Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Vortex

Without question, the horror genre remains one of the most universally appealing of all – there’s something about it that seems to tap into our innate desire to torment ourselves. Whether its gory creature features or haunted houses in the middle of the forest, the horror genre has a slew of classic tropes at its disposal – but where did they come from?

Assessing the most well known titles prior to the 21st century, a list to top all other lists has been created. We used one simple criteria, and one that marks the most essential element of a true horror film: it must have been made with the intention to genuinely frighten the heck out of you.

Get your stakes sharpened, your headshots lined up, and your crucifixes at the ready – we’re in for a wild ride.

10. Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist Poster
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

What if Steven Spielberg directed full-blown horror? Chances are it would end up looking a hell of a lot like Poltergeist. It’s a relentlessly entertaining movie filled with charm and humour, but several of its most famous sequences are downright terrifying. Who could forget the old tree smashing through the window, or the clown attack?

As a haunted house movie then, Poltergeist is one of the best, a landmark film that’s imitated to this very day. I mean, at the very least, it makes getting square eyes the least of your worries when watching TV.

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