Nothing beats binge watching Horror movies to get you ready for Halloween. Let’s face it, Horror movies are the perfect mood-setters. The best in the genre manage to entertain and terrorize us simultaneously by tapping into our deepest subconscious fears. While we all have our handful of favorites, none of us has the time to watch every scary movies out there. With nor shortage of choices (874 Horror films were produced in 2006 alone), but little time on our hands, The Man Guide has taken the trouble to compile the definitive 10 Best Horror Movies of All Time list. So why waste your precious time on shitty Horror films when you can cut through the clutter and watch these ten gems.
10. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 92%
After getting dumped by his girlfriend Shaun decides to fix his relationship and put his life back on track in the middle of a Zombie apocalypse.
Shaun of The Dead is often mistaken for a zombie parody, however screenwriter Simon Pegg set out to make a parody of romantic comedies in the form of a zombie movie, which he classified as a Rom Zom Com (Romantic Zombie Comedy). Don’t be fooled. This is one hardcore zombie flick filled with everything we love about them. The director’s great attention to gory detail is highlighted when the undead rip open flesh and pull out the intestines before devouring them. The legendary Night Of The Living Dead director, George A. Romero, was so impressed, he cast Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg as zombies in Land of the Dead. It also marks the first film in what became known as the “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy”, a series of films directed by Edgar Wright, written and starring Simon Pegg along with his co-star Nick Frost. The other two films in the trilogy are Hot Fuzz & The World’s End.
9. Friday The 13th (1980) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 58%
At the newly reopened Camp Crystal Lake, the horny teenage counselors are being stalked and killed one at a time by a mysterious stranger out for revenge.
This movie will make camp counselors think twice before fooling around in the woods. Friday The 13th was made in direct response to the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, and it became one the most successful and longest running horror series of all time. The Friday series produced 11 sequels, an upcoming TV show, and a video game currently in development. Little known facts: In the original script the Jason Voorhees character was called Josh; realizing the name Josh was not intimidating enough, co-screenwriter Victor Miller changed the name to Jason who was a childhood bully. The film’s signature sound is actually Jason telling his mother “Kill kill kill, mom mom mom.”
8. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 94%
Demonic serial killer Freddy Krueger has the ability to terrorize and kill the children of his captors in their dreams.
Freddy Krueger has the ability to dig deep into your soul, searching for your innermost fears, and then uses it to kill you through nightmares. Krueger is sadistic as they come and loves to toy with his victims. Freddy goes down as one of the scariest looking Slasher’s in Cinematic history. His disfigured, burn-scarred face and signature razor blades embedded gloves will continue to terrify kids for generations. The success of the film catapulted the character of Freddy Krueger to rock star status. He became a household name and one the most iconic character of the 1980’s. The Nightmare on Elm Street series was so successful it turned New Line Cinema into a prominent film studio. Nightmare on Elm Street also marked Johnny Depp’s film debut. Spoiler Alert: Depp’s was one of the bloodiest and creepiest death scenes in the film. After watching Nightmare, you won’t sleep well for a while.
7. The Thing (1982) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 80%
Remake of the 1951 classic, The Thing from Another World , which was a film adaptation of the short story Who goes There? This time around, 12 American scientists in the Antarctic are in grave danger when they realize there is a shape-shifting alien among them who can take the form of the people it has killed.
This is a story of paranoia and distrust among friends and colleagues. It was made in a Pre-CGI era so the work by special effects Guru Rob Bottin in animatronics was nothing short of genius. In fact the creature’s effects look so real the horrified expressions captured on camera from the actors were not scripted. Director John Carpenter’s idea to use blue filters over the camera changed the mood of the film making the Arctic setting that much gloomier and scarier. Surprisingly enough it is the first film John Carpenter did not write the musical score, instead he enlisted the aid of Ennio Morricone who created the film’s signature atmospheric sound. Although The Thing had the makings of a hit, it flopped at the box office along with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Ironically both films would go on to become classics and garner two of Cinemas largest cult followings.
6. Jaws (1975) – [Rated PG] RT Rating: 97%
Based on the 1974 novel by Peter Benchley. A Great White Shark wreaks havoc on the small beach resort of Amity Island.
This is the film that made everyone scared of going into the water. Director Steven Spielberg earned genius status for his effort. Everything that could have gone wrong with the production, did. Despite numerous setbacks, Spielberg produced a major hit. The Shark was supposed to appear throughout the entire film, but technical complications did not allow it. To compensate for the absence of the mechanical shark, Spielberg had to get creative and improvise. For example, the famous barrel scene pulled by the shark was all improvised, Spielberg had the stunt crew pull the barrels from underneath at high speeds giving the illusion there is a huge shark in the water. Not only was the audience none the wiser but they were so scared that beach attendance dropped that year. Steven Spielberg inadvertently created the Summer Blockbuster, making it one of the highest grossing films of all time.
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 89%
A chainsaw wielding maniac and his cannibalistic family terrorize a group of kids stranded on the back roads of rural Texas.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is so disturbingly real that it was banned in multiple countries. When the film was first released in 1974 people actually walked out of the theater in disgust. Two unforgettable characters in this film are the menacing “Leatherface” played by Gunnar Hansen, and Pam, the cutie in the red hotpants portrayed by Teri McMinn. Contrary to popular belief, the film is not based on true events, rather Leatherface is based on the real life murderer Ed Gein who killed two women and robbed graves using the remains as household utensils. One last creepy fact, the soundtrack contains sounds a cow would hear at a slaughter house.
4. Halloween (1978) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 92%
Michael Myers escapes a Mental Hospital and returns to his hometown only to terrorize the local babysitters.
John Carpenter set the bar high for slasher movies with the suspense driven, Halloween. Michael Myers doesn’t run after his victims during a chase, he simply stalks them slowly, thereby heightening the suspense. Halloween was produced for $300,000 and managed to gross $47 million (The equivalent of $173 million in 2015) making it one of the most successful Independent Films of all time. For years fans of the film have approached John Carpenter to tell him how scared they were when Michael Myers disfigured face was exposed at the end of the movie. In reality, the exposed face was not disfigured at all. Such is the power of suggestion!
3. Psycho (1960) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 96%
On the run with $40,000 a woman seeks refuge at the Bates Motel which is run by a lunatic with major mommy issues.
Psycho was the first modern day slasher flick. In order to shoot the iconic shower scene, Hitchcock built a set with removable walls, which allowed the camera to get in closer in order to cover 78 different shots. The camera captured the knife slashing away making the cinematography very intense for it’s time. Hitchcock chose to shoot the movie in black in white so that the murder scene wouldn’t be too bloody and shocking for the audience. Chocolate syrup was used for the blood going the down drain.
2. The Shining (1980) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 91%
Based on the novel by Stephen King. Jack, the new winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, moves in with his wife and psychic son. After a long, cold winter sets in, Jack who has been busy writing, begins to display psychotic behavior.
Under the direction of Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson offers a terrifying performance as he begins to descend into madness. The Shining takes the concept of domestic violence and adds supernatural and psychotic elements, along with spectacular acting from it’s talented cast. Shelley Duvall has gone on the record to say that she suffered from nervous exhaustion throughout filming, including physical illness and hair loss. Stanley Kubrick spoke very highly of her abilities and found himself quite impressed by her performance in the finished film. Don’t forget it gave us Nicholson’s classic quote, “Honey, I’m home!”
1-The Exorcist (1973) – [Rated R] RT Rating: 96%
Based on an novel by William Paul Blatty. Two priests attempt to exorcise a young girl possessed by an evil demon.
This is the scariest, most shocking, Horror film ever. The source material from the novel is based on true events of a genuine exorcism which took place in 1949. The horrifying yet simple premise: A child possessed by an evil demon. When originally released, the subject matter was so strong that the film was banned in countless communities and audience members became so disturbed that many fainted or went into hysterics. Despite the controversy, it received 11 Oscar nominations, it won for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound. It was the first Horror movie to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. The Exorcist is the film that legitimized the entire horror genre.
Honorable mentions: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Universal Movie Monsters, Rosemary’s Baby, Alien, Invasion of The Body Snatchers and Scream.