Category: Horror Lists

31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Days 8 – 31 Finally!

Okay I apologize.  Frankly, I’ve just been busy doing normal people stuff.  So, in an effort to make up for my shirking of duties, here are my movie favs from the 8th through the 31st.  Of course, you don’t have to watch them in order, but you definitely need to watch them even though Halloween has been lost in the turkey induced coma of Thanksgiving.  Just because we should give thanks doesn’t mean we should forget about the horror movies that make us appreciate drawing breath every day.

Remember:  These are in order from the least (but still!) scary to the most scary.  Just a friendly FYI.

Number 8:     The Descent, 2005.  Here’s the thing.  I sort of hated this movie because I had read a book of the same name (The Descent, by Jeff Long — which I found fantastic) before I saw this movie.  They are not related at all,  and so I was a bit disappointed.  However, setting aside my thoughts of the book, the movie was pretty damn good.  And creepy.

Number 9:    Wrong Turn, 2003.  Ahhh, just your run of the mill inbred, redneck cannibals attacking innocent victims.  Yes it was.  But the story line and the main actress (Eliza Dushku) really made this film pop.  Her character was badass!  Too bad the sequels sucked ba**s.

Number 10:  Resident Evil, 2002.  Fantastic film about zombies, friends and lovers.  None of it ends well.  Perfect.

Number 11:   Alien, 1979.  If you don’t know, you better ask somebody.

Number 12:  Dawn of the Dead, 1978.  Yes, this takes place after Night of the Living Dead but is still slightly better than it’s originator AND should be viewed and appreciated by anyone who thinks they know anything about DOTD just because they saw the remake.  Seriously, you don’t.  Get a clue and watch the real deal –then maybe, just maybe we’ll let you into our club.

Number 13:  Day of the Dead, 1985.  Takes place after DOTD — duh.  But still was a great film with one of the BEST evisceration scenes by zombie hands EVER.  Oh, the memories!

Number 14:  The Shining, 1980.  My soft spot here is Stephen King.  Great book, perhaps bad directing, but still visually stunning and a creep fest.  All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy…

Number 15Poltergeist, 1982.  Nice family, bad clown, child eating tree, the National Anthem (for those of us old enough to remember that) and lots of slimy pink goo.  Oh, and a swimming pool full of dead people you can’t get away from…  (Not to mention one of my favorite horror movie guys, James Karen of Return of the Living Dead fame).

Number 16:  Night of the Living Dead, 1968.  Aw come on.  Do I really have to?  Okay, mentally f-ed up chick whose brother was a douche but ended up getting eaten, a REAL douche who was too stupid to realize we need to band together in a crisis and a black guy lead who gets shot just for staying alive.  Yeah, lots of political commentary here, but still doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film.  Good job GR.

Number 17:  Saw, 2004.  Lots of  people think the Saw films are just “torture porn”.  These people are wrong.  Sorry dudes, but the Saw films (while they may be gory) do have a message — take for instance the chick who was a drug addict (thereby killing herself slowly) who was forced to do something that made her want to live?  Yup.  That’s called a message, so get over yourself.  And if you don’t like the Saw films — oh, I know — watch something else and leave the rest of us alone.  Peace.

Number 18:  Halloween, 1978.  Creepy and had Jamie Lee Curtis.  Poor thing.

Number 19:  In the Mouth of Madness, 1994.  Aw man, if you haven’t seen this one you haven’t lived!  Feels a lot like a Stephen King novel brought to life.  Flippin’ fantastic.  And the kid on the bike still haunts my dreams.

Number 20:  Jeeper’s Creeper’s, 2001.  We have yet another female heroine in this one — and I think she’s a great actress too.  Her name is Gina Philips and she was a straight up kick-ass chick in this flick!  That demon that feasts on flesh is also a badass but she’s one thing that keeps you watching the film.  The demon also has a scary ass spider head-thing, but I guess you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out what I am talking about!

Number 21:  Aliens, 1986.  No words are needed here.  Flipping awesome.

Number 22:  The Mist, 2007.  Again, a Stephen King child.  Chilling and sleep depriving (especially the spider scene) although after reading the book I felt the ending sucked eggs comparatively.  Still a great movie — with by the way, three characters from The Walking Dead (AMC) in attendance in the film:   Laurie Holder (Andrea), Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale) and Melissa McBride (Carol).  Go ahead, watch The Mist and see them in TWD.  Yeah!!

Number 23:  Hellraiser, 1987.  Yes, he’s evil and has pins in his head.  However, the other guy killed his own brother and stole his skin.  Kind of makes you wonder who the bad guy is here doesn’t it?

Number 24:  Wolf Creek, 2005.  Alright, I admit this one got me on a gut level.  Some douchebag who pretends to help a bunch of nice hikers ends up torturing them in ways that even the devil might have an issue with.  There are lots of “based on a true story” films out there, but this one comes so close to the truth that it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Number 25:  Dawn of the Dead, 2004.  Okay, okay.  For those of us who are fans of the original this one didn’t meet the mat, but it did a great job of incorporating the original with modern day concerns.  That combined with the great special effects is what made this one beat out its predecessor… slightly.

Number 26:  The Ring, 2002.  Weird ass video with a weird ass kid coming out of your TV?  Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.  Not to mention the dead niece in the beginning — that was just nasty.  Nasty and fabulous!!!

Number 27:  Insidious, 2010.  I admit that one of the reasons I liked this movie was because of it’s homage to Poltergeist.  However, they went further with this film and had that freaky song which is now stuck in my head forever!

Number 28The Thing, 1982.  Nuff said.

Number 29:  Event Horizon, 1997.  Sam Neill.  Lawrence Fishbourne.  Straight up visions of hell.  Yay!   Mr. Neill’s (Dr. Weir) line pretty much sums up this gruesome flick fest — “You know nothing. Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse.”  Love it!!!!!!!

Number 30:  Hellbound:  Hellraiser 2, 1988.  “I recommend… amputation”.  One word about this film — AWESOME!!!

Now to my most scary film of all time…

Number 31:  The Exorcist:  The Directors Cut, 1973.  Primarily because demons scare me, but that crab-walk sticks in my mind like really evil cotton candy.

I put a lot (and really I mean lots and lots) of thought into what movies scared me the most and I sincerely hope they scare the heck out of you too!  Remember, Thanksgiving is one day, but nightmares are forever.  🙂

31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Days 6 & 7

Psycho (1960) and The Grudge (2004)

First, I apologize for being a day late for yesterday’s film.  In an effort to redeem myself I have included yesterday’s and todays films (it is a Sunday — what else do you have to do besides watch football?)  all in one post.

Our first fabulous film is Psycho.  Who can forget one of the most memorable films ever made which included actors Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins!?  This is the film that Hitchcock knew would push our buttons:  a beautiful woman who is a thief and  manages to find the most f-ed up motel possibly on the planet while trying to get away with her ill-gotten fortune.  Her host, who seems so kind, nice and normal when she checks in turns out not only to be a murderous lunatic but well — does this because he thinks he is his mother who hates any woman who her son is attracted to.  Talk about your Oedipus Complex gone off the rails.  Blech.  Nonetheless, as weird and haunting as this film is, I can’t help but feel Ms. Leigh sort of got hers for being a thief.  To be totally cliché, karma is a bee-otch.

Our second film (The Grudge, 2004) takes on a slightly different theme (there is no one in this film that thinks they are their mommy or has desires to  — er, you know what I mean) but it does still have a mother-in-law who is sort of a bitch and maybe insane.  She is, however, totally within her rights to be this way based on how her son and daughter-in-law leave her in a house almost all the time haunted by a creepy ass, evil spirit who is trying to kill her.

Okay, so they care so much they hire a live-in nurse (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who only ends up getting haunted and damn near driven insane as well.  (By the way, said evil spirit crawls on the ceiling and makes a noise that is so freaky, to this day I cannot get it out of my head.)  Just goes to show you that the Japanese really DO know how to scare us:  how we treat mean mother-in-laws, how to deal with nasty evil spirits, murdering your family (and the friggin’ cat for crying out loud — poor kitty) to cover up your own sins, trying to ignore weird ass noises and perhaps how we treat elders and each other in general.  Yup, that would and should scare almost every human being on Earth.  This might make me a really bad person, but the whole reason for the film you will have to watch to find out.  But I will give you a hint:  this bitch is really pissed off.  Enjoy!!


31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Day 5

28 Days Later, 2002

I know — I know — there is a huge argument about whether or not this is a “zombie” film.  Let me settle this fight for you — yes, it IS a zombie film.  I don’t care what the director, actors or anyone else says, we all can recognize a zombie film when we see it — and we did with 28 Days Later.  First thing that comes to mind with this flick is that poor guy waking up and having no clue that the world has literally gone to shit and finding some kind people willing to school his ass on the new world.   Add to that some sort of “rage” virus (I guess that was supposed to be some sort of commentary on the world today), a few crazy ass chimps and voila!  The end of the world!  Well, whatever side you fall on this movie still rocked.  Mostly because of the lead actress Naomie Harris who not only carried Jim’s ass during literally most of the movie, but in my opinion — the entire film.  Go ahead with your bad self Naomie, we want to see more of you!!!

31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Day 4

A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984

So many of us have had a sleepover where we sneaked (snuck?  whatever.)  our boyfriends or girlfriends into our homes and bedrooms unbeknownst to our parents — or we did so when our parents were dumb enough to trust us while they were gone.  Yeah, that would be all of us troublemakers.  This movie not only capitalizes on that, but also takes a shot at our dreams — that time of night when we are all vulnerable whether we like it or not.  The truth is that we are all, at least on a subconscious level, very afraid of the serial killers we hear about on the nightly news and that fear manifests in our dreams.

The wonderfully frightening thing about this film is that it uses not only our fear of wanting to make our friends happy no matter what, but we are also able to put the idea of the crazed killer out of our minds — until he/she comes for us in our nightmares.  Add an alcoholic mother and a domineering cop father and we have quite the set up for really, really bad dreams of a pedophile lunatic with knives for fingers who wants to kill us for our parents doing the right thing — no matter how flawed they are.  Because let’s face it, the parents did the right thing — they just didn’t know how it would affect their children.  Wait?  Isn’t this how it all started?

If you are like me and have a nightmare pretty much every time you close your eyes, this film will certainly stay with you and perhaps make you drink just a bit more coffee…

31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Day 3

If you are any sort of normal human being, you were at least somewhat freaked out by our last film, Jeepers Creepers.  That weird, spider head thing with teeth that attacked those poor kids should have left you not only worried about that crazy-ass driver on the road, but also arachnids and whether their teeth can actually penetrate your skin. Personally, they all gave me the creeps, but I was even more disturbed by those nasty, slime covered, bacteria infested teeth.  Yuck.

Our next film is a throwback, and some of you may assume that because it had numerous bad sequels that it isn’t worth the effort of even watching.  You are wrong.  The first installment of this film was scary, and albeit low budget, it scared the heck out of a lot of people.  So much so that the powers that be (Follywood — that’s my made-up term for the F-in  idiots that run *ollywood) went ahead and made really bad replicas of it — all in the name of money.  This is the thinking persons opportunity to view what was a really scary film and at the same time poke those idiots who have no clue what is really scary right in the eye.

Friday the 13th, 1980

Okay, yes.  There were horny teenagers, there were booze and drugs.  We have all had moments where we were just a little less — let’s just say “aware” — of what was going on around us.  We never would have intentionally left children in compromised situations.  But that is exactly what this movie exploits.  Our very human fears of letting go mentally and bad things happening as a result.  So yeah, this movie does play with our fears about that, but then they had the audacity to bring in Mommy!  Who isn’t afraid of their own mother?  Much less a mother with an axe?  Tee-heeeeeeee….

31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Day 2

Ahh.  Hopefully, you watched House of Wax and really got a feel for the hot, melting feel of Halloween.  Okay, maybe you didn’t but Phyllis Kirk certainly did.  Mwuahhahhha!  Ahem, moving on.

Our next installment of “get you in the mood” Halloween flicks is none other than:

Jeepers Creepers, 2001

This is one of those movies that you really aren’t sure how to categorize because it is so just — out there.  However, in this original installment we have two siblings (Gina Philips and Justin Long), traveling alone in a car only to have their innocence disrupted by a devilish fiend come out of nowhere and try to eat them.  The acting is fantastic, as are the plot and visuals as the monster is one of the creepiest things I have seen in a long time.  Keep in mind that you may not want to remember those visuals after all… or the song Jeepers Creepers.  Trust me on this, after seeing this movie that song will forever remind you of this gruesome flick — and that dude with the teeth.

31 Days of The Best Halloween Movies — Countdown:  Day 1

In order to really get into the Halloween spirit, I always find myself wanting — scratch that — needing to watch movies that put me in the mood for all kind of ghouls, goblins, ghosts, zombies, and whatever else makes we wake up shaking in the middle of the night.  So this year, for every day in the month of October, I will post a film that is in my top 31 of the scariest of all time, starting with the least scary right down to what really makes me need a nightlight.  However, be warned — they are the 31 scariest of ALL horror movies ever made so none will be an easy viewing experience.  Keep in mind that I;  A) Am not including any films with any sort of funny aspect to them and B) Some younger viewers may not be able to fully appreciate the older films no matter how aweseomely awesome they are.

So, without further ado, the first film you should watch to get thyself in the Halloween mood is:

House of Wax, 1953

First of all, it’s Vincent Price people.  Vincent Price!  However, the story is fantastic as well as the special effects.  For those of you who grew up with no idea what these guys had to go through before CGI and color films — educate thyself.  This movie is a classic that every horror fan should have in their repertoire.  The rest of you who do have an idea just how wonderful this film is — do yourself a favor, rent or download and enjoy!

First off, there is a lot of debate about what makes a great zombie flick.  I realize this, but that is not what this post is about.  This post is about my favorite zombie movies and it is worth noting that I have left off some of the old trail blazers that probably will make some hard core enthusiasts want to smack me.  That’s okay.  I understand, I really do.  Take for instance my feelings about Black Swan — I loathed this film, and for some horror fans to include it in some of their “best of” lists makes me want to puke.  So, yeah I get it, but nonetheless, here you go:

Return of the Living Dead

10.  Return of the Living Dead 2, 1988

Not a masterpiece by any stretch, but still a lot of 80’s fun to be had here.   Important note:  take the time to watch the first film before this one or you simply won’t get the full, intended enjoyment factor.

9.    28 Days Later, 2002

A foray into stupid-fast zombies, a poor guy who has no clue that the world has gone to shit while he took a nap and whacked out  military dudes.  Good clean flesh-eating fun for all!

8.   Dawn of the Dead, 1978

I shouldn’t have to say much here, but of course I do anyway.  You really don’t get any more scary than being stuck in a mall with zombies, bikers and hari krishnas.  (PS.  I hate malls)

7.  Day of the Dead, 1985

This film really never got the props it deserved.  What zombie fan (real zombie fan) doesn’t love the idea of being stuck in an underground bunker with a whacked out military, a completely nuts scientist and a loveable imp named “Bub”?  It is also worth watching just for the evisceration-by-zombie scene alone.  Rumor has it those were real entrails (pig, iirc) that were left out between shootings and were rank with a capital “R”.  Kudos to the actors for not adding puke to the special effects.

6.  Night of the Living Dead, 1968

Okay, this film started it all, but that’s not why it’s on my list.  I actually considered leaving it off entirely, but two things stopped me.  One, the scene in the basement with the little girl and her mother was classic filmmaking at its best.  She hacked her mother to death, right?  Shot in a very “Psycho” shower scene way, you never actually see the trowel hit her mother, yet you know it does.  Awesome.  Second, there is actually a moral here and is probably the only of Mr. Romero’s zombie films to ever make its point so damn well.  If you don’t know what the moral is, you need to go watch this flick again — right now.

5.  [Rec] 2, 2009

This is the second installment of the [Rec] franchise (a third one is already in the works) and boy is it awesome.  It is a new spin on the zombie idea (well, sorta) in that there is no “virus” (like say, rabies, ugh) that is causing all of the mayhem.  I won’t spoil it for you and encourage you to see the first one before watching this one, but it’s not totally necessary.  Either way, do not miss it.

4.  Return of the Living Dead, 1985

Classic and way ahead of its time.  One of those rare gems that manages to make you laugh and cringe at the same time.  Sheer perfection.

3.  Resident Evil, 2002

I understand that some gamers were not too thrilled with the Resident Evil movie franchise, and perhaps rightfully so, but I don’t give a rip.  For those of us who had never even heard of the game when we saw this, it was a thing of beauty.

2.  Dawn of the Dead, 2004

There are a lot of good reasons for criticism of remakes out there, but this ain’t one of them.  Same basic recipe as the original, but with it’s own meat and potatoes.  Again, another great one liner I love “You better get that shit right out your head.”   But then, I liked Andre, even if he did go batshit crazy in the end.  Did I mention I hate malls?

1.  Shaun of the Dead, 2004

As you can probably tell by now, I am a huge fan of the art that is blending horror with comedy.  I love it so much because — get this — it’s really fucking hard!  To do it this well, you have to be able to scare me and make me laugh at the same time, and that my friends, is what I call a slice of fried gold.

YOU PROBABLY DON’T CARE, BUT:  I did not include [Rec], the obvious precursor to [Rec] 2,  on this list but would have if it were a top 11 list, but alas, it was not meant to be.  Anyhoo, if you have not seen any of the films listed here, do not delay — you have a great zombie flick to watch!!

UPDATE 7/26/11:  After this writing, I discussed this list with my husband.  He feels that I am not being true to the genre by making Shaun of the Dead my number one zombie film.  I thoughtfully considered his input and decided that he has no idea what he is talking about.

UPDATE 7/30/11:  I thought about this list a bit, and decided to give Zombieland an honorable mention.  However, it will never be in my top 10 list based on the fact that I don’t really consider this a “real” zombie film.  Don’t get me wrong — it was a fun movie, had a great cast and had some zombies running around, but if we are to be honest with ourselves, it was really a road trip flick with some zombies tossed in.  Some of you will vehemently disagree with me here, and that’s cool, but I maintain that you just can’t put “zombie” in the title and magically make it a zombie movie.

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