My Favorite Horror Films

My Top Thirteen Scary Date Movies

by Danny Minton

Movie lists are fun to make and almost everyone sticks to a list of ten, but for Halloween I think it’s more than appropriate to make it a baker’s dozen.  A bloody-aproned, knife-wielding baker’s dozen.  Scary movies can be so entertaining, and yet as most of you are fully aware, they can also be extremely lame.  This Halloween, when you are picking out the right film to snuggle up to your date with, forgo the Twilights and torture porn, and pick up one of these great little gems.

13.  The Shining. 
You can’t go wrong with this classic Jack Nicholson scarer.  Stephen King wrote the book and Stanley Kubrick took care of the rest.  It’s one of the all-time greats. 

12.  Let the Right One In.
  This Swedish import tells the tale of a bullied young boy who befriends a young vampire girl who has just moved in next door.  There are some nice moments of sweetness, but don’t get too comfortable.  She may be young but she’s very hungry.  The American remake, Let Me In, is a good enough effort, but not nearly as creepy as the original.

11.  28 Days Later. 
Danny Boyle’s apocalyptic film, about a group of survivors in London who attempt to stay alive in their living-dead-infested town, rescued the zombie genre.  Just be careful.  These zombies are fast and way more deadly than what you might find on The Walking Dead.

10.  Shaun of the Dead.  If you need a lighter evening, but still want to stay in theme, check out this British zombie/rom-com.  Making the way for films like Zombieland and other cross genre hits, Shaun is a delightful romp through a land filled with dead baddies.
9.  30 Days of Night.  The scariest vampires you’ve ever seen have just ascended on a small town in Alaska that is about to see 30 days without the daylight necessary to keep them away.  This is not for the weak of heart or stomach.

8.  Fright Night.  If you are looking for lighter vampire film that still has teeth, check out this 80’s haunter about a teenager whose neighbor just happens to be Dracula.  Note – leave the new remake on the shelf. 

7.  Army of Darkness.
  This campy finale to The Evil Dead franchise, directed by Spider-Man’s Sam Raimi, is a bit silly, but full of great horror and hilarious comedy.  Bruce Campbell is a comic genius in the role of Sam Ash, the hardware salesman who gets sent back in time to fight an army of the undead. 

6.  Paranormal Activity.  I’ll freely admit – this movie scared the crap out of me.  While the gimmick has gotten out of hand, the first film in the franchise still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
5.  Aliens.  James Cameron’s claustrophobic sequel to Alien was the first horror film I ever saw in theaters (I was a bit sheltered) and it still gets me today.  If only Prometheus could have been this scary…

4.  Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.  Before Tom Twyker co-directed the new film Cloud Atlas, he tackled this famous German tale of a perfume maker who kills attractive women in an attempt to capture their essence and create the most beautiful perfume in the world.  It was a huge hit in Europe but a dud here, even with great performances by Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman.
3.  Halloween.  The monster, the music and the mayhem all came together so well in this ultimate holiday scarefest about a psychopath with a mask and knife who loves to kill teenage girls. 

2.  The Exorcist.  So many horror films have tried to copy this classic frightener about a young girl possessed by a demon, but none have ever come close.  The acting, writing and directing prove that you can do horror and still make an incredible film.  The ten Oscar noms and two wins prove that this one succeeded admirably.

1.  The Descent.  This 2005 horror film is still the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.  Six British girls go cave-exploring in the Appalachians only to find themselves trapped.  And to make matters worse, there is a group of predators underneath the Earth hunting them.  This is a must-see if you consider yourself a horror fan.  It’s also the perfect film to get your date clinging to you tightly. 

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