Throughout the course of American cinematic history, the genre of the horror film has been defined. From the silent original Dracula, to modern day CG experiences such as The Ring and The Grudge. Most of the horror films that have been produced have been mundane, repetitive, and simply not scary. But then there are the instant classics. There are a small group of film’s that every horror movie strives to be. Some horror movies are not simply movies, they are experiences. This list was comprised to inform you of what movies will give a grown adult legitimate nightmares.
5.) Coming in at number five on the list is the psychological trip that is Jacobs Ladder. Jacobs Ladder tells the story of a disgruntled Vietnam veteran who strolls down the road of drug experimentation, and becomes totally delusional, or does he? This movie plays upon the idea that you don’t know what is happening, and you don’t know why it is happening. This movie is one of the scariest movies of all time because it provides the overwhelming sense of insecurity. Because we have no idea what is going on, and we don’t know what to expect throughout the entire movie, we certainly don’t know how to react when it actually does happen.
4.) Number four is the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. Psycho was so ahead of it’s time, that even movies with the best technological graphics in the world do not even come close to being as scary as this movie. Psycho took the horror film out of the hands of the proverbial, and archetypical monsters, and put it in the hands of a human being. This film horrified audiences for decades because no aspect about the entire movie is completely out of question. Everything is possible throughout the movie, and it certainly adds to the terror. Some of the newest horror movies still are not close to being as well developed as this movie. I honestly still know people that refuse to take showers with their shower curtain closed.
3.) Alien is the ultimate thriller movie. This movie is pure genius on several different aspects. The one major draw to horror in the film isn’t the monster itself. The scariest part of this movie is the factor of isolation. Everyone on board this space ship is dying all around you, and there is literally no place to run. Imagine being a part of a space ship crew, in the middle of outer space, and having some carnivorous alien running around. In any other setting this story would just not work, but this film is put together perfectly.
2.) The second scariest movie of all time has to be Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. The Shining is the ultimate experience of uncertainty. Not only do you not know what the antagonist is going to do next, you also do not know what exactly is going on in the first place, and still, you are not actually able to tell if this is a story about paranormal behavior, or simply a story of dementia.
1.) And the scariest movie of all time is, without a doubt of uncertainty, The Exorcist”. The Exorcist is by far the most dramatic, psychological and horrific roller coaster ride you will ever find yourself on. Many stories come together under the unusual circumstances of a child possessed by Satan. From the first words uttered by the demonic child, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat. The child’s voice actually makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up at some points during the movie. This film is so absolutely horrifying because it employs a tactic never utilized by a film before this point. What makes this film so scary is that the protagonist is actually the devil himself.
Movies have now been around for over one hundred years, and they show no signs at all of slowing down in the least. As long as movies are being produced, the genre of the horror films will continue to be produced, and such is the trend that most of them will be good for a few cheap thrills and that’s about it. These movies however, will provide the highest level of terror that a film can possibly provide, and they will continue to do so for generations to come.