The 10 Best Horror Movies I Have Ever Seen

1) The Exorcist
The Granddaddy of all Horror movies. William Friedkin's spooky, brilliant film was one of the first to tackle exorcism, gore and psychological terror with such tightly-knit fervor. I can't say many movies in my lifetime have actually given me nightmares, but this one did. If any negative came out of the release of this 1973 film it's the fact that we got a lot of bad exorcism films after that. "The Power of Christ Compels You!" 

2) The Shining

Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece was met with lukewarm reviews upon its release nearly 36 years ago, now it's considered a stone-cold classic of cinema. Who can forget little Danny Torrance uttering REDRUM or a frighteningly possessed Jack Nicholson huffing an puffing his way into the bathroom door with an axe and delivering a menacing "Here's Johnny!"

3) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Produced on a scant $300,000 budget, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is still one of the creepiest things ever put on celluloid. It set a new standard for slasher films, breaking down barriers and taboos that to this day are still too frightening to tackle. The family of cannibalistic psychopaths portrayed felt too real andToby Hooper directed the film with documentary realism that had us believe the events depicted actually happened. 

4) Rosemary's Baby

Roman Polanski's tale of satanism and pregnancy is masterfully carried by a great Mia Farrow performance. The frights are relentless, but so is the psychological horror of never actually showing the terror. One can only imagine how the baby looks like and it's something we probably don't ever want to see on-screen anyway. Just like all of Polanski's best films, the tension here is almost too unbearable to take.

5) Halloween

Highly influenced by "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," director John Carpenter made his own horror movie classic with "Halloween." A film that was largely responsible for the relentless amount of slasher films to come in the 80s. It also popularized many tropes that we are now used to in the genre: the last girl standing, killing off unlikable characters, a killer theme song and the camera following the killer from his own POV. If you think its impact on cinema has diminished just watch last year's "It Follows."

6) Psycho

Sure there's the incredibly realized "shower scene," and Bernard Hermann's iconic, screeching score, but Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" is so much more than that. Hitchcock seemed to have no pity for his main characters, introducing them and then killing them off not too long after. Anyone was a target. Traditional plotting was thrown out of the window. An anything goes atmosphere can be the most frightening narrative imaginable. 

7) Don't Look Now

One of the most underrated movies ever made is also one of the scariest. Nicolas Roeg's film about a couple's tragic loss and the depths they go to gain back their sanity has dread lurking in every frame. It's an acute study of grief that delves into the supernatural with devastating effect. Kiefer Sutherland and Julie Christine star in a film that dares you to head into the unknown. How can we ever forget that dwarf in the red cape?

8) Carrie

A shy, friendless girl with a creepy mother decides to exact revenge on school bullies. Director Brian De Palma not only went all-out in the film's legendary climax, which involved pig's blood, telekinetic powers and fully-fledged mayhem, but he brought much depth to his allegory filled take about the downs of high-school life. 

9) The Thing 

Winter of 1982, an American Research Base is attacked by an unknown alien. The fact that it can assimilate with anything it touches only makes it more difficult to catch. John Carpenter's remake of the 1961 film is better in every possible way and reinforces the notion that sometimes special effects can be put to good use. The gore is all over the place here, but so is character development and an uncanny ability to jump-scare the living hell out of you.

10) The Blair Witch Project
The most influential horror movie of the last 20 years. Film critic Michael Dodd has argued that the film is an embodiment of horror "modernizing its ability to be all-encompassing in expressing the fears of American society", acknowledging its status as the archetypal modern found footage feature, he noted that "In an age where anyone can film whatever they like, horror needn’t be a cinematic expression of what terrifies the cinema-goer, it can simply be the medium through which terrors captured by the average American can be showcased"
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