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My Top 10 Horror Movies of All-Time
Welcome to my list of my top 10 horror movies so far, as things might change as more and more horror films are released. This was a tough list, as like any list of this sort is to make. There are many, many horror films that i enjoyed quite a bit which I would have loved to add to this list, but I had to dwindle it down to my personal top 10. Here we go.
10. Session 9 (2001)
Directed by Brad Anderson, Session 9 is a psychological-horror film that unlike many movies of today, does not rely on blood or gore to make itself effective as a frightening horror film. The movie follows a group of asbestos cleaners who are contracted to clean up an old, abandoned mental asylum. Mike, one of the cleaners, finds an old box with 9 session tapes detailing the case of a women with Dissociative Identity Disorder. He becomes more and more engrossed each time he listens. At the same time, tension begins to grow within the group. As the film progresses it becomes more and more unsettling, focusing on its themes as well as its atmosphere to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. Session 9 sticks with you long after you finished watching it.
Directed by Brad Anderson. Written by Stephen Gevedon & Brad Anderson.
Starring David Caruso, Peter Mullan, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, and Brandon Sexton III
Rated R. Runtime: 100 Minutes
9. It Follows (2014)
The hype surrounding It Follows continued to grow and grow as it's release day got closer. It was bittersweet. On one hand, the continued hype made the movie seem that much more promising, while on the other hand, it felt eerily similar to what happened with The Babadook. The Babadook, while not a bad film, was over-hyped and touted as the best horror film in the past decade when it clearly was not. Thankfully, It Follows lived up to all the hype and critical praise it received. It Follows was filled to the brim with suspense, all while weaving an interesting, unique story.
Written and Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.
Rated R. Runtime: 100 Minutes
8. REC/REC2 (2007/2009)
I grouped these two together since they are both from the same series, as well both being equally as good, at least to me. Directed by Paco Plaza, REC follows a reporter and her camera man as they document the workings of a local fire department. After being called to an incident at a local apartment building, the reporter and the camera man tag along with the firemen to the building and then inside. After the building is sealed off the reporter, the firemen, a police officer, and the rest of buildings tenets are forced to face off against an unknown virus that is infecting everyone around them. REC is still one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. REC 2 also directed by Paco Plaza takes place mere moments after the first one ends. An official from the Ministry of Health and team of Special Operations officers enter into the building to find out what exactly was going on in there, and to also gain control of the situation before it spirals even further out of their grasps. Around the same time a group of teenagers decide to sneak into the apartment building to capture on camera what was happening inside. As the two groups meet up, they are forced to work together to try to survive against the infected.
Written and Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza
Starring Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Pablo Rosso, David Vert, and Javier Botet.
Rated R. Runtime: 78 Minutes
Written and Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza
Starring Jonathan Mellor, Pep Molina, Pau Poch, Andrea Ros, Manuela Velasco, and Pablo Rosso
Rated R. Runtime: 85 Minutes
7. Hatchet (2006)
Adam Green makes his second entry on my list with the fun, gore filled Hatchet. This is an old school style B-Horror movie that drops the CGI effects for more traditional practical effects, and it pays off quite well. A group of tourists decide to take a haunted swamp tour but end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, with only the wilderness of new Orleans surrounding them, after their boat sinks. After finding the house which is said to belong to urban legend Victor Crowley, Crowley himself appears and begins killing off members of the group one by one. The group must fight back against this hatchet wielding mad-man before they all become his victims. Hatchet contains a good amount of suspense and scares but is also a very gory, very fun trip back in time to the slasher films of the 80's.
Written and Directed by Adam Green
Starring Joel David Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Kane Hodder, Mercedes McNab, and Tony Todd.
Rated NC-17 or UR. Runtime: 84 Minutes
6. Sinister (2012)
When Sinister released in the summer of 2012 it took horror fans by surprise with its ferocious brutality and terror. It was a scary flick. The movie follows a man, played by Ethan Hawk, who finds a box of old "home movies" in the attic of his new home. Turns out the movies are a series of snuff films. These snuff films prove to be unflinching, brutal murders by the hands of children possessed by a demon named Bughuul. A particular video involving a lawnmower provides us with the one of films more frightening moments, and its biggest scare. Easily one of the most unnerving horror films out there.
Co-written and Directed by Scott Derrickson. Co-written by C. Robert Cargill
Starring Ethan Hawk, Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson, James Ransone, Clare Foley, and Vincent D'Onofrio.
Rated R. Runtime: 110 minutes
5. Evil Dead (2013)
Evil Dead, the remake/reboot of the original film The Evil Dead, dropped the humor that came with the original for a more straight forward horror. What Evil Dead did deliver was a terrifying, unflinching, over-the-top gory horror flick, featuring some of the most brutal scenes put in a film. Gore-hounds rejoiced when seeing this film. Although it features some of the most outrageously gory and horrific scenes put on film, it does feature some strong acting from its cast, and a fairly interesting story about a girl fighting addiction. Instead of recasting the character of Ash, Fede Alvarez, who wrote and directed the movie, opted to go with a strong female lead, which, IMO, worked out for the better.
Co-written and Directed by Fede Alvarez. Co-written by Rodo Sayagues
Starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Elizabeth Blackmore
Rated R. Runtime: 92 minutes
4. Insidious (2011)
Insidious is easily the scariest movie I've ever seen. Forget Paranormal Activity, this one does it better. No matter how many times I watch this film I still get thoroughly creeped out by the films end. Directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell, the team behind Saw, Insidious follows a husband and a wife as they try to deal with the fact that their comatose son has become a doorway for paranormal and demonic entities. The first hour or so is absolutely terrifying while the ending focuses more on resolving the story than scaring the pants off of you. This is a movie that must be watched at night, with all the lights off and the volume turned up all the way.
Directed by James Wan. Written by Leigh Whannell
Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey, Andrew Astor, Leigh Whannell, and Angus Sampson
Rated PG-13. Runtime: 102 Minutes
3. Let the Right One In/Let Me In (2008/2010)
I included both films on here since Let Me In is just as good, if not better than the 2008 version. Both films are done extremely well yet I feel that the pacing and feel of the remake bodes a little better with me than the original. In my book the movies are two of the greatest depictions of vampires ever shown on film. The films follow a young boy, who is constantly bullied in school and one days hopes to seek revenge against them, who befriends the young girl that lives next door. Little does he know that this girl is an ancient vampire who is responsible for a recent rash of murders. The two become quite close and the young boy begins to fall for the girl. He soon finds out that the girl he has befriended is actually a vampire, frightening him at first, but he eventually becomes okay with it, realizing that shes not going to hurt him. Both are beautifully made films that are easily two of the best films I've ever seen. Let the Right One In was directed by Tomas Alfredson and Let Me In was directed by Matt Reeves.
Let the Right One In
Directed by Tomas Alfredson
Starring Kare Hedebrant, Lena Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, and Karin Bergquist
Rated R. Runtime: 115 Minutes
Let Me In
Written and Directed by Matt Reeves
Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, and Elias Koteas
Rated R. Runtime: 116 Minutes
2. Martyrs (2008)
Directed by Pascal Laugier, Martyrs is a part of the new French horror movement that has caused much controversy since its release. Martyrs follows a young woman who seeks out revenge on the people who kidnapped and tortured her while she was a young child. Upon arrive at the home of her long sought torturers, along side her friend, she faces off against her own mind and delusions. Her friend then discovers a horrifying secret within the house and falls victim to the same abuse and torture that her friend did many years ago. This is a dark and deeply unsettling film, but it's the films message that really sticks with you long after you've watched it.
Written and Directed by Pascal Laugier
Starring Morjana Alaoui, Mylene Jampanoi, Catherine Begin, Xavier Dolan, and Juliette Gosselin
Rated UR. Runtime: 99 Minutes
1. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
The Cabin in the Woods, a horror film directed by Drew Goddard and written by television and film genius/god Joss Whedon, features one of the greatest half-hours ever put onto film. The third act of this movie is absolutely amazing. It's everything a horror fan could want stuck into one half hour moment in the movie. Five seemingly cliche teenagers head off to spend a weekend in the woods. Right off the bat you'll realize that this isn't like any movie you've seen before. Upon arriving at the cabin the teenagers realize that things are a little strange. After awakening a family of zombies the teenagers begin to discover that something else is at play, which is much bigger than they could have ever imagined. That's as much as I'm going to say for the sake of those who have not yet seen the movie. The Cabin in the Woods is similar to the Scream franchise in that it deconstructs the entire horror genre but in a much more genius, and hilarious way. The Cabin in the Woods is a mind-bending horror film that will leave you both stunned and in awe for what you have just watched. This film is a game-changer, setting the standard for all horror films that follow. I couldn't recommend this film anymore than I am now. It's a must see. You will not regret it.
Directed by Drew Goddard. Written by Josh Whedon & Drew Goddard.
Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, and Amy Acker.
Rated R. Runtime: 95 Minutes
Honorable Mentions include As Above, So Below (2014), The Crazies (2010), Oculus (2013), Jacobs Ladder (1990), The House of the Devil (2009), 28 Weeks Later (2007), The Devils Rejects (2005), and The Conjuring (2013).