I have appointed myself Pax Arcana’s resident horror movie expert based solely on the fact that I have seen Murder-Set-Pieces, and nobody else here heard of it until I told them. That being said, with Halloween (best holiday after Christmas) just five days away, I have decided to interrupt my series of increasingly depressing World Series live blogs and present to you the 100 best horror movies of all-time (at least that I have seen).
Along the way there will be random commentary. Just a basic plot synopsis and then a statement or two, the nature of which you have come to expect from my awesomeness. Be warned, there are some sort-of spoilers, but I won’t ruin anything for you. If you do not watch all of these movies in your lifetime, you fail.
100-81 after the jump.
100. Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)
Serial killer screw hot chicks and then tortures/murders them. Admittedly, only here because I can say I’ve seen the unrated version and you probably haven’t. The nudity and gore has been done before, but when The Photographer changes up the demographic of his victims, it crossed a line even for me. The only movie I’ve ever prevented someone from seeing (Jaelynne).
99. The Fly (1986)
Jeff Goldblum gets himself turned into a half human/half fly. What would you rather give birth to: Geena Davis’ larvae or that thing from Eraserhead?
98. Nosferatu (1922)
Unauthorized silent adaption of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A shame Prana couldn’t get the naming rights to Dracula, leading to the studio’s demise after a lawsuit brought on by Stoker’s widow. The scene where Orlok enters Hutter’s bedroom scared me shitless back in the day.
97. Phantasm (1979)
Kid and his older brother investigate the strange happenings at a funeral home run by the Tall Man. Those jawa-looking creatures are extremely creepy, even more so than the Tall Man. Solid film tarnished by weird sci-fi explanation—such endings to horror movies always anger me.
96. The Church (1989)
Girl and a priest try to figure out what the hell is going on while trapped in a cathedral. The first half of this movie had the makings of a top-25 movies for me with its great atmosphere and mysterious church. All of a sudden, Soavi throws in a ton of characters and loose ends, ruining everything.
95. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)
Blind Knights Templar zombies ride horses and wreak havoc on the countryside by listening to people’s heartbeats. Such a great concept (blind skeletal zombies on horseback), but the film is dragged down slightly due to a slow pace and weird ending (gotta love Euro cinema). Awesome lesbian sex scene.
94. They Live (1988)
Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David uncover secret alien takeover. Best. Fight. Scene. Ever. This is where they got the cripple fight from in South Park. Also, any movie with a former wrestler (Piper) saying “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum” is awesome.
93. Ginger Snaps (2000)
Death-obsessed girl gets bitten by a werewolf while her also death-obsessed sister attempts to save her. A very interesting take on the metamorphosis to becoming a werewolf. Katharine Isabelle was a sexy half-werewolf before becoming the source of tension between the title characters in a movie higher on the list. Only negative is that it boils down to a story of love and puberty rather than a straight up horror.
92. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Generally follows the plot of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil: Nemesis. Of course, the suck that is Milla Jovavich returns as Alice. Good mindless zombie action fun that makes you wonder what could have been if the first movie actually followed the first video game plot. I <3 Jill Valentine.
91. Hellraiser V: Inferno (2000)
Detective tries to figure out mysterious murders that may or may not actually be taking place. The first, and only, movie in the series to successfully present a variation on the standard Hellraiser template (open the box, Cenobites show up, someone gets ripped apart, Cenobites sent back to hell). VI copied V and stuck Kirsty Cotton back into the plot, and VII just plain sucked.
90. Rest Stop (2006)
Girl gets trapped and stalked by a killer at an abandoned, umm, rest stop. A very creepy ghost story that you may find frustrating at first, but then learn to appreciate after hashing out the entire story. A cautionary tale.
89. Outpost (2008)
Mercs in an Eastern European forest + a mysterious bunker + Nazi zombies = success.
88. Vampires (1998)
James Woods and Daniel Baldwin lead a band of modern vampire slayers. Do you need any more explanation?
87. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Mutants attack family in the desert. Before Alexandre Aja fucked things up in the remake (OK, his rape scene was better), Wes Craven completed the greatest one-two punch directorial debut with this. This is when Beast was actually a beast (not just killing gimps in wheelchairs) and Michael Berryman haunted everyone as Pluto.
86. Freaks (1932)
Group of circus “freaks” vow revenge on circus girl who crosses one of their own. I never imagined how frightening a limbless body “crawling” through the mud with a knife in its mouth could be. Don’t tell me the dinner scene doesn’t creep you out.
85. Ichi the Killer (2001)
Masochistic yakuza henchman and his buds try to track down ultraviolent dude. Part gore fest, part hilarity (man in the TV, the trench coat comes off). The manga influence of the movie is very clear. One of two Takashi Miike’s appearances on this list.
84. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Prof. investigates disappearance of mean documentary crew in the jungle. Not as shocking as most people will have you believe, but a great story about human nature and cruelty. “I wonder who the real cannibals are.”
83. The Beyond (1981)
Hotel is built on a doorway to hell that enables the dead to walk the earth. Lucio Fulci loves him some gore, and this is no exception. Such a great closing image of what “The Beyond” actually is.
82. The Omen (1976)
Atticus Finch’s little boy is the son of Satan. Very intriguing film whose plot point of prophetic photographs was eventually ripped off by everyone. Damien is hella creepy…good for the actor that this was his only film, thus avoiding typical child-star demise.
81. The Changeling (1980)
George C. Scott investigates a haunted house. One of the few times I can stand Scott post-Patton. Very cool séance scene, and a very creepy wheelchair. This was also a great horror movie before ugly Angelina ripped the name off.