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 The RT Top 100 Horror Films Has Risen From the Grave... 
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 The RT Top 100 Horror Films Has Risen From the Grave...

(Obviously)

Anyway, it turns out that I had the list of top 100 horror films we'd done on RT a few years back as well as most if not all of the write-ups kicking around in my email. Seeing as it's Halloween (almost, depending on your timezone), I figured I'd post it again for posterity.

Credit to Janson for jogging my memory about what email (now if only he'd remind me what my credit card number is), SkyDog for having done all the hard work of compiling this back in the day, and everybody who contributed to the voting and write-ups.

I think I posted trivia and reviews when we did it originally for the lower ranked entries, and I can't be arsed to do that again, but I will share the write-ups I still have and the fancy schmancy stats that SkyDog had provided.

So have a seat, grab some popcorn and...you know the rest.


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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:20 pm
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Everyone who voted (I do not remember who half these people are):

Adam Hubscher
Apex Predator
billwh2
BobHarris
BuckyCaptain
ChillinDylan Godsend
crumbsroom
DaMU
David Bailey
Death Proof
Deschain
Frankly Frank
Isaac
Janson Jinnistan
kgaard
Matt the Hat
MaxRenn
Mounix
Oddjob323
Old Bastard Ed
pugman
Red
Rock
Rumpled 4 Skin
SkyDog
Spencie Returns
Steve Brandon
TeamCanada

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:22 pm
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Statistics (truly everyone's favourite part of Halloween):

Number of participants: 28
Number of films submitted: 354
Number of directors: 284


Decade Tally (10 Decades):
1980s - 85
2000s - 65
1970s - 49
1990s - 45
1960s - 32
2010s - 28
1950s - 17
1930s - 14
1920s - 10
1940s - 9

Newest Film(s):
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour) - 2014
Housebound (Gerard Johnstone) - 2014
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell) - 2014
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent) - 2014
What We Do in the Shadows (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi) - 2014

Oldest Film(s):
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene) - 1920
The Golem (Carl Boese, Paul Wegener) - 1920

Country Tally (33 Countries):
USA - 230
UK - 58
Italy - 27
France - 24
Canada - 22
Japan - 20
Germany - 15
Spain - 9
Australia - 8
New Zealand - 7
Sweden - 7
Mexico - 5
West Germany - 5
Czechoslovakia - 3
South Korea - 3
Netherlands - 2
Poland - 2
Argentina - 1
Belgium - 1
Brazil - 1
Czech Republic - 1
Denmark - 1
Finland - 1
Hong Kong - 1
India - 1
Luxembourg - 1
Malta - 1
Monaco - 1
Norway - 1
Romania - 1
Singapore - 1
Switzerland - 1
Thailand - 1

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:26 pm
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And now, the results!!!!!!

*blows kazoo*

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:29 pm
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100. Trick 'r Treat (Michael Dougherty, 2007)

99. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (Neil Jordan, 1994)

98. Cemetery Man (Michele Soavi, 1994)

97. Tremors (Ron Underwood, 1990)

95 (tie). Onibaba (Kaneto Shindô, 1964)

95 (tie). Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984)

94. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981)

93. Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998)

92. Zombieland (Ruben Fleischer, 2009)

91. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:37 pm
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90. The Host (Joon-ho Bong, 2006)

89. The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002)

87 (tie). Lake Mungo (Joel Anderson, 2005)

87 (tie). Martin (George Romero, 1976)

86. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971)

85. The Invisible Man (James Whale, 1933)

84. Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi, 2009)

82 (tie). Misery (Rob Reiner, 1990)

82 (tie). The Sixth Sense (M. Night Shyamalan, 1999)

81. Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:39 pm
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80. The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2012)

79. [Rec] (Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza, 2007)

78. Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960)

77. The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks, 1951)

75 (tie). King Kong (Ernest B. Schoedsack , Merian C. Cooper, 1933)

75 (tie). Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder, 2004)

72 (tie). The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014)

72 (tie). Fright Night (Tom Holland, 1985)

72 (tie). Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983)

71. Creepshow (George A. Romero, 1982)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:42 pm
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70. Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (Benjamin Christensen, 1922)

68 (tie). The Devil's Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001)

68 (tie). Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979)

67. Curse of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)

66. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1967)

65. Army of Darkness (Sam Raimi, 1992)

64. House (Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, 1977)

63. Predator (John McTiernan, 1987)

62. I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943)

61. The Lost Boys (Joel Schumacher, 1987)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:44 pm
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60. Triangle (Christopher Smith, 2007)

59. Dead Alive (Peter Jackson, 1992)

58. Christine (John Carpenter, 1983)

57. Godzilla (Ishirô Honda, 1954)

56. The Fog (John Carpenter, 1980)

55. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)

54. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)

53. Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992)

52. Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)

51. From Dusk Till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez, 1996)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:46 pm
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50. Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931)

49. Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1964)

48. Horror of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)

47. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)

46. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)

45. Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987)

44. Se7en (David Fincher, 1995)

43. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1960)

42. The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian, 1925)

41. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:49 pm
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40. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)

39. The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)

38. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)

37. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)

36. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956)

35. The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)

34. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)

33. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

32. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)

31. Scream (Wes Craven, 1996)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:51 pm
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30. Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985)

29. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)

28. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960)

27. The Return of the Living Dead (Dan O'Bannon, 1985)

26. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)




And now, the top 25 (with or without write-ups, I haven't actually checked if I'm missing any).

*blows kazoo*

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:53 pm
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25. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981) as written up by Jinnistan.

A cabin in the woods, a book of devilish text, young stupid fools.

Not the most original conceit by the early 80s, but by then situational originality was not the prime commodity of the horror genre. Instead, the imperative value was stylistic. Independent horror film had shown how much mileage can be squeezed out of pure spunk and verve. Carnival of Souls, Night of the Living Dead, Texas Chain Saw Massacre - these films were not built on particularly inventive conceptions, at their root. They are more like demonstrations of potential. Even Dead, which would spawn an entire sub-genre and world-building, was little more than a line from Revelation taken literally (and given a rather corny sci-fi explanation), but it proved so effective at enacting this scenario in a viscerally real way, making it flesh, that the possibilities unraveled a pandora's box of implications and allusions. Similarly, the concept of "The Evil Dead" is far less important than its carnal manifestation, and Sam Raimi made the genius decision to keep the camera on the rotten carcass.

More even than Romero, Raimi's film became the wet dream of virtually every would-be filmmaker of his time. Its economy, its mother-of-inventiveness, its exhaustive resourcefulness all made it an impeccable example of sheer ingenuity. Added to this, of course, is that inimitable spirit of Raimi himself and his ethereal, leering camera, embodying the malignant presence, gleefully and voraciously subjecting his young actors to demeaning anguish, both physical and emotional. (The key difference with the remake is the original's refusal to resort to the characters' self-pity.) The Evil Dead is mostly a special effect created in the camera's momentum, whether in chilly stillness or in kinetic lunging. And just when the skills of Raimi seem most exhausted, that's when whole new reserves of creative exploitation are employed.

But one man. Lest we forget one man's journey from Ashley to Ash that could very well be the unlikely redemption of us all. A man equally expressive in facial dynamics as he is completely incapable of embarrassment, he sacrifices all good sense and self-awareness and dives directly into the insane frenzy, under the assumption that no one outside a handful of family and friends would ever be subjected to his flagellation. Like Jesus, he thought of no future beyond that crucible-grinding moment of the crucial now. He would never suspect the millions who would subsequently walk over his grave. He would only be enriched through the swells of implausible time to return, wiser, wearier, more ready than before to take on his mission far beyond any mortal imagination. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand. And this story shall also be told......

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:55 pm
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24. 28 Days Later... (Danny Boyle, 2002) as written up by Rock.

When condensed to a plot synopsis, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later sounds like an abbreviated version of George Romero’s original Dead trilogy. There’s the crash course in survival of Night, the complacency and consumer goods of Dawn, and the crumbling military-industrial complex of Day, all crammed in under two hours. The pace is a lot faster than those films, and so are the zombies. Gone are the shuffling, rigor-mortis stricken undead that have graced the screen for decades. These zombies are aggressive and terrifyingly fast, driven less by hunger than an implacable ferocity, and even the zombification process has been condensed to mere seconds. But while this movie works as a supercharged update of and homage to Romero’s classics, there’s more going on here. Boyle is interested in human nature and how it emerges under hostile situations. The lightning fast pace imbues the narrative with great urgency, forcing characters to drop any pretense of politeness and act on instinct. For some characters, these instincts are rooted in empathy and tenderness, for some, in savagery, and for some, in both. The grainy digital cinematography is an appropriate choice for capturing the proceedings, trading the implied warmth of film for a desolate beauty, and bringing an unsettling immediacy to the zombie attacks. The zombies are frightening and formidable, but the movie isn’t really about them. It’s about us, and what we would do to survive.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:56 pm
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23. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977) as written up by Wooley.

Suspiria is a nightmarish masterwork of surreal horror from director Dario Argento, the “Maestro of Italian Horror”. Here he delivers his most (only) coherent film with a colorful, blood-spattered tale of ancient witchery most-foul. The camera wanders through his dreams of a young American dancer accepted to a prestigious but secluded academy in the forests of Germany, where the rather severe and sinister faculty may be up to more than teaching pirouettes and point. She soon learns that leaving the academy may just leave you hanging - by a rope - in what has to be one of the most visually stunning sequences in horror history.

Ultimately, as is the usually the case with Argento and much of Italian horror, Suspiria is about beautiful and harrowing set-pieces pulled from the director’s nightmares, lightly strung together by the merest of plot and dialogue, and all practically drowning in stark, effective light and color and sound. The lack of an easily-followed story and the usual dubbing only adds to the uneasy feeling of being as lost as our heroine. The score by Italian progressive rock band Goblin adds another layer of surrealism to the proceedings and is one of the most talked-about in the annals of Horror.

If you require your horror films to supply clear and cohesive narrative and dialogue, perhaps Suspiria will fail to satisfy. But if your tastes run more to immersion in beautiful nightmares then Suspiria may be a masterpiece.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:59 pm
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22. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932) as written up by Crumbsroom.

Short, ugly, limbless, pointy headed, lady-bearded, wobbling around in the mud and sometimes, if you cross them, armed with knives and guns, Freaks is a horror film that would probably prefer not to frighten you, even though it eventually does. Because, you know, how could it not? Just look at all the Freaks. Suspended between being both progressive and exploitative in its depiction of its titular characters, this is a film that will use both edges of its knife to cut its audience. While capitalizing on our instinctive fear of things that are different from us, it will simultaneously condemn us for the callousness of these prejudices.

Director Todd Browning will make sure he is always ahead of the game by manipulating what our impressions of his maligned characters are, often, in the hopes of keeping us unbalanced. After spending much of the films running time building a trust between the viewer and the sideshow performers he has on screen, making us understand that the peculiarities of these characters is hardly the stuff of nightmares, in the final minutes of the film Browning will have no trouble being ruthless in turning this very trust he’s garnered against us. He seems to sense we have begun to pat ourselves on the back as our sympathies draw us closer and closer to these Freaks and their lives of simple perseverance and small triumphs. He knows that even as we realize they are beginning to plot a violent and disturbing revenge upon the beautiful, able-bodied trapeze artist who has teased and threatened and swindled them, that our allegiance will still be with the Freaks, regardless of the fact that this trapeze artist, with her cackling, belching, sneering manner, is meant to be a stand in for our own prejudices. We are, after all, good people, and not like her after all. Right?

So Browning’s mission is to test this, and so it will be in the films climax, that he will choose to deliberately mutate the Freaks he has so carefully humanized up until this point, back into something to be instinctively fearful of. AS they lurch towards the camera in pursuit of those who have wronged them, drenched in the rain of a particularly haunted looking night and huddled over from the burden of their deformities, they will seem nearly inhuman as they grow ever nearer. And so as the scene continues, and they seem to become exactly as monstrous as our initial prejudices made them appear, it almost feels as if they are as much coming towards us as their onscreen victim. Maybe they can smell the fear they instill in us as we watch; our innate horror of them. Maybe, it will turn out, we haven’t learned all that much about compassion after all. Sure, we’ve condemned their cruel treatment, and have learned to understand their ill formed bodies, but what does it say when this is how quickly we can be brought back to clutching our crucifixes at the sight of them.

Maybe, the most we can say at this point, is that we can now at least understand their need for revenge. No, not only against fictional trapeze artists, but against all of us. Because gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we are not one of them, and they know it.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:00 pm
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21. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008) as written up by MaxRenn (now Torgo?).

Let the Right One In is advertised as a vampire movie, which is understandable since Eli is one of the best portrayals of a vampire in movie history. She exemplifies the classic vampire rules such as immortality, vulnerability to light, a need to be invited inside a home before she can enter and of course an appetite for blood. Even so, the true horror of this movie is not vampirism, but loneliness. The young protagonist, Oskar, defines loneliness: he has no friends, absent parents, is constantly tormented by bullies, and to make matters worse, he lives in an isolated apartment complex. He becomes friends with new neighbor Eli, a relationship that initially provides hope for his desperate situation. However, as their friendship develops, it reveals that Oskar may develop a blood lust to relieve his solitude in the same way that Eli’s relieves her hunger. The movie is set in the ‘80s, presumably to avoid adding cell phones to the plot, but Let the Right One in is very much a horror movie for our times. There have been too many accounts lately of young people like Oskar who tried to escape their loneliness by harming themselves or others. While the movie portrays such horror, it also provides a solution to it. It may be less frequent if more people confront the lonely and isolated in the same way Oskar first confronts Eli by trying to understand them first and judging them second.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:01 pm
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Oh, awesome!
I actually still have the write-ups I did for this for Suspiria and An American Werewolf In London.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:03 pm
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20. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004) as written up by ApexPredator.

At once a send up of zombie movies and a follower of its genre, the film follows a salesman named Shaun (Simon Pegg) who at the beginning is too caught up in his comfort zone. He'd rather hang out with his slacker friend Ed (Nick Frost) than repair his relationship with his parents or his girlfriend, who breaks up with him over a failure to book a table. Unlike many zombie movies that depict an apocalyptic situation with the zombies, it's hard to notice that things have changed at first. But as the zombie situation grows, Shaun not only proves to be a survivor, but he also proves to mature and grow quite a bit as he attempts to protect his parents, friend, his ex-girlfriend and her two friends from joining the growing horde. People have mistakenly referred to this as a zomromcom, but its romantic comedy elements are pushed aside as Shaun starts to redeem himself. Throw in some endlessly quotable lines such as "Grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over." and some hilarious moments as the two leads debating about which records can be used to throw at a zombie and which ones they want to save, and you got a slice of fried gold for a horror comedy.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:03 pm
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19. Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper, 1982) as written up by Death Proof.

As a matter of personal opinion, I consider a filmmaker who uses excessive gore or violence in horror films to be hacks and creatively dull. There are exceptions – Carpenter's Halloween, Clark's Black Christmas, and so forth. One of the things I like about Poltergeist is that there's virtually no violence or gore and it's still scary as hell. It plays upon common fears that most people have – clowns, a scary tree, thunderstorms. And yet this film has heart. The family feels very natural together. They're normal people who find themselves in an extraordinary situation.

Watching this film you run the complete gamut of emotions. You laugh, you cry, you sit at the edge of your seat, and you jump clear off it. Although Tobe Hooper was listed as the director, this has Steven Spielberg's fingerprints all over it. It's a common-held belief that Hooper only directed a portion of the film while Spielberg did the majority of it while making E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and I think it shows.

This is one of those films where everything comes together perfectly – the score, the writing, the acting, the casting – and it's wonderful. Poltergeist does a great job of drawing you into this family's normal lives and facing them with the paranormal. Poltergeist feels like something that could happen to any of us and through that common connection to this family it elicits a heartfelt response. You feel what they feel, be it giddiness, fear, anger or relief.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:03 pm
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18. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987) as written up by Impavido.

When hearing the phrase “Horror Comedy”, many casual film-goers will think of spoof films, and undoubtedly the excrement produced by a pair of brothers who shall remain nameless within the confines of this blurb. Evil Dead 2 is a TRUE horror comedy. The distinction being that the dangers the characters face are genuine and real, within the confines of the narrative at least. Ash and his ill-fated compatriots, regardless of how much you find yourself chortling, are facing very real threats. Raimi was not setting out to lampoon or mock horror, he was brewing a cauldron of cult horror that blends the laughs and the chills, and the Evil Dead follow-up does so exceptionally well, setting the stage for the comedy to be dialed up even more in the follow-up: Army of Darkness. The blend is deftly edited and written, never becoming too awkward or failing to sell the horror half-breed. The creepy elements of demonic possession and evil forces running amok have some genuine legitimacy—honestly, if the film had been produced as a full-throttle horror film, it would have been a solid entry into the genre worth watching. The comedy and the continued endearing braggadocio of the Ash character sell Evil Dead 2 as another gem in the crown of cult-classic midnight showings the world over.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:04 pm
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17. Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922) as written up by DaMU.

Movies like "Nosferatu" often come off like cinematic homework. This film is a silent film, a black and white film, a German film. Nearly a century old. "Nosferatu" doesn't even feature a star of its era, no Conrad Veidt, no Louise Brooks. By all rights, this is a film that belongs in a tucked away corner of a dull Film 101 textbook. Instead, "Nosferatu" feels urgent, dreamlike, eerie. As the first feature adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," "Nosferatu" doesn't need to burden itself with a fresh take or dramatic reworking of an oft-told tale. And that purity, that simple sincerity cuts through nearly all its elements. Through the haunting scenery, dropping the stagey expressionism of "Dr. Caligari" for an earthy, plausible world of ancient masonry. Through its precise condensing of a lengthy novel into its core elements. Through every image of Max Schreck's title vampire, played like a lustful rat lurching through his rigor mortis. Like its monster, "Nosferatu" looks every bit to be dead, and yet it pulses with life.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:05 pm
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16. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984) as written up by Oddjob.

A Nightmare on Elm Street was a huge risk. On the verge of bankruptcy, New Line Studios put their fate in the hands of Wes Craven, whose most recent films at the time were the camp-tacular Swamp Thing and the poorly-received The Hills Have Eyes Part 2. Luckily for the studio, Nightmare struck a chord with audiences and became a huge success. It is not hard to see why. Sleep is when people are at their most vulnerable and, although dreams can be frightening, they are of no real danger. A Nightmare on Elm Street took away this safety net and replaced it with the outstretched arms of a vengeful child murderer. Freddy Krueger remains one of the scariest movie villains because he is an eerie-looking ghoul whose powers in the dreamworld are limitless. He knows this and relishes every moment of his encounters. The monster that Craven brought to life continues to keep viewers awake at night, fearing what horrors sleep may bring.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:06 pm
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15. Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978) as written up by Rock.

What would you do in a zombie apocalypse? This is a question posed by most zombie movies, but George Romero’s 1978 undead classic presents what might be the most honest answer. Yes, there is the usual zombie carnage and survivalism, and these are well handled (the former doled out early in a forceful National Guard team raid scene that shows a socioeconomic microcosm being torn apart, and the latter handled with methodical practicality and good humour). But the emphasis here is on the emotions of the apocalypse and the profound sense of melancholy that comes with the end of civilization. Much has been said about Romero’s satire of consumerism, with the zombies ambling about in the mall representing a mockery of mindless routines of shoppers, but those mindless routines prove to be the last vestige of comfort for our survivors, who bury themselves in material pleasures and hold on in desperation to their old habits, trying in vain to restore some level of normalcy and joy to their lives. When the bloody climax arrives, it doesn’t give us an entirely happy conclusion but it does provide a level of catharsis to the inertia of post-apocalyptic life. And the reason this works as well as it does is Romero’s sensitivity as a director, portraying his characters as flawed and desperate but capable of tremendous nobility, and the performances, particularly the nuanced work by Ken Foree and Gaylen Ross, who bring great empathy to their characters. Of all the visions of the apocalypse on film, Dawn has the most heart.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:07 pm
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14. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986) as written up by Mean Old Bastard Ed.

*Spoilers Ahead*

-Whenever the phrase "quirky scientist" appears, I think it should be immediately followed with a photo of Jeff Goldblum. His performance really pushes the '86 remake of this horror/sci-fi classic over the top. Add in some remarkable make-up and special effects, and a story that refuses to "wimp out" in the end, and you've got a grotesque recipe for brilliance.

Seth Brundle (Glodblum) plays, yes, a quirky scientist who scores one night with hot journalist Veronica (Geena Davis). He impresses her with his experimental "Telepods", making her stocking disappear in one and reappear in the other. The machines aren't quite up to snuff yet--in fact any live subjects (like an ill-fated baboon) who attempt teleportation don't come out so well on the other end. Brundle decides to test it on himself one night, and seemingly succeeds--except for one unseen little variable. A fly sneaks in the pod along with him, and is now ingrained in his DNA.

At first, his mutation is actually a wondrous and exciting thing to Brundle--he actually likes the changes. he feels stronger, faster, more energetic. He excitedly bounces around like Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch, and has marathon sex sessions with Ronnie. He even gets a little "nerd justice", challenging a local burly barfly to a very one-side arm wrestling match. As the mutation progresses though, things aren't quite so supercool for Seth. He commits social faux pas, like vomiting corrosive enzymes all over his donuts so he can consume them. His complexion gets real nasty, and parts start falling off. And his personality begins to change--into something primal, something brutal, something he dubs "Brundle-fly".

The documentation and make-up FX of Brundle's slow but inexorable progression into a giant fly is where the movie garners a lot of its accolades, and they are fully deserved. The story follows a very successful tragic arc. It looks like for a moment neear the end that we might get some forced "happily-ever-after" conclusion, but fortunately that's not the case. They stuck to their guns--as the forlorn Fly-creature sticks the gun barrel to his head. Great movie; one of the best (if not thebest) remakes ever.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:08 pm
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13. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968) as written up by BuckyCaptain.

Rape is frightening. Being raped and impregnated with the antichrist is a whole new unimaginable horror. One of Polanski's finest films if not the best took Ira Levin's story of occultism and a submissive woman trying to break free of the evil controlling her into an instant classic.

Polanski really took a slow and steady approach telling the story kind of putting the viewer into a bit of a trance making them wonder what's next and only revealing little subtle details of what the true intentions of the characters may be. Rosemary is a very submissive person that has done what others have wanted her whole life, but after being drugged and raped, she realizes things are amiss and that the people around her are not what they seem.

Every performances was outstanding from Ruth Gordon and John Cassavetes as Rosemary's greasy wannabe actor husband, Guy. But I don't think it would be as memorable if Mia Farrow wasn't playing Rosemary. She was Rosemary and the transformation from subserviant housewife to protective mother trying to protect her unborn child from the evil people around her scheming and trying to control her.

I'll be honest, I'm not the best person to be reviewing this one. I've only seen it twice(the 2nd viewing was to help write this review out) and I've probably missed a lot of little subtle hints Polanski put in. Hell, I'd probably miss things after 5 viewing, but this film really leaves an impression taking the viewer on a psychological roller coaster with an ending that really leaves you cold inside.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:10 pm
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12. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931) as written up by Oddjob.

James Whale took Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein and turned it into something very different. For his 1931 film, he focused on the intrinsic cruelty of man. Despite being universally referred to as such, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature is, by nature, not a monster. He has a childlike demeanor and curiosity towards the world, which contradicts his ghastly appearance. He is driven to commit acts of violence because of how inhumane he is treated by every human he comes across. It’s not until the creature escapes the doctor’s castle and meets a kind little girl that he is finally shown compassion. There we see the potential of how innocent and sweet the character could have really been. His lack of intelligence in these moments ends up dooming him. The horror elements of Frankenstein (grave-robbing, murder, raising the dead) are not what makes it a special film; it is the tragedy at the heart of the story.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:11 pm
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11. An American Werewolf in London (Jon Landis, 1981) as written up by Wooley.

John Landis’ 1981 werewolf classic defies categorization as merely a horror-comedy, transcending the confines of the sub-genre to become something truly unique. Director Landis delivers a tale that is simultaneously funny, violent, frightening, gruesome, and tragic. Yet what elevates the film is the almost dream-like quality evoked by wandering through all of these different elements without an obvious road-map. Landis never tries to clearly define what the film is, jumping from tone to tone without comfortable transitions, and the result is a viewing experience that is sometimes light, at others uncomfortable or even jarring, and occasionally simply begs the question, “What the fuck?”

For those unfamiliar, American Werewolf is the tale of two young Americans backpacking though Europe who, despite the warnings of locals, somehow fail to “stay on the road, keep clear of the moors”. Their mistake leads to lupine fatalities, dead friends showing up in movie theaters, and Nazi-monsters invading suburban homes with machine guns. Yes.

Of course, one cannot talk about American Werewolf without addressing the transformation scene, a hallmark of the genre and perhaps its most famous (including Chaney Jr.’s). Rick Baker’s special effects and monster creation remain a benchmark to this day.

Roger Ebert said of American Werewolf, “the laughs and the blood coexist very uneasily in this film”, and while he meant it as a criticism, I think perhaps he missed the point even as he made it. Where lesser films would strive to smooth the edges between all of the elements at work here, it is the tension Landis creates between humor and violence and tragedy and dreams that elevates American Werewolf into the Horror pantheon.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:11 pm
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10. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) as written up by Mean Old Bastard Ed.

-One could argue as to whether Silence is a true horror film, per se…but not as to if Hannibal is one truly horrific dude. I caught it playing on cable the other day, and noticed (much to the surprise and discomfort of those seated around me) that I could recite practically every line of Lecter dialogue, word-for-word, in perfect synchronicity. He's already become a classic horror character--the credit going half to Hopkins, and half brilliant screenwriting by Ted Tally.

Sir Anthony's unforgettable performance often overshadows the equally brilliant one of Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill. Hannibal may be the star, but the whole movie just wouldn't have worked so well without its "real" villain. Other actors may have played Bill too cartoonish and over-the-top. Levine's serial killer seems to think of himself as being "normal"--he just goes about his daily "routine" as any of us would--if any of us on a "normal" day would kidnap a Congresswoman's daughter, throw her in a pit to starve her, to later make a dress out of her loosened skin. Show of hands?

Lots of nastiness and brutality here, enough to please any "sick" horror fan. Of course some of it, like the once considered very disturbing autopsy scene, doesn't seem like much anymore compared to the "acceptable" stuff you see on TV shows like CSI these days, now does it?

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:12 pm
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9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974) as written up by ApexPredator.

At its core is a film that we've seen countless times before. Five people with unique personalities go on a road trip, in this case to see if rumors of the woman's family gravesite being desecrated was true. Along the way, they do all the things that we shout at people in horror movies not to do: they pick up a hitchhiker and go exploring in areas they don't know. Their wandering eventually brings out the masked Leatherface, who decides to winnow out the traveling quintet. But what makes this different than the many similar movies of its ilk is that it can still provide terror decades later, even though it's surprisingly light on gore and gruesomeness (a failed attempt at earning a PG rating). The scene where the lone survivor screams out loud in the middle of dinner surrounded by Leatherface's family still terrifies. Help is not on the way, and if she's to survive, she'll have to find a way to do it on her own. It's a lean, mean creator of horror tropes still active today.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:13 pm
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8. Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968) as written up by kgaard.

“We may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn’t going to solve anything.”

This is it, the grandfather of the modern zombie. Without it, mostly like there'd be no The Walking Dead, no Shaun of the Dead, no World War Z, no Resident Evil, etc. Rather than talk about the social commentary or the racial subtext (there is plenty of that to be found all over the internet, and much of it is arguably exaggerated anyway), I want to focus the reason any of that resonates, which is that the movie is so successful at an elemental level of horror. (This is particularly the case if you watch it alone at 2 am in an empty house. I'm told.) What do you fear? The stranger, yes, but also your friends, your family, and even yourself. Here, fear will literally eat you alive. And when it does, the horror is only just beginning. Because the fear of dying is now supplanted by the fear of dying but not dying. You are now both victim and victimizer, trapped in an unending cycle of fear.

A few years before Night of the Living Dead came out, Frank Herbert wrote in Dune: “Fear is the mind-killer.” Night of the Living Dead is perhaps the purest cinematic distillation of that idea. Only Ben fully retains his rational mind in the midst of fear. Little good it does him. This is the problem with fear: it radiates outward, infectious like a virus but worse because it is dangerous even to those immune to it. Ben’s fate is the inevitable outcome of fear killing the mind; the zombies of Night of the Living Dead are terrifying because they remind us so much of ourselves in the sway of fear: mindless, destructive, doomed.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:15 pm
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7. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) as written up by Impavido.

Praising Kubrick on RT is like walking into a church and talking about how awesome Jesus is. So let’s just skip all the formalities expected of Kubrick worship and focus on what makes ‘The Shining’ excel as a horror film, beyond the legendary visual artistry of its director. Firstly, the sense of place is palpable. The Overlook hotel, which is the predominant location in the film, is simultaneously imposing in stature yet constricting, the 1.37 aspect ratio augmenting the sense of claustrophobia. The location itself is a character. Nicholson has etched his rendition of author Jack Torrance into the collective subconscious, and Shelly Duvall as his high-strung wife Wendy gives her career-defining performance, but the Overlook hotel itself is arguably THE main character in the film. In addition to this sense of place and isolation cultivated in the film, the sound and music editing have made ‘The Shining’ one of the most memorable horror experiences in film history. Imagine the iconic ‘blood elevator’ scene without the unsettling strings and the foreboding horns lurking behind them. And sometimes the sound editing is best shown when there is nothing there; sound vacuums either let the music grab you by the throat or lets a terrifying moment of silence sink in deeper than you initially thought you were comfortable with.

‘The Shining’ is a Kubrick film. It features all of the trappings expected: immaculate cinematography, riveting performances; the veritable smorgasbord of earmarks of quality film-making. However ‘The Shining’ stands out as being both terrifying and comparatively minimalist in contrast to the wide tapestries and landscapes of Kubrick’s other films. It’s just you, the Torrance family, and the Overlook Hotel.--and it won’t let you out until it’s done with you.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:16 pm
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6. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978) as written up by BuckyCaptain.

Figured this review would write itself since this is one of the greatest horror films of all time, but I found that it was a little harder than I thought to come up with one for it. Everyone knows that this is not only the gold standard of slasher films, but that it basically laid out the formula for future horror directors/writers on how to properly create a truly scary film. It launched John Carpenter's career and without its success, there may have been no The Fog or The Thing, along with numerous other films it inspired.

(No need to lay out the plot since if you're in this thread you've seen it and it's pretty much been engrained into our culture. Even for those that haven't seen it know the story)

The story is very simple and that's partly one of the things that makes it great. All we know is that Michael Myers is a pure evil psychotic killer with an insatiable blood lust and that's all we need to know. Something pure evil has returned home to Haddonfield and he's gonna do some killing. “Death has come to your little town, sheriff.”

John Carpenter is a master of camera work and music and his skills are flawlessly on display here from the POV shots to the wide angle shots of Michael stalking his victims. From the beginning when that theme hits with the opening scene of the jack-o-lantern, he knew he had the audience in the palm of his hand. Sitting on the edge of their seat with tension that doesn't let up until the film ends. The atmosphere he created makes you feel like you're there witnessing everything going on as Michael hunts his victims playing the cat and mouse game with that haunting background music playing.

As I said this is the gold standard of slasher movies and the film speaks for itself. It made the careers of John Carpenter and Jaime Lee Curtis and you can't have a best of horror list without Halloween.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:17 pm
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5. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) as written up by MaxRenn a.k.a. Torgo.

Why is Jaws' titular character one of the scariest movie monsters? Ultimately, it's a common great white shark that lacks the genetic and/or supernatural enhancements expected in horror antagonists. One explanation is its hunting ground, which is a place we cannot imagine anything bad happening. Besides its safety and beautiful weather, Amity Island is perfectly evocative of childhood beach-going memories. Adding terror to this idyllic blend makes it all the more terrifying. The three leads’ all-consuming relationship with the beast also explains its near-mythological status. After all, it would take some kind of monster for someone like Hooper to devote his life to studying it and a hell of an encounter for someone like Quint to devote his to turning them into trophies. As for Brody, while hardly a shark expert, his every waking thought concerns stopping a single shark from ruining paradise and harming his family. Regardless, all of these elements could still result in a monster that makes audiences laugh instead of shudder. Spielberg and company prevented this from happening in one of the most famous instances of doing more with less in movie history. Since the mechanical shark prop was too cumbersome for extended use, the director made substitutions such as showing the beast from a first-person perspective and by revealing the aftermaths of its feeding frenzies instead of the shark itself. Besides adding tension, these flourishes make it more possible to imagine the monster not as a shark, but as the stuff of nightmares killing machine that Hooper and Quint describe. John Williams’ theme for the shark is another prime example of doing more with less. Its simple ostinato not only adds an undercurrent of dread, but also mystery as to when and where the beast will attack. In the end, Jaws proves that a monster does not need an elaborate backstory or otherworldly origins. With enough moviemaking magic, it can simply be an animal looking for its next hot lunch.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:17 pm
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4. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973) as written up by Crumbsroom.

It ain’t easy being the scariest film of all time. It seems people these days like to pretend they’re tough. They find the pea soup thing kinda funny. Think that levitating is nothing much to fret about. And that make-up. Egad! Blu Ray transfers make it so you can just about see Dick Smith’s fingerprints all over that demon get-up he’s smooshed right into Linda Blair’s kisser. It’s good thing then that the grotesque artifice of much of the most legendary set pieces of The Exorcist has always been part of what makes it all so frightening. Because it’s not about how realistic these scenes are, it’s about how realistic the world is that they have been embedded within. William Friedkin knows that the more he earns our trust in the day to day life of Chris O’Neil (and her disturbed daughter), Damian Karras (and his lonely dying mother) and Lietenant Kinderman (and his nobody at all to go to movies with), the more vulnerable we will be when it comes to accepting the reality of things that our instincts tell us can’t possibly be. The Exorcist’s main function is not to frighten us with these cheap parlor tricks. It is to unsettle us by placing us in a despairing world that is constantly forcing us to face such day to day horrors as loneliness, poverty, old age, aimlessness, divorce, jealousy, spite, neglect, alcoholism, the fear of death and the absence of God. It’s aim is to bring us to our knees with a subdued sense of despair, and while we are down, place upon this magnificent altar of cinematic unease, the howling and bloodied body of a girl masturbating with a crucifix. And if you want to laugh at this as it vomits all over you, well, that’s just fine with me. But just don’t tell me it’s not scary.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:18 pm
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3. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982) as written up by Death Proof.

Cold. Alone. Paranoid. A few of the things running through the minds of the men at Antarctic Base #31. Considered to be Carpenter's masterpiece – and perhaps one of the greatest horror films of all time – The Thing perfectly captures the bleak hopelessness and isolation of these would-be victims as they are stalked by an alien shapeshifter.

With a minimalist but powerful Ennio Morricone score, great casting, and the amazing practical effects of Rob Bottin, this is as close to a perfect horror film as you can come. And yet, there are moments of levity. Childs smoking a bowl and complaing about “voodoo bullshit”, Macready blowtorching a spider-head creature, Garry asking to be untied from the couch. That's how some people deal with crazy, horrific things. You can shut down and go near-catatonic or you can crack jokes and try to maintain your cool. As we've seen with many other Carpenter films, Kurt Russell is one of the kings of cool.

Perhaps the only critique I have of the film is the unnecessary opening with the UFO. They could have scrapped that sequence and put the money into advertising. When Macready and the others go out to the crash site, it's plainly obvious a UFO is buried in the ice. But if that's the worse thing you can point out about The Thing then that's not too shabby.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:19 pm
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2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) as written up by Jinnistan.

"The audience is like a giant organ that you and I are playing. At one moment we play this note on them and get this reaction, and then we play that chord and they react that way. And someday we won't even have to make a movie - they'll be electrodes implanted in their brains, and we'll just press different buttons and they'll go 'ooooh' and 'aaaah' and we'll frighten them. Won't that be wonderful?"

This was spoken by Hitchcock to Ernest Lehman, his screenwriter for North By Northwest. After the disappointing reception to his dark, ambitious Vertigo, he had answered with perhaps his most accomplished popular entertainment, the classically Hitchcockian mistaken-identity espionage chase adventure with his dashing leading stars and dazzling state-of-the-art VistaVision. He was at the height of his powers.

But still had revenge on his mind. He had different chords to consider, that he wished to press on his audience's nervous systems. His next move was to take a small B&W TV crew to make a quick, low-budget film in which he would have absolute control to wield any way he saw fit his knuckle-breaking key-tickling. It was the equivalent of a virtuoso composer in full mastery of his orchestral palette, his audience completely and utterly at his mercy and suspicious whims.

As such, it is a masterpiece of manipulation. Spoilers became something like antibodies in the cultural immune system, the shock would never quite be as feverish, and very few would be so lucky as to experience the film in total innocent exposure. For those who have (and fortunately, I was young enough to qualify unspoiled by inevitable osmosis), it provided as true a testament as to the mortal danger of cinema power as any life-threatening/life-affirming experience that represents the ideal of terror, peering into the unfathomable. For the rest, and for the rewatches, we can only marvel at the effortless mechanics of tension, duplicity, the ooohs and aaahs of an unreliable conductor. Jaws may have made people afraid to swim, but Psycho made people afraid to bathe. There is no more supremely insidious fear to incept than the fear of water - that primal, amniotic and submersive essence. It was an anti-baptism.

Hitchcock had the good fortune of a convergence of talent - Bernard Herrmann's score (his own masterpiece), Janet Leigh's feline runaway femme, Anthony Perkins' sly child's stutter. Most of all, Hitchcock had the fortune of the tides of the times. Psycho was on the tip of the zeitgeist of the sexual revolution, and a peer of a class of sexually provocative horror films - Peeping Tom, Eyes Without a Face, Black Sunday - making explicit the Freudian repressions and aggressions that always laid in the foundations of gothic romantic horror. Psycho stylistically hinged this traditional past (the Bates home as a surrogate dark castle in the stormy night) with the inaugurated emergence of giallo and "slasher" horror of the next three decades. It is a fundamental hub in the evolution of the genre.

What can I say? It's motherfucking Psycho. Its cultural solubility speaks for itself.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:20 pm
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1. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) as written up by DaMU.

“Alien” is not “Alien.” Divorce yourself of the film’s classic status, its parade of devolved sequels, its lasting images turned pop-culture punchlines, the “of course” of it all. Clear your mind of its long shadow. Watch the film again. See how the lean cast of seven creates grounded, distinct personalities. How often silence dominates the soundtrack. How fundamentally strange the creature is, evoking the pelagic, the humanoid, the insectile. How the film weaves the Gothic, the cosmic, the organic without any element ever sticking out or feeling false, even when you realize the long scene with the cat, mechanically, is nothing more or less than every heroine wandering every old dark house in every 1940s chiller. And notice how all of these details support a film with one sole purpose.

See, some horror films play like punk rock, splatter-based fuck-the-man satire. “Dawn of the Dead,” “The Stuff,” “They Live.” Other horror films play as variations on that ubiquitous college-mandated short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” “The Haunting” and “Repulsion,” “Session 9” and “The Babadook.” Even slashers have been (generously) re-interpreted as feminist empowerment narratives. “Alien” contains ideas that could produce internet-ready think pieces on reckless corporatism and sexual anxiety, but those elements give the film texture and dimension, not meaning. This is a great horror film (a great film, period) about sympathetic heroes attacked by a boogeyman. The apogee of horror cinema as that most primal of horror storytelling, the campfire tale. “Alien” does everything in its power to scare you. And it does. God damn, does it ever.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:21 pm
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That's all, folks! *blows kazoo*

I still have the pictures I used saved down so I might pretty this up later. Feel free to post your individual lists if you still have them.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:22 pm
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Found the ones I thought I lost w00t

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:45 pm
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Wow. Dude. Hella good work.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:56 pm
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I wish that more threads could have been saved. Kudoes for digging this one up. :fresh:


Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:37 pm
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Rock wrote:

Decade Tally (10 Decades):
1980s - 85
1930s - 14


This is why I feel so alone in this world. :oops:

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:53 pm
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Image

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:15 pm
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That Top 25 might have few "surprises", but it's beautiful nonetheless. All of those are not only excellent horror films, but excellent films altogether.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:45 pm
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Nice list.

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Top 30 Favorite Films of All Time


Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:34 pm
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Post Re: The RT Top 100 Horror Films Has Risen From the Grave...

Thanks for posting this! It was a fun list to participate in. The placements still hold up.

Image

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T2 Trainspotting (Boyle, 2017)


Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:44 pm
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Post Re: The RT Top 100 Horror Films Has Risen From the Grave...

Bless you.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:29 pm
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Post Re: The RT Top 100 Horror Films Has Risen From the Grave...

Captain Terror wrote:

This is why I feel so alone in this world. :oops:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYNgptAux88
1:34


Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:42 pm
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Post Re: The RT Top 100 Horror Films Has Risen From the Grave...

For what it's worth, my Top 3 has remained unchanged for the last years.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
2. The Exorcist
3. Night of the Living Dead

But the following have been some "recent" surprises (in no order)

1. The Descent
2. Train to Busan
3. Les Diaboliques
4. The Witch
5. The Wicker Man

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:03 am
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