Here are my top 10 horror films of all time. These are the kinds of movies you don’t watch by yourself in the dark on Halloween, and, if you do, you might need to watch a comedy afterwards.
DISCLAIMER: this article may contain spoilers, gruesome graphics (not for the squeamish), and does not rank the films in any particular order.
Let’s start with a classic film that everybody and their mama knows.
1. Friday the 13th
In this film, we encounter a well-known murderer at Crystal Lake, where camp counselors somehow think it’s still okay to set up a summer camp in the woods (because that’s totally going to work out great). However, the typically young locals in the area pay no attention to warnings from elders who know the history of what happened here. They’re soon greeted by Jason, a serial killer whose infamous disguise is a hockey mask and whose weapon of choice is a machete. We all know what happens next… #Fatality.
2. Rosemary’s Baby
Hold on. Hold on. Now, you should already know that something crazy happens in this film because there is a woman holding a knife and hesitantly walking up to a cradle. Like, what? Anyway, the woman here is Rosemary Woodhouse. She lives in an ominous New York City apartment building with her husband, Guy. She pretty much gives birth to the spawn of Satan, which I find interesting because her husband’s name is ‘Guy;’ that’s like being named ‘Buddy’ or ‘Diablo’. It’s not a name that really screams normal. I’ll let you ponder on that.
3. The Blair Witch Project
This film won the Golden Slate Award for Best Horror Movie in 2000, so it’s definitely a must-see. It set the standard for documentary horror films. The video footage found tells the story of three film students who traveled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary murderer. While there, the students interview townspeople to gather clues in support of the Blair Witch Project. However, the film takes a turn for the worst when these students cross the path of a monster in the woods…
4. Nightmare on Elm Street
This film is like Edward Scissorhands combined with a sadistic, charming “turns your nightmares into reality” attitude; the result is a serial killer named Freddy Krueger. We all know this guy is a badass, yet slightly perverted murderer who will not only ruin your sleep, but end it – bringing a whole new meaning to deathbed. Ha! Sorry… That’s not funny. But seriously, don’t go to sleep…
When a mad man behind bars is still trying to kill you… The question you must ask yourself is, why was I even that close? Anyway, this film is about Michael Myers, a child committed to an insane asylum for the murder of his older sister, Judith Myers. After 15 years of imprisonment, he escapes to stalk and kill the people of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween. I know where I WON’T be partying on Halloween this year.
6. The Silence of the Lambs
When I was younger, I had no idea what this movie was about. I only saw what I thought was a butterfly on somebody’s face on the poster, so I was like, “Ooh, Mom, can I watch this movie?” She replied with a quick, “No, it’s not appropriate for you.” Honestly, looking back on that moment with the knowledge I have now, this film isn’t appropriate for ANYONE. It’s about a student from the FBI academy who wants to interview a man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Dr. Lecter is a brilliant psychiatrist, but also a violent psychopath who is serving life behind bars for cannibal murder.
Phoenix secretary Marion Crane steals $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis. She travels on the back roads to avoid police through a heavy rainstorm. She decides to stop for the night at the Bates Motel, where she meets the polite yet anxious proprietor, Norman Bates… Yup, you read that right. If you’ve never seen this film, but you’ve watched TV show, Bates Motel, now you know where the story for the series comes from. You also know that any young man who enjoys taxidermy and has a more-than-difficult, physical relationship with his mother is definitely a Psycho.
8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
I will personally let you know that this movie is not only on my top 10 horror films list, but it is also on my list of reasons of why I’m not going to Texas. This film is about a girl named Sally who finds out that her grandfather’s grave may have been vandalized, so she, her brother Franklin, and some friends go to investigate. After a detour to their family’s old farmhouse, they discover a bunch of crazed outcasts living next door. Sally’s group is killed off one at a time by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, who wears a mask of human skin. Now that’s just sick, and not in a good way.
9. The Exorcist
When you hear your kids or younger siblings making noise upstairs, so you go to their room to tell to quiet down, but this happens instead…
I’m running out like, “Never mind, fam. You got it.” This film is one of the most profitable horror movies ever made. It is the story of a girl possessed by the devil, in which a local priest must perform an exorcism to save her soul. No matter what your religious beliefs, this film is only loosely based on actual events.
10. The Shining
This film is about a man, Jack Torrance, who becomes a winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in with his wife, Wendy, and their psychic son. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and his sons’ visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and turns into a homicidal maniac.