Horror movies are an important part of American culture. They play to our primal fears of being stalked, chased, tortured and killed. They provide a rush that we don’t normally experience. So, in honor of Halloween, it seems only appropriate to provide a list of “drop dead” scary movies to watch.
5. Sigourney Weaver stars in the first of five horrific films. Ridley Scott’s “Alien” got my skin crawling when I was seven and still makes me cringe to this day. Some people don’t think Sci-Fi movies are scary because they are disjointed from reality, but Scott makes you part of the crew in “Alien” and skillfully creates situations in small spaces with high tension. Plus, the chest-bursting scene makes me question every chest pain I have to this day.
4. Fourth is “Psycho,” directed by Alfred Hitchcock. He shocked the nation with this movie where people claimed they saw red, though it was filmed in black and white. Special effects and computer generated imaging can never recreate the simple effects like Hershey Syrup blood used in Psycho, in my opinion.
3. “The Ring” comes in at number three because of how it revitalized American horror. A combination of a disturbing videotape, a girl that crawls out of TVs and a great soundtrack might not sound scary, but the result was a delightfully thrilling movie that makes you second-guess every VHS you own.
2. Steven King and Stanley Kubrick join forces in our penultimate choice. The Shining is a novel by Steven King that will send shivers down anyone’s spine, and the movie spectacularly visualizes the novel. A family heads to a hotel for the winter, where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father, Jack Torrance, into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
1. Finally, there’s “The Exorcist.” This bloodcurdling tale is based on a true story and depicts the lives of two priests as they try to save a 12-year-old girl from possession by the devil. Most movies have one or two especially scary scenes where you need a night light, but “The Exorcist” never stops as it is relentless in its ability to make you soil your pants constantly. The voice acting, special effects, character portrayal and use of a child as a tool for the devil propel this movie to the top of our list and into our nightmares.
By: Sean Burke