Top 12 horror movies

Published by siroutlier_tt2i6p on

It’s finally October, and you know what that means. Horror movie marathon time, baby! The two genres that inspire the most online ranting are comedy and horror. Everyone agrees that the death of a child or dog draws universal tears, but what makes us laugh or lurch back in fright is very particular to the individual. With that in mind, I will dive recklessly into the fray with my personal top 12 horror movies. Feel free to disagree, but remember, this list is protected by the pagan deity Bughuul.

Bonus: The Evil Dead (1981) – I’ll grant you that today, this isn’t so much scary, but damn is it still entertaining. This is the Clerks of its time… hear me out. A talented, young filmmaker wanted to make an independent flick, so he got together a buncha friends and went out guerilla style to create an influential classic. Right? Okay, now that I think about it, it’s probably more The Night of the Living Dead of its time.

Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted to call this, “The Chin vs the Deadites”

12. Sinister (2012) – Speaking of my buddy Bughuul… this is a scary ass movie. I know some of you refuse to believe there’s been a quality horror movie made post 1980s, but that’s the nostalgia wine talking. Hell, those super 8 snuff films are nightmare juice alone. This is one finely acted, written, and directed future classic.

I do appreciate it when the villain takes a little pride in his appearance and dresses for the occasion. Clothes maketh the monster.

11. The Conjuring (2013) – I know this is recent as well, but it’s got an old school flavor to it. Sure, it’s not groundbreaking, but it takes its time to build that sweet suspense, allowing you to get to know the characters. And it uses comedy effectively. That my friends, is the recipe for a good, old-fashioned spooky tale.

I didn’t even mention this little cutie. When are we getting Chucky vs Annabelle?

10. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) – The best of the found footage genre. Here’s a sequel that incorporates the first story, improves upon it, while answering some outstanding questions. Like The Conjuring, it gives us great little character moments before the cuss really goes sideways.

I’ll admit it, I was crushing on Katie… what can I say, I have a thing for possessed brunettes.

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – The only movie where Freddy was actually scary. You know, before he turns into a dad joke stand-up comic. The character of Freddy is so much more impactful when menacingly lurching in the shadows instead of hanging out on a beach while sporting a pair of Ray Bans and singing Margaritaville.

Wes really knew what he was doing. The later movies turned Freddy into Gallagher on meth.

8. It Chapter One (2017) – Yeah, I loved Tim Curry and the OG has a special place in my heart, no doubt. But it looks and feels like what it was, a lower budget TV movie. This is superior in every way, from the kids to the FX and production value to the new, preternatural extraterrestrial take on Pennywise. It’s like taking your beloved Chevette and trading it in for a Tesla.

Why does only part one of each version work? Cause kids vs a clown = frightening… adults vs a clown = kinda sad.

7. Poltergeist (1982) – This starts out like an 80s family sitcom. Then, when your guard is down, it slowly turns the screw until you’re ready to give up steak and go full vegan. Which is quite impressive, cause steak is tasty AF. And like every good roller coaster, once you think it’s over, there’s always that last shocking drop called the underwear changer.

See what I mean… it knows what scares you. Now we need Chucky vs Annabelle vs this clown doll.

6. Dawn of the Dead (2004) – I can hear some of you now (in a ridiculous French accent)… sacrilege! Well Pierre, you’re wrong. Sure, the OG is a great movie and all that, but slow, blue faced zombies just ain’t scary. Maybe they were in the 70s, just like the Mummy was scary in the 30s, but not no mo. And don’t even try to break out science and argue that zombies can’t move fast. Zombies can’t be fast or slow… cause they can’t be real. Anyway, this is a great, fun ride where the terror is palpable thanks to those track and field zombies.

I’ll take a buncha Usain Bolt zombies over the classic Sunday mall walkers any day.

5. Trick ‘r Treat (2007) – This represents the best of the horror anthology movies. It perfectly captures that Halloween spirit, and each intersecting tale is both interesting and entertaining. The cast is top-notch, and the stories are creepy and fun.

Not to be confused with the 80s heavy metal Trick or Treat starring Irwin ‘Skippy’ Handelman. That’s a whole ‘nother thing.

4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) – Now you’re shouting blasphemy in a Scottish accent, aren’t ya Haggis? This version is truly terrifying, from R. Lee Ermey doing unhinged as only R. Lee Ermey can do, to a hulking Leatherface doing his saw things. And the best part, you don’t have to listen to Marilyn Burns constantly screaming her way through the last third of the movie.

I know they look like the redneck Breakfast Club, but… okay fine, they are the redneck Breakfast Club.

3. The Thing (1982) – What an intense, claustrophobic film. Unlike any of the other movies on this list, The Thing is more of a graphic practical effects laden whodunnit. And man, those visceral effects are a master class. The only criticism this flick can suffer is it’s a sausage fest, and I mean a full on 80s teenage D&D party sausage fest.

If this movie doesn’t make you paranoid, you’re probably a thing. Or the Thing. Or is it just thing, like how it’s just Indigo Girls.

2. The Exorcist (1973) – I’ll grant you, this one is slower moving when viewed through TikTok eyes. But, a slow burn isn’t necessarily a bad thing (Grandma never baked in a microwave) as it successfully builds up the terror to one of the greatest showdowns in cinema history. More of a character study than a run-of-the-mill possession movie, and that’s what makes this fiction so effective. And it is complete and utter fiction, only someone seriously disturbed would claim to be mental roomies with the devil.

The power of toxic masculinity compels you.
  1. Halloween (1978) – Started the slasher craze that defined horror in the 80s. But really, this is just a remake of Jaws. It’s a simple idea, what if a baby shark got his wish and became a real boy? That’s the whole premise, shark-man goes a hunting for babysitters. There’s no meaning, no reason, no deeper explanation… Michael just kills whatever swims in his wake. And that’s the brilliance of the movie, along with some extreme tension, masterful direction, atmosphere in spades, and realistic characters that everyone can relate to.
Michael shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo


diggy · October 23, 2022 at 9:36 pm

I have no problem with 1 – 3, and you can switch 1 & 2 all day long, and I wouldn’t mind. Outside of that, I have some issues with this list. There’s no way the OG Texas Chainsaw is not on this list. That movie defined a few elements of horror for decades to come. The rawness of that movie alone gets it into the top 10. I dig your choice of the Conjuring and think it’s one of the best horror flicks in many years. I’ve always felt A Nightmare on Elm Street was overrated, so can’t justify it being on this list. But where is Psycho? And what can easily replace a couple on this list, where is The Invitation (2015)?

    siroutlier_tt2i6p · October 24, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    To a cinephile such as yourself, yes I would absolutely recommend the OG Texas Chain Saw Massacre and, of course, Psycho. But honestly, in this day and age of the 24-hour news cycle, torture porn, climate change, and Twitter, they are just not as scary as they used to be.

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