I meant to do a top ten list but it was too hard to choose so I expanded to a top 12. It was really hard to narrow it down even this much and I know that, in a few days, I will remember one or two that I’ve forgotten and feel should be on this list. For now, let’s stick to these 12. These are in descending order, from my favourite to my most favourite of favourites. Again, it was really tough to do this since all of these are pretty amazing movies — you wouldn’t believe the struggle. So check it out. And if there are some you haven’t seen before, make sure to watch them!
This excellent little indie horror really spins the genre on its head. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, it follows a young girl who contracts a ghostly menace after sleeping with someone. It’s a neat little premise of a curse or haunting being passed around like an STD rather than being tied to a house or object.
Another movie that has a special place in my heart for being equal parts ridiculous and for having Pinhead, one of the creepiest monsters I saw as a kid. This classic was written and directed by none other than Clive Barker. Hell is unleashed when you solve a particular puzzle box. Do it if you dare but don’t be shocked when Pinhead and his pals come a-knocking. Fun fact: Doug Bradley plays Pinhead and I worked as a booth girl for his company, Renegade Arts Entertainment, at the Toronto Comic Con one year. Part of his post-Pinhead career is producing audiobooks of classic horror stories. I also got to meet him in person at Horrorhound in Ohio one year! Check it out:
His grump only made him cooler.
Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett, this movie captures a single, traumatic night for the Davison family, who have gathered at the family vacation home for the parents’ wedding anniversary weekend. When they are attacked by vicious thugs in animal masks, blood spills. But one of the guests has an unusual talent for fighting back. A great horror with just the right amount of traps, danger, gore, and thrills.
A great possession movie directed by André Øvredal and written by Ian B. Goldberg and Richard Naing. A father and son work together as coroners in a small town. One night, they receive the body of an unknown woman. The police wants answers fast but the corpse isn’t what it seems to be. Very good twists and turns, a chilling story that will keep you on your toes.
I’m a sucker for monster movies, especially ones with a monster as big as the one that attacks New York. I know a lot of people are turned off of found footage films but this will always have a special place in my heart. Simply put – a giant eldritch horror attacks New York. This one was directed by Matt Reeves and written by Drew Goddard.
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, and Damien Chazelle; this film also features my girl Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Winstead plays a woman who gets into a car accident and wakes up in a bunker. The man who brought her there insists that aliens have attacked and the air isn’t safe to breathe. The guy is not completely sane though and the woman struggles to decide what and who to believe.
Technically the third movie in this series is my favourite but Army of Darkness isn’t meant to be a true horror I don’t think, hence why it’s not on this list. Written and directed by Sam Raimi, there’s nothing you can’t love about Ash and all the horrible things he experiences when he and his friends go to a cabin for some weekend relaxation. Nod to H.P. Lovecraft when they discover the previous owners left behind the Necronomicon. Another fun fact: I dressed as Ash for a comic con one year and tweeted Bruce Campbell a picture and he loved it:
Directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland, this zombie flick follows the struggles of a young man who awakens from a coma only to find that a virus has gotten loose and ravaged the country. The strength of this movie definitely comes from the fact it focusses on the evil of mankind when faced with a horrific crisis. You’ll find yourself creeped out by the atmospheric audio, creepy zombies, and by the actions of your fellow humans as they lose their humanity.
This sci-fi horror was directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. Set aboard the USCSS Nostromo, a space merchant ship, the crew discovers a distress call. When they go to investigate, one of their crew members is attacked by an alien organism unlike any other. Things only go from bad to horrifying as time passes, the crew has to fight to survive. Also good is Aliens and Alien 3.
I love both the original and the 2011 film, but the fact that all the effects were prosthetic in the 1982 film made it far superior. Nothing screams creepy more than effective props and make-up. Directed by horror master John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster and John W. Campbell Jr., the film follows the terrifying attack on the crew of a remote research facility in the Antarctic. When the scientists realize there is an alien among them that can copy a person completely, they must stay alive long enough to figure out who is human and who is not.
This claustrophobic thrill ride was written and directed by Neil Marshall. Follow a group of young women as they go spelunking in a cave that supposed to be safe, only to find out there’s something else in the dark with them. The movie uses its setting effectively to build a sense of unease, futility, and despair. While these poor women are chased through narrow tunnels, over endless chasms, and into murky flooded areas; you’ll find yourself holding your breath and biting your nails the whole way through. The action doesn’t stop, the fear doesn’t stop, and you’ll find the hairs raising up on the back of your neck before it’s through. Also be sure to watch the alternative ending and let me know which is your favourite.
This hair-raising film was directed and written by Mike Flanagan. The film pulls you into the tragic tale of the Russell family told in a side-by-side narrative that explores what happened in their past as well as their present. The father buys an antique mirror that seems to cause all number of creepy things to happen while also corrupted the parents. In the present day, the son and daughter are all grown up. The woman is determined to prove the mirror is cursed one way or another. The key to this movie, which I love, is that it’s ambiguous. Is the mirror really cursed or are the son and daughter damaged from what they witnessed as children?
That’s all, everyone! Be sure to like and share — show me the love! I’ll see you all next Sunday!