In Contention


THE LISTS: Top 10 horror films of all time

Posted by Chad Hartigan · 4:34 pm · October 26th, 2010

It’s Halloween week and since we are a movie site, we are under some kind of unspoken obligation to provide our dear readers with a list to fit the festivities. You may remember a similar list popping up two years ago, in which all current contributors voiced an opinion and the final results represented a collective agreement. Since I was not a contributor at that time, Tapley asked me to offer up a new take this year.

A little backstory on my relationship with scary movies seems appropriate. I was raised by two Christian parents who were very protective of the images that I put into my head. When I was six years old, I was playing at a friend’s house when he suggested we watch “Beetle Juice.” Knowing that it was a potentially objectionable title, I called my mom and asked if it was okay and she said it was not. Kids being kids, we watched it anyway.

What did I think of it? It scared the crap out of me. So much so, that I understood why my mom didn’t want me to watch it and actively avoided scary images on my own free will from then on. When one or two infiltrated me, such as “Ghostbusters,” I was always a little rattled. As I’ve grown, I’ve only become slightly less sensitive to these types of images and only actively seek out scary films if I hear there is a lot more going on to make it worthwhile.

I’ve already mentioned in my Life Without Oscar column that I’m not one for the horror genre in general, mainly because a typical effort values short-term titillation over long-term intellectual or psychological probing. Of course, there are exceptions and the films below represent the best of them. They are all films that reach beyond the easily manipulated human desire to be excited by imaginary danger and touch on deeper, darker fears that can manifest into ones subconscious that never go away. In other words, these films can fuck you up.

One caveat. I decided not to include any film that was already mentioned in the top 20 posted by this site two years ago. No use repeating ourselves, even though “The Shining” and “The Exorcist” are obviously still mandatory viewing.

10. “Scream” (Wes Craven, 1996)
Okay, okay, so maybe this one won’t exactly fuck you up. Unless you happen to be 14 years old and seeing more or less your first real horror movie in the theater trying to impress a girl, like I was. At that time, the film scared me so much that I slept on the floor in my parents’ room that night (yes, at 14). Now, it’s a rewatchable favorite that arguably not only changed horror films forever but gave birth to a new type of self-aware cinema that came to dominate much of the teen-targeted films of any genre in the new millennium. The opening scene alone is smart, funny, chilling and subversive.

9. “The Butcher” (Claude Chabrol, 1970)
Here’s a novel concept. A film about some mysterious killings going on in a small town where the mystery is more or less solved in the opening frames by the title. Luckily, the mystery is not the appeal and Chabrol instead focuses on the relationship between a teacher and the butcher, both in desperate need of a connection, only one slowly starts to understand that the other is kind of a psychopath. This is the type of horror film that understands how scary the simple act of a light turning on or off in the next room can be without the aid of bombastic score and sound effects.

8. “Images” (Robert Altman, 1972)
Psychological horror is in some ways, a cop out. Given license to do almost whatever a filmmaker wants, he or she can just chalk it up to the character’s insane point of view. Altman certainly toes the line here, with his tale of Susannah York slowly losing her marbles in a remote cabin. Stripped of his trademark overlapping dialogue and interloping characters, Altman has to focus on his visuals and his four lead characters, both of which are extremely developed and interesting. The slow zoom of York watching herself from the top of a hill is as creepy as it gets.

7. “Les Diaboliques” (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
Clouzot is widely regarded as the French Hitchcock and this film is probably the most astute example of that honor. Legend goes that Hitch even phoned the publishing house seconds after finishing the source novel only to find that Clouzot had phoned 30 minutes earlier and snapped up the rights. All for the best, since it’s unlikely that Hitch could have done better, even with some of his own trademarks like slow building tension, taboo sexual undertones and one of the most surprising and satisfying climaxes in movie history all on display. Simone Signoret simply burns the screen.

6. “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)
I actually did see this one when I was about 10 years old at a friend’s house and some of the images were instantly burned into my brain. Chief among them was the shot of a werewolf having sex with Sadie Frost, which simultaneously appealed to my burgeoning lust and horrified me. That, of course, is the essence of Dracula, and Coppola’s balls to the wall adaptation nails the sexiness of the sadism. Yes, it’s over the top, but it’s consistent and infinitely fascinating in the way that Coppola insisted on using only special effects that could have been around in the late 1800s when cinema was invented and Stoker’s book was first published.

5. “The Blair Witch Project” (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
I haven’t seen this film since opening night in the movie theater and I’ll never forget how hostile the audience was at the end. Eleven years later and almost every major indie success story in genre filmmaking has the “found footage” technique pioneered here. Then and now, “The Blair Witch Project” stands tall in both its conviction to its conceit and its dedication to minimalism. Then and now, its place in the history of movie marketing and behind the scenes storyline threaten to overshadow just what an effectively scary piece of filmmaking it is. Myrick and Sanchez had an idea and realized that the perfect way to realize it was to show as much of the characters as possible and as little of everything else as possible.

4. “The Vanishing” (George Sluizer, 1988)
Like “Les Diaboliques” and countless other fantastic foreign thrillers, Hollywood has offered up their own shit remake of this that is a must avoid, but notable in that director Sluizer presided over both versions. The original version, filmed in his native Holland, is a stunning exercise in tension that, again, shows little interest in mystery. A woman is kidnapped early on in the film and from that point on we follow both her kidnapper and her boyfriend and nervously await the moments when their paths will collide. Even when they do, the film is calm and articulate. Exactly the traits often given by witnesses when asked to describe actual serial killers and psychopaths. It offers up questions more than thrills, but when the question is, “What would you do in this position?,” it’s just as easy for the hairs to stand up on the back of your neck.

3. “Don’t Look Now” (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
Nicolas Roeg began his love affair with dissociative editing in this film about a couple dealing with the loss of their young daughter. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are at the absolute top of their games and bring unexpected dignity and depth to their crumbling relationship that has all the resonance of the similar circumstances portrayed in “Ordinary People,” but gets less respect for also including thriller elements and a knife-wielding dwarf. A terrifying knife-wielding dwarf, I should add. The technical elements of the film are absolutely top notch, from the aforementioned editing highlighted by a famous sex scene, to the rich cinematography taking full advantage of the Venice locations.

2. “Eyes Without a Face” (Georges Franju, 1960)
All I need to write about this film is the actual plot synopsis. A brilliant surgeon, Dr. Génessier, helped by his assistant Louise, kidnaps nice young women. He removes their faces and tries to graft them onto the head on his beloved daughter Christiane, whose face has been entirely spoiled in a car crash. All the experiments fail, and the victims die, but Génessier keeps trying.  Now all I need to say is that Franju executes that synopsis perfectly and tastefully and you should already be terrified. Throw in an absolutely bizarre and maniacal score by Maurice Jarre and you’ll never sleep again.

1. “Seconds” (John Frankenheimer, 1966)
When it came time to rank these films, I wasn’t really sure which criteria to lean towards. The best overall films that happen to be scary? The scariest films? In the end, I simply decided that no film unsettled me more after viewing it than “Seconds.” So amazingly adventurous in its plotting, structure, cinematography and editing, I had assumed it must have been Frankenheimer’s first film before Hollywood got a hold of him and he started to “know better.” This is science fiction at its absolute best, using fantasy to hold a terrifying mirror up to our most universal flaws — in this case, fear of mortality and narcissism, brilliantly embodied by a revelatory Rock Hudson.

That’s my story. Share your thoughts in the comments section.

[Photos: Criterion Collection, Dimension Films, Pathfinder Pictures, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Artisan Entertainment, Paramount Pictures]




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61 responses so far

  • 1 10-26-2010 at 4:42 pm

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    1. Night of the Demon (1957)
    2. Onibaba
    3. The Haunting (1963)
    4. Dead of Night (1945)
    5. The Uninvited (1944)
    6. John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness
    7. The Woman In Black (TV, 1984)
    8. Night of the Eagle
    9. The Devil Rides Out
    10. The Orphanage

  • 2 10-26-2010 at 4:54 pm

    Otto said...

    …the Exorcist?

  • 3 10-26-2010 at 4:58 pm

    Ed said...

    Completely on board with the “Scream” selection

  • 4 10-26-2010 at 4:59 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Read, Otto. Read.

  • 5 10-26-2010 at 5:00 pm

    Everett said...

    You have seen a lot of horror movies for an un-fan.

    I’ve seen about 2.

  • 6 10-26-2010 at 5:22 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Good call on Don’t Look Now. And Scream scared the absolute sh*t out of me the first time I saw it. I’d also include the first Friday the 13th movie.

  • 7 10-26-2010 at 5:27 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Dolls (1987)
    Raising Cain (1992)

  • 8 10-26-2010 at 5:28 pm

    James D. said...

    No Psycho?

  • 9 10-26-2010 at 5:29 pm

    Beau said...

    Great selection. From this last decade, I would strongly consider:

    The Mist
    Paranormal Activity

  • 10 10-26-2010 at 5:42 pm

    Chrisp said...

    So happy that you picked ‘Seconds’ as your #1. Mesmerizing, harrowing, and Hudsons pain seems painfully real.

  • 11 10-26-2010 at 5:44 pm

    Voland said...

    Don’t Look Now is a great choice. It’s last 15 minutes are some of the most intense, frightening but also beautiful ones ever put on film. Only thing scarier than this is the fact, that Donald Sutherland wasn’t even nominated for an oscar until this day.

    Regarding the last ~10 years, The Descent comes to my mind. Paranormal Activity wasn’t bad either, it’s just that Blair Witch Project trumps it in every aspect.

  • 12 10-26-2010 at 5:45 pm

    m1 said...

    Let the Right One In.

  • 13 10-26-2010 at 5:51 pm

    immature said...

    1. A Tale of Two Sisters
    2. Suspiria
    3. Carnival of Souls (1962)
    4. Dementia 13
    5. The Oyster and the Wind
    6. Audition
    7. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    8. Nosferatu
    9. The Exorcist
    10. Memento Mori

  • 14 10-26-2010 at 5:55 pm

    Filmoholic said...

    I like the atmosphere of Coppola’s Dracula, but that’s about it. From Reeve’s horrendous performance to over-the-top scenes of unintentional hilarity. It’s a wretched mess.

    I really like Les Diaboliques. The slow, burning tension; the riveting performances. But I just found it way too predictable. Which was surprising since its ending is considered one of the most shocking in cinema history. Yet at the age of 17, I though the whole thing was obvious from the first 20 minutes.

  • 15 10-26-2010 at 5:55 pm

    Patryk said...

    “The Magician” (just released by Criterion)
    “Queen of Spades”
    “Carnival of Souls”

  • 16 10-26-2010 at 6:03 pm

    W.J. said...

    With the exception of Blair Witch and Dracula ’92 (I don’t care what you say, both films are too ridiculous to by scary *or* even good), what an inspired list. Major ditto to the placement of Seconds, which is a truly unsettling film that remains vivid in the mind after just one viewing.

    Some other great ones the leap out of the shadows and into to mind: Onibaba, Blood Simple., A Tale of Two Sisters (’04 Korean film) and two of Guillermo del Toro’s best: Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone.

  • 17 10-26-2010 at 6:05 pm

    Rashad said...

    The Exorcist isn’t a good movie. On any level. A little girl masturbating with a cross, cursing and spitting pea soup isn’t scary, nor is the buildup suspenseful.

  • 18 10-26-2010 at 6:07 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    James D (and any others who might bring up similar titles): “One caveat. I decided not to include any film that was already mentioned in the top 20 posted by this site two years ago.”

    Anyway, love this list — especially pleased to see some due respect for “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” which was under-appreciated even at the time and still holds up like a dream. Also glad to see a broader definition of what constitutes horror, as in the ace selection of “Le Boucher.”

    Others that didn’t make the last list that I’d plump for: “Peeping Tom,” “Dead Ringers,” “Hour of the Wolf,” “Wolf Creek”…

  • 19 10-26-2010 at 6:10 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Cheers, too, for “The Vanishing,” which I remember was on the individual list I submitted in 2008, but didn’t make the collective one.

  • 20 10-26-2010 at 6:12 pm

    tim said...

    The opening to “Scream” is genius. “Blair Witch Project” is awful, not scary. Where’s “Halloween” or “Alien” or “The Descent”?

  • 21 10-26-2010 at 6:28 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Oh, and one final mention for “Ginger Snaps.” Love that film.

  • 22 10-26-2010 at 8:10 pm

    Silencio said...

    Thanks for #6. I also think in a few years’ time, Antichrist could make the list.

  • 23 10-26-2010 at 8:17 pm

    tintin(uruguay) said...

    Bad list….the Exorcist??

  • 24 10-26-2010 at 8:18 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Should have “Hour of the Wolf.”

  • 25 10-26-2010 at 8:22 pm

    Alex said...

    I don’t know if it’s strictly horror but Rosemary’s Baby is probably my favorite.

  • 26 10-26-2010 at 8:57 pm

    thebizkey said...

    Boy, did your list miss the mark. Where are the following: THE EXORCIST, THE SHINING, REPULSION, HALLOWEEN, ROSEMARY’S BABY or ALIEN. SCREAM, really? Ugh. And if you’re going to include those that straddle the line between horror/thriller like LES DIABOLIQUES then you have to include PSYCHO. Thanks for getting the conversation started, but your thinking leaves a lot to be desired.

  • 27 10-26-2010 at 9:01 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Honestly, people? If you are reading neither the article or the comment thread, then what’s the point in adding your voice?

  • 28 10-26-2010 at 9:17 pm

    cineJAB said...

    5/ The Strangers
    4/ Scream
    3/ Blair Witch Project
    2/ Paranormal Activity
    1/ The Shining

    I’m a modern boy :-)

  • 29 10-26-2010 at 9:22 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    How come no one at IC likes John Carpenter? How did Halloween and The Thing remake miss both lists?

    I love Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Gary Oldman should have been “in contention”.

  • 30 10-26-2010 at 9:58 pm

    Red said...

    Where is Halloween and The Exorcist?!?!?!?

    Haha, just kidding fellas. It’s rather sad how many times people have obviously missed your caveat. Even just skipping straight to the comments, it has been mentioned a few times.

    I can’t say that I’m a horror fan, but I will definitely try and check these out.

    As for the past decade, there really hasn’t been much, even though I obviously haven’t went out of my way to watch too many. Of what I’ve watched, (REC) would probably be my favorite. I did think The Strangers was severely underrated.

  • 31 10-26-2010 at 10:35 pm

    Michael said...

    Great list Chad! I have seen all but three (The Vanishing, The Butcher, and Images) but will make a point to see them ASAP. I like your broader definition of horror and the inclusion of more psychological horror films. As everyone knows, horror is so subjective, and it is clear that what gets you the most are the more cerebral films that you don’t realize until later when you are alone and thinking about them how terrified they have actually made you. I personally have thought many times about the endings to Blair Witch Project, Les Diaboliques, and Eyes Without a Face and have been kept up many a night because of that.

    I definitely am a huge horror fan. I love all of the different sub-genres, but the ones that scare me the most are the ones depicting the paranormal in a matter of fact way. I could never rank my favorite films in the genre b/c I just wouldn’t get it right since it changes all the time. Some films that I have recently seen that have kept me up at night are:
    -The Woman in Black
    -Noroi the Curse
    -The Entity
    -Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
    -The Changeling
    -and one of the most required viewings of all: The Innocents (which made the top 20 from 2008 but everyone should see it if they are scared by ghosts like me.)

  • 32 10-26-2010 at 10:38 pm

    Aaron said...

    I don’t know if you would necessarily classify this is a horror film but Michael Haneke’s original “Funny Games” seriously creeped me the hell out.

  • 33 10-26-2010 at 10:59 pm

    Michael said...

    I have also been trying to catch some classic horror films. Not all were effective, but I will list the ones I liked the most.
    -The Leopard Man
    -The House That Screamed
    -Jigoku
    They may not have the macabre intensity of films made post 1970 but they still held up for me and I would recommend them.

    Also, when thinking about Chad’s list and how some of the films may not be considered traditional horror films but have moments that claw at your psyche and terrify you to no end, it made me think of some films from other genres that I have seen where I was legitimately scared at certain parts in a more psychological way.
    -Stalker (once they arrive in the Zone up until the talky part towards the end)
    -La jetée (the whole thing freaks me out)
    -The Headless Woman (the scene where Maria Onetto visits an old lady who whispers something about ghosts and then after a long pause out of focus in the background a young boy suddenly stands up and exits the room)
    -Benny’s Video (the sequence that depicts the movie’s title is so brutal to me I just can’t remove it from my mind)
    -Celine and Julie Go Boating (the ending sequence in the house and the surprise boating “visit”)
    There are more but these are the ones that jump to the front of my mind right now.

  • 34 10-26-2010 at 11:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Foot in mouth, thebizkey.

  • 35 10-27-2010 at 12:15 am

    T.J. Larson said...

    Good list, love the inclusion of the brilliant, woefully underrated Le Boucher and Seconds is aces. Blair Witch Project, despite the backlash, is also one of the few genuinely terrifying films I’ve seen in the last 20 years. Never been a fan of Don’t Look Now though and Scream is campy fun but one of the greatest of all-time it is not.

    My own list would look something like:

    1.) The Exorcist
    2.) Nosferatu (’22)
    3.) Nosferatu (’79)
    4.) Bride of Frankenstein
    5.) Repulsion
    6.) Le Boucher
    7.) Dawn of The Dead (’78)
    8.) The Innocents
    9.) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    10.) Rosemary’s Baby

    Excluding the many greats mentioned in the previous top 20, I’d love to have found room for the following over Scream and Coppola’s Dracula:

    The Descent (the best horror film of the last decade)
    Cat People (’42)
    Kwaidan
    Possession (’81)
    Peeping Tom
    Faust
    Onibaba
    Halloween (’78)
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (’78)
    Alien
    May
    Freaks

    If you consider Silence of The Lambs horror, then surely Se7en, Frailty, and Angel Heart deserve mention too.

  • 36 10-27-2010 at 3:21 am

    Glenn said...

    As anyone who knows my blog can attest, I am WAY on board with that “Scream” selection.

    I watched “Carrie” the other night when it was on TV. It makes me want to cry and then shake in fright and then do both at the same time.

  • 37 10-27-2010 at 3:26 am

    Glenn said...

    Oh, and I still say “The Blair Witch Project” is the scariest movie I have ever seen.

  • 38 10-27-2010 at 5:48 am

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    The scariest movie I have ever seen is Malick’s The New World. I’ll never forget the terror that swept over me when I checked my watch and found out that there was at least another two hours of it to go.

  • 39 10-27-2010 at 6:48 am

    JJ1 said...

    lol ^

    And call me the Antichrist (no pun intended) if you want, but for me, Hunter Tremayne’s “scariest because there were 2 hours left” award goes to 2001 for me.

    … runs and hides. I mean really, did I need to see half an hour’s worth (or more) of spacecraft floating in space – acting as a bridge between scenes inside the spacecraft?

    And on Bram Stoker’s Dracula: the film isn’t a “great” one, to put it lightly – but I do watch it from time to time for the creepy atmosphere/tone it invokes. Gorgeous to look at, too.

  • 40 10-27-2010 at 7:09 am

    John H. Foote said...

    Horror is like comedy…very personal as what scares you might not scare me, and so on and so on — that said, interesting list, though I personally would have “Seven”, “Jaws”, “the Exorcist”, “The Shining”, and “The Bride of Frankenstein” on mine — been a long time since I loved a horror film the way I loved “Let Me In” and, obviously, “Let the Right One In”. People laugh at “The Shining”, at Jack, but how funny is it if you are on the other side of that door when he comes through with the axe and yelling, “Here’s Johnny!!” Creepy, controlled terror.

  • 41 10-27-2010 at 8:19 am

    Santillan El Leon said...

    ‘Scream’ is a great, smart pick!

  • 42 10-27-2010 at 8:24 am

    Joel said...

    #10 Chrisp said…

    “……Hudsons pain seems painfully real.”

    And here I thought you were talking about my painful reaction to JENNIFER HUDSON’S terrifyingly lazy acting skills in “Dreamgirls.” How that won an Oscar is some truly scary shit!

  • 43 10-27-2010 at 9:25 am

    Cielo said...

    01. The Haunting (1963)
    02. The Uninvited (1944)
    03. The Innocents (1961)
    04. Kwaidan (1964)
    05. The Changeling (1980)
    06. Watcher in the Woods (1980)
    07. The Seventh Victim (1943)
    08. I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
    09. Don’t Look Now (1973)
    10. Vampyr (1932)

  • 44 10-27-2010 at 9:50 am

    Ivan said...

    I recommend 3 mexican horror gems from Carlos Enrique Taboada

    Blacker Than the Night/1975
    The Wind of Fear/1968
    The Book of Stone/1969

    Also Bunhongsin (The Red Shoes), 2005 which if you saw the trailer… it has a lot of frighting similarities with Black Swan.

  • 45 10-27-2010 at 10:00 am

    David said...

    Totally agree with you on DONT LOOK NOW – the feeling of dread around every corner didn’t leave me for days after the film.

    I would also like to offer up the very little seen blow-your-mind-psychologically horror film THE OTHER – not THE OTHERS with Kidman – this a Robert Mulligan film with Uta Hagen. Multiple shocks throughout and a creepy unsettling finish…

  • 46 10-27-2010 at 10:40 am

    JJ1 said...

    How about Play Misty for Me?

  • 47 10-27-2010 at 12:11 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    I don’t consider Bram Stoker’s Dracula scary, well it was for me when I first saw it on video. However, I was pulled in by its score, production design, costumes, cinematography – I love Sadie Frost and Gary Oldman has never made me happier in a movie than this. BSD fits perfectly with Beloved (98), Alien 3 (92), Dune (84), and Blade Runner (82) – as well intentioned works of art (pretty to look at, ambitious) but compelling failures in the end. I own all the titles I mentioned.

  • 48 10-27-2010 at 12:38 pm

    JJ1 said...

    /3rtfu11 … I agree on nearly all of the titles you mention (I own a few, myself).

  • 49 10-27-2010 at 1:14 pm

    Al said...

    Have to agree with Seconds and Dont Look Now.

  • 50 10-27-2010 at 3:27 pm

    Scott W. said...

    The cinematic quality may not be outstanding, but I remember Carnival of Souls scaring the crap out of me.

  • 51 10-27-2010 at 8:06 pm

    al b. said...

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a dream of a movie! Truly haunting and even scary for me! Then again, I just watched for the first time 5 hours ago, but I loved every minute of it! Why has Coppola’s Dracula not recieved more love?

  • 52 10-27-2010 at 11:38 pm

    Formula said...

    Th Exorcist is one of the funniest movies i’ve ever seen…

    ”Lick me,lick it me” in that cheesy voice

    ”Stick your cock up her ass, you motherfucking worthless cocksucker. ”

    A religious mumbo jumbo crap.

  • 53 10-28-2010 at 6:29 pm

    MovieMan said...

    “Halloween” is the best horror film ever made, as well as the best film I’ve ever seen (it got me into this game, what can I say?).

    I would say that “Creepshow,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Don’t Look Now,” “Pet Sematary,” and “Lisa and the Devil” are great runners-up.

    Also fantastic: “Trick ‘r Treat,” “Hocus Pocus,” “The Fog” (the original, of course), “Trigger Man,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” “Dressed to Kill,” “Scream,” “Scream 3,” “The Funhouse,” “Session 9,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

    Far too many to name. Horror is my favorite genre. I’m nicer to horror films than any other person might be.

  • 54 10-29-2010 at 5:31 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    While I agree that people need to read more closely to the intro before complaining, I would have suggested an amendment to the somewhat misleading title of the piece.

    Anyway, you’ve reminded me of a few films that I really need to get around to watching (namely Eyes Without a Face and Seconds).

    Gotta love the endings to Diabolique and Don’t Look Now, though if we’re going to stretch the notion of horror this much we might as well include things like Gimme Shelter. Talk about building suspense!

    Anyway, I guess this is the part where I throw out some horror-esque titles I love:

    - Alien
    - Drag Me to Hell
    - Evil Dead 1 & 2
    - The Exorcist
    - Halloween
    - The Haunting
    - The Innocents
    - Let Me In (may actually prefer it to the original, sorry)
    - Let the Right One In
    - The Orphanage
    - Poltergeist
    - Psycho
    - Repulsion
    - Scream
    - The Shining
    - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
    - The Thing
    - Tremors (quiet, you)

    And perhaps my favorite of all…

    ROSEMARY’S BABY

  • 55 10-30-2010 at 3:22 pm

    Simon Warrasch said...

    01. Spice World with the Spice Girls
    02. Forrest Gump

    My favorites!

  • 56 11-01-2010 at 9:51 am

    Erik Miitel said...

    Blair Witch Project? For real? It was a crap movie – they spend most of the time bickering adnd swearing. And honestly, who gets lost in a forest in Maryland? Only sheltered city-slickers would be scared of this dreck. Anyone who has spent time in the woods would laugh. I kept hoping they would die. I will admit, however, the marketing was brilliant. Paranormal Activity trumps BWP in EVERY way. ‘Nuff said

  • 57 11-01-2010 at 10:00 am

    Dawn said...

    One word………..CARRIE enuf said

  • 58 11-01-2010 at 9:01 pm

    Brady said...

    First can I say any list with Scream on it I approve of. Ages ago I first saw Scary Movie, then Scream, then Halloween and all of the other movies Scream is based on. I felt like I had already seen all of them because I had seen Scream first. Scream offers more thrills, laughs, and, well, screams, than 90% of any horror or comedy movie out there today. It’s not only one of my favorite horror movies, but it’s also one of my favorite movies period.

    Now, since I enjoyed your number 10 choice so much, I figure 1 through 9 must be phenomenal! So I just finished watching Seconds, and I have to say… not impressed. Yes Rock Hudson was good and the black and white cinematography was beautiful and kind of haunting, but number 1 horror film?!??

    I think the movie functions fine as a character study about examining the flaw of identity and aspirations. But I really didn’t see what was so unsettling. The ending? Predictable. The Pyramid Scheme of people? Called it from the beginning. The operations? Disturbing in theory, conservatively handled. The grape stomping sequence? Laughable. The one moment that worked in any sense of psychological thriller was when he’s hosting the party and his guests turn on him. And maybe the bleakness of sitting in the waiting room towards the end.

    Please Chad, enlighten me just a little bit more about why this ranked so high.

    Top 5 Horror Films:
    1. Scream
    2. Saw
    3. The Shining
    4. The Silence of the Lambs
    5. “Hush” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer… it’s that good.

  • 59 11-01-2010 at 9:21 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    No use trying to convince you to like it. You’re obviously smart and can see what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish and it just seemed to work on me 100% and you not so much.

    Very happy that you took a chance on it based on the article though.

  • 60 7-23-2011 at 7:54 pm

    Andy O said...

    Do any of you truly think The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was SCARY? Or are you just trying to impress with your knowledge of OLD school classics?

    I have to say I’ve only seen Scream and Blair Witch Project (yea, I’m young). I own BS’s Dracula, just never gotten around to watching it. I definitely will soon though. I looked up several of the films mentioned throughout the comments…most of them look like true horror.

    The Exorcist scared me for weeks, and I saw it at 16. Paranormal Activity was a joke, and I scare easy. The Shining was great. S of the Lambs I wouldn’t consider horror.

    The Other looks a lot like The Good Son (with Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood). Correct me if I’m wrong?

  • 61 7-23-2011 at 7:57 pm

    Andy O said...

    Now, if we’re going to discuss modern horror, CineJab…Insidious. <3