Welcome to 2019 folks! You’ve survived another year and for that, I’m extremely proud of you. I’m also really happy you’ve decided to check out this blog post even though it’s not a traditional movie review.
You see, when you work retail for the holidays, that nice comfortable schedule you have throughout October and September is crumpled up into a little ball and smushed flat along with your hopes and dreams of doing what you love in your free time. That happened to me, and this week I worked 6 days straight of terrible shifts and celebrated Christmas on both of my days off last week so I didn’t have time to review a movie.
Therefore you get this! A list of my favorite horror movies of all time! Let’s get started!
5. Pet Semetary
This classic written by the amazing Stephen King is a movie I hadn’t seen until a few years ago. That being said, this film from the 1980’s still gave me nightmares when I watched it. that kind of timeless horror isn’t quickly forgotten and it’s one of my all time favorites for that reason.
Not to mention, the KIND of horror in that movie blows my mind. Child death isn’t something you should just “do” especially now-a-days. You never know who might be going through something and what that might trigger. However, King just did it without giving two shits and this film is jarring because of it and can send chills down anyone’s spine as a result. The devastation the father feels and the fact that he was only trying to spend a few more moments with his son is heartbreaking and makes you wish you could just reach through the screen and give him a hug. It makes the character relatable and gives you the ability to connect with him. Loss hurts everyone.
Finally, my favorite scene in the movie (and the one resulting in several nightmares) was the scene where the kiddo slices through that old dude’s Achilles tendons. Even writing that sentence down makes me uncomfortable.
I can’t wait to see what the 2019 reboot has in store for this story!
This film threw inspiration porn out of the window and simply presented us with a badass character that lives a competent lifestyle on her own, doesn’t need anything fancy to get through the day, and can still protect herself when her life is threatened.
It’s an entire movie in first person where there are few lines and a LOT of action. It feels like you’re just a helpless bystander. It takes the idea that a character can be smart to a whole new level. She does literally everything she can to plead with, fight against, and outsmart this evil dude to the point where she nearly dies. However, she doesn’t and in the end, we’re given an epic female lead that kicks ass and keeps herself safe against the odds.
3. Train to Busan
I cried, no, I SOBBED watching this movie. I didn’t think a movie about zombies could make me feel that way, but this one proved me wrong.
Fast zombies that don’t give a shit about anything and are driven by bloodlust to the point where they don’t recognize family members no matter the emotional connection they have to those family members right after they turn are FUCKING TERRIFYING.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that the main plot has to do with a single father that’s very business-oriented and his young daughter that just needs him in her life, there are like four other story lines in this movie that all come together in the end. It’s so well written, and even though it’s a foreign film, the emotions are what make it so powerful. I found myself not needing to read what the characters were saying to know what was happening on screen.
2. Breaking In
The thing I liked most about this movie was the fact that it took every preconceived notion I had about horror movies and set them ablaze with a flamethrower. This movie broke my brain, and for that, I loved it.
The story was simple enough, a woman and her kids go to pack up the house that used to belong to a now deceased family member. BUT in the process, some robbers come and try to steal money from a safe and it becomes Home Alone on steroids. The bad guys are white, the heroes are black, and the main characters do everything in their power to fight back and outsmart the villains. They don’t linger in rooms they’ve been locked in, they don’t leave each other behind, there’s not one moment where the mother is thinking of herself instead of her kids, and in the end, the kids actually DO STUFF. They don’t sit around like prizes to be won, they actively look for ways to escape without waiting for their mom to come rescue them.
Every single character has a story, even the bad guys. We get to connect with characters we don’t even care about. The development is so simple yet obvious and makes the movie amazing and full.
Finally, the reason this movie is so high on this list is the last few scenes. Throughout this movie, there is no indication the main character (the mother) is seeing someone, is married, etc. therefore, we assume (because let’s be honest, we know how the trope goes) that the woman whose alone with her kids is either divorced or unmarried. BUT SHE IS SO MARRIED AND INSANELY HAPPY TO BE SO! This detail knocked my socks off. It punched me in the face and made me cry tears of joy. Black actors, especially in horror movies, are thrown in a box and left there to collect dust. They don’t progress past playing “cop number 2” or used as a device to skew the plot in a sinister direction, but in this movie they are heroes AND a fully formed, normal, happy family. I loved it SO much.
The first Saw movie came out in 2004, just a few years before I started high school. So, of course all of my friends were talking about how hardcore everyone that watches the Saw franchise is and of course, I wanted nothing to do with it.
For those of you that don’t know, I was homeschooled up until high school, and my only exposure to horror movies was that one time my dad accidentally put Nightmare on Elm Street on the TV around Halloween. I watched the scene where what’s-her-face is walking around the hallways in a body bag from behind my couch ottoman crying my eyes out. Suffice it to say, I don’t know how I ended up as a horror author.
But hey, you’re not here to learn about me, you’re here to silently judge my movie choices. I told you all of this because you needed to know that I was a chicken and didn’t watch the Saw movies until 2017. Yes, that’s right.
This was the movie that got me into the psychological horror genre and showed me there was more than just guts and gore. Honestly, that’s pretty ironic because the whole reason I never watched it was because that’s all I thought this movie was and why I boycotted it for years before I caved.
The reason it’s my favorite is because it was such a breakthrough in the horror genre when it came out. Not many people were doing torture in their films, and those that were didn’t do it as artfully as this film. Two men, tied up in a room with nothing but a dead body and a toilet full of clues to get themselves out.
It’s simple, well written, and not only psychologically tortures the actors, but also the people watching. It feels like a group effort to watch this film because there aren’t any cut scenes to hide behind. 90% of the film happens in one room and just like there’s no escape for them, there’s none for us.
Not to mention, the end really blew my mind. When I found out the “dead” guy was actually Jigsaw the whole time, I freaked out and that was the second it became my favorite horror movie.
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):
1408: A stunning film about a man trapped in a hotel room with suicidal ghosts, lots of water, and a song by the Carpenters that my mother sings along to every time we watch it together. I love it for it’s visuals, psychological torment, and acting. John Cusack is BAE!
Creep: A strange movie about a man just trying to make some friends. The reason it’s one of my favorites is because of how uncomfortable the bathtub scene makes me. The first time I saw it, it literally made me sick to my stomach and there isn’t even anything gory or gross about it!
Donnie Darko: I watched this for the first time in college, living in a dorm with long, poorly-lit hallways. It didn’t bode well for my nightmares. Plus, that weird voice somehow makes you calm and terrified at the same time, and the volume they use for it makes it feel like it’s happening in your own head.
Last Week’s Review: The Void
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