The Top Horror Movies Of All Time
Horror is an ever-changing genre that continues to develop and redevelop. It can grow, evolve and has the ability to rejuvenate itself for every generation of cinema-goers. It’s incredibly diverse and is something that can adapt itself for mainstream filmmakers looking to really terrify audiences as well as micro-budget projects made for next to nothing. Of course this flexibility has meant that the genre itself does suffer from repetition and the spawning of endless sequels, remakes and truly bizarre and unnecessary mash-ups which can greatly affect the quality of horror as a whole. Fortunately there have been many incredibly good horror movies over the years which have stood the test of time.
Despite the fact that Stephen King
himself was not a fan of Kubrick’s epic adaptation of his original story, and the fact that the perfection seeking director chopped and changed nearly every aspect of the horror novel for his vision it still became one of the most terrifying, disturbing and truly memorable horror movies of all time. It’s been more than 35 years since ‘The Shining’ petrified audiences and this tale of isolation, insanity and supernatural happenings lives long in the memory. Jack Nicholson puts in an astonishingly unhinged performance as Jack Torrance, the newly appointed caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, where he descends into madness as he and his family are left alone to rattle around in this reputedly haunted establishment.
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When William Friedkin
’s adaptation of ‘The Exorcist’ arrived in theatres back in 1973 it was met with plenty of shock and controversy. The movie itself, although never officially banned in the UK, would have certainly struggled for certification following the “video nasty” era during the 80’s, was filled to the brim with shocking imagery and an incredibly realistic depiction of possession and exorcism. The most shocking aspect of all was that the source of this demonic takeover was via the vessel of an innocent 12-year old girl, played by Linda Blair. There has been an endless line of exorcist-based horror movies that have come and gone since this genre-defining movie was unleashed on the public most of which have never been able to replicate the shock and terror that Friedkin’s petrifying project bought with it.
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Based on the novel by author Robert Bloch the legacy of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ is how it managed to quite frankly reshape the horror genre. It arrived back in 1960 and it was a film filled with movie firsts. Hitchcock was already the master of suspense and this was his crowning project that managed to terrify audiences around the world. The British director expertly adapted the source material to bring the story of the deranged Norman Bates and his tormenting mother to life.
There was an almost unending series of misfortunes, problems and other aspects of concern to cater for in the production of Steven Spielberg’s brilliantly dramatic creature feature ‘Jaws’. It’s yet another entry in our list where the source material has been an original novel but for Spielberg, who was at the time a relatively unknown director, it was a chance to make his mark in the world of cinema. For a film to quite simply freak people out enough to never want to enter the water again it was an incredible achievement which quite frankly has never been equalled or bettered. In spite of the fact that the movie was about a killer shark the crux of the storyline was about a great cross-section of characters who come together to battle this fierce prehistoric-like beast. But for sheer shock value and bloody gruesomeness ‘Jaws’ is the perfect horror-driven popcorn fodder.
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Whilst ‘Psycho’ helped create the slasher genre it was John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ that really managed to put it on the map. The American slasher movie would never quite be the same again as Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield to wreak revenge on some oblivious teens. Whilst the vast majority of slasher flicks that have emerged ever since are less than satisfactory stab-happy affairs that simply rely on creative new ways to kill off potential on-screen victims the original ‘Halloween’ was a masterpiece of how tension building stalk-and-slash features should work.
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