Tuesday, October 31, 2017

101 Horror Films

*This list has changed considerably since I first made a top 100 horror list a few years ago.*

What classifies as a horror film? This came up multiple times when making the list. Is Se7en or Silence of the Lambs horror? They harvest a lot more scares than most and cutesy reviewers like to refer to them as "psychological thrillers". To that I might ask: Isn't the most effective horror psychological? H.P. Lovecraft once said "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." That would certainly qualify a film like It Comes At Night as horror. But would it for Silence of the Lambs and Se7en? Both focus on serial killers which is an entire sub genre unto itself. Sure it's crime but those films dance along the edges of horror throughout their runtime. And if you're going to include them, why not Zodiac? And if you're going to include that...you get the picture. So, those are out. (Stay tuned for a list on that subgenre later.) Where do Inland Empire, Eraserhead or Fire Walk With Me fall? You know, Lynch's filmed nightmares. Lynch is an entire entity unto himself. All of this can be misconstrued as some film snob's mantle of "Lynch would never direct such dreck as a horror film...he directs ART!" Something that's even prevalent among directors of some of our favorite classics. To this day William Friedkin insists that The Exorcist isn't a horror film. But none of us are buying it. Is Eraserhead a horror film? Not in the classical sense. Yet it scares the bejeebies out of me more than most horror films. So, they stay. All of this is personal opinion on what is probably the most subjective genre out there. Everyone has written their own definition. Here are 100 examples of mine:

Who Can Kill A Child (1976)


Onibaba (1964)

Eyes Without A Face (1960)

Favorite Horror Comedies/Kids Movies
Beetlejuice (1988)
The Burbs (1989)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Gremlins (1984)
Critters (1986)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
The Monster Squad (1987)
Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)


  1. I'm glad Raw made it on your list! Easily one of my favorites of the year.

  2. You're right - it IS tough to categorize. And it IS SO subjective -- not even having to do with 'good or bad' but 'where does it belong?' So many are scifi, comedy, romance...