At long last the top 10. These are my ten favorite horror movies of all time. If you missed the previous 40 you can check out 50-41 here 40-31 here 30-21 here and 20 through 11 here. They may not be in the top 10, but they’re all solid horror movies and there are some real hidden gems in there.
10. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
I love zombies. If you’re keeping score this is the 11th zombie movie on this list to this point. Shaun of the Dead is both a comedy and a zombie movie. What sets it apart from other zombie comedies or “zomedies” is that it’s really a blending of two genres rather than say a parody of zombie movies. If you took out the zombies it would still be an excellent romantic comedy. I hesitate to call the non-zombie portion of the film a “romantic comedy,” although it has romantic elements the term “romantic comedy” has come to mean bullshit movies like, “Ghosts of Ex-Girlfriends Past” and “27 Dresses.” The people that made this movie loved zombie movies and it shows, the zombies look great and the special FX are really well done. For a British movie it seemed kind of weird that no one ate any Jelly Babies in the entire movie. What gives? I thought that’s what they ate there, that and tea. And why did the people all have relatively nice teeth?
9. Army of Darkness (1992)
|Hail to the King baby!|
8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
|A Southern Gentleman|
7. The Wicker Man (1973)
The Wicker Man is definitely one of the most original horror movies I’ve ever seen. The central plot revolves around a police detective investigating the disappearance of a little girl on an island off the coast of Scotland. The island is inhabited with modern (well, 1970’s) Pagans, and their carefree sexy religious practices rubs the ultra-Religious detective the wrong way. The islanders’ sexy but admittedly strange religious practices give the film a creepy vibe that’s different from anything I’ve ever seen in a horror movie before, which is certainly a big part of the reason the film works so well for me. The film is also well cast and very well acted. Christopher Lee’s performance as Lord Summerisle is probably my single favorite acting performance in a horror film. If you’ve only seen the Nic Cage remake you may be surprised to find that there isn’t a single scene in the film where the protagonist puts on a bear costume and punches a woman in the face.
6. Aliens (1986)
Whenever I tell people that Aliens is one of my favorite horror movies they always say, “I think Aliens is more sci-fi than horror.” I don’t know about that, the first movie Alien is almost universally accepted as a horror movie and I don’t think Aliens is any more sci-fi than that. If anything there’s more tech speak and scientific gobbilty gook in the first one. At the very least there are monsters in both movies and monsters = horror. Anyway, I think it’s the blending of genres that makes Aliens so sweet; it’s a sci-fi, horror and action movie all rolled into one intense film. Intense is an apt description, few movies match the intensity level of Aliens. Every time you think the movie is as suspenseful as it’s going to get the director (James Cameron) ratchets the tension up a few more notches. Aliens was good enough to be nominated for seven Oscars, snagging two. As kind of a side note, Bill Paxton is awesome in this movie. He has the best lines and one of the best deaths. He’s one of my favorite parts of Aliens and comparing him to Bill Pullman is a fucking travesty. (See also his performance in Weird Science, Club Dread, and True Lies.)
5. The Thing (1982)
|A little Brimely for the ladies|
|Deranged killer Michael Meyers|
|She was the little girl in part 4 and 5, and oddly she was one of the girls who took her clothes off in Rob Zombie's version.|
3. Re-Animator (1985)
2. Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987)
1. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead is the only movie that actually scares me. It has literally given me nightmares. I can’t completely explain it but I think it has something to do with the whole apocalypse thing. In Dawn of the Dead the zombies take over. Usually in movies the end of the world happens pretty quick (Dawn of the Dead 2003) or off screen (28 Days Later, Resident Evil, The Road Warrior.) In Dawn of the Dead the world dies slowly. The film begins with the cities in chaos. Zombies are everywhere, and most people deal with the situation by either looting or skipping town. The main characters are four such individuals. They didn’t like the way things are going so they stole a helicopter and took refuge in a shopping mall. One thing you have to wonder about is what they talked about all day. There were three dudes and only one chick. Couldn’t exactly talk about women, except for the one, and she was pregnant with the one dude’s baby. Awkward to say the least. No sports either, or even VHS tapes. I guess that’s why they seem so unhappy despite all their nice things (a delightful bit of social commentary.) The movie is also really violent, so violent in fact that it was released unrated when it couldn’t get an R rating from the MPAA. If all that doesn’t sell you on Dawn of the Dead I’ve got two words for you: zombie pie-fight. There’s a zombie pie-fight. Get on it.
These 50 movies represent my favorite horror movies, and while you may not agree with every movie on the list or the order in which they’re on my list they’re all endorsed by me personally. Hopefully you’ll see something you like and check it out. I guess that about wraps it up. Feel free to leave a comment here or on facebook.
Back to reviewing cheap beer. Happy Halloween.
Oh, and Danzig still seems pretty serious about wanting your Skull.