Top 10 Horror Movies

10. Halloween (1978)

Halloween is a 1978 American independent
horror film directed, produced, and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut.

The film is set in the fictional midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween, six year old Michael Myers murders his older sister.

Fifteen years later, he escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager Laurie Strode and her friends.

Michael's psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael's intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent this from happening. Halloween was produced on a budget of $320,000 and grossed $47.3 million at the box office in the United States, and $60 million worldwide, equivalent to over $203 million as of 2010, becoming one of the most profitable independent films.

Many critics credit the film as the first in a long line of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). Halloween had many imitators and originated several clichés found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike many of its imitators, Halloween contains little graphic violence and gore.

In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Some critics have suggested that Halloween may encourage sadism and misogyny by identifying audiences with its villain.

Other critics have suggested the film is a social critique of the immorality of youth and teenagers in 1970s America, with many of Myers's victims being sexually promiscuous substance abusers, while the lone heroine is depicted as chaste and innocent hence her survival (the lone survivor is seen smoking marijuana in one scene). Carpenter dismisses such analyses.

Several of Halloween's techniques and plot elements, although not founded in this film, have nonetheless become a standard slasher movie trope.

9. The Ring (2002)

The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts and Martin Henderson. It is an American remake of the 1996 Japanese horror film Ring.

Both films are based on Kôji Suzuki's novel Ring and focus on a mysterious cursed videotape which contains a seemingly random series of disturbing images.

After watching the tape, the viewer receives a phone call in which a girl's voice announces that the viewer will die in seven days. The film was a critical and commercial success.

Two teenage girls, 16-year-old Katie Embry (Amber Tamblyn) and 17-year-old Becca Kotler (Rachael Bella), discuss a supposedly cursed videotape while home alone at Katie's house. Katie reveals that, seven days before, she went to a cabin at Sandi's Mountain Inn with friends, where she viewed the video tape.

The girls laugh it off, but after a series of strange occurrences in the next few minutes, involving a television in the house turning itself on, Katie dies mysteriously and horrifically while Becca watches, leading to Becca's institutionalization in a mental hospital. Katie's 9-year-old cousin, Aidan (David Dorfman), is visibly affected by the death.

After Katie's funeral, Ruth Embry (Lindsay Frost) asks her sister Rachel (Naomi Watts), Aidan's mother and a journalist, to investigate Katie's death, which leads her to the cabin where Katie watched the tape. Rachel finds and watches the tape; the phone rings, and she hears a child's voice say "seven days", upsetting Rachel.

The next day, Rachel calls Noah (Martin Henderson), an ex-boyfriend who is Aiden's father, to show him the video and asks for his assistance based upon his media-related skills. He asks her to make a copy for further investigation, which she does, but later takes it home herself. To Rachel's horror, she discovers Aidan watching the copy a few days later.

After viewing the tape, Rachel begins experiencing nightmares, nose bleeds, and surreal situations (for instance, when she pauses a section of the tape in which a fly runs across the screen, she is able to pluck the fly from the monitor). Increasingly anxious about getting to the origin of the tape, Rachel investigates images of a woman seen in the tape.

Using a video lab, she discovers images in the tape's overscan area, which through further research she discovers to be a lighthouse located on Moesko Island. It also turns out that the tape's overscan does not include time code, which hints that the tape was not made using electronic equipment.

The woman turns out to be Anna Morgan, who lived on the island in Washington, many years prior with her husband Richard (Brian Cox). Rachel discovers that, after bringing home an adopted daughter, tragedy befell the Morgan ranch – the horses raised on the ranch went mad and killed themselves, which in turn supposedly had caused Anna (who loved her horses) to become depressed and commit suicide.

Rachel goes to the Morgan house and finds Richard, who refuses to talk about the video or his daughter and sends Rachel away. A local doctor tells Rachel that Anna could not carry a baby to term and adopted a child named Samara (Daveigh Chase).

The doctor recounts that Anna soon complained about gruesome visions that only happened when Samara was around, so both were sent to a mental institution. While Rachel is investigating on Moesko Island, Noah is investigating the institution, where he finds Anna's file and discovers that there was a video of Samara, but the video is missing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Rachel sneaks back to the Morgan house where she discovers the missing video, watches it, and is confronted by Richard who says that the girl was evil. He then electrocutes himself in the bathtub, sending Rachel running out of the room screaming.Noah arrives and, with Rachel, goes to the barn to discover an attic where Samara was kept by her father.

Behind the wallpaper they discover an image of a tree seen on the tape, which grows near the Shelter Mountain Inn. At the inn, they discover a well underneath the floor, in which Rachel finds Samara's body, experiencing a vision of how her mother pushed her into it. Rachel notifies the authorities, and gives Samara a proper burial.

Rachel informs Aidan that they will no longer be troubled by Samara. However, Aidan is horrified, telling his mother she had freed her body, and that Samara "never sleeps". In his apartment, Noah's TV turns on, revealing an image in which a decaying Samara crawls from the well and out of the TV into the room.

Horrified, Noah trips backward and tries to crawl away from Samara. Samara faces him, exposes her true face and stares directly at him, killing him with fear, which Rachel discovers after racing to his apartment and seeing his face distorted like Katie's was.

Upon returning to her apartment, Rachel destroys and burns the original tape. Wondering why she had not died like the others, she remembers that she made a copy of the tape. She soon notices the copy of the tape underneath the couch. Rachel realizes the only way to escape and save Aidan is to have him copy the tape and show it to someone else, continuing the cycle. The film ends with Rachel helping Aidan to copy the tape and placing it on the shelf in a video rental store.

8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent black-and-white zombie film directed by George A. Romero.

It premiered on October 1st, 1968, and was completed on a USD$114,000 budget.

After decades of cinematic re-releases, it grossed some $12 million domestically and $30 million internationally. Night of the Living Dead was heavily criticized during its release because of its explicit content and similarities to the ongoing Vietnam war.

However, it eventually received critical acclaim and was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."

The film follows Ben (Duane Jones), Barbra (Judith O'Dea), and five others, who are trapped in a rural farmhouse in Pennsylvania and attempt to survive the night while the house is being attacked by mysteriously reanimated ghouls, otherwise known as zombies. Night of the Living Dead is the origin of six other Living Dead films directed by George A. Romero and became the inspiration for two remakes of the film, film of the same name directed by Tom Savini, and Night of the Living Dead 3D, which was directed by Jeff Broadstreet and contained a much different storyline.

Siblings Barbra (Judith O'Dea) and Johnny (Russell Streiner) drive to a rural Pennsylvania cemetery to visit their father's grave. Barbra is afraid of cemeteries; Johnny frightens her repeating, "They're coming to get you, Barbra!"

A pale skinned man (Bill Hinzman) is walking with a limp around the cemetery, and Johnny says that he is "one of them." Annoyed by Johnny's ignorance, Barbra goes to the man to apologize, but he grabs her. Coming to save his sister, Johnny wrestles with the man but is killed when he falls headfirst on a tombstone.

Barbra flees, being pursued by the man. Crashing her and Johnny's car into a tree, she goes to an empty farmhouse where she discovers the half-eaten corpse of the homeowner. As she runs out into the yard, she realizes several more ghoulish figures are swarming toward the house. Suddenly, a man named Ben (Duane Jones) arrives at the house, drags Barbra inside and boards up the doors and windows. Barbra frantically insists that they must go and rescue Johnny, then collapses in shock.

Hiding in the cellar are an angry married couple, Harry and Helen Cooper (Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman), their daughter Karen (Kyra Schon), and teenage couple Tom and Judy (Keith Wayne and Judith Ridley). Ben activates a radio while Barbra awakens, believing Tom and Harry to be more of the ghouls when they emerge from the cellar.

Arguing with each other, Harry wants everyone to hide in the cellar but Ben deems it a "death trap" and remains upstairs. Tom agrees with Ben and asks for Judy to come upstairs. Harry returns to the cellar to Helen and Karen, who was bitten on the arm by one of the attackers and has fallen ill. Radio reports explain that an epidemic of mass murder is sweeping across the eastern seaboard.

Ben discovers a television; the emergency broadcaster horrifyingly reveals that the recently deceased have reanimated and are consuming the flesh of living humans. Experts, scientists, and the military do not know the cause; one scientist believes it is caused by radioactive contamination from a space probe that exploded in the Earth's atmosphere.

After the news reports reveal a series of local fortifications that the living are to retreat to for safety from the living dead, Ben devises a plan to escape from the house and head to the nearest one, for protection and to get medical help for Karen, who is barely conscious. Ben suggests they escape using the truck he drove to the house, but it needs fuel.

Ben and Tom drive the short distance to an outside gas pump while Harry hurls Molotov cocktails from an upper window to restrain the ghouls. Judy fears for Tom's safety and runs after him.

They arrive at the pump but Tom spills fuel, setting the truck alight. Tom and Judy drive the truck from the pump to avoid further damage but it explodes, killing them.

Ben returns to the house to find Harry boarding up the front door. Very angry with his actions, Ben kicks the door down and furiously beats Harry.

Ghouls approach the truck and feed on Tom and Judy's flesh. Back in the house, a final report on the television reveals that a gunshot or heavy blow to the head will stop the "ghouls" and that posses of armed men are patrolling the countryside to restore order. After the ghouls attempt to break into the house, Harry spots Ben's rifle and threatens to shoot him.

Ben wrestles the gun from Harry and shoots him. The ghouls begin to tug Helen and Barbra through the windows. Harry stumbles into the cellar to find Karen has died from the infected bite on her arm, and Harry dies.

Helen frees herself of the ghouls and proceeds to the cellar to find Karen reanimated and consuming Harry's flesh. Karen repeatedly stabs Helen with a cement trowel, killing her. Barbra spots Johnny in the group of ghouls; distracted, she is carried away and never seen again.

Karen tries to attack Ben, but he pushes her away and seals himself in the cellar, ironically the course of action he originally argued against. Ben shoots the reanimated Harry and Helen. He is the only one to survive the night, and awakens when a posse arrives. He hears the posse and proceeds to the window, when a member of the posse mistakes him for a ghoul and shoots him, killing him. His body is then placed onto a burning pyre with other dead ghouls.

7. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American independent horror film directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Hooper and Kim Henkel. The film stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Teri McMinn, William Vail, and Gunnar Hansen.

While it is presented as a true story involving the ambush and murder of a group of friends on a road trip in rural Texas by a family of cannibals, the film is entirely fictional.

It is the first of six pictures in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film franchise, which features Leatherface (Hansen), a character modeled after Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.

Hooper produced the film for less than $300,000 with a cast of relatively unknown actors, drawn mainly from the central Texas region where it was shot. Principal photography took place between July 15th and August 14th, 1973.

Due to its extremely violent content, Hooper struggled to find a distributor for the film; Bryanston Pictures eventually picked it up. Hooper had limited the amount of onscreen gore in hopes of securing a PG rating, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it R. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre debuted on October 1st, 1974.

The film initially drew a mixed reception from critics and it was banned in many countries; nevertheless, it became a strong commercial success, grossing $30.9 million at the United States box office. Despite the early lack of critical consensus, it has gained a reputation as one of the most influential horror films in cinema history. It originated several elements common in the slasher film genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure.

Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) and her brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), travel with three friends—Jerry (Allen Danziger), Kirk (William Vail), and Pam (Teri McMinn)—to a cemetery where the grave of the Hardestys' grandfather is located. Their aim is to investigate reports of vandalism and corpse defilement. Afterward, they decide to visit an old Hardesty family homestead.

On the way there they pick up a hitchhiker (Edwin Neal). He behaves bizarrely, and slashes himself and Franklin with a straight razor before the group forces him out of the van. They stop at a gas station to refuel, but the proprietor (Jim Siedow) tells them that the pumps are empty. They continue to the homestead, intending to return to the gas station once the fuel has been delivered.

When they arrive, Franklin tells Kirk and Pam about a local swimming hole, and the couple head off to find it. Instead, they stumble upon a nearby house; Kirk calls out, asking for gas, while Pam waits on the front steps.

Kirk receives no answer but when he discovers the door is unlocked, he enters the house. Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) appears and kills him. Pam enters soon after and finds the house is filled with furniture made from human bones.

She attempts to flee, but Leatherface catches her and impales her on a meathook. At sunset, Jerry, Sally's boyfriend, heads out to look for Pam and Kirk. He finds the couple's blanket outside the nearby house. He investigates and finds Pam inside a freezer; she is still alive. Before he can react, Leatherface murders him and stuffs him in the freezer with Pam.

With darkness falling, Sally and Franklin set out to find their friends. As they near the neighboring house and call out, Leatherface lunges from the darkness and kills Franklin with a chainsaw.

Sally escapes to the house and finds the desiccated remains of an elderly couple in an upstairs room. She escapes from Leatherface by jumping through a second floor window and flees to the gas station. Leatherface disappears into the night.

The proprietor calms her with offers of help, but then ties her up and forces her into his truck. He drives to the house, arriving at the same time as the hitchhiker, who turns out to be Leatherface's younger brother.

When the pair bring Sally inside, the hitchhiker recognizes her and taunts her.The men torment the bound and gagged Sally, while Leatherface, now dressed as a woman, serves dinner.

Leatherface and the hitchhiker bring an old man from upstairs to join the meal. During the night, they decide Sally should be killed by "Grandpa" (John Dugan). "Grandpa" tries to hit Sally with a hammer, but he is too weak. In the confusion, Sally breaks free, leaps through a window, and escapes to the road.

Leatherface and the hitchhiker give chase, but the hitchhiker is run down and killed by a passing semi-trailer truck. Armed with his chainsaw, Leatherface attacks the truck when the driver stops to help. The driver hits him in the face with a large wrench. Sally escapes in the bed of a passing pickup truck as Leatherface waves the chainsaw above his head in frustration.

6. Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist is an American horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper, produced by Steven Spielberg, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 4, 1982.

It is the first and most successful of the Poltergeist film trilogy, and was nominated for three Academy Awards.The franchise is often said to be cursed, because several people associated with it, including stars Dominique Dunne and Heather O'Rourke, died prematurely.

"The Poltergeist Curse" has been the focus of an E! True Hollywood Story. The film was ranked as #80 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments and the Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 20th scariest film ever made. The film also appeared on American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Thrills, a list of America's most heart-pounding movies.

Steve and Diane Freeling, and their children Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne, are living a quiet life in a California suburb, when a group of seemingly benign ghosts begin communicating with five-year-old Carol Anne through the static on the family's television sets. A number of other bizarre occurrences follow, including an earthquake that only the Freelings feel, glasses and utensils that spontaneously break or bend, and the ominous announcement by Carol Anne that the ghosts are there with them.

Diane begins to realize the presence of beings in her home, which fascinates her. But when she brings these things to Steven's attention, he is disturbed and worried. One night, during a rainstorm, a gnarled tree comes to life and grabs Robbie through his bedroom window. However, this is merely a distraction used by the ghosts to get Carol Anne's parents to leave her unattended.

While Diane and Steven rescue Robbie, Carol Anne is sucked through a portal in her closet. The horrified Freelings realize she has been taken after they begin to hear her communicating through a television set. A group of parapsychologists from UC Irvine, Dr. Lesh, Ryan and Marty, come to the Freeling house to investigate.

They determine that the Freelings are experiencing a poltergeist, rather than a true haunting. Dr. Lesh explains that the spirits have not moved on to "the light" after death, but are stuck between dimensions.

They have taken Carol Anne, Lesh says, because as an innocent 5-year-old, her "life force" is as bright to them as the light, and they believe she is their salvation. During the investigation, Steven, a real estate agent for the subdivision development he lives in, is approached by his boss, Lewis Teague, about a promotion.

The new project will involve selling lots on a newly acquired hilltop parcel of land that currently houses a cemetery. When Steven balks at the idea of relocating the graveyard, his boss shrugs it off, explaining that the company had done it before, in the very neighborhood where Steven now lives.After a series of frightening paranormal episodes, Robbie and Dana are sent away for their safety.

The parapsychologists leave with the data they collected, but Dr. Lesh and Ryan soon return with a spiritual medium, Tangina Barrons, who informs Diane that Carol Anne is alive and in the house.

She also explains that, in addition to the peaceful lost souls inhabiting the house, there is a single malevolent spirit she calls the "Beast," that is using Carol Anne to keep the spirits away from the light.

The assembled group discovers that while the entrance to the other dimension is through the children's bedroom closet, the exit is through the living room ceiling. They send Diane to rescue Carol Anne, tying her to a rope that they've managed to thread through both portals. As Tangina coaxes the agonized spirits away from Carol Anne, Diane retrieves her daughter and they emerge through the living room ceiling, falling unconscious to the floor.

Tangina announces that the spirits are gone.However, while the spirits have moved on, the Beast has not. On the family's final night in the house, the Beast attacks Diane and the children.

Diane runs to her neighbors for help, and in the process, slips and falls into the unfinished swimming pool, from which coffins and rotting corpses erupt. Her neighbors, terrified by the ghostly energy blazing from the house, refuse to help.

Diane pulls out Robbie and Carol Anne from the house, and Dana returns from a date to find coffins and dead bodies exploding from the ground throughout the neighborhood. As Steven returns home to this mayhem, he realizes that when Teague relocated the cemetery under the subdivision, he merely moved the headstones in order to save money.

Teague appears soon after, joining the Freelings' neighbors in their horror at the Freeling house's explosive possession. An enraged Steven confronts him with the fact that by leaving the bodies in unmarked graves and building houses on top of them, Teague had desecrated their burial grounds.

As the Freelings drive away in terror, the house itself implodes into another dimension, to the astonishment of onlookers. The family checks into a Holiday Inn for the night. Taking no chances, Steven puts the room's television outside.

5. The Shining (1980)

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd.

The film is based on the novel of the same name, by Stephen King, about a writer with a wife and young son who accepts the job of off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel.

The son, who possesses psychic abilities, is able to see things in the future or past, such as the ghosts in the hotel. Soon after moving in, and after a paralyzing winter storm that leaves the family snowbound, the father becomes influenced by the supernatural presence in the haunted hotel; he descends into madness and attempts to kill his wife and son.

Unlike most films by Stanley Kubrick, which saw a slow gradual release building on word-of-mouth, The Shining was released in a manner more like a mass-market film, opening at first in just two cities on Memorial Day, and then a month later seeing a nationwide release (including drive-ins) after extensive television advertising.

Although initial response to the film was mixed, later critical assessment has been more favorable and it is now viewed as a classic of the horror genre. Martin Scorsese, writing in The Daily Beast, ranked it as one of the best horror films.

Film critics, film students, and Kubrick's producer, Jan Harlan, have all remarked on the enormous influence the film has had on popular culture which ranges from other macabre thrillers to the cartoon series The Simpsons.

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) arrives at the Overlook Hotel to interview for the open position of winter caretaker, with the aim of using the hotel's solitude to work on his writing. The hotel itself is built on the site of an Indian burial ground and becomes completely snowbound during the long winters. Manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) warns him that a previous caretaker got cabin fever and killed his family and himself.

Jack’s son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), has ESP and has had a terrifying premonition about the hotel. Jack's wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), tells a visiting doctor that Danny has an imaginary friend called Tony and that Jack had given up drinking because he had physically abused Danny after a binge.The family arrives at the hotel on closing day and is given a tour.

The elderly African-American chef Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) surprises Danny by speaking to him telepathically and offering him some ice cream. He explains to Danny that he and his grandmother shared the gift, which he calls "shining."

Danny asks if there is anything to be afraid of in the hotel, particularly Room 237. Hallorann tells Danny that the hotel itself has a "shine" to it along with many memories, not all of which are good. He tells Danny to stay out of room 237.

A month passes and Jack's writing project is going nowhere. Meanwhile, Danny and Wendy have fun and go in the hotel's hedge maze; Jack discovers a model of this maze, showing Wendy and Danny inside it, in one of the hotel lounges. Wendy is concerned about the phone lines being out due to the heavy snowfall and Danny has more frightening visions. As time passes, Jack becomes frustrated and slowly starts acting strangely, prone to violent outbursts.

Danny’s curiosity about Room 237 finally gets the better of him when he sees the room has been opened. Later, Danny shows up injured and visibly traumatized, causing Wendy to think that Jack has been abusing Danny. Jack wanders into the hotel’s Gold Room where he meets a ghostly bartender named Lloyd (Joe Turkel) who serves him bourbon on the rocks.

Jack complains to the bartender about his relationship with Wendy. Afterward, Wendy shows up and informs him that Danny told her a "crazy woman in one of the rooms" was responsible for his injuries. Jack investigates Room 237 and has an encounter with the ghost of a dead woman there, but tells Wendy he saw nothing.

Wendy and Jack argue about whether Danny should be removed from the hotel and Jack returns to the Gold Room, now filled with ghosts having a costume party.

Here, he meets who he believes is the ghost of the previous caretaker, Grady (Philip Stone), who tells Jack that he must "correct" his wife and child. Later, Jack sabotages the hotel's two-way radio and the snowcat, cutting off both communication with and access to the outside world. Meanwhile, in Florida, Dick Hallorann gets a premonition that something is wrong at the hotel and takes a flight back to Colorado to investigate. Danny starts calling out "redrum" frantically and goes into a trance, now referring to himself as "Tony."

Wendy discovers Jack's typewriter and that he has been typing endless pages of manuscript repeating "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" formatted in various styles. Horrified, she confronts Jack, but he threatens her before she knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat and locks him in a kitchen pantry.

Jack converses through the door with Grady, who then unlocks the door, releasing him.Danny has written "REDRUM" in lipstick on the door of Wendy’s bedroom. When Wendy sees this in a mirror, she sees that the letters spell out "MURDER".

Jack, armed with a fire axe, then begins to chop through the door leading to his family's living quarters. Wendy frantically sends Danny out through the bathroom window, but cannot fit through it herself.

Jack then starts chopping down the bathroom door with the axe and leers through the hole he has made, shouting "Here's Johnny!", but backs off after Wendy slashes his hand with a butcher knife.

Hearing the engine of a snowcat Hallorann has borrowed to get up the mountain, Jack leaves the room and begins to wander about the hotel, ambushing and killing Hallorann with the axe in the lobby.

Wendy escapes the bathroom and flees through the hotel, but encounters several ghosts along the way. Meanwhile, Jack pursues Danny into the hedge maze by following his footprints, but is misled when Danny manages to walk backwards in his own tracks and leaps behind a corner, covering his tracks with snow.

Wendy and Danny escape in Hallorann's snowcat while Jack slowly freezes to death in the hedge maze.In the final scene, the camera slowly zooms in on an old photograph taken at the hotel on July 4th, 1921 as Midnight, the Stars, and You is played through the hallways. A smiling Jack Torrance is at the front of the crowd of revelers.

4. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film, which blends elements of the crime and horror genres. It was directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and Ted Levine.

It is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, his second to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.

In the film, Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, seeks the advice of Hannibal Lecter, an imprisoned cannibal, for help in apprehending a serial killer known only as "Buffalo Bill." When The Silence of the Lambs was released on February 14th, 1991, it received much critical acclaim.

The film won the top five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The 1999 Bollywood film Sangharsh starring Preity Zinta, Akshay Kumar and Ashutosh Rana is an unofficial adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs.

Clarice Starling is pulled from her training at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, by Jack Crawford of the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit. He tasks her with interviewing Hannibal Lecter, a former psychiatrist and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer, believing Lecter's insight might be useful in the pursuit of a serial killer nicknamed "Buffalo Bill" who skins his female victims' corpses.

Starling travels to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where she is led by Dr. Frederick Chilton to Lecter's solitary quarters. Although initially pleasant and courteous, Lecter grows impatient with Starling's attempts at "dissecting" him and rebuffs her. As she is leaving, one of the prisoners obscenely flicks semen at her.

Lecter, who considers discourtesy "unspeakably ugly," calls Starling back and tells her to seek out an old patient of his. Starling is led to a storage lot where she discovers a man's severed head. She returns to Lecter, who tells her that the man is linked to Buffalo Bill.

Though Lecter denies killing this man, he offers to profile Buffalo Bill if he can be transferred away from Chilton, whom he dislikes. In light of Buffalo Bill's recent abduction of a U.S. Senator's daughter, Crawford authorizes Starling to offer Lecter a fake deal promising a prison transfer if he provides information that helps find Buffalo Bill and rescue the abductee.

Instead, Lecter begins a game of quid pro quo with Starling, offering comprehensive clues and insights about Buffalo Bill in exchange for events from Starling's childhood, something she was advised not to do.

Chilton secretly records the conversation and reveals Starling's deal as a sham before offering to transfer Lecter in exchange for a deal of Chilton's own making. Lecter agrees and is flown to Memphis where he reveals personal information on Buffalo Bill to federal agents.

As the manhunt begins, Starling visits Lecter at his special cell in a Tennessee courthouse and confronts him with her decryption of the name he provided ("Louis Friend," which is an anagram of "iron sulfide"). Lecter refuses Starling's pleas for the truth, as she believes everything he stated was false, and forces her to recount her traumatic childhood.

She tells him how she was orphaned, relocated to a relative's farm, discovered a lamb slaughterhouse and failed in an attempt to rescue one of the lambs. Lecter gives her the case files on Buffalo Bill, after their conversation is interrupted by Chilton and the police who escort her from the building.

Later that evening, Lecter manages to escape from his cell, killing his two guards in the process, and disappears.

Starling analyzes Lecter's annotations to the case files and realizes that Buffalo Bill's first victim knew him personally before he killed her. Starling travels to the victim's hometown and discovers that Buffalo Bill was a tailor, with dresses and templates identical to the patches of skin removed from each of his victims.

She telephones Crawford to inform him that Buffalo Bill is trying to fashion a "woman suit" of real skin, but Crawford is already en route to make an arrest, having cross-referenced Lecter's notes with a hospital's archives and finding a man named Jame Gumb who once applied for a sex-change operation.

Starling continues interviewing friends of Buffalo Bill's first victim while Crawford leads an FBI tactical team to Gumb's address in Illinois. Starling is led to the house of "Jack Gordon," who she realizes is actually Jame Gumb. She pursues him into his multi-room basement where she discovers the recently abducted Senator's daughter alive, but traumatized and trapped in a dry well.

After turning off the basement lights, Gumb stalks Starling in the dark with night vision goggles but gives his position away when he cocks his revolver, and is shot to death by Starling. Some time later at the FBI Academy graduation party, Starling receives a phone call from Lecter, who is at an airport in Bimini.

He assures her that he does not plan to pursue her and asks her to show him the same courtesy, which she says she cannot do. Lecter then hangs up the phone, saying he's "having an old friend for dinner", and begins following a newly arrived Chilton, who is fleeing since Lecter is at large.

3. Psycho (1960)

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film is based on the screenplay by Joseph Stefano, who adapted it from the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The novel was based on the crimes of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.

The film depicts the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who is in hiding at a motel after embezzling from her employer, and the motel's owner, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), and the aftermath of their encounter.

Psycho initially received mixed reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted a re-review which was overwhelmingly positive and led to four Academy Award nominations.

The film differs from many of the other horror films of early cinema, in that it takes place in the present day. Psycho is now considered one of Hitchcock's best films and is highly praised as a work of cinematic art by international critics. The film spawned two sequels, a prequel, a remake, and a television movie spin-off. The film is often categorized by multiple sources as a drama, horror, mystery and thriller film.

In need of money to marry her lover Sam Loomis, Marion Crane steals $40,000 from her employer and flees Phoenix by car. While en route to Sam's California home, she parks along the road to sleep. A highway patrol officer awakens her and, suspicious of her agitated state, he begins to follow her. When she trades her car for another one at a dealership, he notes the new vehicle's details.

Marion returns to the road but decides to spend the night at the Bates Motel rather than drive in a heavy storm. Owner Norman Bates tells Marion he rarely has customers because of a new interstate nearby and mentions he lives with his mother in the house overlooking the motel. He invites Marion to have supper with him.

She overhears Norman arguing with his mother about his and Marion's sexual intentions, and during the meal she angers him by suggesting he institutionalize his mother. He admits he would like to do so but doesn't want to abandon her. Marion resolves to return to Phoenix to return the money. As she undresses in her room, Norman watches through a peephole in his office wall.

After calculating how she can repay the money she has spent, Marion flushes her notes down the toilet and begins to shower. An anonymous female figure enters the bathroom and stabs her to death. Finding the corpse, Norman is horrified by his mother's actions. He cleans the bathroom and places Marion's body, wrapped in the shower curtain, and all her possessions – including the money – in the trunk of her car and sinks it in a swamp.

Shortly afterward, Sam is contacted by both Marion's sister Lila and private detective Milton Arbogast, who has been hired by Marion's employer to find her and recover the money. Arbogast traces Marion to the motel and questions Norman, whose lies cause him to begin to stutter. He refuses to let Arbogast talk to his mother, claiming she is ill.

Arbogast calls Lila to update her and tells her he will contact her again after hopefully questioning Norman's mother. Arbogast enters Norman's house and at the top of the stairs is attacked by a figure who slashes his face with a knife, pushes him down the stairs, then stabs him to death.

When Arbogast does not call Lila, she and Sam contact the local police. Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers is perplexed to learn Arbogast saw a woman in a window, since Norman's mother died ten years ago.

Norman confronts his mother and urges her to hide in the cellar. She rejects the idea and orders him out of her room, but against her will Norman carries her to the cellar. Posing as a married couple, Sam and Lila check into the motel and search Marion's room, where they find a scrap of paper with "$40,000" written on it.

While Sam distracts Norman, Lila sneaks into the house to search for his mother. Sam suggests Norman killed Marion for the money so he could buy a new hotel. Realizing Lila is not around, Norman knocks Sam unconscious and rushes to the house.

Lila sees him and hides in the cellar where she discovers the semi-preserved and hideously mummified body of Mrs. Bates. Wearing his mother's clothes and a wig and carrying a knife, Norman enters and tries to attack Lila, who is rescued by Sam.

After Norman's arrest, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Fred Richmond tells Sam and Lila Mrs. Bates is living in Norman's psyche. After the death of Norman's father, the pair lived as if they were the only people in the world. When his mother found a lover, Norman murdered both of them. Consumed with guilt, he tried to "erase the crime" by bringing his mother to life in his mind. He stole her corpse and preserved the body. When he is "Mother", he acts, talks, and dresses as she would.

Norman imagined his mother would be as jealous of a woman to whom he might be attracted just as he was of his mother's lover. His psychosis protects him from knowing about other crimes committed after his mother's death. The sheriff mentions the unsolved disappearances of two young girls.

In the final scene, Norman sits in a cell, his mind dominated by the Mother persona. In voiceover, she explains she plans to prove to the authorities she is incapable of violence by refusing to swat a fly that has landed on her hand. The final shot shows Marion's car being recovered from the swamp.

2. Orphan (2009)

Orphan is a 2009 American horror and thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Isabelle Fuhrman in the title role.

The film centers on a couple who, after the death of their unborn child, adopt a mysterious 9-year old girl.

Orphan was produced by Joel Silver and Susan Downey of Dark Castle Entertainment and Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran of Appian Way Productions. The film was released theatrically in the United States on July 24th, 2009.

The film received mixed critical reviews but Fuhrman's performance as Esther was acclaimed.

Kate Coleman (Vera Farmiga) and her husband John (Peter Sarsgaard), are experiencing strains in their marriage after Kate's third child was stillborn. The loss is particularly hard on Kate, who is also recovering from alcoholism. They adopt Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a 9-year-old Russian girl, from the local orphanage.

While Kate and John's deaf daughter Max (Aryana Engineer) embraces Esther almost immediately, their son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett) is less welcoming. At school, after mocking her old-fashioned dress, Esther's classmates attempt to take her Bible and strip off the ribbons she always wears on her wrists and neck, causing Esther to scream hysterically.

Kate grows suspicious when Esther expresses far more knowledge of sex than would be expected of a child her age, and later discovers that Esther was deceptive about her piano playing ability.

She is further alarmed when Sister Abigail (C. C. H. Pounder), the head of the orphanage, comes to their home to warn her and John that whenever Esther is around, bad things seem to happen, which is overheard by Esther. As Sister Abigail is leaving in her car, Esther pushes Max into its path, forcing her to swerve the car off the road.

As Sister Abigail rushes over to see if Max is hurt, Esther kills the nun with a hammer. She convinces Max to help her hide the weapon in their treehouse. Meanwhile, Kate's attempts to tell John about Esther's strange ways fall on deaf ears. Attempting to learn more about Esther, Kate finds the girl's hidden Bible which came from a mental hospital in Estonia called the Saarne Institute.

She e-mails a picture of Esther to them and asks that a doctor call her back with more information. As Daniel learns about the death of Sister Abigail from Max, Esther overhears him detail a plan to retrieve the hammer to prove Esther's guilt.

While Daniel searches the treehouse, Esther appears with the hammer and drops it in front of him. Spraying lighter fluid on it and the floor, she sets the treehouse ablaze.

Daniel falls to the ground trying to escape the fire, and is knocked unconscious. Esther tries to kill him with a rock, but Max stops her.

While Daniel is hospitalized from his fall, Esther slips into his room and smothers him with a pillow, stopping his heart, but doctors quickly revive him. Kate, realizing what happened, attacks Esther but orderlies help John restrain her.

As John takes Esther and Max home, doctors sedate Kate. That night, Esther tries to seduce a drunken John, who finally realizes Kate might have been right about her. He threatens to send her back to the orphanage and she runs crying to her room.

Meanwhile, as Kate is coming out of sedation, she receives a call on her cell phone from a doctor at the Saarne Institute, who reveals that Esther is actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer.

She has hypopituitarism, a condition that stunted her physical growth, and has spent most of her life posing as a little girl. The doctor tells Kate that Leena is extremely dangerous and has killed a number of people in the past, including an adoptive family whose father refused her romantic advances. Leena, angry and hurt at being spurned by John, ransacks her room and removes the makeup, false teeth, and body wrappings that enhanced her illusion as youthful Esther.

After taking off the wrist and neck bands that hid scars caused by the straitjacket she wore in the mental hospital, Leena attacks John with a knife. Max sees Leena stabbing her father repeatedly and hides.

Kate, unable to get John on the phone, rushes home, only to find John dead on the floor. Leena fetches a gun from their safe and shoots Kate in the arm, then goes to search for Max, finding her in the greenhouse.

While Leena shoots at Max, Kate manages to crawl out onto the greenhouse roof, breaks through the glass above Leena, and knocks her out. Kate takes the gun and leaves the greenhouse with Max. Leena regains consciousness and finds Kate outside near a frozen pond, where she lunges at her, hurling them both onto the ice as Max watches from a hill above.

Max picks up the gun that was dropped by Kate during the struggle and tries to shoot Leena, but hits the ice instead, causing Kate and Leena to drop into the water. After a brief struggle, Kate climbs out with Leena desperately clinging to her legs. Leena, calling Kate "mommy", begs her not to let her die while holding a knife behind her back.

Kate angrily responds that she is not her mother, and kicks Leena in the face, sending her sinking back into the pond. Max and Kate are met by the police moments later.

1. Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim, dealing with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests.

The film features Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller, and Mercedes McCambridge.

The film is one of a cycle of 'demonic child' movies produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Rosemary's Baby and The Omen.

The film became the most profitable horror film of all time and one of the highest earning movies in general, grossing $401,400,000 worldwide (and a further $112,053,066 for the Director's Cut re-release in 2000), and at the time of release briefly became the highest-grossing film of all time, until being surpassed one year later by Steven Spielberg's Jaws.

The film proved a huge effect on popular culture. The film earned ten Academy Award nominations—winning two, one for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay, and losing Best Picture to The Sting. Along with the novel on which it was based, Blatty's script has been published several times over the years.

The Exorcist was commercially released in the United States by Warner Bros. on December 26th, 1973, and re-released on March 17th, 2000, with a restored version released on September 22nd, 2000.

It was named the scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly and and by viewers of AMC in 2006, and was #3 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

Starting at an archaeological dig in Al-hadar near Nineveh in Iraq, Father Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow), an archaeologist, visits a site where a small stone is found, resembling a grimacing, bestial creature. Merrin travels onward to find the strange statue of Pazuzu, which has a head similar to the one found earlier.Meanwhile, another priest, Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller), a young priest at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother's terminal illness.

The main story follows Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), an actress filming in Georgetown, who notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior of her 12-year-old daughter, Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair).

Regan has a seizure, then exhibits strange, unnatural powers including levitation and great strength. Regan curses and blasphemes in a demonic male voice.

Chris initially believes Regan's changes are related to puberty, but doctors suspect a lesion in her brain. Regan endures a series of unpleasant medical tests. When X-rays show nothing out of the ordinary, a doctor advises that Regan be taken to a psychiatrist, whom she assaults. Paranormal occurrences continue, including a violently shaking bed, strange noises, and unexplained movements.

Along with these things, the director of Chris MacNeil's film, Burke Dennings (Jack MacGowran), is found brutally murdered outside the MacNeil residence.

When all medical explanations are exhausted, a doctor recommends exorcism, suggesting that if Regan's symptoms are a psychosomatic result of a belief in demonic possession, then perhaps an exorcism would have the psychosomatic effect of ending them. In desperation, Chris consults Karras, since he is both a priest and a psychiatrist.

During a period in which Karras observes Regan, she constantly refers to herself as the Devil. Karras initially believes her to be merely suffering from psychosis, until he records her speaking in a strange language which turns out to be English spoken backwards.

Despite his doubts, Karras decides to request permission from the Church to conduct an exorcism.Merrin, an experienced exorcist, is summoned to Washington to help.

He and Father Karras try to drive the spirit from Regan. The demon threatens and taunts both priests, both physically and verbally (including the demon using the voice of Karras' mother), and Merrin dies of a heart attack. Karras attempts to perform CPR to no avail. Regan giggles as Karras tries to save Merrin. Karras strikes her and chokes her, challenging the demon to leave Regan and enter him.

The demon does so, whereupon the priest throws himself through Regan's bedroom window and falls down the steps outside. At the bottom, a devastated Father Dyer (William O'Malley)—and friend of Father Karras—administers last rites as Father Karras dies.

Regan is restored to health and does not appear to remember her ordeal. Chris and Regan leave Georgetown and their trauma behind.