1.) Jacobs Ladder
The main character, played by the awesome Tim Robbins, is a traumatised Vietnam vet who is suddenly stalked by demons once he returns to his ‘normal life’. He has such a tortured soul it is impossible not to feel his pain. The terror and confusion he goes through is extreme, but it is also believable, partly because Tim Robbins is such a great actor, but also because it is a great script. Also the head shaking ‘demons’ are seriously scary and there is a scene where he is in a hospital that has got to be the most disturbing scene ever. The movie keeps you guessing the whole way and has one of the best twists in horror movie history. It has got my number one spot because I replayed some of the scenes in my head so many times after watching it that I just had to see it again…and again…and again.
2.) The Changeling (1980)
It is a simple story line where a recently bereaved man moves into a haunted house. It is a well-used formula, but this movie is so subtle it cannot fail to chill. There is a part where the main character has thrown a child’s ball into a river across town, but when he gets back to the house he opens the front door to see the same ball, soaking wet, slowly bouncing down the stairs towards him. I’m getting chills just thinking about it. It is the creepiest moment in horror as far as I am concerned and there isn’t a bloody or gory moment in sight,
3.) Nightmare on Elm Street.
I watched this movie as a youngster when a babysitter watched it while ‘looking after’ me and my younger brother. It is a classic that needs no explanation. Let’s just say it is enough to stop anyone sleeping.
Those Japanese come up with some scary shit and I wish I could just group them all together under one entry! I am a huge fan of the Japanese remakes (Shutter, The Eye, The Grudge) - though I first watched the Japanese version of ‘The Ring’, which is also excellent.
5.) The Shining
You will never be able to look at a hotel in the same way again after watching this one, and I have never been able to force myself to go through a maze (much to my husbands annoyance). Although Stephen King hated this version of his book as it focused more on the hotel being haunted than the man, Jack Nicholson is fantastic playing the father none of us would want to have.
I have blogged about this movie before. Beautifully filmed and directed, it is the story of a young girl in wartime Spain who escapes into a seriously scary fantasy world. It is as sad as it is scary.
7.) The Exorcist.
I had to put this movie in the top ten, though I debated where. I don’t know if it is the comedy aspect of this movie, but it didn’t affect me the way it seems to have most. Apparently when it was first released people ran screaming from the movie –theatres. Now that I would have liked to have seen!
8.) Silent Hill.
9.) Hell Raiser
Made on a small budget, it is another one of those movies from my ‘childhood’ that stayed with me.
10.) The Sixth Sense
I know some horror connoisseurs will balk at this movie being included, but I had to put it because of the sheer number of times I have seen it. I still find the ghosts scary. They seem real to me – exactly how I think ghosts would appear if I could see them.
These are all movies that have left me thinking.
What are your favourite horror movies? Are there any I have missed out on, or are there any I have included that have you shaking your head in dismay?