Psycho named the best horror film of all time as the top 10 list is revealed

The Alfred Hitchcock classic beat the likes of The Shining and The Exorcist

Hitchcock’s PSYCHO – original theatrical cut will be re-released in cinemas with a new 4K restoration from 27 May, 2022. (Park Circus)
Alfred Hitchcock’s Pscyho, starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, has been officially named the best horror movie of all time (Park Circus)

Psycho has officially been named the best horror movie of all time, with the Alfred Hitchcock 1960 classic beating the likes of The Shining and The Exorcist to the top spot.

The iconic horror film starred Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the owner of a derelict motel where a woman on the run Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) chooses to stay and the gruesome aftermath of their encounter.

According to new data from WatchTVAbroad, Psycho is the highest ranking horror film with a solid 95% approval rating from film fans on Rotten Tomatoes.

The company went on to reveal the full top 10 list of horror films, and here is how your favourite movies ranked in comparison.

Psycho named best horror film as the top 10 horror films ever are revealed

Hitchcock’s PSYCHO – original theatrical cut will be re-released in cinemas with a new 4K restoration from 27 May, 2022. (Park Circus)
Psycho, which stars Janet Leigh, beats the likes of The Exorcist and IT to the top spot according to new data. (Park Circus)

Psycho's status as an iconic horror film has been cemented by movie fans, but Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien comes in a close second with a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

This is followed closely by The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson the film adapts Stephen King's book of the same name — albeit loosely — and follows a writer's slow descent into madness when he brings his family to a remote hotel.

The Shining (Credit: Warner Bros)
The Shining, which stars Jack Nicholson and is directed by Stanley Kubrick, comes in third place. (Warner Bros)

1978 horror film Halloween came in fourth place, while William Friedkin's seminal possession movie The Exorcist was given fifth place with a rating of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Other horror movie highlights on the top ten include Jordan Peele's directorial debut Get Out, the 2017 adaptation of IT, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Saw.

Here is top 10 horror films of all time:

  1. Psycho (1960) — 95%

  2. Alien (1979) — 94%

  3. The Shining (1980) — 93%

  4. Halloween (1978) — 89%

  5. The Exorcist (1973) — 87%

  6. Get Out (2017) — 86%

  7. IT (2017) — 84%

  8. Saw (2004) — 84%

  9. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) — 84%

  10. A Quiet Place (2018) —83%

Jeff Richey, TV analyst at, shared a statement about Psycho's endearing legacy and its place in the top 10 horror films list, saying: "It's no wonder many prefer the eerie charm of classic horrors such as Psycho over their CGI-laden modern counterparts. The classics left more to the imagination, letting fear brew in the shadows and building up tension.

"As for the relentless resurrection of horror franchises, producers know the thrill of terror never grows old.

"Time-tested series like Saw and The Exorcist — with the latest instalments currently in cinemas — continue to draw audiences, even as they spawn multiple sequels and reboots.

Various mishaps on the set of 'The Exorcist' led to rumours of a curse. (Credit: Warner Bros)
William Friedkin's The Exorcist has landed in the top 5 horror films of all time. (Warner Bros)

"It's a testament to the enduring attraction of iconic villains, the anticipation they generate, and the sense of community among horror fans.

"As the appetite for the unsettling persists, it's clear the horror genre, whether classic or contemporary, remains a force in the world of cinema."

Best horror movie franchises at the box office

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Warner Bros.)
The Conjuring film franchise is the highest-grossing horror series at the box office (Warner Bros.)

As well as looking at the top 10 horror films of all time, revealed data for the movie franchises that have done the best at the box office, with The Conjuring movies coming out on top.

The film franchise has earned a staggering $2.3bn at the box office, with the Alien franchise coming in second again with a total of $1.4bn by its movies in cinemas earned over the years.

It and its sequel earned a total of $1.1bn, while the first nine Saw movies have earned $1.07bn. A tenth film was recently released in the franchise, and this film's earnings has not yet been added to the franchise total.

Other big hitters at the box office include the Paranormal Activity franchise, the Scream movies and the Insidious films.

Here is top 10 highest-grossing horror film franchises of all time:

  1. The Conjuring Universe — $2.3bn

  2. Alien series — $1.4bn

  3. It and It: Part Two — $1.1bn

  4. Saw 1 to 9 — $1.07bn

  5. Scream 1 to 6 — $911m

  6. Paranormal Activity 1 to 7 — $890m

  7. Halloween 1 to 13 — $841m

  8. Unbreakable, Split and Glass — $773m

  9. Insidious 1 to 5 — $731m

  10. Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise — $731m