The HorrorGeek’s Top Five Horror Movies Of All Time
I’m the Batgeek but I also run two other pages on Instagram, The_HorrorGeek and the_gamegeek I hope to bring all aspects of those pages here to Thebatgeek.com. So I’ll be starting by doing my Top Five for each page. It’s to help you understand who runs the website, the stuff I like and what you can expect to be posted.
Now my top five.
No.5 The Exorcist
Director: William Friedkin
The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name, and starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller. The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The adaptation is relatively faithful to the book, which itself has been commercially successful (hitting the New York Times bestseller list).
The film experienced a troubled production; even in the beginning, several prestigious film directors including Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Penn turned it down. Incidents, such as the toddler son of one of the main actors being hit by a motorbike and hospitalized, attracted claims that the set was ‘cursed’. The complex special effects used as well as the nature of the film locations also presented severe challenges. The film’s notable psychological themes include the nature of faith in the midst of doubt as well as the boundaries of maternal love as a mother has to do whatever she can to save her child.
The Exorcist was released theatrically in the United States by Warner Bros. on December 26, 1973. Though booked at first in only twenty-six theaters across the U.S., it soon became a major commercial success. The film earned ten Academy Award nominations, winning two (Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay). It became one of the highest-grossing films in history, grossing over $441 million worldwide in the aftermath of various re-releases, and was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
No. 4 Alien (1979)
Director: Ridley Scott
Alien is a 1979 British-American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film’s title refers to a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature that stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship. Dan O’Bannon wrote the screenplay from a story he wrote with Ronald Shusett, drawing influence from previous works of science fiction and horror. The film was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter Hill through their Brandywine Productions and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill made revisions and additions to the script. Shusett was executive producer. The eponymous Alien and its accompanying elements were designed by Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the human aspects of the film. Alien launched the Alien franchise and is chronologically the first of the main series, with the prequel series set in an earlier timeframe.
Alien received both critical acclaim and box office success, receiving an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright,[and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, along with numerous other award nominations. It has remained highly praised in subsequent decades, being considered one of the greatest films of all time. In 2002 the film was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.[ In 2008, it was ranked as the seventh-best film in the science fiction genre by the American Film Institute, and as the 33rd greatest film of all time by Empire magazine.
No.3 Evil Dead II (1987)
Director: Sam Raimi
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn) is a 1987 American comedy horror film directed by Sam Raimi and a parody sequel to the 1981 film The Evil Dead. The film was written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel (they wrote the screenplay during the production of another collaboration Crimewave), produced by Robert Tapert, and stars Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams.
Filming took place in Michigan and North Carolina in 1986 and the film was released in the United States on March 13, 1987. It was a minor box office success, achieving just under $6 million. It garnered positive reviews in which critics praised Raimi’s direction and Campbell’s role as the protagonist.
Like the original, Evil Dead II has accumulated a cult following. The film was followed by a third installment in the Evil Dead series, The Army Of Darkness.
No.2 The Shining
Director: Stanley Kubrick
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers. The film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining, although the film and novel differ slightly but significantly.In the film, Jack Torrance, a writer and recovering alcoholic, takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel. His young son possesses psychic abilities and is able to see things from the past and future, such as the ghosts who haunt the hotel. Some time after settling in, the family is trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm, and Jack gradually becomes influenced by a ghostly presence, descends into madness, and ultimately attempts to murder his wife and son.
The initial European release of The Shining was 25 minutes shorter than the American version, achieved by removing most of the scenes taking place outside the environs of the hotel. Unlike Kubrick’s previous works, which developed audiences gradually through word-of-mouth, The Shining was released as a mass-market film, initially opening in two cities on Memorial Day, then nationwide a month later.Although contemporary responses from critics were mixed, assessment became more favorable in following decades, and it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made. American director Martin Scorsese, writing in The Daily Beast, ranked it one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time. Critics, scholars, and crew members (such as Kubrick’s producer Jan Harlan) have discussed the film’s enormous influence on popular culture.
No. 1 A Nightmare On Elm Street
Director: Wes Craven
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund, and Johnny Depp in his feature film debut. Set in the fictional Midwestern town of Springwood, Ohio, the plot revolves around several teenagers who are stalked and killed in their dreams (and thus killed in reality) by Freddy Krueger. The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago.
Craven produced A Nightmare on Elm Street on an estimated budget of $1.8 million, a sum the film earned back during its first week. The film went on to gross over $25 million at the United States box office.A Nightmare on Elm Street was met with rave critical reviews and went on to make a very significant impact on the horror genre, spawning a franchise consisting of a line of sequels, a television series, a crossover with Friday the 13th, beyond various other works of imitation; a remake of the same name was released in 2010.
The film is credited with carrying on many tropes found in low-budget horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, originating in John Carpenter’s 1978 horror film Halloween, including the morality play that revolves around sexual promiscuity in teenagers resulting in their eventual death, leading to the term “slasher film”.Critics and film historians state that the film’s premise is the struggle to define the distinction between dreams and reality, manifested by the lives and dreams of the teens in the film. Critics today praise the film’s ability to transgress “the boundaries between the imaginary and real”, toying with audience perceptions.