Seeing as its Halloween, we may as well get this over with. The top five creepiest, soul-chillingest and most pant-filling horror movies, ever.
1 . The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin directed what still holds up as perhaps the most serious movie ever. Children are creepy, especially when theyre possessed by the devil himself. Child actress Linda Blair pukes, growls, and jabs herself so convincingly and horrorificly that even the hardest of the hard squirm like little kids that have to piss. Any movie that makes viewers faint, puke and run from the theatre is a sure winner. The Exorcist , you never get used to it.
2 . Jaws (1975) Sit on a surfboard at dusk, dangling your legs in the water and try to tell me Jaws didnt affect you. While it may not be quite as chock full of terror as some others on this list, Steven Speilbergs "fish movie" put the fear into people and kept it there. More because of the masterful soundtrack than the animatronic shark, Jaws inflicts a deep, heavy fear into people that never really goes away.
3. Psycho (1960) Before Psycho horror movies always involved threats from outer space, the undead, creatures, werewolves, giant animals etc. Alfred Hitchcocks most notorious film, Psycho signals the first time horror manifested itself inside what appeared to be a normal guy, Norman Bates. Hitchcock brought the evil inside a human being, inside any one of us, and it scared the crap out of people. Based on real serial killer Ed Geins, Psycho is a landmark in horror history. Another movie where the soundtrack plays an integral role.
4. The Shining (1980) Director Stanley Kubrick perfected what Psycho started with Jack Nicholson as the regular guy who transforms into a raving, axe-wielding maniac. Adapted from the Steven King novel of the same name, The Shining is Kubricks best movie, simple, yet terrifying. Amazing camerawork and setting, creepy twin girls, and elevators full of blood make this one perhaps the quintessential classic horror movie. Besides, who knew the word "murder" would be way scarier spelled backwards.
5. Halloween, Friday the 13 th , and Nightmare on Elm Street (1978, 1980, 1984) All three of these franchises have been sequel-ed to death but the originals dont get the credit they deserve. Sam Cunningham ( Friday ) and Wes Craven ( Nightmare ) created villains so terrifying and vile they became household names and John Carpenter ( Halloween) invented his own horror sub-genre: the slasher flick. These three movies, all released within six years, are responsible for decades of children waking up in the middle of the night sweating and crying for mommy.
Happy Halloween, check the back seat when you get in the car.
At Village 8 Oct. 31-Nov. 6
Brother Bear (starts Nov. 1), Winged Migration, Underworld, Matrix Revolution (starts Nov. 5), Runaway Jury, Kill Bill, Radio, Mystic River, Scary Movie 3, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Oct. 31 only), School of Rock.
At Rainbow Theatre Oct. 31-Nov. 6
Intolerable Cruelty, Mambo Italiano.