Welcome to my first Top 10 post for this month. I thought we should start with horror films because they are the most iconic and recognised by all. If you’re new to horror, I would recommend my list below. Here are my ten favourite scary movies of all time. Let’s get into it!
1.) IT (Part 1 & 2)
I actually wrote an entire blog post about why I believe IT is the greatest horror film of all time. You can check that out here. I love the original with Tim Curry too but I feel the modern adaptation gives us a lot more.
Set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine a group of boys and one girl come together to face their fears and confront the darkness in their own personal lives. Pennywise (the villain) is not actually a clown but rather an entity (an IT) that manifests itself in the form of whatever scares a person most. It reappears in Derry every 27 years to feed off evil. As most of you may know, the film is set in two parts. You see The Losers Club (as they are known) as children in Part 1 and them as adults in Part 2. This coming-of-age story sees boys become men and a girl become a woman through shared experiences and traumatic events.
2.) The Shining
This is a classic horror novel. If you haven’t seen it yet, now is the time! Something to note here: Stephen King hates the film adaptation because it in goes in a completely different direction to his book. However, I am able to appreciate the movie for what it is. I first saw The Shining as a teenager and it never left my thoughts.
This story follows ‘family man’ Jack Torrance, who is offered a job as a winter caretaker at the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado. When he arrives with his wife and psychic son Danny, he soon realises that the isolation is enough to make him go crazy; not to mention the paranormal darkness moving through the halls and rooms. Before long, Jack is filled with a homicidal urge to kill his family and with not a guest in sight, nobody is around to hear them scream…
HONOURABLE MENTION: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS!
Are you surprised to see Coraline on this list? Believe it or not, this animated film is a horror. It’s also a book by Neil Gaiman. Both are equally creepy and dark. I love it so much I actually own the soundtrack which I listen to when I want to relax. The atmosphere and score is surprisingly soothing.
When Coraline’s workaholic parents move into a weird neighbourhood with strange neighbours, she finds herself resenting their lack of attention. One evening, she discovers a portal in her home that takes to her to an alternate reality where her parents are really cool and let her do whatever she wants. They call themselves Other Mother and Other Father. They look exactly the same except for the big black buttons in place of their eyes. As Coraline spends more time in this ‘better’ world, she is given the opportunity to stay but only if she sews buttons on her own eyes. When she refuses, Coraline begins to realise what a horrible mistake she’s made but by then, it’s too late…
4.) The Silence of the Lambs
I only saw The Silence of the Lambs for the first time this year. Why I waited so long? I’ll never know! It instantly became a new favourite. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins slayed their performances.
Clarice Starling, a top FBI agent, is asked to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (a brilliant psychiatrist with a penchant for cannibalism) to gain insight into the whereabouts of a psycho serial killer named Buffalo Bill. Hannibal enjoys taunting and questioning Clarice about her own past and when given an opportunity, escapes the mental institution. Despite his disgusting way of life and perverted fascination with Clarice, she’s able to use his teachings to pursue the killer.
5.) Secret Window
This film has one of the best twist endings I’ve ever witnessed. It is also adapted from Stephen King’s works. I believe it’s extremely underrated and deserves more recognition.
While in the process of an ugly divorce, famous writer Mort Rainey relocates to a remote cabin in New York. Not long after he is settled and writing, a farmer named John Shooter shows up and accuses him of plagiarising his work. At first Mort ignores the accusations but Shooter refuses to leave matters alone. As the story progresses, we watch Shooter’s quest for vengeance escalate whilst Mort fights against him both physically and mentally.
What’s this? Another Stephen King adaptation? I can’t get enough of them! In this story, the horror lies not in the paranormal but the psyche of the human mind. Kathy Bates deserved every award she received!
When beloved novelist, Paul Sheldon gets involved in a car crash, he is taken in by former nurse Annie Wilkes. Annie just happens to be Paul’s biggest fan and has no trouble letting him know how delighted she is that he happened to wind up under her care. Due to his inability to move, Paul begins working on his latest novel but when Annie learns he plans to kill off her favourite character, she begins to get violent, manipulative and obsessed with not only making him change the ending but keeping him trapped in her home. If you’ve seen the iconic scene…you know.
7.) The Ring
For me, a good horror movie has to have a quality story. The Ring has exactly that. Just to clarify, I am discussing the Western version not the Japanese one, although I have seen that too. At this point you may be thinking…quality story? Isn’t this the one about the dead girl that kills you if you watch her video tape? Yes…but there is so much more.
The story of poor Samara and how she came to be a tormented spirit is actually quite heart-wrenching. Rachel Keller, an investigative journalist, is the only person committed to discovering why the haunted video tape was created and how to settle Samara’s wrath. Having watched the tape, Rachel is aware that unless she solves the mystery, she’ll die in seven days. This prompts her to visit Samara’s former home which leads to a horrifying realisation about the little girl’s mother that will make you feel sorry for this twisted villain.
8.) Final Destination 1, 2 & 3
Final Destination; the only film where the villain is death itself. I had to include the first three because I love them all and can’t choose between them. Each film has a theme: 1st: a plane crash, 2nd: a car crash & 3rd: a roller-coaster accident at an amusement park. These movies are so much fun and perfect to watch with a group of friends.
Each film follows the same story. Right before a tragic accident is set to occur, one of the characters has a premonition that forces them to change destiny. Unfortunately, because they have cheated fate, this sets off a chain of events that results in them being picked off one by one in the most gruesome, bloody deaths. The way they are killed is so creative and if you’ve seen the third film, you’ll never look at a tanning bed in the same way again! Watch them! They’re fantastic and another one is coming out in 2021.
Oh Saw…we have some special memories. My best friend and I became obsessed with the first film in the bloody franchise when we were teenagers. We watched it so many times, we began quoting the lines. Since it’s inception, I’ve seen up to Saw IV and Jigsaw but none will ever come close to the original. It’s iconic. Like Secret Window, it also has a twist ending that will make you gasp out loud.
Two men wake up in a bathroom chained to pipes with no recollection of how they got there. Lying next to them is a cassette-tape recorder with an important message. As it begins to play, the victims realise that they have been captured by a serial killer named Jigsaw who challenges them to a game. In order to survive, they need to complete his perverse puzzles. Through flashbacks, we discover that these men are actually prisoners for a reason and not so innocent…
10.) Get Out
Last but certainly not least, I have to share my undying love for Jordan Peele’s Get Out. I’ve seen it a couple of times now and cannot get enough. When protagonist Chris is invited to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, he sees it as an opportunity to take the next step in their relationship. However, when they arrive, Chris notices the family are overly-accommodating to the point of disturbing. As the weekend progresses, he makes some horrifying discoveries that lead him to a truth he couldn’t have possibly imagined. There is a lot of important commentary on race as it is directed by a person of colour. Please support it!
I hope you liked my list! Please share your top 10 favourite horror films below. How are you finding horror month so far? I’ll be back on Thursday for a bonus post! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo