Happy Halloweek, ghouls! 👋🏻 We’re almost at the end of Spooky Month and since this week’s prompt is a freebie, I wanted to share ten of my favourite horror movies with you all!
I have watched almost exclusively horror movies since October of last year and I haven’t minded that one bit because I’ve gotten to explore the genre so much more than I have before and I even made a couple of new favourites. This past year has really proved to me that horror is my favourite genre now, which is in stark contrast to how I was ten years ago.
Today I’m linking up to Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!
The Thing (1982) – It took me a very long time to watch this movie because it has a reputation of being one of the scariest body horror movies ever made (at least, it does now because it was hated when it first came out), but I’m glad that I eventually did watch it because it lives up to that reputation. I don’t really get scared anymore, but The Thing is one of the very few movies that still scares me.
Re-Animator (1985) – I watched this movie for the first time last year and it didn’t really click with me, but after letting it settle in my mind and watching it for a second time, it’s become one of my favourites. Lovecraft is an author who I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole thanks to a lot of unfortunate undertones in his work, but I like how Stuart Gordon reimagines them. This movie is gory but it’s also darkly funny and it’s definitely one to watch if you can handle gore.
Evil Dead II (1987) – I’d said in my post about movies I refused to watch and then did that the Evil Dead series is one of my favourite horror series, and out of the four movies (soon to be five), the second movie is my favourite. The first and fourth movies are straight horror movies, the third is a fantasy comedy, and the second is a horror-comedy. Horror comedy is a genre that can be very difficult to pull off and I think that’s because Evil Dead II is one of the best. The violence and gore are so over the top that it becomes hilarious, and it doesn’t really on quips and one-liners, instead of going for physical comedy and gags instead. I would say to watch all of the Evil Dead movies since they’re all good, but I definitely recommend the second one the most.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Dracula movies are why I’m not pedantic about how faithful movie adaptations are. This version comes the closest, but it does still diverge away from the original book by having Dracula’s obsession with Mina be romantic rather than about power. That change doesn’t bother me that much because everything else is almost exactly like the book. Bela Lugosi will always be my favourite Dracula but Gary Oldman does a good job too. Also, Keanu Reeves is in this and while the guy can’t do an accent other than his own to save his life, he’s nice to look at.
Frankenstein (1931) – Unlike Dracula, I haven’t seen very many Frankenstein adaptations, and out of those that I have seen, the 1931 version is the best in my opinion. Kenneth Branagh tried to go the “faithful” adaptation route with his movie Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but that movie goes completely off the rails at the end. This version has very little to do with the original novel because it’s an adaptation of a stage play and introduced a lot of things that are common knowledge but don’t exist in the book, but that doesn’t bother me at all because I see it as a reimagining rather than an adaptation. This movie is 90 years old and not a lot of people would want to watch it due to it being in black and white and having no music outside of the opening titles, but I still think that it’s an important movie to watch. I started getting into horror by watching the Universal Monsters series so they have a special place in my heart.
Godzilla (1954) – I have a mini-review of this movie scheduled next week as part of Sci-Fi Month, but yes this is a horror movie. A hydrogen bomb awakens and mutates an ancient creature that then terrorises Tokyo and can only be killed with another weapon of mass destruction, and the whole plot was inspired by a true story so that makes it a horror movie. This is another hard sell because it’s a black and white movie that is in Japanese, but I think this is another important movie to watch in terms of cinema history just to see how far special effects have come.
Psycho (1960) – Has this movie aged well? Probably not, but it’s still one of my favourites and still incredibly tense all this time later. Hitchcock is a hit-or-miss director for me and Psycho is his movie that works the best for me. I’ve owned the book for years and I still haven’t read it, which I really should have by now.
Only Lovers Left Alive (2014) – I’m very tentatively calling this a horror movie because it’s not scary, doesn’t have any moments that are supposed to be scary, and it’s a romance movie, but it’s a romance between two vampires so I am including it. This isn’t a movie that everyone would enjoy because it’s solely character-driven and it’s not very fast-paced, but I would definitely recommend it if you want to see Tom Hiddleston as a vampire.
An American Werewolf in London (1981) – I love to rag on this movie because the set-up for the plot doesn’t make sense geographically (two guys get attacked on the North Yorkshire Moors and the one who survived wakes up in a hospital in London???) but it is probably the movie that got me to enjoy werewolves. I’d gotten bored of seeing werewolves who were people who just turned into actual wolves and the biggest draw of this movie is that we get to see the transformation in full and it’s just as horrific as you’d expect. Plus, the story has such a tragic aspect to it that the end feels like a punch in the gut.
Alien (1979) – I will always have a hard time believing that this movie was made in the 1970s because it looks better than a lot of the CGI-heavy movies that are made today. Good practical effects are a running theme when it comes to my favourite monster movies because while CGI can look good when it comes out, good practical effects will always look good. Out of all the movies in the Alien franchise, this first movie is my favourite because the “haunted house in space” concept works better than the more action-oriented sequels for me. You can’t convince me that Aliens is the better movie, I just won’t hear it.
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What’s your favourite horror movie?