Top 50 British horror films

Top 50 British horror films

(honourable mentions)

Here are the best of the rest – the films that received votes, but not quite enough to make the top 50.  Recall them, recoil at them, add them to your watch list. Enjoy…

50 (56)

His House

2020 / Remi Weekes

'No-one is blameless, and everyone pays a price. The dread, isolation, and narrative reveals of this film hit hard one after another as your expectations of what the film is about shift and turn as the story progresses. A true horror for, and of, modern Britain.'

50 (57)

The Hound of the Baskervilles

1959 / Terence Fisher

50 (58)

Masque of the Red Death

1964 / Roger Corman

50 (59)

Carry on Screaming

1966 / Gerald Thomas

50 (61)

Dracula: Prince of Darkness


'Unfortunately lacking Peter Cushing, it still showcases Hammer's Dracula films at their best. From the terrifying and gory early scenes leading to Dracula's resurrection, to the energetic vampire hunting of the finale, this is a rollicking adventure. Andrew Keir is fantastic as the vampire-slaying monk, while Philip Latham oozes menace as Dracula's butler. As for Christopher Lee's titular fiend, making the character silent only enhances his imposing villainy.'

50 (62)

In The Earth


'Ben Wheatley at his best, the horror of nature's vast, unthinking reclamation of mankind's conquered earth, the threat of contamination at the height of pre-vaccine COVID, isolation and madness. Spectacular.'

50 (63)

The Woman in Black


'Great jump scares. Sometimes, that’s all I want…'​

50 (66)

The City of the Dead

1960 / John Llewellyn Moxey

50 (67)

The Mummy

1959 / Terence Fisher

'Much as I love Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, it's this one that I think is absolutely tremendous. The blend of the British and the exotic, coupled with the relentless horror of Christopher Lee as the physically powerful and imposing mummy just makes it so compelling to me - the monster genuinely seems unstoppable.'

50 (68)

Dead Man's Shoes

2004 / Shane Meadows

50 (69)


2018 / Matthew Holness

50 (70)

The Abominable Snowman

1957 / Val Guest

'Cleverly put together using second-unit footage from the Pyrenees with studio sets in London to evoke the Himalayas. Written by Nigel Kneale, it’s a typically intelligent take on the legend of the yeti, which are portrayed through distant noises, footprints, glimpses of hand or fur, are more powerful than if they’d been allowed to rampage about onscreen.'

50 (72)


1977 / Norman J. Warren

'Beguilingly weird, Norman J Warren's Prey is unlikely to make the top 10, but is such a mad ride that everyone should watch it at least once. A man-eating, dog-faced alien ends up as a housemate for a lesbian couple, and all manner of hi-jinks ensue. It is quite unlike any other horror film, and weirdly a lot like DH Lawrence (though Warren himself rejected the claim that it had been directly inspired by his work).'

50 (73)


1985 / Tobe Hooper

50 (74)

Enys Men

2022 / Mark Jenkin

50 (75)

The Appointment

1981 / Lindsey C. Vickers

'Like a dream you might have after a triple bill of Don’t Look Now, Duel and The Italian Job.'

50 (76)

Taste the Blood of Dracula

1970 / Peter Sasdy

50 (77)

And Soon the Darkness

1970 / Robert Fuest

50 (78)

Vampire Circus

1972 / Robert Young

50 (79)

Ghost Stories

2017 / Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman

'I love anthology style horror films and this was one I didn't hold out much hope for but I still find myself watching it again. The first story with Paul Whitehouse, in particular, was chilling. Another comedy actor who is incredible in a serious role.'

50 (80)

Island of Terror

1966 / Terence Fisher

50 (81)

The Vault of Horror

1973 / Roy Ward Baker

50 (82)


1974 / José Ramón Larraz

50 (83)

In Fabric

2018 / Peter Strickland

50 (84)


1974 / Pete Walker

'Genuinely unsettling and upsetting, this cannibalistic family drama from Pete Walker is a devastating study of mental illness and boundless love. Ridiculous on paper, it comes alive through the neat direction and tremendous performances. The ending will haunt you.'

50 (85)

Under the Shadow

2016 / Babak Anvari

50 (86)

Don't Open Till Christmas

1984 / Edmund Purdom

50 (87)

X the Unknown

1956 / Leslie Norman

50 (88)

The Curse of the Werewolf

1961 / Terence Fisher

'Following Psycho and Peeping Tom, the British board of film censors didn't treat The Curse of the Werewolf kindly. Harsh cuts for the film's original release prevented it from premiering in its full gory glory. Leon's Make-up sits between Henry Hull in Werewolf of London and Lon Chaney in The Wolf Man. By far best dressed screen werewolf and with the Hammer style and feel, always a candidate for a re-watch.'

50 (89)

Frankenstein must be destroyed

1969 / Terence Fisher

'Hammer’s best and most inventive Frankenstein movie benefits from a superb performance by the always wonderful Freddie Jones as a sympathetic monster.'

50 (90)

Full Circle

1977 / Richard Loncraine

'Mia Farrow as a woman who mourns her young daughter and is haunted in her new home, a mysterious story with a beautiful score by Colin Towns.'

50 (91)


1988 / Bernard Rose

50 (92)

The Awakening

2011 / Nick Murphy

50 (93)

The House that Dripped Blood

1971 / Peter Duffell

50 (94)

The Vampire Lovers

1970 / Roy Ward Baker

'This is, for me, the richest, most complex, most poetic & tragic of all Hammer's films, far removed from the usual straight fight between good and evil. Of course, it may have been conceived by producers Fine and Style precisely as a lucrative blend of horror and sexploitation, but Tudor Gates' comparative fidelity to the Le Fanu text, plus Roy Ward Baker's sensitive, intelligent approach to the material saved it from that.'

50 (95)

Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde

1971 / Roy Ward Baker

'The high point of British horror? Quite possibly. Old codes of censorship had broken down and suddenly so much previously forbidden on screen could be engaged with directly - and film makers who make this kind of cinema seized the opportunity and shook it hard. A film that gleefully subverts conventional norms and binaries - between male and female obviously, as well as - only slightly more discreetly - gay and straight, but also between serious and comic horror: it's not a parody, not a spoof, it's fundamentally a serious horror film, but also an immensely playful one.'

50 (96)

The Satanic Rites of Dracula

1973 / Alan Gibson

'I love this movie, and I think others are starting to come round to my way of thinking (you are, aren’t you?). Perhaps Cushing’s best performance as Van Helsing. The vim and vigour of his youth has been replaced by a world-weariness as he faces down his family’s greatest foe once again. Plus, it’s basically 1970s Doctor Who, Hammer style, and what’s not to like about that?'

50 (97)

The Reptile

1966 / John Gilling

50 (98)

Quatermass II

1957 / Val Guest

50 (99)

The Skull

1965 / Freddie Francis

'Sorely underrated. Freddie Francis' best film as a director and a tour-de-force from Cushing who has little to play with in dialogue but makes up for it in acting ability. Plus, a Kafka-esque dream sequence, to boot.'

50 (100)

The Sorcerers

1967 / Michael Reeves

'A lot of people will opt for Witchfinder General as their Michael Reeves entry, but I prefer the psychedelic setting of this mind-bending chiller. Great to see old world horror in the form of Boris Karloff clash with the new generation too.'

50 - 2023-02-28T212810.673

A Clockwork Orange

1971 / Stanley Kubrick

50 - 2023-02-28T212842.279

Ghost Story

1974 / Stephen Weeks

'Being filmed in India gives it a strange quality, though, and an added edge – a post-Edwardian England that never was.'

50 - 2023-02-28T212928.333

The Beast Must Die

1974 / Paul Annett

'I am quite sure this will not feature on any other list here. I love this camp take on (for the time) modern horror and the blaxploitation craze in America. The performances are all over the top, the plot is riddle with more hole than a well used chew toy, but it's fun and that is the main thing. The 'Agatha Christie with a werewolf' concept would be revisited again by British horror in 1989 with Howling V: The Rebirth.

50 - 2023-02-28T212953.884

The Fearless Vampire Killers

1967 / ROman Polanski

50 - 2023-02-28T213026.976

10 Rillington Place

1971 / Richard Fleischer

50 - 2023-02-28T213051.656


2012 / Neil Jordan

'I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The cinematography in the flashback scenes is breathtaking. Interesting back story that felt fresh and Saoirse Ronan was perfectly cast.'

The Cottage

2008 / Paul Andrew Williams

The Quiet Ones

2014 / John Pogue


2018 / Gareth Evans

'Nasty, creeping folk horror with an unexpected feminist environmental theme at its core and full throttle performances from all. The texture of the film is what elevates it, and some particularly gory set pieces make for seat squirming viewing

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

1964 / Bryan Forbes

The Asphyx

1972 / Peter Newbrook

The Gorgon

1964 / Terence Fisher

The Hallow

2015 / Corin Hardy

'The Hallow manages something that a lot of horror movies try and fail to do – to remain grounded in reality. The story deals with fairies and goblins and various supernaturally magic creatures, yet always keeps one foot in the ‘real’ world. As magical as these critters are, there is also a degree of science attached to proceedings which make the threat seem more tangibly plausible.'

The Children

2008 / Tom SHankland

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter

1974 / Brian Clemens


1986 / Ken Russell

Hands of the Ripper

1971 / Peter Sasdy

'One of the bloodiest of Hammer Horrors turns out to be the tenderest. Perhaps wounded by criticism of his previous film, the deeply underrated Countess Dracula, director Peter Sasdy didn't hold back on the gore in this film's murder scenes, but that's not what gives it its distinction - rather it's the beautifully underplayed, thwarted love story between Eric Porter's Pritchard & Angharad Rees's Anna that makes this a classic.'

The Ghoul

1933 / T. Hayes Hunter

The House in Nightmare Park

1973 / Peter Sykes

'I'll keep banging the drum for this frequently overlooked horror-comedy. Brilliantly funny as a gothic comedy of manners it still maintains a tremor of horror throughout with some superbly ghoulish set-pieces and a genuinely unnerving finale. The whole film is shot throughout with some amazingly stylish direction that you would never normally associate with British horror.'

The Nanny

1965 / Seth Holt

Children of the Damned

1964 / Anton M. Leader

Cry of the Banshee

1970 / Gordon Hessler

The Dark Eyes of London

1939 / John Argyle

Event Horizon

1997 / Paul W.S. Anderon

Hot Fuzz

2007 / Edgar Wright


1970 / Gordon Hessler

Shallow Grave

1994 / Danny Boyle

Taste of Fear

1961 / Seth Holt

The Elephant Man

1980 / David Lynch

(The Feast)

2021 / Lee Haven Jones

'A set of familiar themes (environmentalism, new Vs old ways, capitalist colonialism) explored in a beautiful, steady feminine revenge framework that doesn't hold you by the hand, but expects you to keep up. Beautifully shot, and deeply moving in unexpected corners.'Bec

An absolutely incredible Welsh-language horror taking on everything from feminism, eco-horror and a unique socio-political climate that rarely finds a space on screen. The future of British film in its gloss and ability to lean into weirdness.

The Man Who Haunted Himself

1970 / Basil Dearden

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

1975 / Jim Sharman

Urban Ghost Story

1998 / Geneviève Jolliffe

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

2005 / Nick Park & Steve Box


1983 / Harry Bromley Davenport

Frankenstein Created Woman

1967 / Terence Fisher

'Frankenstein was the monster, he was always the monster! Frankenstein Created Woman does something different to the other films in the series and for me this is what elevates it to greatness.'

Top 50 British horror films

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Top 50 British horror films

3 thoughts on “<span class="hpt_headertitle">Top 50 British horror films (honourable mentions)</span>”

  1. Janet Stevenson

    Night of the Demon the haunting any of the BFI Ghost Story For Christmas Turn of the Screw should have been worthy of a mention. There’s many others are classics

    1. Night of the Demon and The Haunting appear on the main top 50 list – this list is the remainder that didn’t receive enough votes for the top 50. Ghost Stories for Christmas are television rather than film (though I know they could be regarded as short films).

  2. Enys Men, one and a half hours of arty shots of lichen and a woman throwing stones down a well. Nice choice with Island of Terror though. It runs very like a Doctor Who story.

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