Most horror fans would agree that there are many horror films that would certainly make the top ten list of the most scary or the most bloody films of all time. However, the following list of films includes movies that are both bloody and scary; and for many different reasons these are the most memorable horror films of all time for this examiner. These films are in no particular order.
1. Nosferatu- the 1922 silent film classic about the mysterious count is just as creepy in the 21st century as it was when it was new. The film, produced by F.W. Murnau is based on the classic tale, "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.
2. The Shining (1980)- The Stanley Kubrick, Stephen King endeavor is a classic ghost story that combines suspense and horror in the story of a young writer and his family and their experiences in an isolated Colorado hotel that is vacant during the winter off season. Fans will never forget Jack Nicholson as the writer turned unbalanced caretaker of the very haunted Overlook Hotel, and Shelley Duvall as his "nervous as a cat" wife, Wendy. Stephen King is known to have said that he was not a fan of this screen rendition of his book by the same name; thus, he remade this film later in 1997 for television. His version of the film was actually shot on location at the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Colorado, while the Kubrick version was not. As time has passed, King has come to appreciate the original film.
3. Night of the Living Dead (1968)- George Romero's cult classic was filmed near Evans City, just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The cult classic was the first of many horror films for Romero, who is best known for this film in particular. Night of the Living Dead gave birth to Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985)and the more recent Land of the Dead (2005) which starred Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo.
4. Dracula (1931)- Starring Bela Lugosi, this film version of Bram Stoker's classic novel was the first of many Dracula movies to follow. For many, Lugosi became the symbol of the most famous vampire in literature, television, and films and remains so to this day.
5. Frankenstein (1931)- Boris Karloff starred as Frankenstein's Monster in the horror classic and is probably best known for this role. This film was the first in a string of movies that brought Mary Shelley's novel of the same name to life.
6. The Mummy (1932)- Also starring Boris Karloff, this classic film tells the story of an Egyptian mummy that has come to life to reclaim his true love who he believes to have been reincarnated into the young and beautiful Helen played by Zita Johan.
7. The Wolf Man (1941)- Lon Chaney Jr. starred as the Wolf Man in the classic film about a man who becomes cursed with lycanthrope and turns into a wolf man at every full moon. This was the film that sent Lon Chaney Jr.'s career into orbit.
8.Psycho (1960)- The cult classic starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh was like nothing anyone had ever seen before 1960 in American cinema. Director Alfred Hitchcock's famous film, known for the shocking shower scene with Janet Leigh, brought bloody slasher films to life. In 1960 this was ground breaking in the horror genre. An entire generation of Americans were suddenly afraid to shower for quite some time.
9. Poltergeist (1982)- This classic film from the 1980s is notable for the idea that spirits might be able to kidnap the living. A family moves into a new home only to find out that they are also sharing their space with a plethora of angry spirits. To complicate matters, the youngest child in the family is taken by the spirits and the parents have to seek help from parapsychologists and a medium in order to get their daughter, Carol Ann, back from the other side. This film was the first of a trilogy of Poltergeist movies that brought spirit activity to the forefront of American pop culture.
10. Amityville Horror (1979)- The story of a young blended family, the Lutzes, who move into a home that has a terrible secret. It is the sight of a horrific murder scene in which a young man, Ronnie DeFeo had fatally shot his younger siblings and parents.Soon after moving in, the Lutz family starts to experience extreme paranormal activity. What really makes the film so frightening is the fact that the story of the haunting is supposedly true.Additionally, Ronald DeFeo really did murder his entire immediate family and is currently serving time in federal prison. He continually maintains his innocence, blaming the killings on his younger sister, Dawn, who he claims he had to kill in self defense.
While this list is in no way complete, these are the most impressionable films for this examiner. Feel free to add your favorites in comments below. Until next time, Happy Haunting! ~Traci Otake, Los Angeles Paranormal Examiner