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Let's Talk About... My All-Time Favorite Horror Films!

I've been watching horror since childhood and haven't stopped for nearly three decades now. I've got this!


All Hallows Eve Right Around the Corner

Well, well, well… Looks like it’s October once again! Easily one of my favorite times of the year as I am a huge fan of autumn and the fun holiday we all know as Halloween. October is when the weather begins to mellow out, the leaves begin to yellow out, and I eat Jell-O about… Okay, I wanted to rhyme. Give me a break. Seriously though, the month of October, for me, is a giant excuse to watch a boat load of the spookiest films I’ve ever laid eyes upon. Be frightened to the core and delighted by all the gore. I know, I did it again. Horror is admittedly one of my favorite genres, for many years I’ve been putting a lot of thought as to what is truly my favorites out of the whole creepy-crawly bunch; from slashers to creature features to flesh eating undead to supernatural hauntings and wicked witchcraft and so on and so forth, I’ve certainly seen it all.


However, which ones stand out as the scariest to me? Which ones are the few that take their place closest to my heart? And eats it? Is it a list of the most obvious choices that one could muster up in a jam or is it an unconventional mess that nobody would have guessed in a bam? The answer is yes. What I want to establish here is not a list of horror flicks that I necessarily consider to be the greatest of all-time. No, maybe some, but this is a personal list of simply what horror movies I love the most. Whether they frightened me and filled me with chills or gloriously entertained me in a riot full of… spills. Alright, I’m stretching now, but I just like rhyming. Leave me be! Let’s not waste any more time, shall we count down my top ten all-time favorite horror films?! The answer is still yes.

The Runners-Up

There is a seemingly endless plethora of truly astonishing works of art within the horror genre, so honestly I feel bad for leaving some of the few out that either had a major influence on my tastes, simply one of the greats, or they were a crucial stepping stone in my development for the love of film since childhood. Some of the honorable mentions may be surprising to not make it onto my top ten list, but this is just how I feel in the moment. So I apologize if a favorite of yours didn’t make the cut.


The Evil Dead Trilogy (1981 – 1993)

Stage Fright (1987)

Christine (1983)

The Hitcher (1986)

The Changeling (1980)

Friday the 13th (1980 – 2001)

All of the Universal Monster Movies (1923 – 1960)

Maniac (1980)

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

The Exorcist (1973)

Alien (1979)

The Birds (1963)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

28 Days Later (2003)

The Conjuring (2013)

The Descent (2005)

The Babadook (2014)

Jaws (1976)

Re-Animator (1985)

Insidious (2011)

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Haunting (1963)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Psycho (1960)

10) Halloween (1978)


THE PLOT: Michael Myers was sentenced away into a mental hospital as a child with no hope of release after he brutally murdered his own sister back on Halloween night 1963. Fifteen years later, Michael has escaped to return back to his small town of Haddonfield, Illinois and killing anyone who crosses his path. Setting his evil sights on three unsuspecting babysitters who know not the terrors they soon face with the shape that lurks from the darkness. Halloween is the night he came home, but his victims did not.

MY THOUGHTS: John Carpenter’s Halloween is a classic of the slasher genre for a reason. This 1978 masterpiece is one of a kind that takes its sweet time slowly building the suspense rather than speedily building the body count akin to most of the subsequent installments within the genre, as well as its own film series. Dean Cundey’s cinematography is beyond impressive, especially for the significantly smaller budget of only $300,000.

Visually speaking, the work done to create a sense of impending doom around the Michael Myers character is outstanding as there are camera shots where the man can be seen standing in the background without any emphasis being drawn onto him as he stalks his future victims. Donald Pleasance as Doctor Samuel Loomis and Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode are two pinnacles of any horror performance; both bringing such a commanding presence to their characters that the audience are completely locked and engaged by them. Then, of course, Carpenter’s musical score is quite possibly the most iconic and recognizable theme in all of horror. Truthfully, Halloween is one of the best of its kind with its slow burn intensity mixed with all the right ingredients to keep us on our toes.

  • Let's Talk About... The 'Halloween' Franchise!
    I'm back, baby! And I'm here to talk endlessly about all that entails the 'Halloween' franchise between 1978 to 2018. Is it all masterful works of terror or a bunch of duds? The answer is yes.

How Well Do You Know Halloween?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What was the original working title for John Carpenter's Halloween?
    • Halloween. There was no other title.
    • Headcheese
    • The Babysitter Murders
    • Slashy Slashy, Killy Killy, Die Die!
  2. Even though the film is based in Illinois, where did production actually take place?
    • Illinois.
    • California
    • Texas
    • Ohio
  3. Which famous celebrity's face was the iconic Michael Myers mask originated from?
    • Donald Pleasence
    • Dick Van Dyke
    • Ronald Reagan
    • William Shatner

Answer Key

  1. The Babysitter Murders
  2. California
  3. William Shatner

9) Suspiria (1977)


THE PLOT: Susie Banion (Jessica Harper) is an American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy, a school with something a bit more sinister going on within its walls. Once a series of grisly murders begin occurring, things become amiss with this bizarre staff of dance instructors. Something… witchy.

MY THOUGHTS: Suspiria is a film when I first saw it I was totally mesmerized by its vibrantly surreal imagery. Every frame is practically the most gorgeous horror painting ever crafted with some of the purest color schemes ever put to film. When we enter this picture, it is as though we are catapulted into a dark fantasy with no escape. This is one of the few films where the style presented enormously adds to the terror felt by its otherworldly atmosphere. With a lesser director behind the camera, I feel that the story would fall apart in a big way as the direction is key to why someone becomes so enthralled by this unconventional fairy tale. Not everything is fully explained and sometimes it’s easy to get lost in what the hell is even going on, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way because the perplexing nature of the narrative also creates a nightmarish quality with no clear path to follow. Dario Argento has an entire filmography that has wowed audiences around the world, Suspiria is my personal favorite of his. The remake was okay, link down below for my in-depth thoughts on the newest iteration.

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  • 'Suspiria' (2018) Movie Review
    When young Susie Bannion joins a world-renowned dance company, strange things start happening to the dancers. Madame Blanc and her staff seem to be up to something diabolical as the girls are haunted by supernatural forces.

8) An American Werewolf in London (1981)


THE PLOT: Two young American friends, David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne), are on a walking tour of Northern Britain when they are viciously attacked by a werewolf. Jack is sadly killed, however David lives through the attack only to discover that he has been infected by the curse of the werewolf. Slowly as the deranged and murderous animal within takes over, David is haunted by the ghosts of Jack and his unfortunate casualties when the full moon strikes.

MY THOUGHTS: When it comes to the combination of horror and comedy, there can be seen a multitude of degrees for where the blending of the two genres can reside. Some horror-comedies lean slightly more towards the comedic side; such as Night of the Creeps, Happy Death Day, Shaun of the Dead, Ghostbusters, or The Return of the Living Dead. There are others that are more inclined to the macabre with odd flares of dark humor spread throughout; like The Devil’s Rejects, The Evil Dead, Dead-Alive, and House. Then there are flat out comedies with horror basically implemented as a visual aesthetic; i.e. Young Frankenstein, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Scary Movie, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and Student Bodies. An American Werewolf in London is a rarity that walks the fine line between both comedy and horror flawlessly as it merges the two as one.

There are just about as many scares as there are laugh out-loud moments in this film. This really is the perfect blend of the two genres as it maintains the bleakness for our protagonist as he is tormented by this horrific curse and mercilessly killing innocents without any control. Yet, there are several hilarious interludes and jokes squeezed in between the thrills. Not to mention that An American Werewolf in London has quite possibly the most hilariously depressing ending of all time. I promise I won’t spoil anything, but if you’ve seen the picture then you know exactly what twisted humor is applied onto a rather dark finale.

The practical effects… my God, the practical effects on display in this film are no short of remarkable and wildly innovative for its time as there was no cinematic effort prior that painstakingly portrayed the utterly painful transformation from man to beast. Yes, I know that The Howling is another werewolf picture with similar ambitions of effects work and it was released four months beforehand. The fact of the matter is that An American Werewolf in London is the better film and includes the transformation sequence more fluidly… and I’m a petty b*tch, so there’s that too. Seriously, every effect is pretty awesome. Making this blend of the humorous and the scary all the more frightening.

How Well Do You Know the Wolf?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What specific category was 'An American Werewolf in London' the very first film to win an Academy Award for?
    • Best Makeup
    • Best Film Editing
    • Best Sound Editing
    • Best Decapitation
  2. Director John Landis also directed a world famous classic 1980s music video, what was that music video?
    • Roxette - The Look
    • Kenny Loggins - Danger Zone
    • Robert Palmer - Addicted to Love
    • Michael Jackson - Thriller
  3. The film contains a recurring gag that is present for John Landis's filmography, what is that gag?
    • Fake movie entitled "See You Next Wednesday".
    • A strange man eating a piece of burnt toast in the background.
    • Someone smashing a guitar.
    • Eddie Murphy screaming at the top of his lungs refusing to commit to 'Coming to America 2'.

Answer Key

  1. Best Makeup
  2. Michael Jackson - Thriller
  3. Fake movie entitled "See You Next Wednesday".

7) A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)


THE PLOT: Jessie Walsh (Mark Patton) is the new kid in town, turns out that his new house isn’t as warm and welcoming as his family had thought. The newly claimed home was once the residence for that of Nancy Thompson, the poor girl that was previously haunted by the deceased child murderer, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). The burnt up monster now sets his sights on a new victim as he attempts to possess the teenaged boy’s body in order to continue his reign of terror in the real world once again.

MY THOUGHTS: This will likely tick some fellow readers off not putting on the list one of the more beloved installments for the fandom, such as the 1984 original or maybe even Dream Warriors, but I’d be lying if I didn’t claim Freddy’s Revenge to be my absolute favorite of the entire series. Probably the black sheep of the Elm Street collection, in my opinion, it’s the underdog of them all.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 was a shining example of when Freddy was still in his prime and at his ultimate darkest. Mentally torturing this poor kid to the point of insanity, murdering countless souls without hesitation while relishing in their pain. Krueger isn’t some joke to be taken lightly, much like what can be seen in the later Elm Street sequels, he’s chilling to the bone as he wreaks havoc amongst the kids of Springwood. There are two main elements that pump this horror sequel into greatness; the psycho-sexual themes implemented into the Jessie and Freddy dynamic, the other is Mark Patton’s skillful performance as Krueger’s psychological victim battling for his soul. Patton is truly an underrated talent that deserves far more attention for his work here. The scares are solid, the effects are cool and clever, and there’s an awesome ‘80s song/dance sequence on par with Risky Business. I dig it!

How Well Do You Know Your Nightmares?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Upon initial release of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 2', the film was heavily criticized for which particular aspect?
    • Overabundance of gore and nudity.
    • Oddly colorful language too inappropriate for children.
    • Themes of homoeroticism.
    • The scene where Freddy Krueger masturbates in the shower room.
  2. 'Elm Street 2' was popular for introducing a famous line of dialog by Freddy Krueger, which line was it?
    • Welcome to prime time, b*tch!
    • I'll get you my pretty and your little soul too!
    • You forgot the power glove!
    • You are all my children now!
  3. Product placement, every movie has it, which soda was prominently for 'Elm Street 2'?
    • Crystal Pepsi
    • New Coke
    • Dr. Pepper
    • Sprite

Answer Key

  1. Themes of homoeroticism.
  2. You are all my children now!
  3. New Coke

6) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)


THE PLOT: A group of youths en route to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas stumble across a psychotic family of cannibals and must do whatever they can to survive.

MY THOUGHTS: Honestly, I won’t be going too in-depth as to why Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of the greatest horror films ever made as I already did so in a past article. However, I don’t want to shortchange this horror masterpiece either. Texas Chain Saw Massacre is some of the most intense 83 minutes ever projected in the cinema. That’s a fact. Unfortunately not a single sequel, reboot, or knock-off has ever come close to succeeding with the sheer levels of terror that Tobe Hooper’s ’74 classic has achieved so effortlessly. Plus, the fact that Leatherface has been a horror icon for nearly fifty years now solely thanks to this introduction. If anyone reading this hasn’t had the privilege of checking out the 1974 disturbing horror flick, do yourselves a favor and see it at your earliest convenience!

5) Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)


THE PLOT: The days are growing closer to Halloween, children all over the continent are obsessed over the new holiday trend in that of Silver Shamrock Halloween masks. Although maybe there’s something more sinister planned by the company’s owner, Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy). Now it’s up to Dr. Challis (Tom Atkins) and his new sexy companion, Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin), to find out and put an end to Cochran’s diabolical plans for America’s youngsters on Halloween night.

Conal Cochran is one of the greatest villains to come out of the 1980s. Fight me!

Conal Cochran is one of the greatest villains to come out of the 1980s. Fight me!

MY THOUGHTS: That’s right. I did it. I put Halloween III: Season of the Witch higher on the list than the immortal Carpenter 1978 classic. This is not a mistake, I do in fact love Halloween III even more than the original Halloween. No, I will never dispute John Carpenter’s Halloween as one of the greatest horror films ever made and had a mind-blowing cultural impact on the genre for decades after. Halloween III, on the other hand, represents exactly where the franchise could have and should have went after the demise of the Michael Myers character. Planting its roots deep into the mythology of Halloween and having a total blast with the lore. There was no good reason to go backwards in bringing Myers back from the grave, the Halloween series should have kept trudging forward in the anthology direction that was established terrifically with Halloween III. I go quite further in-depth with my thoughts on the matter of the franchise’s direction, check out the link down below.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is fun with its atmosphere dripping of Halloween imagery in practically every frame, a story and tone harkening back to films akin to 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers crossed with a 1980s vibe that is simply awesome, one of cinema’s most underrated villains ever projected on the big screen with O’Herlihy’s Conal Cochran, and not to mention a fantastic John Carpenter musical score that is worthy of massive praise. Sadly, Halloween III didn’t win the hearts of its contemporary audience in 1982, but over time it has garnered quite the cult following. This isn’t a slasher, this isn’t supposed to be in the same vein as the first two movies in the series and it is unfair to compare; Halloween III is a pod people flick with a more jovial tone mixed with a slightly dark ‘80s twist. In my opinion, Halloween III is one of the ultimate examples to represent All Hollows Eve. Even more so than Carpenter’s Halloween since that plot could quite literally exist at any time of the year with very little affected the story at all, while Halloween III’s premise solely relies on it being based during Halloween while flooding the screen with the perfect color schemes and creepy imagery to match.

If someone reading this has not seen Halloween III, but is a fan of the other Michael Myers installments then do not go into this under the impression that this is going to be the same type of movie or else you will be sorely disappointed. Again I say, Season of the Witch is not a slasher, it’s basically in a completely different sub-genre. Now if that doesn’t sound appealing and one is unwilling to give the film a fair shake, then this will not appease that specific individual. However, if someone does give this movie a chance with the right mindset and full understanding of what this movie is then they should have a pretty good time. Check it out if you haven’t, and if you are one of the select members under the belief that the Halloween franchise is only good with Michael Myers in it… allow me to refer you to Halloween 4; when broken down to the barebones is a subpar remake of Carpenter’s film only with about a hundred annoying jump scares inserted rather than slow burning suspense. Halloween 5; when things go psychic. Halloween 6; when the editing totally botches the narrative into oblivion and contains the introduction to a cult that is practically edited out of its own story. Halloween: H20; the epitome of late 1990s slasher movie tropes and non-stop jump scares for ninety minutes straight. Halloween: Resurrection; one of the most idiotic movie deaths to an iconic horror character only about ten minutes in while the rest of the movie is a godawfully generic early 2000s slasher. Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II; the obnoxious red neck heaven of slashers. Yeah… go ahead and tell me all about how the franchise was perfect with Michael Myers. I dare you.

That's right... Halloween: Resurrection brought us Busta Rhymes uttering this line right here. You're welcome, America!

That's right... Halloween: Resurrection brought us Busta Rhymes uttering this line right here. You're welcome, America!

Season of the Witch is ambitious and strikes a tone that can only elicit the Halloween spirit with all the fun and creepy quirks of the holiday. The story is nonsensical and embraces its own absurdity, at no point ever attempting to hide its ridiculous plot holes or odd character motivations; instead, the movie has fun with itself and let’s the audience have a good time with it as well. To me, this is Halloween all wrapped up in one movie; colorfully strange, full of questions, darkly fun, creepy and crawly, absurd in all the right ways, beautifully warm and cold, and holds the highest body count of all from the Halloween franchise seeing how it ends with the death of probably millions of kids across the country. What more could one ask for from the perfect Halloween movie? I say Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a perfect celebration of this beloved All Hallows Eve that is unmatched by any other. No backsies!

  • Let's Talk About... The 'Halloween' Franchise!
    I'm back, baby! And I'm here to talk endlessly about all that entails the 'Halloween' franchise between 1978 to 2018. Is it all masterful works of terror or a bunch of duds? The answer is yes.

How Knowledgeable Are You About the Witching Season?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Who were the composers of 'Halloween 3'?
    • James Horner and John Carpenter.
    • John Carpenter and Alan Howarth.
    • Alan Howarth and Ennio Morricone.
    • Ennio Morricone and Craig T. Nelson.
  2. What were the three Halloween masks distributed by the Silver Shamrock company in the movie?
    • Pumpkin, Skeleton, and Werewolf.
    • Skeleton, Troll, and Michael Myers mask.
    • Zebra, Bear, and Jellyfish.
    • Witch, Skeleton, and Pumpkin.
  3. Which Michael Myers actor has a supporting role as a henchman in 'Halloween 3'?
    • Dick Warlock
    • Nick Castle
    • Tony Moran
    • Kane Hodder

Answer Key

  1. John Carpenter and Alan Howarth.
  2. Witch, Skeleton, and Pumpkin.
  3. Dick Warlock

4) The Thing (1982)


THE PLOT: Somewhere deep in the desolate snowy tundra of Antarctica, there is a research team being hunted by a shape-shifting creature assuming the physical appearance of anyone it comes in contact with. Deceiving the whole crew and creating paranoia amongst its unsuspecting victims, leaving the team to figure out who to trust and who is… the thing.

MY THOUGHTS: Frankly, there is no denying that I have gushed non-stop about John Carpenter’s The Thing in practically two articles already, at this point it would be redundant to prattle on much further on the subject. The Thing is about as perfect of a horror film as one could ever make. The setting is unnerving, the premise is devilishly intense, the acting is spot on, and the practical effects are in competition of being the best of the best. Seriously, to place this at only number four is extremely difficult for me… but that shouldn’t demean The Thing’s masterpiece status. Honestly, there is not a single element that is even remotely wrong about this film. I’m not kidding when I claim it to be damn near perfect and should be on every horror fan’s radar if it isn’t already.