I love Autumn with the leaves, the pumpkins and the decour and even the Halloween decorations. The leaves are beautiful now and the scenery around this neck of the woods in western NY is truly breathtaking and something to behold. I am not thrilled about the season that follows it. Rumor has it that it is supposed to make landfall this weekend and settle it for the next six months or so…it’s truly most unwelcome.
I have compiled a list of top 10 horror movies I’d like to share with you today. Maybe you’d seen some of them, maybe not. If you haven’t, they’re worth checking out. Let’s start with number 10 and work our way down to my number one.
10. The Exorcist This movie needs no introduction. 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The adaption is relatively faithful to the book, which itself has been commercially successful. The movie features performances from Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow, and (in voice only) Mercedes McCambridge. Director William Friedkin came on board given the acclaim of his earlier film, The French Connection. The film experienced a troubled production; even in the beginning, several prestigious film directors including Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Penn turned it down. Incidents such as the toddler son of one of the main actors being hit by a motorbike and hospitalized attracted claims that the set was ‘cursed’. If you’re going to watch it, watch the unrated version. That version is truly very scary and disturbing.
9. Wicked Little Things (also known as Zombies) is a 2006 zombie horror film directed by J. S. Cardone and stars Lori Heuring, Scout Taylor-Compton and Chloë Grace Moretz. It also claims to be based on true events. Karen, Sarah, and Emma Tunney are all moving to a small town in Pennsylvania where, unknown to them, in 1913, a horrid mine accident trapped dozens of children alive, underground. But there’s a problem. They’re still alive. The film debuted as one of the eight films that make up the horror movie festival 8 Films to Die For.
8. Ginger Snaps is a 2000 Canadian horror film directed by John Fawcett. The film focuses on two teenage sisters who have a fascination with death. The title is a pun on the cookie ginger snap. “Snap” (snapping) also relates to losing one’s self-control, or a quick, aggressive bite. During the film’s production, the Columbine High School massacre and the W. R. Myers High School shooting took place, causing public controversy over the film’s horror themes and the funding it received from Telefilm. It is the first entry in the Ginger Snaps series, followed by Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps Back.
7. Dead Birds(2004) A handful of thieves discover they have more to worry about than the law in this independent horror story, set during the Civil War. William (Henry Thomas) is the leader of a group of runaway Confederate soldiers who, with the help of an escaped slave and an Army nurse, stage a daring robbery at a bank holding a cache of rebel gold. The heist does not go smoothly, and William’s associates soon fall into in-fighting as they head toward Mexico with their stolen fortune. Needing a place to rest for the night, the criminals set up camp in a mansion overlooking an abandoned plantation, but it soon becomes obvious that the old house is not as empty as they thought, as a handful of angry ghosts make their presence known while William and his cohorts fight over the gold. Also featuring Isaiah Washington, Patrick Fugit, and Michael Shannon, Dead Birds was the first feature film from director Alex Turner.
6. Cabin Fever is a 2002 American black comedy horror film directed by Eli Roth and starring Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello and Giuseppe Andrews. It was produced by Lauren Moews & Evan Astrowsky and executive produced by Susan Jackson. The film was the directing début of Roth, who co-wrote the film with Randy Pearlstein. The story follows a group of college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus. The inspiration for the film’s story came from a real life experience during a trip to Iceland when Roth developed a skin infection.
5. High Tension (French: Haute tension, released in the UK as Switchblade Romance) is a 2003 French psychological suspense and slasher film that was later released in 2004 in the UK and 2005 in the US and Canada. Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, encounter loads of trouble (and blood) while on vacation at Alexa’s parents’ country home when a mysterious killer invades their quiet getaway. High Tension was picked up by independent distributor Lions Gate Entertainment following a successful screening at the Midnight Madness section of the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Originally rated NC-17 in the U.S. for strong graphic violence, a few graphic shots were cut from the final version of the U.S. release in order to secure an R rating (the original NC-17 cut was released in some theaters), and the film was dubbed for commercial appeal. However, the original cut (referred to as an unrated version) is available on Blu-ray and DVD. High Tension has been associated with the New French Extremity movement.
4. Martyrs (2008) This ultra-intense Canadian-French shocker benefits from discovering its horrors cold. A prologue depicts the escape of a child from an apparent house of enslavement, and one thinks of notorious real-life cases of people keeping children locked away in basements. But writer-director Pascal Laugier has a larger idea in mind, when the story skips ahead 15 years. The kidnapped girl, now played by Mylene Jampanoi, is bent on a violent rampage of her own; her lifelong friend and minder (Morjana Alaoui) comes upon a bloody scene too late. The film then introduces a series of secret chambers begins to unfold in the narrative, and you might just feel your head spinning and your stomach lurching.
3. Halloween is a 2007 American slasher film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie. The film is a remake/reimagining of the 1978 horror film of the same name; the first in the rebooted Halloween film series and the ninth installment of the Halloween franchise. The film stars Tyler Mane as the adult Michael Myers, Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Sam Loomis, and Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode; Daeg Faerch portrays a ten-year-old Michael Myers. Rob Zombie’s “reimagining” follows the premise of John Carpenter’s original, with Michael Myers stalking Laurie Strode and her friends on Halloween night. Zombie’s film goes deeper into the character’s psyche, trying to answer the question of what drove him to kill people, where in Carpenter’s original film Michael did not have an explicit reason for killing.
2. Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film début. The film was the first installment in what has become the Halloween franchise. The plot is set in the fictional Midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween night in 1963, a six-year-old Michael Myers dressed in a clown costume murders his older sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Fifteen years later, Michael Myers, age 21, escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks Laurie Strode and her friends. Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael’s intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent him from killing.
And my top 10 favorite movie of all time is…
- Silent Hill is a 2006 Canadian-French psychological horror film directed by Christophe Gans and written by Roger Avary, Christophe Gans and Nicolas Boukhrief. The film is an adaptation of Konami’s survival horror video game series Silent Hill. The film, particularly its emotional, religious, and aesthetic content, includes elements from the first, second, third and fourth games in the series. It stars Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Jodelle Ferland, Alice Krige, Sean Bean and Deborah Kara Unger. The film follows Rose, who takes her adopted daughter Sharon to the town of Silent Hill, for which Sharon cries while sleepwalking. Arriving at Silent Hill, Rose is involved in a car accident and awakens to find Sharon missing; while searching for her daughter, she fights a local cult while uncovering Sharon’s connection to the town’s past.
Are you a horror movie fan? Have you seen any of those movies? What are you favorite horror movies? I’d love some recommendations of some new and different ones to watch. Please leave your answers below.