by Kelly Fahey
1. The Shining
The Shining is the single greatest horror film of all time. Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance descends deeper and deeper into madness at an empty, haunted hotel in the middle of a colossal snowstorm. It really gets me in the Halloween spirit. I’ve probably watched The Shining more times than any other movie, and I’m about due to watch it again. I particularly like how psychologically chilling this movie is. Being stranded at a hotel in the dead of a Colorado winter would be scary enough even without the ghosts.
2. The Evil Dead
No, I don’t mean the remake. Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic is a must-watch every Halloween. Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, stumble upon the Necronomicon, essentially the Book of the Dead, then one by one fall victim to the demonic evil released.
Anyone who reads TCB has probably caught on to my affection for Alfred Hitchcock movies. Psycho, the original slasher flick, set the tone for a whole new type of horror film. Anthony Perkins’ performance as Norman Bates is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine.
Wes Craven’s attempt to pay homage to the horror genre makes this a very self-aware film, and that’s one of the reasons I love it. Scream is incredibly cheesy, and some may say it hasn’t withstood the test of time, but I’d be willing to argue that it has. I watched it last week, even. The murderer in Scream is one of the most recognizable of the slasher genre, and his appearance instills fear for even the most seasoned of horror fans.
This is one of the darker, more sinister films to make the list, and that’s really saying something. James Woods plays a cable TV programmer who finds an underground snuff film circuit called “Videodrome.” And it features all the exploding body parts and cheesy special effects you could ever hope for.