Top 10 Horror Films to watch this Halloween28th October 2016
10 – Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn
Firstly, one of the most ridiculous, over the top, gory and hilarious horror films you could ever hope to see. Serving as a half sequel/half remake to the original Evil Dead, part 2 again is the story of Ash, played by the legendary Bruce Campbell, and his struggle against the monstrous Deadites. Filled with outrageous humour, this is far from the scariest film on this list, but that does not mean it is not entertaining.
9 – Wolf Creek
There are few horror films that I know of that have reduced people to screaming and crying before rolling into a ball and rocking from pure fear. Wolf Creek did this. Upon my first viewing, I was with my then-girlfriend, who was a horror novice. The above reaction was her at one point of the film. It seriously upset her, which considering the tone of the film, and the aim. The plot, which is backpackers in Australia running afoul of a psychopathic truck driver, is not original. But that does not mean it is not effective.
8 – The Shining
It has to be said that Jack Nicholson does crazy very well. Which is great, because his performance in The Shining, a horror classic by Stanley Kubrick, is amazing. Playing a caretaker, in a haunted hotel, who is slowly losing his sanity, Nicholson’s performance is unnerving throughout. His wife, played by Shelley Duvall, has to deal with his murderous rage, which effects her own sense of sanity. One interesting point of The Shining is that Stephen King, who wrote the novel that the film is based on, dislikes this movie and actually made his own version. Do not watch that one. Watch this one.
7 – The Blair Witch Project
As much as I like this film, it is responsible for the rise in low-budget and poorly-acted found footage horror films. It was not the first film to do found footage, but it was one of the most successful. Some people will say this is an overrated movie. Some will say it is not scary. I disagree. It is a lot of build up, with the last ten minutes being genuinely scary. The film also works as an example of the idea that less is more. You do not need to see everything. Imagination will always be scarier than what you see.
6 – The Babadook
The most recent film on my list, The Babadook is one of the most unsettling movies I have seen in quite a few years. Dealing with a mother at the very end of her tether and her son, who has a wild imagination, the film deals with a loss of sanity, post traumatic stress disorder and grief. It is a horror film, but unlike many, it has a far deeper message and meaning. Plus, unlike most recent horror films, there are no jump scares at all, which gets a big thumbs up from me.
5 – The Cabin In The Woods
Let me preface this entry with the very simple statement that the most fun I have ever had in a cinema was watching The Cabin In The Woods. It plays with and against cliches. It completely breaks down the horror genre while doing stuff you have seen before. It is filled with references for horror geeks to spot and love. But, the true joy to be gained from this movie is in it’s truly crazy final act, which is wild, hilarious and really gory at times. This is not a scary movie in the slightest, but in terms of fun, you will not find a horror film more filled with it than this one.
4 – Alien
“In space, no one can hear you scream”. That may be true, but back in 1979, the screams could be heard loud and clear from cinema screens all over the world. With what is essentially a slasher film in space, Ridley Scott introduced the world to whole new breed of terror. Still the scariest in the series, and also the best, Alien is a 5 star classic. A seminal example of sci-fi horror and the bar by which all others of the genre should be judged.
3 – The Devil’s Rejects
What is a horror? It is a question that does not have a definitive answer. No matter what you feel makes a horror film, I am fairly certain that The Devil’s Rejects would qualify in one way or another. A story of truly horrible people doing truly horrible things is shocking, gruesome and completely enthralling. Some would say it is nothing more than a torture film, but that is selling it very short. There is more to The Devil’s Rejects than that. Superbly acted, brilliantly written and with a fantastic soundtrack, there is a lot to love about this film. But be warned. This is not for the faint of heart. The Devil’s Rejects is not an easy watch. But that is the point.
2 – The Exorcist
What can be said about The Exorcist that has not been said before? Quite simply, The Exorcist is not only one of the best horror films ever, but one of the best films ever. It is intelligent, moving, thought-provoking and in some ways, extremely beautiful. It is not a jump fest and does not move at a rapid pace but that only benefits the experience. It is a slow-burner, which allows you to really get to know and understand what these people are going through. The Exorcist is an all time classic and thoroughly deserves such status.
1 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Here it is. My opinion of the best horror film ever. It was close between this and The Exorcist, but this just edged out as winner. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an exercise in tension, terror and surrealism. It has a unnerving tone throughout, which only adds to the surrealism. To classify this as simply a slasher film is completely missing the point.
This is a relentless example of horror, which was banned for years despite containing almost no blood at all. When asked what could be cut to gain a release, no answer could be given, but the ban remained. An inspiration to many horror movie directors, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a short, sharp shock and is the best horror movie ever made.
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