The Best Supernatural Horror Movies

9 of the best supernatural horror movies

The Exorcist (1973)

Directed by William Friedkin and based on William Peter Blatty's novel, The Exorcist remains one of the most powerful and unsettling films ever made. It tells the story of a young girl possessed by a demonic entity and the two priests who attempt to save her soul through an exorcism. 

The film's realistic portrayal of possession, combined with exceptional performances, especially by Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil, helped create a supernatural classic. The practical effects, for their time, were groundbreaking, contributing to the film's impact. [The Exorcist on IMDB]

Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist explores suburban bliss turned nightmare when a family's home is invaded by malevolent spirits. The film masterfully blends supernatural terror with family drama, making the characters' plight all the more relatable. 

Poltergeist has had a particularly lasting impact on popular culture and has been influential in shaping modern horror films. Its famous line, They're here, delivered by Carol Anne as she stares at a static-filled television screen, has become ingrained in popular culture as a symbol of supernatural horror. [Poltergeist on IMDB]

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel is a masterpiece of psychological horror intertwined with paranormal elements. Set in an isolated hotel with a sinister past, The Shining follows Jack Torrance's descent into madness under malevolent supernatural influences. 

Kubrick's meticulous direction ensures that every scene is laden with fear and ambiguity, inviting multiple interpretations about the movie, and in particular, its ending. [The Shining on IMDB]

The Sixth Sense (1999)

M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense tells the story of a young boy who can see and communicate with the dead and his relationship with a troubled psychologist trying to help him. The film balances suspense with poignant moments beautifully, exploring themes of grief, redemption, and human connection beyond death. And it has one of the most iconic twist endings of all time. [The Sixth Sense on IMDB]

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity focuses on a couple haunted by a demonic presence in their home, it uses subtlety and anticipation to build terror rather than relying on gore or jump scares. This technique proved incredibly effective at creating a sense of realism and intimacy. The first one is good, but I didn't much care for the sequels [Paranormal Activity on IMDB]

Hereditary (2018)

Ari Aster’s directorial debut is a masterclass in atmospheric horror that delves deep into themes of grief, trauma, and inherited sin through the lens of a family unraveling after their grandmother’s death reveals dark secrets about their lineage. 

With its standout performances from Toni Collette and Alex Wolff alongside Aster’s direction—combining slow-burn tension with shocking moments—Hereditary is both profoundly disturbing and thought-provoking. [Hereditary on IMDB]

The Conjuring (2013)

James Wan striked again with The Conjuring, based on real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren’s case files. It focuses on their most terrifying case: helping a family tormented by dark forces in their farmhouse. 

With strong performances from Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens alongside some genuinely terrifying sequences—crafted without resorting to excessive gore—The Conjuring revitalizes classic haunted house stories while also paying homage to horror traditions. [The Conjuring on IMDB]

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Wes Craven’s iconic slasher introduces Freddy Krueger—a vengeful spirit haunting teenagers’ dreams to exact his murderous revenge—blurring lines between reality and nightmares like never before seen in cinema at that time. This innovative concept combined with Craven’s direction created not only terrifying sequences but also introduced one of horror’s most unforgettable villains. [A Nightmare On Elm Street On IMDB]

Sinister (2012)

Starring Ethan Hawke, Sinister follows true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt as he discovers films depicting gruesome murders in his new home leading him down dark path uncovering supernatural entity behind them.  

As he delves deeper into the mystery behind these films, Ellison becomes increasingly obsessed with uncovering the truth behind the murders. But what he uncovers is far more terrifying than anything he could have imagined - a supernatural entity that seems to be responsible for the murders. 

What's your favorite supernatural horror out of this list? Or do you have another favorite? Let me know in the comments or on my twitter.

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