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10 Best Horror Anthology Movies

If you love your horror bite-sized, then these anthology movies are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
best horror Anthology Movies
By  · Published on October 11th, 2021

5. Asylum (1972)

Anth Asylum

Amicus was the king of horror anthologies through the 60s and the 70s, and none of their film’s are more palpably effective than Roy Ward Baker’s Asylum. Set in the titular establishment, the film’s wraparound story concerns a man interviewing for a new position as Chief Doctor for the hospital. He’s tasked with questioning three patients to determine whether or not one of them is a former administrator who went mad in the asylum. If the new doctor guesses correctly, he will get the job. That is, if he doesn’t go insane himself first. 

What’s striking about Asylum is that it takes elements of psychological horror and drags them straight into an undercurrent of the occult. The film still traipses in motifs audiences would have been accustomed to in short horror storytelling, like the manic paranoia of a murderer, but it never plays it safe. Rather than have a husband be tormented by the simple ghost of his dead wife, Baker and writer Robert Bloch think far outside of the box and have the man be haunted by the dismembered limbs of his deceased partner. With its emphasis on the supernatural, rather than the mere cerebral, Asylum is a thoroughly engaging anthology horror film that will help deepen your appreciation for this subgenre of storytelling. (Jacob Trussell)

4. Tales from the Hood (1995)

Anth Tales

Tales from the Hood devilishly follows the aesthetic and structure established by EC Comics’ Tales from the Crypt, but then it leans heavily into The Twilight Zone’s righteous moralizing. This movie is mad as hell, and it’s hoping to add your voice to its screaming choir. Years before Jordan Peele, writer/director Rusty Cundieff (along with co-writer/producer Darin Scott) used horror to expose and discuss white supremacy and American injustice. This gnarly and violent genre acts as a perfect conduit for expressing the emotional truth tethered to centuries of systemic racial hatred. Tales from the Hood runs the gamut of tone, igniting laughter and wails within the same breath, but beneath every reaction is anger and a demand for a better country. (Brad Gullickson)

3. Black Sabbath (1963)

Anth Black Sabbath

From the bold, bloody, candy-colored mind of renaissance man Mario Bava comes a stylish, atmosphere-rich deep dive into black magic, vampires, and revenge from beyond the grave. Listen close, and let papa Bava tell you of garish stabbings, blood-thirsty wurdalaks, and haunted jewels. Dabbling in multiple genre spaces from giallo, to folklore, to gothic ghost stories, Bava’s adaptability, humor, and talent for the macabre are on full display. Black Sabbath is a rare anthology where each segment slaps and no weak links are to be found. Nevertheless, a favorite naturally prevails: the third segment, “The Drop of Water,” which sees a nurse stealing a sapphire ring from the corpse she’s been entrusted with preparing for burial. Sure enough, the dead don’t take kindly to quick-handed thieves, and a tension-soaked, auditory hellscape ensues. Falling somewhere in the middle of a cozy Saturday matinee and an essential All Hallow’s Eve watch, Black Sabbath is a bonafide classic sure to delight and terrify in equal measure. (Meg Shields)

2. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Anth Trick

The great thing about anthologies is that not every story or segment has to work for the movie as a whole to be good. Sometimes you get a great film in which every story flows together seamlessly, as is the case with Michael Dougherty‘s Trick ‘r Treat. Five different stories interweave on Halloween night, tied together by a devilish trick-or-treater named Sam that wears a canvas sack over his head and desperately wants people to respect Halloween traditions. One of the great travesties of the 21st century is the shelving and lack of a proper theatrical release for this modern masterpiece. Fortunately, horror fans refused to let the studio win, turning the film into a beloved cult classic despite the best efforts of the bozos in charge. Trick ‘r Treat is now a must-watch every Halloween season. Now, when will we get that sequel? (Chris Coffel)

1. Creepshow (1982)

Anthy Creepshow

For many fright fans, horror anthologies begin and end with Creepshow. Yes, it was far from the first film to leverage the format for spookiness, but George A. Romero and Stephen King’s translation of EC Comics era showmanship into the aesthetics of early 80s cinema elevated the form to new heights. In many ways it leveraged the nostalgia of a generation who grew up on horror comics, coaxing them into cinemas with a familiar visual palette of garish colors, cartoonship crypt-keepers, and an assortment of stories that offer a little bit for every horror fan’s taste. It may not inspire white knuckled fear, but that never was the goal of Creepshow, a movie that acts more like a preamble to the Halloween season, evoking the feeling of crisp air on a cold, moonlit night. (Jacob Trussell)

Ready for a few more small bites of terror? Read more 31 Days of Horror Lists!

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Jacob Trussell is a writer based in New York City. His editorial work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, Rue Morgue Magazine, Film School Rejects, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the author of 'The Binge Watcher's Guide to The Twilight Zone' (Riverdale Avenue Books). He is available to host your next spooky public access show. Find him on Twitter here: @JE_TRUSSELL (He/Him)