Top 5 Horror Movies Of All Time
Last month, our intern wrote up a Fall 2011 Horror Movie Preview, and while his "street cred" definitely took a hit by actually being excited for universal bombs like "Apollo 18" and "Red State," he still managed to make some good points regarding "Shark Night 3D" and "Paranormal Activity 3."
With that said, and with Halloween just around the corner, I'd like to present the Top 5 Horror Movies of All Time. Now granted, this is just my opinion, but I have a sinking suspicion that the general majority of horror fans would agree with me. So sit back, grab some popcorn and a Pepsi, and let me tell you why this Halloween, you HAVE to watch these movies.
#5- Night of the Living Dead
"They're coming to get you Barbara." This classic line has been repeated, replicated, and another "R" word I don't even know countless times in countless movies and television shows. Night of the Living Dead, some would argue, is the granddaddy of Zombie movies. It's the one that started it all, and subsequent movies like Return of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Survival of the Dead, Flight of the Living Dead (Which airs tonight on AMC!) Return of the Living Dead Part 2, Return of the Living Dead Part 3, Return of the Living Dead Part 4, the remake of Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days later, 28 Weeks Later, and even the new Walking Dead Series(Which is awesome, PS) all have the original Night of the Living Dead to thank. This is the movie that defined the rules of Zombie-hood. They don't talk, they walk slowly(F*ck you 28 Days Later!!), they eat brains, and to kill them, you have to nail 'em in the head. George Romero didn't just make a movie with Night of the Living Dead- he created an entire genre.
This is the surprise pick of this list, but it's importance to not only the horror genre, but the film industry in general can not be overstated. Nosferatu, named because the filmmakers could not acquire the rights to the "Dracula" name, was a silent, sepia-toned film about a terrifying vampire. Unlike Dr. Acula, however, Nosferatu was not a sleazy, seductive, prince of darkness. No, Nosferatu was a monster. He was ugly, he was scary, and he would rather kill your girlfriend than bang her. Similar to how Night of the Living Dead created a genre, Nosferatu similarly brought about some rules that are still followed by vampire movies today, like how sunlight kills the vamps, crosses maim them, etc. It makes me wonder how the vampire movie genre would be if they focused more on Nosferatu's version of Dracula than the Bela Lugosi version. Nosferatu was also way ahead of it's time. Made in the 1930's, it's still extremely creepy today, 80 some years later. The use of shadows, suspense, and music as opposed to graphic violence and "jump scares" would terrify audiences for years. The best part? Rumor is, Max Shreck, the man who played Nosferatu, was actually a vampire himself. How much cooler can you get?
Here is the entire film, for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome.
#3- A Nightmare on Elm Street
It makes me sad that many youngsters, when they think of A Nightmare on Elm Street, think of the shitty remake that came out last year. It sucked. The original, however, is a piece of modern horror mastery, and it also happens to be one of the scariest movies of all time. Basically, dude is a child killer. Dude gets off, because of a flaw in the court system. Parents are pissed, so they kill dude, by burning him alive. Dude comes back, tells a few jokes, and kills the rest of the kids in their dreams, where they are utterly defenseless. Pretty good premise, right? Wes Craven, despite duds like "They," and "The People Under the Stairs," is a genius. This film alone proves that. What's scarier than being killed in your dreams? Nothing, that's what. Craven somehow translates the tone of dreams in his movie! That surreal, uncontrollable tone that we all have in our dreams is brought to life in his film, which is what makes it one of the greatest horror movies of all time. And what can be said about Freddy Krueger? He is to this generation what Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, and the Wolfman were to generations gone by. He's an icon, and no amount of crummy remakes will ever be able to destroy the legacy that Fred Krueger, and A Nightmare on Elm Street created.
If our #1 movie didn't exist, this would be the scariest movie of all time. Halloween is a classic. John Carpenter somehow captured the age and the attitude of a time, and transferred it on film. This movie, horror movie aside, is a classic film. The innovation that was in the movie is mind-blowing. This is the kind of film that inspires people to become filmmakers. Oh, also, it's scary as hell. I truly do not think there is anything scarier than an escaped mental patient, wandering around town, killing people at random. That's the type of thing that could actually happen, which is why Halloween works on so many levels. Clearly, Carpenter must have seen Nosferatu, because he too relied on atmosphere, tone, shadows, music, and suspense to create what is, in my opinion, the movie that defined the horror genre.
#1- The Exorcist
I do not like this movie. I never really look forward to watching The Exorcist. I watch the entire Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th Series' at least two times a year. Later on this week, I'll be watching The Exorcist for the first time in about 3 years. It just...makes me feel bad. It's the one movie that still, honest to God, scares me. Watching it at midnight in my living room, with the lights out(which is how I watch scary movies...with a Pepsi close at hand), is never a good idea because any creak, any twitch, any sound always ends up freaking me the eff out! There's just a tone about it that makes it...hmm...more powerful than any other movie. Perhaps it's the religious nature of the film, but this movie has an aura about it. People don't usually watch The Exorcist for fun. They watch it so that their girlfriend will cuddle up with them, so they can scare their kids into going to sleep, or, like me, because they have some weird OCD-like obsession with watching every horror movie, of every horror series, every Halloween. I've avoided the Exorcist, and it's better-than-average sequels for three years, because it still scares me. But this Halloween, I'm gonna man up. Watch this with me, please. And, if you get too scared, just repeat to yourself, "It's only a movie...It's only a movie...Only a movie."