Letterboxd's List Of The 25 Highest Rated Horror Films Of All Time Is Full Of Surprises

As a nice little Halloween treat, Letterboxd has released a list of the highest rated horror films on their site, as of October 24th. Based on user ratings, the list does have films that you'd expect to see like Psycho and Jaws, but I'm very surprised with a few of the films that made the list.

“Don’t @ or stab us, these are computed from your ratings of all feature-length films tagged in our horror genre, as at 24 October 2018. It’s a wide-ranging list, with some perhaps surprising omissions—for example, the original Halloween, Night of the Living Dead and Evil Dead 2 all just missed the cut," explained Letterboxd.

You'll find the list along with some Letterboxd observations below:

  • Though there is some genre crossover (into comedy with Young Frankenstein,mockumentary with What We Do in the Shadows and One Cut of the Dead, and zom-rom-com with Shaun of the Dead), these films are all categorized as horrors by us (and IMDb).

  • In the battle of great horror decades, the scary sixties wins with seven films, over five films from the slasher seventies and three from the evil eighties. Shout out to the terror twenties, with three films.

  • By country, USA has most films in the list, but Japan comes in strong second with four, Germany has three and France, Sweden and the UK are represented with two each. India, New Zealand and the Czech Republic also make the cut.

  • The most obscure film on the list (from a Western perspective) is Manichitrathazhu, from Kerala-born director Fazil, watched by just over 250 members.

  • All the directors are dudes. We can’t make any excuses for that, but we can point out that, behind-the-scenes and on-screen, women played important roles in these films. The Phantom Carriage, for example, is based on the novel by Sweden’s Selma Lagerlöf, who in 1909 was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. And what would Jaws be without the editing prowess of Verna Fields?

  • There are five films on the list from this century, some by directors of color, including Jordan Peele, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Roll on the 21st century of horror.

  • On that note: this top 25 is based on member ratings, but we also have a popularity index—based on the sheer amount of activity for each film regardless of rating—which produces quite a different list, heavily favoring the 21st century.


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