Dear Horror Fans,
You know what’s really scary? Committing to a list of the all-time best horror films.
As the first video in our new Greatest Movies A-Z series with WatchMojo, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. That doesn’t mean we knew it would be so hard. But here it is:
As you can see, we gave ourselves some guidelines:
- One film per letter
- Articles don’t count (the, an, a, etc.)
- Final list should encapsulate the genre
The last rule dictated a lot of our hardest decisions. And we’re confident with where we ended up - especially after a last minute change to replace Killer Klowns from Outer Space with King Kong.
(Seriously. We almost forgot King Kong was a horror movie. That would have gotten ugly).
LESSONS FROM HORROR A-Z
Now that this first video is out, here’s some take-aways from our decision-making process. If your favorite movie isn’t in our final video, there’s a very good chance it’s a decision, and not an omission.
TOP DECADE: 1970s
Nine of our choices come from the 70s. Every one of them has a sequel and/or remake. The decade really set the template for modern horror.
HARDEST LETTER: P
Paranormal Activity. Poltergeist. The Purge. Pet Cemetary. All extremely successful and important to the genre, but they ultimately have to bow down to the mother of mainstream horror: Psycho.
CHEATED OUT: Alien
Is Alien a horror movie? Sure. But it fit better in another genre, so we didn’t even consider it here. Don’t worry, we can hear you scream.
BEST BATTLE: Scream vs The Shining
If you think we’re crazy for not going with Kubrick, trust us, we know. The Shining is a bona fide classic, and has had a real cultural resurgence since Room 237, Ready Player One, and Doctor Sleep. But Scream single-handedly rejuvenated the horror genre in the mid 90s. It spawned three sequels, countless imitators, and even a spoof series (Scary Movie) that got all the way to a fifth instalment. Not to mention how the original Scream still totally slaps as a horror movie. The best argument against it might be that we already have a Wes Craven film in Nightmare on Elm Street. But like Scream, we just had to play with the rules here.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: The Wizard of Gore
Is it really better than The Witch? Probably not, but we had to throw some love at the buckets-of-blood king Herschell Gordon Lewis. Helped us round out the style of horror films on the list, too.
Think your list would be better? More balanced? Less heart-breaking? Let us know.
Dear Cast & Crew