Posts Tagged ‘jaws’


Top 5 Horror Movies, ever

September 29, 2011

Top five horror movies. Ever.

October in BC –the morning chill that lasts all day, the mist covered lakes, the yellow leaves blown into gutters and left to rot. October is horror movie season and it climaxes on the best day of the year, the only public holiday that actually retains any sense of true feeling- Halloween.
Forget poisoned candy and razor-blade laced apples–that’s kiddie stuff, motherly paranoia. Halloween should be about real terror– Spine tingling, dry-mouthed fear that hits so hard and fast it paralyzes every muscle in your body except your eyelids and your sphincter.
It needn’t be on Halloween night, although that is obviously the best, but October is the month to watch horror flicks so tuck your feet under the blanket and make sure you’ve got clean ginch in the dryer, here’s the top five creepiest, soul-chillingest and most pant-filling horror movies out there.

1. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin directed what still holds up as perhaps the freakiest movie ever and he did it with a child monster. Sure, children are all a bit creepy, and the recent trend of pale, dark-haired child-ghosts in the Japanese films like The Grudge exemplifies that perfectly. But Freidkin, working from the novel by William Peter Blatty, gives us the creepiest kind of kid, one possessed by the devil himself. Child actress Linda Blair pukes, growls, contorts, and jabs herself so horrorificly that even the hardest viewer will squirm like a 4-year-old that has to piss. When this film came out it made viewers faint, puke and run from the theatre in terror. You can’t beat that. The Exorcist, you never get used to it.

2. Jaws (1975) Many will argue that it isn’t really a horror film but sit on a surfboard at dusk, dangling your legs and staring at the darkening ocean and try to tell me Jaws didn’t affect your psyche. While it may not be quite as chock full of terror as some others on this list, Steven Speilberg’s “fish movie” put real fear into people and kept it there. More because of the masterful soundtrack than the animatronic shark, Jaws inflicts a deep, heavy fearful nervousness that never really goes away. I know dudes that won’t jump in a lake because of this film. That’s real horror.

3. Psycho (1960) Before Psycho scary movies always involved threats from outer space, the undead, radioactice creatures, werewolves, giant animals and all sorts of out-there concepts. Alfred Hitchcock’s most notorious film, Psycho signals the first time horror manifested itself inside what appeared to be a normal guy, Norman Bates. Hitchcock brought the evil inside a human being, inside any one of us, and it scared the crap out of people. Loosely based on real-life serial killer/cannibal/amateur seamstress Ed Geins, Psycho is a true landmark in horror (and cinematic) history. Another movie where the soundtrack plays an integral role, Bernard Herrmann’s piercing strings send shivers down your spine. Awesomely, Psycho also introduced the shower-scene death, a classic horror convention.

4. The Shining (1980) Director Stanley Kubrick perfected what Psycho started with Jack Nicholson as the regular guy who transforms into a raving, axe-wielding maniac. Adapted from the Steven King novel of the same name, The Shining is Kubrick’s best movie– simple, yet terrifying. Kubrick utilizes the then-new steadicam technology perfectly within his setting, remember those long tracking shots of the kid riding his bigwheel or the frantic followcams in the hedge maze? Add in creepy twin girls, a bath tub scene and some elevators full of blood and you have a true classic horror movie. Besides, who knew the word “murder” would be way scarier spelled backwards.

5. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter popularized the slasher flick with this masterpiece about Michael Myers, a knife-wielding savage that escapes from a psychiatric prison and goes back to his old neighbourhood to terrorize a group of teens, including Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. Carpenter, who also composed the masterful score (see any patterns here? Sound and music is an essential part of horror) was careful not to reveal too much of his villain early on and Halloween is the perfect example of how what you can’t see, or can barely see, is often more frightening than what you can. This film has spawned countless imitations, sequels, and even a Rob Zombie remake but, as usual, the original still packs more punch.

Runners up are Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street (1980, 1984) which created villains so terrifying and vile they became household names and are responsible for decades of children waking up in the middle of the night sweating and crying for mommy. Same with Aliens or Leatherface in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The George Romero zombie movies, particularly Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are also true classics, recent Japanese horror imports like The Ring definitely have their moments, and that night vision scene at the end of Silence of the Lambs is top-notch scary.
Blair Witch wasn’t the greatest but it opened new directions for the genre and the recent trend of torture porn like the Saw franchise and some of the wacky French stuff have their fans but these are more based on gore and squeamishness than actual horror and neither are as gross/awesome as Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, where an eyeball gets impaled on a wooden splinter and then a zombie fights a shark.
Happy October, just make sure to check the back seat when you get in the car.