10 Halloween Horror Movies I Can't Live Without

Halloween is my favorite holiday. All the ghosts and ghouls are roaming the Earth. People's minds turn to death and other morbid fascinations. Nothing goes better with Halloween - except chocolate - than a deliciously frightening horror flick, right? I would know. I've seen hundreds of horror films myself. I can't wait to see hundreds more.

Out of my vast horror movie viewing, I must say that these ten films are a cut above the rest.

  1. Nightmare on Elm Street. The original is best. Johnny Depp, John Saxon and Heather Langenkamp star along with Robert Freddy Krueger Englund. Nancy (Langenkamp) lives in a house on Elm Street. She and her friends are having horrifying nightmares. Tina is her first friend murdered. Tina's boyfriend, Nick, is blamed for the crime. It's not him. It's Freddy Krueger. Krueger wears knives as fingernails and a dirty red sweater that has become synonymous with horror. He's a filthy child murderer who was burned alive by the kids' parents years ago. In death, he's become something much worse.
  2. Dementia 13. This film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola before he became famous for those Godfather films. The actions centers on a wealthy family living in an Irish castle. They have a sordid history of mental illness and violence. One of them is killing off the rest. This film is deemed as one of the first American slasher films. It's a classic and a great introduction into the genre.
  3. Suspiria. Dario Argento is referred to as the Hitchcock of Italy. He's a master of the giallo film. Giallos are horror/thrillers that are characterized by graphic gore. In this film, Argento attempts some gentleness in his plot. An American ballerina goes to a dance academy in the Black Forest of Germany. She discovers that the teachers and the director are a coven of witches who do horrible things to their enemies.
  4. Friday the 13th. For me, the original in a series is often the best. I'm a purist. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of the Friday the 13th series. Our first encounter with Jason Voorhees, the hockey-mask, hatchet-wielding, plaid-wearing maniac is insanely good. Crystal Lake has been closed to campers since the grisly murder of two counselors - and Jason's drowning. Now that it's about to be reopened, all hell literally breaks loose.
  5. Dracula. In this 1931 movie, Bela Lugosi plays the Romanian count first made famous in Bram Stoker's classic gothic horror novel. Lugosi is quite the convincing vampire who preys on poor Lucy Weston. Then, he turns his intentions to Mina Seward, Dr. Seward's daughter. Van Helsing, the original 'vampire slayer' puts in an appearance as well.
  6. Nosferatu. This silent film is the first appearance of a vampire on the big screen. Count Orlok goes to the town of Bremen. He brings a plague with him. The only one who can save them all is Ellen Hutter, the wife of the real estate agent who found Orlok his new home.
  7. Hellraiser. Clive Barker, the British-born master of horror who's written chilling tales such as Cabal and The Thief of Always, not to mention his short story collections, the Books of Blood, made his directorial debut with this film. He also wrote the novel, The Hellbound Heart, on which this film is based. In the film, a man discovers a box. In the box, he believes he's found pleasure. Instead, he's discovered an everlasting and sadistic pain.
  8. The Exorcist. Believe it or not when I first saw this film, I wasn't impressed. I wasn't allowed to see it as a child. I rented it at the age of 27. By this time, I had been jaded perhaps by horror violence. The story of a little girl who's been possessed by the devil. She curses, spits out green ooze and kills priests. Well, um… that wasn't ground-breaking to me. I came at it backwards. The film is a classic and was ahead of its time when it was first released. Sure, it's a bit campy now; but, aren't the best horror films full of camp and cheese?
  9. Profondo Rosso. This is the second entry on my top-ten by Dario Argento. What can I say - the guy's a genius! Deep Red: the Hatchet Murders, which is what the film is more commonly known as in the English-speaking world, centers on a murderous maniac who wields a hatchet. There's mystery, suspense and enough artistic gore to satisfy even the most die-hard horror film fans. If you haven't seen it yet, what's stopping you?
  10. The Shining. Stephen King wrote the novel; Stanley Kubrick directed; and, Jack Nicholson starred in this horror film. A mother, father and their son, who brings his imaginary friend, move into a hotel in Maine. Daddy's a writer and recovering alcoholic who's going to be taking care of the hotel during its off-season. As the long winter progresses, the father's sanity is lost. He becomes hell-bent on murdering his family.

There you have it. There's my list for the top ten Halloween horror films. You may not agree with my list. That's okay. Have fun making your own.

author: Panndyra Chaos

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