15 Best Horror Anthology Films

Sharing is caring!

Since the 1919 German film Eerie Tales, the anthology film has been a steady horror subgenre, delivering scares at a steadier pace than your average horror film. For those who may not know, an anthology film is a film in which several different stories are told within the runtime of one film. Though this format is mainly relegated to television—the most famous examples of which are Rod Serling’s seminal The Twilight Zone, the EC Comics adaptation Tales from the Crypt, and the George A. Romero-produced Tales from the Darkside—there are a handful of excellent horror anthology films that have been released throughout the decades. 

Today, we’ll look at some of the best the genre has to offer. From ghosts to zombies to vampires to all that lies in between, these are the best films for those who want to get the pants scared off of them!

1. Creepshow (1982) 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

This collaboration between horror heavyweights George A. Romero and Stephen King features five stories thematically and aesthetically inspired by the Tales from the Crypt comics of the 1950s. Featuring incredible practical gore effects from Friday the 13th and Dawn of the Dead make-up artist Tom Savini, the best story of the bunch is ‘The Crate,’ which follows a disgraced English professor who plots revenge against his nagging wife using a monster bought by the university’s anthropology department. Wickedly scary with a pitch-black sense of humor, this is one horror anthology where every story delivers!

2. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Photo Credit: Home Box Office.

Produced by Amicus Studios—the British horror studio specializing in horror anthology films during the 1960s and 70s—this first attempt to bring the iconic EC Comics to the screen gives us one of the best anthology films ever made. The framing device sees five people trapped in a crypt, with the eponymous Crypt Keeper explaining to them why they are there in the first place. Featuring Joan Collins in an adaptation of the classic Tales from the Crypt story, ‘And All Through the House,’ this anthology film is sure to please both fans of the comics and newcomers alike. 

3. The Twilight Zone: The Movie (1985) 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

This four-story anthology film—based on the television show of the same name—boasts some prestigious talent behind the camera, with each segment directed by John Landis (The Blues Brothers), Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park), Joe Dante (Gremlins), and George Miller (Mad Max), respectively. Though Landis’ and Spielberg’s stories aren’t among either of their best work, the segments directed by Dante and Miller are worth the price of admission alone. With each director, save for Landis, adapting an episode of the television show, Miller takes it upon himself to elevate ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’ into one of the most anxiety-inducing stories ever on the silver screen. It’s a mixed bag, but it’s still worth a watch for those last two stories!

4. Vault of Horror (1973) 

Photo Credit: Amicus Productions.

Another one from Amicus Studios, this adaptation of the titular EC Comics follows a similar structure as the previous years’ Tales from the Crypt. It follows five people trapped in a vault and begin telling one another their nightmares. Featuring one story that acts as a perverse take on the classic ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ formula, this is one that must be seen in its recently discovered R-rated version, as the PG-rated cut of the film leaves out a lot of the film’s more horrific moments.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

5. The Strange World of Coffin Joe (1968) 

Photo Credit: Ibéria Filmes.

An obscure entry to North American readers, this horror anthology film from Brazilian horror legend José Mojica Marins features stories about a creepy dollmaker, a balloon seller with a strange obsession, and a professor who begins studying sadistic rituals. It is essential viewing for fans of world cinema and anthology horror films.

6. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Feeling like a Creepshow reunion with the reteaming of Stephen King and George A. Romero, this feature-length adaptation of the Tales from the Darkside television series features prestigious talent behind and in front of the camera. Featuring actors like Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Debbie Harry, and David Johansen, this star-studded thrill ride is sure to leave you wanting more.

7. Creepshow 2 (1987) 

Photo Credit: New World Pictures.

George A. Romero’s cinematographer/composer, Michael Gornick, takes the reins for this second installment of the Creepshow franchise. Cutting the length from five stories to three, the best segment here is ‘The Raft.’ Based on a short story by Stephen King, this chiller follows a group of teenagers who get stuck on a raft in the middle of a lake, unable to leave due to a man-eating mass in the middle of the lake. Though the film rarely reaches the heights of the first film, this is still a fun little slice of late ’80s horror cinema.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

8. Cat’s Eye (1985) 

Photo Credit: Dino De Laurentiis Company.

From Cujo director Lewis Teague, Cat’s Eye is an anthology film comprised of Stephen King adaptations. The best of the bunch, Quitters, Inc. follows a nicotine addict who checks himself into a radical new rehab clinic that involves methods of psychological and physical torture. It’s a fun little anthology film featuring a young Drew Barrymore.

9. From a Whisper to a Scream (1987) 

Photo Credit: Conquest Productions.

Director Jeff Burr does some of the best work of his career with this horror anthology film that follows the uncle of a convicted murderer who relays four horrific stories from his hometown to a reporter working on the murderer’s case. ‘Stanley,’ the first segment of the film, is one of the most disturbing and mean-spirited stories featured in any of these films. For this alone, the film gets a hearty recommendation.

10. Two Evil Eyes (1990) 

Photo Credit: ADC Films.

Featuring two hour-long stories directed by George A. Romero and Italian horror director Dario Argento, these two genre maestros adapt stories from iconic author Edgar Allan Poe. The former’s story adapts ‘The Facts in the Case of Mister Valdemar,’ and the latter adapts ‘The Black Cat. ‘ This is a gore-riddled blast for fans of classic horror and horror literature alike!

11. The Willies (1990) 

Photo Credit: Force Majeure Productions.

A horror anthology film for children, this nostalgia blast in the vein of Goosebumps stars Sean Astin and frames all the stories around urban legends and campfire stories. Watch out for much of the main cast of Twin Peaks showing up in various cameo roles, making for a fun little slice of childhood horror.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

12. Kwaidan (1964) 

Photo Credit: Toho.

Japanese filmmaker Masaki Kobayashi brings his usual sense of visual poetry to this Edo-era horror anthology film. Centering specifically on ghosts and their relationship to Japanese culture, this is a beautiful anthology horror film you will not want to miss!

13. Tales from the Hood (1995) 

Photo Credit: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks.

Produced by Spike Lee, this timely horror anthology tackles subjects including police brutality, systemic racism, and corrupt politicians. Followed by two sequels, this subversion of EC Comics tropes is a terrifying little horror flick.

14. Body Bags (1993)

Photo Credit: 187.

Directed by masters of horror John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper, this is a horror anthology film that’s centered around bad things happening to various people’s body parts. Segments include a balding man who gets more than he bargained for with a new miracle cure and a baseball player whose eye transplant gives him the visions of a dead serial killer. A made-for-TV movie that was supposed to be the start of a Tales from the Crypt-style show, this goofy little romp is fun for fans of ‘80s horror.

15. Necronomicon (1993) 

Photo Credit: Davis-Films.

This horror anthology film has the gimmick of being an adaptation of three H.P. Lovecraft stories. Directed by genre veterans Christophe Gans, Shûsuke Kaneko, and Bryan Yuzna, this is an awe-inspiring direct-to-video horror film that delivers the goods on some nasty horror fun.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

19 Films Where the Main Character Discovers They’re Not the Good Guy in the End

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Through legitimate or illegitimate means, the main character doesn’t always end the film as a good person. Sometimes it comes through a shocking twist, sometimes we’ve known all along that this main character is not somebody we actually like.

19 Films Where the Main Character Discovers They’re Not the Good Guy in the End

20 TV Shows With the Strongest Pilot Episodes We’ve Ever Seen

Photo Credit: MRC Television.

It’s common knowledge among TV show buffs that the pilot episode of any new show is just a “warm-up.” That’s why you need to commit to watching at least two or three episodes before you decide if you really love it or not. But there are some TV shows that come out of the gate with a strong pilot episode—and you just know those shows will be binge-worthy.

We’ve got the 20 TV shows with the strongest first episodes ever. Do you have a favorite? Check out this list and see if it’s here!

20 TV Shows With the Strongest Pilot Episodes We’ve Ever Seen

Similar Posts