Monday, October 27, 2008

TOP 10: Scariest Films Ever...

Hey! With Halloween right around the corner, it’s about that time to bust out the classic horror films and thrillers to get you in the mood. So, in honor of this frightening holiday, I’ve compiled a list of ten films that are perfect for your own little fright fest.

10.The Exorcist
This may be the most controversial on the list, not only with the visuals, but it had the balls to question the existence of god. This film is actually so creepy, that after a few accidents on the set, director William Friedkin hired a priest to have an actual exorcism for the set.

9.The Decent
This is one of, if not the only new age horror film to use something other than gore to get its viewers to scream. This film is a perfect example of how atmosphere can be used for scares, instead of blood and monsters. Director Neil Marshall has crafted a truly haunting film that, minus a lack luster ending, is set to scare and creep generations to come.

8.The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This comes to us from director Tobey Hooper, and in a way similar to Psycho, is based on the brutal killings of Ed Gein. This is the quitessential slasher flick, and from the opening glimpses of body parts to the very end chase scene, this film never lets it’s viewer go with it’s almost documentary style. It’s so beloved; there is a copy of it sitting in the Museum of Modern

At number 7, the only non Horror film on the list and that is the film Se7en. David Fincher’s masterpiece features one of the most frightening murderers and crime stories to grace the silver screen. From a decomposing body suddenly gasping for air, to the sheer creepiness of Kevin Spacey’s “John Doe”, this film is a clinic in mood. Ultimately culminating in one of the greatest film twists ever, this is a staple in my film collection.

6.Night of the Living Dead
The original zombie film, and one of, if not the most influential horror films to this day. George A. Romero’s masterpiece may be 40 years old, but it’s still as powerful as ever and along with allegories about racism and the Vietnam War, also featuring a strong female lead, it stands the test of time as not only a horror film, but a cultural moment.

The father of the slasher genre, with all the genre’s staples. Heavy editing, one of the creepiest film characters ever in Norman Bates, and the harsh score from Bernard Herrmann, yet the film doesn’t rely on these though, as many of its scariest moments come in more subtle means. There’s not much I can say about this that hasn’t already been said.

Chestbursters. Enough said.

This film comes to us from the mind of Asian auteur Takishi Miike, and features one of the biggest plot turns, or at least most startling, in all of film. The film starts as what looks to be a solid Asian romantic comedy, but then, without any notice, a single telephone ring turns it into one of the most frightening and purely visceral films to come from the new generation of horror. Duffle bags have never been so scary.

2.Rosemary’s Baby
This 1968 classic from controversial director, Roman Polanski, and is psychological horror at its best. It lacks horror staples like a werewolf, a serial killer, and even a lot of blood, yet to this day, is one of the best examples of atmosphere as terror. Featuring a legendary performance from Mia Farrow, brilliant direcetion, and a shocking ending, this is one that is a perfect addition to any film collection. It’s also got one of the greatest posters ever made.

1. The Shining
This film comes to us from legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, and is a course in another aspect of film, sound design. This is still the greatest example of sound adding or even making terror. The sound editing of the little boy riding his bike through the halls of the Overlook Hotel is some of the best ever put to film, only to culminate in one of the scariest cuts in film. With a legendary performance from Jack Nicholson, the film may be a little on the long side, but what happens through the span of the film is one of the best character arcs and purely scary stories to be told.

What is your favorite horror film? What makes a good horror film to you?

Go see something good!

1 comment:

  1. How could you leave off the original Halloween? COme on...!


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