Top 10: Best Ever
These are the best horror movies ever made. If you don't agree, you're wrong.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
A Tobe Hooper film that feels more like a Spielberg movie, Poltergeist destroyed the door that Jaws opened when it comes to horror blockbusters. It is at the same time a terrifying horror film and a macabre family drama, while also containing just enough commentary on consumerism to satisfy the critics. Heather O’Rourke’s performance may be the best for a child actor in horror history, and the cinematography, between the stacked kitchen chairs and the hands within the television, is haunting. Great film, and it rounds out my list of my top 10 favorite horror movies.
I personally think Rec is the best found footage movie of all time. This criminally under-seen movie provides a brand-new take on the zombie movie and produced several very watchable sequels. It’s also just downright scary. Filmed almost entirely within a single apartment building, it provides perhaps the best take on what it would actually be like to be in the middle of a zombie invasion. And it would absolutely suck.
One of the most visually impressive horror movies ever made, Suspiria is far and away Dario Argento’s best film in my not-so-humble opinion. Hugely influential on an entire generation of filmmakers, this haunting supernatural movie is one that must be experienced to understand, even if you probably don’t understand it when you’re done. It’s art on film, and you simply cannot be a true student of horror without having seen Suspiria. Plus, it’s got some of the most bizarre and optically hypnotic death scenes of all time.
As visually striking as it is artistically sound, The Shining is not as good as the book and is still somehow a masterpiece in its own right. This is one you could watch a hundred times and still catch something new on your next watch. Documentaries have been made about all of the hidden meanings within this movie, and you could write a dissertation on its symbolism. It’s a bit slow paced, but the book its based on is like ten thousand pages long, so whatever. Jack Nicholson at his absolute best, and that’s a truth you can handle.
T&DvE is the best horror comedy of all time, full stop. It’s funny, heartwarming, and the message to never judge a book by its cover couldn’t be more clear. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk as the titular pair are outstanding, the gore is top notch, and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a movie with this much blood. We have had a doozy of a day.
5. THE THING
Full disclosure, I only saw this movie for the first time about ten years ago. It made such an impression on me I immediately watched it again. Probably John Carpenter’s scariest film, the sense of isolation the audience experiences with the characters is unmatched. Kurt Russell is amazing as MacReady, but the best actor is definitely the dog. How they got it to do all of those things I don’t even want to know…
I’ve seen this movie many times, but it wasn’t until recently that I appreciated how perfect it is. Perhaps the scariest movie ever made, and this is coming from someone who could take or leave most science fiction. I hear the gripe that it’s science fiction and not horror, and to be honest, that’s why it comes in as low as it does; if it was straight horror, it very well might be as high as number two. You can’t convince me that Ripley isn’t a Scream Queen. The suspense is deadly, and that goddamn cat…
3. LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
If one was tasked to pick Wes Craven’s best film, most would go with A Nightmare on Elm Street or even Scream (if you said Music of the Heart, get the fuck out). For me, Last House on the Left is one of the most perfectly disturbing movies ever made. This is one of those movies that you hesitate to recommend to new people because you’re afraid they will call the cops. It’s a dark, depressing revenge flick with way more humor than it has any right to have, and that’s the beauty of this film: you’ll hate yourself for liking it and hate even more the way it makes you feel. Just remember: it’s only a movie.
2. TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
A movie every horror fan must see, and one of the most disturbing movies ever made. Barely an ounce of blood, but you’ll flinch the next time you see someone handle a meat tenderizer. Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece, this is a film that you can feel: from the stifling Texas heat to the disgusting classic dinner scene, TCM will make you feel dirty. And it’s perfect.
Halloween is my favorite movie ever made, and it changed the face of horror and introduced the modern slasher (technically Black Christmas, I know, but the genre wouldn’t exist without Halloween.) John Carpenter is a genius, and there’s no greater example than Halloween (don’t @ me, The Thing fans). And the score… I lost so many nights sleep with that haunting theme ringing in my head. The music, the fall atmosphere, a creepy killer and a babysitter combine to make the greatest horror movie ever made.