I am not really a big fan of the horror genre, I am more of a sci if watching, indie film loving kinda girl. My favourite director is Wes Anderson and my idea of heaven is curling up and watching Captain Zissou hunt down a Jaguar Shark, whilst drinking a cup of Picard’s favourite Earl Grey tea.
That being said though, I do occasionally delve into the world where I spend my time hiding behind my cushion/pillow/coat (pending on my viewing location…the coat would be the cinema, in case you are wondering). There are a lot of great films in the horror genre, and it is a shame not to sample them – I just don’t tend to watch them a lot as I need to watch copious amounts of Disney or anime to make myself feel better afterwards, which can make for a long, long night!
My first time watching Nightmare on Elm Street pushed me on an Appleseed and Akira bender and I was tired for about two days. Good film, but seriously those scraping sounds… Thank you Wes Craven for doing a job well done and scaring the heck out of me. Anyway, below are my 5 favourite horror movies.
Susie McBeth’s Top 5 Horror Movies
5. Long Time Dead
Long Time Dead is a British horror movie starring Lukas Haas and Joe Absolom that I brought home one night from the video store I used to work at. I thought it looked tame – but actually Djinn’s (which is the otherworldly force in question) and Ouija boards are pretty freakin terrifying. This was the debut film of director Marcus Adams and it really gets the job done. From the first person view shots of the Ouija board to the general creepy vibe that permeates the movie. This one was enjoyably scary.
4. The Grudge
I know, I know, it is not cool to pick the American remake over the Japanese original (Ju-on: The Grudge) – but I have to, as in all honesty I preferred it, the lovely Sarah Michelle Gellar starring in it didn’t hurt either.
What really got to me about this film was just how scary those children were and also the idea of something like this happening when you are a fish out of water in a country that is not your own – Plus the film had me shrieking, and hiding behind a pillow like nobodies business!
3. The Haunting (1963 version)
Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways.
Please note that this is not the horrifying in its own way (because it was so damn awful) remake starring Catherine Zeta Jones, Liam Neeson and Owen Wilson. No this is the original version starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom, which was seriously scary.
From start to finish there is a sense of menace that gets under your skin and doesn’t leave until the film is over and you have had a few days to stop thinking about it. The leads decent into madness is truly unnerving and the ghosts and effects are surprisingly well done for an older horror movie. This one is in a class of its own, without the hamminess of some of the Hammer Horrors – this one is all creepy, all the time.
2. A Tale of Two Sisters
Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother’s obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery.
This is the kind of Japanese horror that I love. It is full of shocks and twists, menace and macabre scenes. I actually don’t want to say to much about this film as it really just has to be watched, and if you have watched it – you will have a fairly good idea why it has made the list. Check it out!
A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off teenagers, and as the body count begins rising, one girl and her friends find themselves contemplating the “Rules” of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.
Humour, killing, jumpy shocks, a sinister voice and a scary ghostface mask all make for a good film.
Directed by Wes Craven with a script from Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson was a match made in golden horror heaven. The opening sequence alone that gave Drew Barrymore the much needed comeback the world of E.T. lovers were aching for, was in itself perfection, but what is really great, is that the rest of the film lived up to the quality and standard set from there.
Neve Campbell’s teary yet tough Sidney was a much needed and appreciated heroine. Plus the horrendous yet watchable Gale Weathers (marvelously played by Courteney Cox), the reporter with a moral conscience that is so far off the map she needs a magnifying glass to find it, was a fantastic addition. Her scrupulous character really gave the film a sarcastic base layer that the story just pinged off, like perfectly popping corn.
Plus Ghostface was pretty handy with that knife…which as you know, is pretty much what you need in a slasher movie.
I love the script for this film, the nods to pop culture, the characterizations and the fun of it. The twist at the end of the film was also well done, and the scares and deaths were all perfectly played.
What horror movies make your list?