It is curious that some of the best horror movies of all time can be both terrifying and enjoyable in equal measure. For lovers of the genre, we invite you to join us in taking a look at the top 3 horror movies in the world of recent decades. That is, if you are ready to have a "bad" time.

top 3 horror movies in the world

Before starting with this review of the top 3 best horror movies in the world and in history, it's important to recognize there will always be disagreements due to our difference in taste, but we are sure that this list of the top 3 horror movies in the world contains good entertainment that is more than about giving you a cheap scare.

The top 3 horror movies in the world below certainly can't account for all the best productions within the genre, but the artistic and cultural impact they've had on not just horror but all of cinema cannot be denied. Without further ado, let's get right into it:

Top 3 Horror Movies in the World That Changed Cinema Forever

1. The Exorcist

Release year: 1973
Director: William Friedkin
Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Kitty Winn, Lee J. Cobb, Linda Blair, and Max von Sydow.

For all those who may feel put off by a movie that is over 40 years old, it must be said in its favor that it is one of the best and most acclaimed horror movies of all time for critics, audiences and anyone else. The Exorcist is also one of the movies with the most parodies and references that are remembered today.

This cinematic adaptation of the novel by William Peter Blatty is inspired by a real exorcism that occurred in Washington, USA in 1949. The movie tells of the demonic possession of Regan MacNeil, a 12-year-old girl, who experiences physiological disturbances and extreme mood swings leading to more and more violent acts, as well as the exorcism to which she is subjected.

top 3 horror movies in the world

The Exorcist has 2 Oscars to its credit: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound. It is said that to generate that atmosphere of terror and tension in the viewer, the squeals of pigs were mixed with beehives and all kinds of highly stressful noises.

Such was the "fever" that came with the movie during its premiere that many viewers suffered nervous attacks and the owners of movie theaters decided, as a marketing move, to park ambulances at the entrance of the buildings where the movie would be shown.

Without a doubt, it must be said that The Exorcist is one of top 3 horror movies in the world and whoever has not been scared by it must have been a brave person from head to toe.

2. Alien

Release year: 1979
Director: Ridley Scott.
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, John Hurt.

At first, the movie was supposed to be called 'Memory', a name that was replaced by 'Star Beast' and finally became 'Alien' in its original version. And we are thankful they decided on a good title at the end.

Alien was the movie that propelled Sigourney Weaver to fame and such was its success that it generated a franchise of novels, comics, video games and toys, as well as three sequels, two crossovers and two other movies related to the original Alien, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. The xenomorph became one of the most copied and inspiring designs in horror movies.

top 3 horror movies in the world

The movie, which has just turned 40 last year, tells the story of the Nostromo cargo ship and its seven crew members as they head to a strange planet after the central computer detected a strange transmission of an unknown life form.

This incredible horror movie won numerous awards such as the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design and Best Sound at the BAFTA Awards. For a horror movie to achieve these accolades, it deserves to be among the top 3 horror movies in the world.

3. The Shining

Release year: 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson and Philip Stone

This iconic movie is based on the horror novel of the same name by Stephen King (1977) and for many it is the best horror movie in history. The Shining tells the story of Jack Torrance, a low-time writer who accepts the position of caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, an isolated place in the mountains of Colorado.

Over time and due to the influence of the evil that lives there, he will be immersed in a spiral of violence against his own wife and son. In parallel to the main plot, we can see other subplots full of symbolic representations, subliminal clues and psychological inquiries about human nature and evil.

Despite the initial cold reception at its premiere, little by little, The Shining has managed to win over the public and is now considered a true cult movie within horror cinema.

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