10 Stephen King-Approved Horrors That Will Make You Sleep With Lights On

10 Stephen King-Approved Horrors That Will Make You Sleep With Lights On
Image credit: Shudder, A24

The only horror list you’ll ever need.

Everyone has a different opinion about what makes a good horror movie. Some believe it has to be gory, while others look for tension and interesting monster lore. Either way, there are some horror movies that are considered universally bad, just as there are some that are so good that you can't pass up an opportunity to see them.

If you're struggling to find a horror movie to your liking, leave it to the professionals to tell you which are the best of the best. Here are 10 horror films that Stephen King has publicly praised over the years. Surely there will be a few that pique your interest as well.

Crimson Peak (2015)

This may not be Guillermo del Toro 's most acclaimed film, nor is it the horror in a format you're probably used to. Wrapped with romance, mystery and an almost whimsical feel to it, Crimson Peak is still absolutely terrifying, but does a good job of relaxing the viewer into it and throwing the scares as a surprise.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Starring Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, the film follows a father-and-son team of medical examiners who take on the case of an unidentified woman's body. The deeper they get into the autopsy, the more conflicting evidence they find. But the mysteries don't stop at the morgue, as both coroners begin to notice strange occurrences in their lives.

Dementia 13 (1963)

This is old-school horror, but don't let that fact distract you from the witty plot and great visuals. The black-and-white format only adds to the story of a vicious widow fighting for her late husband's inheritance. What makes the film even more intriguing is that it marked the feature film directorial debut of Francis Ford Coppola.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

To say that this movie changed the way horror was perceived would be an understatement, at least for a while. Coming out right in the wake of the widespread use of the Internet, the movie made it too easy to trick viewers into believing that everything they saw on the screen was real. Even the king of horror found it too disturbing to sit through in one go.

Village of the Damned (1960)

Based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, this film is a horror for those who find the use of children in the genre particularly disturbing. Village of the Damned explores the British village of Midwich, which is eventually populated by an army of terrifying children with supernatural abilities.

Late Night with the Devil (2023)

Another great movie for any fan of the found footage genre that might have slipped your mind back in 2023. The film takes viewers back to the Halloween night of 1977 and explores the horrifying live broadcast of the Night Owls with Jack Delroy, who invited a possessed girl to boost the ratings.

X (2022)

The sequel to 2022's Pearl, the movie stars Mia Goth in two roles, the young girl Maxine and the older woman named Pearl. Just like the first part, X is perfect for those who love classic slashers and aren't easily disturbed by too much violence and gore. There is also a third chapter in the story called MaXXXine, which is scheduled for release on July 5, 2024.

The Changeling (1980)

This Canadian horror has an 83% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and is considered a classic in its genre. And for good reason. Not only does it have an exciting ghost story premise, but it also excels in all technical aspects of the filmmaking process. The Changeling is a must-see, as well as a perfect re-watch that never gets old.

Night of the Demon (1957)

Another black and white horror masterpiece that everyone must watch is the British Night of the Demon. The film follows an American professor whose strong belief in a scientific approach to life is shattered by his devil-worshiping rival and the mysterious occurrences that start popping up in their lives.

The Last House on the Left (2009)

Starring Breaking Bad 's Aaron Paul, this story is as heartbreaking as it is terrifying. Thanks to the brilliant acting of everyone involved in the production, this is the only remake that lives up to the original. Though many fans of the '70s movie would disagree (hence the controversial Rotten Tomatoes score), the 2009 version is worth watching.