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.