My Favorite Horror Moviesby garyvmiller | created - 22 May 2013 | updated - 2 days ago | Public
This is a list of my all-time favorite horror films. I have very Lengthy reviews written for many of these movies. Updated Frequently, New Reviews added Frequently, Rankings shift Frequently.
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1. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake.
Votes: 40,328 | Gross: $32.98M
2. Halloween (1978)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.
Votes: 210,679 | Gross: $47.00M
3. Halloween II (1981)
R | 92 min | Horror
While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.
Votes: 68,508 | Gross: $25.53M
Many things in this sequel I actually prefer to the original. The dark hospital with its mostly empty hallways makes for a great setting. Seeing Myers on the security monitors when no one else does. Just seeing MUCH more of Michael Myers in general I like. They took some cues from Friday the 13th by upping the violence and gore and showing us more Michael. He’s almost always lurking in the background in this one, and it ups the creep factor. I think the score in this one I may possibly even like better than the original, it’s the same score but with more synth. One shot that always stood out from my childhood is in this movie, it’s the scene where Michael is in pursuit of Laurie and is slowly coming down the stairs after her. The way it’s shot looking up the stairs, his creepy walk, and of course that perfect mask, still chilling. This is a Phenomenal horror sequel on par with the original.
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Unrated | 101 min | Comedy, Horror
A radio host is victimized by the cannibal family as a former Texas Marshall hunts them.
Votes: 25,351 | Gross: $8.03M
Maybe it has something to do with being the sequel to the One of the Greatest horror movie of all time. Maybe the fact that it’s set in 1986 the glorious mid 80’s My Era!! Maybe it has something to do with Cannon films. I’m not exactly sure what it is but everything about this movie is perfection and it is once again my favorite horror movie for the now 3rd year in a row here in 2018. Below is a review I wrote back in 2016.
After two solid months of digesting 50 of my all-time favorite horror movies, this movie without a doubt was the most enjoyable. So even though I previously thought it was blasphemous to rate anything above Halloween, I'm doing it!!! As of 2016 anyway this movie is my new #1..
This movie is an absolute Madhouse!! It's dark, twisted, gory, funny, scary it literally has it all! It's shot beautifully, it's so colorful, the colors seem to just jump off the screen. That's a huge contrast to the grittiness and the seeming lack of color in the original film.
The Score is simply amazing, all the sets are amazing. The near opening scene on the bridge where the two yuppie frat boys encounter Leatherface is Horror Cinema GOLD for my money. The radio station where Stretch and LG encounter Chop-Top and Leatherface in the flesh for the first time is unbelievable. The station has a certain creepiness to it, I love the shots inside and outside the station, The color jumping off the screen that I mentioned earlier is never more evident then in the scenes in the radio station, the use of colors in the station is simply perfect.
Dennis Hooper in all his cocaine fueled glory is the perfect advisory for the Sawyer family. If you've seen this movie you're fully aware of how psycho he is in it. “I’m The Lord of the Harvest”
The ending scenes in the Sawyer lair, which is a sight that must be seen for my money are about as good as it gets, again in these scenes they use color so well, with all the lights, Christmas lights strung all over, lamps you name it the whole place is very well lit while also seeming dark and sinister through all the tunnels. There is so much to this underground lair, from dead bodies to lights, so much macabre perfectly spewed all over and everywhere nothing is wasted EVERY piece adds something, a maze of macabre let’s call it. This movie is absolutely PERFECT.
5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
R | 83 min | Horror
Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths And must survive the terrors of leatherface and his family.
Votes: 123,764 | Gross: $30.86M
6. Alien (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Votes: 730,358 | Gross: $78.90M
8. Poltergeist (1982)
PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller
A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.
Votes: 131,928 | Gross: $76.61M
This movie is the Definition of a 10 outa 10!
It’s absolutely flawless. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll scare you, it’ll even make you cry. It goes without saying that Steven Spielberg is a Genius. It also goes without saying that even though Tobe Hooper gets a directors credit here, this movie is a Spielberg. No one quite captures the family aspect and the truest of film magic quite like Spielberg. It’s unbelievable, the emotions that his films stir. I saw this when it was first released when I was barely 7 years old so it’s RICH with Nostalgia for me.
The Freelings are a typical happy American family from the 80’s living in the Burbs. When I was younger I identified with the son Robbie. We had the same toys, posters, bedroom, I went thru the terror from his point of view. Now as an adult with two children (one boy and one girl) I see it thru the eyes of the parents. I’m also the father of a blonde haired blue eyed 5 year old little girl.
The special effects still hold up and look amazing over 35 years later. The score is chilling at times and incredibly touching at others. The Clown, the hallway scene, the mirror/bathroom face-ripping, the pool full of skeletons, the evil tree, the tornado. This movie is a first rate top notch roller coaster ride. A horror film with heart, emotion and drama.
9. Creepshow (1982)
R | 120 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
An anthology which tells five terrifying tales based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s.
Votes: 38,750 | Gross: $21.03M
The score, the Actors, the effects, the stories! Dark and twisted. Evil human Monsters are featured as protagonists in each chapter many getting there just do at the hands of real life Monsters.
Ranking the chapters would be something like this.
First, the wraparound story the prologue/epilogue is GREAT!! Anything featuring Tom Atkins and Tom Savini would almost have to be right?!! 11 outa 10 stars!!
1. Something to Tide you over Hands down the best chapter. Neilson and Danson have a great dynamic as adversaries here. Leslie Neilson blows me away with his portrayal of such a sinister and evil character. The score in this one and the story are both flawless. 10 outa 10!!
2. They're creeping up on you E.G MARSHALL!!!! He slays the role as Upson Pratt. This character is pure evil!!! His portrayal of this character makes this my second favorite chapter in this series, it's one my love of grows for each and every time I watch it. Trapped in his supposed "Germ Proof" apartment cockroaches take down this evil man!! Its a little unnerving and a bit claustrophobic. 10 outa 10!
3. Fathers Day This was my favorite chapter back in the day when I was a young horror fan. I'm sure it was my favorite because of the excellent make up/creature design of the father who rises from the grave as a reanimated corpse/zombie. Stars a young Ed Harris doing one of the greatest dances of all time!!! 9 outa 10.
4. The Crate Another that was one of my favorites as a child and I think that was primarily because of how cool the creature in the crate looked and still does look. 6 outa 10.
5. The lonesome death of Jordy Verrill While it's entertaining to see Stephen King playing the goofy hillbilly. “Meteor Shit” will always be on my mind when thinking of this one, goes DARK by the end. 6 outa 10.
I think this movie is a masterpiece and one of the 5 greatest horror films of all time!!
10. The Shining (1980)
R | 146 min | Drama, Horror
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.
Votes: 804,664 | Gross: $44.02M
11. Deliverance (1972)
R | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's dammed and turned into a lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a canoeing trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.
“Machines are gonna fail and the system's gonna fail...then, survival. Who has the ability to survive? That's the game - survive.”
Survival Horror. Backwoods Horror. Hillbilly Horror. Man against Nature. The best outdoor adventure film of all time. 4 men confronted by natures wrath, a story of survival. Set in the beautiful backwoods of Georgia, with its forests, mountains, and wild rivers.
This movie is so Authentic. Using real locals for the secondary characters. The Hillbillies (or the locals) look the part because they actually are. The way the look, the way they talk, their faces, all of that would not have been as well achieved with hired Hollywood actors.. Our big 4 doing there own stunts, many having brushes with death. Ned Beatty almost drowning, Burt Reynolds really getting injured, Jon Voight really scaling that 200 foot Rock Wall Cliff!!! They just don’t (can’t) make movies today like they did back then, you won’t find a film this genuine or authentic made today.
Beautiful Cinematography throughout, the river, the mountains, the woods, the sounds of nature and the sounds of the river are captured just flawlessly, flawless direction.
Perfect cast, Burt Reynolds was never better. Ned Beatty, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox all simply amazing!!!
Even the less intense scenes are flawless and amazing. The first night scene where they all camp, just barely off the river, it’s so dark and you just know they’re really out there in the thick. The scene where Lewis thinks he hears something and heads up in to the darkness, in to the woods only to double back and end up behind his friends for a nice little scare on them, that scene is just done flawlessly, the camaraderie between the men and just that feeling of them against nature, out there battling is just amazing. You see how they share a laugh and a drink but there is still an element of the unknown, all is just a bit unsettling, they are out there with Nature. And maybe something else is out there too, watching them and waiting. It’s just 1 scene from a film filled with amazing scenes.
The movies dialogue is well written and captivating. You feel like you are out there with these 4 men. All very different but all very interesting.
“Dueling Banjos”. That kid is off the charts Nightmare fuel. The scene with the kid again only shortly after where they pass underneath him while he stands above on a very man made rope/log bridge, the way he just stares at them blankly, with dead eyes, Ronny Cox (Drew) waving at him and smiling ear to ear but gets zero emotion returned from that weird kid, just a blank slate, you just know he’s “off”.. The most famous “Squeal like a pig” Rape Scene...... Ed (Jon Voigt) climbing that giant Cliff!! All the scenes on that beautiful yet violent river!!
Was Drew shot? Was that the right man Ed killed? Open ended questions add to the mystery. You decide.
12. Jaws (1975)
PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.
Votes: 518,361 | Gross: $260.00M
13. Clownhouse (1989)
R | 81 min | Horror
Just before Halloween, three young brothers alone in a big house are menaced by three escaped mental patients who have murdered some traveling circus clowns and taken their identities.
15. Halloween II (2009)
R | 105 min | Horror
Laurie Strode struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael's deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister.
Votes: 45,593 | Gross: $33.39M
This movie is Dirty, Raw, Violent, Grimy, Gritty, Dark and extremely effective. The opening 25 minutes at the Hospital are nearly flawless. Laurie’s post Halloween 1 carnage and the violent kills and gore that Myers inflicts in the Hospital are mean and nasty. The movie doesn’t really feel like your typical Halloween franchise film. It’s more the story of a ruthless killer, and those he traumatized 2 years prior. Myers being so evil, sinister and scary really carry this narrative. Tyler Mane is an amazing Michael Myers. All his kills are vicious, bloody and gory and they carry this movie in my opinion. Brad Dourif is once again playing Sheriff Lee Brackett and is once again great. The Directors Cut is the superior version of this film, Zombie even states that it is his vision. The Cornfield scene, The Rabbit In Red Lounge scene, many, MANY memorable kills! At its core this is a 70’s style hardcore horror film.
16. Friday the 13th (2009)
R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions.
Votes: 90,922 | Gross: $65.00M
17. Candyman (1992)
R | 99 min | Horror, Thriller
The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth.
Votes: 60,965 | Gross: $25.79M
TONY TODD & Virginia Madsen
A Haunting yet Beautiful Score
The terrifying Cabrini–Green
This film just has such a vibe, I just love it, so many layers to it!! I just can’t get enough of it.
18. The Howling (1981)
R | 91 min | Horror
After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.
Votes: 28,638 | Gross: $17.99M
The Best looking Werewolves of all time!!
The Werewolf form of the character Eddie Quist is simply a horrifying brutal evil Werewolf, it looks amazing!! They’ve yet to top that Werewolf 36 years later! It’s tall and menacing yet looks like a real Wolf. And it’s EVIL. The scene with Terry is the highlight of the movie for me.
This movie though released in ‘81 gives what feels like some call backs to the early days of the Werewolf genre. Showing the original Wolfman on the tv at one point. Exploring the folklore of werewolves in the bookstore with the fantastic as always Dick Miller as the bookkeeper/shop owner. And of course last but not least the fantastic Score! It feels very much a throwback using the Organ. It completes the feel and vibe and lets you know you’re enjoying a great MONSTER MOVIE!
19. Fright Night (1985)
R | 106 min | Horror, Thriller
A teenager discovers that the newcomer in his neighborhood is a vampire, so he turns to an actor in a television horror show for help dealing with the undead.
Votes: 54,942 | Gross: $24.92M
Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
And All Through the House
Not Rated | 22 min | Comedy, Crime, Fantasy
A greedy woman makes the mistake of murdering her husband while an escaped mental patient dressed in a Santa Claus outfit is on the loose.
Christmas Horror!! The Christmas music on the radio, the heavy snow fall outside, the Water Well covered in heavy snow and an Ax on the ground. This Film captures the Christmas vibe perfect. On the radio it is announced that a deranged maniac has escaped from the asylum, dressed like Santa and killing woman in the area. That Maniac played by Larry Drake is the scariest on screen Santa EVER! “Naughty or Nice”
21. Nightmares (1983)
R | 99 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Anthology of four horror tales with a supernatural twist based on urban legends.
Votes: 2,694 | Gross: $6.67M
Not nearly as well-known an anthology as say Creepshow but just as Masterful a work of art this film is.
Four chapters, but no wraparound story (like Creepshow) so I'll get right into ranking and rating the chapters. Three of the four chapters are all pretty much interchangeable which is why I have listed them all as either 1A, 1B or 1C. It's nearly impossible for me to choose between the three but here are my gun to head ratings.
1A. "Terror in Topanga" This chapter is a little Slasher and a little Urban Legend. The overall feel and vibe of this one is why I would put it at the top of the list. Something about being out and alone with a killer lurking on the loose in a small quiet very isolated town and you are almost out of gas makes for real terror. Also throw in the fact that the killer is in the backseat of your car! 10 outa 10 stars!
1B. "The Bishop of Battle" Definitely the most interesting and original idea of the four stories. The Bishop is an iconic horror entity! Stars a young Emilio Estevez. I mean being attacked by video game villains in real life while alone in an empty arcade after having broken in to the mall to meet your obsessive game addiction, what a cool concept!! More often than not this would be number one on my list in this anthology but while writing this review I place it just ever so slightly behind "Terror in Topanga" Another 10 outa 10 stars!!
1C. "Night of the Rat" Great family paring here. It's set in the Burbs with a seemingly very normal everyday family. Think poltergeist but with one child as opposed to three. And no Ghosts just a giant RAT!!! Richard Masur as the father, Veronica Cartwright as the mother and Bridgette Andersen as the daughter are all perfectly cast and are a very believable family. Like pretty much all the chapters in this anthology this one has amazing atmosphere is amazingly shot and works on all levels. At times this one will also be at the top of this list, as I said at the open three of the four in this Anthology are interchangeable. No Surprise another 10 outa 10 stars!
2. "The Benediction" Something about where this one is shot on that barren isolated dusty and dirty landscape while the truck/Satan stalking scenes are happening make for the perfect atmosphere! This chapter sets the tone early when The Father is feeding a baby deer which is quickly then bitten by a rattlesnake which promptly then kills the baby deer. The angry father throws the snake into the sky to which it disappears into thin air representing that it was in fact the Devil! Think Duel but with strong biblical undertones. The highlight is when the evil truck literally emerges from beneath the earth from "HELL"!!! 8.5 outa 10 stars.
22. Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)
R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.
Votes: 53,287 | Gross: $21.72M
For a very long time (about 20 years) this was my favorite Friday the 13th film. But during a recent Marathon of all the Friday films I can now say this one is no longer #1 on my list.
This chapter still is the creepiest in the series. At this point in the series they hadn't yet adopted the style of showing Jason on camera much, he was still a mystery, hiding in the shadows. Which is creepy. But I actually prefer seeing Jason more. That’s probably because Part 4 was the first one I ever saw and I love that style. But make no mistake about it, this is Jason at maybe his most terrifying.
I do though prefer the much more physically imposing Jason that we begin to see in the next chapter. Parts 3 and 4 really nail Jason, that’s the look I love, that’s where for me he became “The Icon”.
The scene where the Sheriff sees Jason running across the street, I can’t tell you how many times I ran my VHS tape back to rewatch that scene back in my youth. That and the scene where we see Jason and then the Full Moon then Ginny and then Jason again in pursuit. “Paul there’s someone in this room” Jason then popping up after wrestling with Paul!! So many memorable scenes.
The Sack Jason wears, it’s scarier looking than the Hockey mask, it just is.
Amy Steel (Ginny) is one of the best final girls in the series, her and Jason’s cat and mouse is quite good.
This is STILL one of the best horror movies of all time. And one of my all time favorites, just no longer my favorite in the series.
23. Carrie (1976)
R | 98 min | Horror
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.
Votes: 155,669 | Gross: $33.80M
27. Child's Play (1988)
R | 87 min | Horror, Thriller
A single mother gives her son a much sought-after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.
Votes: 80,821 | Gross: $33.24M
Filmed in Chicago this movie has a very cold tone thanks to the bitter real Chicago Winter which is a perfect Atmosphere. I love the Brewster Building Apartment Complex. All the outside shots appear to be shot in some rough areas which adds an edge and a bit of fear for young Andy as he wonders alone thru the sketchy parts of the city with Chucky. The ground covered in snow again furthing that great Atmosphere I spoke op.
The opening 45 minutes of this movie are GOLD, there is something about Chucky before he is actually seen coming to life, his blank smiling face, his blue eyes, it’s like we know something is up but we’ve not actually seen it yet, it has a creepiness similar to that of a ventriloquist dummy. The opening scene in the Brewster Building with the Aunt Maggie, Andy and Chucky is one of the best.
Andy telling Maggie that “Chucky wants to watch the 9 o’clock news” to which Maggie scoffs at, we see Andy brushing but then we start with the Chucky POV shots. The TV which was off blares back on in one of a handful of great opening jump scares. Chucky is super creepy just sitting on the couch facing the TV and the News.
Chucky then begins to terrorize Aunt Maggie, a sound here and there but Maggie keeps finding nothing, in an instant though Maggie turns obviously laying her eyes on Chucky standing on the counter, she sees him but we do not which is effective because we are next treated to the Good Guy hammer blasting here right in the face sending her out the window to fall 9 stories to her death!! It’s an amazing shot and opening kill for the now iconic Chucky!!!
Chris Sarandon will always be Jerry Dandridge (Fright Night) to me but is a nice addition here as Detective Mike Norris, the movie is basically Chucky, Andy, Mike and Karen (played by Katherine Hicks) Katherine is very good as Andy’s Mom.
Another standout scene to me is the Chucky reveal when Karen goes to throw away the Good Guy box and the Batteries fall out. She forces him to talk after threatening to throw him in the fire. Chucky comes to life and let’s it fly in all his filthy foul mouthed glory! The score in this scene and in the entire movie is very fitting and effective.
I dawned on me a bit after this 2017 viewing that Chucky is a little bit like Freddy, dropping iconic one liners and being just a total smart A$$! Personally I’ll take Chucky over Freddy all day long. The scene in the Elevator is hysterical. The old woman “Ugly doll”, Chucky replies “F**k You” ... Sign me up for some Charles Lee Ray! This is a movie I feel like I watched all the time when I was 13-15 the movie was released when I was 13 and I was already heavily obsessed with Horror so I remember having it on tape and watching it over and over, I couldn’t get enough and still can’t. I just finished watching it on the new Shout 2 Disc special edition Blu-ray and it’s just as good now as it was then! 30 years later it’s still one of my CLASSICS!!!
28. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
PG | 101 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Four horror and science fiction segments, directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling's landmark television series.
Votes: 30,861 | Gross: $29.50M
29. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
R | 87 min | Horror, Thriller
Six years after Michael Myers last terrorized Haddonfield, he returns there in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, who has escaped with her newborn child, for which Michael and a mysterious cult have sinister plans.
Votes: 28,495 | Gross: $15.12M
The opening, starting at the Sanitarium, then the empty Bus station and finally the barn is quite a scary start and a great tone setter. I like the radio show call in angle. Everyone in the town is listening to this “shock jock”. This was ‘95 after all, before the days of smart phones and the Internet. Myers is scary here and pretty ruthless. The barn kill is very mean spirited. The Strode family who is featured here is interesting. Paul Rudd playing the neighbor and surviver of the original film Tommy Doyle I also enjoy. Bradford English playing John Strode is such a PR**K. He’s definitely a highlight, the love to hate him guy. He probably suffers the most graphic death of the entire series! The kills are all violent and pretty graphic, as I said Myers is very upset in this one. His mask is also much better than it was in parts 4 & 5, the best mask since the Original 2 films. This movie has great Halloween time Atmosphere, which elevates it. The Myers house (this go round) I like, its large and makes for a scary setting. This one even now in 2018 made me jump a few times. This would be the final performance for the great Donald Pleasence as he would pass 6 months before the film was even released. You can tell he’s at the end but he’s just as charming as ever, very weathered here, R.I.P. The Final chase in the Sanitarium is the closest we ever get in the series to Myers running, he’s definitely speed walking. I saw this one in the theater back in 1995 so I have nostalgia with it, and I definitely prefer the “Theatrical Cut” over the much heralded “Producers Cut”. The Theatrical is a much more violent movie. I believe this was the last main stream slasher before Scream, everyone thing post Scream is pretty much a Scream rip off. Or HEAVILY influenced to mimic that “Scream” self referential style. So it would be awhile after this one before Slashers of this Ilk came back. That’s why I always cherished this entry, it was like the last of an Era, for a bit.
30. The Hitcher (1986)
R | 97 min | Thriller
A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.
Votes: 40,705 | Gross: $5.84M
32. High Tension (2003)
R | 91 min | Horror
Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.
Votes: 64,002 | Gross: $3.68M
Wow just WOW. This movie is unreal! A very fitting title, “High Tension” its quite accurate. This movie gets WILD about 20 minutes in and just doesn’t let up. The opening kills of the family at the Farm House are some of the most beautifully done I’ve seen. HARDCORE, BLOODY AND BRUTAL!!! The father being decapitated, the mothers throat slashed (best throat slash I’ve ever seen on film ) killing the family dog and even killing a child, HOLY COW!!! Our killer Le Tueur played by actor Philippe Nahon is perfect, he’s creepy, scary, nasty, dirty, sinister and sadistic!! There are many nods to other horror classics here. I saw nods to Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining and even the original Maniac.
This movies the real deal. It reminds me of the golden era of horror, the 1970’s and 1980’s. Alexandre Aja (The Director) clearly knows his way around this genre. Italian makeup maestro Giannetto de Rossi (ZOMBI 2, THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, etc.) does some of the best work of his illustrious career here.
Wide open spaces are used to generate foreboding from the outset (beautiful cinematography by Maxime Alexandre), and his use of music and ambient sound is also masterful. Once the violence erupts Aja cuts dialogue down to an absolute minimum and strikes a level of intensity that few horror films have achieved EVER. The pace remains frantic throughout. The jolt that is the twist ending is less jarring on a second viewing, it actually adds even more layers. This film is a Masterpiece in Horror Cinema!!
33. Friday the 13th: Part III (1982)
R | 95 min | Horror, Thriller
Having revived from his wounds, Jason Voorhees takes refuge at a cabin near Crystal Lake. As a group of co-eds arrive for their vacation, Jason continues his killing spree.
Votes: 42,961 | Gross: $36.69M
Other than possibly Part 4 "The Final Chapter" this is probably the chapter that I have watched the most frequently over the years. For a very long time Part 2 and 3 were my favorites. And arguably outside of the original Halloween my two favorite horror movies ever! However in recent years the final chapter (part 4) has become my favorite of the series. I think because part 4 was the first Friday the 13th movie that I ever watched when I was young. But in all honesty parts 2, 3 and 4 are all amazing to me!
This chapter picks right up where part two left off, and has the usual opening Friday the 13th kills. But this Jason is a much different Jason than the one we last saw at the end of part two. This is the Richard Brooker Jason and he is a force. He's a HULK and one of the two best men to ever play Jason, The other of course being Ted White who is my favorite Jason of all time.
The cast here in this chapter features some of the worst acting if you’re comparing the first four films, but a few of the characters I actually like quite a bit. The annoying Shelley character I like quite a bit he's annoying in the film because of the character but he adds something to the movie. Him being the "jokester" and faking his own death multiple times actually adds a is he dead element to when he is actually killed. And of course good old Shelley is the one who just happened to bring along a hockey mask for Jason to claim, iconic status cemented.
The whole movie seems to be almost shot in sort of a dreamlike filter, very glossy, now that may have had something to do with the fact that it was shot in 3-D and I am now watching it in 2-D.
I like how in this chapter you keep seeing Jason in the distance many times without his mask (as he didn't have it yet) it kind of gives that feeling that he's lurking around watching and waiting. We see a few shots of him early from just outside the barn or inside the barn and in the opening of the movie he's wandering around outside of the first two victims home in plain sight. And then of course once he gets his iconic hockey mask then he is on screen pretty much the remainder of the movie, the first scene where he walks out with the mask on is epic stuff!!
Now don't get me wrong I enjoy the first movie and it's "who done it" angle, I mean we don't see the killer or know who the killer is until the end.. Then when we find out its Mother, she's only on screen for 13 minutes total, yup 13 minutes wonder if that's clearly just a coincidence. That works for part one as that is what they wanted.
Now in part two we see Jason much more then we saw his mother in part one but we still don't see him nearly as often as we do in this chapter. And again being that Richard Brooker is such an awesome Jason watching this intimidating hulking force coming after the victims makes this movie for me.
At the end of the day this is one of the best chapters, and one of the best Jason's in this entire series!
34. Just Before Dawn (1981)
R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller
Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by Forest Ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the area.... See full summary »
Great Opening Score, the whistling then the music kicking in. The Walking Dead over 30 years later would totally steal the Whistling and use it for their bad guys called The Saviors. Totally ripped, whistling in the dark empty Forrest.
The opening scene is chilling. The movie immediately establishes the we are DEEP in the woods. It’s as great a location as I’ve ever seen in a horror film. We open with an overhead shot deep in the woods of two men in an old abandoned Church. One is having a drink and giving a fun little jokey sermon. When he looks up he notices the hole in the roof and a very large creepy looking man staring down at him with a very sinister look on his face, it’s absolutely terrifying!! The opening kill here is equally terrifying.
The movie proceeds to take us even deeper in the woods. This one is near the top of the charts for a backwoods horror film.
35. Wrong Turn (I) (2003)
R | 84 min | Horror
Six people find themselves trapped in the woods of West Virginia, hunted down by "cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding."
Votes: 102,780 | Gross: $15.42M
36. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
R | 77 min | Horror
A high school student's slumber party turns terrifying as an escaped mental patient with a drill decides to crash the evening.
The opening two kills start us off with a bang. Snatching the Phone Women in broad daylight, pulling her in to her own van, running a giant power drill thru her head and then tossing her in to the garbage all with students and teachers close by is a bit unique. Scream 2 kinda ripped it off with Randy’s death IMO. Then Linda having to run back in to the school for a book after classes have dismissed and being locked inside the school with the killer. There is something super creepy about the thought of being alone locked inside a school unable to get out and being stalked by a maniac. Some impressive shots and cinematography in this scene over looking the entire gym as Linda tries to find an unlocked door. All this suspense is magnificently built before the killer even arrives but you know he’s soon to be lurking. I can remember having to run back in to the school a few times after hours on my own as well and there is a sense of eeriness there because it’s a place that is at one moment so full of people and then suddenly completely empty and quiet. I like the shots of the Phone van placed outside on the street, we first notice it when the boys walk by with their bikes at night, it lets you know the killer is near. “As the famous Jim Jones once said shut up and drink your Kool-Aid” lol classic!! Its lines like this that show this films comedic side. It tows the line near flawlessly between humor, scares, creepiness and sometimes it’s even a bit sleazy, we see plenty of nudity which is great but it’s not done exploitive which is also a bit refreshing. Lots of bumps and bangs in and outside the houses provide plenty of tension. The adult neighbor Mr. Content who’s supposed to be looking in on the girls is used to provide several effective head fakes that is until he gets the DRILL. Valerie and Courtney are believable as sisters and their banter feels very authentic. The film also very effectively continues to create atmosphere throughout. “Did you close the garage” “Did you lock the door” “Oh my god the lights went out” they use shadows well to let us know the killer is near. They keep putting the girls in harms way which is great for the tension. All the characters are so likable, even the spying boys. I swear they are like Archie and Jughead. The pizza guy scene LOL!! “What’s the damage” “Six, so far” this scene is hilarious!! But then the movie will flip and show no mercy. The lovable boys get brutally butchered, which is actually pretty awesome! In the final act we are treated to a Trio of Final girls here as 3 make it to the end and all get there shots in on our Maniac! 3 FINAL GIRLS! That just doesn’t happen. The entire score for this movie was done with a Casio synthesizer and let me just say it sounds amazing and like nothing I’ve heard before or after!! I own the Scream (Shout) Factory Blu-ray and I highly recommend it to fans of this film.
37. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
R | 91 min | Horror
After experiencing what they think are a series of "break-ins", a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.
Votes: 94,371 | Gross: $84.75M
My favorite modern day horror franchise. I love this movie, the first two for my money are instant classics. The filming of it with the use of the home security system and a hand held camera is great.. This movie doesn't give you that sick to much motion feel that a lot of footage films do. In this movie its done perfect and it adds an actual feeling of realism to what you are watching. This sequel is superior to the original in many ways. This movie is a prequel that combines all the players from the original, and by the films end everything has come full circle and we are basically back at the end of the original movie. This is done seamlessly and to perfection. The movie more than delivers on scares throughout, its one of the scariest movies I've ever had the privilege of watching in a theater .
38. Devil (2010)
PG-13 | 80 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them.
Votes: 123,491 | Gross: $33.58M
Another one from M Knight, this is another that falls into the watch all the time category. I never tire of this one, its got great atmosphere and keeps you on edge and guessing all the way. The reveal at the end is creepy stuff.
39. Friday the 13th (1980)
R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.
Votes: 108,739 | Gross: $39.75M
40. Never Hike Alone (2017)
54 min | Horror, Thriller
A hiker's survival skills are put to the test, when he stumbles upon the remains of an old abandoned camp and discovers its long dark secrets.
BRAVO!! A fan made film that is far superior to most of the Horror put out these days by major studios. This is a love letter to all us F13 fans who are tirelessly waiting on a new Friday film. This movie is much better than many of the actual Friday the 13th chapters. It’s well acted, has a great location, is excellently shot, has a great score and a fantastic looking Jason! And the ending as a Friday fan boy I was SMILING EAR TO EAR!!! I couldn’t help it, it was a very unexpected OMG MOMENT!! Thom FREAKING Matthews, back playing Tommy!!!! Unbelievable!!!!! I would’ve NEVER expected that!! Perfect cherry on the top. Excellent work, Hollywood sign this guy up for the next Friday film, PLEASE!!!!!
41. War of the Worlds (2005)
PG-13 | 116 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival in this sci-fi action film.
Votes: 393,481 | Gross: $234.28M
42. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
R | 79 min | Horror, Thriller
Little Billy witness his parents getting killed by Santa after being warned by his senile grandpa that Santa punishes those who are naughty. Now Billy is 18, and out of the orphanage, and he has just become Santa, himself.
Votes: 12,279 | Gross: $2.49M
43. Terror Train (1980)
R | 97 min | Horror, Thriller
Three years after a prank that went terribly awry, the six college students responsible are targeted by a masked killer at a New Year's Eve party aboard a moving train.
The Train, A Dark Night set in the bitter Cold Winter, the many costumes. These 3 elements set a tone and give this film amazing atmosphere!! The costumes allow our killer to move amongst everyone, undetected, Chamaeleon like, but we know exactly where he is and who he is, this provides some GREAT tension. This train screeching forward, in the middle of the NIGHT, during a COLD snowy winter provide both a sense of extreme isolation and almost claustrophobia, entrapment even, there simply is no way to escape. It's a tossup for me as to which mask is the creepiest the Groucho mask is pretty good but I think the old man mask at the end is probably the coup de grace.
44. Saw (2004)
R | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller