After watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, when I was seven, I knew I was a fan of the genre. Over the years, I have literally watched thousands of horror movies. It’s one of my favourite things to do. I am the type that turns off all the lights, and curls up with anticipation of that initial scare. Most of the time, I watch horrors alone, in darkness, in a silent house, but when I do have someone to watch a movie with, I have been known to sneak off, scrape against the window, (especially when watching Freddy or Jason) and scare them to the point, they jump with a scream off their seat.
Being a great fan of all things Horror, there was a lot more I could put on this list, so just because it’s not here, doesn’t mean I would not recommend it. Although I am a huge fan, I also tried to avoid the cliché’s like Friday the 13th, Chucky and Freddy Kruger.
Without further ado, in no order, here are the handful I ended up choosing.
1. Boo – Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (2005)
Where some buildings don’t have a 13th floor, some, like the Santa Mira Insane Asylum, shouldn’t have a third. Add in four teenagers looking for a Halloween thrill, a vengeful, deranged spirt, makes for a perfect movie to entertain our fear.
Rated, M+15, Boo is one of my favourite movies to watch when I am looking for something closer to the traditional horrors. We all grow up hearing ‘stories’ based on local folklore. Exploring these places, and their darker history has always been a hobby of mine. I think that is the main reason why, Boo appeals to me. Horror movies don’t need to be complicated, or break away from the ‘tradition of horror’ to be good.
2. Constantine Directed By Francis Lawrence (2005)
A wager been God and Lucifer has been placed for the souls of human kind and the only man standing in the way is John Constantine, an exorcist, condemned, with a bad ass attitude, whose soul Lucifer would travel to earth to collect himself. He meets Angela Dodson, a detective, torn by the apparent ‘suicide’ of her twin Isabel. Now the ‘claws’ are really out.
Based off the character from DC comics Vertigo Hell blazer, rated M and starring Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz, Constantine is another one of my favourites. As a horror, it plays off this ‘fear’ we have based around death and the Supernatural. Although this movie has religious tones, it walks the darker side and is one I have curled up to a few times.
3. The Thirst Directed by Jeremy Kasten (2006)
Lisa, a young recovering addict, is terminally ill and as she lies in her hospital bed, she is gets a visitor with a ‘cure’. After her ‘funeral’, her boyfriend, Maxx is distraught, devastated by the loss of his love. He begins down a path of ‘self-destruction’ consumed by his grief – until one night at a club, he sees Lisa again. Determined to find her, he enters, into a darker world, of blood lust, violence with a deranged twisted sense of loyalty and family.
Unlike most traditional Vampire flicks, these vampires aren’t without their souls or perception of right and wrong. The thirst for human blood, is more an uncontrollable addiction. Rated R18+ this is definitely a flick I would recommend when you are looking for something more fast paced, but with a gore factor.
4. Thirteen Ghosts Directed by Steve Beck (2001)
Driven by his own desire to open and control the ‘gates of hell’ Cyrus Kriticos will do anything and use anyone, including the thirteen ghosts. After his ‘death’ Cyrus leaves his mansion to his nephew, Arthur and his family – along with thirteen tormented and vengeful Ghosts, inside.
Rated MA 15+, this is another horror movie, that has found its place in my growing collection. Although I do not watch Thirteen Ghosts, that often, it is a movie I enjoy. The characters are well developed and the story line is not complicated. It’s the basic desire for power portrayed by Cyrus’s greed and the natural struggle for survival when the murderous, vindictive, tortured and tormented Ghosts are free to roam.
5. Ghost Ship Directed by Steve Beck (2002)
It all begins with a large luxury liner, Antonia Graza, going missing in 1962. The majestic liner remains hidden until it is ‘spotted’ by Ferriman. Ferriman, goes into partnership with a Captain Murphy and his Salvage crew, determined to save the Antonia Graza before she sinks to the bottom of the Bering Sea. When they board her, they soon realize they weren’t the first to find her and they are not alone.
Rated MA 15+, again this is another one of my favourite horror movies, because again the characters have strong bases and the story line is not complicated. It’s basic fear. An unsettled blood filled past, with an unsolved mystery to capture curiosity, lined with an underlying fear of the unknown.
6. Salem’s Lot Directed by Tobe Hooper (1979)
Successful writer Ben Mears, returns home to Salem’s Lot with the intent of writing his next big novel. With the Marsden House, and its dark history, the main inspiration, Ben soon finds himself confronted with his childhood fear and as the people of Salem’s Lot begin to fall victim, writing is the last thing on Ben’s mind.Rated M, Salem’s Lot is great for a night in where you are looking for that classic horror. For its time, the special effects and make up work is quite good. The storyline is strong. The characters are well played and in my opinion, I do prefer this version to the 2004 remake starring Rob Lowe, which for the record, I do own and watch.
7. Dead Silence Directed By James Wan (2007)
“Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children, only dolls and if you see her in your dreams make sure you never ever scream.”
Everything is going well for Jamie Ashton and his wife Ella until an unmarked package containing a doll mysteriously appears at their door. Shortly after, Ella Ashton is brutally murdered and as Jamie tries to clear his name and solve the murder of his wife, he finds himself on the road home, fearing her death is linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist, Mary Shaw.
Honestly, for me ventriloquist dolls have always been a little creepy. Add in that ‘old’ town ghost story and spinetingling undertones, this is a good watch for someone looking for a horror, suspense, mystery, thriller mix.
8. The Craft Directed by Andrew Fleming (1996)
To the other kids at St Benedict’s, they were just another group of outcasts. When troubled teenager, Sarah Bailey starts attending school, she begins to hear rumours. With her own curiosity’s, she soon befriends Bonnie, Nancy and Rochelle. – the ‘witches’ she was warned about.
Rated MA 15+, this isn’t what I’d call overly scary but if you are looking for a cult classic, it pretty much fits the bill and it’s a good one for someone beginning their journey into the world of supernatural horror.
9. Stigmata Directed by Rupert Wainwright (1999)
Frankie Paige, a young, life loving women in the US, begins to develop signs of Stigmata. As her ‘outbursts’ increase, the Vatican decides to send Father Andrew Kiernan to ‘investigate’. Frankie and Father Andrew Kieran seem to click and as he cares for her, her rants become clearer leaving him to question what his religion has stood for, over the last 1900 plus years.
Rated MA15+ and starring Patricia Arquette, this is a horror movie for those (like myself) that do enjoy what I call ‘religious horror’. Stigmata not only explores the ‘supernatural’ side but the darker side to humanity where even seemingly good people find themselves doing things they never thought themselves capable of.
10. Lord of Illusion Directed by Clive Barker (1995)
“I wasn't born to show people the error of their ways. I was born to murder the world.” – Nix
When magician Philip Swann becomes the target of a religious black magic cult his wife Dorothea hires Detective Harry D’Amour to protect him. After Philip dies on stage in strange circumstances, Harry finds himself having to protect Dorothea, especially now Nix ‘The Puritan’ is back from the dead.
Rated R, this is another of my favourites to watch when I am looking for something with more of a gore feel than most horrors. I would not recommend it as your first horror if you don’t know much about the field, but I would recommend you put it on your watch list.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my list. For more, please follow me on social. Links available via my website www.sjhardy.net Thanks all and enjoy your next scare.