YES! We’ve made it. After spending the month counting down my 100 favourite horror films, we’ve finally reached the top 10.
#10 – Scream (1996)
I loved Scream when I first saw it as a kid and I still love it now. It’s smart, funny, tense and a really great film. Even without the satire and black humour, it is just a great slasher film. I don’t think Neve Campbell is a very good actress, but Sidney is one of the few decent female leads purely for the fact that she’s not there to fit a female quota. The opening scene is fantastic, the mask is creepy, the end is great. It’s just great.
#9 – 28 Days Later… (2002)
One of the actual scary ‘zombie’ films (yes, I know Boyle doesn’t calling it a zombie film and it’s technically a ‘virus’ film, but whatever), because a rage virus is not only somewhat plausible and human, but is instant. You get none of that faffing about with other films where someone’s bitten and it takes 3 days for them to turn. These ones are going to change straight away. The sense of urgency and dread is scattered throughout and it never feels like a zombie-slasher, but people trying to live in this infected and lawless world.
#8 – Braindead (1992)
I don’t think I’ll ever see a film as gory as Braindead. Or a film as unstoppable. It doesn’t hold back, it goes all out with craziness and gore. It’s hilarious and amazing.
#7 – The Evil Dead (1981)
When I was about 7, I begged my dad to watch The Evil Dead to which he eventually gave in. I remember feeling deeply uncomfortable throughout, but once it got to the pencil in the ankle scene, I burst out in tears and we had to stop the film. It took me 10 years to actually to watch the film in its entirety and though it doesn’t make me cry anymore, it is still really scary. If this was a list of the scariest horror films, this would be #1 by far. The camerawork, the fog, the effects and especially the sounds are unrelenting and really fecking terrifying.
#6 – Pet Sematary (1989)
As a kid this film scared the balls out of me, but I’d watch it over and over regardless. Zelda is one of the scariest things ever and still gives me the creeps (as do all anorexics, ugh!). Despite the melodrama, it is also quite emotionally devastating. Miko Hughes’ performance is the best child performance I’ve ever seen and his death scene is surprisingly sad. Pascow is also really cool and I had a weird thing for him when I was like 7/8, but I was a strange kid so we’ll ignore it.
#5 – Shaun of the Dead (2004)
I saw a poster for this one day and it said ‘A romantic comedy. With zombies’. Having never heard of Simon Pegg or the film before, that was all I needed to see to know that I NEEDED to see this film. And it didn’t disappoint. An excellent mix of comedy, horror and genuine emotion.
#4 – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Ten years ago, after the first scene my dad and I were cackling with laughter and he said something along the lines of ‘I love this movie already’. By the end of it, it was already my new favourite film. Although I don’t like the Dr Satan stuff, everything that comes before that is perfect. The characters are amazing, all the actors putting all their energy into the roles and giving them life. The soundtrack is amazing as well (and was the last CD I ever bought). I could watch that ‘I Remember You’ scene a million times and never get sick of it (and I’ve probably seen it a million times by now). I was also sort of in love with Otis at the time which may explain the number of rewatches…
#3 – An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Best werewolf film hands down. The transformation scene still has some of the best effects I’ve ever seen (if not, THE best). Naughton is a likable lead, though Agutter gets on my nerves.
#2 – Dawn of the Dead (1978)
And the best zombie film ever made. Although the effects are really crappy, the slow pace and constant feel of dread elevates it above and beyond average. The lead is pretty lifeless, but the rest of the cast are interesting and lively. Whereas some zombie films have a sense of hope, this has none and I love that.
#1 – From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Of all my favourite films as a child, this one is the one that feels most fresh every time I rewatch it. It never lets me down. I LOVE that it’s not set in a horror universe – it starts out as a crime film with Tarantino and Clooney on the run and then there are vampires. But it’s set in our world where the vampires don’t exist, but they don’t have time to discuss it, they just need to survive and escape. The transition is sudden, yet smooth and the action goes all out. The direction is amazing, the acting is amazing, the cast is amazing, the effects are amazing, the sets are amazing, the music is amazing. It’s just an amazing and perfect film.
So, there you have it – my 100 favourite horror films. With a mix of the films that I saw as a child and are responsible for my love of film and horror and films seen in recent years that prove that horror has not lost its edge (and older films that I’ve recently seen for the first time that prove they still stand the test of time), this list should give a good idea of what I look for in a film.by