There are so many great horror movies to choose from, dating way back to 1922 with the black and white classic Nosferatu followed a few years later by classic monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein. Those classic villain’s were eventually replaced by the likes of Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees and later Ghostface and Jigsaw.
There are also many different genres inside the category of horror. Physiological, thriller, suspense, science fiction and my personal favourite, the ‘slasher’ amongst others.
My list of ten horror movies are in no particular order, although I have started with my favourite. The list is a mixture of classics that you would find on any list mixed in with some that you may have forgotten about or perhaps never got round to seeing. On that note, I have to mention two movies that you may fall into that second category, Event Horizon and 1408.
One. Halloween (1978) Tagline: The Night He Came Home
Despite now being over 40 years old, John Carpenter’s Halloween has stood the test of time and is just as frightening today as it was back in 1978. Despite being in the ‘slasher’ category the movie is as much reliant on suspense as it is about gore. The shot of Michael Myers standing beside the hedge in broad daylight (above) is as creepy as it gets. The musical score just adds to the suspense. The Halloween franchise currently has 11 entries with another one coming in 2021.
Two. Scream (1996) Tagline: Don’t Answer the Phone.
By killing the film’s biggest name in the opening scene was over you knew that all bets were off . Scream is a mix of gore and nods to the classic horror genre. This makes the movie both scary and clever whilst being a simple concept. Not to mention the killer ‘who done it’ twist at the end.
Three. Dawn of the Dead (1978) Tagline: When There’s No More Room In Hell The Dead Will Walk The Earth.
Part two of George A Romero’s original ‘Dead Trilogy’ and by far the best zombie movie made to date. Packed with scares, gore and suspense but perhaps the scariest thing of all is that the film has no real ending, the terror will continue long after the credits roll. The 2004 reboot was less creepy but still a good watch.
Four. Jaws (1975) Tagline: You’ll Never Go In The Water Again.
Let’s leave the debate about whether Jaws is a horror movie for another time. It has enough jumpy and shocking moments to get an entry here. For example, Ben Gardner’s boat scene, plus the shark ate a dog and a child!! oh and then there’s that musical score.
Five. Saw (2004) Tagline: Let The Games Begin.
A brand new take on the horror genre , Saw asked the question, live or die. Make your choice. The main difference here was that each of Jigsaw’s victim’s firstly were hand picked because of some previous indiscretion, but they all had the opportunity to save themselves as the sick game was played out. Not to mention that Billy the puppet on a tricycle (above) remains one of the creepiest things ever seen.
Six. The Thing (1982) Tagline: Anytime. Anywhere. Anyone.
In remote Antarctica, a group of American scientists are unwittingly joined by an alien creature that can take any form or shape and proceeds to pick them off one by one. Every member of the group becomes a suspect leading to an extreme lack of trust that isolates every member of the group.
Seven. The Mist (2007) Tagline: There’s Something in the Mist.
What’s scarier, the creatures in the mist or Mrs Carmody and her cult following inside the supermarket that our survivors are holed up in? Just as much horror goes on inside as it does out in the mist. This movie also has the most gut wrenching ending to any film I’ve ever seen.
Eight. The Shining (1980) Tagline: All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy.
A haunted secluded hotel, a snow storm, room 237, the twins followed by Jack slowly losing his mind seeing ghost
s and hearing voices all leads to one outcome. A masterful performance from Jack Nicholson with the famous ad-libbed line, Here’s Johnny.
Nine. Friday the 13th (2009) Tagline: Welcome to Crystal Lake. Jason lives. Many will die.
One of the few occasions that a reboot was actually worth it. The problem with the original Friday the 13th movies is that they haven’t particularly aged well. That’s what probably makes this re-do so welcome. Jason Voorhees is back doing what he does best, butchering teens at Crystal Lake whilst wearing his customary hockey mask.
Ten. Candyman (1992) Tagline: We Dare You To Say His Name Five Times.
One of cinema’s most frightening characters, The Candyman has a hook for a hand is accompanied by bees stalks the already creepy Chicago projects. Legend says if you stand in front the mirror and say his name five times he will appear. This film was so scary that after watching it no one would take up the challenge.
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