Your Favorite Scary Movies (A 2011 Halloween Survey)

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 31, 2011 7:48 AM
15 Comments
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If I had to come up with a list of my 10 favorite scary movies (today is Halloween, in case you didn't know), it probably would comprise almost exclusively of films made before 1990. Why? Well... I really can't say that I've been much affected by the majority of the so-called horror movies I've seen in the last 21 years, the way those I saw as a kid growing up in the early 80s (when I was finally allowed to watch some of these flicks) worked me over psychologically, and stayed with me long after I saw them.

Then again, I suppose my young, impressionable mind had something to do with that; and the fact that a lot of what I've seen in recent years, as an adult, have been retreads (directly or indirectly) of many of those old classics.

Little scares me today; I've seen enough "haunted house" plotlines; enough "don't go into the basement, but she goes into the basement anyway" scenes; enough "running away from a masked slasher only to trip and fall along the way" sequences; enough "let's exploit childhood innocence and make the children scary" plots; enough flesh eating zombies, vampires, werewolves, aliens, monsters, cannibals etc; enough "teens terrorized by some evil while vacationing in a cabin in the woods" taglines; enough Blair Witch found footage spawn; enough tales of a coming Antichrist, whether to be given birth by some oblivious mother, or resurrected from a past life; enough titles with the word "Exorcist" or "Exorcism" in them; enough "voodoo is bad" or "you are cursed" or "this place is cursed" plotlines; enough films about ancient items wielding power that in the wrong hands could spell doom for mankind...

And so on, and so forth.

All that said... obviously, the execution is what counts; one could take any one of these well-worn ideas and write a script that's actually wholly original, telling a familiar tale with some freshness and panache.

But, again, really, as I sit here typing this, thinking of the most memorable scary flicks I've seen over the last 3 decades, the vast majority of titles that immediately come to mind are movies made, I'd say, between 1970 and 1990; of course there are a few scattered about before 1970 and after 1990 (though I can say with certainty that neither Cloverfield nor Signs is one of the post-1990 titles; I was surprised to see those 2 listed on a top list on another site. Any of you reading this actually find either of those 2 films scary? Seriously?).

Anywho... to wrap this up, and get to the heart of this post... I'm curious to know what your own fave scary movies are. I'm thinking that I'll gather all your responses over the next 24 hours, and then select those titles that are listed the most; I'll then repost this entry with a short list of 5 or 10 of the most popular scary movies as selected by S&A readers.

Dig in!

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15 Comments

  • 80sOgre | November 20, 2011 9:57 PMReply

    Most scary movie i have seen - THE ENTITY. the film leaves you with a bad vibe.

  • Brittney | November 14, 2011 9:07 PMReply

    Hmm..Halloween......Paranormal Activity 3.....Scream 1, 2, 3, 4.....Friday the 13th....A Nightmare On Elm Street.....The Haunting of Connecticut....Orphan...Jaws.... (:

  • biwtican | November 2, 2011 1:29 AMReply

    the thing
    the howling
    alien
    the preditor
    omen
    the shining
    the birds
    jaws
    trilogy of terror, the episode with the african doll
    night of the living dead, with duane jones
    alien vs preditor

  • Richard V. | November 1, 2011 6:58 AMReply

    Paranormal Activity
    The Exorcist
    Alien
    Jaws
    Open Water
    Nosferatu
    The Blair Witch Project
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original)
    The Thing
    Night of The Living Dead
    The Haunting (the original)

  • Jessica Jean | November 1, 2011 6:44 AMReply

    Halloween 1
    Lady in White
    Paranormal Activity
    Stir of Echoes
    Sixth Sense
    Final Destination 1
    The Strangers

  • Richard v. | November 1, 2011 3:46 AMReply

    Paranormal Activity
    The Exorcist
    Alien
    Jaws
    Open Water
    Nosferatu
    The Blair Witch Project
    Night of the Living Dead
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  • Darla & Mark | November 1, 2011 2:12 AMReply

    Exorcist

    Amityville Horror

    Magic

  • Shanea | November 1, 2011 1:29 AMReply

    The Shining
    John Carpenter's Halloween
    Psycho
    Misery
    Carrie
    Scream 1 and 2

  • Nikki | November 1, 2011 1:15 AMReply

    Nightmare on Elm Street series
    Halloween series (except three and the new ones)
    Child's Play (1&2)
    Scream series
    Jeepers Creepers (1&2)
    Psycho
    Carrie
    Saw (1&2)
    I Know What you did last summer series

  • Mecca | October 31, 2011 11:51 AMReply

    I'm not a huge horror film fanatic. But I do enjoy suspense/mystery story lines.

    Night Of The Living Dead, Carrie, The Amityville Horror (not the remake), Secret Window, Naked Lunch, Scanners, Videodrome, The Brood, The Fly (Cronenberg), Final Destination (1st one), Metropolis, 28 Days Later, 30 days of Night & TV shows like; "Are You Afraid Of The Dark", "Goosebumps, The "Crypt Keeper" & "A Haunting" .

    Those would have 2 be one of my top choices!

  • Neziah | October 31, 2011 9:24 AMReply

    Noroi: The Curse
    Videodrome
    The Shining
    A Tale of Two Sisters
    Ganja and Hess
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
    Alien
    Aliens
    Cure
    Pulse
    eXistenZ
    The Thing
    Halloween
    Carrie
    Dressed to Kill
    Suicide Club
    The Exorcist
    The Omen
    Night of the Living Dead
    Dawn of the Dead
    Day of the Dead
    The Evil Dead
    Evil Dead II
    Eraserhead
    Nosferatu
    The Blair Witch Project
    Psycho
    The Birds
    The Fly (1986)
    Jaws
    White Dog
    Misery
    Hour of the Wolf
    Duel
    Wait Until Dark
    The Descent
    Rosemary's Baby
    Audition
    Don't Look Now

  • Vanessa | October 31, 2011 9:19 AMReply

    I've never enjoyed horror. Always to this day cover my ears and eyes. I get anxiety. Life is horrific enough!

    I loved 'Signs' because it felt so real, and I enjoyed the performances. I also loved 'The Shining' and 'Misery'. I like dark/mystery genres w a scary element, even disturbing, but not gore or demonic.

    As a kid, I couldn't sleep thinking E.T. was at my door (he was creepy to me back then) or demon possessed Linda Blair would be climbing my bedroom walls. I went through sleepless nights when I would walk crying to my parents room. Maybe didn't quite get over it.. SMH. :)

  • MishuPishu | October 31, 2011 9:11 AMReply

    Two movies that scared the hell out of me when I was a kid were The Shining and The Exorcist, classics obviously.

    But two other movies that were pretty damn good and may not be on most lists are Jacob's Ladder, which isn't exactly a horror film but was extremely freaky at times, and The Eternal, a movie from the late 90's with Christopher Walken harboring an ancient druid curse in the basement of an old house in Ireland.

  • artbizzy | October 31, 2011 9:06 AMReply

    Angel Heart,
    Friday the 13th(1-3),
    Mother's Day,
    The Blob(Is this considered Horror?-anyway it scared the hell outta me),
    Hide and Seek(with Rober Deniro-not a great film but I was surprised that this one spooked me so much)
    The Amytiville Horror
    The Shining
    House (1-2)
    Child's Play (corny, I know, know)
    Hostel

  • Tamara | October 31, 2011 8:47 AMReply

    The Howling (1981)

    Omen II (1978)

    Carrie (1976)

    The Amityville Horror (1979)

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