Top 10 Favorite Horror Films

Posted: November 1, 2011 by tmepost in Movies
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By David Burrola

Horror’s been a staple of film ever since film makers figured out that they could put some of their favorite scary tales on screen. I’ve been a fan of them ever since we got cable and my Brother and I would stay up late with the volume a little down just so our Dad wouldn’t wake up and yell at us to go to bed.

So in no particular order, here are my favorite Horror films growing up.

10.American Werewolf in London

The original film was probably one of the better if not best in a long while of werewolf movies. From the amazingly clever special effects and a good story setting up a feeling of terror and the unknown, this one gave us a better feel for the supernatural and of what Werewolves really are.

The scene where our hero first turns is truly gruesome in both sound and visuals and looks just as painful as you’d expect, but maybe a little longer than you’d want it to be, if only because good old special effects aren’t quite up to what you can do with obvious CGI, but still inferior in most cases for Horror. Still, the reason this one works better than its sequels, is because it takes the time to set in the atmosphere and its just much grittier.

Too bad we can’t get a good movie like this for Werewolves nowadays.

9.Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

A lot of people didn’t like this in the 80’s because the staple killer Michael Myers wasn’t in it. But as many of those same people have found out later, its an under appreciated gem and so much of what made the early 80’s good in film, its going in here.

At first when I saw this I didn’t know it was a Halloween movie, in part because I was young at the time, and also because it caught it on cable after it had been released and missed the title.

What really makes this stand out, is that it goes after the kids. Yeah, there’s a more Occult, sinister origin to the terror in this film, and the villain, Dan O’Herlihy played by Conal Cochran, is fucking creepy as hell. His speech as he’s going to have the hero killed is just chilling in the way he executes it. Under appreciated, but well done and could have lead to a great new string of creative Horror films, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch gets a spot here.

In your nightmares.

8.Arachnophobia

Changing gears a bit, here’s one that the creators thought was going to be scary all on its own right just because it features spiders as the villains. Yes. Spiders. Not mutated ones, but and exotic spider from another country(how the fuck did the people in that country survive with this serial killer arachnid?).

Yeah, I remembered this as one of those scary movies my sister wouldn’t watch because it was about spiders and she’s arachnophobic. Sure, for that amount of people it’ll keep them scared, but for another bunch, even those who do have the phobia, it’ll actually CURE them, on account of it being horribly stupid and funny as hell. How funny is it? John Goodman is the sleezy inept exterminator, meanwhile Julain Sands from Warlock gets to have one of the funniest and most pathetic Horror film deaths EVER. Oh, and Jeff Daniels is the hero. Yeah, we can believe he’d be the kinda guy that’s have a problem with some crazy thing out to kill you, but when its a spider he’s still got enough balls to take it down.

Ultimately, this is a movie you watch if you think you’re really scared of spiders and come to find you’ll just pass them off as ‘meh, i’ve seen worse’. In your kitchen.

7.Evil Dead 2

Okay, we all know one of this series is going on here, and i’m putting this one up instead of the others, for one reason…. We get to see Bruce Campbell cut off his own possesed hand with a chainsaw, then attach said chainsaw to his stump. This movie’s fucking awesome.

To really get into more specifics, or more reasoning for others who are less acquainted with this series(shame on all of you), its because this one Sam Raimi really got to let loose with his special effects wizardry and Bruce was really coming into his own as the title character(really more just him being Bruce fucking Campbell). Aside from that, it also shows Ash’s struggle with powers unseen and it trying to drive him mad. That’s what I really like about this movie, that it keeps with the unseen horror and tries its best to make it both entertaining and scary at the same time.

Groovy.

6.Hellraiser

This is the movie/series i’d have been grounded/asskicked for watching. Its gross, twisted, sadistic and just psychologically fucked. Its also one of those great old school special effects movies that tries to both scare… okay it just tries to make you puke in your seat, and goddamn does it really try its hardest. I remember being a kid and watching this with my brother and us both eating chunky salsa and saying to each other, ‘We’re both kinda messed up aren’t we?’ ‘You first squirt.’ Ah childhood.

But yes, this twisted tale of a strange puzzle box that when solved opens a gate to hell and releases the beings of power that just torture you for all eternity and make you one of them is shocking and freaky as fuck today. If it wasn’t joked about online with a video ‘retelling’ in lego form. Yes, that’s a real thing.

More than, many other Horror films, Pinhead the iconic villain, is just one of the weirder guys ever created in film. He’s only scary when you’re young enough to think that that kinda thing’s scary. Now, he’s more like the only goth you respect, because he’ll turn you into a crack heads art project.

5.The Thing

Yes, there was the recent prequel that I reviewed, thinking it was a remake because it followed the formula of the first so well I thought it honestly was. But watching John Carpenters 1982 version again, I can see that the new film lines up with Carpenters’ so well its amazing. But the CGI can’t hold a card to how well the ’82 version’s old school special effects just looked gross as hell and freaked the hell out of you. The new one has its startling moments, and yes they do have the icky ‘eew that’s gross’ moments too, but the older films use of ‘holy shit did that just happen!?’ still can’t be matched. It was all about set up, and misdirection. But also because Carpenters’ film was one of the first to do this kind of special effects and one of the first to make the original book its based off of, called Who Goes There?, more fully realized in film form.

Its also freaky as hell. With so many unexpected moments happening out of it, I still get freaked out by the imagery in that film and though you know its just a prop, the fact that its real makes it more believable somehow in your mind than something that’s obviously not even physical like CGI. And I thinks that’s why Horror needs to have a resurgence of the old school. I’ll make our stomachs churn with horror again just like the first time you saw this stuff happening.

And then it just might turn into a giant mouth of teeth and bite your friends arms off.

4.Ju-On

A few years ago there was a movie that came out with Sarah Michelle Gellar that took place in Japan and dealt with a haunted house and a ghost woman that crawled down flights of stairs and made one of the creepiest noises ever to freak you the fuck out. That movie was called The Grudge, and it turns out that there was a Japanese version of that that had come out maybe a year before. And the remake was done by the same director. But his original version was infinitely more freaky.

What made the Japanese version more frightening was that it didn’t pull all the same things the remake did, in that it relied on atmosphere and lingering feeling that something was coming but you didn’t know when. It also out right violates that safe spot everyone has, your bed. Or to be more specific, under the sheets. We all know that that’s the one place vampires, ghosts, werewolves, demons and anything else can’t get you. But not this movie. It just says, she was waiting for you.

My friends and I who saw this, well before the remake came out where watching it in a dark room because you can’t watch horror with the lights on, unless you’re either a whimp, or its not scary. We all flipped the lights on right after that scene and took a half hour break before watching again.

That’s a Horror film.

3.Night of The Living Dead

John Romero is still the main man when it comes to Zombie movies. His first film was so good at showing that in the end, we’re all not probably gonna be heroes in the apocalypse, we’ll just be bigger dicks that we already are. It shows so much how human nature can turn sour and survivalist or just opportunistic at the slightest sign that civilization is doomed.

This film launched an entire Genre in Horror films with Zombies and the massive craze that has been since its inception. But what really makes this one stand out more than the other sequels hes’ done, is the sense of dread and loneliness that you have by being the last few people on earth. Not only that, but also how desperate people will become and what lengths they’ll go to survive even at the expense of your life.

I saw this one after seeing all the other films of his and some that where remakes of his, on a whole Zombie movie marathon. As soon as this one played, it had a much more lasting effect on me in that its the one that i’ll remember the most as being a movie that really scares me more, and makes me question if i’ll still be a decent human being in the end.

Probably not, because i’ll be to busy killing Zombies with all the Katana’s i’ve got in my place, practicality be damned.

2.The Shining

If you haven’t seen this movie you still know it. The story the actors, namely Jack Nicholson, are so iconic that no one is without knowledge of how this movie plays out. The film took some liberties with Steven Kings book, but it makes up with that, with Stanley Kubricks psychologically damaged style of filmmaking. He actually made you scared of what was coming or what would happen. You didn’t know what was around the corner, and the whole movie seemed like it was a bad dream, almost as if you where going mad with Jack.

In this regard you can’t talk about Horror films without it, its psychologically deep, it manages horror without graphic gore or even with out the typical horror movie tropes of random and rampant sex, it just scares you to the core.

I ain’t gonna try quoting this one to make fun of it, because i’m honestly scared i’ll get Jack Nicholson pissed at me and come to my house and axe through my front door.

1.Dead Alive

Called Brain Dead in New Zealand, which makes more sense to me, this was one of Peter Jackson’s earliest films. And its quite possibly one of the greatest movies ever made. Why? It has to of the most amazing things ever put to film in it. One, the iconic scene where the hero straps and upturned lawnmower to his chest and wades in to a crowd of Zombies chopping them to bits. Its so fantastically gory and so unrealistically bloody, that its amazing. But its not the best thing about this movie.

The greatest moment in Horror movie history, and the greatest movie quote ever, is in the cemetery scene. When the heroe’s attacked by bikers who in turn get Zombified by his Zombie mother, he’s saved by the Priest who lives on the grounds, and makes history. “Stand back lad! This calls for Divine intervention!” He jumps through the air with a flying kick and knocks a Zombie back then says, “I Kick ass for the LORD!” Then proceeds to do Kung-fu on the Zombies.

No more needs to be said of this. Go out and find that movie, and you’ll run to the Priest if you ever think something’s about to hurt you. You’ll be fine, because Father Sancho’s a Master of the Flying Guillotine.

Happy Halloween!

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