“It's Halloween; everyone's entitled to one good scare.”
-Sheriff Leigh Brackett, Halloween
We love horror movies! We’ve recommended them because they provide great health benefits and deserve to stand amongst the best films of all time for providing oodles of ooky, spooky good times.
For our celebration of all things that go bump in the night, we introduced audiences to both traditional and modern classics with our new Cinematic Fanatic program. The program has been wildly successful and we’re so excited to see individuals revisiting these phenomenal films. In honor of our new program and the exciting release of Halloween directed by John Carpenter we present to you the 5 Best Horror Movies of All Time.
A great horror movie has to terrify, but also provide thorough entertainment for an audience. No other horror film in the history of cinema possesses those qualities the way Halloween does. John Carpenter’s master work provided tons of slow-building scares and the groundwork for a new generation of horror.
Did you know that the infamous Michael Myers mask is actually a William Shatner mask celebrating the 1970s television show Star Trek? The prop department spray painted the mask white, teased the hair, and reshaped the eye holes to create the infamous face of Michael Myers. Halloween proves that anything can be scary you just need to know how to use it, even if it’s a 1970s icon’s likeness.
It does not get any more iconic than the special effects driven 1973 film The Exorcist. What filmmaker William Friedkin was doing on the set of this spooky production was groundbreaking on nearly all levels, from the makeup to the practical effects and language.
Friedkin put his faith in a fourteen-year-old girl, buckets of vomit-green pea soup, and a screenplay that would make the most immoral people blush. Who would have guessed that this film would be the smartest investment Warner Bros. would ever make, considering the film is the highest grossing WB film of all time when adjusted for inflation?
David Cronenberg is nuts and nowhere is it more obvious than in his 1986 film The Fly. The film features some of the best makeup in the motion picture business. You will absolutely believe that Jeff Goldblum is transforming into a fly before your eyes.
Makeup courtesy of Academy Award winner Chris Walas receives the first credit at the end of the film. It’s a fitting tribute to an accomplished creator. He provides the film a terrifying transition and Cronenberg presents gross-out gags that possess a dark humor only he could provide.
This 1980 film is one of the most controversial of all in the genre. Shelley Duvall has said that performing her role was torturous, rumors of over 120 takes per shots were circulated, and author Stephen King was NOT a fan of the final film. Additionally, multiple film scholars and relatively crazy people have dissected, rebuilt, and dissected again this horror classic with unorthodox, yet fascinating, results.
Regardless of all the work, whether necessary or not, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining still holds up today. The film sizzles with pacing that is blood trickling slow and a climax which solidified Jack Nicholson as one of the best actors in his day.
5.The Evil Dead
We wanted to provide readers with an option that might seem a little unorthodox and earns laughter as well as gasps. Movies that come to mind are Scream, Cabin in the Woods, or Young Frankenstein, but the film that combines both humorous and horrific qualities perfectly, whether purposefully or not is The Evil Dead. Sam Raimi’s breakthrough feature is a brilliant picture that utilizes simple effects and easy thrills, but there is something deeper present in the freshman effort. Raimi moves with his camera operator in flawless, sweeping motions that create a horror environment that today’s modern gore fest lacks.
So there you have it! Now jump in and devour all these delicious manic morsels including Halloween, which returns to Aksarben Cinema this week for a special engagement. Aksarben Cinema will start showings of Halloween Wednesday, October 29, and go through Halloween weekend. Don’t miss an opportunity to see one of these five horrifying films before Halloween night! You can also catch Saw for one week only! Get showtimes and tickets here.