Back to my awesome list of my top 20 favourite horror movies! As I said in parts one and two, they’re not the 20 best, or 20 scariest, they’re simply the ones I enjoy the most, guilty pleasures and all, ranked in order. Time for numbers 9 to 5 with some honourable mentions thrown in!
If Steven Spielberg ever made a horror film, this is it. There’s much discussion as to who really directed this, Spielberg or credited director Tobe Hooper, all I know is it feels like E.T for horror fans and is a roller coaster ride of supernatural thrills and epic 80s effects. The best haunted house movie ever made, equal parts fun and scary.
8. THE THING.
Ok, so The Thing is equally as great as The Fog (which ranks higher on my list, see below), probably a better film even, but The Fog just wins for me by a teeny tiny bit. Another Carpenter classic soundtrack creating an icy cold atmosphere, this time by the greatest composer of all time, Ennio Morricone (with a strong Carpenter influence), and cinematography by Dean Cundey (at his best here). The iconic monster effects are beloved by every true genre fan and still look great today, proving practical effects in horror are always a winner, f*ck CGI!!! The blood test scene is my favourite.
7. THE FOG.
John Carpenter is my favourite horror director, and although Halloween is a classic, its his milder traditional ghost story follow up that I prefer. Let’s start with Carpenter’s soundtrack which accompanies
the film; that alone is enough to make this potentially the most atmospheric horror flick of all time! But played against Dean Cundey’s slick widescreen cinematography, whilst a thick fog decends upon a small american town, bringing with it a horde of ghostly figures, this film’s atmosphere makes it Carpenter’s best
6. BLOOD AND BLACK LACE.
First I discovered Dario Argento and fell in love with Italian horror, only later have I learned to prefer and respect Mario Bava as the true master of italian horror, and Blood And Black Lace is his best work. Perhaps the first ever slasher movie, it remains shockingly violent despite being made in 1964! His use of colours, production design and camerawork are unbelievably ahead of their time (still looks stunning even now), and films like Alien and Friday 13th, along with directors like Tim Burton and Dario Argento, have borrowed immensely from Bava’s work. Also check out Black Sabbath, another classic Bava flick.
5. THE SHINING.
Forget The Exorcist, The Shining is the king of horror movies! Never since has horror cinema been so grand and impressive as Kubrick’s vision for The Shining; the massive hotel, the lift filled with blood, the finale in the snow. I only wish modern horror could be made at this superior level of filmmaking, to this size and scale. And Shelley Duvall’s performance as Wendy is the best part of the film.
And now, before my top 4, here’s a few hounerable mentions that didn’t quite make my list but are still horror flicks I adore.
THE FLY is a film that I’ve not included simply because of its tragic romance and sci-fi elements that make it less a part of the horror genre as the others on my list, but Cronenberg is a favourite of mine for his particular brand of body-horror, with The Brood and Videodrome also being classics. The Fly is a masterpiece though.
I can’t believe I’ve not included any Lucio Fulci movies in my top 25, he’s one of my favourite horror directors, with unusually stylish cinematography, imaginative plots (that often don’t quite make sense) and explicit ultra-gore. The Beyond and The House By The Cemetery are two favourites which I love to watch over and over.
Jeepers Creepers 2 also almost made the list. Its a great old fashioned monster movie at heart, where a bus load of jocks get terrorised by a winged monster (and a director who’s more interested in shooting their muscular topless bodies than anything else... but the less said about him the better).
And finally Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street is obviously a classic 80s horror film, loaded with incredible moments, that I’ve seen so many times now that I just take it for granted.
Find out my TOP 4 in my final part four...