Horror movies are famous for many things. The blood and gore can sometimes drown out good screenwriting and storytelling...but not in the case of these fifteen quotes. These quotes are the best. They're cool. They're haunting. They make you think. Or sometimes they just outright scare you. That said, here are my fifteen favorite horror movie quotes.
15. "I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just gonna bash your brains in." - Jack Torrance (The Shining)
This quote comes at the perfect time. The build-up of tension in The Shining is one of the best parts of the film. It's so uncomfortable and eerie, and all of that tension is paid off as Jack Torrance breaks and slowly stalks up the stairs while Wendy waves a baseball bat in front of him. There's still some hope that everything will be okay...and then he says this, and you realize that Jack Torrance is completely gone and the only thing on screen is pure insanity.
14. "They're coming to get you, Barbara." - Johnny (Night of the Living Dead)
In the very beginning of Night of the Living Dead, Barbara and Johnny visit a cemetery, where Johnny jokes around, trying to creep Barbara out. In one of these attempts to creep her out, he utters this fabulous line in the most unsettling way possible. I don't know who plays Johnny in this film, but he delivers this quote in such a creepy way that I had to put it on here. It sets the tone for what is to follow in Night of the Living Dead. I love it.
13. "Sometimes, dead is better." - Jud Crandall (Pet Sematary)
Sometimes, simplicity is great. This quote doesn't have a deeper meaning. It isn't some cool, inventive horror line that makes you think. This is just a fantastic line of dialogue that sums up all of Pet Sematary in four words. It's so effective at being chilling and foreboding, making you realize that the path all of these characters are following is a very dangerous and very bad one.
12. "Do you wanna play a game?" - Jigsaw (Saw)
Jigsaw's iconic quote has to be on here. This is such a simple quote that has been used so many times in movies since Saw, but you remember it from Saw. You remember the spine-tingling image of Billy the Puppet on that crappy TV. Tobin Bell's deep, crackling voice adds so much to this quote. It's so iconic and so, so scary.
11. "Be my victim." - Candyman (Candyman)
I love how they make Candyman feel like an epic, mythical figure in his movies. This simple quote makes him feel so legendary and hypnotic. It's just such a cool catchphrase for this character. Tony Todd's soothing voice can deliver Clive Barker's epic dialogue perfectly, and he does so the first time he says these words all the way to the last time he says them. It's such a good quote that's elevated by Tony Todd's iconic look and voice.
10. "I prayed he would burn in hell. But in my heart, I knew hell wouldn't have him." - Dr. Sam Loomis (Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers)
This quote isn't famous. But it is fantastic. Have I ever seen Halloween 5? No. Do I really care about Halloween 5? No. But Sam Loomis delivers some awesome lines throughout the franchise, and this is one of them. He makes Michael Myers seem so terrifying with all of these philosophical and deep quotes. When you think about this line, you realize how horrifying Michael Myers truly is. And, of course, Donald Pleasance gives you all the gravitas and insanity of Dr. Loomis.
9. "We all float down here." - Pennywise (It)
Bill Skarsgård breathed new life into Pennywise in his 2017 big screen debut. The first time we truly encounter the clown fully (he was in a sewer when he killed Georgie) is in the middle of a field as Eddie Kaspbrak runs for his life. Pennywise appears behind him with a giant stack of balloons and starts talking to Eddie. He is so freakin' scary as he tells Eddie all about floating. "We all float down here" sends chills shooting down my spine whenever I hear it. It's such a good line.
8. "They're here." - Carol Anne Freeling (Poltergeist)
Another simple quote that is just so effective and so creepy. I haven't actually seen Poltergeist, but I know this quote. There is truly nothing scarier than a creepy kid. And, even though Carol Anne is a protagonist in Poltergeist, she becomes a creepy kid for this scene. As she stares at the TV static, she says "They're here" with such child-like innocence. It's absolutely terrifying. I would not want to be the parents in this situation. It's such an iconic scene and such an iconic quote for a reason.
7. "Here's Johnny!" - Jack Torrance (The Shining)
Probably the most famous moment from The Shining comes when Jack Torrance is hacking through the bathroom door of the Torrances' room in the Overlook Hotel. A totally nuts Jack sticks his face in the slot that he has created in the door and yells out this incredibly famous line. Improvised by Jack Nicholson, this quote shows just how off the rails Jack has gone. It's such a random thing to say that works so well. It makes you feel the threat that Jack has become.
6. "It's alive!" - Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein)
I think this may be the most iconic quote on this list. At the very beginning of Frankenstein, Dr. Henry Frankenstein is creating the monster. When it moves, he goes bananas. Colin Clive's insane performance gives this quote so much impact. The way he freaks out and screams and the look in his eyes is just...it's just so good. You will not find a list of greatest movie quotes without this one.
5. "Listen to them. The children of the night! What music they make." - Count Dracula (Dracula)
Just as iconic as Colin Clive's Henry Frankenstein is Bela Lugosi's Count Dracula. The Transylvanian vampire makes his true big screen debut in 1931's Dracula, where he became an iconic of pop culture. We first meet him on the steps of his castle as he makes an acquaintance with R.M. Renfield. After welcoming Renfield, we hear some wolves howling. Dracula then turns around and delivers this haunting piece of dialogue that sums up everything iconic about Lugosi's version of the character.
4. "Come play with us, Danny. Forever and ever." - The Grady Girls (The Shining)
The third entry from The Shining is one of the scariest moments in the movie. As little Danny Torrance bikes through the hotel on his tricycle, he rounds the corner to see the the Grady twins, who have been haunting him throughout the movie. In this creepy British accent, the twins say this. As they say this, images of their blood-soaked corpses flash in front of you, adding to the horror of this scene. This is one of The Shining's most famous and discussed scenes for good reason.
3. "Do you like scary movies?" - Ghostface (Scream)
Scream made an impact on people from the first scene. The flirty phone call from Ghostface talks about horror movies and introduces meta-ness into the horror genre. It's all summarized by the iconic question that has been repeated by every Scream movie since. It's such a perfect line that sets the tone of what Scream is while also feeling effectively off. It's also thrown in in the middle of a basically perfect scene, which just makes it one of the best quotes in a horror film.
2. "We all go a little mad sometimes." - Norman Bates (Psycho)
Everything about this scene is perfect. The above foreboding shot of Norman Bates contributes to the unsettling atmosphere of Psycho. You see the evil side of Bates start to form as he snaps at Marion Crane when she suggests the idea of committing his mother to an asylum. After chilling out, Norman leans back and foreshadows his true nature with this spooky line that takes on a whole different meaning when you watch all of Psycho.
1. "You're gonna need a bigger boat." - Martin Brody (Jaws)
Jaws is famous for not showing the shark in the first half of the movie. However, when you do see the shark in all of its mechanical glory, the characters also see it. Martin Brody's reaction to finally getting a full-on view of the beast is one of the best moments in the film. Roy Scheider's deadpan face as he backs into the captain's quarters and tells Quint he needs a bigger boat is just fantastic. I love this movie and I love this line. It's fantastic. It's one of the most memorable quotes in a movie ever. I love it.