Making lists and compiling tops of movies is one of my pleasures. In fact, when I started this film related blog it was one of the things that got me into Website building and Blogging.
When I decided to dedicate the month of October to Horror Films I had one major list I was taking my picks on: TSPDT’s 1000 Greatest Films. But searching a little further made me realise that many films listed on this reference of mine are praised in many tops of serious medias.
My sources were IMDb’s Top 50 Horror Movies, the Top 500 Horror Films Website, AFI’s 100 Thrills, Time Out Magazine, IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, Martin Scorsese’s 11 best Horror movies, and the good old TSPDT list.
Bubbling under the Top 10 are great films that deserve at least a mention here: F. W. Murnau’s Expressionist masterpiece Nosferatu (1922), James Cameron’s overly overrated Aliens, James Whale better than the original Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Tobe Hooper’s grand guignol independent film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Tod Browning’s standard for all the vampire movies to ever have been made Dracula (1931).
It goes like that;
10. (tie) The Thing
John Carpenter’s frightening remake of Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World achieve one of the hardest task possible. It is actually a bit better than the original. Carpenter’s film earned a distinction of cult film. The frozen sets and the horrible monster are some of the few reasons why it is regarded as a great film.
10. (tie) Rosemary’s Baby
Being a fan of Roman Polanski’s subtle mise en scène and his inimitable talent at storytelling I was more than pleased to see this one break through. However, I personally think that Repulsion and the beautiful young Catherine DeNeuve beat Mia Farrow’s little baby by a thin advance.
9. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Having been in a class on German Expressionism at the university, I remember our passionate teacher designating Robert Wiene’s masterpiece as the one and only total and true Expressionist film to exist. Everything from the actors, the decors, the sets were a creation of artist of the Artistic movement.
8. The Silence of the Lambs
This is the most recent film on this list, and I can say that I am quite surprised by its presence. Not that it’s not a good film, but I don’t often see it in lists or tops when the genre is put under the microscope.
7. King Kong
The original film, the one that Quentin Tarantino in his Inglourious Basterds reads as a metaphor of the black people that were brought to North American and “used” as slaves. It is a movie that aged really well and it is a whole lot of fun. And if it has a level of reading as deep as Tarantino states well it is food for the brain too. So if you haven’t I suggest you take a look at it.
6. The Evil Dead
Speaking of cult film, Sam Raimi’s first directorial effort is a very inspiring movie that encouraged many young filmmakers to go out and direct their first features with their friends and learn about the media. Just for the opening sequence this is the ultimate Fall film.
Who said that a good fright can’t be during the summer when you are having a good time at the beach with your friends and family. Now the menace, just like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, is present in daytime and from a trivial source: the beach. A great thrill and if I continue to collect films like that I’m gonna need a bigger blog.
4. The Shining
Believe me, I love Stanley Kubrick’s films. And The Shining might become to be my favourite of all his films. With the recent release of the documentary Room 237, which I would love to see by the way, my interest in this Kubrick is always very strong especially at this time of the year. To me it’s the perfect November film for the first snow and it’s following Eyes Wide Shot is a great Christmas film.
With Prometheus released this past summer the franchise has been brought back to the light by many of its admirers. Personally, I’ve haven’t seen Prometheus, but of the first four films I only liked the original and David Fincher’s effort at a average movie in the series. Alien is a great Horror meets Sci-Fi movie.
2. The Exorcist
Often cited as the most scaring film of all time, William Friedkin’s tale of faith and puberty has shocked many people when it came out. Not being my cup of tea doesn’t take off the daring qualities that the adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s story was.
With a huge advance Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of tension and game changing montage continues to scare people. He took us in the most vulnerable place we could be: our shower and came with a big knife just when we had nothing to defend ourselves: completely naked. Thank you Mr. Hitchcock I have to watch my back every time I take a shower. This is a pretty classy number one result but the numbers can’t lie.