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Reed's 100 Favorite Horror Films - 100/100 - Complete!

Reed Rothchild

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Editorials Team · Posted

It's October, so why not?  You know I love lists.

  • This is my favorite films.  Not the most critically acclaimed films.  Not the most "important" films, or "historically significant" films, or any of that crap.
  • I have not seen everything.  Obviously.  But I have seen a ridiculous amount of horror films.  More than probably every single person here.  More than 98% of other horror enthusiasts.  If you think I should have included something that's missing, trust me, I've probably seen it.  It just didn't make the cut.
  • The list is chronologically ordered, from oldest to newest.
  • I did not limit the list in any way.  Multiple entries from the same franchise, and remakes and originals are all fair game.
  • Are thrillers about serial killers (ie The Silence of the Lambs) horror?  What about Shaun of the Dead?  I say it's all fair game.
  • I like everything.  New stuff, old stuff.  Artsy stuff, violently indulgent stuff.  Everything.  So don't expect a list that's entirely foreign Indie films you've never heard or, or entirely super popular favorites. It's going to be all of the above.
  • I'll be excluding lots of beloved films.  I don't love Dracula or The Wolfman as much as some people.  If you do, hey, that's your thing.  It's not so much mine.
  • I'm gonna try and get this finished by October 31st, so one batch per day, 3-4 films per batch.
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Horror is probably one of my least favourite genres, but a really well done psychological horror is also one of my absolute favourite things - it's just finding one that appeals to my dumb tastes is incredibly rare. Looking forward to seeing what titles this list is gonna unveil. I probably haven't heard of 80% of it 😄 


Movies from the list Sumez has actually seen:

Rosemary's Baby - A really fantastic thriller. While the "offspring of Satan" setup is of course intriguing, and allows for an entertaining ending, it never actually veers into any supernatural events. Instead it's ultimately an excellent analogy for the frequent gaslighting that does happen in the real world. Portraying well what it feels like to be stuck in an uncomfortable situation with no way out due to the psychological manipulation of people close to yourself. While the movie itself isn't scary, the themes that it deals with are.

The Exorcist - Didn't see this until it was re-released in theaters, now quite a few years ago. I honestly didn't really get it, which I guess is embarrassing? 😛 The Exorcist 3 however...

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - I remember other kids always talking about this movie as the textbook example of creepy slasher fiction, but when I finally got around to watching it I was wondering what the hubbub was all about. I guess it's similar to my experience with The Exorcist? I just don't "get" old horror movies. 🙂 To be honest I don't really remember anything from it at this point, outside of just not being exciting, scary, or interesting.

Carrie - Fairly sure I watched this in school as a kid. That's all I remember.

Alien - Fantastic movie, probably a bit of a lightning in a bottle moment. Many movies try to immitate it, but none ever really found the same magic, including its own sequels. What a brilliant cast, too.

The Shining - Probably more of a movie nerd's movie, than an effective horror movie on its own. I haven't read the book, but after hearing about the story elements that Stephen King was sad it left out, I can honestly see how it could have been an even better movie.
But as it stands, it remains a fantastic document of Stanley Cubrick's craft at his absolute strongest. So many brilliant moments and memorable scenes that makes every single beat of it stand out.

The Thing ('82) - A well made, and incredibly atmospheric movie, but I honestly have a lot of issues with it. I think it's incredibly bad at establishing the core rules that drive the entire plot, but it's at least interesting.

Gremlins - I don't think you can do horror comedy much better than this. Such a memorable movie in every way. The sequel even surpasses it, but I think it also transcends the horror genre.

Aliens - Manages to recapture the spirit of the original film, and is generally well made, but it just doesn't do much for me. Alien had a fantastic creepy tone carrying it, but with the sequel everything is so set in stone you pretty much just know how it's going to play out. Honestly if it weren't for the terrible final act, I'd like Alien 3 better - that movie has a lot of heart that tends to get overlooked.

The Fly ('86) - Pretty entertaining, Jeff Goldblum of course carries it a long way. I feel like at lot of its prestige probably comes from how novel it must have been at the time. I didn't see it back then, but I remember everyone talking about it.

Hellraiser - To be honest I don't really remember anything from this movie, but so many aspects of it have become pop culture icons. It didn't really make much of an impression on me at the time, but the whole concept is cool.

Evil Dead II - Taking a conventional but effective horror slasher movie and just turning it on its head for the sequel is such a bold thing to do. Despite being as iconic as it is, there are few movies really like it, and it's fun as hell.

Jacob's Ladder - Saw this for the first time when I just randomly came across it on TV, and it blew me away. It was the first time I realised that a horror story could have a genuinely good and nuanced story rather than just trying to scare you. The psychological horror might not be as scary, but it's incredibly confusing and unsettling in the best way, and the final plot twist somehow makes the movie all come together.

Silence of the Lambs - Watched this at least three times, but it's been a while, and all I remember is that it's a very good movie. I'd be hanged if I said otherwise, wouldn't I?

Army of Darkness - Pretty goofy, and has its funny moments. At least it's just incredibly iconic, but it's no Evil Dead 2

Seven - Just film making at its finest, very typical of Fincher. I don't really have any personal attachment to the movie, but it's good.

Event Horizon - I remember liking this movie for its camp qualities and all the recognizable quotes sprinkled throughout Front Line Assembly's "Implode" album. Everything else I've seen from Paul W. S. Anderson has been embarassingly bad, so I feel like if I rewatched this I'd probably hate it.

Ringu - Kind of a textbook example of what I really identify as horror movies. I know this movie is super revered, especially when it originally came out. But it feels like all it has going for it is scaring you, and I never really felt scared.

The Sixth Sense - Is this even a horror movie? I mean it has ghosts, but I don't remember it being framed as anything scary or unnerving, but to be honest - I don't actually remember anything from it outside of the famous twist.

Audition - One of the most boring movies I've ever watched. The torture porn introduced in the 11th hour, doesn't really help it.

American Psycho - Fantastic movie. I find it fascinating how well it tackles the subject of toxic masculinity long before it became an actual common talking point. So many people love it without understanding its themes at all, but I think given how quotable it is, the point did get through to people even if they didn't realise it. It's not a horror movie though, it's a comedy/police procedural.

28 Days Later - Another movie I know for a fact that I watched but don't remember a thing from. I remember it having zombies and being boring.

Pan's Labyrinth - Fantastic visuals and atmosphere, and revered for good reason. I don't think it's as big of a masterpiece as it's often made out to be, but it's memorable for sure.

The Mist - I can't believe this movie was made by the same person who directed Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Reading Reed's description of this, it's exactly what I hoped for going into it. Lots of interpersonal drama between people placed in a claustrophobic and hopeless scenario. Instead I got an extremely amateurish and cliché ridden horror movie filled with some of the most terrible acting I have ever seen. No one in the movie is believable, and everyone is a trope.

Let the Right One In - I know I've seen this movie. I don't even remember a single frame of it.

The Cabin in the Woods - A fantastic endearing deconstruction of the, well, cabin-in-the-woods genre. Though it's definitely a parody, a comedy even, it also plays a lot of things straight, and it's generally just a good time, and I love how it keeps ramping up the stakes as it gets progressively more absurd.

It Follows - An analogy for Promiscuity, do you get it???? Regardless, I think the tone and overall eerie feel of the movie is everything I want from a good classic horror flick, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. The Fez soundtrack doesn't hurt either. It pales in comparison to David Robert Mitchell's next movie, though.

Get Out - The first half of the movie is interesting in the ways it tackles casual racism. Instead of the typical "racists are evil" approach, it provides a much more relevant insight into the racial segregation often forced by cultural standards even among well meaning people. Then it turns into a hilarious slasher flick for the second half, that doesn't take itself seriously.
When I first saw it I applauded it for having the guts to go that way, but having watched more of Peele's other stuff since, I'm now convinced that he just really didn't know where else to take the premise.

Hereditary - Man, I love Ari Aster's approach to film-making, even when nothing happens, the feel of everything just gets under your skin. I though Heridetary worked really well with everything being mostly figurative, since it's tackling mental problems. But I've heard people talk about how the ending was a twist in how the whole ritual thing was apparently real? I don't know, if that's the case, I'm not really sure what the point of the movie was.

Doctor Sleep - One of my least favourite Flanagan outputs. The ties to The Shining are handlesd really well, but I thought the whole vampire plot was way too goofy for the movie, and seemed like it belonged to a kids movie, you know like something out of Goosebumps.

Midsommar - Horror movies that aren't actually framed as horror movies is something worth cherishing. There are a lot of themes here about manipulative relationships, but even if you take it at face value about a Swedish death cult, it's still really interesting.

The Invisible Man - If you didn't think Rosemary's Baby was a great take on gaslighting in relationships, maybe this movie will do it for you? It portrays that same relatable feeling of being stuck in a horrible situation where no one is can help you, even if they wanted to. I loved it way more than I thought I would.

Barbarian - Another great approach at tackling some real world themes outside of the more apparent monster. Honestly, the best part is IMO all the uncartainty involved in the first act with Bill Skarsgård, but the two parts of the movie play great off eachother, offering a shocking constrast in how power dynamics work depending on the situation you're in.

Edited by Sumez
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Have been trying to put together my own list, to compare once yours is done. Not sure what the cut-off point to make it on my list is, because it sure isn't gonna be a top 100. It's probably somewhere between Get Out and Us.

There's actually a lot more movies on my list than I'd expected already. Though most probably qualify as a "thriller" at best. Not a lot of classic horror.

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Editorials Team · Posted
23 minutes ago, Sumez said:

Have been trying to put together my own list, to compare once yours is done. Not sure what the cut-off point to make it on my list is, because it sure isn't gonna be a top 100. It's probably somewhere between Get Out and Us.

There's actually a lot more movies on my list than I'd expected already. Though most probably qualify as a "thriller" at best. Not a lot of classic horror.

I look forward to it

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17 hours ago, Reed Rothchild said:
  • Are thrillers about serial killers (ie The Silence of the Lambs) horror?

I've never thought of Silence of the Lambs as a thriller. It's a straight up psychological horror movie (and a bit of slasher with Lector's rampage.) With the exception of the final confrontation between Clarice and Bill, it moves too slowly (though not ponderously slow) to be an outright thriller.

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Editorials Team · Posted
32 minutes ago, DefaultGen said:

Got my finger ready to ignore this thread once you include Rosemary's Baby with all the other film bros who somehow pushed it to the top rated movies in every horror list.

I may or may not be juggling Rosemary's Baby and The Birds for a final spot.  I'm all about the hail Satan, but killer birds are killer birds.

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  • The title was changed to Reed's 100 Favorite Horror Films - 12/100
  • The title was changed to Reed's 100 Favorite Horror Films - 16/100
Editorials Team · Posted
2 minutes ago, DefaultGen said:

Oh man I just realized this is chronological. There's so much to potentially complain about as we go now 🥳

Also Rosemary's Baby is 130 minutes too long and boring. It's all vibes and I did not jives with the vibes. I am an uncultured man who does not want boring movies.

Worry not, once we reach the 1980s we get to start reveling in 90 minute schlock and gore!

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