horror movies for newbies

40 Movie Recommendations for Horror Newbies

Horror movies are meant to be fun and entertaining. Often, people experience the wrong type of horror movies and end up writing off all horror. But horror is not one size fits all and there are over a dozen different subgenres within horror that I can think off of the top of my head.

So where do you begin?

We decided to break our horror newbie recommendation list down into categories because not all horror is scary, not every horror film is the same, and not every sub-genre is for you. Think about what type of horror movie you are interested in and go from there.

The categories we chose for this particular article are: horror comedies, slashers, creature features, paranormal/supernatural, psychological, gory, sci-fi, and found footage and have chosen 5 films for each category.

Also worth noting, we are sure there are hundreds of options that could be added to this list. We are mentioning movies that we ourselves have seen so if we haven’t seen it, it won’t be on this list. With that being said, if there is something that fits our categories, add it to the comments of our YouTube video! We’d love to have you contribute. 

If you'd rather watch this in video format, check out our video here. If not, keep reading!

Horror Comedy

  • Shaun of the Dead: Shaun is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. The only unpredictable element in his life is his girlfriend, Liz, who wishes desperately for Shaun to grow up and be a man. When the town is inexplicably overrun with zombies, Shaun must rise to the occasion and protect both Liz and his mother.

horror movies for newbies- shaun of the dead


  • Deadstream: A disgraced internet personality tries to win back his followers by livestreaming himself at an abandoned haunted house. When he accidentally unleashes a vengeful spirit, his comeback event becomes a fight for his life.

horror movies for newbies

  • The Blackening (2023): Seven friends go away for the weekend, only to find themselves trapped in a cabin with a killer who has a vendetta. They must pit their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies against the murderer to stay alive

horror movies for newbies- the blackening

  • Scary Movie: Defying the very notion of good taste, Scary Movie out-parodies the pop culture parodies with a no-holds barred assault on the most popular images and talked-about moments from recent films, television and commercials.

horror movies for newbies- scary movie

  • Chad Gets the Axe (2023): Four social media influencers live stream their trip to Devil's Manor, the former home of a satanic cult, but things start to go wrong. As the violence increases, so do the views.

horror movies for newbies- chad gets the axe



  • Friday the 13th (1980): A group of camp counselors trying to reopen a summer camp called Crystal Lake, which has a grim past, are stalked by a mysterious killer.

horror movies for newbies- friday the 13th

  • Scream (1996): A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a masked killer who targets her and her friends by using scary movies as part of a deadly game.

horror movies for newbies- scream 1996

  • Child’s Play (1988): A struggling single mother unknowingly gifts her son a doll imbued with a serial killer's consciousness.

horror movies for newbies- Child's Play

  • Totally Killer (2023): When the infamous "Sweet Sixteen Killer" returns 35 years after his first murder spree to claim another victim, 17-year-old Jamie accidentally travels back in time to 1987, determined to stop the killer before he can start.

horror movies for newbies- totally killer

  • Halloween (1978): Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

horror movies for newbies- halloween 1978


  • The Thing (1982): A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

horror movies for newbies- the thing

  • Jaws (1975): When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

horror movies for newbies- Jaws

  • The Descent (2005): A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

horror movies for newbies- The Descent

  • The New Daughter (2009): A single father moves his two children to rural South Carolina, only to watch his daughter exhibit increasingly strange behavior.

horror movies for newbies- The New Daughter

  • Crawl (2019): A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

horror movies for newbies- Crawl 2019


  • Oculus (2013): A recently released inmate from a mental asylum learns from his sister that the murders he was convicted of committing were actually orchestrated by a supernatural entity, the Lasser Glass mirror.

horror movies for newbies- Oculus 2013

  • Final Destination (2000): Death stalks Alex Browning and a group of high school students, who survived a doomed airliner.

horror movies for newbies- Final Destination

  • The Ruins (2008): A leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when a group of friends and a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.

horror movies for newbies- The Ruins

  • It Lives Inside (2023): An Indian-American teenager struggling with her cultural identity has a falling out with her former best friend and, in the process, unwittingly releases a demonic entity that grows stronger by feeding on her loneliness.

horror movies for newbies- It Lives Inside

  • It Follows (2014): A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

horror movies for newbies- It Follows


  • The Shining (1980): A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

horror movies for newbies- The Shining

  • Jagged Mind (2023): Billie is plagued by blackouts and strange visions that lead her to discover she's stuck in a series of time loops, possibly related to her mysterious new girlfriend.

horror movies for newbies- Jagged Mind

  • Se7en (1995): Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

horror movies for newbies- Se7vn

  • Get Out (2017): A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

horror movies for newbies- Get Out

  • Identity (2003): Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one.

horror movies for newbies- Identity


  • 30 Days of Night (2007): After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.

horror movies for newbies- 30 Days of Night

  • The Evil Dead (1981): Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

horror movies for newbies- The Evil Dead

  • The Cabin in the Woods (2011): Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

horror movies for newbies- The Cabin in the Woods

  • Hellraiser (1987): A woman discovers the newly resurrected, partially formed, body of her brother-in-law and lover. She starts killing for him to revitalize his body and escape the demonic beings that are pursuing him after he escaped their underworld.

horror movies for newbies- Hellraiser

  • Jennifer’s Body (2009): A newly-possessed high-school cheerleader turns into a succubus who specializes in killing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

horror movies for newbies- Jennifer's Body


  • No One Will Save You (2023): An exiled anxiety-ridden homebody must battle an alien who's found its way into her home.

horror movies for newbies- No One Will Save You

  • Alien (1979): The crew of a commercial spacecraft encounters a deadly lifeform after investigating a mysterious transmission of unknown origin.

horror movies for newbies- Alien (1979)

  • Dark Skies (2013): As the Barrett family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them, one which may have arrived from beyond the stars.

horror movies for newbies- Dark Skies

  • Signs (2002): A widowed former reverend living with his children and brother on a Pennsylvania farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields, which suggests something more frightening to come.

horror movies for newbies- Signs

  • A Quiet Place (2018): A family struggles for survival in a world where most humans have been killed by blind but noise-sensitive creatures. They are forced to communicate in sign language to keep the creatures at bay.

horror movies for newbies- A Quiet Place


Found Footage

  • REC (2007): A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

horror movies for newbies- REC 2007

  • Unfriended (2014): A group of online chatroom friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.

horror movies for newbies- Unfriended

  • Troll Hunter (2010): A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.

horror movies for newbies- Troll Hunter

  • The Blair Witch Project (1999): Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

horror movies for newbies- The Blair Witch Project

  • V/H/S (2012): When a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.

horror movies for newbies- V/H/S 2012


And there you have it, a list of 40 movies we recommend for the horror newbie. As we said, this is not an exhaustive list so if you have some other recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments of our YouTube video below! We'd love your thoughts. 



Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.