All-time Favorite Horror Movies
Though it's only my top 11 (couldn't narrow it down to 10), these are simply the ones that I consider to be near perfect.
- •HalloweenThis is probably my all-time favorite movie, never mind horror movie. The tension is palpable throughout the movie, and the lack of empathy for the killer is unlike most movies of this ilk. You don't really know why Michael Myers snaps, or why he is hell-bent on murdering his family. He is nameless, faceless, and terrifying.
- •A Nightmare on Elm StreetThere is no nostalgia necessary to still be scared of this one. Freddy Krueger manages to be terrifying and incredibly funny at the same time, although his tone is much more serious in this first movie. Johnny Depp's very first movie role is a great one, and he definitely provides the best death scene. (Next time you watch this one, give a good look at Nancy's high school teacher *cough Insidious cough*.)
- •PhantasmBesides having the most amazing horror soundtrack of all time, the plot is so amazing. This is one of the most original horror movies, and it brought upon one of the best horror movie villains in the Tall Man. Angus Scrimm is fearsome in his role, and honestly the acting from the whole cast is superb.
- •The ThingTalk about tension. Oh, lord. This is the most hand-wringing, white-knuckling movie ever made. Carpenter outdid himself for The Thing, from the writing and directing to the creepy as shit practical effects. The movie is bleak and unrelenting, and the unforgiving ending is near-perfect.
- •The Texas Chainsaw MassacreEven though Leatherface has terrified hundreds of thousands of people throughout the years, the thing that scares me the most in this movie is the whole family of psychos. The strange connection that a family like this might have in a backwoods part of Texas seems painfully accurate. It all feels so legitimate, and the stark realism that director Tobe Hooper incorporated into the film is what makes it such a lasting treasure.
- •SuspiriaThe key to liking Suspiria is allowing yourself to enjoy the ride. You aren't supposed to understand everything as it's happening; director Dario Argento isn't interested in spoon-feeding his audience plot points. Couple that with some of the most beautifully artistic death scenes ever, and you have a very compelling movie that demands quite a bit out of its viewers.
- •Evil DeadThis movie is near-perfect. The plot has been copied a legendary amount of times. The gore is over the top in such a fun way, and Bruce Campbell's acting cheeses right along with the practical effects. And even though there are quite a few moments where you laugh out loud at the ludicrous kills, there are still a surprising amount of bone-chilling scenes, even after all these years of watching it.
- •The ShiningYou will never know exactly how much I nerded out when I found out that my favorite horror writer's novel was made into to a movie by my favorite director. Even though great *ahem* liberties were taken, it still stands as an amazing piece of cinematic history. The acting is superb, the cinematography is incredible, and the plot is just plain terrifying.
- •Friday the 13thIt would be easy to disregard this movie as one of the early slasher films that got credited (rightfully so) with jump-starting the genre, but I've always enjoyed this one on its own merits. The kills are fun and creative, and the human aspect of Mrs. Vorhees makes it more engaging than most.
- •PoltergeistThis was the first ghost story that truly freaked me out. It disturbed me that such a seemingly normal family just happened to move into a shitstorm of a situation. The kitchen scene where the chairs are moved and stacked for some reason has stuck with me over the years; it was unexpected and original. Craig T. Nelson's desire to protect his family is a powerful plot device and the ending of the movie is exciting and heart-wrenching.
- •ITThough this movie is quintessentially '90's, I truly believe this is one of the best King adaptations to film. The acting is superb, especially with the amount of child actors. Tim Curry is an absolute monster as Pennywise the Clown, and he contributes to some absolutely nightmarish scenes. Beep beep, Ritchie.