Horror has to be one of the best genres in film. So the other day while extremity board, I decided to concoct a list of my 10 favorite films for you to read.
Honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut: Sixth sense, The Fly (1986), Scream and The Exorcist.
10) Phantasm: Oblivion
The reason for this been on my top ten list is that the Phantasm franchise has brought so much to the horror genre. It created one of the greatest horror film heroes with the four barrel firing Reggie Bannister. It also has so many memorable scenes drilled in to each film. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a shiny silver sphere drill out a man’s brain while he twitched about on the floor and literally wet himself. While Angus Scrimm shouting ‘Boy!’ still haunts my dreams to this day. But I had to go for the 4th film in a franchise because this film is in my opinion the best. It has the comedy/horror genre mash up that became the norm from second installment. While also keeping the creepy dreamlike vibes of the original. The film also sheds light on the Tall Man’s origin and introducing some lost footage from the original films.
I remember watching this film as a kid and being so freaked out by it. And it wasn’t even because a face huger impregnated John Hurt and then its baby burst through his chest. It wasn’t even the extremely creep sympathetic Ash that made me have nightmares. It was the seclusion and isolation that sent a cold tingle up my spine. I remember feeling more and more uncomfortable as the Alien picked off each crew member one by one. I couldn’t help but feel the crippling fear Ripley must have felt been stranded alone on a ship with an Alien creature a million miles away from home.
I watched this film when it first came out and I thought the concept was amazing. It is basically 2 people in a room as chaos unfolds around them. I loved this film because as the film progresses you learn more about the characters and begin to question if they actually do or don’t deserve to be punished. The film also boasts one of the best endings of all time, I remember the shock on every ones face when Tobin Bell stands up and walks out at the end of the film.
7) Paranormal Activity
I know a lot of people would not put this on their list, but at the time of watching this film it had me terrified. I remember going to the cinema drunk with some friends. We all believed the actors where real life people and it was actual found footage. It wasn’t till the end of the film that we all realized we had been tricked. But having gone in to the cinema all hyped up and drunk, it made the film genuinely scary. But the thing that stuck with me once I had sober up was, that all the weird things that happen in the film happened when Micah was asleep. That freaked me out, because you never know what could be watching you when you have your eyes closed.
This film is a horror classic and with good reason. It’s firstly an adaption of a novel written by one of the greatest writers of all time, H.P. Lovecraft. Secondly it stars Jeffery Combs who injects his own acting brilliance into the character of Herbert West. And thirdly the film has everything from a bubbling bromance to a straight up strange villain. It also has a fantastic scene in the basement where a very much decapitated Dr Hill gets brought back to life, which is my personal favorite. This film really does have it all, gore, love, horror and humor, making it the obvious choice for the list.
5) A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Nightmare on Elm street film series is in its self on of the best franchise in horror. The series has been ongoing for the last 30 years and has created a pop culture Icon with its title character Freddy Kruger, so I believe that one of the films has to get on this list. It was a tough call as to which film to pick. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare steered the franchise away from its cartoonish style and drove it back to its horror roots with a much darker and sinister Freddy. I was also tempted to pick the second installment of the franchise. I don’t know if it was the campy overtones or the swimming pool massacre at the end of the film, but the second film has always been my favorite. But I think it’s only fair that the film that makes it onto the list be the original. Nothing can beat the first time Freddy enters the scene, with his arms stretched out wide as he menacingly walks down an ally way. This film genuinely scared me as a child and gave me real life nightmares about the man himself. It also stars a very young Johnny Depp so it was the obvious choice.
4) The Woman in Black
A lot of people wouldn’t even consider this film for there top ten list but this film plays on all my weakness and vulnerabilities. It has the Victoria setting which in its self is terrifying. It has creepy children killing themselves, and as we know creepy children are the worst. And it also stars a a creepy dead Victorian woman, and as anyone who knows me will tell you, I hate creepy dead Victorian women! This film put the shits up me and I honestly wanted to switching it off, but as I couldn’t find the TV remote and I was in the safety of my blanket I had to watch on. The only reason this film isn’t higher on my list is because it stars Daniel Radcliff, I have nothing against the actor its just I find it harder to feel scared for a character in a horror film that played by someone of a high profile.
3) American Werewolf in London
This film is in my humble opinion on of the best pieces of English and American cinema in existence. The film has little to no CGI with the crew even constructing a mechanical werewolf. This film has superb characters and fantastic humour blended in to some fantastic scenes of horror and suspense. The stalking on tube been a scene been one that I did find most amusing. I love so many things about this film, the old English pub sets a fantastic tone for the start of the film. While Jacks rotting corps is still a master class even when compared to the special effects of today. I love the way the film just ends after the death of the lead character leaving the audience wanting more. But the thing that takes the biscuit for me is the transformation scene, it still creeps me out to this day but every time I watch the film I feel compelled not to look away. I’d have to be a mad man running around on the moors not to include it.
2) The Evil Dead II
This is the film that made me fall in love with the Evil Dead. It is a showcase to the acting and directing talents of Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi. The first half of the film is basically a one man show, as we see Ash having to fight off the evil lurking with in the woods, while also fighting to stay sane with the brilliant laughing room scene. The camera angle, visual effects and fast moving story make it an obvious pick for any horror film list. I think many Evil Dead fans would find it hard to argue that this film stands head and shoulders above the others and deserves to be second place on my list.
1) The Strangers
When I think of this film I get a feeling of dread and fear that quickly takes over my body. This film has got to be one of the creepiest and scariest that I have ever seen. Its position as number on my list is only made stronger by the fact it is based on true events. I remember that after watching this films, I had this inconsolable feeling that someone was constantly behind me and that at any minute I was going to be the stranger’s next victim. And the fact that the killers have no motive for the killing the couple of than them being home, just propels it to the number one spot.
Please let me know what you think of my list and tell me what would make your top 10.
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By James Harle