Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies

I haven’t made any Top 10 lists of the like before, at least not for the blog. I thought it was about high time that I did, and what better way to start my quest to get more horror themed subjects onto my site.

The Omen: I’m talking the 1976 Gregory Peck version. I could watch this film every day. Unlike the Julia Stile version which has me tempted to reenact the part of the Nanny within the first 5 minutes.

Inside: This French horror movie is disturbing on so many levels. A pregnant woman, trapped at home the night before she is due to give birth. Stalked by a crazy woman with a knife. The revelation at the end of the movie, and the final few scenes took my breath away. More than just a slasher flick, this movie inspired my to write one of my favorite short stories.

Martyrs: Another French horror movie that just stuck in my brain. Directed by Pascal Laugier, this movie will disturb you to the very core. You will hate it because it makes you question humanity. It is a Frankenstein’s monster of a movie. It will be feared and sunned by many because of the subject matter. Certainly not a film for the faint hearted but highly recommended.

Silence of the Lambs: Subtle horror with things happen in every scene. From the terror of kidnap to… well Hannibal, this movie has so much to offer. In my opinion Lecter is one of the best villains of all time. Chilling… just plain chilling.

Saw (only the first one) This movie blew my mind the first time I watched it. It still does  today, although to a much lesser degree. I mean that moment where Jigsaw just stands up was incredible.

Alien: From the artwork to the plot, the performances and the direction, this movie is one firmly cemented in my top 10. How many people haven’t had a ‘Chestburst’ nightmare at some point in their lives.

Jaws: This movie is responsible for scaring generations of the children out of the water. So strong was the image created of the Great White and Peter Benchley became a staunch activist for their protection. There are so many ways to look at this movie, and even though it is aging now, it will remain timeless, simply because for want of a little bit of poetic license, it is true.

Unthinkable – Anybody that has seen this film and does not agree this is a horror movie are just plain wrong. While marketed as a thriller, it is an incredibly study into human emotion, and asks the intelligent questions about right and wrong, about limits and boundaries. My only issue with the movie was that they made the villain Islamic. It was utterly unnecessary and merely pounced on an already vilified religion. Once you get past it, this film ROCKS!

The Thing – I’m talking Kurt Russell here not the new remake. I haven’t seen the new one yet, but fail to believe it could even hold a candle to this version. Everything about this movie is awesome. The barren setting, the isolation. The story was compact and well executed. The Thing itself is probably one of my favorite villains in terms of appearance and scares.

Psycho: What is here that can be said about this movie. From the terror of the shower scene to the utterly terrifying Anthony Perkins. That moment when we see his mother in the chair still gets me even today. Plus, (correct me if I am wrong) it was the first movie where someone was nominated for an Oscar despite having such a short role in the movie itself.

 

There are many great horror movies out there, and if you ask my honest opinion I don’t believe that the ten I have listed above are actually the best of the best. Rather, they are horror films that interest me. They make me think, and stick around in my head for a while. I find that my top ten lists often change, which is why I have refrained from posting them until now. Then I figured what the hell!

There were a lot of films that almost made the list, films that got cut at the last-minute or were taken off again. I mean you have horror classics like the Exorcist to popular franchises like Friday 13th, Hellraiser or Elm Street. These didn’t make the list because they went on too long, and while I enjoy the movies, they don’t speak to me in the same way (currently) as the ones of the list.

The most notable movie (I guess) that I have no mentioned is The Shining. This is for a reason. I think it is the most overrated movie I have ever seen. I do not see the big fuss about it. Sure, it was well made, and Jack played a good nutjob, but there was no substance. So many of the things from the book that explained the strained relationship, the history of the characters etc, just wasn’t there. That however, will be another post for another time.

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16 thoughts on “Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies

  1. What a great list. I own all the films except for “Unthinkable” and the original “The Omen”. I need to rewatch “Martyrs” as it has been a while. “Inside” is one of the most harrowing, disturbing movies I have ever seen. Don’t even get me started on my love for “The Thing” You’re right, the remake/prequel is good, but it doesn’t hold a candle (a match, maybe) to the original. What a great list!!

    1. Thanks, I am glad that you like the list. I love all of those movies. You are so right about Inside. Although in a way I found Martyrs just as chilling, maybe even more so in terms of how cold and calculating they were. In Inside, the woman was motivated by revenge, Martyrs was just purely for the experimentation and dare I say enjoyment of it all. I’m trying to find a good image of The Thing itself to make a post about The Thing vs Alien, which monster would win. Do you happen to have one?

      1. Thanks for looking. I think it is because The Thing itself is small, it assimilates what it comes into contact with. So technically there is not just one Thing. You have Kennel Thing, Blair Thing. Oh well, I will just grab some images of both. It should be a good fight.

  2. I began reading your list with a sinking heart and then…I saw names I recognized and loved! Psycho, Alien, Silence of the Lambs! To be honest I don’t think I ever thought of those 3 as horror movies before but you’re right, they do sort of fit the definition.

    The only movie I ever saw that I recognized as horror [and loved] was The Innocents. A movie adaptation of The Turn of the Screw, it’s an oldie but a goodie. 😀

    1. Thanks Andrea. Horror is about so much ore than just slashers and blood. I plan on writing a series about wghat I think are the sub-genres of horror. In my opinion it is an enormous spectrum, and that is why I love it so much. 🙂

      1. I would be very interested in that Alex because I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘horror’ person. My daughter loves it and Silent Hill is probably one of her favourite video games. I just don’t enjoy feeling scared I guess. Or maybe I just don’t enjoy the idea of some nameless ‘evil’ out of get us.Now bad things that have a psychological bent or that are based on something that can be explained…now that I like. -shrug-

  3. Great list! The only ones I haven’t seen is Unthinkable and Inside. Martyrs was one my friend introduced me too and I agree with your assessment in that it’ll be shunned by many. Personally, I’m not a fan of the torture genre but the in depth story leading up to the climax put it in a category all its own.

    1. I too am not overly keen on the torture genre. Saw (I) was ok, the rest were more about the gore, especially after Part III. As you say Martyrs had more than enough going for it. Besides, the torture was not really the focus, but the rather the people doing it. That old women was chilling as a villain. Unthinkable is kind of the same in a way. I thought it was a stunning and very shocking movie. Not what I expected when I sat down, to start it.

      1. Agreed. The only way to explain Saw 1 was saying it was Seven on crack. I still haven’t figured out how to describe martyrs. lol Have you ever seen Orphan? That was the best new horror film I’ve seen since Martyrs. It’s similar to The Good Son but was way darker with the twist near the end.

  4. Great list! There are a few I haven’t seen, mainly the French horror films. I agree with you, the first Saw was the best! The ending of that movie was extremely clever and I didn’t see it coming! The rest were merely done for shock value. Reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense was a stellar movie! Unfortunately, after you realize the formula he uses for his movies, you know to expect something and it more or less ruined the intensity of the movies that followed.

    A movie that I will never forget is The First Power (1990) – Lou Diamond Phillips and Patrick Channing (One of the creepiest looking actors!). Another that was considered a thriller, but was a rather disturbing movie nonetheless, was Hard Candy (2005) – Patrick Wilson and Ellen Paige (a very intense role for this actress…especially after watching her in Juno). I wouldn’t necessarily classify them as top movies, but they were movies that had a real creep factor to them.
    I look forward to more Top 10 Lists! 🙂

    1. The sixth sense was good, and in a way even better the second time you watch it because you see how many little pointers there were in each scene.

      The two French films are pretty hardcore, very dark but if you like horror, more than worth watching.

  5. It’s a good list. Alex. A good list just needs to get us thinking and doesn’t have to be something that we all agree on. You’ve got some great choices here that I have seen, and some things that I have yet to see. Love the Silence, Psycho, Omen and The Thing. I’m a huge Exorcist fan, although I pay for it after viewing because I just know she’s going to be hovering over my bed one night when I open my eyes. *laughs* Recently, I loved Let Me In. Thought it was brilliant. I know it was a remake and all, but thought it was something special.

    -Jimmy

    1. Thanks Jimmy. The exorcist was a good movie, it is one of many i have tied in 11th place. Insidious almost made it too, but I’ve only seen it once. A good film in my opinion needs to be re-watchable . I started Let Me In, but my wife hated it so we stopped. I’ll watch it again one day, because I have heard great things about it.

      [REC] was another great one that only just missed out. I had it on there in the first draft, but again, I’ve only watched it once.

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