Happy Halloween! Final holiday themed list. The eight best scary movies. A lot of names have come and gone over the week as these lists have rolled out. As I gathered the data through a series of die-rolls and polling friends, family, co-workers, and strangers on the internet certain patterns emerged. With what I have available I think we can safely say that this list is the eight best scary movies.
8. Psycho (1960). The classic Hitchcock thriller is haunting and paved the way for psychological thrillers. The atmosphere is excellent and the directing is obviously great. It pulls off one of the strangest moves in movie history as well, it kills off the main character halfway through and continues the story with an entirely new main character. It’s a masterpiece and well deserving of it’s spot here.
7. An American Werewolf In London (1981). Sometimes called a dark comedy, this early eighties flick made the best werewolf movies list and for good reason. It’s great. It is dark and comedic but it’s also a really good movie. The characters are interesting and the transformation scene is awesome. I watch it at least once a year and not always when Halloween has me in the mood for horror movies.
6. Poltergeist (1982). This is a really scary movie. Written and produced by Steven Spielberg (who had a movie on the scariest monsters list) it stars Craig T. Nelson and is about a haunted housing addition. The imagery was frightening at the time and has since become iconic. My kids have been introducing themselves to scary movies this year because they are getting old enough to see some things, but I wouldn’t let them watch this. It’s too intense.
5. The Thing (1982). Another one from the best movie monster list. John Carpenter’s The Thing is brilliant and frightening. It has creatures that twist and morph and become some of the most horrific nightmares ever recorded. The story is good, but it really gets you with the gore and the twisted imagery that the creature becomes.
4. IT (1990). Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown is extraordinary. Tim Curry in anything is extraordinary. Then you mash him up with one of Stephen King’s Best stories and you have the masterpiece that is IT. A lot of his stories are these time piece tales, and they are always approached with this haunting childhood-memory-atmosphere. I said it about Silver Bullet, but it reminds me of The Wonder Years if it were about kids dealing with monsters (Which would have been interesting too. Why haven’t they made that series yet?). I could watch IT everyday it’s so good.
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Another one from the best movie monsters list. Leatherface and some of the plot points in this 70’s classic were inspired by real life seriel killer, Ed Gein. Constantly included on lists of best horror films it was banned in some countries at the time of it’s release. I didn’t see this movie until I was 18, and what I found most impressive was the sheer insanity of the final moments. The movie builds on it’s chaos and the last scene in the movie is probably the best scene in any horror film.
2. The Night of the Living Dead (1968). George Romero really invented the zombie genre. This movie launched a series of sequels and has inspired remakes, games, spoofs, and is drawn upon for influence in hundreds of other horror films. The black and white original is great, though I wouldn’t say the remake is bad either. Some of the other “Living Dead” sequels hold their own and are worth a gander. I know this movie has been referenced and talked about as a serious observation on humanity. The Library of Congress even deemed it culterally, historically, and aesthetically note worthy. I also love hearing Ben say, “…they are coming to get you Barbera.”
1. The Exorcist (1973). This movie has made the number one on several other lists and it probably always will. Based on a book of the same name, it captures the terror that can only come from a religious belief system. Catholcism offers a lot of things to be afraid of and Linda Blair as a child possessed by a demon is one of them. The FX in the movie are great, the story is great, and the music (Tubular bells) is the most haunting sound ever. The simple rythm of Tubular Bells turns any darkness into scary-time darkness. This movie really pushes the bounderies and it’s worthy as the king of all horror movies.
That’s the list. Happy Halloween. Feel free to disagree below or @werewolforigin on twitter