May 23, 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, a crowning achievement in the world of horror. Even though Kubrick, the auteur, and Stephen King, the novelist, butted heads over their vision for the film, Jack Nicholson embodied the psychologically frightening Jack Torrance and his descent into madness in the Overlook. Chopping into a bathroom with an axe, pools of blood cascading out of elevators, and all kinds of creepy figures waiting behind every door, this is a terrifyingly epic film. Salute a master when they present you beauty.
Horror movies hardly ever get the respect they deserve. Save for the fanatics, who worship at the feet of Wes Craven, Stanley Kubrick, and Stephen King, even the most acclaimed creepy thriller or slasher film is usually buried by dramas and biopics when award season rolls around. Only lately, thanks in large part to Blumhouse Productions, have horror movies started to get their due, with upcoming films like Candyman and Spiral attracting the crowds who loved films like Get Out and the recent Halloween reboot.
Whether they're based on a true story (sort of) like The Conjuring, a low budget found footage piece like The Blair Witch Project, or more sci-fi leaning like The Sixth Sense, the best horror movies are well-acted and able to terrify even a seasoned scary movie vet. If you're on the prowl for horror movies on Netflix, or just trying to learn more about the genre, check out this list of the scariest movies of all time.