Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Masterpiece Of Modern Horror!

Happy Halloween!!  After 31 days of horror film fun it is finally time to announce my #1 favorite horror film of all time.  But first I want to do a quick recap of all the 30 other films on my list...

31. Scream (Craven, 1996)
30. Poltergeist (Hooper, 1982)
29. Rosemary's Baby (Polanski, 1968)
28. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974)
27. The Wick Man (Hardy, 1973)
26. House of Wax (Collet-Sera, 2005)
25. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman, 1978)
24. 28 Days Later (Boyle, 2002)
23. Night of the Living Dead (Romero, 1968)
22. Hostel (Roth, 2005)
21. Carrie (Palma, 1976)
20. Birds (Hitchcock, 1963)
19. Saw (Wan, 2004)
18. Halloween (Carpenter, 1978)
17. The Sixth Sense (Shyamalan, 1999)
16. The Amityville Horror (Rosenberg, 1979)
15. The Hills Have Eyes (Aja, 2006)
14. Pet Sematary (Lambert, 1989)
13. The Ring (Verbinski, 2002)
12. Friday the 13th (Carpenter, 1980)
11. Cabin Fever (Roth, 2002)
10. Children of the Corn (Kiersch, 1984)
9. The Omen (Donner, 1976)
8. Misery (Reiner, 1990)
7. The Last House on the Left (Craven, 1972)
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Craven, 1984)
5. Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
4. Alien (Scott, 1979)
3. The Silence of the Lambs (Demme, 1991)
2. The Excorcist (Friedkin, 1973)

Okay, and now for #1.  (Drum roll please...) And the winner is... The Shinning (Kubrick, 1980)!

Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, The Shining is a psychological horror about a family isolated in a hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and future.

Like most of Kurbrick's films, this one seemed to be misunderstood and under-appreciated when first released.  However, upon later evaluation, critics have realized that The Shining is an absolute masterpiece of atmosphere and tension.  It now has an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and tops many lists ranking top horror films.

Jack Nicholson comes unhinged and delivers an absolutely unforgettable performance.  Seeing him go crazy is intense and sure to terrify audiences.  But the scariest part of the film is just how uncomfortable it makes you feel.  We don't know who to trust - the insane father, the psychic son with an imaginary friend, our own eyes - or what to expect next.

There are ghosts and some images that will scare the bejesus out of you, but the movie is much more than that.  "The movie is not about ghosts," explains Chicago Sun-Times critic, Roger Ebert, "but about madness and the energies it sets loose in an isolated situation primed to magnify them."  Overall, this is a phenomenal movie in general and, in particular, defintiely the best horror film I've ever seen!  If you have never seen it, please do.

Redrum.  Redrum.  Redrum.


  1. Good choice Sarah for your #1. I was going crazy trying to think what it could be and overlooked The Shining. Classic horror film. Excellent.

  2. hooray!!!! I finally found another film junkie like myself. Fabulous choices, and #1 is of course, the Daddy of 'em all.

  3. Monty - I'm glad my choice was a surprise. I feel like people sometimes forget about The Shining even though it is AMAZING!!

    Lapo - Yay! I always love meeting fellow film junkies. I checked out your blog... very nice!!