I have to admit I like me some horror. Not all the time, but sometimes. It’s not really a popular genre per se, some people really loathe it, others don’t watch anything else, most watch the occasional blockbuster Saw XVI or teenage slasher. It’s still an interesting genre that includes some of most well known classics of all time (The Exorcist, Friday The 13th) but also torture porn, slashers, gore, horror comedy, zombie, sci-fi .. the list goes on. (I’m not including here the ‘serialkiller, verging on horror, psychological thrillers’ like Se7en, Silence Of The Lambs or Funny Games, just because I adore that genre and don’t really see it under the umbrella of ‘horror’ for the now). These are my eight favourite horror flicks :
Number 8 : Shaun Of The Dead
Some people hate the horror-comedy genre, but I find it to be at it’s best, to be really really funny. But with Pegg and Frost, was there any chance Shaun Of The Dead wouldn’t be? It’s still pretty scary just because it’s all so mundane that you feel the next time you get in the shower there’s going to be a zombie waiting for you.
Number 7 : The Shining
Wendy, I’m home. The Shining is such a classic that I actually pity the fool that hasn’t seen it. Nicholson is the awesomness in this one, delivering so many classic scenes, phrases and frights that your overwhelmed in a way. Based on a novel by the King Of Horror Stephen King and directed by one of the greats, Kubrick, this really didn’t have any chance to go wrong, now did it.
Number 6 : Haute Tension
Haute Tension might be one the best slasher’s ever made, part art-house part slasher also in ways a beautiful horror with great psychological insight. First Frenchy on this list, it’s actually an interesting film, yet really gory and terrifying.
Number 5 : Zombieland
Zombieland was actually one of my favourite films of 2009 and I have a really embarrassing crush on Woody Harrelson. ‘Nuff said.
Number 4 : Martyrs
The French do it well. A gruelling viewing experience, that I’m not sure I want to repeat Martyrs has the most tought-provoking ending that I’ve seen in years. Not for the weak-hearted, but those who can get past the camouflage of the disgusting imagery, are met with an interesting commentary on religion and pain.
Number 3 : 28 Days Later…
For me Danny Boyle can do no wrong (except when it comes to Slumdog, which I thought was the lowpoint of his career). He is at his best with a minimalistic setting, a great feel and close camerawork. 28 Days Later…, a refreshingly lacking in constant gore take on the epidemic storyline, Cillian Murphy deliveres his best leading man performance.
Number 2 : Let The Right One In
Let The Right One In (Låt Den Rätte Komma In) brought a refreshing, cool and twisted take on the vampire genre. The least ‘scary’ (in the fullest meaning of the word) of this bunch, but nonetheless thrilling tale of mainly frienship, loneliness and love. Has it’s trademark Nordic slow pace and depressive feel to it, which was well received everywhere (by those who actually got to see it).
Number 1 : Alien
One of my favourite films of all time, Alien is the film that made a lot of people afraid of what’s inside them. I saw this for the first time when I was really young, and the images still haunt me. The queen of sci-fi Sigourney Weaver, the even now disgusting looking bug-based aliens, the terrors of no escape and the lingering quitness of some scenes makes this film, and a part of it’s franchise of one of the best horror (and sci-fi for that matter) films ever made.