Saturday, September 30, 2023

List: Top 3 Horror Movie Performances

This week on Episode 277 of the InSession Film Podcast, inspired by Toni Collette’s frightening and devastating turn in Hereditary, we discussed our favorite performances in horror films. While horror is a genre many of us hold dear, we don’t always talk about the great and devastating performances that carry them. Many horror films even garnered Oscar nominations for their respective actors and actresses, notably films like The Exorcist and Carrie, so we decided to focus on those that have stuck with us over time. That said, what would be your Top 3? Here are the one’s that made ours:

(Note: Please keep in mind that we each had different criteria for our selections)


1) Sissy Spacek, Carrie
2) Anthony Perkins, Psycho
3) Belen Rueda, The Orphanage


1) Natalie Portman, Black Swan
2) Anthony Perkins, Psycho
3) Kathy Bates, Misery

Honorable Mentions (Combined)

Jason Miller, The Exorcist
Ellen Burstyn, The Exorcist
Linda Blair, The Exorcist
James Caan, Misery
Sigourney Weaver, Alien
Naomi Watts, Mulholland Dr.
Christian Bale, American Psycho
Mia Farrow, Rosemary’s Baby
Catherine Deneuve, Repulsion
Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense
Gary Oldman, Dracula
Roy Scheider, Jaws
Heather Donahue, The Blair Witch Project
Essie Davis, The Babadook
Nicole Kidman, The Others
Kurt Russell, The Thing
Madison Wolfe, The Conjuring 2
Michael Rooker, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch
Jack Nicholson, The Shining
Robert Mitchum, The Night of the Hunter
Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs
Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs
Simon Pegg, Shaun of the Dead
Boris Karloff, Frankenstein
Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island
Kelvin Harrison Jr., It Comes at Night

Hopefully you guys enjoyed our lists and if you agree or disagree with us, let us know in the comment section below. There are obviously many more performances that could have been mentioned, but unfortunately we were not able to for time purposes. That being said, what would be your Top 3? Leave a comment in the comment section or email us at

For the entire podcast, click here or listen below.

For more lists done by the InSession Film crew and other guests, be sure see our Top 3 Movie Lists page.

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