My Top 10 Horror Movies

DSCN2618I recently wrote a blog about how awful the Chernobyl Diaries was, and I wanted to link to a previous blog about the best horror movies of all time.  I realized as I looked through my archives that I had never written one!  I don’t know how this oversight could have happened.  I am rectifying it immediately.

These are in no particular order.

  1.  A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984):  There’s nothing else quite like a villain who can find you in your dreams.  Sleep is a basic human need, and not having it can make you crazy.  I literally had nightmares about this movie for months after I saw it.  That didn’t stop me from seeing the others in the series, but none of them matched the terror of the first.
  2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010):  I was skeptical when I saw that they were re-imagining this iconic horror movie.  Someone other than Robert Englund as Freddie Krueger?  Blasphemy!  However, Jackie Earle Hayley did a spectacular job as Freddie, and it was close enough to the original to satisfy fans like me, yet edgy and different enough to keep my interest.
  3. Shredder (2003):  This is camp horror at its finest.  A group of young, attractive adults go to a remote cabin for some snowboarding.  Murder comes to visit, and they… can’t… escape… (insert maniacal laugh here)
  4. Dead Snow (2009):  I thought I’d seen everything when it comes to zombie movies, but apparently, I hadn’t.  This Norwegian movie is subtitled, but well worth the effort.  A group of med students go to a remote cabin and find some treasure under the floor.  Zombie Nazis kill the students to get their gold back.
  5. Rec (2007):  The one is a another subtitled zombie movie, this time in Spanish.  The fire department gets called out because an older woman is acting strangely.  They later get quarantined in the building, and the group struggles to escape.
  6. The Descent (2005):  Nothing is scarier (to me) than being trapped underground in a small space.  The women in this movie went underground on purpose, spelunking.  After that, it just gets creepier as they explore this uncharted cave and find thing that probably should have stayed buried.
  7. The Blair Witch Project (1999):  This movie redefined the genre.  Many of us think of the shaky camera and first person shooter point of view in horror movies as nothing special, but in 1999, this was all new.  When I went to see it, I actually believed it was from actual footage, and it scared the socks off me even after I realized it was fiction.  I lived in woods just like those!  And since you never saw the Blair Witch, you didn’t know exactly what was coming for you.  It’s a classic for a reason.
  8. Paranormal Activity (2007):  I had a friend who thought this movie was real.  It was so well done in a realistic manner with unknowns, that it fooled her, even in this era of movies trying to pass themselves off as documentaries.  There were good jumpy moments in it, and some things that stuck with me for weeks.  Even knowing it was just a movie… I wondered.
  9. The Shining (1980):  Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, this movie is scary because it’s one man turning against the family he loves.  Ghostly influences convince him that his family is against him, and they’re all trapped in this huge, isolated hotel.
  10. Psycho (1960):  If you’ve never seen this movie, I highly recommend renting it.  It’s classic for a reason.  I’m very interested to see the new movie coming out about the making of it.

Honorable mention: Dale and Tucker vs. Evil:  It’s not a “real” horror movie.  It’s a spoof of horror movies, a comedy of errors.  It’s one of my favorites for the way it nails the genre.

Movies that Made Me Think

In Hollywood today, there aren’t many great stories.  I love a good blow ’em up type movie with lots of car chases and swear words, but those can only be done and redone so many times.  I’m a fan of movies that make me think, even if I don’t necessarily like the movie.

Filmbalaya recently did a great blog on the “25 movies that could blow you away in the second half of 2011”.  Here’s a link to that website.

It made me think about how I haven’t done a top 10 list in awhile, and how maybe it’s time.  So without further ado, here’s the top 10 list of movies that made me think.  In no particular order:

1.  Red State (2011)–  I’m normally a Kevin Smith fan, and while I didn’t like this movie much, it really did make me think.  I didn’t hate it and have the urge to turn it off; it’s just that when it was over, I was left with more questions than answers.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I recommend watching it at least once.

2.  Inception (2010)– This was a twisty turny thinking movie if I ever saw one.  I didn’t think I liked this movie when I was done, and I actually had to go on other sites and read various interpretations of the movie.  If you haven’t seen it, this is one to watch with a group of friends and to debate and discuss over a bottle of wine afterward.

3.  V for Vendetta (2006)- It’s social, it’s political.  It’s interesting, sad and funny.  If you’re starting to wonder if 1984 by George Orwell got it right, this is a movie you must see.

4.  The Dark Knight (2008)- Yes, I know it’s a Batman movie.  However, it’s dark and says a lot about human psychology.  It’s a fascinating look at the human mind, and why no matter how far we come as a society (or don’t), the only predictable thing about human nature is that it is unpredictable.

5.  Forks Over Knives (2011)- This is a documentary about food and how maybe science knows more about curing disease than we think.  I promise you, pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to see this one.

6.  Food, Inc.(2008)- I delayed watching this one for a really long time, and I was right to do so.  I cried through it and had to stop because I got nauseated more than once.  If you want to know where your food comes from and the control that you have over the food industry, and that the food industry has over you, watch this movie.

7.  Fight Club (1999)- Again, this is another movie that explores human psychology, and more than that, group mentalities.  I recommend both the book and the movie, but the movie does a good job of staying true to what made the book great.

8.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)-  A guy arrives at a mental institution and breaks all the rules.  It’s an interesting look at institutionalization.  Again, the book is better, but the movie has Jack Nicholson, so it’s worth watching.

9.  Taxi Driver (1976)- Robert DeNiro plays a taxi driver who starts mentally breaking down.  He becomes obsessed with a young prostitute and takes action.  The ending is discussion worthy, and makes me wonder if this could happen.

10.  Basic (2003)-  A washed up military investigator is called into a base to figure out why several men on a mission disappeared.  But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  The story gets more complex and convoluted as it goes on, but the ending is worth the journey.