Horror is an interesting genre because there are so many facets. Fear, whether rational or not, is a personal experience. I feel that this gives the writers, directors, etc., of horror films a lot of room in which to play. There are movies I don’t find remotely creepy that scare my friends, and vice versa. So naturally, this list is very subjective.
1. Halloween — (The original one. Rob Zombie’s remake was atrocious.) How can you not love this movie? I watch it every year.
2. Halloween II — They should have stopped with this one. But come on. Trapped in a hospital, unable to fully function because you’re on meds, and people are gradually disappearing around you…
3. Saw — Judge me if you must, I didn’t sleep after I watched it the first time.
4. Scream — Yes, it’s terrible, in a way. Still, it started a string of movies that everyone close to my age watched.
5. Urban Legend — The least lame of those particular slasher films. The premise was actually legitimate. So underrated.
6. The Houses October Built — A mockumentary. Haunted houses, clowns, and a stripper joint where the dancers wear monster masks. Two thumbs up.
7. The Den — Okay, this one bothered me more than it should have. It had that realistic edge, the multiple events that made me say “That could really happen.” I was tense throughout.
8. Fright Night — Again, the original. Not that I don’t love Anton Yelchin, but Chris Sarandon may literally be the sexiest vampire in the history of ever. When he dances with Amanda Bearse in the club… Rawr!
9. Lights Out — It wasn’t exactly scary. However, it was very well done.
10. The Final Girls — In my opinion, not technically a horror film despite being classified as “horror” and “comedy”. With that being said, I adored this movie. It was SO good. Funny and full of feeling, as well as all the 80’s slasher flick staples, this is a must-have in your collection.
I would give The Funhouse Massacre honorable mention. Another movie that embraces the comedic value of horror films, it toed the line of cheesiness rather admirably, without ever crossing into full-on lame. The killers and their methods actually earned a shiver or two.
And that’s it! Most of these can be found on Netflix or Hulu, I believe. And Showtime has been running The Funhouse Massacre into the ground. Pop some popcorn, grab a blanket, and turn off the lights… It’s time to get spooky!