This isn’t about Team Edward or Team Jacob; it’s about what scares you. Are you a horror fan who likes the classics, or do you crave the energy of a modern remake? Do the lumbering undead freeze you with fear, or is it the running, Boyle-ized zombies that have you planning shots to the head? Are you in line for the latest 3-D blockbuster, or do you plan late-night viewings of a cult classic that you’re proud to introduce to your friends?
There are as many types of horror movies as there are horror fans, and our update of our list of essential horror films celebrates many of them. Our original list had great picks such as modern masterpiece The Descent, classic creeper The Shining, and anxiety upper Audition, but we’re editing and expanding our selection to feature the movies you have to know to consider yourself a horror aficionado.
Our film-loving users provide many of the new additions with titles from the Favorite Movies List. The chest-burstingly awesome Alien is a newcomer to our list, as is the genre-bender American Psycho. Two gleefully gory films that are popular with our users — Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2 — were missing from our original selections, but we can’t imagine a horror fan who would argue with their inclusion here. Just try it, but not before watching the blood-bathed lawnmower scene in Dead Alive. You’ll pay someone to do your yard work in the future.
The neo-classic zom-com Shaun of the Dead is no longer the only horror comedy on the list. It’s joined by last year’s freakishly funny Zombieland, as well as the wonderfully weird Bubba Ho-Tep. The only thing better than Bruce Campbell playing an aging Elvis who has to battle a cowboy-hat clad mummy is listening to the DVD commentary that the B-movie king does…in character.
We traded out a few remakes for the original classics that still haunt us, such as John Carpenter’s Halloween and Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. However, we couldn’t get rid of Zack Snyder’s take on Dawn of the Dead, which battles Dead Alive for the best zombie baby scene.
There are new favorites, such as the moody Swedish offering Let the Right One In from 2008 and Raimi’s return to form Drag Me to Hell from 2009. But we also added a few films that scared your grandparents: F.W. Murnau’s silent shocker Nosferatu and James Whale’s classic 1931 film Frankenstein. The 1970s are well represented by creepy kid film The Omen and Dario Argento’s giallo gem Suspiria.
Other foreign favorites such as Ji-Woon Kim’s A Tale of Two Sisters, Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Orphanage, and Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone are included on the new list. If you’re not too scared to keep your eyes open to read the subtitles, we promise you’ll be converted to the merits of foreign-language horror.
Like all of our top lists, our complete list of the essential horror films is an evolving beast (perhaps a werewolf in this case?), and we rely on your input to make it as good as possible. Angry that there’s only one George A. Romero film? Can’t believe we included The Ring and not Ringu? Comment below and be sure to follow all our updates on Twitter @GetGlue.