In lieu of my favorite month, October, my top 31 horror movies. Some obvious, some classic, but I hope there’s something in here you haven’t seen before and love! To all my creepy, disturbing, funny, grotesque and spooky movies out there, I salute you! (I have a feeling I’ve left out a few things worth mentioning, but alas, another list for another day)
31) The Ring – 2002 – Gore Verbinski – Okay so not the best movie, but when I was 12 and saw this in theatres in scared the hell out of me!
30) Gothika – 2003 – Mathieu Kassovitz – Again, not the best, but I great mix of ghost, mystery and disturbing.
29) Absentia – 2011 – Mike Flanagan – A very well done horror film, I wrote a review about it which you can check out, but it’s so far up on the list because it’s not very jump-out-of-your-seat “spooky”
28) Carrie – 1976 – Brian De Palma – One of those essentials, I mean how many horror movies have been made about the revenge of the high school student who was bullied since?
27) The Stepford Wives – 1975 – Bryan Forbes – A feminist classic, although the pace may destroy our modern audiences with ADD, this movie was very disturbing to me as a child.
26) Drag me to Hell – 2009 – Sam Raimi – Not the only movie by Raimi on this list, this film was panned by some critics who couldn’t see the humor behind it. A fun, disgusting, creepy film.
25) The Fourth Kind – 2009 – Olatunde Osunsanmi – This movie was very creepy to me. I don’t so much care about the whole “based on true events” thing, besides the fact it is still really jumpy!
24) In the Mouth of Madness – 1994 – John Carpenter – Certainly not the only film by the master Carpenter, this film has everything: psychological horror, blood, guts, twisted human creatures, and so on!
23) Videodrome – 1983 – David Cronenberg – Never one to be afraid of being disturbing, Cronenberg weaves a terrible tale that will leave you feeling dirty yourself.
22) Saw Franchise – 2004 to 2011 – Various directors – Of course the first is the best, but that can be said of almost every horror franchise. I know many will disagree, but I’ve always loved these movies, and making fun of the gaping plot holes is always entertaining.
21) Cabin Fever – 2002 – Eli Roth – I also enjoyed the sequel, but Eli Roth deserves a shout out. This is one of those gag-inducing, bodily fluids filled gore fests that will make you squirm!
20) Halloween – 1978 – John Carpenter – Carpenter is a master in his own right. This film is so creepy! Most of the remakes are just terrible, however.
19) Texas Chainsaw Massacre – 1974 – Tobe Hooper – A classic, leatherface has inspired many other people… to wear other people’s faces. I won’t lie, I also enjoyed the gory remakes.
18) Friday the 13th – 1980 – Sean S. Cunningham – A wonderful film, and arguably one of the best introductions to the character of Jason, or any supernatural murderer ever. Also the 2009 remake is pure stoner genius as well.
17) Nightmare on Elm Street – 1984 – Wes Craven – My favorite Craven film and the best in the franchise by a long shot. Johnny Depp smoothie anyone?
16) I Saw the Devil – 2010 – Jee-woon Kim – A great horror movie, thriller combo, which blurs the lines of evil and makes you question your own morals.
15) The Shining – 1980 – Stanley Kubrick – Such a classic, and of course extremely well made. What makes this movie so creepy is the fact that is seems so plausible. What if your Dad went crazy from isolation (and ghosts) and tried to murder you? *shudder*
14) Rec and Rec 2 – 2007 and 2009 – Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza – these films are really some of the best that POV camera movies have to offer. Especially the second one which gets really creative about how they continue the genre (and kill people)
13) The Mist – 2007 – Frank Darabont – the classic, community grouped together for survival story but with a great and tragic twist.
12) Suspiria – 1977 – Dario Argento – It’s hard to narrow down at least one Dario film to use, but this one is a classic. Watch all of his works if you’re into classic horror though!
11) Cube – 1997 – Vincenzo Natali – Woo Canadians! This is a creepy but smart horror film which follows the anguish of the prisoners. What is not explained remains the creepiest aspect of the film.
10) The Thing – 1982 – John Carpenter – My favorite film by Carpenter. The isolation, what the alien does to your body, not knowing who the alien is? All come together for a terrifying and disgusting combination.
9) Kill List – 2011 – Ben Wheatley – There is something about this film which really struck me – I wrote and entire review about it before – the gruesomeness, the disturbing-ness… none of these will disappoint you.
8) Planet terror – 2007 – Robert Rodriguez – Just pure fun and madness. Typical gore and splatter-fest activities, I’ve always enjoyed a horror with a sense of humor.
7) Sleepy Hollow – 1999 – Tim Burton – This is just head-chopping good fun. Creepy, twisted and a disturbing take on the light-hearted classic.
6) Session 9 – 2001 – Brad Anderson – This is one of those serious horror films, with a great mystery and a great twist. Who doesn’t love abandoned mental hospitals?
5) Tale of Two Sisters – 2003 – Jee-woon Kim – A beautiful, disturbing, and tragic tale of a family gone wrong. The twists are wonderful and artfully revealed. A masterpiece!
4) Return of the Living Dead – 1985 – Dan O’Bannon – Just far too much fun. Punks and zombies. A hilarious zombie film not a dull moment.
3) 28 Days Later – 2002 – Danny Boyle – A stunning work, the shots of an abandoned London are enough to place it here alone… That and the Zombies can run…fast!
2) The Evil Dead – 1981 – Sam Raimi – My favorite cult horror movie, hands down, ever made. It’s just too much ridiculous fun. Is it serious? Is it a joke? Who knows, who cares!
1) The Signal – 2007 – David Bruckner et al. – My personal favorite. This film blends humor and disturbing elements so well it leaves you laughing and gasping at the same time. In a way I didn’t even think possible! The best take on people-gone-crazy genre I’ve ever seen. A surprising little independent film.