Here is a list I have been working on throughout the second half of 2013 - a list of my 50 Favourite Horror Films. This is a collection of films personally assembled and ordered that entertain, provoke, challenge and affect in equal measure (or somewhat equal, as it applies for some) and are worth seeking out if you can stomach the thrills, chills and sinister malevolence offered by the good old horror genre. While I have watched more horror films this year than any other, I'll be honest, I still haven't scratched the surface. For the record, my favourite horror film from 2013 so far is The Conjuring. Japanese horror films and the found footage sub genre, for example, remain gaping holes in my knowledge. A lot of recent viewings have made the list - A Nightmare on Elm Street is particularly high - but most of the Top 10 have been repeatedly scarring me for years and exist amongst my favourite films overall. While I won't pretend to have seen nearly enough horror films to claim this to be the definitive list, I have made a pretty hardcore effort to catch as many culturally and aesthetically significant classics of the genre as were available to me. I am confident that this list includes winners all the way.

For some of these titles, it is debatable whether they fall under the category of 'horror film'. The content in Come and See is amongst the most horrifying of any film appearing on this list, but many would declare it a war film. Then there's Funny Games, which is unclassifiable. My justification: it forced me to wake up throughout the night distressed after watching it. After some consideration I decided that Aliens was more science fiction/action than horror and Pan's Labyrinth was more of a gothic fantasy, leaving them off the list. The Silence of the Lambs is a crime thriller and one could argue that Se7en has as much claim to be listed here. There are some terrifying scenes in both films. Is An American Werewolf in London a comedy? What about Evil Dead II? A line had to be drawn somewhere, and each of these films have been deemed as a horror film by one top critical outlet or another. That's my justification.

 

So, if you're unsure what to watch this Halloween and want to take a chance on something new, I hope this list offers some inspiration. I'd love to hear what some of your favourite creepers are. Leave me a comment below.

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50. Tremors (Ron Underwood, 1990)

49. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)

48. Cronos (Guillermo Del Toro, 1993)

47. Saw (James Wan, 2005)

46. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)

45. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)

44. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)

43. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)

42. The Host  (Joon-ho Bong, 2006)

41. The Invisible Man (James Whale, 1933)

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40. Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)

39. Tenebre (Dario Argento, 1982)

38. Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992)

37. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)

36. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton, 1986)

35. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polaski, 1968)

34. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

33. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956)

32. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez, 1999)

31. Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978)

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30. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)

29. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

28. Scream (Wes Craven, 1996)

27. Evil Dead 2 (Sam Raimi, 1987)

26. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)

25. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)

24. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

23. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)

22. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)

21. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)

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20. Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997)

19. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)

18. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981)

17. Don’t Look Now (Nicholas Roeg, 1973)

16. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1918)

15. An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)

14. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)

13. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)

12. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)

11. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)

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10. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985)

9. Nosferatu (F. W Murnau, 1922)

8. Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)

7. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

6. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)

5. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)

4. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

3. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)

2. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)

1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

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