Monday, October 31, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Horror Films

In honor of this auspicious day, here is my personal list of top ten favorite horror films:

10. Halloween (1978 version). Most of the film is just building... building... building... to that last half hour or so. You couldn't do that today and make it work. And the music is just unforgettable.
9. The Howling. This was just about the perfect werewolf movie for me, especially with the notion of how the werewolves would attempt to deal with modern society.
8. The Omen (1976 version). Creepy kid and a terrific Gregory Peck. I'm one of the few people I know who also likes Damien: Omen II and The Final Conflict.
7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 version). This movie absolutely creeped me out when I first saw it.
6. The Mummy (1999 version). Indiana Jones meets Christopher Lee. Great fun and some gross effects.
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984 version). What made this movie for me was the fact that the dream sequences were so much like real dreams. When she's running up the stairs and her feet are sinking into them? Terrific visual.
4. The Haunting (1963 version). What I love about it is that even at the end you don't know what you just saw. Was it really ghosts? Was it Nell experiencing a subconscious telekinetic event? Or was it all an hallucination? It really could be any of those; I love the ambiguity.
3. Alien. I maintain that this is just as much a horror film as it is a science fiction film. The mood and tension are extremely well done, and there are plenty of "gotcha" moments to make you jump.
2. Horror of Dracula. I love all of the Hammer horror films, and chose this as a representative. It's all about atmosphere with them, and they do it right. Even the worst of the films plot-wise make up for a lot of it with their great atmosphere.

And my all-time favorite horror film...

1. The Bride of Frankenstein. Of all the old Universal monster films, this one is far and away the best. It's a terrific sequel; it expands the original material and takes it to new places. Plus the touches of humor and the wonderful characters just make this a joy to watch.

Please feel free to share some of your own favorites in the comments!

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