The 10 Best War-Horror Movies, Ranked

War is hell, and horror is, well, horrifying. Combine the two, and you’ve got a genre that digs into our deepest fears and plays them out against the backdrop of humanity’s most intense and devastating conflicts. It’s a blend that is both chilling and thought-provoking, often making social commentary that sticks with you long after the credits roll. Here are the ten best war-horror movies that bring the terror of war to a whole new level.

10. All the Moons (2020)

Set during the Third Carlist War in 19th-century Spain, All the Moons is a haunting tale of a young orphan named Amaya, who is taken in by a mysterious woman known as “Mother.” But this isn’t a heartwarming story of rescue – Mother is a vampire with plans to feed on Amaya. Shot in the Basque language, this film won accolades at the Fantasia International Film Festival for its atmospheric and emotional depth. It’s not just about the terror of war, but the personal horror of survival and transformation.

9. Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

During the chaos of the French Revolution, legends of a monstrous Beast of Gévaudan terrorized the countryside. Brotherhood of the Wolf takes this historical legend and turns it into a swashbuckling, action-packed horror film. The blend of CGI and puppetry for the beast, courtesy of the Jim Henson Company, creates a truly fearsome creature. With high production value and a mix of historical and fantasy elements, this film is a rollercoaster ride that’s sure to entertain fans of both genres.

8. Blood Vessel (2019)

Imagine surviving a shipwreck during World War II only to board an abandoned Nazi ship crawling with vampires. That’s Blood Vessel for you. This Australian horror flick knows it’s a bit ridiculous and leans into the kitsch. Despite its absurd premise, it won several awards at FilmQuest, including Best Costuming and Best Supporting Actress. With a fantastic lead performance by Alyssa Sutherland, Blood Vessel is a fun, unique horror experience that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

7. Overlord (2018)

Overlord drops us right into the thick of Operation Overlord, the D-Day invasion of Normandy. But this isn’t just a war film. When a group of paratroopers crash-lands behind enemy lines, they discover a sinister Nazi experiment creating undead super soldiers. This film is a B-movie delight, filled with nods to classic action-horror flicks and driven by a pulsating soundtrack. With a cast featuring Wyatt Russell and Pilou Asbæk, Overlord delivers adrenaline-pumping horror that’s as thrilling as it is terrifying.

6. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Jacob’s Ladder follows Vietnam War veteran Jacob Singer, played by Tim Robbins, as he grapples with horrifying visions and nightmarish delusions. The film blurs the lines between reality and madness, delving into psychological horror with surreal and disturbing imagery. Its portrayal of PTSD and the aftereffects of war is both poignant and terrifying. This movie is a mind-bending experience that demands multiple viewings to fully appreciate its layered narrative.

5. Mohawk (2017)

During the War of 1812, Mohawk focuses on Okwaho, a Mohawk woman seeking vengeance after her family is attacked by American soldiers. This film is a brutal, action-packed horror story that shines a light on the often-overlooked history of Indigenous people during this conflict. With Kaniehtiio Horn delivering a powerful performance, Mohawk is praised for its historical commentary and effective use of a modest budget. It’s a raw, visceral film that blends historical drama with slasher horror.

4. The Nightingale (2018)

Set during Australia’s Black War, The Nightingale is a gut-wrenching tale of revenge and survival. Claire, an Irish convict played by Aisling Franciosi, embarks on a journey through the Tasmanian wilderness to exact revenge on the British officers who destroyed her family. Directed by Jennifer Kent of The Babadook fame, this film doesn’t shy away from graphic violence and harsh realities. It’s a powerful narrative that addresses colonialism, racism, and the human capacity for brutality.

3. Trench 11 (2017)

World War I horror is a rarity, but Trench 11 makes a strong case for more films in this subgenre. Set in a German complex during the war’s final days, the film follows Lieutenant Berton as he uncovers a terrifying biological weapon: parasitic worms that turn soldiers into monstrous killers. The claustrophobic setting and relentless tension make Trench 11 a standout. It’s a chilling reminder of the horrors of war, amplified by the fear of being trapped underground with something truly monstrous.

2. Under the Shadow (2016)

During the War of the Cities in 1980s Iran, Under the Shadow tells the story of Shideh and her daughter Dorsa, who are haunted by a malevolent Djinn. As the war rages outside their Tehran apartment, the supernatural terror within becomes increasingly oppressive. This film masterfully blends the real horrors of war with psychological and supernatural elements, leaving audiences questioning what’s real and what’s imagined. It’s a unique, chilling film that offers sharp social commentary and genuine scares.

1. Threads (1984)

Nothing supernatural here – Threads is pure, unadulterated horror rooted in reality. This BBC television film depicts the aftermath of a nuclear war in Sheffield, England. With a documentary-like approach, it shows the devastating effects of nuclear fallout on society. The stark, brutal depiction of a post-apocalyptic world is more terrifying than any monster or ghost. Threads is a harrowing reminder of the fragility of civilization and the very real horrors that humanity can inflict upon itself. It’s a film that will stay with you, altering your perception of the world.


So there you have it, a list of war-horror films that bring together the fear of battle and the supernatural in ways that will haunt your dreams. Each of these movies offers something unique, whether it’s historical insight, psychological depth, or pure adrenaline-pumping terror. If you’re looking for a cinematic experience that challenges and chills, these films are definitely worth your time.

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