Horror movies come in all shapes, sizes, and sub-genres, and amongst the ever-expanding collection of films available is that of the teen horror movie. These films – which tend to centre around a young cast – are incredibly popular, are sometimes iconic, and often lead the way when it comes to spooks and scares.
So, with this in mind, today I am serving up a collection of the best teen horror movies for your consideration. These movies are either about teens, they feature teens, or offer up stories which have teen appeal.
Want to take a look? Then simply dive right in!
Fright Night (1985)
First up, in the horror-comedy, Fright Night, a teenager who suspects his neighbour is a vampire, enlists the assistance of a low-rent actor to help him vanquish the supernatural creature. However, he soon finds himself out of his depth and putting himself and his friends in danger.
Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, and Roddy McDowall star in this true teen horror-gem from the 1980s. Tom Holland directs.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Next up, Megan Fox takes the lead in this biting horror-comedy, about a demonically possessed high school girl, who starts bumping off her male classmates. The only person who can stop her is her best mate, but can friendships be put aside for the greater good?
Karyn Kusama directs Fox in this cult favourite from the late ‘00s, while Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, and J. K. Simons feature amongst the cast.
Final Destination (2000)
After surviving a terrible aircraft disaster, a group of high school students come to realise they have cheated death; however, as they soon learn, they won’t cheat death for long. What follows is a series of elaborate scenes as each survivor is picked off one by one in increasingly imaginative ways.
Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton switch roles in this hilarious and inventive slasher movie about a middle-aged male serial killer who trades bodies with a high school girl. Freaky combines the slasher elements of Friday the 13th, with the body-swap nonsense of Freaky Friday, to provide lots of fun, amongst all the horror.
In M3GAN, an advance A.I. robot doll becomes very possessive of its new best friend – a young girl, who just wants a companion. As a result, the doll starts killing off anyone who crosses the girl, or who might get in the way of their friendship.
The Craft (1996)
In this next film, Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True star in a supernatural teen horror flick, about a group of high school students who meddle with witchcraft. At first, they are simply dabbling in spellcasting, but soon things get out of hand as they turn on each other.
Cherry Falls (2000)
Brittany Murphy and Michael Biehn star in this often-overlooked slasher movie from 2000. Cherry Falls tells the story of a small town in Virginia, terrorised by a serial killer who stalks virgins.
The Black Phone (2021)
Directed by Scott Derrickson and based on Joe Hill’s short story of the same name, The Black Phone tells the tale of a kidnapped boy who discovers he can communicate with the dead via a mysterious telephone. The horror film stars Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw, with Ethan Hawke as The Grabber.
And now onto a movie which requires little in the way of an introduction – the ‘90s slasher classic, Scream! The film tells the story of a group of high school teens who find themselves becoming the unwitting target of a hooded killer, who seems to have an obsession with horror movies.
Happy Death Day (2017)
Scream meets Groundhog Day in this time-loop horror about a girl who is bumped off by a masked killer, only to find herself reliving the day all over again. Directed by Christopher Landon, Happy Death Day is a witty horror-comedy, which is filled with death and laughter.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
In A Nightmare on Elm Street, a group of high school teens have their dreams invaded by a mysterious and gruesome man, who appears to have knives for fingers. Directed by Wes Craven, the film includes many iconic moments, as well as a scene-stealing turn from Robert Englund as the monstrous Freddy Krueger.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
In Jeepers Creepers, brother and sister duo, Trish and Danny are travelling home from college when they have an encounter with a mysterious stranger driving a beat-up truck. But as they soon find out, there’s more to this stranger than they realise, leading to an unforgettable discovery.
In Run, a disabled teenager begins to suspect her mother is keeping a secret from her, which could put her life at risk. Aneesh Chaganty directs, while Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen star.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Two horror titans come to blows in this ridiculously daft horror movie, which crosses the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise with the Friday the 13th series. In the film, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees not only have to contend with each other, they also must face a group of young friends who are determined to wipe out these killers for good.
Summer of ’84 (2018)
When a number of teenage boys go missing from a small town in Oregon, a group of friends decide to investigate the case, only to discover the kidnapper could be living quite close to home. Part Stranger Things, part The ‘Burbs, Summer of ’84 is a superb horror-thriller, loaded with ‘80s costumes, music, and pop culture references.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Another stone cold classic now, in which a bunch of young people get in over their heads with a killer (when will they ever learn?). The movie is The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – a brutal horror from director Tobe Hooper.
The title says it all really, but for those who have never watched The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the film follows a group of teens as they run into a cannibal and his backwater family. Lots of blood and gore follow, and plenty of screaming too!
Joy Ride (2001)
In Joy Ride (aka Road Kill), two brothers and their friend run afoul of a trucker, after they play a prank with a CB radio. The trucker then chases them relentlessly, in this tense horror-thriller starring Paul Walker, Steve Zahn, and Leelee Sobieski.
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
In this wicked anthology movie, writer/director Michael Dougherty serves up a collection of terrifying tales all set around Halloween night. Trick ‘r Treat features performances from the likes of Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, and Dylan Baker, and offers up some delightfully dark scenes.
Directed by Rob Savage, and set during the COVID-19 pandemic, Host tells the story of a group of friends who keep in touch via Zoom. But during one of their regular video calls the gang decide to invite a medium into their virtual gathering, in order to conduct a séance, with disastrous results!
Brian De Palma’s Carrie focuses on a shy teenager who possesses telekinetic abilities. The movie features one of the most infamous scenes in horror and counts Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, and Piper Laurie amongst its cast.
Cabin Fever (2002)
In Eli Roth’s stomach-churning horror, Cabin Fever, a group of young college students become infected by a flesh-eating virus, after they decide to spend some time getting away from it all in a remote cabin in the woods. The movie is a gross-out picture, filled with lashings of black comedy and bucket loads of gore.
Last Night in Soho (2021)
Director Edgar Wright mashes together a modern day aesthetic, with music and imagery from the swinging ‘60s in this fantastic psychological horror-thriller, about a young girl who gets caught up in a troublesome murder mystery. Last Night in Soho stars Thomasin McKenzie, alongside Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, and Diana Rigg.
Directed by Mike Flanagan, Oculus is a psychological horror about a young woman, who becomes convinced that all her family’s misfortunes are the result of an antique mirror. The movie stars Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, and Katee Sackhoff.
Disturbing Behaviour (1998)
David Nutter directs this sci-fi-tinged psychological teen horror, which centres its story around a mind control experiment. James Marsden, Katie Holmes, and Nick Stahl star.
It Follows (2014)
A young woman is pursued by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter, in this popular horror movie from David Robert Mitchell. The film stars Maika Monroe and Keir Gilchrist.
The Fear Street trilogy (2021)
A bit of a cheat here, because this isn’t one film, but three! The trio of tales is The Fear Street Trilogy – a collection of movies which focus on a group of friends who get caught up in a generations-spanning mystery.
The Fear Street Trilogy includes: Fear Street Part One: 1994, Fear Street Part Two: 1978, and Fear Street Part Three: 1666.
The Lost Boys (1987)
Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Jason Patric, Dianne Wiest, Corey Haim, and Corey Feldman The Lost Boys is not only one of the best vampire movies of the 1980s, it is also one of the best horror films of the decade too. Directed by Joel Schumacher, the teen horror movie follows the story of a young family who move to a small US beach town which is home to a group of vampires.
In director John Carpenter’s slasher film, Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis plays the role of a teen babysitter who finds herself becoming the unwitting obsession of a masked killer. Across the course of the movie she manages to evade him, until he comes calling on Halloween night, bringing death in his wake.
Halloween: H20 (1998)
Picking up 20 years after the events of Halloween, masked killer Michael Myers returns to his wicked ways, for this post-modern teen horror. Jamie Lee Curtis leads the cast, which includes Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Directed by Leo Gabriadze, Unfriended is a supernatural horror movie about six high school friends, who encounter something truly spooky when they take part in a Skype call. Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, and Renee Olstead feature amongst the cast.
Idle Hands (1999)
In Idle Hands, a teenager’s hand becomes possessed and goes on a killing spree, in this daft teen black-comedy-horror from director Rodman Flender. Devon Sawa, Seth Green, and Vivica A. Fox star.
The Babysitter (2017)
Directed by McG, The Babysitter is a fabulously over-the-top horror-comedy, about a young boy who discovers something truly troubling about his babysitter. Judah Lewis and Samara Weaving star in this brilliant romp, not to be missed.
Based on the book of the same name by Stephen King, Christine is a supernatural horror movie about a teenager who buys a car that appears to have a mind of its own. John Carpenter is in the director’s chair for this one, while the cast includes Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul and Harry Dean Stanton.
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
In supernatural horror flick, House on Haunted Hill, a group of young strangers are invited to a party at an abandoned asylum. However, this is no ordinary party, if they can survive a night of true terror, they will bag themselves a cool million dollars!
Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, It is a superbly creepy movie about seven children who become terrorised by a supernatural being. Andy Muschietti directs, while the cast includes Sophia Lillis and Finn Wolfhard, with Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the clown.
Three college students go backpacking across Europe, only to find themselves becoming the target of a mysterious organisation. Eli Roth directs this gut-wrenching horror which is big on blood, gore, and nastiness.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
One of the most talked about horror movies of the 1990s, and certainly one of the most profitable, is The Blair Witch Project – a found footage film about three student filmmakers who embark on an expedition into the woods. The movie – directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez – is a masterclass in producing scares out of thin air and is genuinely unnerving.
The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
In this satire of the horror genre, a group of college students tackle various horror clichés head-on as they try to survive a weekend away in a remote cabin. Drew Goddard directs, while Chris Hemsworth is amongst the cast of this surprisingly imaginative film.
Don’t Breathe (2016)
In Don’t Breathe, three young friends break into the house of a blind man, in the hope of stealing some quick cash. However, the trio discover more than they bargained for when the man proves he’s not quite the person he appears to be, in this tense thriller from director Fede Álvarez.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Something a little light-hearted now, via a comedy about a high school teen who discovers she is the latest in a long line of vampire slayers. Directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui and starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a daft, ‘90s horror-romp about a teenager taking on the forces of evil.
Friday the 13th (1980)
In Friday the 13th, a group of teenage camp counsellors find themselves becoming the victims of a mysterious killer, while they attempt to re-open an abandoned summer camp. The film stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, and Kevin Bacon, with Sean S. Cunningham on director duties.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
After a group of teenagers accidentally hit and seemingly kill a fisherman while they are out driving late at night, they dump his body and agree never to speak of their crime. But a year later, the past comes back to haunt them in this marvellously good slasher-thriller starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
Directed by Fred Dekker, Night of the Creeps is a sci-fi horror movie about a horde of zombies that attack a sorority house on the night of a formal dance. The movie stars Jason Lively, Jill Whitlow, and Tom Atkins.
The House of the Devil (2009)
Filmed to look and feel very much like a horror movie from the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, The House of the Devil is a slow burning film about a young girl who crosses paths with Satanists. Written and directed by Ti West, the movie is a glorious throwback to the past, with some unsettling moments.
Scream VI (2023)
In Scream VI, the mysterious Ghostface killer returns once again to pick off a group of teens, only this time around, Ghostface is more brazen, and more brutal than before. Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere, and Courtney Cox star.
Scary Movie (2000)
In this spoof of the Scream movies, a bunch of teens are murdered one by one, often in hilarious ways. Scary Movie is complete nonsense, but it is filled with laughs that have teen appeal.
Get Out (2017)
Writer/director Jordan Peele explores the subject of deep-seated racism in this horror tale about a young African-American man who meets his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams take the leads in what is a thrilling, well-crafted, and topical movie.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
Picking up decades after the events of Ghostbusters and Ghostbuster II, a group of young friends must work together to vanquish a supernatural force. But in order to succeed, they are going to require help from some experts.
House of Wax (2005)
Paris Hilton and Chad Michael Murray lead a cast of teens in this remake of the 1953 horror of the same name. In the movie, various characters find themselves caught up in a deadly situation involving a mysterious wax museum.
Urban Legend (1998)
Up next is Urban Legend – a film about a masked killer who bumps off teens according to urban legends. Every victim is killed in a different way, with each brutal demise relating to a seemingly tall-tale.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives balances horror with humour as Jason once again goes on a killing spree. This is easily one of the best entries in the Friday series, with Jason on fine form.
The Monster Squad (1987)
All of the iconic monsters of yesteryear (Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man etc) share the screen in this comedy horror about a group of kids who work together to stop monsters from taking over the world. Fred Dekker directs.
Gruesome creatures take over a small town in this hilarious black comedy from director Joe Dante. Set at Christmas, Gremlins serves up plenty of monster mayhem, lots of laughs, and some of the best creature designs from the 1980s.
Wrong Turn (2003)
Directed by Rob Schmidt, Wrong Turn is a twisted horror movie about a group of young friends who find themselves crossing paths with a family of cannibals, after they become stranded in the woods. Eliza Dushku, Jeremy Sisto, and Kevin Zegers star.
The Faculty (1998)
And finally, in The Faculty, a group of high school students find themselves in a deadly situation, in this retooled play on Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This teen sci-fi horror movie stars Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Clea DuVall, and Jordana Brewster, with Robert Rodriguez on director duties.
OK, so those are all the movies, you now just need to decide what to watch. But before you do, here are all the teen horror films again in a handy list.
- Fright Night (1985)
- Jennifer’s Body (2009)
- Final Destination (2000)
- Freaky (2020)
- M3GAN (2022)
- The Craft (1996)
- Cherry Falls (2000)
- The Black Phone (2021)
- Scream (1996)
- Happy Death Day (2017)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
- Jeepers Creepers (2001)
- Run (2020)
- Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
- Summer of ’84 (2018)
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
- Joy Ride (2001)
- Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
- Host (2020)
- Carrie (1976)
- Cabin Fever (2002)
- Last Night in Soho (2021)
- Oculus (2013)
- Disturbing Behaviour (1998)
- It Follows (2014)
- The Fear Street trilogy (2021)
- The Lost Boys (1987)
- Halloween (1978)
- Halloween: H20 (1998)
- Unfriended (2014)
- Idle Hands (1999)
- The Babysitter (2017)
- Christine (1983)
- House on Haunted Hill (1999)
- It (2017)
- Hostel (2005)
- The Blair Witch Project (1999)
- The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
- Don’t Breathe (2016)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
- Friday the 13th (1980)
- I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
- Night of the Creeps (1986)
- The House of the Devil (2009)
- Scream VI (2023)
- Scary Movie (2000)
- Get Out (2017)
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
- House of Wax (2005)
- Urban Legend (1998)
- Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
- The Monster Squad (1987)
- Gremlins (1984)
- Wrong Turn (2003)
- The Faculty (1998)
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the best teen horror movies. For more posts be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
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