Monday, June 07, 2004


Over at BlogCritics, the Duke shares yet another list. This time it's the 13 best Horror Movies Ever. As a lover of both horror movies and lists, I could not resist but adding my own two cents.

Duke deserves props for some excellent inclusions, but clutters a good part of his list with some obscure zombie and cannibal films and relegates some of the best scares to his also rans. So, in my effort to rectify this, I present my best 13, in no particular order.

1. Suspiria - A very young Jessica Harper, a big brute with gingivitis, maggots falling from the ceiling boards (cuz one man's floor is another man's ceiling), and a ton of Italian style, grace Dario Argento's masterpiece.

2. Dementia 13 - Francis Ford Coppola's directorial debut. Lowest of budgets, but really scary.

3. Dawn of the Dead - Romero's follow up to Night of the Living Dead is more social satire than horror, but remains the standard by which all Zombie movies are rated.

4. Carnival of Souls - This one gave me nightmares as a child. Made for close to nothing, it is one of the great mood pieces of all time. Props to the Duke for including it in his list.

5. Dracula - Tod Browning's 1931 classic, starring Bela Lugosi remains the best of all Vampire movies. While not as faithful to Bram Stoker's novel as some versions, the atmosphere and mood are spot on. Lugosi was literally born to play this role.

6. Black Sunday - The film that introduced the great Mario Bavo to American audiences, along with horror maven, Barbara Steele. It is an atmospheric account of a witch who returns from the dead to terrorize the descendants of her executioners.

7. Alien - A classic horror movie - in space.

8. Army of Darkness - Some would pick Evil Dead II if you are a fan of Sam Raimi's trilogy, but Army of Darkness is the one that firmly establishes Ash as the hero he was born to be. Groovy!

9. Rosemary's Baby - Polanski's film of Ira Levin's novel is witty, scary, and intelligent.

10. Carrie - Brian De Palma at his best. The only film version of a Stephen King novel that is better than the book.

11. Poltergeist - Forget all the lousy sequels and try to remember how really scary this one was when it first came out.

12. The Haunting - Robert Wise's tale of psychological terror works because you never see the ghosts. Proving that the horror unseen is so much scarier than the one you can see.

13. The Exorcist - Here is where the Duke and I part company. I know I said that this list is in no particular order, but in this case, I lied. The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever made (so imagine this list is counting down). The slow pace and documentary feel, the normalness of it, makes you feel like this could happen to you. This is the only horror movie that I can honestly say after many repeated viewings, continues to give me chills.

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