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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The recent release of The Last Exorcism has put me brain in horror-flick mode for some reason (tho' I'm not sure I'm gunna see that one... mixed reviews).

So, without further adieu, my picks for Best Horror Movies of All Time (feel free to share your own)...


Phantasm– Even better proof than The Blair Witch Project that you can do this stuff incredibly effectively on a low-budget... and this one came out 20 years before Blair Witch. If you don't know who The Tall Man is or what 'the spheres' do, you need to check this one out. Creepy, clever, imaginative and innovative, a real cult classic find.

Night of the Demon (also known as Curse of the Demon)– An old '50s B&W horror film that is far more effective than its peers of the time. The direction is top notch, the black and white is actually a big plus as much is made of shadows and lighting, and the entire film has a strangely Lovecraftian feel to it... if you know who that is. It's also more disturbing and visceral that you'll expect a film of this era to be. Highly, highly recommended.

The Ring– I'm sure you're all familiar with this one, and yeah, it scared the crap out of me. I was actually looking at convenience store surveillance camera footage of myself entering stores afterwards, to see if my face was warped (a sign in the film that you're gonna die). Just too freaky, especially the ending. And, Naomi Watts is always xtra easy on the eyes.

Alien– This may be the perfect horror film, which is ironic, because it's gothic horror masquerading as sci-fi. The sense of claustrophobia and mounting tension is almost unbearable. And H.R. Giger is one deeply troubled man to have dreamt up a creature design this disturbing-looking... something that literally walked out of your very worst nightmares. Fun fact: Before I actually saw the full movie, I was at a drive-in watching a different film. Bored, I turned my head to look at a different screen, and happened to catch the Alien 'chest-burster' sequence starting almost to the second. I have never "WTF'ed" harder than I did at that moment... and if I could've shat bricks, I would've. :eek:

Evil Dead 2– Can a movie be really truly scary and really truly funny, at the same time? Somehow, someway, this one is... a distinction that's eluded many an otherwise fine horror film, such as Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead. This is Sam Raimi at the height of his directoral powers, and Bruce Campbell at the peak of his (very underrated) acting chops. And another low-budget absolute standout.

Jaws– My mom wanted to see this film, but was too scared to see it by herself. So she dragged me, as a very young kid, to go see it with her. I think I was scarred for life. 'nuff said.


Some Honorable Mentions:

The Descent
Event Horizon
The Blair Witch Project
Audition (now added... thanks Motif)
Halloween
Motel Hell



And of course, some Top Disappointments/Overrated Horror as well:

Paranormal Activity– This one brilliantly and cynically exploited the fact/audience perception that low-budget horror is sometimes breakout-great horror, but this is no Blair Witch. Basically, it's two uninteresting, unsympathetic characters behaving stupidly so that the plot, such as it is, can progress. Yes, let's stay in the house no matter what... so what if we have videotape of the Ouija board moving by itself and catching fire? Yes, the ending is creepy, but there's not much else going for it. And who really wants to listen to these shallow dimwits argue for half the film?

The Haunting– (1999 remake) Pretty much everything that's wrong with modern horror... big budget ($80 million), big stars, no imagination, and no deep-seated unease or true scares. Opened within a week of the no-budget Blair Witch, which ironically out-grossed it at the box office comfortably.

In the Mouth of Madness– Modern Hollywood just can't seem to get Lovecraft right. A strangely fatalistic film, in which nothing the main character does is of any consequence- his fate is sealed from frame one. So watching this is basically the equivalent of watching someone pluck the wings off a fly. Punishingly empty viewing.

The Shining– This is very controversial to say, especially as it is a very creepy and well-crafted film, and undeniably so. But Stephen King has stated in interviews that he was disappointed at the outcome... mainly in the fact that The Shining was supposed to be about a normal man's slow journey/descent into madness, and that Jack Nicholson was horribly miscast, as he pretty much screams "Demented person" from frame one. He also felt that Kubrick was a "cold" person who didn't truly understand a lot of the nuances King was going for. In other words, a good film that I'll gladly see again, but perhaps not actually The Shining, if we go by King (and why wouldn't you, as he is the g-damn author, and probable #1 horror author of his generation?).
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Alien..

The Birds... I remember that when it played on TV everyone at school would talk about the scary scenes. A movie would have to have multiple mutilations and Jeffry Dalmer to even come close to that effect today..
 

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SystemShock said:

ROFLMAO!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it the first time I saw it back in the day. But I would never call it "good". I tried to watch it again a couple years ago, but couldn't make it 30 minutes.

I'm kind of partial to Motel Hell for the shlocky end of things. Also, Parents, for the sense of suspense and discovery from the son's point of view and that pov is what makes it work. "Leftovers to be." Great pacing.

Alien, Halloween, and of course The Shining are up on my list for horror horror. And The Evil Dead II is the best tongue in cheek one, imo. One might even call it "groovy".
 

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Hands down, without a doubt, Alien. Turn out the lights, log in the fireplace, max out the surround sound, and it's still as good as the first time I saw it in the theater.

Honorable mention to the original Halloween.
 

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I'd go with Alien and The Shining for sure.

Possibly including the original Let the Right One In, though I'm sure the Hollywood (the schlockmeisters, not the man) version will ruin it for me somehow, even if I don't go see it.
 

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Why is it when people typed "The Shining" I saw "The Shindig?" :)

I guess I agree about Paranormal Activity, though the final 20 secs or so nearly popped my heart out of my chest. I agree with you about The Ring (a great scare) and I also thought The Grudge was pretty creepy.

For a lower level creep, but one that still interfered with my sleep nonetheless, I really enjoyed The Skeleton Key. No "scream" moments but definitely scary I thought.
 

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Some More..

How can you forget The Exorcist, Dawn of the Dead, Dead Alive (also funny and gory), The Hills Have Eyes. I am also probably in the minority but I do enjoy the Halloween remake by Rob Zombie. In college my friends and I watched so many horror movies that I forget and halfway through a movie I will remember I already watched it. ******* Zombies is probably the most unforgetable, so bad it is good.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
PlasticMotif said:
Also, Audition, Rec, Ju-on and the Thing. Rec is amazing. Audition is flat-out disturbing.
+1. I forgot all about Audition, it definitely deserves mention.

The last 15 minutes is one of the hardest left-turns in all horror cinema. :eek:




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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dr hoo said:
[Re: Phantasm]ROFLMAO!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it the first time I saw it back in the day. But I would never call it "good". I tried to watch it again a couple years ago, but couldn't make it 30 minutes.
Ah hoo... thou art lacking some essential piece of horror soul. Y'all just convinced me to purchase the DVD. :wink5:

I also notice that nearly everyone is mentioning Alien. Man that film holds up well, especially for what is nominally a sci-fi flick... hard to believe it was released all the way back in the '70s.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Btw... is anyone familiar with the infamous 'Lawnmower scene' from Dead Alive?

WARNING: NSFW... or anything else, really. Lawnmower vs zombies = absolutely insane amounts of total carnage. Not for the squeamish. :eek: :skep:



 

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If it's campy ridiculous horror you're after, 'Sleep Away Camp' is your huckleberry.
The commentary makes it even better, 'It's like the Crying Game before the Crying Game.' Classic.

More spooky fun can be had in 'Cemetery Man'. Best 'in the mouth' POV shot replete with teeth lining the frame.

I agree with your top picks and honorable mentions for the most part. 'The Descent' was one film that totally surprised me and I had to watch over and over.

One flick I saw as a little kid when it came out that scared the pants off me was 'The Blob' ('88). Now it's more nostalgic than scary.
 

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The original Night of the Living Dead. A nightmare, come to life on the screen.
Yes, it's more accurately sci-fi, but the original Terminator really pushed my fear buttons.
The Exorcist isn't bad, either.
 

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The Shining– This is very controversial to say, especially as it is a very creepy and well-crafted film, and undeniably so. But Stephen King has stated in interviews that he was disappointed at the outcome... mainly in the fact that The Shining was supposed to be about a normal man's slow journey/descent into madness, and that Jack Nicholson was horribly miscast, as he pretty much screams "Demented person" from frame one. He also felt that Kubrick was a "cold" person who didn't truly understand a lot of the nuances King was going for. In other words, a good film that I'll gladly see again, but perhaps not actually The Shining, if we go by King (and why wouldn't you, as he is the g-damn author, and probable #1 horror author of his generation?)
I don't think Kubrick ever intended to make a movie that tracked the book. IMO, he made it into a far better work of art than the book ever was.

King's book was a relatively pedestrian tale of madness and murder. Kubrick turned it into an allegory about the resonance of violence throughout history.

Then again, I generally hate horror movies- but the Shining is one of my all time favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
nealric said:
I don't think Kubrick ever intended to make a movie that tracked the book. IMO, he made it into a far better work of art than the book ever was.

King's book was a relatively pedestrian tale of madness and murder. Kubrick turned it into an allegory about the resonance of violence throughout history.

Then again, I generally hate horror movies- but the Shining is one of my all time favorites.
I'll have to re-read The Shining, since it's been many years since I picked it up, but when it comes to horror, I think I have to go with King's take over Kubrick's.

Even though I still like the movie.
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