My Top 10 Favorite Horror Films(So Far)
With it being October, horror films are some of my favorite in cinema history. Horror movies have the most sub genres of any movie genre, you have monster, sci fi, slasher, low budget thriller. In this list I am going to talk about the 10 horror films that are always the ones I enjoy watching over Halloween. You might not agree with this list but you can agree that these movies can definitely leave an impression on you. I am also going to try to limit the movies to 1 of each sub genre of horror… if I can. Well anyways onto the scares!
Rounding it in at the number 10 spot is 2017’s remake of Stephen King’s amazing book called “IT”. The movie was a callback to such films as The Goonies, Stranger Things and the idea of friendship. The movie really sells itself as not just a movie about a scary clown but the trials and tribulations of growing up in a tough world as a kid. From the bullies to the adults, everyone was stalking “The Losers” club. What also really shines is the kid actors themselves who definitely don’t fall under the “annoying kid” category that always worries me about horror films with kids. Also with Bill Skarsgard’s beyond stellar performance as Pennywise and making this new version more animalistic that is constantly stalking children makes it quite unsettling. Which is why this rounds out my pick as number 10.
9. – SAW
“Torture porn” as it’s called all started with the SAW films, it lead to the many sequels and other films in the same vein as Hostel and the many others. But the reason for SAW to nab my number 9 spot is that it felt very realistic, the idea of two men waking up chained in a room made it feel gritty and raw and with the fact it was filmed in sequence and the amazing lengths the director and production took to cut corners and come in with very little budget they had proves that sometimes a small idea can make it big. Also kudos to the team for making one of the best shocking twist that makes your heart race especially when Charlie Clouser signature theme kicks in.
8. – CLOVERFIELD
Found footage films are definitely a ninche genre, it all started with The Blair Witch Project, to movies like V/H/S, Quarantine, and REC. but my number 8 spot has to go to a movie that mixed in the found footage film with a Godzilla type monster movie. Cloverfield as it’s known started out as a “what did I just watch” when the trailer premiered before the Transformers movie, no one knew what it was. There was no title, no name cards, it was just a party then it ended with the statue of liberties’ head in the street. What I loved about this film is that it’s focused on a group of friends that are out to save a love interest. Simple story but still they make it complex, by not showing you the monster in full. Like jaws did and alien as well. Less is more impactful, even now the movie is debated by many and where did this monster come from. It’s a horror movie that leaves a lot for the audience to figure out and put the pieces together and we can only watch in shock and awe as we see this monster terrorize New York city.
7. -THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
We have had torture porn, found footage, and stephen king films, but for number 7 we are going to be talking about another genre of horror. The fun film. Its a film that knows its being ridiculous but lets itself run wild, its films like Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus, and even one of my favorite Tucker and Dale vs Evil. Now why did Cabin in the woods nab the number 7 spot, its cause of the way the first half of the movie is presented to the audience. We are thinking its going to be like an Evil Dead type movie but something else is going on the entire time. We have 5 friends going and staying out at a cabin. But we are shown some scenes with two IT guys discussing horror tropes. What does it all mean? Well it isn’t until the second half of the movie that everything literally goes out of the window and gets crazy. I remember showing this one to my family and they thought it was going to be stupid but upon viewing it they loved how fun it was. The movie knows its insane and plays on that especially by cramming in all the usual horror tropes and explaining them in a very thoughtout nature.
6. – GET OUT
A movie that totally came out of left field was the movie Get Out. It was something that came from a comedy writer and someone told me there were a lot of layers to this movie. Upon first viewing you might see one thing, then the next viewing you will start to see signs of something else. This movie definitely has layers the more times you view it, from the double meanings of actions to even complete dialogue moments. I found this film to be quite engaging especially with its deep dive into culture and social issues that one wouldn’t consider to be part of a horror film. I also did love how in this film, the main character played by Daniel Kaluuya does everything we as a person would do if we were in his place, and also Allison Williams plays her character to perfection and there is one scene in particular that gave me chills, I won’t spoil it, but it involves a phone call.
5. – THE VVITCH
When it comes to psychological films, I always turn to psychological horror that deals with isolation. Its movies like The Thing, The Mist, and even The Shining or They Come At Night. But the movie that steals the cake is The Witch. This is a movie that builds on the isolation of the colony times of settlers which is something I have never seen in a film lately, usually isolation horror deals with a store, or a spaceship. Nope we are going back to beginning and we are seeing this family in the film slowly being torn apart by madness. Whats causing this madness? Well yes its a Witch but there is more to it than that. This movie also introduced us to the great Ayna Taylor Joy, who steals the show as the daughter of to this family. This movie was beyond unsettling at times and the way it is filmed and its use of color reminded me of The Revenant, this is a beyond brutal and disturbing look at life and how a family can get torn apart by religion and hysteria.
4. – 28 DAYS LATER
It wouldn’t be halloween without a solid zombie film, and we have had some great zombie films lately. Like Dawn of the Dead, The Girl With all The Gifts, Deadgirl, Shaun of the Dead, or the classic Night of the Living Dead. But my personal favorite has to go to Danny Boyles 28 Days Later. The reason for this film nabbing the number 4 spot is it gave me nightmares. Danny Boyle took the idea of zombies and instead of them being slow and easy to get away from he flipped it on its head and made the zombies sprint and run like hell. And to make matters worst, they vault over obstacles, and if you get their blood in you, you turn into one of them in 30 seconds or less. Now that is beyond scary being chased by zombies then turning into one of them in less than a minute. The brutally of the film is realized in the one scene where Cillian Murphy’s character watches Selene just full out beat down her friend with a machete it is pure violent and just a reminder that this zombie world isn’t one you can ever relax in.
3. THE BIRDS
One can not forget one of the masters of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. He has brought us some of the greatest pieces of cinema history. Why does this one lead above some of his other best works like Psycho? Well The Birds to me was probably the first film that was about nature horror, with some new movies like The Happening, or Rosemary’s baby where something is going on but you quite exactly don’t know. The Birds to me stuck with me cause if felt very much like something could happen to a town and no one could know why these birds are just attacking people. And I love how it is never really explained why this happens and the spooky ending definitely leaves you grasping your chair.
A word to the wise, don’t watch this too young or it might stick with you forever. This movie reinvented slasher films. What I love about the original Halloween was that it didn’t give that scene of false impressions like the normal cliche that a lot of current horror movies depend on. You know that loud sound, yeah this movie didn’t have it as much and it didn’t depend on it. Halloween used the less is more approach by letting the tension build and build. Also it established Micheal Meyers as a pure violent person, I know Rob Zombie tried to go into his “back story” in his remake film but I think that pulled away from what he is and it ended us kind of feeling sorry for him. Where as in this film, its very straight to the point. And I love how this film doesn’t really handhold you like some other horror movies have done in the past.
Was there any thinking it wouldn’t be ALIEN. Alien to me was a landmark film, in terms of design and ideas. The idea for the film is simple, a group of space truckers in the future come across a signal and that signal is something that should have been left alone. What I love about this film, isn’t just the sets, special effects. Its more of the cause and effect problems that are placed in front of the crew and their determination of coming over these odds of having some type of creature coming for them. I also love how these cause and effect problems are even translated into the creature. “How do we get the alien aboard without them knowing…”, “How do we get them to not just stab it”. This creature is beyond dangerous and what I love about it, is that it outsmarts them, and you never really see it till the end. Just like JAWS, less is more and even when you see the thing in full that image is really haunting. Another thing I love about the film is just the tension and the quietness of the film. I remember reading that apparently Ridley Scott would tell one actor to do one thing and another to do something else, and wouldn’t tell them and as an actor you don’t stop acting until cut is called and Ridley wouldn’t call cut. We also can not discuss the legendary chestburster scene, it was done in 1 take 1 time cause thats all they could afford and it shows. This film to me is how horror should be done.
Here are some of my favorite horror films, it was beyond tough coming with a top ten list and trying to not stick to the same type of genre over and over again but I feel really good about this list and I hope you enjoy some of these films and if you haven’t seen them all then you might want to get to watching them. Also make sure you watch them in the dark it helps make movies scarier. Maybe I am just crazing but I enjoy horror movies for the fun they bring especially in the movie theater. Anyways I hope you have a great halloween this year!