Here is a list of the best horror films of all time, based on scare factor, originality of script, use of soundtrack, direction, and acting. Writing was a big factor: you need a good story to build a movie. Story is the foundation, and needs to be solid. Writing was more original in the 80s, and direction certainly took the high road. The so-called torture films of today (SAW, etc) are not scary, and not horror. A horror movie needs more originality and some real motive behind it. To see a full list of the top 100 horror films of all time: check out HorrorFilmTrailers to see clips and trailers of the top 100.
1 The Changeling (1980) Not well known, but very well done! This movie starring George C. Scott and Trish van De Vere is a fantastic and original ghost story. The protagonist moves into a giant old mansion alone, and is contacted by a boy who was murdered for profit more than 70 years ago. The voice of the child during the séance (Joseph…, Joseph.…) along with other creepy effects, including the child’s wheelchair, are frightening and inspired. Check it out on DVD now, and you’ll be glad you did. This movie never disappoints.Cover of The Changeling
2 John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) The most famous slasher film, this movie even got critical acclaim (something rarely earned by horror movies). The use of a sharp penetrating soundtrack was brilliant. It’s a great piece of modern horror. Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) and Laurie Stroud (Jami Lee Curtis) fend off Michael Myers, a child who started his killing spree years earlier, and now, 18 years older, has escaped an insane asylum to come back to kill his sister.
3 Pumpkinhead (1988) Special effects wizard Stan Winston (Alien) wrote, created and directed this extraordinary movie about a twisted creature that can be summoned to avenge someone who has had a loved one killed unjustly. The raspy voice of witch Hagus is perfect, and the creature itself is magnificent. Stan Winston as a very effective director, and shows it off with his use of fog, blowing leaves and creepy night sets.
4 The Fog (1980) The original (not the recent remake) was a masterpiece of modern horror. The story brings a ghost ship carrying past residents of San Antonio Bay, back when it was a leper colony, coming back to get their stolen gold, and to get revenge. 100 years ago the residents of San Antonio bay arranged for the ship to crash on the rocks and kill the lepers. The stolen gold was used to build the town. Now the ship is back for vengeance. The music was ingeniously employed and the suspense builds perfectly.
5 Jeepers Creepers (2001) An unexpected hit, this movie was genuinely frightening. It has a solid plot, is well crafted, original and scary. The writing, direction and acting all come together with the right timing to get us interested, and keep out interest throughout the film. The set, in the middle of nowhere, has been done before, but not often so cleverly. This is a smart movie, give it a try.
There, you have a good list for your next movie night or Halloween party. Check out www.horrorfilmtrailers.com for the whole list of Top 50 films and Top 100 Horror movies of all time, along with their trailers and some scary scene clips.