Top 10 Horror Movies

A few months back I set a poll on one of my sites which asked horror fans to rate their top ten horror movies of all time. In this article I list the movies and explain what makes horror fans rate them so highly.

Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho terrifies audiences because it is an exploration of insanity which concludes that anyone, even the sane, can become insane and suffer terrible consequences.

Alien (1979)

The powerful theme in Alien is one of disease. The crew aboard a futuristic space vessel become infected by an alien species and hunted down in grisly fashion. Perhaps the most terrifying thing about Alien is the theme it shares with Psycho: Evil is inside of us and, thus, cannot be easily escaped.

The Shining (1980)

Almost every college campus bedroom has the poster of Jack Nicholson peering through a recently-axed bathroom window, grinning in his uniquely iconic, maniacal manner. This easily deserves to be one of the top 10 horror movies of all time. Derived from the book by Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece is a haunting look at insanity and claustrophobia, as the Wife and Son of Jack Torrence are mentally abused and later on hunted down by him in a remote hotel called The Overlook. What perhaps scares us most here is the possibility that our trusted loved ones can become our worst enemies.

Aliens (1986)

In Aliens we see Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) return with a rescue team to a colony where she must do battle with yet more aliens. No one believes her, of course, until it is too late and both herself and the other crew members are besieged by dozens of drooling, toothy beings. It is the claustrophobic settings here, more than the Aliens, that we find most scary.

Les Diaboliques (1955)

A boarding school headmaster is murdered by his mistress and wife who has a weak heart. They submerge his corpse in their school’s swimming pool but, upon being brained, the body has disappeared. What ensues are scenes of suspense that slowly turn the murderers insane with tension. This movie is painful and terrifying to watch as we, unwillingly, must become the killers and share their fears. Although it is one of the top 10 horror movies of all time, I would say it is – possibly – the best suspense movie of all time.

Jaws (1975)

Amity Island has everything: beautiful beaches, warm weather, friendly inhabitants . . . oh, and a fifteen-foot killer great white shark! This is the original summer block buster known to all movie-goers. The theme here is man against nature. What terrifies most about Jaws is the uncompromising monster. He will not be reasoned with, he will not stop eating, and you will not escape his teeth, even if you’re an expert shark fisherman. In this film only the lucky survive.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

This horror movie takes up where Frankenstein left off. Frankenstein and his monster are both still alive. The crazy Dr Pretorius kidnaps Frankenstein’s wife and blackmails him to create another monster to become bride to the original abomination. With grave-digging, decaying corpses, re-animated living tissues, and the terrifying theme that man should not play God, this is a truly terrifying tale.

The Thing (1982)

In a remote Antarctic station, an expedition of American scientists encounters a dog, being perused by a helicopter which crashes. That same night the dog attacks both dogs and scientists and soon a shape-changing entity is loose among the survivors. The notion that evil lurks within those we trust is explored here to terrifying affect.

King Kong (1933)

When original audiences watched King Kong many of them literally ran screaming up the isles. Never had a monster been so realistically portrayed.

The Exorcist (1973)

In the Exorcist we are confronted by the ultimate evil: The Devil and his minions. Unlike serial killers or ghosts, Satan seems invincible; success feels hopeless. This terrifying film was made shocking by the use of blasphemy, a child becoming possessed and spouting obscene language; and the weakness of Good (namely an alcoholic priest) in the face of purest evil.

The top 10 horror movies of all time will, of course, change in the future, but – perhaps – the themes will remain the same. We will always be scared of inner evils (insanity), invincible evils (nature and the Devil), and monsters, of all shapes and sizes, will likely still prove to entertain and terrify!

Top 10 Horror Movies for Halloween 2010

Here we go fancy dress fans, to start getting you into the ‘spirit’ of Halloween, here’s a top 10 list of horror movies… If you were a teenager in the 70s or 80s, you are going to remember them all!!

1. The Exorcist

This 1973 horror film deals with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate plea to get her daughter back through the ancient exorcism rite to rid the devil, which is performed by two priests.

The most profitable horror film of all time, with 10 academy award nominations, it was one of a cycle of demonic child movies produced in the 60s and 70s. The Best Bit? The 12 year old girl shows very strange and unnatural powers including levitation, huge strength along with a strange male demonic voice spewing out obscenities. Loved the bit when her head rotates and projective vomits vile green sludge…

2. Evil Dead

A horror film many of you will remember from the 80s, made famous with its storyline of the five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a remote wooded area who find an audiotape that releases evil spirits. Evil Dead made headlines because of its extremely controversial and graphic terror, violence, and gore!

For its time, it was pretty radical. Stephen King called it ‘the most ferociously original horror movie of the year’! Best Bits? Well… it’s just a continuous pummelling of the audience with one insanely horrific shock effect after the other.

3. Nightmare on Elm Street

Nancy is having horrible nightmares. She discovers so too are her highschool chums, but they are being slaughtered in their sleep by the same hideous character of their shared dreams. Nancy, ignored by the Police has to confront the killer in his shadowy lair…

This movie was made by the master of the horror genre, legend, Wes Craven. Johnny Depp makes an appearance in his first starring role, and Nightmare on Elm Street gives birth to one of the most notorious and infamous undead villains in film history; Freddy Krueger.

Most memorable scary bit… the children singing… “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, better stay awake. Nine, ten, never sleep again…”

4. Scream

Another of Wes Craven’s blockbusters, the movie scream was hugely popular in the 90’s for its resurrection of the teen slasher movie genre. The plot was apparently inspired by the Halloween movie series and Gainseville Ripper murders of 1990.

The plot of `Scream’ is pretty simple: Halloween costumed knife-wielding psychopathic serial killer is busy stalking high school students and brutally killing them off one by one. The killer’s inordinately obsessed with one of the girls, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who gets involved in the quest to unmask the insane killer Funny Bit? The wassuuuup phone conversation between the killer and three lads.

5. Carrie

The 1976 supernatural horror movie shocked millions of viewers during the 70s, based on the novel ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King. Carrie is the story of a socially outcast teenage girl who discovers she possesses psionic powers which are brought to life when she is angered. After humiliation by her peers, teachers and abusive mother, Carrie turns her supernatural powers on them to devastating tragedy.

Best Bits: The moment the bucket of pig’s blood is tipped over Carrie, who is on stage, who has just been named prom queen… but this is eclipsed by the final moment when the only survivor of the prom, dreams of visiting the plot where Carrie’s house once stood. As she places flowers on the ground, a bloody hand reaches out, grabbing Sue wrist…*shiver*

6. An American Werewolf in London

The 1981 horror-comedy film about two young American men on a backpacking holiday round England, where they eventually find themselves deep into the moors one night and they are attacked by a werewolf. Jack dies and David ends up in a London hospital and is visited in his dreams by the ghostly apparition of his friend who re-appears to tell him that he is now a werewolf and will transform at the next moon. Sure enough he does and goes on a murderous killing spree and awakens to find himself back to normal, but caged at the London zoo.

Best bits – the ever decaying and zombie like corpse Jack returning telling David to kill himself.

7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

This horror film from 1974 introduced the spine chilling character of Leatherface and was originally presented as a true story involving the ambush and murdered of a group of friends by cannibals on a road trip across rural Texas.

The film however is completely fictional, but no less horrifying. This terrifying movie has gained a reputation as one of the most influential horror films in cinematic history, with its portrayal of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure whose weapon of choice is a power tool to unleash inexplicable horror on its victims… brrrrr, watch this one during daylight hours with friends…

8. The Shining

Made in 1980, The Shining based on Stephen King’s novel and directed by Stanley Kubrick, is a psychological horror that has become a classic of the horror genre and it has been ranked as one of the best horror films of all time! It’s intensely eerie and powerfully menacing. A writer, his wife and young son head off to care-take an isolated hotel in its off season. The son who is psychic, can see ghosts and predict things from the future or past. Following a ferocious winter storm, the family are barricaded in the hotel and the father becomes influenced by the supernatural presence in the haunted hotel, he descends into insanity and ends trying to kill wife and son.

Memorable Bits; Jack Nicholson’s descent into madness and when he turns against his family… ‘Wendy? Darling? Light of my life, I’m not gonna hurt ya. You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in’

9. The Amityville Horror

This 1979 horror film gained huge popularity with its claim to be based on a true story of the Lutz family and the paranormal disturbances they experienced at 112 Ocean Avenue, a large Dutch colonial house in Amityville. 13 months before the family moved in, Ronald DeFeo, Jr shot and killed 6 members of his family. After only 28 days, the Lutz’s flee the house, having been terrorized by a supernatural presence.

Some of their experiences included; – George waking at 3:15 every morning to inspect the boathouse (the time that Defeo murdered his family) – Kathy having vivid nightmares about the murders and a feeling of being embraced in a loving manner by an unseen person. – The red room, a room painted in blood that did show up on the houses blueprints. – The image of a demon in the fireplace, which his head half blown off – Strange smells of excrement and perfume in random rooms of the house. – Missy’s imaginary friend, a demonic pig-like creature with glowing red eyes. – Slamming doors and German marching bands were heard by George. – Kathy levitating off the bed and receiving red welts on her chest. – Green slime oozing from the walls and plagues of flies – George received bite marks from a four foot high ornamental china lion.

A terrific horror film and the book is even better… don’t be scared if you start waking at 3:15am…

10. Night of the living Dead

This 1968 black and white movie is the first and original zombie movie that sets the bar for all other zombie laden gore-fests. It follows the story of 7 folks who are trapped in a rural farmhouse in Pennsylvania. It’s a long night of survival as the house is being attacked by mysterious ghouls, the living dead, otherwise known as zombies who swarm around the house in search of living flesh.

The story focuses on the characters weaknesses, their cowardice, their greed and stupidity and makes the drama inside the house as palatable as the danger from outside. The undead zombies are lumbering beasts, they appear unstoppable and relentless in the quest to feast on the living. Most horrifying Bit? A knife-wielding little zombie girl… zombie kids? That will keep you awake all night long.

So there you have it fancy dress fans, the top 10 best horror movies from the 20th century. It’s enough to inspire you to host a horror flick marathon sleepover this Halloween. BYO pillows to scream into! Have a great Halloween!

Man’s Greatest Friend, Horror Movies

Watch a Horror Movie For a Spine Chilling Experience

Watching movies of any genre – romantic, comedy or horror is a fun experience. Among these, horror film is watched by many as it is chilling, haunting and scary. Horror films are usually based on the imaginary world full of incredible incidents and mysterious events. Sometimes, the storyline of these films is influenced by psychological themes, creepy ideas and supernatural science as well.

A horror movie shows the unearthly existence of mysterious characters possessing supernatural powers or ghostly nature. The makers of horror flicks exhaust their imagination in creating the most horrifying situation in order to make the films more frightful and interesting. For the production of the most popular films in the ‘Horror’ category, Hollywood takes the cake. Some of these films are Psycho (1960), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Night of the Living Dead (1968) and so on.

The horror movie ‘Psycho’, made in 1960, is a masterpiece made by Alfred Hitchcock. This movie is based on psychological theme, more appealing and spine-chilling than supernatural events. It fills in the audience with so much horror that they seem to lose their movement. In the history of horror films, The Bride of Frankenstein was the first horror movie to introduce the figure ‘monster’. In this film, the creator of the monster is forced to create a mate for the monster from old body parts and the brain of a madman.

Along with these movies, The Night of The Living Dead, made by George Romero is a most dreadful horror movie with plenty of chills and thrills. These are some most terrifying films which are better characterized as horror flicks to the pedestal of fame. In contrast to these movies where you get to know your voice limit with all the screaming whenever a ‘ghost’ or ‘monster’ appears on the screen, kids movies are full of enjoyment and laughter.

Many movies for children portray a world of fantasy rather than exposing the young little audience to the shattering truths of hatred and distrust. The kids movies are mostly based on fairies, folktales and fables. The incredible rise of the animation industry is due to these children movies as most of them are animated. These animated kids movies are becoming a craze in the industry and even adults are bowled over by the special appealing effects of the advanced software.

Disney is one of the renowned producers of kids movies. Some of the most popular animated movies produced by them are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, The Princess and the Frog and many more. These Disney movies are loved by both children and adults of all ages. In Disney movies, the characters touch the imagination of a child and reveal the moralities and ways of the world and society in general. The stories of these kids movies are also quite relevant and meaningful. These stories also convey special messages to the children. Although all the characters in the movies are fictitious, still they hold some reality in them since the characters have the same kind of emotions like a normal human being.

The Horrible Horror of Those Hideous Horror Movies

It’s time for those hideous Halloween Horrors, folks!

So let’s ask, why are today’s Horror movies so horrific now?

Have they finally reached the hideous pinnacle of horrific perfection they sought for all those decades? And whatever happened to those nostalgic horror classics of old that were quite benign in comparison? And are people glad, mad, or sad that high-tech special effects enhanced graphic scenes of horror are so freaking uber-realistic now?

Over the past seventy years or more, horror movies have changed drastically – and horrifically. This eerie genre has literally evolved from low-budget, cheesy special effects driven B movies (although they’re considered memorable classics) to gorily graphic, hideous CGI enhanced masterpieces of horrific proportions. If you have ever seen the old classical movies about the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, even the Invisible Man, so on and so forth, they were indeed suspenseful thrillers, but I would not classify them as what we now know as Horror, considering the extreme changes that have evolved.

Today’s horror movies involve enough blood to fill several bathtubs, enough carnage and gore to make a weak man vomit his entire entrails out, and truly realistic CGI special effects to make you think what you’re seeing is really happening, and such graphic scenes may induce hideous nightmares in your sleeping hours.

We’ve got a slew of bloody slasher and serial killer flicks, armies of flesh and brain eating zombies, bloodsucking vampires, gruesome cannibals, and other grotesque creatures beyond your imagination, which are all just the tip of the iceberg.

As if that’s not enough, the element of gruesome torture and violence has been brought into the spectrum, especially with the SAW franchise of movies. Forcing victims to inflict psychological or physical torture to free themselves (like sawing off your shackled leg to escape) has become very popular. Let’s not forget Strangeland, and the three Hostel movies. Then we have cannibalism flicks, such as Silence of the Lambs, The Hills Have Eyes, Ravenous, Cannibal Holocaust, etc.

The Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and all the rest, have been replaced by the likes of Michael Myers, Jason, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Pinhead, Hannibal Lecter, and others. And of course legions of hideous zombies walk the Earth. There are so many zombie movies, dating back to the 1930s, that you’d go insane trying to count them all! I almost did! (I found them all on Wikipedia) And they’ve gotten so graphically horrific, I suspect they’re actually real! In fact, I’ve heard people (mostly conspiracy theorists and nut-jobs) declare that a zombie-type virus could in fact become a reality (perhaps due to diabolical genetic engineers playing God — or the Devil!) and a large-scale zombie pandemic now seems realistic and possible in our world! Yikes!

We must ask the psychological questions: why do people want to be scared? Why do we wish to be exposed to violence and scenes of graphic horror? Being your typical carnival ride wimp, I was always leery of roller coasters and such gut-wrenching thrill rides, thinking I was going to fall out and plummet to my death — even though I was securely strapped in. On such insane rides sometimes I would see loose change or wallets or purses and other stuff flying from secured people in their seats. If I lost anything it would usually be my lunch. Although many people have stronger stomachs than I, who can more easily enjoy the thrills and chills, I admit I was not one of them. At first I even avoided horror movies, although as a child I did like the old classics, I suppose because they were usually void of great amounts of blood and gore and other gruesome scenes, which has become the hallmark of today’s horror movies. But in the last several years I’ve become desensitized and don’t mind seeing such hideous crap. I even learned to like those adorable zombies as they stumble about mindlessly and groan and moan all the time and tend to fancy eating brains, which are actually putrid disgusting creatures I would be repulsed by as a child.

But do we want to be scared because we hope we will become desensitized to horror? Are we hiding from our own inner horrors by facing outer fabricated horrors? Or because we think we deserve to be victimized by some kind of element of horror in our lives? Do we think we deserve bad karma and therefore exposing ourselves to tons of horror movies will help us achieve self-inflicted retribution? Or is it just a way of getting away from our otherwise boring lives? I don’t know, but I’m still looking for the answer – or answers. So far, all I know is, I find certain kinds of horror movies are just fascinating — like those stumbling stupid goofy zombies. I particularly like the comedic versions, as portrayed in Shawn of the Dead, Fido, Zombieland, and Aaah! Zombies! and others.

Alright, why are zombies in fashion now? Vampires have been in fashion for a long time, and less so to the Frankenstein monster, and although a few werewolves still run around, the comeback of the latest Wolf Man movie is making a vain attempt to bring werewolves further out of the closet. We’ve seen a few Mummy flicks, starring Brendan Fraser, but these would fall more in the Adventure genre. But most of today’s horrors are extremely intense in the blood and gore and violence and torture and such nightmare elements that is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Some watchers may consider these movies as visual pollution, the stuff or hideous nightmares, whereas others see them as emotionally and psychologically stimulating. As if they deserved to be scared out of their freaking skulls!

I wonder if anybody will resort to creating horror movies that revisits the style and melodrama of the old classics, where much is left to your imagination. Or are those days gone for good?

We’ll see…

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Have Hollywood Horror Movies Gone Too Far

Hollywood horror movies haven’t gone far at all in recent years. To think about this in terms of going to far, is ludicrous and idiotic to say the least. The majority of horror releases in the last ten years have not been gorey, nor have they been relevant in the form of arguments. If anything, the horror genre has been saturated with lackluster pg-13 films and horrible unrated versions on DVD. Hollywood as a whole has not released a hard rated R horror film in a while, and it has not gone too far whatsoever. Yes, some of them have been brutal, but none of them have reached the gore levels of the 1980’s. In fact, the most gorey horror films produced on American soil are not even major contenders for any awards, nor have they had official or lengthy releases outside of the DVD market. With Japanese horror movies, remakes, and political thrillers, Hollywood has been missing from the horror arena in regards to gore. To say they have gone too far is just stupid.

The Japanese, if anyone, should be blamed for pushing the envelope of horror cinema. They have continually pushed the realms of the unreal, and in American releases the films get toned down a lot. The American versions of Japanese films are usually only scary if you are scared by loud noises. There is little, to no gore in these films. Compare “The Ring”, “The Grudge”, or “Dark Waters” to their Japanese counterparts, and you see two very different films. The American releases are even given Pg-13 ratings and teenagers go in droves to see them. These films are not scary, do not focus on blood spill, and deal more with ghosts than anything truly horrifying.

The remakes of horror films can be seen as updates to the original stories. However, these films are just as gruesome and horrific as they were when they were originally made. If anything, the newer updates to these films use modern techniques, cg, make up and more sophisticated direction than their older counterparts. This is especially seen in the Halloween remake by Rob Zombie. Sure it was gruesome and bloody, and while the original “Halloween” film did not need any gore, this film only pushed the envelope to differentiate itself from the original. If you rewind time a little and compare the remake of “Psycho” by Gus Van Sant with the original Hitchcock masterpiece, you will see that a frame by frame remake is not a substantial benefit to viewers and fans of the original film. The Van Sant version, although done frame by frame and in color is a boring trot through what you’ve already seen. Hollywood can only push the envelope in hopes of getting viewers, and the generational gap of horror movie fans only proves that Hollywood hasn’t gone too far.

Political thrillers are never pointed to in regards of going too far. With strong criticisms of the government, the Middle East, and terrorism, the political thriller has never gone into the scrutiny that horror films get. People need to take a closer look at things like political thrillers and their content, before saying Hollywood Horror films have gone too far. The majority of Horror films deal with fiction, and even those based on real events are fictionalized to an extent that they are fantasy when compared to films that talk about the current state of the war, the oil crisis, or movies that aim to show the death of the president.

Do not get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that Hollywood should stop making politically aimed movies. I’m saying that when comparing Hollywood movies, one must consider that horror is fiction above all else. For those that believe that Horror has gone too far in recent years, maybe they should see non horror films like “Mysterious Skin”, or “Mean Creek”, both depict the death of innocence amongst children, before pointing the finger at horror films as a genre.