The very first animation was scary, showing the skeleton of a horse galloping in the darkness. Since 1881, animators have extended the art form to places previously inconceivable. Some stories are so painful that they can only be told through imaginary characters. Each of these films offers an intimate experience. A look into the soul of the filmmaker. No practical detail separates them from their history. A story told through digital collages, paintings and even sketches on lined paper.
This list features various animation styles. Anime, hand drawing, stop motion and digital 2D. You might be surprised to find an animation that can scare you. But this form of cinema has the freedom to push the boundaries of reality. About horrors you’ve never experienced. Perhaps, have never even imagined. So far.
Here are the best animated horror movies to watch.
Best Animated Horror Movies
The latest film in Mushi Production’s trilogy is a violent and beautiful anime. Brightly colored hand-painted frames display gruesome realities such as rape and abuse. Eroticism meets evil in the story of a peasant woman who makes a pact with the devil after being gang-raped. You’ll be grateful for the psychedelic artwork on screen. It distracts from the gruesome heart of the film.
Don’t let the meadow bunnies fool you. Their meadow becomes soaked in blood when construction of a new domain for humans begins. As in real life, the story depicts nature both charming and bloody. Upbeat and wild characters. This hand-drawn film depicts the smallest of us. Yet the horror of capitalist expansion affects all forms of life in similar ways.
heavy metal steals its audience through distant galaxies. The anthology film closely follows the raunchy SciFi Horror magazine of the same name. Vintage SciFi art illustrates the screen, perfectly reminiscent of 70s comics. Crude humor along with a lively soundtrack are our vehicles through the screen space. The same goes for the sometimes broken or dismembered bodies, making it a perfect fit for this list.
The animation style of this movie is deceptively heartwarming. For a brief moment, you might think you’re about to watch a fun adventure movie. Then you watch animals being tortured in a research lab. Two dogs escape from the lab and we follow the dogs as they fight the horrors of nature and humanity. They carry on with the baggage of their traumatic past, which literally stalks them. As boat down, plague dogs is an adaptation of a novel by Richard Adams. The conflicting themes of hope and disparity play out on screen in watercolor landscapes. Each brushstroke brings us closer to a frenzied end.
In this film about the slippage of reason, we witness a woman confronting her stalker and his madness. The two become equal threats to his life. Darren Aronofsky was set to direct a remake of the film but ultimately dropped the project. He continued to lead Black Swan. A film with remarkably similar themes of striving for perfection at the expense of sanity.
In Burton’s signature shade of blue, animated clay figures, living and dead, fall in love with each other. This causes misunderstandings and mishaps in a romantic story veiled in darkness. This story of a murdered bride teaches us – just because a movie is suitable for kids doesn’t mean it’s exclusive to them.
Fairy tales have always been dark and disturbing stories. Blood Tea and Red String reminds us of this. The 13-year-old’s production yields some beautifully weird results. A violent shade of blood red contrasts with pure white, giving the film an astonishingly bold palette. There is no dialogue in the film. Instead, the story unfolds through trippy imagery and textured characters. The details are so strong that your brain can itch because of the felt of their fur.
A sailor crosses war-torn seas on his homeward voyage. As part of the Watchmen universe, this DC comic book adaptation delivers what we’ve all been looking for in a pirate tale. Ghosts and curses. The striking palette is as moody as the story itself. The filmmakers offer you space inside the head of the sea captain as he navigates dangerous seas. And faces ships manned by undead.
Although the story follows the life of a child, it is not a film just for children. Coraline’s life falls into darkness when a back door leads her to another world. A world strangely similar to his. The horror of the film lies in its false comforts. A warm welcome, a buffet of your favorite homemade dishes. As usual, a mother is behind all this magic. But this mother wants to steal your soul. The colorful and whimsical stop motion will leave you with horrific visions. Sew on buttons where your eyes should be and your mouths clipped into a smile. Created by the director of The Nightmare Before Christmasexpect equal parts charm and freight in this animation.
Dive into the world of resident Evil video games in the biopunk horror film. The CGI animation looks just like a video game. Unlike a video game, you no longer have any control over your destiny as a deadly airborne virus begins to spread through New York City. Lots of gunshot and brain debris explosions will make your heart race. The nostalgia for video game animation will soothe him.
Messy clay and spooky papier-mâché figures make up this unsettling animation. Maria’s emotions control the house, which constantly changes color and shape. The real events that inspired this animation are even darker. The nightmarish house represents Colonia Dignidad. A colony in Chile during World War II where German dissidents were tortured and killed. The Wolf House is a passionate and heartfelt piece from a soul of trauma and darkness.
David Firth’s imagination explodes with nightmarish visions. Birth, decay, and almost every weird moment in between. 13 years of short animations brought together in a single feature film. It makes for a truly surreal experience. As the story evolves, so does the animation style. Umbilical World brings you the scariest versions of stop motion, cutout and digital animation. If you’ve ever wanted to jump into David Firth’s subconscious, here’s your chance.
Fully crowdfunded, this gory movie is complex in game design and simple in animation. Kill Recalling Gear Seen sends blood offerings to his audience. This means you and the gambling network betting on the life and death of the Dekalb family. What makes this film so grim and unique is that the family man is behind the torment. He is on a mission of revenge against his children, who made him lose a political election by exposing his evil side. Narrated by William Shatner, the film welcomes you to a world of time travel, blood and debauchery.
This Polish film wraps its afflicted character in a comfort blanket that reaches the audience. Our protagonist escapes to a timeless land where he and his loved ones are all safe and alive. Delicately hand-drawn, the film is gruesome at its core. A film this surreal and beautiful contains a painful truth. Ultimately, our loved ones only exist in our imagination. “I don’t believe in death”, says filmmaker Wilczyński, “they are not dead, but they live in my imagination.”
It turns out that cryptid creatures, while magical, are treated just as badly as land creatures. A group of cryptozoo keepers are searching for the legendary Dream Eater Baku. But does such a creature have its place in the confines of a zoo? Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Cryptozoo dazzles audiences with over-stimulating psychedelic animation. The horror of the film manifests itself in the bloody creature battles and American military experimentation. all hidden under rainbows and unicorns.
crazy god seems psychotic. It is not accidental. This film points a nihilistic lens on societal behavior. “The repetition of the media has turned us into a psychotic culture. It really goes without saying,” says director Phil Tippet, adding that crazy god is an interpretation of our world. Slimy, monstrous creatures devour and destroy each other in decimated hellscapes. Humanity can be seen in the film’s violence, gore and desensitized apathy. What’s scarier than seeing yourself? crazy god hold the mirror.
A tribute to mother earth herself. Like our land, The spine of the night is magnificent and terribly violent. It will make you want to look away while wanting more. Lucy Lawless, who plays Tzod, perfectly describes the animation as “ugly beautiful”. Raw character designs battle between beautiful night skies and magnificent raging fires. Fires that destroy the land that shelters us, as well as the few humans who fight to protect it. This movie will leave you feeling small in an expanding universe. You can find solace in this horror, or utter despair.
More Horrible Animated Movies
- wicked city (1987) based on black guard, this film plunges us into a dark fantasy where our human world coexists with a demonic world. Only a secret police stand guard between the two.
- The strange Christmas of Mr. Jacks (1993) by Tim Burton is perhaps the most famous animated horror film of all time with a memorable and career-defining soundtrack for Danny Elfman.
- A night in a city (2007) is a bleak, dialogueless stop motion from the Czech Republic. We follow clay figures for a night. It offers a strange voyeuristic view of what the loneliest of people do in a surreal environment.
- Berserk: Golden Age Arc (2013) an animated trilogy about a band of outlaws and mercenaries based on a manga by Kentaro Miura.