Tis the season of spooky! As a horror film lover, you had to have seen this list coming. Keep in mind that these aren’t the best made horror films or the greatest horror films of all time. They’re my five favorites, ones that I’ll watch again and again and again (and again).
Also note that of the five listed here, three have remakes. I’m talking about the originals, guys. Also, none of the movies were made recently. I’m talking the “newest” one on the list came out the year I was born. Not that I don’t like some recent horror flicks. It’s just that I’m old school like that.
My five favorite horror movies (in no particular order):
1. Halloween (1978). It’s simple, low-budget, and effective. The killer wears a white-painted William Shatner mask. The idea of that being scary is ridiculous, but the reality of it is terrifying. The slow reveal of that mask after Laurie finds her friends dead is always chilling. To this day, if I see someone wearing the now classic Michael Myers mask, it gives me pause. And the urge to run.
2. House on Haunted Hill (1959). Vincent Price is an angel in my world and I love his work. This movie was a William Castle special and when it was released, featured a skeleton on wires to appear during a key part of the movie. But, even without the live skeleton, the low key creeps the movie provides are effective, particularly when you realize exactly what’s going on. The “ghosts” in this house have nothing on the humans.
3. Friday the 13th (1980). A young Kevin Bacon getting an arrow shoved through his throat? Who doesn’t like that? To me, this is the movie that really solidified the teen slasher flick, with the isolated location, the gorier deaths, the GOTCHA ending. The killer’s point of view was also a fun touch that kept the real killer’s identity a secret until the end.
4. Alien (1979). The isolation of space. The claustrophobia of the ship. The threat of sabotage from within. A monster that you only saw in glimpses. The classic chestbursting scene that’s scarred more than one kid for life. The tension build over the course of the movie is enough to have your palms sweating so that when the alien is finally revealed in full, screaming isn’t hard to do.
5. Jaws (1975). “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Indeed. This is one of those movies that I’ve seen so much that if don’t feel like sitting through the whole thing, I’ve got it timed so I can tune in to my favorite scenes. From the opening attack to the shark blowing up, the mechanical shark not working is the best thing that happened to this movie. Keeping the shark in the shadows just heightened the threat and the fear. Sure, there are several shark inaccuracies in the movie, but by the time the shark eats Quinn, you’ve pretty much forgiven them all.