s worked as a cinematographer, producer, assistant director and actor in a broad variety of films and TV shows.

(In no particular order)
1. Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)
2. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
3. A Bucket of Blood (Roger Corman, 1959)
4. Vampire’s Kiss (Robert Bierman, 1988)
5. Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985)
6. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
7. Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997)
8. Jacob's Ladder (Adrian Lyne, 1990)
9. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
10. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)

‘The joy that Piranha takes in doing horrible things makes me happy. Re-Animator is a laundry list of awesome. Jacob’s Ladder proves that hell, LSD and the NYC subway are all the same thing, if you think about it.'

Andre Øvredal

Andrè Øvredal is the writer-director behind 2011’s smash-hit Norwegian horror-comedy Troll Hunter.

1. Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper, 1982)
2. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
6. The Sixth Sense (M Night Shyamalan, 1999)
7. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
8. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
9. Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)
10. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)

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Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg is the hugely talented comic writer and actor behind Spaced, Hot Fuzz and, of course, Shaun of the Dead. He’s currently upped sticks to Hollywood, where he’s appearing as Cheeky British Chappie in the likes of Star Trek and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

1. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
2. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
3. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
6. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
7. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
8. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
10. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)

John Penney

John Penney is the writer (and sometime director) of a number of horror titles, including The Kindred, Return of the Living Dead III and the wonderfully titled Zyzzyx Rd. His latest film, Shadows, was released in 2011.

1. The Shuttered Room (David Greene, 1967)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Jacob's Ladder (Adrian Lyne, 1990)
4. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
5. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
6. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. The Eye (Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang, 2002)
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
9. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
10. Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985)

‘This was very hard. There were so many I wanted to include – Frailty, The Silence of the Lambs, Dawn of the Dead – but in the end, I went with films that shaped my work and inspired me personally. In these films are the images and feelings that continue to haunt my work. Most of mine deal with insanity, supernatural elements and emotional pain. Some are just plain exhilarating. The Shuttered Room was the first horror film that terrified me as a child. The idea of a homicidal sibling shook me to the core. But The Exorcist provided the deepest, most disturbing scares of my life. That film captured the feeling of pure evil. There was no place you could go to escape.’

Isabel Pinedo

Isabel Pinedo is an associate professor of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College of The City University of New York. She is the author of Recreational Terror: Women and the Pleasures of Horror Film Viewing.

1. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton, 1986)
2. Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005)
3. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
5. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
6. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
7. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
8. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)
9. Frozen (Adam Green, 2010)
10. The Mist (Frank Darabont, 2007)

Dave Pirie

Dave Pirie is a novelist and Bafta-nominated screenwriter whose credits include TV’s The Woman in White and Murderland. His books on horror include A Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema, 1946-1972 and The Vampire Cinema. He is also a former film editor at Time Out London.

1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
2. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
3. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
4. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
5. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001)
6. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
7. Quatermass 2 (Val Guest, 1957)
8. The Devil Rides Out (Terence Fisher, 1968)
9. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (Terence Fisher, 1966)
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
‘Also “The Ring” (US remake) and “The Last Exorcism”.’

Paco Plaza

With his co-director Jaime Balaguero, Paco Plaza created the iconic Barcelona-set found-footage horror movie Rec. He has since made two sequels to that film, including the upcoming Rec: Genesis, which is out in July.

1. Black Sunday (aka The Mask of Satan, Revenge of the Vampire) (1960)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel , 1956)
5. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
7. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
8. Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987)
9. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (Jorge Grau, 1974)
10. Switchblade Romance (Alexandre Aja, 2003)

Ian Rattray

Ian Rattray is one of the unholy quartet who organise Film4 FrightFest, the UK’s leading horror movie festival. In his spare time he is a film distributor and booker with over twenty years experience.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. [Rec] (Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, 2007)
3. The Loved Ones (Sean Byrne, 2009)
4. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
5. Cronos (Guillermo del Toro, 1993)
6. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
7. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
8. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)
9. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
10. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)

Craig Reardon

Craig Reardon is a legend in the world of special make-up effects. His credits include Altered States, Poltergeist, Dreamscape, Weird Science, Buffy and most recently TV’s Without a Trace.

1. Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi , 1964)
2. Black Sabbath (Mario Bava, 1963)
3. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
4. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
5. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
6. Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
7. Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon, Robert Hamer, 1945)
8. Uncle Silas (Charles Frank, 1947)
9. The Black Cat (Edward G Ulmer, 1934)
10. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers is an experimental filmmaker and artist based in London. His first feature film Two Years at Sea premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year, where it won the FIPRESCI prize..

1. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)
2. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)
3. The Old Dark House (James Whale, 1932)
4. Onibaba (Kaneto Shindô, 1964)
5. Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931)
6. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
7. Messiah of Evil (Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, 1973)
8. Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985)
9. The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)
10. The Return of the Living Dead (Dan O’Bannon, 1985)

Tim Robey

Tim Robey is a film critic for the Daily Telegraph. He has also written for Variety, and co-edited film fan source book The DVD Stack.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
3. Mulholland Dr (David Lynch, 2001)
4. The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein, 1928)
5. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
6. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
7. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
8. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
9. Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
10. Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979)

Debbie Rochon

In a three-decade career, Debbie Rochon has appeared in more than 100 exploitation movies.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Maniac (William Lustig, 1980)
4. The Cottage (Paul Andrew Williams, 2008)
5. Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987)
6. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
7. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
8. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
9. Cemetery Man (Michele Soavi, 1994)
10. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

‘Stanley Kubrick takes his time with The Shining. Although it’s well documented that Stephen King was not a fan, Kubrick takes the key elements from the novel and brings them to life with intense characters, a feeling of isolation, incredible use of sound and a tension that builds beautifully from beginning to end. Paul Andrew Williams’s The cottage is one of the most perfect examples of a horror movie that rides the fence of comedy. It’s hilariously funny, sincerely scary and the performances sell the material beautifully. And Cemetery Man is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Michele Soavi delivers a zombie film love story, in which a man is willing to give up everything for his love, including his privates, all while keeping a cemetery safe from its own inhabitants. It’s a perfect combination of frights, zombies and romance as only the Italians can do.’

Bernard Rose

Bernard Rose is a British-born writer-director with a diverse CV ranging from period dramas Immortal Beloved and Anna Karenina to modern fare like ivansxtc. His work in the horror field includes the astonishing Paperhouse and cult favourite Candyman. He is currently completing post-production on two films, Boxing Day and Two Jacks.

1. The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)
2. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
3. Hour of the Wolf (Ingmar Bergman, 1967)
4. Saló (Pier Palo Pasolini, 1975)
5. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)
6. The Kingdom (Lars Von Trier, 1994)
7. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985)
8. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
9. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
10. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

Joshua Rothkopf

Joshua Rothkopf is the senior film writer at Time Out New York.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
3. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
4. Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper, 1982)
5. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
6. Creepshow (George A Romero,1982)
7. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
8. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
9. The Mist (Frank Darabont, 2007)
10. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel , 1956)

'Texas Chain Saw is a feverish oven of sweat, grease and rage – and probably the best American satire made. Poltergeist is the secret masterpiece of the ‘80s, “ghost-directed” by Steven Spielberg, chomping down hard on his pet themes. Pound for pound, Creepshow is Romero’s most stylish effort, also a testament to the genre’s finest scenarist (though not its finest actor), Stephen King. And let the day come when bold end-of-civilization tale The Mist is appreciated for what it is: Hollywood’s bleakest project since Freaks.’

Simon Rumley

After years making low-budget British dramas and horror flicks, writer-director Simon Rumley attracted broader attention when he moved to the US in 2010 to make the brutal but brilliant Red White & Blue. He followed it with segments in two portmanteau horror features, Little Deaths and The ABCs of Death.

1. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
2. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
3. A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim Jee-woon, 2003)
4. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
5. Tetsuo (Shin'ya Tsukamoto, 1989)
6. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aranofsky, 2000)
7. Santa Sangre (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1989)
8. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
9. Final Destination (James Wong, 2000)
10. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

John A Russo

John A Russo is an American screenwriter, producer and director who changed horror forever when he created the original Night of the Living Dead with George Romero. His work as a director includes Midnight, Heartstopper and Santa Claws.

1. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
4. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel , 1956)
6. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
7. Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931)
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
9. Martin (George A Romero, 1976)
10. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)

Josh Saco

Josh Saco is the madman behind cinema-hopping film club Cigarette Burns, whose stated mission is ‘to return forgotten and obscure cult classics to the cinema screens of London.’ Who’d argue with that?

1. Horrors of Malformed Men (Teruo Ishii, 1969)
2. Viy (Georgi Kropachyov, Konstantin Yershov, 1967)
3. Alice, Sweet Alice (Alfred Sole, 1976)
4. Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970)
5. Faust (FW Murnau, 1926)
6. The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)
7. Who Can Kill a Child? (Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, 1976)
8. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
9. House of the Devil (Ti West, 2009)
10. Ils (Them) (David Moreau, Xavier Palud, 2006)

Angel Sala

Angel Sala is the director of the Sitges Film Festival in Barcelona, one of the world’s oldest and most respected celebrations of genre cinema.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Kill, Baby… Kill! (aka Operazione Paura, Curse of the Dead) (Mario Bava, 1966)
4. Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi , 1964)
5. The Brides of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1960)
6. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
7. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
8. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
9. Who Can Kill a Child? (Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, 1976)
10. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)

Eduardo Sanchez

In 1999, Eduardo Sanchez and his co-director Daniel Myrick revolutionised horror with The Blair Witch Project, which not only kickstarted the current fad for found-footage movies but basically invented online viral movie marketing. Since then, he’s directed a number of films including Altered and Lovely Molly, and there are persistent rumours of Blair Witch 3.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. The Amityville Horror (Stuart Rosenberg, 1979)
3. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
4. The Sixth Sense (M Night Shyamalan, 1999)
5. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
6. The Changeling (Peter Medack, 1979)
7. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
8. The Legend of Boggy Creek (Charles B. Pierce, 1972)
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
10. Jaws (1975)

‘I watched the director's cut of The Exorcist a few years back and it killed me. I bought the DVD but even the making-of doc scared me to death. I ended up giving that DVD away. They captured something during the shooting of that film that just wasn't right. If any movie had any kind of real supernatural collaboration to it, this is it. I never want to see it again, but I will have to soon. And The Amityville Horror is the classic haunted house tale that's actually scary. Red eyes in the window, flies, blood coming out of the walls! And when the father has to go back in to save the dog! And Boggy Creek is a semi-documentary, sort of experimental film that is still the creepiest film about Bigfoot ever made. Hyper-realism and sound design is to be paid attention to – the pioneer in first-person atmosphere that heavily influenced Blair Witch.’

Louis Savy

Louis Savy is the director of the annual Sci-Fi London festival, bringing global science fiction to a UK audience.

(in no order)
1. The Changeling (Peter Medack, 1979)
2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
3. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
4. Misery (Rob Reiner, 1990)
5. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
6. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
7. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
8. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
9. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
10. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (Robert Aldrich, 1962)

John Shackleton

John Shackleton is the co-writer and producer of British horror movie ‘Panic Button’. He has also written and directed a number of short films.

1. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)
2. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001)
3. Ju-on: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, 2002)
4. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
6. Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987)
7. Society (Brian Yuzna, 1989)
8. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
9. My Little Eye (Marc Evans, 2002)
10. Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987)

Reece Shearsmith

Reece Shearsmith is an actor and writer most famous for horror-infuenced TV comedy shows The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville. He also appeared in Shaun of the Dead, The Cottage and Burke and Hare.

1. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
2. Exorcist III (William Peter Blatty, 1990)
3. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
6. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
7. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
8. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)
9. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
10. The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983)

'Rosemary’s Baby is probably the best study of evil operating in the modern world. Polanski's film gives us completely real people living next door to very ordinary Devil Worshippers. John Cassavetes is perfect as the husband who forfeits his wife to Satan to better his own career. And Ruth Gordon as insistent Satanist Minnie Castavet, is probably the best depiction of the insidious nature of evil, you are ever likely to see. I think Exorcist 3 is one of the great horror films. It’s brilliantly written, with an extremely funny script by William Peter Blatty, as well as some truly shocking moments of terror. George C. Scott is particularly brilliant, with great support from Brad Dourif maintaining yet another one of his impeccable variations on evil.'

Francesco Simeoni

Francesco Simeoni is the manager of Arrow Films, a UK label specialising in stunningly packaged, lovingly detailed reissues of horror classics, particularly the work of Dario Argento and George Romero.

1. Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)
2. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
4. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)
5. Ring (Ringu) (Hideo Nakata, 1998)
6. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
7. Dogura Magura (Toshio Matsumoto, 1989)
8. Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
9. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
10. Scream and Scream Again (Gordon Hessler, 1970)

Tom Six

Dutchman Tom Six has one of the foulest minds in modern entertainment: not only did he write and direct zeitgeist-grabbing sick-flicks The Human Centipede and its sequel, he also played a key role in inventing Big Brother. He is currently hard at work on The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence.

1. Saló (Pier Palo Pasolini, 1975)
2. Crash (David Cronenberg, 1976)
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
4. Nekromantik (Joerg Buttgereit, 1987)
5. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
6. Boxing Helena (Jennifer Lynch, 1993)
7. Teeth (Mitchell Lichtenstein, 2007)
8. Haze (Shin'ya Tsukamoto, 2005)
9. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
10. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)

David Slade

British born writer/director David Slade made his name with two attention-grabbing features in the 2000s: Hard Candy and the ferocious vampire thriller 30 Days of Night. He hit the big leagues with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 2010.

1. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski , 1981)
2. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton, 1986)
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
5. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
6. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985)
7. Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997)
8. Saló (Pier Palo Pasolini, 1975)
9. Dark Water (Hideo Nakata, 2002)
10. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)

Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith is the British writer-director behind Creep, Severance, Triangle and Black Death, four of the most inventive and striking homegrown horror flicks of the past decade. He is currently working on an epic TV miniseries entitled Labyrinth, from the bestselling book by Kate Mosse.

1. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
2. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
3. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
4. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
6. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
7. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
8. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
9. Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931)
10. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)

Jen & Sylvia Soska, The Twisted Twins

Jen and Sylvia Soska set up their own film company, Twisted Twins Productions, to make and promote horror movies, with a focus on films by women.

1. American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000)
2. Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997)
3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
4. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
5. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
6. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)
7. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)
8. Man Bites Dog (Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, Benoit Poelvoorde, 1992)
9. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
10. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)

'American Psycho is one of the greatest horror satires ever made. The controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel turned into a film by Mary Harron is violent, fun, and disturbing all at the same time. Martyrs is a female-driven bloodbath that will please even the most gore hungry fans with hauntingly dark undertones. The film delves into what makes a victim and the power exchange between people who victimize and those they inflict their torture upon.'

Richard Stanley

Richard Stanley is the writer and director of British horror classics Hardware and Dust Devil. His career was almost destroyed by the machinations of Hollywood following an abortive attempt at The Island of Dr Moreau, though he has recently bounced back with a segment in portmanteau gorefest TheTheatre Bizarre.

(In chronological order)
1. Kill, Baby… Kill! (aka Operazione Paura, Curse of the Dead) (Mario Bava, 1966)
2. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
3. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
4. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
5. The Shout (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1978)
6. Phantasm (Don Coscarelli, 1978)
7. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
8. The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)
9. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
10. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)

Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens is a film scholar and author whose works include Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision and Monte Hellman: His Life and Films.

1. Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn, 1973)
2. The Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara, 1979)
3. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
4. La Vie Nouvelle (Philippe Grandrieux, 2002)
5. Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out! (Monte Hellman, 1989)
6. Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)
7. Lisa and the Devil (Mario Bava, 1973)
8. Dillinger Is Dead (Marco Ferreri, 1968)
9. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
10. God Told Me To (Larry Cohen, 1976)

Travis Stevens

A former film critic, producer Travis Stevens is the founder of Snowfort Pictures, whose films include Adam Wingard’s A Horrible Way To Die,What Fun We Were Having, The Butcher Brothers, The Thompsons and The Aggression Scale.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. Friday the 13th Part 2 (Steve Miner, 1981)
3. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
5. Inside (L'intérieur) (Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury, 2007)
6. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
7. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
8. Braindead (Peter Jackson, 1992)
9. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
10. Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

‘Growing up in the woods of Vermont, Friday the 13th Part 2 had a huge impact, just because of how relatable it was. Try walking home when you’re 100 per cent convinced someone is watching you. Terrifying. Jason is my favorite horror superhero.'

Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan is the writer-director responsible for popular modern splat-coms 2001 Maniacs and its sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. Tim chose to spice up the poll by listing the Top 10 Queer Fear Horrors.

(In chronological order)
1. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
2. Dracula’s Daughter (Lambert Hillyer, 1936)
3. The Brides of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1960)
4. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
5. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
6. Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel, 1970)
7. Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975)
8. Sleepaway Camp (Robert Hiltzik, 1983)
9. Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (Jack Sholder, 1985)
10. Fright Night (Tom Holland, 1985)

Chris Tilly

Chris Tilly is a writer, film buff and all-round diamond geezer whose storied career has included work for this very website, among many others. He is currently gainfully employed by IGN Movies UK, where he seems to spend all his time hanging out with Mark Wahlberg and The Muppets.

1. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
2. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)
3. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
4. The Devil's Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001)
5. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
6. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
7. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
8. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)
9. Society (Brian Yuzna, 1989)
10. Phantasm (Don Coscarelli, 1978)

Tony Timpone

Journalist and film programmer Tony Timpone edited Fangoria magazine until 2010. He produced the TV show The 100 Scariest Movie Momentsí and regularly appears on TV and radio.

1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
2. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
4. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
5. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
6. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
7. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
8. Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)
9. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
10. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)

'Jaws is the movie that kept me out of the water… and in the theatre. I saw this movie again and again in the summer of ’75. Cat People brought maturity and intelligence to the monster movie, rising above the increasingly childish Universal cycle. The Omen made me do what 12 years of Catholic school education failed to do: read the Bible! Everything clicked in Alien, a haunted house movie in space, and director Ridley Scott set the standard for sci-fi horror. Other monster creators have been ripping off Giger’s creature designs ever since.’

Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro is the Mexican writer-director and genre afficionado whose work blends horror and fantasy to astounding effect. His films include Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy series. He is currently working on monster movie Pacific Rim, due for release next year.

1. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
2. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski , 1981)
3. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
4. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
5. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
6. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
7. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
8. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
9. Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (Benjamin Christensen, 1922)
10. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)

Reg Traviss

Reg Traviss is the British director of Joy Division, serial killer slasher Psychosis and prison thriller Screwed.

1. Madman (Joe Giannone, 1982)
2. Witchboard (Kevin Tenney, 1986)
3. Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon, Robert Hamer, 1945)
4. Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder, 2004)
5. The Witchfinder General (Matt Reeves, 1968)
6. Basket Case (Frank Henenlotter, 1982)
7. Children of the Corn (Fritz Kiersch, 1984)
8. Asylum (Roy Ward Baker, 1972)
9. Twins of Evil (John Hough, 1971)
10. The Hills Have Eyes (Alexandre Aja, 2006)

Jovanka Vuckovic

Jovanka Vuckovic is a multi-talented powerhouse of horror: a writer and editor-in-chief for Rue Morgue magazine, a visual effects whiz with a Gemini Award under her belt, a writer and director (her first short, The Captured Bird, was produced by Guillermo del Toro) and an occasional actress, appearing as a zombie in both Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead and Romero’s Land of the Dead.

1. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
2. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
3. Hour of the Wolf (Ingmar Bergman, 1967)
4. The Entity (Sydney J Furie, 1982)
5. Session 9 (Brad Anderson, 2001)
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)
7. The Devil's Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001)
8. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
9. Deathdream (Bob Clark, 1974)
10. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John D Hancock, 1971)

Calum Waddell

Calum Waddell is a writer and critic whose works include Minds of Fear and Taboo Breakers, as well as articles for the likes of SFX and Bizarre. He also works closely with the great Arrow DVD label.

1. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
2. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
4. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
5. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
6. Lisa and the Devil (Mario Bava, Alfredo Leone,1974)
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
8. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
9. Spider Baby (Jack Hill, 1964)
10. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)

James Watkins

James Watkins’s second film, Victorian ghost story The Woman in Black, shot to the top of the UK box office on release earlier this year. He is also the director of controversial but highly regarded ‘hoodiesploitation’ chiller Eden Lake.

1. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
3. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
4. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg. 1988)
5. Manhunter (Michael Mann, 1986)
6. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
7. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
8. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)
9. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)
10. The Abominable Dr Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971)

'Alien is the perfect horror film. Tension tooled with the precision of a Swiss watch. A study in slow-burn suspense, in the values of silence. The Vanishing has one of the scariest endings of all time. And Dr Phibes terrified me as a child – try enjoying the camp, crazy oddity of this film in a double bill with Theatre of Blood.’

Ti West

Ti West is an American writer-director whose third film, minimalist chiller House of the Devil, is regarded as one of the last decade’s key horror movies. His new film The Innkeepers received glowing reviews in the US, and will be released in the UK this summer.

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
3. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
4. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
5. The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1979)
6. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
8. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
10. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)

Ben Wheatley

Ben Wheatley is one of the most exciting new talents in British film. His debut, ‘Down Terrace blended comedy and crime to exhilarating effect, while his second film, 2011’s Kill List, is quite simply the best British crime-horror crossover ever made.

1. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985)
2. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
3. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)
4. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
5. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
6. Scum (Alan Clark, 1979)
7. Threads (Mick Jackson, 1984)
8. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
9. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
10. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

‘What is a horror film? Come and See is strictly a war film but it scared me rigid. Scum is oppressive and harrowing in a way that vampires and ghouls never can be. I will never watch Don't Look Now again. Even writing the title makes me feel ill. I’ve gone soft since becoming a father. And I’d put a lot of my anxiety and nightmares as a kid down to Threads. It still packs a punch today. We had real worries in the ’70s and ’80s!’

Stephen Woolley

Stephen Woolley is the British producer whose work in the horror genre includes The Company of Wolves, Hardware, Dust Devil and Interview with the Vampire. He made his directorial debut with Stoned in 2005.

1. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
2. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)
3. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
4. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
5. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
6. Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
7. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
8. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
9. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
10. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)

Brian Yuzna

Brian Yuzna wrote and directed Society, a remarkable satirical horror movie which sits at number 78 on our list. He has produced a number of classic horror movies. including Re-Animator, From Beyond and, um, Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

1. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
2. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
3. Black Sunday (aka The Mask of Satan, Revenge of the Vampire) (1960)
4. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
5. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
6. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
7. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
8. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
9. Phantasm (Don Coscarelli, 1978)
10. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)

'Nosferatu is the only really great vampire movie and is still nightmarish and creepy; and its version of Dracula is the closest to Bram Stoker’s literary version – an evil blood sucking beast, not the matinee idol white-bread versions that have dominated the history of cinema. Bride of Frankenstein is by consensus the best of the Universal horror movies. Still a great and entertaining film, it has the classic Karloff, the essential mad doctor, fantastic art direction and Dr. Pretorius – who states what is the soul of the horror genre: a world of “gods and monsters”. Suspiria reminds me of how obvious and boring most horror has been since then. Phantasm is perhaps not the obvious pick among the great ‘70s horrors, but I love how it follows the scary rhythms of a nightmare rather than plodding in the tracks of the conventional.’

Federico Zampaglione

Federico Zampaglione is the writer-director behind furious Italian redneck slaughter movie Shadow.

1. Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)
2. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
3. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
5. The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)
6. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
7. The Sixth Sense (M Night Shyamalan, 1999)
8. Dead And Buried (Gary Sherman, 1981)
9. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)
10. Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005)

Jason Zinoman

Jason Zinoman is a writer and horror expert who reviews for The New York Times and other publications. His book on the ’70s American horror scene, Shock Value, is in shops now.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
2. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
3. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
4. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
5. The Hitcher (Robert Harmon, 1986)
6. The Fly (David Cronenberg , 1986)
7. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
8. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
9. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1976)
10. High Tension (Alan Dawn, 1936)

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie translated his status as the frontman for Grammy-nominated heavy metal band White Zombie into a movie career when he wrote and directed House of 1,000 Corpses. He has gone on to direct a number of ferociously bloody horror pictures including The Devil’s Rejects, the remakes of Halloween and Halloween 2, and his new film Lords of Salem.

1. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
2. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
3. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
4. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Wallace Worsley, 1923)
6. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
7. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
8. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
9. The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)
10. Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974)

'Cannibal Holocaust is vile, disgusting and totally brilliant. A one of a kind film experience… thank God. Freaks is the pre-code classic by the mad master Tod Browning. Who would have thought that using real human oddities would be considered "bad taste"? It is a miracle this film exists, no studio would ever even consider making this today. But seriously, ask yourself, "can a full grown woman truly love a midget?"'

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