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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Top Scary Movies of All Time...

Halloween came and past us with not much craziness around the block. I guess that is a sign of getting older. We watched Scooby Doo Halloween with the kids and they had a great time with it. They are really into Scooby Doo lately.

I have decided to rank the top 10 horror movies of all time. I realize this list is probably non-traditional, but this is my list and if you don’t like it you can go watch your own list of movies. If you want to hear the rankings of a lunatic here is my list…

10. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – I remember watching this one as a kid in Evanston. I am not sure why I was watching it, but it was damn scary. The best part of this is how nervous this movie makes you during the scenes with Mia Farrow and Ruth Gorden.

9. Jacobs Ladder (1990) – I saw this and did not know that it was so whacked when I bought it off the pre-viewed rack at Blockbuster. Tim Robbins is great in this film, as he usually is in most films he is in. This remarkable film takes us into Jacob's nightmare and we, like him, are kept wondering what is real and what isn't.

8. Seven (1995) – This story was great, but the film was even better. The cinematography, lighting... everything about the movie is perfect. The ending is excellent and you can see this over and over since it is so complex.

7. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – I remember watching this with Billy Horist at his house up in his room on Simpson Street. This movie is nuts and it is really scary. I think it does not hold up as well as the others, but it is still very scary to watch and took scary movies to the next level.

6. Halloween (1978) - Shot in 21 days for just $300,000, John Carpenter's relentless slasher spawned a string of sequels and a slew of imitations. The original is still the best though, with Jamie Lee Curtis becoming the ultimate "scream queen" as the babysitter in peril from masked maniac Michael Myers. The mask - based, incidentally, on the face of William Shatner - became a genre staple, from Freddy Kreuger's pizza face to Jason Voorhees' hockey grill.

5. Carrie (1976) – I love Stephen King! Adolescent angst and paranormal powers make a deadly cocktail in Brian De Palma's adaptation of Stephen King's novel, which despite being much imitated still has the power to shock. Sissy Spacek is heartbreaking as the cloistered heroine whose high school prom becomes a nightmare, while Piper Laurie freezes the blood as her religious maniac of a mother. Look out too for a young John Travolta as one of Carrie's tormentors.

4. The Shining (1980) - "Here's Johnny!" Jack Nicholson gives perhaps his most unhinged performance to date as the writer-cum-janitor driven slowly round the bend by the haunted hotel he shares with wife Shelley Duvall, psychic son Danny Lloyd and the ghosts of its former residents. Stanley Kubrick turns Stephen King's bestseller into a disconcerting saga of supernatural strangeness that ultimately explodes in an orgy of axe-wielding terror.

3. The Blair Witch Project (1999) – I would say this is in the top 3 and could be #1. Amazing film. Did you know the users were adlibbing the whole movie and did not know the script? This is such a great film. The plot is three student film-makers researching the legend of the "Blair Witch" get lost in the forest in a mock-documentary so authentic many thought it was the real deal.

2. Silence of the Lambs (1991) – I went to see this with a date in 1991. I thought it was a movie about animals and seriously had no clue what I was in store for. Wow – what a great movie. Perhaps the best modern-day thriller, as confirmed by Academy Award-winning performances by Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, as well as going down in history as the first thriller to win a Best Picture Academy Award. Jonathan Demme showcases an FBI agent's hunt for a serial killer, with the guidance of another serial killer. Not a personal favorite, but a classic.

1. The Exorcist (1973) - There is a reason why they re-released William Friedkin's movie, by far the scariest one ever made. Just listen to the theme music if you do not believe me. There is something freaky about a child possessed by the devil, right? This one set the stage for The Silence of the Lambs with its own Best Picture nomination.

I hope you like my list. Okay, it is not that much different than most, but I tell you that you should watch each of these again. They are amazing films.

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