It’s October! So, of course I had to share my favorite horror films of all time. I’ve separated them into a couple of horror genres. Be sure to leave a comment if you think I may have missed one, I realize there are a lot of horror films I haven’t seen, let me know! Happy October
Glamour Horror. What? Mostly 1950s-1960s era films starring extremely beautiful and fashionable lead women including Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. Technically most of them are considered thrillers, but this is my list. So deal with it.
- Rear Window (1954): Hitchcock’s classic film about photographer Jeff being helplessly stranded in his apartment after breaking his leg in
a racetrack accident. Jeff, played by James Stewart passes the time by observing his neighbors who leave their windows open in a summer heat wave. It proves to be an entertaining past time until he thinks he’s witnessed a murder. Grace Kelly plays socialite girlfriend Lisa, and lends a hand with the investigation. Disturbia is a modern-day retelling of this classic.
- Wait Until Dark (1967) Audrey Hepburn performance as blind, naive Susy is amazing, and adds to the suspense. Susy’s husband Sam ends up with a doll that was made to transport heroin. Unfortunately the the con-men come looking for their doll when Susy is home alone, very suspenseful. I remember jumping the first time I saw this movie. And yes, Audrey plays the most fashionable blind woman I have ever seen.
- House on Haunted Hill (1959) Millionaire Frederick Loren invites five guests to a party he’s thrown for his fourth wife Annabelle at a haunted house. He promises $10,000 to anyone who can stay the entire night in the house after the doors are shut at midnight. Great plot twist, and do I even have to mention how fabulous the clothes are?
Retro Horror. Personal favorite. The era that gave birth to most iconic horror villains donned some cheesy special effects and synthesizers. While we’re on that, why did anyone think synthesizers were a good idea?
Children of the Corn (1984) Stephen King’s short story set in the cornfields of Iowa about a cult of children who kill all the adults in the town still gives me the creeps, no matter how corny (no pun intended) the effects are. It’s actually not too bad until the appearance of the antagonist, “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”.
- Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) I find Freddy Kreuger to be one of the most terrifying horror monsters of all time. The ’84 version wasn’t as scary as I remember it being as a child, but it does star an adolescent Johnny Depp! The remake did provide more of a back story on the villain, but nothing beats the classics!
- Fright Night (1985) Charley Brewster suspects his new neighbor is a vampire and responsible for the recent deaths of several women in his neighborhood, and enlists the help of TV vampire hunter Peter Vincent to take him down.
- Friday the 13th (1980) is considered the father of all slasher movies. Five teens travel to Camp Crystal Lake with the intent to get the camp ready for campers but instead are hunted down by the iconic Jason.
- The Hitcher (1986) This film succeeding in ridding me of any urge to pick up a hitch-hiker. Ever. Psychologically thrilling, and better than the remake.
The True Classics. These are films that have stood the test of time and deserve their spot on the best horror films of all time.
- The Shining (1980) It’s one of my all-time favorites. If you haven’t seen this movie, then see it. Right now. There is just so much I love about it, I don’t know where to start. The child, Danny, plays an amazing part as a child with ESP (known as “the shining” hence the title) whose father landed a job as caretaker of the Overlook hotel during the off-season. REDRUM!
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968) I considered placing this classic under Glamour horror because of Mia Farrow’s floral dresses and pixie cut, but it’s timeless. The haunting lullaby theme sung by Farrow sets the mood for this eerie tale of Rosemary Woodhouse (Farrow) who suspects her husband has made a pact with their eccentric neighbors, the Castavets, to use her unborn child as a human sacrifice in an occult ritual. What she actually finds out is even worse.
- Carrie (1976) Another Stephen King work on the list. It’s great, minus the whole opening menstrual locker room scene. Sissy Spacek plays social outcast who discovers she has telekinetic abilities. It’s the plotting girls and zealous mother that really move the plot forward. It’s such a classic it’s third remake is about to be released in theaters.
The Modern Stuff
- The Amityville Horror (2005) They definitely did George Lutz a favor by casting Ryan Reynolds to play him. The story follows George
and Kathy Lutz and they’re new blended family as they move into their new New York dream house only to find that it’s the housing that is driving them crazy.
- The Sixth Sense (1999) Possibly Shyamalan’s best work. Haley Joel Osment plays Cole, a troubled boy who can talk to dead people. I love Mischa Barton’s pre-“The OC” puking cameo. At eight years old, it was probably my first scary movie, and I still think it was a good one. Great movie with a great ending.
- The Skeleton Key (2005) Kate Hudson plays a private hospice nurse who gets hired to work in a Louisiana plantation and realizes there’s a lot more that comes with the house than an elderly couple. Films includes New Orleans voodoo themes and has an unexpected ending!
- The Ring (2002) The plot revolves around a mysterious video tape that will leave the viewer dead seven days later. It was very suspenseful. I may have jumped when the phone rang as the end credits rolled.