Well it’s that time of year when all the vampires, ghost and zombie Smurfs come out to play, check out my top 10 horror films of all time to get you ready for Halloween. Click on the posters for some scary trailers, happy reading …………….
10. Dawn of the Dead
Director:George A.Romero Starring:David Emge, Ken Foree and Scott H. Reiniger
Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills! The people it kills get up and kill!
If only every horror movie was made with such determination as this one. A zombie classic, Dawn of the Dead succeeds in every aspect. It has enough violence and gore to gratify any horror fan, and then some! The weird thing is that the gore in this movie isn’t unnecessary, it suits the purpose. In this sequel to the classic Night of the Living Dead, the zombies have taken over the land and have spread to immense numbers. A group of people escape the carnage in a helicopter, and take refuge in a huge mall where they can live off the supplies inside for years. They have to fend off the zombies trying to get in, as well as a sadistic group of bikers who want to loot the place. Great film, lots of gory action and flesh-munching. Make sure to check out the newly remastered director’s cut for terrific picture and sound, and extra footage.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Vera Miles
I think I must have one of those faces you can’t help believing
When Psycho came out, the horror industry of movies was merely monsters, zombies, werewolves, and vampires. So when Psycho hit screens, the audience was finally introduced to psychological thrillers. It hit with such a huge bang that the audience was shocked…with fear and suspense. Psycho created what the thriller genre is today. It sliced through clique monster movies and changed it forever. Still today when you look at Norman Bates and his extremely freaky look when you see him watching the inspector’s car sinking into the swamp sends chills down my spine. And when Marion Crane met her bloody demise in the middle of the movie, Hitchcock proved to everyone that this movie is different, different from every other movie you have ever seen. The cinematography in this movie is fabulous, the music is marvelously freaky, the acting is magnificent, the story is exceptional, and everything else about the movie is great. Too bad the sequels and the new remake was complete trash.
Director: Bryan Bertino Starring:Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler and Gemma Ward
You’re gonna die
I can’t recall the last time I went to the theater and saw a horror film that actually scared me, that is, until I saw “The Strangers”. I was a wreck during this movie – the suspense is wound like a tight wire and it just pulls more and more until you feel like it’s going to snap right at you – and it does. The story follows a troubled couple who are attacked by three masked intruders with evil intentions at their remote vacation house. This movie has a sort of “old school” feel to it, and relies on small things to scare you (rather than buckets of blood and gore), but it does it successfully. Everything from the sound design, the cinematography, and the appearances of the strangers themselves are beyond chilling, and the reactions of the characters are realistic. Bottom line is, if you like horror movies (especially if you’re a fan of old school horror such as Carpenter’s “Halloween” and the like) you’ll probably find this to be an enjoyable throwback to a genre that is losing its integrity.
Director: Robert Rodriguez Starring:Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin and Bruce Willis
I’m gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge
Planet Terror is a homage to the trash that used to play at drive-ins back in the 70s, particularly, it’s a zombie film. Being a lover of zombies I was when I sat down to watch it in 2007. The movie delivers everything a fan of the horror-comedy-action genre could want, over the top action, over the top gore, and at times over the top acting. We follow a few main characters, all of which are enigmatic and end up having connections that no one would have seen coming, which reminded me of the low budget films that used to come out back in the day, where the director would try to weave in so many subplots the whole thing becomes silly (and a lot of fun)…The movie is heavy on gore and there’s a ton of beautiful women, therefore its a visually pleasing film to watch, especially with the premature aging effect they use to make the movie seem old.Another factor I was excited about was Micheal Biehn, I haven’t seen him in an action oriented roll in a while and it was good to see him back in action. The plot is fairly simple, a zombie outbreak in which the survivors are the cure for the zombie infection and have to survive.Its a really fun movie, and is the better half of Grindhouse.I recommend it highly to anyone who likes zombies…
6. 28 Days Later
Director: Danny Boyle Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris and Christopher Eccleston
REPENT/THE END IS/EXTREMELY/FUCKING/NIGH
28 Days Later is simply put, a brilliant film. It holds so many idea and thoughts in itself about the post-apocalyptic world, and about human survival and human extinction. It has some really amazing cinematography and direction. Danny Boyle directs the film with passion, with skill, and with will. I think this is very much a director’s film. The different settings are very amazing. The writing is great, it allows us into these characters’ lives. The film is very scary at what points it is trying to make. It is scarier in a realism way, in a way that only haunts us in our nightmares. The acting is great. Cillian Murphy proves to be a leading man. The film is also very bleak and dark, not just because it is a horror film, but also just in general. It is disturbing in a way that other horror films are not. It is realistic, and very hard to watch at times. Overall though, 28 Days Later is one of the best horror films ever made, simply put. It might just be Danny Boyle’s greatest film.
5.From Dusk Till Dawn
Director: Robert Rodriguez Starring:Harvey Keitel, George Clooney and Juliette Lewis
All right, vampire killers… let’s kill some fucking vampires
George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino are the Gecko brothers, two bad, bad men on their way to Mexico. Along the way they pick up a preacher played by Harvey Keitel and his two kids. They’re supposed to meet a partner at a bar called The Titty Twister, and once they get there madness ensues. From there it takes a turn that many seem to find infuriating but I personally find highly entertaining. It’s humming along like a typical Tarantino picture, and then- BOOM. Out of nowhere, it becomes all too clear that these two bad, bad men are not by a longshot the baddest in *this* bar. All of this can- and *will*, given the right attitude on the part of the viewers- read as a loving high-five to 70s zombie flicks, a homage to the campy fun of those movies. The tough guy dialog continues throughout, the gore level is astounding, and we see via Kate- the preacher’s daughter, played by Juliette Lewis- that sometimes a p***ed-off virgin with a crossbow can more than hold her own. On top of that, it has a hella-cool biker-bar soundtrack and Salma Hayek in a bikini. What’s not to like?
4.Let The Right One In
Director: Tomas Alfredson Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson and Per Ragnar
Thank you again for another evening steeped in merriment and friendship
Tomas Alfredson’s “Let The Right One In” is an original, dark, twisted and gory horror fantasy, one of those special films that are hard to classify. Not merely an exercise in style, his film is a brilliant piece of amoral storytelling, and even if some characters’ actions defy any logic or common sense (I don’t wanna spoil any moment here, but you’ll know what I mean when the first revenge moment of the story happens), they seem to be there just to remind you that this is just a fantasy tale (but not for the little ones!). Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a 12 year-old bullied boy that befriends and develops an innocent crush on his new neighbor, Eli (Lina Leandersson), who happens to be a vampire. What comes next is a twisted tale of revenge and pubescent love, made with visual flair (the swimming pool scene is already classic), creative directing and impressive performances by the young pair of protagonists.Hollywood, of course, didn’t waste time and remake for those who are too lazy to read subtitles. Ignore the remake and enjoy the original – you’re in for a treat!
Director: John Carpenter Starring:Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and Keith David
I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!
John Carpenter shows how much he loves the 1951 original by giving it the utmost respect that he possibly could, the only difference here is that Carpenter chooses to stick to the paranoiac core of John W Campbell Jr’s short story. The secret to this version’s success is the unbearable tension that builds up as the group of men become suspicious of each other, the strain of literally waiting to be taken over takes a fearful hold. Carpenter manages to deliver the shocks as well as the mystery needed to keep the film heading in the right direction. Be it an horrific scene or a “what is in the shadow” sequence, the film to me is a perfect fusion of horror and sci-fi. The dialogue is spot on for a group of men trying to keep it together under duress, and Ennio Morricone’s score is a wonderful eerie pulse beat that further racks up the sense of doom and paranoia seaming thru the film. The cast are superb, a solid assembly of actors led by Carpenter fave Kurt Russell, whilst the effects used give the right amount of impact needed. But most of all it’s the ending that is the crowning glory, an ending that doesn’t pander to the norm and is incredibly fitting for what has gone on before it.
Director: Williams Friedkin Starring:Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow and Linda Blair
Ego te absolvo in nomine Patris, et Filiii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
There are not too many movies which have the power to achieve the unique status of Classic after it’s initial showing in theaters. This is one of them. This film, ” The Exorcist ” written by Peter Blatty, enter the hearts, minds and souls in 1973 with so many opinions, reviews and predictions that nearly every media outlet was flooded with them. Upon entering the modern theater in that time and place, gave everyone a unexplained sense of foreboding. Potential audiences were warned not to see the film alone. The story is based on the mounting and unexplained hysteria of the time called manifested phenomenon. In simpler terms it was called ‘possession.’ The idea that a beast, demon or satanic monster could posses the body of an innocent victim sent shivers through the spines of believers. In this story we have the Vatican calling on an expert in demonology, one, Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow). He is assisted by local priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller) who originally investigates the strange happenings. The investigation attracts the eye of the local police who send Lt. Kinderman (Lee J. Cobb) to acquire more details. But it is the young actress Linda Blair playing Regan who brings such bestial reality to her character, that in one scene I was terrified at what she could do with her head. I was forever affected and believed. The film garners many accolades and praises that it is unlikely that the film is anything but a true demonic classic.
Director: John Carpenter Starring:Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tony Moran
It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare
My personal favorite horror film. From the lengthy first tracking shot to the final story twist, this is Carpenter’s masterpiece.Halloween night 1963, little Michael Meyers murders his older sister. All-hallows-eve 1978, Michael escapes from Smith’s Grove sanitarium. Halloween night, Michael has come home to murder again.The story is perfectly simple, Michael stalks and kills babysitters. No bells or whistles, just the basics. It’s Carpenter’s almost over-powering atmosphere of dread that generates the tension. Like any great horror film, events are telegraphed long in advance, yet they still seem to occur at random, never allowing the audience to the chance to second guess the film.The dark lighting, the long steady-cam shots, and (most importantly) that damn eerie music create the most claustrophobic and uncomfortable scenes I have yet to see in film. There is a body count, but compared to the slew of slashers after this it’s fairly small. That and most of the murders are nearly bloodless. The fear is not in death, but in not knowing.The acting is roundelay good. PJ Soles provides much of the films limited humor (and one of the best deaths), Nancy Loomis turns in a decent performance and then there is the young (at the time) Jamie Leigh-Curtis. Her performance at first seems shy and un-assured, yet you quickly realize that it is perfect for the character, who is herself shy and un-assured and not at all prepared for what she is to face. And of course there is the perfectly cast Donald Pleasence as the determined (perhaps a little unstable) Dr. Sam Loomis. Rest in peace Mr. Pleasence.If the film has a detrimental flaw, it would be the passage of time. Since the release of this film so many years ago nearly countless clones, copies, rip-offs, and imitators have come along and stolen (usually badly) the films best bits until nearly everything about it has become familiar. Combined with the changes for audience expectations and appetites, one finds much of the films raw power diluted. To truly appreciate it in this day and age, it must be viewed as it once was, as something unique.Never the less, I have no reservation with highly recommending this film to anyone looking for a good, scary time. Highest Regards.