With it being Halloween – and I’m feeling especially spooky this year – I’ve decided to do my own personal list of my favorite horror movies. They aren’t necessarily the BEST horror movies of all time, but they’re my own personal favorites and you guys should definitely be watching at least one of them over the Halloween weekend.
Starting off with a classic, John Carpenter’s The Thing blew me away when I first watched it. Despite going into my first viewing with extremely high expectations, it still managed to exceed them.
Based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s 1938 novella Who Goes There?, The Thing follows a group of American researchers in the Antarctic where they come across a parasitic extraterrestrial life-form, that assimilates and then imitates other life-forces. Slowly going through the team killing them one by one, The Thing’s ability to look like any of our main cast leads to paranoia among the group and causes some serious rifts.
The special effects were way ahead of their time and Kurt Russel was superb in the lead role. The whole premise of not knowing who to trust kept me on edge throughout the entire movie and one scene’s jump scare managed to get me which doesn’t usually happen. One of Carpenter’s finest works in my opinion!
One of my favorite ever UK movies, The Descent truly had me shook when I first watched it. When a group of women from the UK travel to the States for a bit of spelunking within North Carolina caves, they found themselves helpless prey to the hideous creatures that lurk inside.
A movie that doesn’t hold back on its gore, Neil Marshall does a masterful job directing and writing this one and the twist at the end was one I really didn’t see coming.
If you aren’t a fan of blood and guts then this isn’t for you, but if you do, you should definitely check out The Descent!
No list of horror movies would be complete without my absolute favorite, Scream. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson rejuvenated the slasher genre with this masterpiece and it was an extremely effective de-construction of the genre.
When a serial killer target a group of teenagers, the group use their knowledge of horror movie cliches in their attempt to survive. For the first time ever we got to see characters within a horror movie react how we all would in that situation. The self awareness they showed gave the movie a unique feel and there is nothing quite like the experience of watching this movie for the very first time again.
From its ground breaking opening, to its incredible twist reveal during its conclusion, I can’t recommend Scream enough. A movie that truly felt like a love letter to horror fans everywhere.
Ready or Not
The newest entry in my list, I only watched this movie for the first time myself recently, but boy was I entertained.
On her wedding night, a young bride is hunted down in a deadly game of hide and seek by her new husband’s family, due to an ancient ritual within the family. Ready or Not had a perfect blend of scares and laughs and the acting was fantastic throughout. The special effects were top notch and the concept was truly unique.
If you’re after a newer movie that offers a fresh take on the horror genre, this is definitely the movie for you! And the song that plays during the opening moments of the family’s hide and seek game really gave me the creeps.
Is any list of the best horror movies complete without John Carpenter’s Halloween’s inclusion? The second Carpenter movie on this list, Halloween set the tone for what would become decades of slasher movies that tried to replicate its success.
It’s such a simple concept, with a mysterious figure targeting a group of teenage babysitters, but it’s easily one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. From Michael Myers’ terrifying persona, to Carpenter’s sensational score, everything about this movie has me sitting on the edge of my seat from start to finish.
Any horror fan should watch this one at least once. Without Halloween there would be no Friday the 13th, no Nightmare on Elm Street and no Scream. It really did kick start one of the most popular eras in horror movie history. It’s also named Halloween, so it should definitely be watched on October 31st!