It’s a tough job selecting the ten best horror movies when there are so many worthy contenders. That’s why we asked you, STACK readers and JB Hi-Fi shoppers, to decide which ten titles belong in every collection, from a list of 50 potential candidates. The results can now be revealed – here are the Top 10 horror films as voted by you, and the unforgettable moments that made them classics of the genre…
10. SCREAM (1996)
“Do you like scary movies.”
Horror fans fell in love with Wes Craven’s meta-slasher from the opening scene, in which a mysterious caller tests Drew Barrymore’s knowledge of genre trivia before butchering her boyfriend. And the masked ‘Ghostface’ killer became an instant horror icon.
9. IT (1990)
“They ALL float down here. When you’re down here with us, you’ll float too!”
An unexpected inclusion in the top 10 – could the current creepy clown craze sweeping the nation have something to do with it? This mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s massive novel features the creepiest clown of them all – Pennywise, as played by Tim Curry. “Beep beep, Ritchie!”
8. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)
One of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history…
It’s the disturbing tone and documentary feel of Tobe Hooper’s grungy masterpiece that makes it truly horrifying – and Leatherface’s introduction hits like a sledgehammer. It’s surprising this didn’t poll much higher.
7. THE SHINING (1980)
“Come and play with us, Danny.”
This was always going to make the list. Kubrick and King are a potent combination, even if this adaptation did deviate from the novel. “Here’s Johnny” usually gets the nod, but those creepy dead twins in the hotel hallway really raise hackles.
6. THE CONJURING (2013)
“There is one case so malevolent, they’ve kept it locked away until now.”
Does the fact that this is based on a true story make it all the more terrifying? As far as scare value goes, the game of hide and clap ranks right up there, but the drying sheet that suddenly comes alive is even more chilling. And then there’s Annabelle…
5. THE THING (1982)
“You’ve gotta be f–ing kidding!”
One of the greatest monster movies of all time includes several horrifying set pieces that have yet to be topped, and the best is the CPR revival that ends in a torso full of teeth and a severed head sprouting legs to make a quick exit. The ultimate in alien terror, indeed.
4. HALLOWEEN (1978)
“It was the boogeyman.”
John Carpenter’s seminal slasher introduced the screen’s definitive boogeyman – Michael Myers. Whether he’s lurking amongst the washing, peering through a laundry window, or slowly closing in on Jamie Lee Curtis, every scene featuring this masked maniac is creepy in the extreme.
3. THE EVIL DEAD (1981)
“Why have you disturbed our sleep? Awakened us from our ancient slumber? You will die”
Sam Raimi’s original splatterfest was like nothing we’d ever seen before back in 1981 and set a new benchmark for the genre. And it all begins when Cheryl goes full possession, leading to acts of bodily dismemberment that test Bruce Campbell to the limits.
2. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
“I’m your boyfriend now Nancy.”
Wes Craven’s classic can still make you jump, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. One of the biggest shocks isn’t Johnny Depp being sucked into his bed and turned into a geyser of blood, it’s when Freddy calls with the bad news.
1. THE EXORCIST (1973)
“The power of Christ compels you.”
The greatest horror film of all time deservedly claims the top spot. William Friedkin’s masterpiece is full of horrifying moments but it’s the little things that really get under your skin. After Regan’s head rotates a full 360 degrees, there’s a brief moment when her demonic visage is out of phase (check out the eyeball on the left) – it’s subtle but incredibly chilling.