Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our Top 20 Horror Films

Everyone who reads this blog undoubtedly appreciates a good horror story. Here is a list of our Top 20, taking into account that we're biased against zombie flicks, lean towards psycho-thrillers and have certainly missed some good ones along the way. (Those are on our "To Be Seen List!") The following are in no particular order.

* Friday the 13th (1980). The first time that freakish twist(ed) ending was used so dramatically. Well worth the scream and jump from the chair.

* Halloween (1978). Considered the first slasher film. Jamie Lee Curtis' break-out movie.

 * Psycho (1960). The movie was based on a real-life murderer.  Director Alfred Hitchcock used chocolate syrup for filming the blood in the shower scene.

* The Amityville Horror (1979). There is still controversy as to whether this story was based on true events or an entire sham concocted by a family greedy for fame and fortune.

* The Exorcist (1973). What kind of parents allows their 13-year-old child to star in such severely disturbing movie?!

* The Omen (1976). First in a 3-movie trilogy. Multiple deaths and serious incidents happened on the set, leading many to consider the movie a cursed endeavor.

* Rosemary's Baby (1968). Director Roman Polanski showed genius in weaving a complex tale disturbing on many levels.

* The Shining (1980). Filmed at the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood in Oregon, Director Stanley Kubrick would strangely call Stephen King at 3:00 a.m. to inquire if he believed in God.

* Poltergeist (1982).  Real cadavers were used as props in various scenes of Poltergeist and Poltergeist II.

* When a Stranger Calls (1979). Who wanted to babysit after watching this?!

* The Sixth Sense (1999).  Haley Joel Osment got ripped of an Oscar. Amazing acting, uber-creative script, surprise ending. Truly a treat of a film.

* 1408 (2007).  Always liked John Cusack's acting. Always enjoyed Stephen King taking me places I was scared to go. Cusack + King = What's not to like about this film?!

* Silence of the Lambs (1991). The character, Hannibal Lecter, was a composite of 3 real-life serial killers: Ted Bundy, Ed Gein and Gary M. Heidnik.

* The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).  Despite claims the movie made, the story was NOT true. Director Tobe Hooper defended the lie by saying "the government lied about Vietnam, the oil crisis, and Watergate too."

* Jaws (1975). Not the stuff of typical horror film fare but, at 13-years-old, I was petrified and millions of Americans were afraid to go in the water for a long, l-o-n-g time.

* Salems Lot (1979). Not as good as the book by a long shot, but at least non-readers got the story. I wore a cross 24/7 for months.

* The Others (2001). The delightful twist at the end made it all worthwhile.

* Ghost Story (1981). Haunting at the viewing, haunting for days afterward. A cautionary tale of youthful indiscretion.

* It (1990). You will thank God on bended knee for your comparatively La-La Land childhoods.

* Carrie (1976). A whole new take on the possible consequences of bullying!

Honorable Mentions:,
* War of the Worlds (2005)
* The Blair Witch Project (1999)
* Seven (1995)
* Interview with The Vampire (1974)

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