The countdown continues my little ghouls and goblins. We’re getting ever so closer to the witching hours and all of the creatures of the night will run rampant in the streets. Okay, maybe not, but the leaves are turning colors, Walking Dead has returned and there’s still plenty of time to indulge in some great horror movies. We’ve finally broken into my top ten and all five of these movies are sure to make your blood run cold. Make sure you don’t read this in the dark. Muah hahahahahahaha -cough, cough, cough- hahahahaha.
10. An American Werewolf in London:
The time has come for arguably one of the best werewolf movies ever made. John Landis and Rick Baker created one of the most terrifying and realistic transformation scenes that have ever been caught on film. I just want to thank Rick Baker for being so amazing. What also made this movie so terrifying was the fact that most of the movie seemed so outlandish that it was funny. John Landis is a firm believer of injecting humor in to horror movies to make the scary moments more terrifying and American Werewolf in London is the perfect example. Come on, nothing is funnier than Nazi werewolves. The beginning attack aside, the whole beginning of the movie never feels like a scary movie, but when David transforms for the first time the tempo changes and a whole other movie begins.
9. Friday the 13th:
Ah, Friday the 13th how I love thee, let me count the ways. This movie is one of the founding fathers of slasher movies and created one of the most iconic horror figures in existence. It’s also a little ironic considering that Mr. Voorhees doesn’t even make an appearance in this film until the very end. The most interesting aspect of Friday the 13th and why it’s such an interesting premise is because it’s almost like a reverse of Psycho. Mrs. Voorhees continues to take care of her son long after he’s gone by exacting her revenge on the booze guzzling, reefer smoking, horny teenagers she feels are responsible for Jason’s untimely demise. Poor grieving mother just happened to lose her head in the heat of the moment – ha, get it? Lose her head. Anyway…the fact that it was Jason’s mother that was the killer was brilliant. What Friday the 13th did so well was leave audiences with one last scare. Just when you think the terror is over that decomposing little scamp decides to give one last boo.
In my head there are no better-haunted house movies than Poltergeist. It scared the pants off so many people, reinforced the importance of adding an implosion clause into their homeowners insurance and made people think twice about their cable provider. What Poltergeist did so well was build suspense with only having little things happen. Perfect example was when the mother walks out of the kitchen and when she returns the kitchen chairs are stacked up on the table. Of course, things escalate over time and once Carol Ann utters those fateful words, “They’re here,” you just knew that things were going to go down. The creepiest part that has always stood out to me was the stuffed clown attacking the brother. I’m pretty sure I peed a little when the clown stretched its arms out and pulled the boy under the bed. Poltergeist is one of my favorite horror movies and really set the bar for haunted house movies.
7. Let Me In:
Let Me In is a very recent addition to my top twenty and it may be a little ballsy to put it so high on the list, but the movie was just that damn good. Matt Reeves did an amazing job at creating such a dark and creepy movie that put the characters before the scares. Reeves also did a great job at picking his scary moments carefully and went with the old school less is more. Most of Abby’s kills are left in the shadows to let audience’s imaginations fill in the rest. What also made this a powerful film were Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Grace Moretz’s stellar performances. They both made me sympathize with their characters and even though I knew that Owen’s fate wasn’t as hopeful as he believed, there was still something satisfying about them being together. Let Me In is a masterful piece of storytelling and a breath of fresh air amongst the sparkly, angst-ridden vampires of this generation. (Click here to see my full review.)
Wes Craven’s Scream is a terrifying slasher movie that was responsible for revitalizing the horror genre in the nineties and kick starting the movie careers of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette. What was so amazing about this movie is that it not only poked fun at the ‘rules’ horror movies abide by, but also turned them on their head. Scream also has one of the most memorable openings to any horror movie. I remember being too young to see this movie in theaters – way to censor me, mom – but once this gem hit good old VHS I indulged myself. I couldn’t help but sit on the edge of my seat as Ghostface quizzed Drew Barrymore on her scary movies before slicing and dicing her character. Scream has become a cultural icon along with spawning three less than stellar sequels and an even more lackluster spoof series. If you haven’t seen this movie then you don’t know what you’re missing.
Thanks for tuning in. I trust you didn’t scream for your mommy too loud! I’ll see you next week for the top five horror movies of all time…if you make it that long. Muah hahahahahahha – cough, cough, cough – haha. Please, feel free to leave your votes for your top horror movies.
– Joe D.