Originally posted on October 31, 2010 at 12:09 AM
In honor of Halloween, a lot of scary movie lists have been floating around cyberspace. As both a Halloween fanatic and horror movie enthusiast, I feel like the “Top Horror Movies of All Time” and “Scariest Movies Ever Made” lists have it wrong, for the most part, because they try to shove everything into one list. In reality, movies can be scary, fun, graphic, campy, and/or in the “horror” genre, and those are vastly different things. So I made 7, yes 7, different lists for your reading pleasure and discrimination. (Disclaimer: as much as I wish I’ve seen every horror movie ever made, I haven’t. Please forgive if I left off one of your faves.) Enjoy.
Top 16 Scariest Movies
1. Paranormal Activity- understated chill fest. The only movie that can actually keep me up at night when I’m trying to sleep. (Plus, this movie gets bonus points for not relying on CGI for the spooks.)
2. The Shining- a classic, but the book is even better. Read it.
3. Texas Chainsaw Massacre- I like the new one.
4. The Exorcist- If you were raised in religion—especially Catholicism—this one will push your buttons.
5. Halloween- Classic jump-out-and-scare-you thrills.
6. 28 Days Later- Perhaps filled with less BOO moments, this movie is terrifying for its eerie scenes and moral implications.
7. Friday the 13th – Muy divertido.
8. Psycho- One of the first horror films kids are allowed to watch due to its black-and-white innocence, this movie’s beautiful cinematography and slow pace stick with you for years.
9. Quarantine- The best zombie movie I ever saw that I went into not knowing it was a zombie movie. Perhaps scary because it’s the most realistic movie on my list.
10. Rosemary’s Baby- Another oldie, this movie strikes a chord.
11. Nightmare on Elm Street- “It’s okay, sweety, Mommy killed him.” ‘Nuff said.
12. Alien- Tension, suspense, and a set so dark you can’t see the monster until he’s right on top of you. Plus, Sigourney Weaver strips to her undies at the end, and apparently people think she’s hot (I don’t get it).
13. The Silence of the Lambs- A truly terrifying psychological thriller.
14. The Omen (1976)- Creepy-ass kid. Viscous graveyard dogs. Worked for me.
15. Dawn of the Dead (1978 )- Scarier than the new one because the zombies still walk, and somehow, much more beautifully gory.
16. Night of the Living Dead (1968 ) Black and white, slow, well-turned, and lovely. Not to mention really freakin creepy.
Top 5 Overrated “Scary” Movies
1. Jaws- Okay, I know it made a huge splash when it was new, but come on. We’re over that now, aren’t we? Haven’t you seen Shark Week???!
2. The Ring- The beginning of a long line of American films that rip off Japanese horror.
3. The Grudge- See above.
4. I am Legend- The book is so much better. The ending of this movie was a cop-out. Plus, those lions and vamps are the worst CGI I’ve ever seen.
5. Cloverfield- Not. Scary. At. All. (or good)
Top 3 Underrated/ Overlooked Scary Movies
1. Wait Until Dark- Best climax scene in a horror movie, possibly ever. The innocence of this age made scary movies work hard for their frights, and this one did. Plus, Audrey Hepburn is charming as the heroine.
2. Session 9- Low budget, predictable, but with a few scenes I will ALWAYS remember.
3. Drag me to Hell- This newer movie is a delightful throwback to the campy horror movies of yore.
3 ‘Horror’ Movies that are Great but not that Scary
1. Let the Right One In- poignant, beautiful, haunting, but not scary.
2. The Fly- fun, campy, and gross, but not scary.
3. Seven- wonderful, sick, and a masterpiece of the detective thriller genre, but not scary.
4 Movies that Aren’t Supposed to be Scary but Are
1. Earaserhead- Oh. My. God.
2. Pan’s Labyrinth- I nearly peed myself.
3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves- The Disney version is a bit disturbing too, but I’m talking about the made-for-TV real live actors version we VHSed when I was a kid. That shit is effed up!
4. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)- tunnel scene.
4 Awesomely Bad Horror Movies
1. Bleeders- I’ve never laughed so hard at the poor quality of a movie. An albino Johnny Depp look-alike finds out he’s related to inbred royalty monster that live under an island. The last line *spoiler* is, and I quote: “John was reunited with the Van Dam family, and he found that he too had a twin, and although his sister could make love to herself, she welcomed her long lost brother, and loved him too.” How could you NOT want to watch that?
2. The Asylum?- I wish I could find the title of this awesomely bad flick, but I can’t pin it down. Low budget, predictable, hilarious. The best scene is when one guy opens the fridge, is decapitated, and the killer gets ketchup-blood squirted all over his ghost-style sheet frock. Darn.
3. The Blob- So, so bad. Ah, the innocence.
4. The Saw Franchise- Unapologetic, disgracefully conniving, high-budget cheese.
And 1 Just Plain Bad Horror
1. Mothman Prophecies- Not good enough to be good; not bad enough to be funny. Please, oh please, don’t ever see this piece of crap.Share this: