Who says we can't have Halloween in July?
Horror is probably my favorite genre, and whenever I can take in a great horror film, it always leaves a lasting effect on me that no other genre can. However, it's incredibly tough to pull off without being cheesy. In some cases, these films left me legitimately scared. So, without further ado, these are my top eleven favorite horror films!
1. "Psycho" (1960)
Simply put, this film is a classic, and not just for the horror genre. One aspect I especially love is that it's in black and white even when color was widely available. Hitchcock has an amazing way of amping up the ambiance to an implicit creepy feel, and it's tremendously well done in "Psycho." If you haven't seen this one, watch it as soon as you can!
2. "Halloween" (1978)
The original slasher flick, "Halloween" is what most people think of when someone says "horror," and for good reason. Carpenter's classic is unbelievably creepy and combines a lot of well-done aspects that are required for a good horror film. Excellent direction, writing, and a chilling score all make Halloween one of the best.
3. "Let The Right One In" (2008)
"Let The Right One In" is a Swedish vampire flick that is, in my opinion, the best in the subgenre. With some of the best child acting performances to date, this one deserves a watch.
4. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984)
Another slasher classic, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" capitalizes on when we are all at our weakest; asleep. Robert Englund is at his creepiest in the first installment, and while it can be corny at times, it's still quite scary.
5. "Hereditary" (2018)
The newest film on this list, and possibly the craziest, "Hereditary" scared the crap out of me, even as a 20-year-old. When I think of creepy acting and weird visuals, I immediately think of this film. Check out my review of it for more insight.
6. "Blair Witch Project" (1999)
While not technically the first found-footage film ever made, it was definitely a pioneer for the subgenre. It was the first found-footage flick I had every seen, and I'm glad that it was, because I wouldn't' want to have any other introduction. The first time I saw this film was a legitimate scare-fest. Check it out if you haven't seen it.
7. "Creep" (2014)
This is one is sorta found footage and sorta not. It's a Netflix original done by the Duplass brothers which definitely surprised me on my first viewing. The acting is great and the premise is supremely creepy.
8. "Halloween II" (1981)
The direct sequel to the first original, Halloween II is not as creepy and suspenseful, but still provides PLENTY of good scares and chase sequences to give you a good fright.
9. "Night of the Living Dead" (1968)
Another horror classic in black and white, you might be lead to believe that the horror is in the zombies, when the real horror is in how people behave when faced with do or die situations.
10. "Jaws" (1975)
From the brilliant mind of Steven Spielberg, "Jaws" is a masterclass in suspense and cinematography. Not just that, but you get an amazing John Williams score as well. Can't go wrong with this one.
11. "Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers" (1988)
I just had to throw this one in here because of the nostalgia that comes with it. Around Halloween in middle school I always remember this film being on the AMC FearFest, and it played more than the other films. It's just so nostalgic, and comes with one of the biggest twist endings in horror history. Many people feel it's incredibly lackluster, but I like it a lot. Check it you!