The Top 10 Greatest Horror Films


#1

Halloween season is right around the corner and it’s time to dust off the plastic pumpkins and proceed to scheme all sorts of ghastly and ghoulish pranks on your unsuspecting friends and family. As an avid fan of the Halloween traditions, I also make sure to poison my brain with countless hours of horror movie marathons. After all, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without a little gore here and there. So I hereby devote this article in the welcoming of my favourite season with this tribute to The Top 10 Greatest Horror Films according to me.



The views on the occult and the supernatural written about in this article are not necessarily those of the Tarantino Archives and it’s originators.



10. THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD





The 1985 zombie comedy is a fresh and welcomed instalment into the living dead genre. While the film is incredibly ghastly and gory, it’s much in it’s consistent sense of humour that make it such an entertaining and fun horror movie. What is so unique about The Return of the Living Dead is that even with an incredibly low budget and with little to no plot to speak of, it’s fantastically creative and so intentionally funny that you ought to be labelled a zombie yourself if you had trouble enjoying this one.



9. THE SHINING



A lot of people consider this to be the definitive horror film and respectfully so as it’s much The Godfather of the horror genre in a lot of ways. Stanley Kubrick’s hauntingly atmospheric and claustrophobic approach to Stephen King’s popular novel which tells the story of the Overlook Hotel and the man brought to insanity over a long winter caretaking at the resort with his wife and son, is both brilliantly directed by Kubrick and acted by Jack Nicholson in the title role. From beginning to shocking end, The Shining continues to proudly hold the crown as the epic horror movie masterpiece and a remarkably vivid delight for the eyes, the ears, and the mind.



8. CHRISTINE



Another superb horror film based on a Stephen King novel, Christine is a dark and brooding highlight for director John Carpenter and a shockingly absorbing thriller. An unpopular young high schooler is obsessed with his vintage 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine, and progressively becomes more and more isolated from the rest of the world as his obsession slowly grows into deep derangement. Much to the fear of those closest to him, they all soon suspect that there is more to Christine than meets the eye. Apart from being an effective horror movie, Christine is also a slick and edgy teen thriller expertly directed by Carpenter and with the masterful writing of Stephen King as the backbone. It’s often evident in Christine that Quentin Tarantino borrows heavily on that style in “Death Proof” and almost equally matches each other on that note. However it’s in Christine’s undeniable respect of the genre that make it such a brilliantly portrayed horror classic.



7. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD



I’m often conflicted as to which version of Night of the Living Dead I prefer. The original low-budget production directed by George A. Romero is a greatly respected piece of work and I’ve learned to appreciate it more as time goes on, and especially in this day and age of horror films. In the early 90’s, horror movie make-up artist Tom Savini leant his talents to the direction of remaking the classic film and although it, understandably, is not as popular as the original, I still feel it’s one of the best horror remakes of all time. For those of you who have been living on the moon, Night of the Living Dead is the original living dead/zombie film to be seen by the world and is considered to be the definitive horror movie of all time. I can respect that, and although it’s certainly not my absolute favourite horror movie, both the original and the remake should be viewed by anyone who claims to be a fan of the genre.



6. THE EXORCIST



The one film that literally scares me shitless even to this day, The Exorcist remains the absolute most terrifying and disturbing horror movie of all time. A helpless young girl becomes possessed by what is believed to be a demon or perhaps Satan himself, and what follows is a supernatural battle when two priests fight for the girls life and for her heartbroken and helpless mother. Brilliantly acted, remarkably realistic and incredibly shocking, The Exorcist has a comfortable spot in the short list of quintessential horror films.


#2

5. EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN



There is a fine line between that of horror and comedy and most of the time when a scary movie attempts to lighten the situations with goofy humour it never quite serves the purpose it initially sought out. There are the rare films here and there, however, that manage to capture the essence of a horror film while integrating comedy in all the right spots, and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy more than accomplishes this feat. Both the original Evil Dead and it’s second sequel Army of Darkness are truly two of my favourite horror films but it’s in Evil Dead II that hits all the right notes - a sort of middle ground (literally) between the relentlessly gory first Evil Dead and the comic bookish Army of Darkness. Evil Dead II follows Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his perky girlfriend in an isolated cabin deep in the woods where they accidentally unleash a band of demons upon reading a passage from the Book of the Dead. What ensues is a long night of carnage, mayhem and hilarious one liners. The character Ash is what makes these movies as great as they are, and watching this poor bastard hack his way through demon after demon is a real pleasure to watch.



4. DAY OF THE DEAD



The third instalment in George A. Romero’s Living Dead series, Day of the Dead is a dark and brutal vision of a world consumed by a doom that is as thrilling as it is disturbing. The movie pulls no punches in what is arguably one of the most gruesome horror films to date - but much more than just your average horror film, Romero has created a powerfully poignant view of human sanity threatened by ones own struggle to maintain survival in a world beyond saving. With George A. Romero at the helm of this incredible survival horror film it’s hard to be left with any sort of appetite.



3. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT



For all the shit this movie has gotten in the past it sure did a lot RIGHT. Apart from being marketed brilliantly, it took a fantastic concept and created a real atmosphere of anxiety and terror. Even having said all that, The Blair Witch Project is in fact a very scary film if you’ve got the imagination that is required to successfully view it the way it was intended. The movie was highly praised upon it’s initial release but when people discovered it was all a hoax, animosity led to a bandwagon of parodies and resentment against what I believe to be one of the best and scariest films of recent years. Still, The Blair Witch Project receives a lot of attention and popularity if for anything but it’s creativity and ability to evoke the audiences imagination to something terrifying.



2. HALLOWEEN



John Carpenter’s monumental masterpiece “Halloween” is perhaps the most influential horror film of all time. Michael Myers, to me, is the all time, hands down, best horror villain and even though the film has spawned countless sequels, most of which I’ve enjoyed by the way, it’s in it’s handling as a horror film that make it such a success. John Carpenter relies little on blood and gore and more on setting up the scares through Michael’s psyche in his unmotivated acts of murder. Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance add a much needed humanity to the film while Michael Myers stirs things up in Haddonfield one fateful Halloween night. As a horror movie it’s a masterpiece and should be required viewing for any avid fan of the horror genre.


  1. DAWN OF THE DEAD



    Dawn of the Dead is a film that never has to defend it’s title as the greatest horror film ever made. An absolute masterpiece of bold social satire and gut wrenching horror. George A. Romero’s apocalyptic view of modern society victimized by a plague of flesh-eating corpses is a monumental achievement in horror filmmaking and the only one of it’s kind. With stellar performances and breathtaking suspense, Dawn of the Dead draws you in from it’s opening scene and holds you there until the very last credits. Much like Romero’s Day of the Dead, Dawn manages to terrify you while tapping into your brain and challenging you to revaluate the society of which we live in and how truly bad things would have to get before getting any better. While the film may seem dated to many, but like a fine wine, Dawn of the Dead is an artists showpiece and for a director at the pinnacle of his career. Dawn of the Dead will shock you, scare you, make you laugh, and shatter every horror movie that dares surpass it.





    Peace and longevity!

#3

I really didn’t want to have to write another one out, but thankfully I found a list of mine from another forum that I made several months ago. My feelings have changed a bit these days, but I think it’s a fairly decent list that gives an idea of generally where my tastes are.





10. In the Mouth of Madness

09. Exorcist III

08. Dawn of the Dead (Original)

07. Audition

06. Kairo (AKA: Pulse)

05. Tenebre

04. Re-Animator

03. The Beyond

02. Dead-Alive

  1. The Evil Dead

#4

Horror Movies are my favourite type of movies so this is a hard one. THIS IS IN ORDER.



1.Halloween (1978)

2.Screm Trilogy

3.Hostel and Hostel Part II

4.The Blair Witch Project

5.The Shining

6.American Psycho

7.Cabin Fever

8.Wolf Creek

9.The Thing

10.The Exorcist



Notable Mentions: A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Last House On The Left, Final Destination, Saw Franchise, The Devils Rejects, Psycho (1960), Cannibal Holocaust, 2001 Maniacs, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn Of The Dead.



Note: The only movie that ever scared me was The Blair Witch Project not even The Exorcist and I saw that when I was 8 years old and thought it was hillarious. I laughed my arse off.


#5

How can you rank the Scream trilogy as number 2? As usual with Hollywood movies, I guess n° 2 and 3 aren’t better than the 1st one to say the least. And Scream 1…GODDDD!!! How bad can a movie get? Cliché, epic fucking fail.



I posted my review on the Track your films topic but I really need to post more than 1 comment about how bad it was. Seriously I wanna slap everyone who took part in that movie on the face, they made one of the worst thing I ever witnessed. I hope they don’t go as far as saying it’s art or calling that an actual movie. Some TV ads are 1000010201201°I2 times better that this pile of fieces.





And the main actress?? Guess what???! w#r





…she’s not even pretty.


#6

Holy shit, dude, I’ve never seen anyone get so bent out of shape over a movie like that - especially one like Scream, which I think is a great horror movie. What’s your beef?! Did you work on the set of the film? Serve coffee to the cast and crew and get a lot of slack or something? Try to land a date with Neve Campbell and she laughed at you? Don’t be shy, tell us your story there, porkchop.


#7

[quote=“Sidewinder”]Holy shit, dude, I’ve never seen anyone get so bent out of shape over a movie like that - especially one like Scream, which I think is a great horror movie. What’s your beef?! Did you work on the set of the film? Serve coffee to the cast and crew and get a lot of slack or something? Try to land a date with Neve Campbell and she laughed at you? Don’t be shy, tell us your story there, porkchop.[/quote]

Technically, if we’re gonna be assholes here, Scream is a SATIRE of horror films. So, Rat’s point on cliches, while misguided, is true. Scream is full of cliches on purpose. Anyway, go back to being condescending.


#8

[quote=“RatQuiRit”]How can you rank the Scream trilogy as number 2? As usual with Hollywood movies, I guess n° 2 and 3 aren’t better than the 1st one to say the least. And Scream 1…GODDDD!!! How bad can a movie get? Cliché, epic fucking fail.



I posted my review on the Track your films topic but I really need to post more than 1 comment about how bad it was. Seriously I wanna slap everyone who took part in that movie on the face, they made one of the worst thing I ever witnessed. I hope they don’t go as far as saying it’s art or calling that an actual movie. Some TV ads are 1000010201201°I2 times better that this pile of fieces.





And the main actress?? Guess what???! w#r





…she’s not even pretty.[/quote]


You must be retarded. It had one of the most unexpected endings in the history of cinema and you call this movie an "epic fucking fail". You are WEIRD.

#9

What is wrong with you people. The top 10 horror films are when chicks are ******* and *******. Oh wait, those are w#r films. Wrong horror.


#10

Scream’s ending was predictable. I wanted to watch a real horror flick and be scared shitless (or even scared a little bit would have been better than laugh at those retards trying to chase an even more retarded girl) but I ended up watching that half baked satyre and I felt left down. Plus I was a bit drunk after a shitty party so there you go Sidewinder.


#11

[quote=“RatQuiRit”]Scream’s ending was predictable. I wanted to watch a real horror flick and be scared shitless (or even scared a little bit would have been better than laugh at those retards trying to chase an even more retarded girl) but I ended up watching that half baked satyre and I felt left down. Plus I was a bit drunk after a shitty party so there you go Sidewinder.[/quote]


Well if you wanna watch a really scary and I mean scary movie go watch The Blair Witch Project. It scared the shit outta me.

#12

[quote=“F.W.”]
Technically, if we’re gonna be assholes here, Scream is a SATIRE of horror films. So, Rat’s point on cliches, while misguided, is true. Scream is full of cliches on purpose. Anyway, go back to being condescending.[/quote]

Seconded. “Cliches” are a necessary ingredient for satire.



And sure, 14 year old, testosterone-fuelled adolescents also like Scream for entirely different reasons. But the same can be said about Pulp Fiction, GoodFellas and Fight Club.


#13

Why is it that everyone has to disagree with every single fucking thing I say?


#14

[quote=“Mr.Pink”]Why is it that everyone has to disagree with every single fucking thing I say?[/quote]

I’m disagreeing with you? I thought Scream being a satire and play on horror film conventions was a viewpoint you shared.


#15

[quote=“Angel”]


I’m disagreeing with you? I thought Scream being a satire and play on horror film conventions was a viewpoint you shared.[/quote]


Im not talking about you, im talking about everyone else. Probably because im white.

#16

[quote=“Mr.Pink”]
Im not talking about you, im talking about everyone else. Probably because im white.[/quote]

It’s because on this film forum, we encourage healthy debate about cinema and your arguments generally end in insult and condescension.



And i don’t mean any offense by this, but you are only young and, as such, your knowledge of cinema and filmic analysis is scanter than most of this forum’s veteran members. Which is fine, but it’s maybe why said debates go downhill so often.


#17

[quote=“Angel”]


And i don’t mean any offense by this, but you are only young and, as such, your knowledge of cinema and filmic analysis is scanter than most of this forum’s veteran members. Which is fine, but it’s maybe why said debates go downhill so often.[/quote]

Actually I probably know as much if not more about films than most of the people on this forum but its just that people think im too young. Like when I said IB sucked everyone said its because you’re too young but IB probably wont even win any Oscars.


#18

[quote=“Mr.Pink”]
Actually I probably know as much if not more about films than most of the people on this forum but its just that people think im too young. Like when I said IB sucked everyone said its because you’re too young but IB probably wont even win any Oscars.[/quote]

What I meant is that I am 22 (which is about the average age of most veteran members or frequent posters). That’s 8 more years of watching films from Iran to Armenia to Bosnia and Herzegovina to African nations to Malaysia. That’s what I meant. I’ve studied, in written form, everything from practical filmmaking technique to film analysis theory. And I like discussing cinema. And these are all things I take into account when judging the worth of a film. Precedence, technique, worldview, cultural worth, etc.



I’m not doubting that you’ve seen a lot of films (albeit probably a rather homogeneous selection), but the people you are generally debating (the most prolific posters) need more convincing than a statement such as “IB sucked”.



Boring, funny, scary, violent (to an extent) are all subjective terms.


#19

I finally watched this one (for the first time, sue me) and I think it was atrocious. The first was innovative, campy fun, a landmark classic. This one, not so much.


#20

Stephen King’s remake of IT is a good contender for this one.