5. Blair Witch Project, 1999
Director: Eduardo Sanchez, Daniel Myrick
Straight up when I saw this movie for the first time my mind had exploded, and only the images of carnage displayed during the running time entered my brain. I lived at the time in a nowhere town with two roads and plenty of trees, so traveling back home at 1 A.M. after seeing this truly rocked my 18-year-old mind to the core. Since then found footage has become more popular, but the trials of three unassuming campers laid the groundwork for the whole horror genre to move forward. The worst part of the movie is easily the way in which you imagine the suffering you hear in the shadows, and not in what you actually witness. You’ve been warned.
4. The Shining, 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Maybe the greatest horror film of all time? Not sure, but it’s my favorite by far. The way Kubrick tricks the audience, accompanied by extremely scary portrayals from Jack Nicholson and the ever frazzled Shelley Duvall make “The Shining” a horror opus for us all. It’s a long winding road of uncertainty, but as the movie runs it’s course, you’re confronted with unbridled terror in a remote location of the world, where the only thing you can do to escape the spirits inhabiting the hotel is running for your life.
3. Halloween, 1978
Director: John Carpenter
You probably expected this to be number one given the subject matter, but John Carpenter’s classic “Halloween,” enters our countdown on the final day at number three. It just seemed too obvious to put this at number one, but that’s not discounting the effect the film still has on moviegoers all these years after it’s release. What would you do is your sibling went crazy years earlier, and broke out on Halloween to kill the last remaining member of your family, that by the way, happens to be you? All of these things are explored in the movie, set in a normally quiet town in the Mid-West. A powerhouse, game-changing performance from Jamie Lee Curtis gives the film ample movie to navigate the terrain, and one of the best villains in all of film slowly, methodically, and patiently comes after our heroine. Chilling to the core, with enough scares to never make you feel safe in your own house again, “Halloween” has stood the test of time, and remains a very real reason not to piss off your family.
2. Audition, 2001
Director: Takashi Miike
Like a slow stew of food cooking over several hours, “Audition” remains one of the most difficult watching experiences I’ve ever been involved in. The setup you ask? A widower trying to find his next wife embarks on a fake audition to find his dream girl. The only catch is the lady he picks has a notorious relationship with the male species. Over the course of the film it becomes slowly evident that this is going to majorly fuck up this guys life, but the last fifteen minutes of the movie will both captivate you in the gentle ways his life is ruined, and also just how scary it is to fall for someone who turns out to be utterly psychopathic in their methods. You won’t be looking at the screen, but it’s only because you are stunned by the horror before your eyes.