Top 10 Favorite Horror Films
10) The Evil Dead
Unlike the other films in the trilogy, this one is a straight-up horror flick. And it works its atmosphere like a mofo. Sure, the effects might be cheesy, but it's a fantastic little film with some truly creepy scenes. It's like if old school horror were done with the 70s and early 80s shock value. Great stuff.
9) The Hills Have Eyes (Remake)
Alexandre Aja's remake is pretty damn good. Not only is it hella creepy and disturbing, but it's incredibly intense. The last 20 minutes with Aaron Stanford going hardcore badass is probably one of my favorite parts of any horror film. Oh, and the rest of the movie is pretty good, too.
8) The Mothman Prophecies
I might get some flak for this one, but I think this is one of the freakin' scariest movies out there. A lot of people find it dull or just a flat-out snooze-fest. But this movie terrifies me for some reason. I can't watch this and then drive at night for at least a week. The telephone call scene in the motel room, the car wreck... a lot of it is just totally freaky to me.
7) Trick R Treat
Out of all the movies on this list, this is the one I've seen the least. I watched it for the second time just the other day. It's on Instant Streaming, but I also now own it on Blu-Ray. It's a fantastic mix of style and cleverness. It has a comic book feel, but it's also an anthology feature. But unlike most anthology collections, these are intertwined and play out in a non-linear fashion... and I do love it when storytellers take this kind of approach. It's a new holiday staple for this time of the year.
6) Final Destination
The first one is the best one (though the fifth wasn't all the bad, either). From the second on, the series tried to be too goofy. The first one is more serious, though, and it's quite an original premise. Not to mention it has a fantastic cameo by Tony Todd that carried over into (most of) the rest of the films.
5) Dawn of the Dead (Remake)
I'll be honest. I love and respect George Romero. Night and Dawn are fantastic bits of horror history (I can take or leave Day). And while his original Dawn of the Dead might be responsible for almost everything we know and love about zombies today (I'd argue even moreso than Night)... I find it to be kind of a boring flick overall (Night, on the other hand, holds up much better). That being said, Snyder's remake is a fantastic one. Sure, it introduces a thousand more characters and loses a little of the intimacy of the original for the sake of a body count, but it gives us some really memorable characters and moments. Hell, even Andy, the gun store owner across the street whose voice you maybe only hear for 30 seconds of the film... is a compelling character. Oh yeah, and the first 10-15 minutes is one of the best segments in a zombie movie.
4) Pitch Black
OK, I know I'm going to get some arguments here. You probably think this is more sci-fi than horror. Sure, it does have some heavy sci-fi elements, but they're being stalked and killed by freaky aliens... so I count it. Not to mention Riddick is a murderer. Speaking of, Richard B. Riddick is one of my favorite antiheroes ever and would easily be in my Top 5 favorite sci-fi characters. And I personally can't wait for the Chronicles sequel that is supposed to be more like this film than that other... thing.
I've seen and own all three of these films, but none of the match up to the original. It's insanely smart and makes me love Vincenzo Natali more and more every time I see it. And I hate a certain death at the end of the film every time I see it. And it hurts just as much the hundredth time as it did the first. And... I could keep going, but you should just go out and see this if you haven't already.
It's been said a thousand times (most of those times by me). The first film is unfairly lumped in and given a bad rep due to its sequels, which it is almost nothing like. I'll admit--I'm a fan of the entire series. Think whatever you want about the gore or what have you, but this series has some of the best continuity, hands down, of any film series in history. It's pretty outstanding. Regardless, the first is the best and will always be the best. And I'll never forget when I saw this in theater, thought I had it figured out, and then proceeded to sit with an open mouth throughout the credits. And the main theme (Hello Zepp) is awesome.
1) 28 Days/Weeks Later...
Yeah, yeah, call it a cheat. I couldn't choose one, so I lumped both together. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. The first one is all about the characters and their relationships with each other. The sequel is all about the tension and suspense. And Jeremy Renner is in it (and he's also gone on record saying that he, along with the director and Danny Boyle, do not see these films as zombie movies, no matter what others say)... no, I'm not letting that go! Anyway... not to mention that both films have fantastically brilliant openings. The first one is more drawn out in confusion of the main character, while the second is more in the quiet opening that turns into a chaotic escape. And the main theme is awesome.
I know some people don't like runners-up because they feel it makes the idea of having a cut-off to the top list moot... but there are some that barely missed this list... whether for reasons that I haven't seen them enough times to yet become favorites (I Saw the Devil, The Shining); them being more atmospheric than scary or iconic (1408, Stir of Echoes, The Orphanage); them having a great atmosphere and scares, but with a controversial ending that could make or break it (Silent Hill, The Mist); or them being favorites I just couldn't fit in (Misery, Pontypool, The Faculty).