It's getting close to Halloween (really, only 6 weeks!) so I thought I'd post my all-time Top 15 horror movies, in no particular order:
1. Phantasm. The first time you see the silver balls, or the Tall Man? Has there ever been a person more perfect for a role than Angus Scrimm? I was 17 when this came out and there were scenes in it that actually made me jump.
2. The Shining. A lot of people, including Stephen King himself, don’t like this movie. Personally, I think it’s great, despite some of the over-acting. The outdoor scenes and bar scenes were the best.
3. The Exorcist. This was a movie that stayed with you long after you left the theater. The scenes of the actual exorcism can't be beat.
4. The Omen. I often consider this a cousin of sorts to The Exorcist. Kids, demons...that feeling that it could happen in your neighborhood. And how could you visit a graveyard after that without thinking of Rottweilers?
5. Burnt Offerings. Many a night was haunted by the memory of that hearse driving past the mansion!
6. Alien. Science fiction? Perhaps, but horror through and through. It’s only purpose was to scare you. Plus, Sigourney Weaver in that tank top and undies!
7. The Thing. I’m talk the Kurt Russell version. Not brilliant, but it did a fine job of providing surprises.
8. Night of the Living Dead. Has there ever been a zombie movie as creepy and perfect as this one? No. The first time I saw it was at the drive in as a kid, and my parents drove away when the first person got killed. I had to wait years to finally see the entire movie.
9. Them! One of the many sci-fi/horror films of the fabulous fifties, this one always stuck with me for some reason when my memories of the others faded.
10. Paranormal Activity. One of the few modern horror movies that lived up to the hype. When done right, found footage hits hard.
11. 30 Days of Night. Yes, you can do vampire movies that are downright creepy and nasty, without reverting back to the same old stories.
12. White Noise. A sleeper, this one raised goosebumps on my arms a couple of times.
13. The Haunting. The original. Subtle horror at its finest.
14. Evil Dead. I fell in love with this one the moment I saw it. And each sequel was only better.
15. Dracula/Frankenstein/Creature from the Black Lagoon. A tie. I couldn’t decide between them. I love all the original Universal Monster movies, but some, like The Mummy, don’t hold up as well. These three do.