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07.31.2009by: Matt Withers

HORROR TEN SPOT: Top 10 Personal Favs

After the vigorous discussion that the last column generated, it only seems fair to post up the horror flicks that are my personal favorites so that ya'll can nod along or scoff to your hearts content.

Now let's be clear, I'm not saying these are the ten best ever, or even what I think on balance are the best. These just happen to be the top 10 genre movies, that for one reason or another, I enjoy watching the most.

So check it out, and then spit bullets on what you love the most. 'Cause whether we all agree or don't (hint: we don't), it's good times for all watching the debate.

WARNING - SOME SPOILERS BELOW!

10. JASON X

This falls into the category of guilty pleasures, but I could probably watch this flick every day for the rest of my life. It's gory, stupid fun with lots of nods to the series and tons of hot chicks to look at. And it's IN SPACE! I'm a sucker for franchises that jump the shark right into space. Not a great flick, but a great time nevertheless

9. MAY

I'll check out anything that Lucky McKee or Angela Bettis do for the remainder of our shared time on earth because of this movie. It's rare to find a slow burn genre flick that has this depth of pathos and twisted character growth. From the tenuous lesbian urges involving Anna Faris, to the moment when Jeremy Sisto realizes he's a minor leaguer trying to keep up with a pro, this is a dark, romantic, thorough mindf*ck that made me smile the whole way.

8. THE BELIEVERS

I love this movie and think the first 3/4's of it is some of the creepiest pseudo-religious horror mingling ever. Unfortunately the end of it is a stupid mess, which is why it's not in my top 5. Still, a flick that can send Jimmy Smits to the ground with snakes in his stomach and make any woman terrified to use a compact again is aces in my book.

7. PRINCE OF DARKNESS

Sticking with the religious horror theme, POD is my second favorite Carpenter pic. It's got ancient texts, impossible math, God vs. Anti-God, and a big vial of green viscous fluid that is locked from the inside! Seriously, if you're at all into mushy intelluctualosity in your horror it doesn't get better than this. Oh, and did I mention Alice Cooper makes an appearance as a creepy homeless dude? Sweet!

6. INSIDE

When you've been a horror fan for as long as I have, it starts to get a little bit like being a heroin addict. You're always chasing those early highs, but it seems harder and harder to get there. And I've seen some amazing horror flicks over the last decade, but rarely have I had the gut-wrenching reaction that this f*cked up cat and mouse game creates. A pregnant woman trapped by a psycho bitch with a mean pair of scissors. Brutal, unrelenting, and unbelievably good.

5. ALIENS

The original is a better movie in my estimation, but it's not as fun as watching Ripley and a bunch of Space Marines take on reams of Xenomorphs. And as far as final boss battles go, Cameron gives us a throwdown that puts most video game fights to shame. That is all.

4. GINGER SNAPS

Long before JUNO launched Diablo Cody and turned the world onto the Moldy Peaches, this tale of adolescent angst and emergent sexuality pretty much rocked the socks off anyone who saw it. Even better, it also had werewolves! You can keep Megan Fox and JENNIFER'S BODY. I'll take this deeply thought out character play with ample bloodshed as my preferred meal any day of the week.

3. THE DESCENT

It's a chick flick. It's a man vs. nature flick. It's a horror flick. It's all of those and seamlessly integrates each element. Make no mistake that you've got yourself balls to the wall, straight ahead action-horror here, but unlike almost any other movie that can make that claim, THE DESCENT makes sure we care about the women involved, really care, before it starts abusing and killing them as brutally as possible.

2. HELLRAISER II

H2 takes the promise of the original and just runs the f*ck away with it. We get plenty of what we loved (and loved to hate) from the first, but it's served up with a heaping portion of Hell-based bloodletting the likes of which I've rarely seen. Seeing the good doctor get himself Cenobited is still one of the most disturbing things I've had occasion to witness.

1. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS

I'm a writer, a horror fan, and a Carpenter fan, so it was almost impossible that I wouldn't love this movie. From the opening asylum scene to the perfectly trippy movie theater ending, this is an amazing experience from start to finish. If ever I see a "Do you read Sutter Kane" t-shirt being sold, it will be bought and become my most cherished non-family possession for the rest of my days.

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