Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Favourite Horror Movies

It's that time of year so here, at last, is my list of my favourite horror movies. I've mostly chosen movies that scared me as I was growing up, but there's also a few horror comedies and more recent movies. Any of these would make great Halloween viewing. So, in chronological order:

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – gotta stick at least one real oldie in there. This superior sequel features many of the best parts of the book that were left out of the first film

Psycho (1960) – that Hitchcock has done it again!

Night of the Living Dead (1968) – the archetype for all zombie movies that came after

The Wicker Man (1973) – classic British horror that remains a unique experience to this day

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – unlike the gore-splattered movies that followed, this is scarier for what you don’t see

Black Christmas (1974) –the prototype for many slashers to come. The phone calls from “Billy”, who we never see, remain chilling to this day

Jaws (1975) – still the most terrifying man against nature movie

Carrie (1976) – the first and in many ways still the best of the 5 billion Stephen King adaptations that have been made

Halloween (1978) – Psycho and Black Sunday may have preceded it, but Carpenter’s classic perfected the slasher movie

Dawn of the Dead (1978) – the second part in George Romero’s ongoing zombie series is even better than Night

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – second time’s the charm with this fantastic remake. The pod people scream still haunts me

Alien (1979) – the first and still the best of the modern space horror movies

Salem’s Lot (1979) – TV movie may be a little dated in parts, but the floating vampire kids are as creepy as ever

The Shining (1980) – better than the book, and that’s coming from a huge Stephen King fan

An American Werewolf in London (1981) – the rare horror comedy that is as scary as it is funny. The transformation scenes has still yet to be topped

Poltergeist (1982) – the scariest and goriest kid’s film ever made

The Thing (1982) – Carpenter’s masterpiece remains as effective today as it was on its underrated original release

Sleepaway Camp (1983) – cheesy horror redeemed by a bizarre and disturbing final few minutes

Videodrome (1983) – Cronenberg at his weirdest and freakiest

The Dead Zone (1983) – one of Cronenberg’s more “normal” movies and a superb adaptation of King’s novel

Gremlins (1984) – the best of Joe Dante’s many classic horror comedies

Fright Night (1985) – Welcome to Fright Night! And avoid the remake

Return of the Living Dead (1985) – send more paramedics! The best Night of the Living Dead inspired movie

Re-animator (1985) – the best Lovecraft adaptation and a great double bill with Return of the Living Dead

Phenomena (1985) – not a great movie, but the chimpanzee with a razor scene is an all-time classic

The Fly (1986) – one of the few remakes better than the original, along with the Thing and Body Snatchers

Evil Dead II – the original is spectacularly nasty and Army of Darkness is fun, but this remains the all-round best of the series

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (1987) – I actually prefer this to the original, mainly because of Freddy’s character reaching the perfect balance between scary and funny and the kickass idea of the kids fighting back with their dream powers

Near Dark (1987) – classic vampire western from Kathryn Bigelow

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990) – probably the most realistic onscreen depiction of a serial killer, which makes it all the more scary

Jacob’s Ladder (1990) – Tim Robbin’s descent into a nightmarish world is one of more disturbing movies ever made.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – the only Hannibal Lecter movie where they got everything right

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Francis Coppola’s take on Stoker isn’t scary and has some seriously miscast roles, but the amazing visuals and Gary Oldman’s performance still make it one of the better vampire movies

Interview with the Vampire (1994) – a fantastic cast in a gorgeous adaptation of the Anne Rice book. Kirtsen Dunst should have been nominated for an Oscar

Seven (1995) – one of the more disturbing serial killer movies ever made and a huge influences on lesser movies that followed

Event Horizon (1997) – the plot may not make a lick of sense but the nightmarish visions of a possessed ship in the depths of space still haunt me

Shaun of the Dead (2004) – more comedy than horror, but still one of the best zombie movies

Let the Right One In (2008) – brilliantly disturbing Swedish vampire movie. The remake is pretty good, too

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) – not just a great horror movie but a compilation of nearly every great horror movie


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