10. At The Mountains Of Madness
Easily coming in as the longest entry in this list, At The Mountains Of Madness is technically more of a novella than the short stories Lovecraft was famous for, but its status in fictional history is undeniable.
Focusing on William Dyer, a geologist attempting to foil a second Antarctic expedition for the fictional and ever-present Miskatonic University within Lovecraft's tales, the story takes us back to the chilling events of the initial expedition. After the advance group led by the ambitious Professor Lake discovers the remains of previously unrecorded prehistoric life-forms, Dyer's group arrives to find the camp devastated and most of the crew dismembered. What follows is an increasingly tense and maddening report of an exploration into impossibly tall mountaintops with eldritch cities carved into the icy rock. If you can stomach the extremely detailed geological explanations that litter the first half of this novel, the payoff is well worth it.
Written in 1931, the story shares similarities to the 1938 story Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, a novella that would eventually serve as the basis for John Carpenter's The Thing, with the tundra backdrop and alien intrigue. Just throw in a bit of Kurt Russell and we're good to go.