Sure, it\'s been done before. Top 10 lists of scary movies are a dime a dozen so why another one? In short it\'s because it\'s so damn fun to remember all the times in my life I was scared senseless because of something fake I was experiencing in a film. There\'s something special about horror movies and thrillers that other genres can\'t touch. And that something is the coercion of fear, the most primal of emotions, and death, which is everyone\'s greatest fear. Maybe not Chuck Norris\'...
Anyways, that\'s the high-level explanation. The following list contains more modern films than oldies, although
(1931) sent me running as a tyke. Growing up in the \'80s and \'90s threw me headlong into slasher mania and all those flicks gave me nightmares as a kid. Anything with an alien was insanely scary also:
were both way too real for my tiny mind back then. That\'s the key to most of my selections. Authentic depictions of horror turn a key in my head that fantasy doesn\'t.
has one of the greatest, freakiest endings you\'ll ever see. It\'s forged in the hive mind mentality of horror movies like
. The beauty of the film is how it lulls you with a seemingly straightforward story and then slams your head against the wall at the end.
(1997) - This bloodbath of a movie blew my young mind in 1997. It\'s a combination of two of my favorite films:
. Set on a spaceship that\'s become a gateway to a dimension of pure evil, the movie places everyone in extreme danger and uses brutally creative violence to scare you senseless. Cover your eyes.
(1977) - I saw this too young so it\'s stuck with me more than director Wes Craven\'s more popular scary movies (
). Michael Berryman is simply the scariest human ever put onscreen. Even in
(1978) - I never saw the original, but it can\'t be better than the 1978 version which boasts maybe the scariest horror image of all time. Besides the shot, which closes the film, the movie is frantic, hellish madness and a precursor to the giant scope horror films we see today where entire cities are wiped out by a terror.
(1968) - Roman Polanski mastered the fall into madness early in his career with
. The feeling of dread is palpable. It\'s a true thriller. And the baby, oh my God the baby.
(1980) - Stanley Kubrick\'s film scared the hell out of me as a kid thanks to the imagery: axe-wielding madmen and freaky naked ladies. But it\'s the film\'s opening that really sticks in my mind. Shot from a helicopter, the camera follows the Torrance family as they head to their new home in their VW Bug. Right away the movie seems alive, like the camera is possessed itself.
(1991) - The greatest script ever written if you ask me, this movie is about as perfect as it gets. The downy innocent, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), might be the most sympathetic character in horror history and she faces off with a serial killer, in the dark, and he has night vision glasses. Oh and that fella Anthony Hopkins is pretty good as Hannibal Lecter.
(1978) - Michael Myers does it for me. It\'s the mask. I\'ll take him over Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees any day. Although they all rule. And the music...
is absolutely inspired by the next movie on this list, but singular anyways. I love everything about it: The rampant \'80s machismo, Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, the
-like supporting cast, and the Predator, of course, one of the most beautifully-designed and unstoppable creatures in movie history. He petrifies me.
(1979) - I wouldn\'t even watch it. For years, I was scared enough by the concept of this film to keep it on the shelf. When I finally sat down, I was captivated. The Alien itself, the brainchild of artist H.R. Giger, will haunt your dreams forever. But the reality of the movie is what gets me. Director Ridley Scott takes you there.
(1975) - I grew up on Cape Cod, close to where
was filmed on Martha\'s Vineyard and my hometown beaches look exactly like Amity Island, down to the lifeguard towers and rocky sand. I once loved the water. Swimming lessons and wave riding filled my summers. And then I saw
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Exorcist, Hellraiser, The Terminator, The Thing, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, A Nightmare on Elm St, The Devil\'s Backbone, The Orphanage, King Kong, Frankenstein, Dark City, The Blair Witch Project, It Follows, Ju-On, Phenomena, The Children of the Corn, 28 Days Later, The Omen, Rec, High Tension, Aliens, The Birds, Inferno, The Night of the Hunter, The Brood, The Evil Dead, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Antichrist, The Snowtown Murders, Dead Alive, Cropsey, Don\'t Look Now, Mad Max: Fury Road
28 Netflix Movies to Watch This Halloween Weekend
What 11 Horror Movie Villains Look Like in Real Life
Which 'Star Wars' Should You Watch First?
10 Awesome Movies to Watch If You Love 'Hocus Pocus'
5 Controversial Movies on Netflix You Should Watch at Your Own Risk
I'm an Associate Editor at Zimbio. I spend a lot of time in movie theaters. Follow me: Twitter | Google
How Many Disney Movies Can You Recognize Based on These Inanimate Objects?
A Closer Look at Pixar's Many Easter Eggs
How Well Do You Know Your Horror Movie Origin Stories?
The Cast of 'Hocus Pocus' Had an Adorable Reunion Over...
Taylor Swift Performed 'Let It Go' in an Olaf Costume...
Look of the Day: Kate Bosworth's Mixed Media
Heidi Klum Won Halloween Again As Outrageous Jessica Rabbit
Bachelor Pad Swag, No-Carve Halloween Pumpkins + More
The Vintage-Inspired Wallpaper Line We're Obsessing Over
Home Terms & Policies Advertise Sitemap Contentmap About Us