6 more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween … 6 more days till Halloween … SILVER SHAMROCK!
No, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is nowhere to be found in my top 31 horror films of all time listing, but another entry in that beloved series of films is!
Starting today, and 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, see numbers 31-27!
It’s kind of funny, but three of my top 31 horror films of all time are actually TV movies. Two of them have something in common, though – they both come from our friends over in jolly old England, where they’ve been doing horror right for ages now. Ghostwatch is a 1992 TV movie that was filmed in a very documentary-style, following reporters as they taped a “live” broadcast from a supposedly haunted house, and the haunted hijinks that ensue. Probably the most controversial British television events in years, to the casual viewer, this seemed all too real, almost like the original radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. Even with a credit sequence at the beginning, viewers couldn’t tell the show wasn’t real, and the low-key special effects were done so elegantly that they could be real. Even knowing this film was fake, I was freaked out by it. Not only that, every time I watch it, I notice something new. I must have watched this film two years ago and, to this day, whenever we hear an unexplained noise in our house, my wife and I blame it on “Pipes.” That’s how much this film has stuck with us. (wikipedia entry)
30. Dead Set
I did cheat a little bit, because Dead Set is more of a TV mini-series than a TV movie. However, I did watch is all in one sitting (no easy feat for a 3-hour long zombie movie!). Dead Set comes a little from the same school of thought as Ghostwatch – that is, taking what we know about TV and turning it on its head. Except that Dead Set never tries to go for the realism that Ghostwatch does – it’s very obvious that it’s fiction. But what fiction it is. The movie begins as someone is voted off of the newest episode of Big Brother, simultaneous to a zombie outbreak. The housemates don’t know all this is going on, as the world around them turns into one large zombie plague, and comes into their little TV home. Probably one of the best examples of a zombie movie there is, and it’s actually a TV show. I was totally unprepared for the viciousness of this one, seeing as how it’s not what I’m used to from American TV. Seek this one out. (wikipedia entry)
29. Night of the Living Dead (remake and original)
What’s this, more zombies? Yes, and the original zombie film that started the mold of what we know in zombie films today. While the remake lost much of the social commentary that made the original so special, that kind of commentary in horror films is either too blatant (Diary of the Dead), or gets lost somewhere in the intestines munching (like Night of the Living Dead). Even today, the film is creepy, violent, and will have you on edge wondering who will make it out alive. I enjoy the remake more, oddly enough, and like the small turns it took to differentiate itself from the original. A group of survivors are locked in a house while zombies outside are trying to get in. While we may have seen hundreds of films with the same plotline, none quite capture the same feeling and charm as the original, which you can pretty much buy anywhere for a buck nowadays.
28. Stephen King’s It
The reason so many people are afraid of clowns, Stephen King’s It is a TV show that took one of the most beloved aspects of our childhood and turned it into a nightmarish visage creepier than Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees. Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the Clown is legendary, and the stuff of nightmares for anyone old enough to be traumatized by this movie. While the last half of the movie completely falls apart in soap opera drama and silly acting (and that f*cking SPIDER!), the first half is truly one of the finest examples of American TV horror.
27. The Descent
Many people called The Descent one of the best horror films of the past decade before I had a chance to see it. When I finally got around to it, I understood why. Intense, claustrophobic, and violent, The Descent follows a group of female hikers as they venture into an unknown cave system looking for adventure and find much, much more. It’s a shame so much of the film was ruined in the trailer, because the initial introduction to the film’s creatures is absolutely terrifying, and the film never lets go once the suspence pics up. Plus, for those of us who have seen it, how hot is Juno?
Check back tomorrow for numbers 26-22!