Fifty Favourite Horror Films

I more or less do this every year. Not too many new additions, but I love every one of these, so that’s something. Suggestions for future Octobers are always welcome!

1. Suspiria
2. The Birds
3. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with me
4. Possession
5. Black Christmas
6. The Exorcist
7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
8. The Shining

9. Ginger Snaps

10. Don’t Look Now
11. What Have they Done to Solange?
12. The Legend of Hell House
13. The Curse of the Cat People
14. Nosferatu (1979)
15. Trouble Every Day
16. Rosemary’s Baby
17. Sombre
18. Frailty
19. The Bride of Frankenstein
20. The Silence of the Lambs
21. Psycho
22. Evil Dead II
23. Eyes without a Face
24. Let the Right One In
25. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
26. Dead Ringers
27. Dawn of the Dead
28. Carrie
29. The Devils
30. American Psycho
31. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
32. Phenomena
33. House of Usher
34. Ravenous
35. Perfect Blue
36. Kill, Baby, Kill
37. The Loved Ones
38. The Innocents
39. Les Diaboliques
40. Cat People
41. The Vanishing
42. Opera
43. The Masque of the Red Death
44. Let Me In
45. The Devil
46. Isle of the Dead
47. Alien
48. The Seventh Victim
49. The Body Snatcher
50. Audition

4 responses to “Fifty Favourite Horror Films

  1. We agree on the very high canonicity of your top 3 picks, but right now I’m trying to recall if you had seen “Phenomena” before or if, like Opera, Tenebre, and Inferno it’s supposed to be part of your new Oct. 2010 viewing?

    I jope–even if you hated them– you’ll write luxurious essays about Tenebre & Inferno (of course you can write a luxurious essay about Opera too, but I’ll have to skip it since I haven’t watch it yet!). I could just go *on* and *on* into the wee hours about those films, they intrigue and haunt me so.

    I’ll have to pour over this at greater leisure later, but for the moment I’ll note, you seem to have passed over your admiration for the 28 Days/Weeks franchise, which I think you were enthusiastic over once? I admit I’m dim on the “Let Me In” vote– I wonder if you won’t shake that off in a year’s time?! I’m also surprised, actually, that Evil Dead 2 didn’t score higher for you, since I know you’ve waxed very enthusiastic before (was it one of your 3 “ultimate personal style” picks at one point?). Since I don’t place the film in quite that exalted a rank, I’m not displeased it it sinks a teeny bit in your esteem lol.

    I’d place The Shining and Dawn of the Dead *much* higher, as well as “Alien”. Oh, and is there Carpenter here? You’re a big fan of “The Thing”, aren’t you? Did you forget that?

    I don’t mean that to sound cajoling; I just know that, when one sets out to make up lists, one often forgets something that was totally meant to be on there! I remember you being an enthusiast for “The Thing”, so I’ll just make a hint of that, so in case I’m right maybe “Audition” gets consigned to the outer darkness?!

    I do hope you’ll write up your fave new viewings of this Halloween season, regardless. And are you doing another four-film Halloween party marathon?

  2. I just watched Phenomena a few weeks ago, same with Opera. First time viewings. Oh, so is Inferno, which I liked significantly less. Still have to see Tenebre. I can’t imagine devoting a lengthy essay to it, I have little to say about it, though it is somewhat beautiful… I think I prefer all his other films I’ve seen to it.

    I still like 28 days/weeks, but not enough to make the top fifty. I had to omit many films I loved, I actually have an expanded to 100, but the top fifty are far more secure, so I only posted that.

    I am actually not a huge fan of the Thing, I did write about it once, but I respect it more than I love it. That is to say – I don’t see any obvious fault with the film, I am simply not “taken” with it. Maybe a rewatch would change that, I don’t know.

    I didn’t have time for a horror marathon this year. Too busy with school and film festivals, it is a miracle I saw as much horror as I did considering.

  3. Well, “Inferno” is subject to alot of disagreement among people, so I can’t be surprised if it didn ‘t go over with you . . . but I couuld never exaggerate how much the film rushed over me as the dream-fulfillment of the most intense gothic reveries of my childhood (the bookstore pylons of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew hardcovers, with their candyshocked images of strange delightful peril). I feel like the film pulls something out from my dreams and makes it objectively real, and for that it’s like a sacred object to me, a magic talisman miraculous come from the place where I could never hope to press “REC” and yet there it is!

    I’ve loved “Phenomena” for a long time, but I think the last time I viewed it, it maybe diminished a little in relative rank for me against other Argentos. I love many things in it, including the cool blue Alpine hues, and much of the way the film is (as I imagine it) almost a kind of simulacra of adolescent fears and antipathies (the bitchy mom-siness of Nicolodi, and the repugnance of the monstrous little boy– ewww, boys!). I remember the very 1st time I saw it, when Pleasance is explaining how he esp. wants to catch the killer to avenge Greta, and there’s a long pause and I’m thinking– ‘she’s gonna say something about Sophie!!’ and finally she DOES, and it’s so dreamily weird because she knew Sophie for like, a day! lol But that’s what I love about it, that dream logic, where your roommate for a night (whose social faux pas, by the way, consists in asking you if you’ve slept with your dad) becomes your great ‘friend’.

    Still, Phenomena just feels a little less disciplined to me than Inferno and Suspiria, but maybe I’m just being fickle. Phenomena can still terrify me, just by the sheer weight of its mood (that *bus ride* with the fly, that takes her back to the cottage that’s abandoned, absolutely startles me with fear, even tho the sequence actually leads to nothing ‘scary’).

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