Based on Thomas Harris's novel, this terrifying
film by Jonathan Demme really only contains a couple of genuinely
shocking moments (one involving an autopsy, the other a prison break).
The rest of the film is a splatter-free visual and psychological
descent into the hell of madness, redeemed astonishingly by an unlikely
connection between a monster and a haunted young woman.
thriller broke new ground in Hollywood and forever changed the genre.
The bone-chilling tension still resonates today, despite a culture
hardened to big-screen violence and psychological games. The infamous
"shower scene" remains one of the most memorable in film
This controversial film took
in a whopping $89 million domestically, a certified blockbuster—quite
a feat considering the off-putting plot and stomach-turning visuals:
a twisting head, spinning bed, and green vomit. (People actually vomited
in theaters during the film's original theatrical run.) A tormented
priest tries to exorcise the devil from 12-year-old Linda Blair. In
the process, he unleashes some of his own demons. Peter Blatty won
an Oscar for the riveting screenplay based on his novel.
Directed and written by James
Cameron, this is one of the most intensely exciting (not to mention
intensely frightening) action films ever, with a large ensemble cast
that includes Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, and Michael
Biehn. Sigourney Weaver defined the action woman in this film and
walked away with an Oscar nomination for her trouble.
Who can forget Jack Nicholson's
deranged laugh as he terrorized his snowbound family? Stanley Kubrick's
most commercial film never really found an audience, but repeated
viewings reveal a classic psychological study into family dynamics
and the mind of an unhinged man. In characteristic Kubrick style,
the author makes the Overlook Hotel itself a character, with as much
power and intrigue as the real-life actors. Nicholson, never one for
subtlety, delivers one of his most over-the-top performances.
What would a scary movie list
be without one slicer-dicer from the 1980s? After all, director Wes
Craven is the indisputable king of horror, who's also responsible
for the Scream franchise. Intelligent characters and—believe it or
not—a thought-provoking screenplay set this first installment in the
Freddie Krueger series apart from other films of the genre.
The story is simple: Radiation
from a fallen satellite has caused the dead to walk, and hunger for
human flesh. Once bitten, you become one of them. And the only way
to kill one is by a shot or blow to the head. We follow a group holed
up in a small farmhouse who are trying to fend off the inevitable
onslaught of the dead. The tension between the members of this unstable,
makeshift community drives the film. Night of the Living Dead establishes
savagery as a necessary condition of life. Marked by fatality and
a grim humor, the film gnaws through to the bone, then proceeds on
to the marrow.
Though much of Brian De Palma's
"Carrie" is more sad than scary there are horrifying moments
that stick. No matter how sorry we are for Carrie, we're sure as heck
not going in the ground with her. And no matter how much we tell ourselves
this is only a movie, this is not something we want to think about
before retiring for the evening.
Directed by Adrian Lyne,
this is not your average thriller, as it garnered six Academy Award
nominations. The plot is too obvious, but the dialogue rings true
and the intense performances hold the story together. Anne Archer
deserves kudos for side-stepping cliché as the strong but frightened
wife, and Glenn Close is a scream as she chews up the scenery. The
film's original ending, which was reshot after poor preview screenings,
has been added to the video release.
Psychological terrorism and
supernatural horror have rarely been dramatized as effectively as
in this classic 1968 thriller, masterfully adapted and directed by
Roman Polanski from the chilling novel by Ira Levin. One of the few
modern horror films that can claim to be genuinely terrifying, Rosemary's
Baby is an unforgettable movie experience, guaranteed to send chills
up your spine.