I can’t believe it’s Halloween and nobody posted this one. Come on guys. Get in the spirit of things. (No pun intended)
Now I’ll say for the record that most horror films suck. The suckage as a percentage of this genre is probably higher than any other genre. And that’s saying a lot. Still there are some genuine creepy and scary films out there.
In no particular order.
The Shining That last slow pan to the picture from the 1920’s creeps me out every time. What’s more interesting is that you’re never sure if it’s all in his mind or not. I know Stephen King hated this version (in preference to a nearly unwatchable made for TV miniseries) I believe it’s unarguable that this is not only a great film but one of the few good adaptation of a King horror novel. (His non-horror books have done better) I think Kubrick’s film really got the creep factor down as well as working on multiple levels. Plus the opening shot where they are driving by a lake is filmed near my cottage up by Glacier National Park. (Note that the exteriors of the hotel is in Colorado)
Alien Yes, it’s basically Halloween in space. But it works and is surprisingly scary.
The Thing Wow. Paranoia down pat plus some great special effects – especially considering the budget and time. What a fantastic film.
Halloween Yes, it seems dated since it’s basically been remade in various ways hundreds of times. But if you can ignore that (which definitely does affect the enjoyment of the film) it’s a very well made scary movie.
The Ring Not that scary although it creeped the heck out of my wife. But it does a nice slow burn. The kind of movie that doesn’t hit you on the head with gore but sets an atmosphere that builds over time.
What are your favorites? I know I’m neglecting some, like Psycho. That’s not because they are bad films. They aren’t. But I just don’t find Psycho or Jaws particularly scary. Likewise while some were freaked out by Silence of the Lambs it just isn’t a scary movie for me. And other great film, Frailty, from a few years back has some scary creepy moments but ultimately isn’t a scary movie. Ditto with Seven.