The Shining (1980)
(Unforgettable over-the-top performance by Jack Nicholson. Not the scariest film in my opinion, but maybe the most re-watchable on my list, for the atmosphere and layers of meaning. Based on this film, no wonder Kubrick is often called the best director of all time. I reviewed it in 2011 here on the blog)
(The shower scene is an iconic moment in cinema history. The mother at the house is the most frightening ordinary human being I can think of in a horror film. A masterpiece by Alfred Hitchcock.)
The Exorcist (1973)
(Before director William Friedkin lost his mind, he made one of the most successful horror films of the 70s. What makes it even more chilling is the fact it’s based on a true story. The image here has become a legendary reminder of the film)
(Its actually part comedy, part horror. Not for kids, I remember I saw it fairly young, before the 15 rating on the video box said I should. The cute little creatures are not all cuddly!! Amazing to me how many classic 80s movies Corey Feldman is in, he reminds me of childhood. Feels very 80s, they don’t make em like this anymore. A definite nostalgic movie. Joe Dante is another director who was at the top of his game in the 80s, and like William Friedkin hasn’t been the same since)
(I’m a big Lynch fan. Not sure if Eraserhead even classifies as horror, its surreal, haunting, and very original. Possibly the weirdest film ever. I’ve only seen it once, so I should really watch it again soon. Check my review to read more)
(Warning, not for kids. Lars Von Trier created a controversial and lets not forget thought-provoking horror mystery. The ending and motivations of the characters still have me guessing till this day, which is a good thing. I’m currently reading Trier on Von Trier, an interview book on the director’s career, so a Lars Von Trier blogathon is in the works)
The Ring (2002)
(Takes a page out of the same book as Poltergeist by making watching TV a dangerous endeavour, but goes in a different direction and is original in its own right. And of course I can watch Naomi Watts in anything. This is the US remake of a Japanese horror film)
(I usually don’t think of Alien as horror, more as atmospheric science fiction, though it has one of the most famous horror moments of all time. Much like Ridley Scotts Blade Runner, look out for the incredible art direction. The actual story has been duplicated on countless occasions, so perhaps Alien has lost some of its power for me because of this. I think it works best finding it as a teenager, that’s when I loved it, anyway. The sequel Aliens (1986) is a must-see from the IMDB top 250 as well. James Cameron should direct more sequels, as T2 was also masterful)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
(Saw it in the theatre in 99, an extremely tense experience that had me glued to the screen. Sadly doesn’t hold up well for me on TV. A film that maybe was stronger at the time, before the secret was given away, and has a modern feel to it by being an edgy documentary-style tale. Ultra low-budget feature was part of what created the hype. You won’t fancy going out in the woods afterwards! I dug the sequel-even though the critics killed Blair Witch 2)
Thanks for reading! I may re-evaluate the captions when I review the films, just some quick-fire scribbling here.
Agree? Disagree with my list? What are YOUR favourite horror films, and why?