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Horror/Thriller Essentials

This started out as a list based solely on the time I watched these films as a child and I am trying to maintain the meta of the list to the end. I will add more awesome scary stuff too that I have seen once I was an adult...(which aren't many). This is NOT in order of scariest to me, or what I like the best. Just some great horror films that everyone should at least watch once. Except for #1, that's my favorite. I will add more later to this list and I would really enjoy other users' favorites as well. Thanks to CalculatingInfinity for sparking this sparkler.
The Sound of Perseverance

The Gate (1987) - 9/10

This has to be my favorite horror movie ever. I used to watch it whenever it was on HBO when I was 10 and I have probably seen it more than 100 times in my life. A couple of kids discover a hole in their back yard and all hell breaks loose. Prior to this, the death metal album they're listening to give clues about this coming of evil. The stop motion animation was pretty groundbreaking at the time this was released as well as many other cinematography aspects of this film. This was also how I discovered what a Geode was. The ending is epic. Thank God for model rockets! Classic, must watch.

The Shining (1980) - 10/10

The reason why I do not have this on the first spot is simply because I didn't see it until I was in my mid teens. This movie goes without saying anything. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It is literally the only movie that still freaks me out today. The ambience of this entire film is genius and I do believe this could be marked down for the books as "movie better than the book". By a long shot. That carpet though! Those seemlessly longwinded stares with that music score!
3Blut Aus Nord
The Work Which Transforms God

House (1986) - 7/10

Another movie I was obsessed with as a kid. A guy buys a house and his kid falls into the bathroom mirror and he has to rescue him. Oh, did I mention the House is haunted? Goes without saying. This also stars one of my favorite actors that never really did anything. Richard Moll aka Bull from Night Court. There are so many memorable scenes in this movie I still have them tattooed in my brain. I even still have the VHS!
4Paths Of Possession
Promises in Blood

Critters (1986) 6/10

Still to this very day I have no idea why I was so frightened of these things and this movie. Did that stop me from watching it many many times? Nope and looking back at it today, it is just funny. A group of Critters terrorize people. It's quite impressive how they filmed these Critters as well, with no CGI I have no clue how that was captured. Mechanical? Or...were they REAL!
5Ghost (SWE)

Poltergeist (1982) - 10/10

Usually when someone asks me which movie scared me the most, this is the first that comes to mind. I believe I was 7 when I first watched this and it scared the living shit out of me! I watched it religiously from then on out. The clown scene was by far the worst experience of my life and to this day, they still creep me the fuck out. I used to get up at night and my Mom didn't want me running around the house so she had my Grandma sew a clown and put it on a chair in my room. Why Mom!? One of my favorite scenes is the kitchen chair scene when the chairs are all on the ground after JoBeth walks past, this is one camera take by the way, and after a few seconds she walks back and they are all stacked in an inverted pyramid. How! Explain that! There are a lot of great moments in this film and the acting is top notch. Easily a classic when it comes to originality and special effects.
6Beyond The Embrace
Against The Elements

Pulse (1988) - 8/10

If I ever thought Joey Lawrence was going to end up a dumb pothead on Blossom, I would have probably still liked this film. This was a rare appearance on HBO in the late 80's and I watched it constantly. Granted, at the time this was made the special effects weren't excellent but hey, they were pretty chilling and totally believable. I was 11 when this came out and still to this day I always appreciate that this has been a part of my life. How the director made something non-existent come to life is lunacy.
7Children of Bodom

The Children of Ravensback (1980) - 7/10

This was probably the very first scary movie I have ever seen in my life. I was roughly 4 or 5. It took me years to find out the name of it and until I recently watched it again, all I could remember was the School bus going into a cloud of smoke and when it came out, the Children had black fingernails and when they hugged someone, THEY DIED! They melted, they screamed, they died. From hugs. Don't ever hug me if you have black fingernails. Movie is still kind of creepy to me today. Extremely original
None So Vile

Creepshow (1982) - 9/10

What do you get when you combine hordes of cockroaches, Leslie Nielsen, a mysterious crate and a screenplay by Stephen King? You get one scary motherfucker of a film! This is broken into segments with many memorable moments in each segment. My favorite is The Crate. This used to make me turn white, but you never see what's actually in the crate. All you know is it is pure evil and it kills anything and everything on sight. They're Creeping Up on You is one insane segment of this masterpiece where a businessman who is a germaphobe has locked himself in a room with electric locks. Well, let's just say the cockroaches are smarter. How did they film that?!?!!!?!??!!!!
Undulating Waves of Rainbiotic Iridescence

Fright Night (1985) - 7/10

Long before I even knew what ...Married with Children was, Amanda Bearse was in a vampire movie. This is the first movie I have seen about vampires and it was pretty goddamn scary at the time! So many memorable moments in this gem as well as some very nice choreography. The music score is perfect.
The Fury of Our Maker's Hand

Christine (1983) - 8/10

It's crazy how someone can make an inanimate object come to life in such a way where it makes you never want to by a Plymouth Fury. A dude gets a sweet car, fixes it up and it turns on him. Kind of reminds me of my romantic life in the past. Blood red like it should be. Oil change? Stick your head under the hood and see what happens. I still think about that scene when I am working on my cars. This used to scare me and I loved coming back for more Fury killing throughout the years. Take a look on how much they sell for now! 1957 Fury. Unbelievable, but still a sexy looking car with the intent to kill. Would buy in a heartbeat.
Considered Dead

The Blob (1988) - 6/10

This is how to do a remake! This ooze is killing people and for some reason, they can't escape it. The victims always find themselves in bad situations where this blob takes them all with no mercy. Great movie.
12Holy Moses
Finished with the Dogs

Cujo (1983) - 10/10

This movie scared the bejesus out of me and still has some sort of effect when I watch it today. The acting on this film is pure genius. How did they get a kid to fake asthma? He was like 7 and still acted better than anyone today 100%. The scene where Cujo is on the hood clawing at the windshield used to give me nightmares. Maybe he was hungry? Or maybe he was just fed up with life. This is an instant classic and definitely deserves a 10/10 for camera work, acting and screenplay. Also, the book is great!
Everything Is Fire

The Thing (1982) - 10/10

This is a classic period. The use of the camera here is unreal. My favorite scene is when the Dog's head blew out like a flower and had tentacles. Who thinks of this shit!? John Carpenter, that's who. One scene that still haunts me today is the door knob scene when it is turning back and forth and you, the viewer, have no clue wtf is behind that door! This cast is amazing, Kurt Russel shines here and is by far my favorite movie to watch with him. (aside from Big Trouble In Little China). The end is necessary. Burn it out, kill it with fire!

Children Of The Corn (1984) - 6/10

A Stephen King novel turned on to the screen with a great result. He wrote the book when I was born! I first saw this when I was about 7 years old and It frightened me severely. The directer did a fantastic job of bringing the viewer into a realm of craziness. Hands down one of the best horror films ever made and it still has a great replay value. Watch it again and try not to laugh! I won't though, because it scared the living shit out of me.
Black Future

Event Horizon (1997) - 9/10

I didn't get the pleasure of watching this as a kid but when I first watched it, it blew my mind. This is a blockbuster movie that has a cult following as of today. The scene where they are watching a video clip of the madness on Event Horizon when they are puking up their guts is still, to this day, scary as hell. The message "Liberate me" (save me) turns out to be "Save yourself... from Hell." is chilling. I would be lying if I said I have empathy for those who died in this film. These characters have room temperature I.Q. and if they would have translated the message right to begin with, all of this could have been prevented. Dumbasses. Also, who's better than to play the lead role of the dude in charge?... Lawrence Fishburne. He get's shit done, sort of. Sam Neill carried this shit on his back in his sleep though. Must own and watch religiously. Excellent replay value!
16Cannibal Corpse
Tomb of the Mutilated

C.H.U.D. (1984) - 5/10

I know what you're thinking. What does C.H.U.D. stand for? Canibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. That's right. People end up missing and they get owned with no escape. Cops on the scene trying to find out what is happening. What a good ending.
17Strapping Young Lad

Aliens (1986) - 10/10

This was my first favorite movie of all time for many many years. What Cameron did with this is majestic and flawless. I first saw this when I was 12 and I loved it. It was my favorite movie to watch at the time and I couldn't get enough of it. The gun sounds in this movie are otherworldly not to mention H.R. Giger's creations coming to life with no CGI. It took 12 humans to operate one alien in this film and still to this day you would think they were alive. Bill Paxton carries this like butter on pancakes. My favorite line is when Ripley says "newt lived here for 7 years with no help" and then Hudson says "WHY DON'T YOU PUT HER IN CHARGE!" Classic horror movie with extremely good sound effects and acting.
18Acid Bath
When the Kite String Pops

Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988) - 8/10

Flying popcorn, balloons turned into rabid dogs, ice cream and cotton candy cocoons. This movie is a stone cold classic. This movie has many scare moments. Most notably the scene where the little clown "knocks his block off". Great costumes, great directing and the cotton candy with crazy straws? The one Klown laughing is probably the creepiest shit I've ever seen in my life. Yes, today this movie is funny as hell but how did they make these costumes? That is pure genius. "You're not going to make a dummy out of me!" - John Vernon before they literally made a dummy out of him. "What are you gonna do? Knock my block off?" And the little Klown did just that. A UFO in the shape of a top? hahaha Sign me up!
Blood Fire Death

Phantasm (1979) - 8/10

Let's talk a little bit about how an independent film in 1979 went viral, shall we? This is the epitome of a cult classic. Did I know this when I watched it when I was 5? Hell no and all I remember were these spheres were scary as hell! They were basically a swiss army knife on crack in the form of a flying ball. The freaky tall man scared the living shit out of me and I had dreams about moments in this film for years. More like nightmares but in any regard, I watched it and the sequels as they were released. You can't run! THEY GET YOU!
Dawn of the Black Hearts

The Last House On The Left (1972) - 10/10

What is a snuff film? Oh yeah, this is border line in that area of course with the superb acting and screenplay by Wes Craven. This movie was scary as hell and it sill holds its stature of this obscene imagery today. One scene I will never forget as long as I live, even if I had a full frontal lobotomy or if I went into a coma, is the dentist dream scene. I can still hear the chisel lightly touching the upper right central tooth prior to hammering it as well as the scene where the dude makes the Mother of the Daughter they disemboweled give him a blow job before she violently bites down as hard as she can, all the way and shaking her head back and forth like a wolf ripping apart meat from a dried bone. I heard once that when they were filming this movie, everyone sat alone and ate alone. It was that intense! WEW what a film!

Deliverance (1972) - 9/10

Long before this film was a meme I watched it, and I regret nothing. What seems to be a nice movie of some friends out canoeing, goes wrong in any way imaginable. Whoever said to me that a compound bow is better than a recurve...is probably right but I'll take the latter any day. This movie scared the hell out of me and it's not really a horror, but thriller works so I'm rolling with it here. Note to self: Never visit the deep south.

Halloween (1978) - 10/10

If there is anything I could say about John Carpenter it would be this. I love him. I love his mind. He is brilliant and without him in my life I wouldn't be the person I am today. That being said, this movie is a stone cold classic. I first watched this when I was a teenager, probably 13 I would guess. John manages to capture every moment of this film in a fashion which leads the viewer to keep their eyes duct taped to the screen. Jamie Lee Curtis did a fantastic job with her role. He couldn't have casted anyone better and I mean that. The scene where Michael Myers sits up is one of the best moments ever in any film within the genre. I am getting goosebumps typing this!
Seasons in the Abyss

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) - 10/10

What do you get when you mix a crazy hitchhiker, a chainsaw and the persona of Ed Gein? You get exactly what you thought. One crazy insane movie with no CGI and excellent acting by people who have never been on the silver screen. I first saw this craziness when I was about 15. I do believe this film was banned on release due to its highly impressive visuals and acting. Acting is a must and this film delivers more than that. When you watch something at a young age it stays with you for the rest of your life. I once heard this was based on a true story, and they were probably right. The screams the girls belt out are surreal and convincing. The scene at the dinner table....wow! Brilliant film and truly horrifying. Classic.
24Killswitch Engage
The End of Heartache

Hellraiser (1987) - 7/10

What could possibly go wrong with a puzzle? I can solve a 3x3 in under a minute but I never thought once in my life if I completed it that hell would break loose. Literally. Hell on earth. Some of my favorite scenes are all deriving around Pinhead. Yes. Pins and needles in his face and head. Granted, this film has some cheesy CGI but it actually works with it. It wasn't overdone, if that makes sense. When the hooks come out and create Pinhead, it's only the beginning...of the end.
The Arrival

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977) - 10/10

Holy shit this came out when I was born! After watching this amazing film throughout my life I have decided it is one of my favorites, ever. Why am I mentioning this as a horror/thriller? It's simple. It scared the hell out of me. I was 5 when I saw this for the first time and I will never forget many moments in this diamond. When the kid walks to the stove and the light is shining...when Richard Dreyfuss is creating "Devil's Tower" with his mashed potatoes, and even with a trash can while throwing out random household items from the kitchen window, when they actually get to the "tower" and see and hear humanity on Earth communicating with the unknown. This scared me for some reason as a kid. I will never forget the scene where the truck was stuck on a railroad track and things went nuts! The sign flapping back and forth violently. Scared the SHIT out of me.
The Grand Pecking Order

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) - 7/10

How could I forgot this classic remake? I think I was about 8 when I first saw this and had nightmares for weeks after. Even in public I was extremely paranoid of just people in general because of this film. The director here manages to capture some vivid haunting scenes and Sutherland did a fantastic job. The end is one of my favorite endings ever in a movie. Didn't see that coming! Classic, must watch.
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Ghoulies (1984) - 4/10

If you're a fan of cheesy horror then check this out. Not gonna lie when I was a kid it was pretty scary. Let's have a house party and instead of playing board games, let's do a ritual! They're under the sheets, in the food and even come up from the toilet. Creepy things even have sharp teeth. I think they made 4 of these but I've only seen the first one. I might revisit this since it's been years since I've seen it.

The Sentinel (1977) - 6/10

Probably one of the most bizarre horror films I've ever seen. A woman moves into an apartment building and there is evil everywhere. I can't really remember when I first watched this but it scared the hell out of me. There are so many memorable scenes, especially behind the door. This is now available on Blu-ray. This one is unbelievably frightening.
Nattens Madrigal

An American Werewolf in London (1981) - 6/10

Watching this today is definitely not the same as it was when I was young. It scared me so much that I didn't watch it very much but some of these scenes stuck with me even today. The transformation scene was crafted brilliantly for the time of its release and I still, to this day have no clue how they captured that moment. Granted, today to me it's a pretty fun watch but not as scary as when I was a kid that's for sure!
Down IV - Part I

Pet Cemetery (1989) - 6/10

This sure brings back memories. I remember when I was about 12 when I first watched this and it was awesome and scary at the same time. I saw this movie before I read the book and the book was way better. This to me is still a classic horror movie because of the impact it had on me at the time. Gage, that little bastard! I was actually scared of cats the color of Church in this and I can't count how many people I've known throughout the years that named their kitty "Church". The Achilles Tendon scene still makes me feel queezy.
The Nocturnal Silence

Graveyard Shift (1990) - 4/10

This movie is just silly, but it did freak me out not gonna lie there. A worker on graveyard shift at a textile factory injures himself, and as the rats are watching him heal himself, he throws one into the machine used to tear up bales of cotton. Big mistake. Hordes of rats now seek revenge! The ending is fantastic! They just wanted to help the poor guy :(
32Rivers of Nihil
Where Owls Know My Name

The Watcher in the Woods (1980) - 6/10

I remember watching this around 1982 or so and all I could remember was a scene where Karen wrote her name backwards on a window. I just remember "NAREK". This movie took me years to find. I think I discovered what it was about 5 years ago after some deep internet searching. Thank God because up until that point I had thought I imagined it! This takes place at a country home where the girls involved experience some odd and creepy shit. Occult gone haywire. A must watch if you haven't seen it already.
This Godless Endeavor

Child's Play (1988) - 6/10

Probably one of the freakiest movies I've ever seen hands down. Sure they made a bunch of these over the years but none could touch the first one. Anything to do with inanimate objects coming to life, you can count me out! The scene where the mother is looking at the box Chucky came in and notices the batteries are still in the box, slightly after that you see the doll on the ground in the background just get up real slow. Yeah fuck that! No thanks!
Seven Churches

The Exorcist (1973) - 10/10

Here we go. This film should go without any introduction. I didn't see this when I was a pre-teen but I did see it around 14 or so and it made me start turning the hall light back on prior to sleeping. The acting is top notch and it really brings you into the horror and imaginative world from the novel of William Peter Blatty (also the director of my all time favorite movie). I watched this again about 6 years ago and it still had an affect on dealing with the evil that is within Linda Blair. I wonder what she's doing now? I also noticed some images in the cupboards and such after revisiting it recently. This movie also made me afraid of girls...but only for a little while.
35Morbid Angel
Formulas Fatal to the Flesh

Candyman (1992) - 6/10

This is probably one of the last horror movies of the 90's that really kicked ass to me. This scared the living shit out of me to the point where it was hard to look in the mirror for a while after watching it. I once knew a dude who said this was based on a true story....but Clive Barker begs to differ. Or was it true? He has a hook and he doesn't care who he uses it on. Go ahead and go to the mirror sometime and say "Candyman" 5 times...see what happens! mwhuahahahahahahaha!
36In Flames
A Sense of Purpose

The People Under the Stairs (1991) - 8/10

"In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about, and children cross the street to avoid." I love Wes Craven. He has been a part of my life since I can remember. I first watched this late at night alone and it creeped me the hell out! This is a very unique film and none other quite like it. I think I was about 13 or so when I watched and also happens to be one of my favorite movies ever in any genre come to think of it. I love how they created the traps and the sequences between the walls. There is also a A Nightmare On Elm Street easter egg in this one, betcha can't find it! Note to self: never break and enter.
Deadmeat Disciples

Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) - 8/10

This sequel was a damn fine one, regardless of its bad rep, I loved every minute of it! Granted, the essence of the original is still lingering faintly in this well deserved sequel, this movie delivers some creepy shit and then some. I wasn't old enough to even know what I was in store for when this was on television. All I remember was it scared the crap out of me and I still love it today. The braces scene is still in my head after all these years as well as the creepy guy that sang some religious songs out of key. That had to be the most creepiest shit ever when I saw that, come to think of it, it still kind of freaks me out! How did they even come up with that? "well we have a new house now, same Family...I know! Let's have an old guy that looks like he works at the night shift at a Cemetery sing some made up bible verses...but in a creepy way?" Nailed it. Movie scared me silly.
Wisconsin Death Trip

Eraserhead (1977) - 9/10

Okay I didn't see this at a young age (damnit!) but when I did watch it for the first time, roughly in my mid 20's I was really freaked out. I know I sound like a broken record but I turned so many of my friends and Family on to this masterpiece. This was also my introduction to David Lynch. Did I also mention I was stoned out of my mind when this film popped my Lynch cherry? I was so paranoid after watching this that I didn't eat chicken for a month. True story. "Just cut them up like regular chickens!" This is a treasure and anyone who enjoys this as much as I do is instantly likable.
39Type O Negative
Bloody Kisses

Nosferatu (1922) - 8/10

This one is surely a gem. It might not have the same effect as it did when I watched it but that was the late 90's. I can't imagine how some of the people who saw this in the mid to late 20's felt! This is truly a work of art in a time before directors and producers created films solely for money. This film had 1 job. To scare the shit out of you...and it did just that. My favorite scene is the long hands in the shadows creeping up...that still gives me goosebumps! Classic and everyone should watch this at least once.
40The Knife
Silent Shout

Psycho (1960) - 10/10

Let me tell you all something. I am a momma's boy. That's right. Got a problem with that? I love my Mother and she has always been there for me. Once I watched this I started talking to my Dad a lot more. Psyche! Anyway, this is for sure a carved in stone cinema classic. I watched this for the first time when I was about 19 and it made me question my existence. Upon first watch, there were so many scenes that made me jump, most notably the end. The shower scene is iconic and has been one of the most copied scenes in film today. It was so good! I might revisit this soon, it's been a while.
Amongst the Flock

The Cell (2000) - 7/10

The turn of the century has Jennifer Lopez playing a role in a jarring and imaginative thriller I can only describe as "wtf did I just watch?" I was in my 20's when this was released and right when I thought nothing could really freak me out anymore, The Cell was born. I still think about some moments from this movie today and some of the scenes, at the time I watched them were borderline unwatchable. Whoever put this together did a fantastic job and it still remains one of the most appreciated films I have seen in the genre. Vince Vaughan was in this, what?
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