So, I’m obsessed with horror movies (granted, in post-2016 America, with all the mass killings we’re having having, I must admit that my love for them has been tested… I can’t even watch torture porn like SAW or Hostel anymore, because now it all just seems too real and too sad… Speaking of SAW, did you guys hear about the crazy Russian SAW app that paid people to kill LGBTQ people?) Long story short, no torture porn will be on the list. Moving forward…
Oh-Meh-Gawwwwwww! An absolute classic. All 4 are worth watching, although I didn’t learn to appreciate the fourth until recently. But it’s just the perfect combo of everything you could ever want. It is genuinely scary. It is genuinely smart. It is genuinely funny. It’s post-modern and self-reflective. There is literally scholarly writing done about Scream… that’s how good of a film it is.
Also, The Drew Barrymore scene in the first? The Jada Pinkett Smith scene in Scream 2? The incredible Hollywood references in the 3rd? And the never-ending opening scene in the fourth? CLASSIC!!!!!!!
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (both the original, and the 2003 remake)
The PERFECT horror franchise. The original was horrifying. It was gross and grizzly, and was made with hardly any budget at all…and that made it all the scarier. Then, TCM 2 changed the game of horror, and was one of the first instances of a horror move that used comedy. Even the poster mocked The Breakfast Club. Then, like any horror film worth it’s salt, that was followed by a few films that were just terrible and complete garbage.
However, in 2003, the remake reinvigorated the franchise, and was excellent! The score, the cinematography, it was all just spot on! And then that too was followed by a few films that were garbage…leading to the movie Leatheface which was so bad it wasn’t even released. The highlight of the series? The now-infamous epic dance scene at the end of the original… see it here set to the tune of ABBA!
3. The Blair Witch Project
There is one simple tool you need in your life to figure out if someone is a complete dumbfuck who isn’t worth your time, or is a great person: Ask them if they like The Blair Witch Project. If they say yes, they’re a good person. If they say, “I’ve never seen it,” or “I didn’t get it,” or “I didn’t think it was scary,” THEN WALK AWAY FROM THEM. They are stupid. They have no attention span. They’re not worthy of life. Leave them be in whatever gutter they came from.
Blair Witch is all about the small details. The horror in it is connecting the ending to the beginning, and about picking up on the small sounds and symbols in the film. The entire movie is almost like a series of easter eggs. Also, did you know that when it first came out, a lot of people actually thought it was real footage? PEOPLE, THIS MOVIE STARTED THE ENTIRE GENRE OF FOUND-FOOTAGE! That is incredible!
4. Paranormal Activity 1 & 2
Speaking of found footage, Paranormal Activity single-handedly restarted the genre of paranormal horror. Insidious, The Conjuring, Annabelle, all that crap… WOULD NOT EXIST if it wasn’t for the raging success of Paranormal Activity.
Like Blair Witch, PA is all about the small details. It’s all about noticing the small sounds, the voices, the slight movements on camera. It’s another film of small easter eggs that come together to create something horrifying. The best part? When they hear the footsteps and turn on the lights to see that they look like chicken or lizard feet (squeal!)
Bigfoot movies are hard to do. If you don’t have the budget for a good costume, or if you’re using awful CGI, or if bigfoot comes off too-human, or too-alien, it’s just a gamble. And that’s why almost all bigfoot movies are garbage. However, Exists is different. When Exists came out, it was finally the movie bigfoot fans were waiting for. It was scary and well-made.
It’s ok to be skeptical. But give it a shot!
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street
One of the most legendary horror franchises around. A Nightmare on Elm Street shook up the genre of slasher films by creating a killer with personality. So far, the leading men of horror – Leatherface, Michael Myers, and Jason – had all been large, emotionless, speechless monsters. But Freddy was animated, thoughtful, scheming, and nefarious. And his personality helped make the movie even scarier.
The franchise is great. The first was terrifying. The sequel was overtly gay on purpose (it was written by a gay man who wanted to sneak homoerotic imagery into a mainstream film) and the cast was also heavily LGBT. The 3rd is known as being another classic, with crazy graphic effects. Then, standard of horror films, the sequels went into the ground (as they should). Until 2003 when Freddy Vs. Jason came out and was AWESOMEEEEEE!
Pinhead joined the ranks of slasher villains after the release of Hellraiser. A little fun puzzle box actually opens the gates of hell… oops! Allowing Pinhead and his sadistic friends of the underworld to rise up and claim take humans back with him.
Did you know, Pinhead isn’t seen too much in the first film? But when he is, it’s well worth it! The ending scene grotesque and offensive to a lot of people, which only helped gain the film notoriety.
8. Jeepers Creepers
So, before we begin, let me just this about that – Yes, this film was directed by a pedophile who raped a child on the set of one of his other movies. However, when Jeepers Creepers came out, and for many years after that, it wasn’t widely known. In fact, it wasn’t really until the lead-up to Jeepers Creepers 3 (which was AWFUL) that the story got any press.
So, if you refuse to watch this one, I don’t blame you.
If you do watch it however, it’s a great film. It’s scary, the cast has great chemistry, and Mrs. Peacock from Clue plays a crazy cat lady. There’s a lot to love in this little horror gem. The move spawned a sequel that was relatively good too.
9. Ernest Scared Stupid
Ok, sure it’s not technically a horror movie, but the trolls in the movie are actually pretty scary. The scene in the bed makes me jump to this day. Plus, the great Eartha Kitt is in this movie! What could be better!?!??!
But the best scene…
10. Halloween (1, 2, H20, Rob Zombie’s, and the 2018 one)
You should have known this was coming… How could I leave the ever-classic Halloween off the list? It’s insanely scary. The theme song along gives me goosebumps (the Nightmare on Elm Street them is also terrifying).
Plus, this was the real start of the slasher genre. Psycho and Texas Chainsaw laid the groundwork, but Halloween really set the formula into motion. Jamie Lee Curtis is considered the original Scream Queen for her role in the film, as well her career in horror that’s spanned decades.
You’ve got some movies to watch!
~ The Dark Horse