6) Friday the 13th (original) – What’s there to say about Friday the 13th that hasn’t already been said? It’s arguably the move that jumped started the 80s slasher craze. For me, it was the movie I watched as a young kid for the first time with my brother. I think he made me watch to scare the piss out of me. It worked, I was jumping and covering my eyes at every turn. -Jon
5) The Silence of the Lambs – If blood and guts and monsters were the only things that made a movie scary, then Silence of the Lambs wouldn’t have made the list. The best scares aren’t the ones that make you jump, they’re the ones that stick with you long after the movie ends. Both Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill could be real. That’s what makes Silence of the Lambs truly terrifying. Buffalo Bill was based off of real life crazy-ass murderer Ed Gein. -Mike
4) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Original) – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came onto my horror radar much later than the other slasher films I like. I don’t know why it took so long to finally sit down and watch. However, it didn’t take me long to like it. It’s not scary per se, but it’s extreme. It was also shot on a shoestring budget, which I can respect. Tobe Hooper probably did more to change the horror landscape than any other director I can think of at the moment. I’d also argue Hooper had more influence on future horror directors than any other director.
I could be wrong in those assumptions, but one thing is for sure The Texas Chainsaw Massacre isn’t for the faint of heart. – Jon
3) The Shining – There’s so much going on in The Shining, there’s a documentary on the subtleties the director, Stanley Kubrick, fit in the background. But that’s neither here, nor there. What we have with The Shining is a thought out tale that perfectly combines the supernatural with mental instability. It’s prompted so many pilgrimages to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, the hotel built a hedge maze to match the movie’s and wants to open a horror museum. -Mike
2) Alien – I will not rewatch this movie. Not ever. Not because sequels like Alien vs. Predator and Prometheus ran the franchise into the ground, but because Alien still scares the shit out me. Alone in space, fighting for survival against creatures with acid for blood, and aliens incubating inside you and ripping their way out of your chest does not sound like a fun time. -Mike
1) The Exorcist – When I first saw The Exorcist it was through a gap in the living room door. Let me explain. My parents rented the movie from Blockbuster, back when there were still Blockbusters, and sent me to bed. It was an “adult movie” they said. Well, that was all it took for me to find a way to watch. The way was through a slightly ajar door. Needless to say, my child’s brain was messed up. Years later, I saw the movie as an adult and I was still creeped out.
That’s the power of The Exorcist, it stays with you for a long time after the credits have stopped rolling and the lights are turned back on. William Friedkin crafted, through the use of shadows and light, a movie that is just as scary today as it was when it was first released in 1973. -Jon