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The Unforgettable Horror Films That Still Make Us Shiver

The Unforgettable Horror Films That Still Make Us Shiver
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The Unforgettable Horror Films That Still Make Us Shiver

There is something about iconic horror movies that leave a deep, lasting impression on us as viewers. This genre has been around almost since the very first film-makers appeared and has gone through some incredible changes since then.

The late 19th century saw the appearance of the first chilling silent movies, such as Le Manoir du Diable from France and Bake Jizo from Japan. Since then we have seen a dizzying variety of vampires, werewolves, zombies and masked killers all attempt to scare us out of our minds.

What it is about the following classic horror movies that makes them so unforgettable to us?


Perhaps the very first horror film that we can identify as truly iconic is Dracula, starring the wonderful Bela Lugosi, from 1931. It may now look very dated and faintly comic at times but who can deny the power of the story even over 80 years after it was made?

All of the classic elements of a vampire story are present, with the charming but evil Count Dracula sleeping in a coffin, sucking blood and being very afraid of crosses. It is a simple and somewhat slow-paced horror film by modern standards but the enduring legend of Dracula and some classic performances mean that it remains well worth watching.

Of course, as Halloween comes around many of us love to dress up as Dracula to thrill our friends and put on an outrageous Transylvanian accent. Add a touch of, gulp, vampire blood to your fangs for an even more impressive reaction.


In the very same year that Count Dracula made people shiver in fear another iconic horror movie was also released. In this case, Boris Karloff produced a magnificent performance as the monster brought to life by Dr Frankenstein.

If you have seen this movie even once in your life then you will surely remember the hunchbacked assistant named Fritz, the scene with the monster coming to life and a group of peasants waving torches in the air. Even today, this is a dark and exciting film that might just give you a nightmare or two.

While a number of comedy films featuring Frankenstein's monster have lessened the impact over the years, you can still scare people by using your own monster masks to look like someone very frightening. Just take care to avoid villagers with torches while you are out.


As we look back at the history of classic horror movies perhaps it is Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho that first genuinely terrified many of us. This 1960 classic contains the infamous shower scene with the scary music that you can probably imagine if you just close your eyes for a second.

This is credited as being the first ever slasher movie but it is also a psychological thriller that preys on our minds rather than showing us lots of graphic violence. Perhaps this is why it still frightens us and why you always look behind the shower curtain just in case someone is lurking there.

The Exorcist

As we move forward to 1973 things get scarier and, frankly, a bit messier as well. This tale of demonic possession and projectile vomiting is genuinely terrifying in parts and gave us some truly iconic scenes that make it possibly the scariest movie of all time.

There is a legend that says that the film's production was cursed, with a number of unexplained deaths linked to it. Regardless of whether this is true or not, who can forget the chilling scenes of the girl's head spinning round and how she really did appear to be possessed?

If you prefer to lighten the mood this Halloween then forget about projectile vomiting (if you can) and wear some cute stuff like themed boppers. You won't scare many people but you won't get locked in a room with a team of priests either.


1978 saw the world begin to get terrorised by the evil Michel Myers in Halloween. Later films in the series may have diluted the terror somewhat but there is no denying the incredible impact that the original movie had on us.

The idea of an unhinged, masked killer stalking his victims is such a strong part of horror movie that it is something that still gives us shivers after all this time. If you ever see this movie again then try to bear in mind the origins of the killer's mask.

It was actually a spray-painted mask of Captain Kirk from Star Trek that was used in the film. Knowing this might save you a few nightmares or else it might make them worse.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger first appeared in our nightmares in 1984, and made a lasting impression on everyone who saw his glove filled with blades and his disfigured face. Many of us were afraid to fall asleep after watching it as kids and some of us probably still are.

You might not have noticed Johnny Depp making his film debut here but you probably screamed at his horrific death when he got pulled down into his bed before the roof got filled with his spurting blood. The later films in the series weren't as memorable but the original will still be freaking people out for decades to come.

The idea of wearing a Freddy Krueger outfit for Halloween is pretty cool, although you will want to be extra careful whenever you scratch your nose or go to the toilet.


Scream was pretty much a perfect parody of the horror genre but managed to be downright scary at the same time. This 1996 movie follows Neve Campbell's characters as her friends get killed off one by one in gruesome ways.

The clever premise behind this movie - with the characters discussing other horror movies and the cliches to be found in them - is credited with making the genre hugely popular again. Still, once you have seen this movie you think twice about answering the phone when you are home alone, don't you?

If you want to creep everyone out this Halloween then you can do it without wearing that awful Ghostface mask. Just try out some horrific bleeding eyes temporary tattoos and watch how people, well, scream.

The Unforgettable Horror Films That Still Make Us Shiver
There is something about iconic horror movies that leave a deep, lasting impression on us as viewers. This genre has been around almost since the very first film-makers appeared and has gone through some incredible changes since then.