My five favorite horror films of all time

    From the classics of the ‘60s to the recent films of this decade


    It’s just about Halloween again! In traditional Halloween spirit, here are my top five favorite horror films of all-time. Disclaimer: while “Se7en” is a phenomenal film, it is in no way a horror film. While “Alien” and “Aliens” both contain horror elements, they are more straight up sci-fi flicks. Finally, while “Jaws” is known as one of the scariest films of all-time, it isn’t really a horror film; it’s a thriller. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, here’s my list.

    1. “The Exorcist” (1973)

    Famously dubbed “the scariest movie of all-time,” “The Exorcist” is great for many more reasons than just that. Unlike most horror films of today (I’m looking at you “Ouija”), “The Exorcist” is brilliantly acted, most notably by playwright Jason Miller as Father Karras. Also, the film is well paced, has great characters, and a phenomenal score that is one of cinema’s best. The worst thing about the film: it lost Best Picture at the 1974 Academy Awards to “The Sting.” I think that would have been a lovely day to give the Academy voters an exorcism.

    1. “Psycho” (1960)

    I still consider this to be Hitchcock’s masterpiece, no matter what the film snobs think of “Vertigo.” “Psycho” has one of the greatest villains in cinema history with Norman Bates, played extremely well by Anthony Perkins. Perkins plays a nice, quiet, awkward man who might just have a few mommy issues. The film also contains a great score and several of some of the most famous scenes in film history. Unfortunately, this didn’t even get nominated for Best Picture. What a shame. I don’t think Norman’s mother would be too pleased with this news.

    1. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

    The film that launched the career of Captain Jack himself, Johnny Depp. While I prefer more subtle horror films that aren’t overly gory, “Nightmare” has the perfect amount of gore, managing to be both a cinematic bookmark as well as one of the coolest and most interesting horror films of all-time. While the characters are all good, it’s Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger that makes this film such a landmark. Krueger is funny, sinister, smart, and creepy and deserves to be in the same conversation as The Joker and Darth Vader for the greatest film villain of all time. No Oscars to show here; just a fan base of thousands, possibly millions, of devoted fans. Take that “Amadeus.”

    1. “Halloween” (1978)

    Believe it or not, this is actually the first horror film to ever “take place” on Halloween night. How appropriately titled. The iconic theme song by John Carpenter is one of my favorites of all-time and the film, believe it or not, is not very gory and has only a few f bombs. The thing that made this the most successful independent film at the time, though, is the acting. Jamie Lee Curtis is so likable as the main character Laurie Strode, Donald Pleasence is pretty much Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing here, except, in my opinion, he is better than Cushing, and the rest of the cast, including P.J. Soles and Charles Cyphers, are all really solid. Is “Halloween” the greatest slasher film of all-time? Why, as a matter of fact, it is. At least in my opinion.

    1. “The Blair Witch Project” (1999)

    My favorite horror film of all-time, the one I like more than all the rest, is actually “The Blair Witch Project.” A film it seems few have actually seen, “Blair Witch” reinvigorated the previously dead found footage genre, a genre that today is in no need of a revival, but more of a murder. If you enjoy “Paranormal Activity” or “Rec,” then you must see this film. The sinister and creepy feel of the film is elevated by the amateurish filmmaking, the autumn woods atmosphere, and the solid performances by Joshua Leonard, Michael Williams, and Heather Donahue. Few movies scare me, but to this day after seeing it a countless amount of times, this film still creeps me out. This now sits alongside “Halloween” as the films I must watch on Halloween.

    Honorable Mentions:

    “Sinister” (2012)

    “The Sixth Sense” (1999)

    “The Fly” (1986)

    The “Evil Dead” Series (1981-2013)

    “Saw” (2004)

    “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974)

    “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)

    “Frankenstein” (1931)

    Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you all enjoy the spookiest night of the year. I definitely know I will. And remember, on Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare, or, in my case, one movie reference that people actually will get.