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Top 10 Anthology Horror Films

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough It's time to look over some unforgettable collections of savagery and satire. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Anthology Horror Movies. For this list, we're focusing specifically on horror anthologies consisting of numerous short stories in one feature film, which means that horror flicks with only one central narrative didn’t make the cut. Special thanks to our users Norris Vaughn and 7AMart1 for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.com
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Top 10 Anthology Horror Films


It's time to look over some unforgettable collections of savagery and satire. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Anthology Horror Movies.

For this list, we’re focusing specifically on horror anthologies consisting of numerous short stories in one feature film, which means that horror flicks with only one central narrative didn’t make the “cut.”

#10: “Kwaidan” (1964)

It’s an art house flick whose name literally translates to “Ghost Stories,” and it will literally make you wet yourself from pure terror. Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, “Kwaidan” consists of four creepy chapters based on Japanese folklore that Roger Ebert called “an assembly of ghost stories that is among the most beautiful films [he’d] seen.” It’s an artistic way of ravaging your brain with haunting images and sounds. Only the brave dare watch “Kwaidan,” but given that it won the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival, it’s probably worth your time.

#9: “Twilight Zone: The Movie” (1983)

Before this film was even released, it already carried an enormous amount of weight based on the reputation of Rod Serling’s iconic TV series. And after Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed in a helicopter crash while filming, it took on a whole new level of notoriety. Even so, most horror anthologies don’t enjoy the luxury of having names like Steven Spielberg as one of the directors. Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks starring in a prologue segment directed by John Landis is another highlight. Plus, “Twilight Zone” alumnus Burgess Meredith steps in as narrator, typing these distinct and eerie tales together.

#8: “Dead of Night” (1945)

Are you one of those tough guys or gals that can’t stand to watch older films? Well, sit down, get this film rolling, and prepare to have your soul thoroughly wrecked by the film that popularized the anthology style for horror flicks. Released around the conclusion of WWII, “Dead of Night” caused audiences to slowly but surely drop their jaws as Michael Redgrave’s ventriloquist freaked them the heck out. Martin Scorsese actually named “Dead of Night” as one of the scariest horror films of all time. If you think older films are boring, this British anthology will prove you wrong.

#7: “Tales from the Darkside: The Movie” (1990)

Based on stories by Stephen King and Arthur Conan Doyle, this anthology features Blondie singer Debbie Harry as well as a young Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi and many others – now that’s some serious star power. Together, they act out stories about mummified students, evil cats and killer gargoyles, which are all tied together under the guise of stories a boy is telling to the witch who prepping him for dinner. Critics didn’t exactly praise “Tales from the Darkside,” but it made us cry like a bunch of little kids, and is still destroying dreams years later – so it obviously did something right.

#6: “Asylum” (1972)

When it comes to horror films, the ‘70s had it goin’ on, as most of the decades’ anthologies were sick and disgusting – and we mean that in a good way. “Asylum” was one of those films, and with a horror director extraordinaire like Roy Ward Baker guiding the action, it was one of the most polished genre productions of its time. Of course, it helps to have actors like Peter Cushing, Charlotte Rampling and Britt Ekland in your corner, all of whom were unforgettable as characters destined to be terrorized for our personal entertainment – whether their stories involved voodoo, magic suits, crazy ladies or mannequins coming to life.

#5: “V/H/S/2” (2013)

Well, here’s an anthology that requires a stiff drink and possibly a few painkillers. And if you’re familiar with the segment known as “Safe Haven,” then you know what we’re talkin’ about. As the sequel to the original 2012 anthology, “V/H/S/2” beholds the same found-footage narrative that shows unsuspecting people being systemically slaughtered. Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but well, it’s the truth. It’s deeply disturbing and unsetting; an anthology that pushes the limits of how to entertain audiences in sick fashion.

#4: “Tales from the Crypt” (1972)

Death lives. Yet another ‘70s creepfest from Amicus Productions, this Freddie Francis film centers on a group of tourists unfamiliar with a deadly fact. The Crypt Keeper reinforced the idea with his charming presence and remarkable story-telling abilities, describing the visitors’ deaths to them in great detail. In the end, the five chilling tales of “Tales from the Crypt” left an indelible mark on all those who embraced the darkness. Hypnotic and with clear morals at the end of the stories, this campy anthology based on the EC Comics stories will leave you trembling by the end.

#3: “Black Sabbath” (1963)

Entitled “I tre volti della paura” in its native Italian, Mario Bava’s triptych of terror was influential not only in the realm of film, but also to a band that went on to innovate heavy metal. As Europeans had a little more leeway when it came to horror aesthetics, the violence and sexuality of “Black Sabbath” shocked Americans upon first viewing, so much so that a young director named Quentin Tarantino was inspired to apply a similar concept to a film that would become “Pulp Fiction.” Blessed by the presence of horror icon Boris Karloff, it proved to be a sophisticated and well-written film that’s a great way to kick off any horror anthology marathon.

#2: “Trick ‘r Treat” (2007)

One year before Anna Paquin began her run on HBO’s “True Blood,” she starred in a horror anthology that failed miserably at the box office. However, “Trick ‘r Treat” has since become one of the most critically acclaimed horror anthologies of recent years thanks to the collection of spooky Halloween tales and one little burlap sack-wearing weirdo. Produced by Bryan Singer, this horror gem has earned itself a cult following while reminding audiences to obey the Halloween tradition, unless you want to become someone’s Holiday treat.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Tales from the Hood” (1995)

- “Trilogy of Terror” (1975)

- “Body Bags” (1993)

- “Three… Extremes” (2004)

- “Campfire Tales” (1997)


#1: “Creepshow” (1982)

After decades of legitimately frightening horror anthologies, filmmakers began to take a more satirical approach, and no one was better suited to pull that off with appropriate levels of reverence than the Godfather of all Zombies, George A. Romero. For “Creepshow,” he teamed up with writer Stephen King and a slew of well-known actors for a five-story anthology about “weird kids” and plenty of comedic horror. In fact, Stephen King’s own son starred as the creepy kid that would have his vengeance. “Creepshow” marked a new era of horror anthologies, and much to joy of the horror fans, a sequel arrived in theatres five years later.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite anthology horror movie? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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