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Countdown to the 100 Best Scary Movies of All-Time (75 to 71)


75.     

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

The Legend of Hell House is a British film directed by John Hough (The Watcher in the Woods) and written by Richard Matheson, based on his novel. The movie features a talented cast including Pamela Franklin (The Innocents), Roddy McDowall (Fright Night), Clive Revill (Bunny Lake is Missing) and Gayle Hunnicutt (Eye of the Cat). A team of paranormal investigators is hired by a dying millionaire to investigate the notorious Belasco House and gather evidence of the existence of life after death. The house is reported to be one of the most haunted places on earth—a place where people experience violent deaths or are driven mad. This paranormal investigation takes on chilling consequences for the team, as the supernatural events escalate in intensity and their lives become at risk from the demonic forces. The filmmaker creates a suitably eerie and foreboding atmosphere while weaving a suspenseful tale that is highlighted by strong performances from the actors. The Legend of Hell House was nominated for a Golden Scroll Award for best horror film of 1973 along side other great scary movies (Don’t Look Now, Sisters, Theatre of Blood) with the award going to The Exorcist that year.

74.     

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Based on the bestselling novel by Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror is an American film directed by Stuart Rosenberg (Cool Hand Luke) and featuring James Brolin (Capricorn One), Margot Kidder (Superman) and Rod Steiger (In the Heat of the Night). The book and movie claim to be based on the real life experiences of the Lutz family who experienced frightening, paranormal events after moving into an older house with a violent history on Long Island, New York.  In the film version, the father seems to fall under the control of the malevolent spirits in the house. The movie is a well-executed supernatural thriller, as the director effectively builds the suspense and terror. The paranormal happenings are largely creepy and threatening, and the cast delivers convincing performances. The Amityville Horror received largely negative reviews from the critics when it was first released, but was a big success at the box office, bringing in more that 86 million. The movie’s score was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe. The Amityville Horror was also nominated for Saturn Awards for Best Horror Film and Best Actress (Kidder). Don’t bother with the 2005 remake featuring Ryan Reynolds.

 73.     

Altered States (1980)

Based on the novel and adapted for the screen by renowned screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky (Network), Altered States is directed by Ken Russell (The Devils). The movie was notable as it marks the film debuts of both William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman) and a young Drew Barrymore (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). A scientist experiments on himself with mind altering drugs and sensory deprivation while in an isolation tank. As a result, he begins to experience disturbing physical and mental changes, as his body undergoes an evolutionary regression to a primitive-like monster. Ken Russell has created a flamboyantly, extravagant fright-fest with stellar performances from his cast. It is a film that is both weird and wonderful in typical Ken Russell fashion. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards—for Best Sound and Best Original Score. Altered States was also nominated for three Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director and Best Writing.

72.     

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera is a silent film classic directed by Rupert Julian (The Cat Creeps) and featuring silent horror film legend Lon Chaney (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). A hideously deformed former composer lurks in the shadows of the Paris Opera House committing many atrocities including murder in an attempt to win the love of a young songstress and make her his star.  An impressive melodramatic tale of terror,  The Phantom of the Opera is considered a work of art today due to its highly stylized film imagery and Chaney’s fine performance. Lon Chaney worked laboriously on his own make-up for the role, which was kept a secret by the studio until the film’s opening. Universal released remakes of The Phantom of the Opera in 1943 and 1962. The musical version based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage hit was released in 2004. The Phantom of the Opera is rated #52 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

 71.     

The Dead Zone (1983)

Directed by Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, The Dead Zone is thriller based on novel by Stephen King and featuring a strong cast including, Christopher Walken (The Prophecy), Martin Sheen (The Believers), Tom Skerritt (Alien) and Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). After being injured in a car accident, a local schoolteacher ends up in hospital in a coma.  Five years later, he awakens from the coma and tries to resume his life only to discover he has acquired psychic abilities. Walken’s character now has visions of past and future events triggered by touching items or people. The film is a subtle and effectively unsettling supernatural thriller featuring interesting characters and strong performances, in particular from Christopher Walken. The film received favorable reviews and won the Saturn award for best horror film of 1983. The Dead Zone was also adapted into a critically acclaimed television series featuring Anthony Michael Hall that ran for six seasons on the USA network.

Best of Stephen King


Stephen King is one of the most prolific horror writers of our times. In the hands of different filmmakers, his work has been turned into some brilliant work. Other times, it has been downright dreadful. 

In order, here are my favourite movies and television programs based on the work of Stephen King:

  1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  2. The Green Mile (1999)
  3. Stand by Me (1986)
  4. Carrie (1976) 
  5. The Shining (1980)
  6. Misery (1990)
  7. The Dead Zone (1983)
  8. Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
  9. Salem’s Lot (1979) – TV movie
  10. The Stand (1994) – TV mini-series
  11. Dolores Claiborne (1995)
  12. Storm of the Century (1999) – TV mini-series
  13. The Mist (2007)
  14. Haven (2010-2011) – TV series
  15. Apt Pupil (1998)
  16. 1408 (2007)
  17. Secret Window (2004)
  18. It (1990) – TV movie
  19. Silver Bullet (1985)
  20. Needful Things (1993)
  21. Sometimes They Come Back (1991) – TV movie
  22. Cujo (1983)
  23. The Dark Half (1993)
  24. Christine (1983)
  25. Firestarter (1984)
  26. Rose Red (2002) – TV mini-series
  27. The Shining (1997) – TV mini-series
  28. Dreamcatcher (2003)
  29. Pet Sematary (1989)
  30. Kingdom Hospital (2004) – TV series 
  31. Riding the Bullet (2004)
  32. The Langoliers (1995) – TV movie
Favourite Stephen King quotes:
  • It’s better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a terrific cost.
  • People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy… and I keep it in a jar on my desk.
  • The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings – words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.
  • We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
  • You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.

Best Scary Television Series of All-Time


I remember when I was a little child, I would sneak into the house and watch the Canadian supernatural soap opera series Strange Paradise, despite my mother telling me I was too young to watch something that scary. This started my love of watching scary television shows, including Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Here are my favourite Scary Television Series of all-time:

  1. The X Files (1993-2002)
  2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996-2003)
  3. Dexter (2006-Present)
  4. Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
  5. The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
  6. True Blood (2008-Present)
  7. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1961)
  8. The Walking Dead (2010-Present)
  9. Night Gallery (1969-1973)
  10. Fringe (2008-Present)
  11. Supernatural (2005-Present)
  12. Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
  13. Carnivàle (2003-2005)
  14. Angel (1999-2004)
  15. Haven (2010-2011)
  16. The Outer Limits (1963-1965)
  17. Medium (2005-2011)
  18. Millennium (1996-1999)
  19. The Dead Zone (2002-2007)
  20. American Gothic (1995-1996)
  21. The Others (2000)
  22. FreakyLinks (2000-2001)
  23. Happy Town (2010)
  24. Goosebumps (1995-1998)
  25. Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991-1996)
  26. Eerie, Indiana (1991-1992)
  27. The Gates (2010)
  28. Kingdom Hospital (2004)
  29. Ghost Whisperer (2005-2010)
  30. Bedlam (2011)
  31. Harper’s Island (2009)
  32. Point Pleasant (2005-2006)
  33. Wolf Lake (2001-2002)
  34. Strange Paradise (1969-1970)
Ones I have not seen, but have heard good buzz around include:
  1. One Step Beyond (1959-1961)
  2. Ghost Story (1972-1973)
  3. The Sixth Sense (1972)
  4. The Evil Touch (1973-1974)
  5. Tales of the Unexpected (1977)

Best Scary Movies of All-Time


Ever since I was a small child, I loved scary movies. I remember sneaking into the house and watching Siesta Cinema’s afternoon showing of War of the Worlds and then imaging that the light posts in our neighbourhood were alien spacecraft sent to destroy the earth.  I have not out grown my love of being scared by a great horror movie. 

Here are my favourite Scary Movies of  all-time:

  1. Alien  (1979)
  2. The Exorcist (1973)
  3. Psycho  (1960)
  4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 
  5. King Kong (1933)
  6. The Sixth Sense (1999)
  7. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  8. Bride of Frankenstein  (1935)
  9. Carrie (1976)
  10. The Haunting  (1963)
  11. The Others  (2001)
  12. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  13. Seven (1995)
  14. The Omen (1976)
  15. Don’t Look Now (1973) 
  16. The Shining (1980) 
  17. The Wicker Man (1973) 
  18. Jaws  (1975)
  19. 28 Days Later (2002)
  20. Frankenstein (1931)
  21. Poltergeist (1982) 
  22. The Vanishing (1988)
  23. The Birds  (1963)
  24. The Innocents (1961)
  25. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  26. Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte  (1964)
  27. Halloween (1978)
  28. Cat People  (1942)
  29. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  30. Scream  (1996)
  31. Les Diaboliques (1955)
  32. Audition (1999)
  33. Dracula (1931)
  34. Wolfen (1981)
  35. The Bad Seed (1956) 
  36. Let the Right One In (2008) 
  37. The Thing from Another World (1951) 
  38. The Ring (2002) 
  39. The War of the Worlds (1953)
  40. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  41. Nosferatu (1922)
  42. Repulsion (1965)
  43. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
  44. M (1931)
  45. The Lost Boys  (1987)
  46. Misery (1990) 
  47. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  48. Wait Until Dark (1967)
  49. Ginger Snaps (2000)
  50. The Descent (2005)
  51. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
  52. Fright Night (1985)
  53. Near Dark (1987)
  54. The Wolf Man (1941) 
  55. Session 9 (2001)
  56. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  57. An American Werewolf In London (1981)
  58. Videodrome (1983)
  59. I’m Not Scared (2003)
  60. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  61. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  62. The Grudge (2004) / Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
  63. Frailty (2001)
  64. The Hunger (1983) 
  65. The Dead Zone (1983)
  66. Cat People (1982) 
  67. Dressed to Kill (1980)
  68. The Mummy (1932)
  69. The Fly (1986)
  70. Village of the Damned (1960)
  71. Below (2002)
  72. Altered States (1980)
  73. The Collector (1965)
  74. The Amityville Horror (1979)
  75. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
  76. The Changeling (1980)
  77. The Uninvited (1944)
  78. The Evil Dead (1981)
  79. Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
  80. The Dead Zone (1983)
  81. The Return (2006)
  82. The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
  83. The Eye (2002)
  84. The Messengers (2007)
  85. Peeping Tom (1960)
  86. Hellraiser (1987)
  87. Pitch Black (2000)
  88. Carnival of Souls (1962)
  89. The Mummy (1932)
  90. Sisters (1973) 
  91. Burnt Offerings (1976)
  92. The Stepford Wives (1975) 
  93. Black Christmas (1974) 
  94. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  95. The Cell (2000)
  96. The Company of Wolves (1984)
  97. Blood and Chocolate (2007)
  98. House of Wax (1953)
  99. The Mist (2007)
  100. Saw (2004)
  101. The Thing (1982)
  102. Freaks (1932)
  103. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
  104. Stir of Echoes (1999)
  105. The Curse of the Cat People (1944)
  106. Underworld (2003)
  107. 30 Days of Night (2007)
  108. Dead Calm (1989)
  109. Silver Bullet (1985)
  110. Them! (1954)
  111. Magic (1978)
  112. The Other (1972)
  113. Insidious (2010)
  114. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  115. The Gift (2000)
  116. The Skeleton Key (2005)
  117. Secret Window (2004) 
  118. Mimic (1997)
  119. The Howling (1981)
  120. Identity (2003)
  121. 1408 (2007)
  122. What Lies Beneath (2000)
  123. Dark Water (2005)/Honogurai mizu no soko kara (2002)
  124. Gothika (2003)
  125. The Crazies (2010)
  126. Stigmata (1999)
  127. The Relic (1997)
  128. Suspiria (1977)
  129. Needful Things (1993)
  130. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
  131. Case 39 (2009)
  132. The Exorcist III (1990) 
  133. Paranormal Activity (2007)
  134. The Seventh Sign (1988)
  135. Hostel (2005)
  136. The Strangers (2008)
  137. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
  138. Scream 2 (1997)
  139. Eyes of Laura Mars  (1978)
  140. Dog Soldiers (2002)
  141. FeardotCom (2002) 
  142. Race with the Devil (1975)
  143. Child’s Play (1988)
  144. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
  145. Boogeyman (2005)
  146. They (2002)
  147. The Brood (1979)
  148. New Nightmare (1994)
  149. An American Haunting (2005)
  150. Demon Seed (1977)
  151. Urban Legend (1998)
  152. Candyman (1992)
  153. Scream 3 (2000)
  154. Wolf Creek (2005)
  155. Joy Ride (2001)
  156. Infection (2004)
  157. The Fog (1980)
  158. Darkness Falls (2003)
  159. Vanishing on 7th Street (2010)
  160. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
  161. Ravenous (1999)
  162. Cabin Fever (2002)
  163. Hollow Man (2000)
  164. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
  165. The Hills Have Eyes (1977) 
  166. Devil (2010)
  167. Isle of the Dead (1945)
  168. The Ghost Ship (1943)
  169. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  170. Friday the 13th (1980)
  171. Dementia 13 (1963)
  172. Ghost Ship (2002)
  173. The Funhouse (1981)
  174. Bless the Child (2000)
  175. Lost Souls (2000)
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