My 29 Favorite Horror Films (in honor of my 29th birthday)
Hello my spooky pals! Today is officially my 29th birthday and I'm celebrating in my favorite way - alone, watching Scream 4, drinking an Arizona tea and eating candy. THIS IS MY HEAVEN YA'LL.
I've compiled a list of my personal favorite 29 horror movies that I love dearly. This is not a pretentious list, hate on it all you want, but these are 29 movies that make my heart very full.
The standard had to be:
- I own it on DVD
- I've watched it more than twice
- I have aggressively recommended it to someone (which to be fair, is a lot of movies I watch cause I just get so damn excited ya'll)
So let's jump in! Again, these are in no particular order. I cannot choose a top 5 or a top 10 or a number 1 because these are all my babies and I will protect them at all costs.
NUMBER 29 - Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Oh boy, I will never stop loving on this movie. I've got t-shirts, I've got the movie poster framed on my bedroom wall, feels like every year I'm writing a blog about it, and I dragged my poor Dad to the theater to go see it when it came out because I was underage. It's cheesy, it's over the top, there's SO many plot holes, and honestly it doesn't make a tone of sense. But I just love every damn minute of it! The cast is great, the kills are over the top, the final battle will be played at my funeral projected across my tombstone. It's just a hell of a lot of fun to watch, especially with friends, even after seeing it 100 times.
NUMBER 28 - Scream (1996) - Scream 4 (2011)
This won't come as a surprise. I was going to put all 4 Scream movies on here but decided to just count them all as one entry. So this covers Scream 1 to 4. My absolute favorite franchise in the world, I know pretty much all 4 movies off by heart. I watched Scream when I was 11 and it changed my life forever and I will always be grateful. I get super dramatic about the Scream franchise but it's honestly perfection to me. Every character is incredible and iconic, every movie does something different to bring a fresh take to the franchise while keeping the same stuff you love, and each movie your brain goes crazy trying to think of who the killer could possibly be. And it spawned its' own TV show which was actually pretty awesome!
NUMBER 27 - Psycho (1960)
What could be more classic than Psycho? A ground breaking film from Hitchcock that holds up to this day. I absolutely watched this too young and was terrified of taking a shower for a long time like most folks who saw this at a young age. I also fell in love with Norman Bates and he's probably what started my obsession with tormented killer lead characters. An insane twist, an iconic score, and a perfect cast. I can watch this over and over and never get sick of it! And it also spawned a TV show...which was not for me...
NUMBER 26 - Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Who knew we would all fall in love with a perverted, burnt old man that haunts our dreams? Nightmare is an incredible franchise but nothing tops the first. Completely original, terrifying, and changed the way we thought about horror films. It gave us Nancy, it gave us Freddy, and it gave us a very young Johnny Depp. Filled with frightening dream sequences, crazy murders, and frustrating adults. It's an incredible film and holds up long after its' time.
NUMBER 25 - The Craft (1996)
THIS MOVIE IS PERFECT. Don't @ me. The Craft was everything to little teenage me. I wanted to find my own coven and make butterflies appear and change the color of my hair on a whim. It's an incredibly feminist, emotional film that brings the horror and the reality of being a teenage girl. Another perfect cast with stand out performances from everyone involved. It also feels incredibly real and still feels just as relevant in 2018 as it did in the 90's. It also has an awesome soundtrack. I could watch this movie every day of my life and still not get sick of it.
NUMBER 24 - Child's Play (1988)
Chucky is one of the main loves of my life - an egotistical maniac of a serial killer stuck in the body of a doll. I mean...what a freakin' concept! And the fact that last year we got a new Chucky movie and will continue to get more and they keep KILLING IT is so rare in the franchise world. Child's Play, of course just starts to lay the groundwork, Chucky is a lot less insane and not as battered and scarred. But it's a great simple story of a child getting a doll that has the spirit of a serial killer inside. There's some gnarly murder scenes and the final show down is absolutely epic.
NUMBER 23 - Cult of Chucky (2017)
Speaking of Chucky.....last year's franchise addition was my favorite yet. Cult of Chucky brought a breath of fresh air to the franchise while keeping everything we love about this sadistic doll. And what's better than Chucky? Multiple Chucky's running loose in an insane asylum. Fiona Dourif is my new obsession and this film just cemented it. She's the perfect addition to the franchise when she showed up in Curse of Chucky and just made it 100000X better in Cult. There's so many great lines, so many twists and turns, and a really epic kill involving a sky light. Tiffany also returns which made my heart very full and so did Andy! I love this movie so much and have already watched it a few times since it came out and intend to watch it a lot more!
NUMBER 22 - You're Next (2011)
This movie caught me completely off guard. I was expecting a regular old home invasion film but You're Next flips the genre on its' head and makes it exciting again. Erin is a total bad ass and has some of the craziest booby trap kills of all time. The masks the killers wear are super fun and have since become iconic and THAT ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was screaming and yelling. I absolutely adore this movie and implore everyone to watch it at least once. Or ten times.
NUMBER 21 - Housebound (2014)
The movie my blog was named after! I adored this New Zealand horror comedy so much and will laugh every time I watch. Some really incredible characters that you will love immediately, a twist that you won't see coming, some hilarious dry New Zealand humor and some pretty scary moments. It saddens me that this movie isn't as well known because it's such an absolute gem. Fans of Hot Fuzz or What we do in the Shadows will LOVE this film.
NUMBER 20 - Deliver us from Evil (2014)
This caught me off guard - it looked like such a bro film from the trailer but when I sat down and watched it I fell in love. It's so gritty and dark and bloody! The characters are complex and the story line is well thought out. I love the history behind these particular demons and the exorcist scenes brought a little something new to this genre. There's also some genuinely frightening moments and imagery! I've watched it quite a few times now and I enjoy it more and more each time.
NUMBER 19 - Drag me to Hell (2009)
Omg this film. I can't deal with it. It's so ridiculous and disgusting and hilarious and I just love it so much. It's incredibly unique while simultaneously poking fun at every horror trope ever. The gypsy vibe is a fav of mine and this one plays it off so well. It's fast paced, gory, and has a great ending that although you expect it, you still love it! I think a lot of people got put off by this film because they took it very seriously but I implore you to take a second look with a comedy filter and see what gold this movie truly is!
NUMBER 18 - The Shining (1980)
An absolute classic! And one of the only cases where I liked the film more than the book (I'm sorry Stephen, you know I love you). Every frame is a work of art, each performance is perfection, and the chills you have while watching it NEVER fade. The haunting score, the empty endless hotel, the enveloping snow - it's just incredible. I must have watched this 100 times at this point in my life and I never get sick of it.
NUMBER 17 - See no Evil 2 (2014)
The Soska twins are personal heroes of mine and I love all their movies and TV show. While See No Evil 2 doesn't bring anything new to the genre, it does a slasher sequel to perfection. With an incredible cast, Katharine Isabelle being one of my favorite actresses, and some great kill scenes, See no Evil 2 is just a fun movie. There's no deep thinking involved, it's just damn fun!
NUMBER 16 - American Mary (2012)
Another Soska twins film and this is just incredible. The story is complex and devastating and all too real. Isabelle pulls off one hell of a performance as our lead character and the character development is insane. Not for the faint of heart - this movie has lots of torture and gore and body modification, but handles it all with respect. I actually cried at the end of this film and I love it so very much. I feel like enough people either haven't seen it, or don't respect it enough so go watch it RIGHT FREAKIN NOW.
NUMBER 15 - The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The first time I saw this movie I was so fucking terrified, I had to keep pausing it. I was 11 and was convinced it was real. Since then I've easily watched it 50+ times and I still love it. While it loses a lot of its shine as the years go by, I'm still very fond of it. People forget that this movie changed the horror genre forever and made found footage the common thing we know today. Blair Witch is all about the "what if" and leaving everything up to your imagination and it does it perfectly. It also has a special place in my heart because Oprah and I watched it A LOT when we were younger. It also spawned a sequel, a book series, and a recent remake which I don't want to talk about.
NUMBER 14 - Halloween (1978)
Obviously an absolute classic. My Dad showed this to me when I was like 14 and so it means a lot to me, and every year since I've watched it on Halloween as I'm sure many of us horror fans do. It's such a simple premise but strikes fear into the hearts of those that watch it. I don't need to tell you this a good movie, you know it is.
NUMBER 13 - The Ring (2002)
This movie was SO fun when it first came out - everyone was freaking out every time the house phone rang. Obviously it doesn't completely hold up because house phones are a thing of the past. And on one answers their phones anyway. Samara is so spooky and we are basically twins. I just love the vibe of The Ring with its' creepy blue/grey vibe and scary imagery and the complex back story of Samara. I also love this one because it scares Mitch more than anything because he had a traumatizing experience watching it when he was young.
NUMBER 12 - Carrie (1976)
Carrie White, my lord and savior. This book meant so much to be when I was 12 but I didn't actually watch the film until a few years later. Since then I've been making up for lost time and have watched it A LOT. It's a beautiful, chaotic masterpiece. An incredible cast with incredible performances - John Travolta as a villain, P.J. Soles stealing the show, and of course Sissy Spacek. And omg Piper Laurie! Ugh it's perfect. And for the rest of my life I will want Carrie White's prom dress.
NUMBER 11 - Ginger Snaps (2000)
Another movie from my teen years that shaped me as a demented human being. All I wanted was a werewolf sister who I could make a blood pact with. Ginger Snaps is an incredible film that shows a very realistic side to being a weirdo teenage girl, but also added werewolves. It's dark, gory and has an awesome werewolf transition scene. While it's not necessarily a scary film with jump scares, the final showdown is very unnerving. A great cast and great effects make this an incredible film that I watch over and over!
NUMBER 10 - The Descent (2005)
I've seen this movie SO many times but it still scares the ever loving daylight out of me. An all female cast, trekking through the dark of an unexplored cave, man eating creatures that are blind. It's honestly terrifying. It's claustrophobic and bloody as hell and there's some great twists and turns and an ending that will make your stomach drop. If you haven't seen this film stop what you're doing RIGHT NOW AND WATCH IT! Preferably with the lights out.
NUMBER 9 - Red State (2011)
A lot of people put this movie aside because it's directed by Kevin Smith but I love him and I love this movie. Red State is like this dark, twisted retelling of Waco. There's a creepy uber religious cult, a phenomenal cast including John Goodman and Michael Parks, and some excellent dialogue. It's got a great ending that's subtle but leaves you thinking, and while there's not a tone of gore or jump scares, it delivers a great sense of dread.
NUMBER 8 - Don't Breathe (2016)
This movie is INSANE. And one of my absolute favorites from 2016. With just a cast of 4 and not a lot of dialogue this movie takes you on a freakin' roller coaster. It's one of those great films where you get so involved in that you find yourself trying not to breathe during the tense parts and your clinging to the couch. You get so wrapped up in the story. And there's some scenes where I was just yelling in shock or fear or disgust. An absolute thrill ride of a film and I can't wait for the sequel. As long as there's not turkey basters. I can't go through that again.
NUMBER 7 - Signs (2002)
Signs is actually one of my favorite films of all time regardless of genre. It just really stuck with me when I watched it in theaters and has since become a comfort film. I love the family dynamic, the humor, the jump scares, the aliens. It's a beautiful story that wraps itself up in a great bow. There's some incredible jump scares in there, my favorite being the news footage of the birthday party. I know this movie off by heart by now but I still love to watch it and fall in with the story. Incredible performances all around and such a spooky vibe with all those corn fields at night. To me, this was Shyamalan at his best.
NUMBER 6 - The Thing (1982)
Kurt Russell with a beard running around Antarctica with something alien destroying everything around him. You don't need me to convince you of this. The Thing is fucking epic! Amazing special effects, terrifying surroundings, and an awesome score. I like to watch this in the summer when it's super hot outside because I instantly get chills.
NUMBER 5 - The Birds (1963)
Another Hitchcock to add to the list, this time it's The Birds. I watched this far too young and was absolutely traumatized, I'm still nervous to this day when I see a group of birds together. While it doesn't hold up as well as Psycho, it has become very dear to me. I love that there's never really an explanation for what's going on, and I love all the dramatic staring off into the distance moments, and that iconic school yard crow scene....oh boy.
NUMBER 4 - The Conjuring (2013)
This movie is scary as hell the first time you watch it! It's sort of your typical haunted house movie but the cast dynamics and the spooky images are what make it stand out. One scene in particular when there's a ghost on top of the closet, and just how the camera handles it, always sticks with me. First time I saw it I got full body goosebumps. It's just a great little horror film with my girl Lorraine Warren and some spooooky shit. And who knew it would spawn a whole franchise?!
NUMBER 3 - As Above so Below (2014)
I feel like this movie was made for me. It has all this old magic history, it's set in the catacombs of Paris, there's a cult involved, and it's got a hella Tomb Raider vibe. It's found footage and super claustrophobic which fits perfectly with the vibe of the film. The cast is also super fun and our lead is great, I want to be her. There's so many scary images in this film too - the pool of blood, the hanging body, the burning car, just endless. I adore this film and love watching it every time.
NUMBER 2 - Misery (1990)
One of my favorite Stephen King books and one of my favorite adaptations. And it's all due to the perfect casting of Kathy Bates as Annie and James Caan as Paul. This whole story really only has two characters and you needed two powerhouses to pull it off. Absolutely well done in every way and an almost perfect adaption. And of course, famous for that ankle scene....I'm your number one fan...
NUMBER 1 - Unfriended (2014)
I talk about this movie a lot so I'm not going to go into it again. All I'll say is this movie pleasently surprised me and quickly became a favorite of mine. It's smart, it's well done, and I'm really fucking stoked for the sequel!