5 more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween … 5 more days till Halloween … SILVER SHAMROCK!
Running every day until PAULOWEEN, I’m going to be listing my top 31 Horror Films of ALL TIME. I know there will be disagreements, in fact I’m encouraging it! Let me know if you agree, disagree, or think I’m leaving something out of my list! Let me tell you, this list wasn’t easy to put together, especially when you’ve seen as many horror films as I have.
After the jump, check out my choices for 26-22 (sure to raise some eyebrows … I’m looking at you, Rob!)!
I know some of you are saying “too soon,” and others are probably wondering how this made it on my list, considering I only gave it an 8 on my Awesomeness Scale (and Rob hated it like herpes). But, despite its predictability, Paranormal Activity was scary as f*ck. I was thankful that I didn’t have to go home after the movie, but instead could spend the night in a hotel room (I was visiting Orlando). I’m not sure I could have slept after watching this movie had I been in my own bedroom. Sure, it’s not for everyone – if creaky floors, loud noises, and things moving unexplainably aren’t up your alley. But if you’re more creeped out by what you don’t see, this movie will terrify you. In theaters nationwide, by popular demand. Plus, it actually beat Saw in ticket sales – no horror film has even attempted that in YEARS.
25. The Strangers
As if ghosts in your house weren’t bad enough, now you’ve also got to deal with home invasion. And no American movie has captured the terror of home invasion like The Strangers. Like Paranormal Activity, you lose a little bit by watching it at home, when you can turn on the lights, pause it, or be distracted by your laptop. In a theater, with the loud sounds, where you won’t get up and leave unless you really have to pee, you’ll lose a decent amount of sleep by watching this movie. The type of movie that’ll make you check out all the dark corners of your house before you go to sleep that night. The perfect marriage of tone, sound, acting, and direction, The Strangers deserves to be seen on a Blu-Ray, turned up to the max.
24. The Grudge
Sure, the sequel may have been…well, as bad as The Ring 2, honestly, but the original The Grudge perfectly captured the essence of the original Ju-On, while Americanizing it enough to appeal to general audiences here in the States. The story of a family that left behind a horrible curse after their murder, which haunts (and murders) all those that come into contact with their old home lends itself to not only a ton of jump scares, but also leads to tension and dread like you rarely see. Every couple of minutes, something terrifying occurs, and the burping ghost (or whatever the hell she does) redefined cinema and gave us all a new reason to be scared – whether we’re home, in a stairwell, in a stranger’s house … just make sure you look up the history of a house before you buy it.
23. 28 Days Later
The movie that introduced the world (properly) to Cillian Murphy. 28 Days Later wasn’t the first movie to feature running zombies (White Zombie was, actually, in 1932), but it changed the way people saw zombies. Whereas before, you could just kind of shove them out of the way if there were only a few (the slow zombies only really have strength in number), running zombies would straight jack you up (like my slang there) before you even realized it. 28 Days Later may devolve into a Day of the Dead remake for its last half hour, but until then it was (finally) a new take on the zombie genre that both paid homage to what had come before, while also adding new ideas to zombie mythology, featuring excellent acting and directing, and, honestly, just being a damn good film.
22. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was Scream years before there was a Scream. Both satire and horror film, Wes Craven found a way to make Freddy scary again after years of the character becoming a joke (I mean, he killed someone with a damn POWER GLOVE!), while also making a movie that felt like a true sequel to the original Nightmare on Elm Street, while negating its existence at the same time. New Nightmare may falter a bit because of the special effects that don’t hold up over time, but the film is so intelligently written, you won’t have time to care. It’s not often you get a smart horror film, but Wes Craven managed to do it for a time, and this film is a brilliant example of how to make a sequel to a classic horror film. While everyone was making a big deal about Halloween H20, imagine how much more it would be revered if Carpenter had returned to direct it. That’s New Nightmare.