Well hey spooky ghouls and gals! I’m turning 30 today and unfortunately for me, it did not turn into Happy Death Day. I guess the day hasn’t finished yet so there’s always hope!
Instead of living my 30th birthday over and over again while getting murdered, I wanted to celebrate with my fellow writers on the site. Isn’t it insane that on my 29th birthday last year it was just me rambling on!? And now there’s 16 of us rambling on. I’m SO EMOTIONAL BABY!
The reason we’re here is because a few of the incredible writers on this site came together and shared their Top 5 Horror Films and I’ve combined them all below. After much debate and complaining and panic at only choosing 5 – we have officially got it organized. Also technically there is 40….just role with it….
CHECK IT OUT
Number Five - Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
Number Four - Night of the Living Dead
Number Three - The Evil Dead (1981)
Number Two - Friday the 13th Part 3
Number One – Halloween
Halloween is my #1 because it’s the perfect horror movie. The opening scene when little Mike is creeping around the house, the bed room light flicks on and the synthesizer hits. AMAZING. The scene at the end where Laurie gets the kids out of the house, Mike slowly creeps out of the shadow, the white of his mask slowly becoming visible. AMAZING. The other scene at the end where Laurie thinks she has won, breathless at the door, Mike’s body in the background as he slowly sits upright. AMAZING. It has pumpkin carving, The Thing playing on TV and the best line ever “Was it the boogeyman? As a matter of fact, it was.” The best ever.
Number Five – From Dusk Till Dawn
Number Four – Alien
Number Three – Halloween
Number Two – The Shining
Number One – Hellraiser
Hellraiser - I wrote a column on this one a while back. It’s my favorite because it’s so rewatchable for me. I love that Clive Barker, who wrote the novella it is based, on also wrote the movie because it means he was okay with the changes in it and approves of them. And it has one of the iconic horror bad guys in it. Check out my deep dive HERE
Number Five – Frontier(s)
Number Four – Black Christmas (1974)
Number Three – Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Number Two – Evil Dead (2013)
Number One – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - from the intro voiceover and that camera flash noise the whole movie is unforgettable. The house is a character itself, everyone hates Franklin, and everyone remembers the first time they saw the hook scene. And then there's Grandpa.
(Also High Tension, House of Wax, The Thing, Scream, Halloween 2, Wrong Turn, The Hills Have Eyes remake…)
Number Five - The Skin I Live In
Number Four - Let the Right One In
Number Three - A Clockwork Orange
Number Two - I Saw The Devil
Number One - Kill List
Kill List - This was really a toss up between the top two on my list, but Kill List sticks out particularly to me because of how its ambiguity sticks with you. Even to this day I'll catch myself thinking about all the turns this movie takes from time to time. Kill List is the story of a hit-man who's mission quickly develops into a series of strange happenings. I don't want to give away too much with this one because really it's all about the plot twists. I can say there are a few standout scenes featuring gruesome gore, and some eerie imagery that makes this film very unique. At the end of the day, it is a bit of a slow burn, but the payoff definitely exceeds the brisk 95 minute run-time. I can't recommend this film (or any others on this list) enough. Kill List is an often overlooked British gem. Pro-tip: turn on sub-titles if the accents are distracting, the dialogue is very important.
Number Five - The Wailing
Number Four - Re-Animator
Number Three - Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Number Two - Evil Dead II
Number One - The Thing
John Carpenter's The Thing is a master class of tension, practical effects, and pacing. While it's not the film that got me into horror (that title goes to my #3 spot), I think it's about as close as you can get to a perfect horror movie, and for me there are very few others that come close. As a huge Lovecraft fanboy, I also believe this to be the quintessential weird horror film (second only to my #4). If you haven't seen it yet, please do yourself a favor, pop some popcorn and get ready for a truly "edge of your seat" experience.
Number Five - Critters II
Number Four - Into the Mouth of Madness
Number Three - Prince of Darkness
Number Two - Evil Dead II
Number One - Phantasm II
Phantasm II - Picking a 'favorite horror' is a challenge for any die hard fan. I usually respond with 'what TYPE of horror' or 'well my fave this week is..'...but the Phantasm series just holds an especially dear place in my heart. Angus Scrimm's cries of 'BOYYYY' echoed around my head growing up, and Phantasm II is a movie I can put on any time and be happy. Great soundtrack, cheesy acting, fun practical FX and great kills - and a great post-apocalyptic vibe - make this a movie I watch at least once a year, often more.
Number Five - Dog Soldiers
Number Four - Sleepaway Camp
Number Three - Evil Dead II
Number Two - Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Number one - Halloween
Halloween - My favorite horror genre is the slasher pic, they’re often cliched, with similar plot points and tropes but I love them all the same because of those cheesy moments and fun (if you have a dark sense of humor at least). So, with that being said of course my favorite all time horror movie is the film that introduces many of those cliches to the world.
Everything from the rules as depicted in the classic movie Scream as well as a couple of that films moments are first originated here, and some great innovative first person camera work in the opening scene that feels familiar to an audience brought up on video games but to a 1974 audience must have felt revolutionary you get those here in this movie.
And of course that iconic John Carpenter theme, that’s timeless. If you haven’t seen this movie somehow, go watch it immediately and get back to me. Avoid most of the sequels, as is usually the case in horror, but watch the original and tell me that’s not in your top horror movie lists of your own.
Number Five - Misery
Number Four - Housebound
Number Three – Ginger Snaps
Number Two – Saw (check out my plea for everyone to give Jigsaw another chance HERE)
Number One - Scream
Number One is obviously Scream because COME ON. How many articles have I written about Scream and Sidney Prescott? Honestly, I’d just run a whole website about Scream if I could. But here’s why Scream is so special to me in just a few sentences; Scream ignited my love of the slasher flicks and horror movies in general. I’d been watching horror movies since I was 5 but I was finally given free reign at the video store. I chose Scream, Blair Witch, and Cruel Intentions. I was like 10 or 11 at the time. Scream just hit me in the right spot and the right time and formed the unbreakable bond I have with horror now 20 years later. And over those 20 years, Sidney Prescott became a personal hero and a guiding light in my life. So, yeah, Scream is my number one. It was when I was 10 and it is now that I’m 30.