ByMatt Timmy Creamer, writer at
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Matt Timmy Creamer

Movie titles are key for drawing audiences to the theater. Whether you know what the movie’s about or not, one-word movie titles stand out and are a succinct testament to what the film represents. Some brief titles have stood the test of time as they truly capture the essence of the film itself in a single word.

These are the 10 one-word movie titles that I feel do just that. What makes these one-word movie titles stand on their own merits? Read on to find out! And to see if one of the movie titles you were thinking of made my list!

10. Halloween

To name a film after the scariest holiday may seem rather cliche, but John Carpenter’s masterpiece cannot be overstated. The title is rather simple, but it means so much in the grand scheme of things. To have the film take place during the creepiest holiday of the year makes the title that much more meaningful. This movie is also considered to be the film that established what we now label the “slasher film.” This is a good title for a film that represents one of the more popular American holidays of the year.

9. Zombieland

The title alone should give you a helpful hint that this is a film starring a LOT of zombies. Does it sound like a theme park name to you? Well, it's certainly an intriguing title that makes you think a little bit. The title makes me think that it could be a fun and entertaining premise with lots of gory fun. Fans may have seen plenty of zombie movies before, but this title appears to promise something different than your typical zombie flick.

8. Gladiator

With a title like Gladiator, one can immediately envision a major battle taking place inside the popular Colosseum located in Rome. Ridley Scott doesn't pull any punches here, and lets fans know that they will feel as if they are in Roman times while watching the movie. The armor and battle scenes are coming and the title alone should attract history buffs and fans of sword-and-sandals action movies alike.

7. Braveheart

Braveheart clearly stands for our main protagonist, as he’s a man who has a “brave heart.” This title captures a sense of wanting freedom, knowing that a hero is going into battle to fight for what he believes is right. The title could mean a lot of things, but we know it must focus on our main hero William Wallace who is played by Mel Gibson.

6. Alien

Yet another Ridley Scott film cracks this list. The title Alien is transparent, but it tells you all you need to know. The title makes you aware that it is a science fiction film, though unless you’ve seen the trailer, you probably wouldn’t have known that it’s also considered a classic horror movie, too.

Alien is the PERFECT title for this movie. It doesn't give anything away about the plot of the movie, but instead raises plenty of questions. We've been given a lot of alien invasion movies that were abundant during the '50s, but no science fiction film had ever used such a straightforward title before.

Now let’s get into my top 5…

5. Scream

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that this movie title’s genre is probably horror. Wes Craven’s Scream basically gives you the film in a nutshell. You can anticipate a whole lot of screaming along with quite a few deaths.

4. Predator

Unless you’re thinking about another type of predator movie directed by Chris Hansen, this title clearly defines our antagonist. According to the dictionary, the word "predator" means “an animal that naturally preys on others.” However, this thing is no animal. The Predator stands for what it sets out to do, and that’s to eliminate its targets. The one-word title definitely suits the movie and assures a terrifying movie villain.

3. Taken

This title gives you a feeling that it is some sort of thriller, especially with Liam Neeson in the lead role. The title makes it known that the film will have a creepy premise. The name Taken is perfect in every way, and gives us the hunch that we are in for quite a ride.

2. Psycho

The name of this movie describes our killer in one word. Of course if you’ve seen the film, you know who the real killer is. Alfred Hitchcock could not have picked a more superb title. The title raises plenty of questions which is what Hitchcock does best. Is the film about a person going crazy or could the title have multiple meanings? I won’t spoil the ending here, but you’ll definitely know after watching the movie why Hitchcock chose to use this title for his film.

1. Jaws

Honestly, could this choice have been anything else? Of course now when we think of the word ‘jaws,’ we immediately picture a shark terrorizing the folks off the beaches of Amity Island. Steven Spielberg’s Jaws has to be the perfect one-word title to a movie.

Even though this word obviously represents the shark's numerous amounts of teeth, the title gives us a feeling of dread, knowing all too well that things aren’t looking good for our characters. It’s sheer terror at its finest, as this movie proves that you should be afraid to go back into the water. Or as one of the many movie taglines state: “It’s as if God created The Devil, and gave him Jaws.”

Did you agree with my list? What famous one word movie titles do you think should have made this list? I’d like to hear what you have to say in the comment section below and don’t forget to share this piece with your friends!


What is your favorite one word movie title?


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