What horror review blog/site would be complete without a Top 10 list? And since I’m the only working on this one (for now, hopefully) I get to pick all 10. So without further ado, my top 10 favorite horror films, from 10 to 1:

10. The Silence of the Lambs - Jonathan Demme (1991)

My dad and I share a few common interests with eachother, as uncommon as they may be. We like horror movies dealing with demonic possession and we like talking about serial killers. He used to be in the FBI so he could keep me eternally entertained with stories about Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Edmund Kemper and so on. When I saw The Silence of the Lambs it was perfectly up my alley. I mean, Hannibal Lecter, enough said. Not to mention Buffalo Bill, the perfect hybrid of Ted Bundy and Ed Gein. While it may be considered a pretty tame film now, it was pretty mind blowing to me when I was a 13 year old kid just learning about all this stuff.

9. The Omen - Richard Donner (1976)

While my dad’s not exactly the biggest fan of horror films, there are a few that he loves and he developed a habit of trying to show these films to me when I was entirely too young to be seeing such things. Of course, he had to wait until my mother was out of the house before he could show them to me, but he did none the less. While they terrified me at the time, I realize now that it’s because of those instances that I love this genre so much now. The first one he showed me was The Omen. Now, this one opened up a whole new world to me, much like most of the films in this list did. It didn’t terrify me so much as it intrigued me. I saved some money, bought the DVD, and probably watched the special features at least a dozen times that first week. That was the first time practical effects in films really captured my attention, and I loved it. Also, that soundtrack. It’s amazing. Tubular Bells is great and all, but you gotta hand it to Jerry Goldsmith for “Ave Satani”.

8. Friday the 13th - Sean S. Cunningham (1980)

While I’m not a huge fan of the slasher subgenre, Friday the 13th gets a pass because it’s not truly a slasher film. It leads you down the path of a slasher film, it feels like one, it looks like one, it sounds like one. I mean, it has all the components: horny young teenagers, weed and boobies. But then BAM, you’re hit with a twist you never expected. For that reason, it makes the list.

7. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - Tobe Hooper (1974)

Oh, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The Saw is Family. This one hit me right where it hurt. I think that my favorite part of this one is the simplicity of it, there was no blood, little to no violence, just pure fear. I don’t think I’ll ever forget sitting bolt up-right in my bed watching this one late at night, tensed with fear as Marilyn Burns ran within inches from her life from Leatherface. The sound of a chainsaw has forever been altered for me, and I love it.

6. The Devil’s Rejects - Rob Zombie (2005)

When I first began my foray into the world of horror, most of what I watched was on the tamer side of the violence spectrum. Psycho, The Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, so naturally nothing could prepare me for what I was in for when I went to the opening weekend of The Devil’s Rejects with some close friends. After the movie really go into it’s groove I have never in my life wanted so badly to either A.) vomit or B.) walk out and demand my money back. It took me years of hating this film to realize, that’s what these kinds of movies are supposed to do. They’re supposed to sicken, terrify and disgust you. I watched it again, and I’ve loved it ever since.

5. Hellraise - Clive Barker (1987)

This is an addition to the list, because I’ve noticed that since I’ve rewatched the series over the course of the past week Pinhead has taken a hold of my soul, and I’m terrified that he’s going to tear it apart. I am familiar with this feeling, and I now know that Pinhead and Hellraiserwill forever be held in my heart as one of my favorite horror films. There’s something about him and his love of suffering that is so appealing, I can’t help but get excited every time he shows on up screen. Doug Bradley, I love you bro, welcome to upper echelon my horror fandom.

4. The Exorcist - William Friedkin (1973)

The scariest film of all time, or so it’s claimed. Could this film be released today and make the same impact it did in 1973? absolutely not, but that doesn’t make it any less of a terrifying film. It will truly always be the scariest due to the impact that it had at the time it was released. When I was young, my friends and I would speak of it hushed whispers. It was like the boogie-man. Did we know what it was? Yes, had we seen it? Fuck no. It wasn’t until my mom went out of town and my dad rented it to show it to me that I was finally able to see what all the fuss was about. I remember finishing it and thinking, “Geez, that wasn’t so bad”. At least that’s what I thought until I went to bed that night and Pazuzu’s face was plastered on the back of my eye lids.

3. Scream - Wes Craven (1996)

I fucking love the Scream trilogy. They’re genius in their own right. They have a perfect level of campiness, enough to give a slight Evil Dead vibe to it (especially in the later films), but they are so brutal and unabashedly violent that you can’t help but appreciate them. The first time Ghostface explodes onto the screen with that now infamous scene with Drew Barrymore was amazing, and it left audiences with their jaws hanging. They were also much needed in a dry spell for horror in the mid-nineties and even though they spawned a new breed of horror trash (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Jeepers Creepers, Urban Legend) I still give them a pass.

2. The Evil Dead Trilogy - Sam Raimi (1981/87/92)

When I was in high school I worked in a summer job in a snow cone stand. When I say stand, I mean a shack with the necessary snow-cone making equipment, a small tv and a chair. Because I worked 10 hour days, most of those spent alone with no customers, I would pay Blockbuster a visit on my way into work and rent a couple horror movies to watch that day at work. I remember when I finally picked up The Evil Dead and decided to give it a go. From the first “TURN IT OFF”, through every beating that Ash suffered and cheesy one-liner he spewed forth, I knew that I would be a Deadite for life.

1. The Shining - Stanley Kubrick (1980)

We’ve all encountered horror movies that have left us feeling different than we did before we sat down. That’s why we love them, they are an experience, a joyride, if you will. There are not many movies that took me for a ride the way this one did. The Shining has been my crown jewel from the moment I first watched it. I am a huge fan of the book, and so to am I a huge fan of the movie, even though the film is a piss-poor adaptation of the book. Yet, the film captivated me in ways I didn’t know possible. There was no gore, there was no violence, there was just this feeling of… unease. There was this constant wondering of what was going to happen and when Jack was going to snap. That first viewing turned into many, and it still remains in my “regularly watched” pile. No matter how old I get, I know that I will always be intrigued by the mysteries of The Overlook Hotel and all the things that we didn’t get to see in that film.

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