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The 50 Greatest Horror Films Of The 1970s
A selection of the very best horror films of the 70s.
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- Release Year
1. The Exorcist (1973)
R | 122 min | Horror
When a young girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two Catholic priests to save her life.
Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn , Max von Sydow , Linda Blair , Lee J. Cobb
Votes: 440,718 | Gross: $232.91M
2. Jaws (1975)
PG | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.
Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider , Robert Shaw , Richard Dreyfuss , Lorraine Gary
Votes: 643,275 | Gross: $260.00M
3. Halloween (1978)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.
Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence , Jamie Lee Curtis , Tony Moran , Nancy Kyes
Votes: 297,465 | Gross: $47.00M
4. Alien (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
The crew of a commercial spacecraft encounters a deadly lifeform after investigating an unknown transmission.
Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver , Tom Skerritt , John Hurt , Veronica Cartwright
Votes: 924,217 | Gross: $78.90M
5. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller
During an escalating zombie epidemic, two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter and his TV executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
Director: George A. Romero | Stars: David Emge , Ken Foree , Scott H. Reiniger , Gaylen Ross
Votes: 126,122 | Gross: $5.10M
6. The Wicker Man (1973)
R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A puritan Police Sergeant arrives in a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl, who the Pagan locals claim never existed.
Director: Robin Hardy | Stars: Edward Woodward , Christopher Lee , Diane Cilento , Britt Ekland
Votes: 88,600 | Gross: $0.06M
7. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
R | 83 min | Horror
Five friends head out to rural Texas to visit the grave of a grandfather. On the way they stumble across what appears to be a deserted house, only to discover something sinister within. Something armed with a chainsaw.
Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns , Edwin Neal , Allen Danziger , Paul A. Partain
Votes: 177,590 | Gross: $30.86M
8. Carrie (1976)
R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.
Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek , Piper Laurie , Amy Irving , John Travolta
Votes: 200,721 | Gross: $33.80M
9. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
PG | 107 min | Drama, Horror
Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to Wismar, spreading the Black Plague across the land. Only a woman pure of heart can bring an end to his reign of horror.
Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski , Isabelle Adjani , Bruno Ganz , Roland Topor
10. Suspiria (1977)
R | 92 min | Horror
An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.
Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jessica Harper , Stefania Casini , Flavio Bucci , Miguel Bosé
11. Daughters of Darkness (1971)
R | 87 min | Horror
While passing through a vacation resort, a newlywed couple encounters a mysterious, strikingly beautiful countess and her aide.
Director: Harry Kümel | Stars: Delphine Seyrig , John Karlen , Danielle Ouimet , Andrea Rau
12. Don't Look Now (1973)
R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.
Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Julie Christie , Donald Sutherland , Hilary Mason , Clelia Matania
Votes: 60,536 | Gross: $0.98M
13. The Omen (1976)
R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery
Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?
Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Gregory Peck , Lee Remick , Harvey Stephens , David Warner
Votes: 127,395 | Gross: $4.27M
14. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
PG | 115 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
When strange seeds drift to earth from space, mysterious pods begin to grow and invade San Francisco, replicating the city's residents one body at a time.
Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Donald Sutherland , Brooke Adams , Jeff Goldblum , Veronica Cartwright
Votes: 66,778 | Gross: $24.95M
15. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Horror
Doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar Anton Phibes seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for the death of his wife.
Director: Robert Fuest | Stars: Vincent Price , Joseph Cotten , Hugh Griffith , Terry-Thomas
Votes: 16,275 | Gross: $0.55M
16. Martin (1977)
R | 95 min | Drama, Horror
A young man, who believes himself to be a vampire, goes to live with his elderly and hostile cousin in a small Pennsylvania town where he tries to redeem his blood-craving urges.
Director: George A. Romero | Stars: John Amplas , Lincoln Maazel , Christine Forrest , Elyane Nadeau
Votes: 12,238 | Gross: $0.10M
17. The Night Stalker (1972 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 74 min | Horror, Mystery
An abrasive Las Vegas newspaper reporter investigates a series of murders committed by a vampire.
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Darren McGavin , Carol Lynley , Simon Oakland , Ralph Meeker
18. Theater of Blood (1973)
R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.
Director: Douglas Hickox | Stars: Vincent Price , Diana Rigg , Ian Hendry , Harry Andrews
19. The Brood (1979)
R | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, amidst a series of brutal murders.
Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Oliver Reed , Samantha Eggar , Art Hindle , Henry Beckman
20. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
PG | 95 min | Horror
A physicist, his wife and two mediums are hired to investigate the Belasco House, where 27 guests had inexplicably died in 1927, along with most of a team of paranormal investigators that was sent in the early 1950s.
Director: John Hough | Stars: Roddy McDowall , Gayle Hunnicutt , Pamela Franklin , Clive Revill
21. Frankenstein: The True Story (1973 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 185 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
When the brilliant but unorthodox scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein rejects the artificial man that he has created, the Creature escapes and later swears revenge.
Director: Jack Smight | Stars: James Mason , Leonard Whiting , David McCallum , Jane Seymour
22. Deep Red (1975)
R | 127 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A jazz pianist and a wisecracking journalist are pulled into a complex web of mystery after the former witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic.
Director: Dario Argento | Stars: David Hemmings , Daria Nicolodi , Gabriele Lavia , Macha Méril
23. Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.
Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Paul Williams , William Finley , Jessica Harper , Gerrit Graham
Votes: 21,504 | Gross: $0.16M
24. Shivers (1975)
R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.
Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Paul Hampton , Joe Silver , Lynn Lowry , Allan Kolman
25. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller
On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.
Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Susan Lanier , Robert Houston , John Steadman , Janus Blythe
Votes: 38,216 | Gross: $25.00M
26. Black Christmas (1974)
R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.
Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Olivia Hussey , Keir Dullea , Margot Kidder , John Saxon
Votes: 45,485 | Gross: $4.05M
27. House of Dark Shadows (1970)
GP | 97 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally released from his centuries-long confinement at his family's estate in Maine. He targets his clueless descendants who live there now and pursues Maggie, the incarnation of his lost love.
Director: Dan Curtis | Stars: Jonathan Frid , Grayson Hall , Kathryn Leigh Scott , Roger Davis
Votes: 3,344 | Gross: $4.00M
28. Count Dracula (1977 TV Movie)
TV-PG | 150 min | Drama, Horror
The vampire count leaves his Transylvanian home to wreak havoc across the world.
Director: Philip Saville | Stars: Louis Jourdan , Frank Finlay , Susan Penhaligon , Judi Bowker
29. Dead of Night (1974)
PG | 88 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A young soldier killed in the Vietnam War inexplicably shows up at his family home on the night of his death.
Director: Bob Clark | Stars: John Marley , Lynn Carlin , Richard Backus , Henderson Forsythe
Votes: 5,811 | Gross: $0.03M
30. Salem's Lot (1979)
PG | 200 min | Horror
A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.
Stars: David Soul , James Mason , Lance Kerwin , Bonnie Bedelia
31. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973 TV Movie)
Unrated | 74 min | Horror
A young couple inherits an old mansion inhabited by small demon-like creatures who are determined to make the wife one of their own.
Director: John Newland | Stars: Kim Darby , Jim Hutton , Barbara Anderson , William Demarest
32. Death Line (1972)
Unrated | 87 min | Horror
When a government official disappears in the London tunnels, after several reports of missing people in the same location, Scotland Yard start to take the matter seriously, along with a couple who stumble into a victim by accident.
Director: Gary Sherman | Stars: Donald Pleasence , Norman Rossington , David Ladd , Sharon Gurney
33. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
R | 95 min | Horror
A cop chases two hippies suspected of a series of Manson family-like murders; unbeknownst to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a hunger for human flesh by ultrasonic radiation being used for pest control.
Director: Jorge Grau | Stars: Cristina Galbó , Ray Lovelock , Arthur Kennedy , Aldo Massasso
34. A Bay of Blood (1971)
R | 84 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
The murder of a wealthy countess triggers a chain reaction of brutal killings in the surrounding bay area, as several unscrupulous characters try to seize her large estate.
Director: Mario Bava | Stars: Claudine Auger , Luigi Pistilli , Claudio Camaso , Anna Maria Rosati
35. The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)
R | 97 min | Horror
In 17th-century England, the children of a village slowly convert into a coven of devil worshipers.
Director: Piers Haggard | Stars: Patrick Wymark , Linda Hayden , Barry Andrews , Michele Dotrice
36. From Beyond the Grave (1974)
PG | 97 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
An anthology of four short horror stories revolving around a mysterious antique shop owner and his antique pieces, each of which hides a deadly secret.
Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Peter Cushing , Ian Bannen , Ian Carmichael , Diana Dors
37. Frightmare (1974)
R | 88 min | Horror
After escaping a death sentence for her hideous crimes, a seemingly rehabilitated woman settles in an isolated farmhouse with her husband, only to ache, once more, for blood, and a crash-course in surgery. Is, indeed, her old self back?
Director: Pete Walker | Stars: Rupert Davies , Sheila Keith , Deborah Fairfax , Paul Greenwood
38. The Last House on the Left (1972)
R | 84 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
Two teenage girls heading to a rock concert for one's birthday try to score marijuana in the city, where they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychopathic convicts.
Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Sandra Peabody , Lucy Grantham , David Hess , Fred J. Lincoln
Votes: 39,484 | Gross: $3.10M
39. Phantasm (1979)
R | 89 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber, known only as the Tall Man, who employs a lethal arsenal of unearthly weapons.
Director: Don Coscarelli | Stars: A. Michael Baldwin , Bill Thornbury , Reggie Bannister , Kathy Lester
Votes: 40,195 | Gross: $11.99M
40. Rabid (1977)
R | 91 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A young woman develops a taste for human blood after experimental plastic surgery, and her victims turn into blood-thirsty zombies, leading into a city-wide epidemic.
Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Marilyn Chambers , Frank Moore , Terry Schonblum , Joe Silver
41. Piranha (1978)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.
Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Bradford Dillman , Heather Menzies-Urich , Kevin McCarthy , Keenan Wynn
Votes: 23,871 | Gross: $6.00M
42. Tales from the Crypt (1972)
PG | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.
Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Joan Collins , Peter Cushing , Ralph Richardson , Geoffrey Bayldon
Votes: 12,553 | Gross: $1.70M
43. The Crazies (1973)
R | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
The military attempts to contain a manmade combat virus that causes death and permanent insanity in those infected, as it overtakes a small Pennsylvania town.
Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Lane Carroll , Will MacMillan , Harold Wayne Jones , Lloyd Hollar
Votes: 14,409 | Gross: $0.15M
44. Asylum (I) (1972)
PG | 88 min | Horror
In order to secure a job at a mental institution, a young psychiatrist must interview four patients inside the asylum.
Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Barbara Parkins , Richard Todd , Sylvia Syms , Peter Cushing
45. Blacula (1972)
PG | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror, Romance
An 18th century African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula, finds himself in modern day Los Angeles.
Director: William Crain | Stars: William Marshall , Vonetta McGee , Denise Nicholas , Thalmus Rasulala
Votes: 7,593 | Gross: $3.00M
46. Horror Express (1972)
R | 88 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
While on the Trans-Siberian Express, an anthropologist and his rival must contain the threat posed by the former's cargo: a prehistoric ape which is the host for a parasitic life-form.
Director: Eugenio Martín | Stars: Christopher Lee , Peter Cushing , Alberto de Mendoza , Telly Savalas
47. Trilogy of Terror (1975 TV Movie)
Unrated | 72 min | Horror, Thriller
Three bizarre horror stories, all of which star Karen Black in four different roles playing four tormented women.
Director: Dan Curtis | Stars: Robert Burton , John Karlen , George Gaynes , Jim Storm
48. God Told Me To (1976)
R | 91 min | Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi
A New York detective investigates a series of murders committed by random New Yorkers who claim that "God told them to."
Director: Larry Cohen | Stars: Tony Lo Bianco , Deborah Raffin , Sandy Dennis , Sylvia Sidney
49. The Vampire Lovers (1970)
R | 91 min | Horror
Seductive vampire Carmilla Karnstein and her family target the beautiful and the rich in a remote area of late eighteenth-century Gemany.
Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Ingrid Pitt , Pippa Steel , Madeline Smith , Peter Cushing
50. The Creeping Flesh (1973)
PG | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »
Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Christopher Lee , Peter Cushing , Lorna Heilbron , George Benson
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