I’ve always been a massive fan of horror. Ever since I was little I was fascinated with the occult and the unexplained. I used to sit up late at night as a child watching Horror movies. Chucky was always a favourite, as was Stephen kings IT. The latter in particular used to scare the crap out of me! Call me weird but I actually enjoy being scared. There’s just something exciting about that feeling of not quite being in control. Knowing that anything could happen. For me the horror genre will always be the best. I also think it’s the most difficult to get right.After all how often do modern day horror films get good publicity? Rarely I reckon. Subsequently horror often comes across cheesy or over the top. For me the scariest films are the ones which have the biggest impact. The ones which really disturb and get under the skin! It takes a lot to scare me and as such my list of top 5 is very personal. Whilst you may disagree which some (if not all) of the movies concerned, these are the horror movies which have the biggest impact on me. I hope you enjoy.
5. Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010).
Coming in a number five is a short and perhaps unknown british film called ‘Whistle and I’ll Come to You’. This may seem a little controversial and you may be wondering why it is in my top five but bare with me. I talk a lot about the effect films have on me and whilst this may not come under the traditional horror genre, it is a particularly scary film. I don’t want to spoil too much if you haven’t seen it but basically the film follows an elderly academic who following placing his sick wife Into residential care goes to stay at a deserted out of season hotel that they used to frequent together. The academic takes a daily walk down to a deserted beach and on each occasion sees a creepy apparition which he can’t seem to get away from. Upon returning back to the empty hotel each night he is plagued by noises and banging at the door. He is seemingly being haunted, but by whom is the twist in the story. This is an absolutely excellent short movie which strongly plays with the idea of isolation and challenges everything the lead character believes about the world. The ending scene is utterly shocking and I challenge any person to watch this film on their own with the light off. This is by no means a big budget production but promises to leave a lasting effect.
4. The shining
No top five list would be complete without The Shining, and of course I am not making an exception. For me this is one of the ultimate haunted house movies and features Jack Nicholson at his absolute craziest (and best!). The story follows Jack Torrence who takes up the roll of winter caretaker at the Spooky Overlook hotel. Unpredictably the Overlook is built on an ancient Indian burial ground and as such houses it’s own collection of messed up spirits. The story portrays a deep feeling of isolation and plays with the idea of a father slowly going mad and losing his grasp on reality. Torrence eventually follows in the footsteps of his predecessor and attempts to bludgeon his family. If you have seen The Shining before then of course you will always remember those creepy murdered daughters of the former caretaker and those disturbing elevators filled with blood. Let’s also not forget those frankly horrific patterned carpets! What the movie does particularly well is create a powerful feeling of isolation and this greatly adds to the appeal. If you haven’t seen the Shining then give yourself a slap around the face and get it sorted!
3. The exorcist.
The Exorcist follows the story of a young priest who following the death of his mother is struggling to find comfort in God. His faith is really put to test when he reluctantly becomes involved in the exorcism of a demonically possessed and foul mouthed young girl.The exorcist is easily the most terrifying exorcism movie and possibly one of the most horrific horror movies ever made. I think what makes this so impactive is the portrayal of the young girl. The shockingly foul language is what should never be expected from a 12 year old girl and that coupled with the infamous crucifix scene makes for quite a horrifying and disturbing experience. The film won a number of awards when it was released in the 70’s and is often considered one of the best horror films ever made. Evidently this was one of Warner Brothers’ largest grossing films of all time. A must see movie for any horror lover.
2. The Ring.
Although not my number one scariest movie, The Ring is probably my favourite. The movie tells the story of a young single mother who upon investigating the death of her niece discovers a video tape which results in whoever watches it suffering an horrific death. To her horror her son accidentally watches this video tape and what follows is both brilliant and chilling. What I find particularly creepy about this movie is the atmosphere which it creates. There’s something about that constant rain and dingy portrayal of the world that really hits the target. The Ring is chillingly creepy and one of the benchmark modern horror movies. The movie narrowly misses out on the number one spot to my next choice.
1. The Orphanage.
The Orphanage was released in 2007 and is a Spanish horror film co-produced by the talented Guillermo del Toro. The story follows the lead character Laura who moves back into her childhood home with her level headed husband and their adopted son Simon. Her intention is to return the home to its former status and open an Orphanage for disabled children.Things start to get a bit spooky however when Simon starts playing with an imaginary and frankly creepy masked friend, before seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth. It becomes apparent to Laura that there is more to the old Orphanage than meets the eye and becomes convinced it is haunted. Furthermore this somehow has something to do with Simons disappearance. There are are many disturbing scenes in this movie but one in particular sticks in my mind. I’ll never forget the scene when a psychic who is enlisted by Laura goes into a trance and comes into contact with the dead children who wander the corridors of the Orphanage. What follows is both horrifying and disturbing and one of the reasons why it took me so long to watch the film a second time. The sound of sick children screaming and crying really does get under your skin. The Orphanage gets my number one spot because of the way it made me feel. Not many films have had such a lasting affect and as such the movie delivers where others fail.