Introduction – Top 10 Horror films of all time.
Author: Lisha Blackhurst

You know how it is; as a horror fan – and I mean a true horror enthusiast who thrives on the genre and doesn’t count Paranormal Activity as one of the best horror films ever made – it can be difficult finding those to spend good quality movie time with when everyone around you responds to the question “what is your favourite film” with the answer “FROZEN!”

We are the fiends who are always on the hunt for new little gems of the genre, and we don’t mind watching Hellraiser for what is potentially the 37th time, or sticking on Creepshow in the background when asked to provide a bit of “light-hearted” entertainment. You probably grew up watching Tales from the Crypt on VHS, or if you were born in the 80’s, Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark were your favourites tv shows when you were 7. You probably stayed up late to see The Exorcist on tv when your parents were out, or you snuck your older brother’s VHS version of The Beyond to watch with your friends; that is if you weren’t too busy playing the original Resident Evil and Silent Hill games tirelessly [even though you really weren’t any good at them! – that one may have just been me though].

So, if you’ve answered yes to anything from the above, you probably again, like me, use the question “what are your favourites horror movies” as a good way to suss people out when you meet them. Therefore, what better way for me to start my column than to devise a top 10 movie list? So now you can really get to know me!

  1. Candyman [1992] Bernard Rose [IMDB rating 6.5]

A sceptical student, played by the talented Virginia Madsen, is the focus of the Candyman’s desires in this Clive Barker urban legend story where we are treated to beautiful cinematography as well as a fantastic musical score that makes this flick a true masterpiece.

SCARIEST MOMENT: The scene where Helen [Madsen] travels through the mirrors in Cambrini Green is riddled with tension you rarely find in modern cinema.

  1. Cloverfield [2008] Matt Reeves [IMDB rating 7.1]

I attended the cinema to see this movie exactly how it was intended to be viewed- without any prior knowledge to what the narrative was, in fact, I wasn’t even aware of the genre of the film! Those who know me will know I am big on my giant monster movies, and once the subject was unveiled to me onscreen I couldn’t have been more in my element. This film has taken a hit with its fair share of criticism, however I found the character development fantastic and the handheld camera to be affective, albeit a little nauseating, in the cinema.

SCARIEST MOMENT: There is a breath-taking image toward the end of the film where we finally get treated to a full shot of the monster as the characters cross over from the buildings, thus getting a true sense of the size of the beast; just perfection!

  1. The Babadook [2014] Jennifer Kent [IMDB rating 6.9]

This partly Kickstarter-funded horror movie was nothing short of a welcome surprise! Highly refreshing and thought-provoking, we are taken on a journey of a mother and her deeply troubled child attempting to recover their lives after the death of the father of the family. Throughout the film the Babadook shapeshifts and is shown in various forms, forever keeping us guessing to whether this monster is physical or metaphorical. But then, aren’t all monsters in horror films representations of real life anguish?

SCARIEST MOMENT: The realistic complex relationship between mother and child is heart wrenching to watch, however the figure of the Babadook itself is also aesthetically chilling.

  1. Hellraiser [1987] Clive Barker [IMDB rating 7.1]

This classic never loses its appeal and with every year merely grows in charm. This twisted piece from the dark mind of Clive Barker tells the story of a puzzle box that unlocks the gateway to the Cenobites, terrifying creatures from the underworld whose greatest pleasure is the greatest pain.

SCARIEST MOMENT: I find the Cenobites themselves unsettling, from their hideous appearance, to the voice of Doug Bradley as pinhead. The Cenobite known only as “Butterball” merely seems to freakishly squelch. *shudder*

  1. The Beyond [1981] Lucio Fulci [IMDB rating 6.9]

Fulci’s work is always a nostalgic favourite of mine. Often the narrative is muddled and confusing, but the gore set-pieces are dark little pieces of art to be nothing but marvelled at. Hwoever, The Beyond is one of Fulci’s most linear narrative structured films, although don’t expect every sequence to make absolute sense!

SCARIEST MOMENT: My favourite scene was always the spider sequence, in which a man is eaten alive by spiders; some of them real tarantulas and others waddling model counterparts that stick out like a sore thumb!

  1. Braindead [1992] Peter Jackson [IMDB rating 7.6]

Before Peter Jackson had the budget to create giant blockbusters like Lord of the Rings, he commissioned little numbers like this using amazing clever prosthetic effects and a whole lot of fake blood!

SCARIEST MOMENT: Not so much scary moments as hilarious and downright disgusting! The sequence where Lionel takes the zombie baby to the park is priceless.

  1. Sinister[2008] Scott Derrickson [IMDB rating 6.8]

The best horror film to appear on the big screens in years, Sinister gave a little hope to horror fans that modern horror can be chilling in this creepy number that ticked all the boxes.

SCARIEST MOMENT: The unsettling old home movie tapes themselves gives this horror flick its authentic atmosphere.

  1. Martyrs [2008] Pascal Laugier [IMDB rating 7.1]

This French thriller isn’t the basic revenge slasher it has you out to believe in the first half! Ultimately it becomes one of the most deranged and twisted movies ever made, ending in questions of human mortality that it will disturb you in ways no stalk n’ slash movie ever could!

SCARIEST MOMENT: Even just seeing the trailer again after seeing the movie is making me feel uneasy! This film is chocked full of shocking moments, designed to have you curled into a ball quivering.

  1. The Hidden Face [2011] Andrés Baiz [IMDB rating 7.3]

Another Spanish thriller, this time with an unexpected twist that holds the audience effectively somewhere between reality and the supernatural.

SCARIEST MOMENT: The moment we as an audience are given the pieces to the puzzle and realise what has happened to poor adorable Belén is very unsettling, and heartbreaking!

  1. The Orphanage [2007] A Bayona [IMDB rating 7.5]

A tall looming dark haunted Orphanage makes for a creepy backdrop to some strong female lead acting and things that go bump in the night. There are all the right ingredients for this surprisingly realistic Spanish ghost story that combines real life emotion and pain with atmospheric haunting thrills.

SCARIEST MOMENT: A little game of One. Two.Three. Knock on the Wall with some ghostly children? Terrifying.