With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to countdown the top 5 horror movies of all time. This list was put together by yours truly and I am beyond qualified since I have seen just about every horror movie ever made! This is including the classics from the 1930s!
1. The Omen (1976)
This is by far one of the best horror movies ever made because it did not rely on a monster or invincible psycho killer, but a solidly written musical score and details from the Bible to scare its audience. The story is about Ambassador Thorn (Greogory Peck), his wife (Lee Remick), and their adopted son Damien (Harvey Spencer Stevens). Strange occurrences and unexplainable deaths begin to pile up shortly after the 5th birthday of their son Damien and it’s not long before Ambassador Thorn realizes he is in grave danger and raising the son of the devil!
What makes this movie so compelling is that none of the deaths are so far-fetched (with the exception of one character – you will know it when you see it) that it couldn’t be explained away as a freak accident! Add in a very creepy and original Oscar-winning score (Avi Santani) and you have a horror movie classic right before your very eyes!
P.S. Please do not waste your time watching the 2006 inferior remake…otherwise you will think I’ve given you bad advice!
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
How can a movie that introduced the world to over-the-top Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) not make the list? For those of you who’ve never seen the movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street is about a child-molester who was killed by the parents of his victims in the fictional town of Springwood. Freddy comes back to haunt (and ultimately kill) the children of those who murdered him and essentially wreaks havoc on Elm Street for the next decade.
Now I won’t lie to you, the special effects are dreadful compared to what we are used to seeing today. But what makes this one of the top 5 horror movies of all time is that this story was original for its time and managed to use something as common as dreaming as a way to scare its audience. We all gotta sleep, right? Who the hell would want to do that with the original sadistic sandman waiting for you?! The answer: no one!
3. Halloween (1978)
This movie was made on a $325,000 budget over the course of 21 days and yet it has gone on to be one of the best horror movies (and musical score) of all time. The story introduces the world to Michael Myers, who apparently is evil for no apparent reason and likes to stalk babysitters. He originally was institutionalized for killing his sister and her boyfriend when he was a young child and decides to blow that popsicle stand and return to his hometown of Haddonfield to go “trick or treating” (i.e., on a murderous rampage). Laurie Strode and her band of misfit friends never stood a chance!
This is one of my favorite horror movies because the killer really has no motivation for being evil. It’s really scary when people are just insane for the sake of being insane. We do eventually find out why he returned to Haddonfield, but I don’t want to give that away here. Just sit back and enjoy the chaos as one of horror movie’s original bad guys silently stalks the streets leaving bodies in his wake!
4. The Strangers (2008)
The Strangers is one of the best horror movies made in the last 10 years. Its premise is simple: a couple spending the night alone at home are stalked by a bunch of psychos and are essentially trapped in their house! It all starts with a doorbell ring and goes from creepy to downright horrifying in a matter of minutes.
What I love about this movie is that there are no elaborate sets and lots of storyline. The characters in this movie are just plain and simply terrorized until the stunning conclusion of the film. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire movie and that’s hard to do when you’ve just about seen it all!
5. The Exorcist (1973)
Finishing off my list of best horror movies of all time is The Exorcist. This is one of the first movies to effectively use a child as the portrayer or pure evil and it worked brilliantly! The story follows poor, little Regan (Linda Blair) as she fights a demon that has taken hold of her. It starts off small enough where she begins to exhibit small character changes that concern her parents enough to think she’s psychically sick or mentally ill. Little do they know this child will become a floating, green-pea soup spitting fiend!
This movie is a classic and if you don’t like this…you may not be a real fan of the genre!