It's finally everyone's favorite month: HALLOWEEN. I don't care what anyone says, Halloween is 31 days of celebrating scaryspookynastydeadly things. Not to mention, (even though I'm clearly mentioning it), we also get an October Friday the 13th on the calendar this year.
This is the time of year to snuggle up with your significant other, or the most recent corpse you dug up, and binge some horror movies. I decided to share with you my favorite films in this genre so that maybe you can find a new favorite. (Though, if you're an avid horror movie watcher, you will probably have seen most of the films on this list.) Let's get to it.
Martyrs isn't just one of my favorite horror films, it's one of my favorite films, period. This movie travels into almost every realm of horror and the ending is beautiful. Martyrs works in three very distinct acts and almost feels jarring at times when thematic elements suddenly change. This has lead to some people not liking the film, but I, of course, feel differently.
I really don't want to tell you too much about the story. I went into this film blind and I think that's the best way to do it. It's violent, philosophical, and brilliant. There is one scene that lasts a little too long, but it doesn't affect my feelings about the film. Check out the trailer below.
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This was the first film I ever saw that made me feel disgusting. It was even more effective since I grew up in Texas. When I'd drive way out into the country to small towns as a kid, and even now, it felt and feels as if any one of the houses set far out on a plot of land could be the house of leatherface.
I love how everyone thought the film was based completely on a true story while I grew up in north Texas. Everyone made up their own part of Texas where it happened. If for some odd reason you've never seen it, you must. If you have, watch it again. You can never see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre too many times. Check out the trailer below.
3. Street Trash
I recently saw this film near the beginning of the year at my friends house. I had no idea what to expect. 1980's horror movies can sometimes be hit or miss, but this one was fantastic. From the trailer, you can see that it's clearly not the scariest of films, but god, it's so much fun.
The film actually felt like two separate movies to me. One about a killer alcoholic beverage and another about homeless violence. It was almost as if the screenwriter couldn't decide which story he wanted to go with so he just went with both.
The props and effects are what make this film though. There's also a side character/actor in this that is incredibly captivating named James Lorinz. I have no idea how he didn't go on to be the Robert Downey Jr. of the late 80's/early 90's. Check out the trailer below.
4. 28 Days Later
I feel as though we, in 2017, are entering the aftermath of the zombie craze that plagued this decade earlier on. Of all the zombie movies looking at this decade, last decade, and all the other decades, 28 days later is by far the best in my opinion. (How many times can I put the word decade into a sentence?) Slow zombies are scary, but when you put characters in a world filled with the undead and they run fast as hell, that adds a whole new element of horror.
It seems like every moment of this movie is filled with either sadness, despair, or anxiety. All are great emotions associated with good horror films. It doesn't just make you afraid of this reality, it makes you live in it and feel for the characters. It focuses on the zombie aspect, as well as humanity's depravity in the event of an apocalyptic situation. Check out the trailer below.
5. The Changeling
I saw The Changeling for the first time about two years ago around this time and I was blown away. Everyone talks about The Exorcist as being a great possession/demonic film from that time, but in my opinion, The Changeling does it better.
I think the story is better written then The Exorcist, the sets are fantastic, and the acting/character development are dead on when it comes to proper pacing. The musical scores are about on par with each other, but it blows me away that I and many others overlooked this movie. Check out the trailer below.
6. House of a 1,000 Corpses/The Devil's Rejects
Most people have seen these films already, but to me, they're such a great ode to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. I should clarify, I'm obviously not saying this is a remake, but it's certainly inspired heavily by the 1970's film.
These are Rob Zombie's best films, hands down. "Doctor Satan" is a bit cheesy, but I think it plays well with the terrifying playfulness Zombie writes into his films. Add on to that: Captain Spaulding is one of my favorite horror movie characters of all time. He also reminds me of my late uncle, in looks and personality. Also, DWIGHT. Check out the trailer for House of a 1,000 Corpses below.
7. Resident Evil
I remember sneaking into Resident Evil (just for a moment) and seeing the Licker scene when I was about 15 years old. I had to see the whole thing. Plus, growing up playing the video games helped. I finally saw it when it became available on DVD at Blockbuster.
If 28 Days Later is my favorite zombie horror movie, R.E. comes in as a close second. I can't vouch for the sequels, but the first movie is wonderful. I remember having a nightmare after seeing it about getting chopped up into latticed pieces. I wish all of the sequels were as good, though they aren't TERRIBLE (debatable, I suppose.)
This was my introduction to Milla Jovovich as an actress and I instantly fell in love. She was a badass. Michelle Rodriguez graced us in this film as well, hot off of the first Fast and Furious film. Together, they made this movie for me. Mix in the awesome special effects and the line that stuck in my head for a lifetime, "You're all going to die down here", and you've got a great horror film. Check out the trailer below.
Say what you want about the sequels, but the first movie and its twist fooled everyone. James Wan has been a favorite director of mine for awhile as he tries to go the cheaper route on creating movies. This leads to more creativity and an overall better film, I believe.
Who knew a movie about two people chained in a room could be so good? This brought torture horror back to the mainstream of American movies. GOD BLESS YOU, SAW.
I feel bad for anyone who saw it later on and had the ending ruined for them. Check out the trailer below.
9. The Blair Witch Project
Ahhh the movie that made found footage film a big thing in America cinema. I recently re-watched this one and it still holds up today. It actually feels more authentic than most found footage films today. I'm looking at YOU, High Definition cameras.
This movie made the woods scary again. I did an article awhile back on horror movies and the stories they're based on in reality. Not surprisingly, the film itself is not real, even though it some really great marketing to make you think it was. The surprising part though was that it wasn't based on anything that had happened in that area. You can read more about it here.
The Blair Witch is one my favorites because it was somewhat a re-pioneer if you will, in what it was doing and was made on almost no budget. Like James Wan, they turned a small budget into a great film, showing Hollywood that more money doesn't necessarily lead to a better movie. Plus, it was downright horrifying as a young teenager. Check out the trailer below.
10. It Follows
It Follows was one the best horrors of the past few years. It's suspenseful, has a WONDERFUL john carpenter-styled soundtrack, and the camera positions and 360 shots are amazing. Where Michael Bay typically uses 360 angles for lens flare and to show how many things are blowing up in an action movie, David Robert Mitchell uses the 360 shots in a controlled manner for horror and produces some really uneasy and anxiety-filled pans.
For a movie dealing with a killer S.T.D., it was surprisingly serious and creative. It reminded me of Teeth th movie if Teeth had better actors and was written better and was directed better and...nevermind, it's nothing like Teeth.
The ending is phenomenal as well. I won't spoil it. There's a lot more I could say, but I feel like less people have seen this film than others and I really want you all to experience it for yourselves. Check out the trailer below.
11. The House of the Devil
This movie reminds me of Wall-E in only one way: the dialogue or lack thereof. A large portion of this film has no lines, but is suspenseful nonetheless. BONUS: The actors are incredible.
It's about a babysitter who works at a weird house. The synopsis sounds a bit over done, I know, but trust me - It's so much more than that. I really don't want to give too much away though.
It appears as a 70's or early 80's film, but was actually released in 2009. The movie goes from zero to horror film extremely fast. It's actually one of my favorite jarring scenes in a movie. From there, the movie really gets going and leads to a pretty awkward ending. Check out the trailer below.
12. The Descent
I love caves and I love well done horror films. If you feel the same, the Descent is for you.
Essentially, the movie is about some spelunkers who get trapped in a cave and things come out of the shadows that are not ideal considering you're trapped.
There's creatures and jumps and all sorts of madness. It reminds me a bit of The Hills Have Eyes and I can't really pinpoint why; maybe because they both involve walls made of rock and murder? I don't know. Check out the trailer below.
13. A Serbian Film
Lastly, I wasn't sure if I should add this one, as people may begin to think I have some sort of mental illness or have some really weird fetishes, but...here it is. I'm not putting this movie on here not to recommend it to you, but only to tell you that it is one of my favorite horrors. Let me explain.
This film gets really dark and outrageous really. Most would say it goes too far. The first time I watched it was on my birthday in 2012 and I vividly remember my roommates/friends walking out of the room and saying "I can't watch this" and "how can you keep watching this, Eric?" It's incredibly twisted and created scenes no one should have ever made.
The reason I like the film so much is because it seems like the writer said to himself, "Let me think of the worst stuff I can put on screen...and then do something a little worse than that." The movie took chances that I've never seen any other film do. Anti-christ was sick. Cannibal Holocaust was revolting. But A Serbian Film is somehow worse and progressively gets worse and worse as the film goes on. Check out the trailer below.