Thursday, November 13, 2008

50 Best Horror Films

Inspired by Johnny Bacardi (and also because lists are easy and fun and tend to generate a lot of comments), I'm going to take a stab (HA!) at the 50 Best Horror Films list that's been going around.

Let me say right off the bat: I think the list, which comes from a poll, is questionable. Saw, the fifth best horror film ever? Kindly remove your heads from your asses, good sirs and madames of

But as many omissions and odd rankings as there are on this list, there are also a lot of good choices. I love horror, and I love lists, and I love bolding the items I have seen/heard/read/consumed on any given list, so here we go!

1.The Exorcist. William Friedkin (1973)
2.The Shining. Stanley Kubrick (1980)
3.Alien. Ridley Scott (1979)
4.The Silence of the Lambs. Jonathan Demme (1991)
5.Saw. James Wan (2004)
6.Halloween. John Carpenter (1978)
7.A Nightmare on Elm Street. Wes Craven (1984)
8.Ring (Ringu). Hideo Nakata (1998)

As Johnny B. did, I have to insert the caveat that I've only seen the American version. He didn't count it, but I am! Close enough, says I! Ha! Take that, purists!
9.The Wicker Man. Robin Hardy (1973)
10.The Omen. Richard Donner (1976)
11.The Birds. Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
12.The Thing. John Carpenter (1982)
13.Lost Boys. Joel Schumacher (1987)
14.Dawn of the Dead. George A Romero (1978)
15.The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Tobe Hooper (1974)
16.Jaws. Steven Spielberg (1975)
17.The Blair Witch Project. Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez (1999)
18.An American Werewolf in London. John Landis (1981)
19.Se7en. David Fincher (1995)
20.Poltergeist. Tobe Hooper (1982)

21.The Amityville Horror. Stuart Rosenberg (1979)
Wow, all the way to 21 before we get to a film I haven't seen! And it's a surprising one -- to me, at least. I was going to bold it before I actually stopped and thought about it. Somehow, I never have seen this one. Weird. I will, though, I will: late '70s - early '80s is my favorite era of horror films.
22.Candyman. Bernard Rose (1992)
23.Scream. Wes Craven (1996)
24.Carrie. Brian De Palma (1976)
25.Friday the 13th. Sean S Cunningham (1980)
26.Final Destination. James Wong (2000)
27.The Evil Dead. Sam Raimi (1981)
28.Hellraiser. Clive Barker (1987)
29.Hostel. Eli Roth (2005)

30.Salem's Lot. Mikael Salomon (2004)
Oops. I was counting this one at first, thinking it was the 1979 Tobe Hooper version. But no, it's the recent Rob Lowe version. Dang!
31.The Descent. Neil Marshall (2005)
32.The Hills Have Eyes. Wes Craven (1977)

33.Wolf Creek. Greg McLean (2005)
I started watching this one on cable a while ago, and got bored and changed channels. I guess all the good stuff takes a while to get to.
34.Misery. Rob Reiner (1991)
35.Rosemary's Baby. Roman Polanski (1968)
36.Child's Play. Tom Holland (1989)

37.The Orphanage. Juan Antonio Bayona (2008)
I've heard of this film recently, and that it's supposed to be scary as hell. It's going on Netflix!
38.The Entity. Sidney J Furie (1981)
I almost forgot I had seen this movie. This is the one where Barbara Hershey gets felt up by a ghost, right?
39.Nosferatu. FW Murnau (1922)
40.Night of the Living Dead. George A. Romero (1968)
41.House on Haunted Hill. William Malone (2000)

42.The Haunting. Robert Wise (1963)
I watched part of it on Turner Classic Movies the week of Halloween. Still haven't seen all of it, but I liked what I did see.
43.It. Tommy Lee Wallace (1990)
Great book, but that mini-series looked cheesy as hell. Was it actually any good?
44.Audition. Takashi Miike (1999)
Amazingly, still haven't seen it! Must correct that.
45.The Changeling. Peter Medak (1980)
46.The Mist. Frank Darabont (2008)
And wow, that's five in a row I haven't seen. I'm a little surprised and disappointed in myself.
47.Suspiria. Dario Argento (1977)
48.The Vanishing. George Sluizer (1993)
I know that I have to see this one. Just haven't gotten to it yet.
49.Shutter. Masayuki Ochiai (2008)
Never even heard of this one. And it stars Joshua Jackson? Wait, are they fucking with me? They're fucking with me. This can't actually be any good, can it?
50.Planet Terror. Robert Rodriguez (2007)

So that's 39 I've seen on this list. (Okay, 38 if you want to disqualify the Ring remake.) Not bad!

So what's missing that should be on here? Johnny B. suggested Bride of Frankenstein, which is a big yes. How about any of the classic Universal horror pictures? And why The Birds but not Psycho? I might throw in a couple more zombie flicks, like 28 Days Later or Shaun of the Dead. Oh, and I'd swap Evil Dead with Evil Dead 2. What else? Maybe Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer? Last House on the Left? Re-Animator? And where the hell is Cronenberg's The Fly? Or Peter Jackson's Dead Alive?

Anything else I'm missing? Or do you just want to brag that you've seen more than I have? Comment away!

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