The top 10 horror movies of all time need to be judged by how scary they were at the time of release. Today, many of them bring smiles to our faces because of the poor special effects. I remember the day when television went from black and white to color and the scariest movie I saw as a child was “The Wizard of Oz”. The movie became very real when it went from the black and white scenes to the colorful Land of Oz.
Now that I am older and have had the opportunity to look back at all the horror movies I have seen, the following is a list of my top 10 horror movies of all time.
No. 10 – “Halloween” released in 1978
A fascinating depiction of Halloween, released during the Halloween season, and introducing the audience to the infamous “Jason”. A thrilling slasher movie that grossed an unprecedented $47 million dollars.
No. 9 – “Night of the Living Dead” original released in 1968
This top 10 horror movie introduced the public to mindless movie monsters the cannibalistic zombies. Another release in October to promote Halloween spirit, “Night of the Living Dead” scared audiences to pieces with no logic given to why brainless zombies continued to reign terror until they destroyed everything. The original is far better than any remakes.
No. 8 – “Psycho” released in 1960
Norman Bates is known by many as the psycho killer that caused the infamous shower scream of terror at the Bates Motel. The original Alfred Hitchcock black and white version illustrates the beginning of terrorizing audiences with psychological situations.
No. 7 – “The Omen” released in 1979
The switch of baby’s at birth placed Damien, born of a jackal, into a family position that would afford him power. The Antichrist walked the streets in this small boy. This sweet but devilish child brought terror to those around him. A psychological thriller by Jerry Goldsmith proved to be a hit in the box office.
No. 6 – “The Sixth Sense” released in 1999
Director M. Night Shyamalan provided an excellent psychological thriller where a young 9 year old boy could see the dead. A psychologist trying to help the boy overcome his fear of ghosts realizes he is a ghost himself. With few special effects, this modern day “Twilight Zone” entertained with tantalizing goose bumps.
No. 5 – “Poltergeist” released in 1982
The scarey movie where poor Carol Anne was taken by an entity within the family home promoted evil paranormal activity. The family bought a home which turned out to be built on a Native American Indian burial grounds and brought the wrath of spirits down on them. Carol Anne was saved but the audience was on the edge of their seats waiting for her return.
No. 4 – “The Haunting” released in 1963
The original movie “The Haunting” brought fear into the lives of those that ventured to the movie theaters in 1963. Director Robert Wise promoted scary by directing the individuals who stayed in a haunted mansion over night. The unstable Eleanor heard pounding on her bedroom door and asked her roommate to stop holding her hand so tight but the roommate was across the room. Then the fun began.
No. 3 – “The Exorcist” released in 1973
“The Exorcist” is listed within the top 3 of my top 10 horror movies of all time because the head of poor possessed Regan spins entirely around. Then the green vomit rocketing from her mouth sent chills through the audience as a wonderful special effect. The pure torture Regan went through, along with the priests and her family, brought questions into people’s minds as to whether demonic possession really existed.
No. 2 – “Carrie” released in 1976
The drive-in theater was the best place to watch “Carrie” on the big screen. The twists and turns of the clairvoyant Carrie brought shivers to those watching. The blood and terror throughout the movie keep people jumping. And who could ever forget the hand coming out of the grave at the end of the movie. An excellent thriller!
No. 1 – “The Shining” released in 1980
This Steven King classic directed by Stanley Kubrick’s portrayed a writer possessed by demons who was driven to kill his entire family. The family was house sitting the Overlook Hotel through the winter months so the father could write. The Overlook Hotel was haunted and took possession of the father. The writer’s young son saw several ghosts and ended up saving the day. The creepy “Redrum” still brings the memory back of the terror felt by the family. The new version doesn’t even begin to compare to the original release and the fear it bestowed on it’s viewers.
My top 10 horror movies of all times may be different than yours. Those of you that remember the releases of all the movies are sure to agree that they scared the britches off of us, especially since we came from the era of watching “Leave it to Beaver”!