Infographic credits: BuyCostumes.com
I love horror films. There’s nothing like genuinely being scared at the movies.
It’s like riding on a roller coaster: You’re terrified to ride it but in the end you’re always happy you did.
Note: Except the rides that spin. Those shouldn’t exist.
Many non horror fans complain that most horror films are too gory or pointless. That the stories are never good. They say that characters only exist so the killer can fold them in half.
I agree that some horror films are like that. They simply don’t give you a chance to connect to the characters before they meet their gruesome end. Stories merely exist to get you from one kill to the next.
However, there are fantastic horror movies out there that have incredible stories to back up the thrills. That’s why this post exists.
Here are my top 10 horror movies with great stories:
Every once in a while a movie comes along and does things differently. There are so many ‘messed up demon kid’ stories out there. (Some are classics) The Ring came along and put a modern spin on it and scared the crap out of me. Something about that horse going crazy still gives me the creeps.
You can’t make a list like this and not include one of the greatest horror stories of all time. I saw this movie for the first time in college simply because I avoided it until then. Needless to say, it still terrified me but it was the story that resonated… Okay I’ll admit that girls messed up face did as well.
So many people adore this film. Horror fans especially. How can you not be pulled into a story featuring a crazy Jack Nicholson and made by the legendary Stanley Kubrick?
Alien is a phenomenon. Those acid filled jerks have terrified millions of people for years and inspired so many films since it’s release. Alien made the list for pairing a great story with one of the scariest creature designs in movie history.
When I was asking around for people’s ideas on this list, many turned their noses up at Scream. I think they’ve blended all three together in one film. I told all of them to think about how much fun it was to watch the original for the first time. I didn’t know who the killer would be. Did you? The mystery was also wrapped up in countless movie references and nods. Scream deserves to be on this list.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
This movie stuck with me long after I left the theater. Films that deal with this subject have always fascinated me and this one stood out because of it’s court room premise. It’s a horror movie but also a drama that forces you to choose who you believe. Audience participation in a horror film. Genius. Also, when she speaks as 6 different people at once I almost cried. Just saying.
Silence Of The Lambs
Arguably the best film on this list with Uncle Oscar backing it up. Who knew delving into the mind of a psychopathic killer would be so much fun. It’s truly fascinating to watch the exchanges between Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster on screen. They are filled with intensity and fuel the horrifying scenes to come. Brilliant flick.
I’ll be honest. When I made this list, I completely forgot about Jaws and then kicked myself for my lack of respect for one of the greatest movies ever made. People who haven’t even seen the movie are afraid of it. That’s how powerful the story is. Thankfully, I smartened up before posting and avoided any hate mail it may have caused.
The moment the big ‘twist’ is revealed my face dropped and I actually yelled “What!” in the theater. Normally that’s rude but people around me were just as shocked. All of the sudden the death traps, gore and mayhem meant more than just the usual ‘horror candy’ we love. This movie is on this list purely because of how much fun I had watching it and learning about Jigsaw’s world.
The Sixth Sense
Speaking of incredible twist endings. This film was ruined for me and yet I was still captivated by the story. It’s a shame that M. Night Shyamalan is too afraid of being type cast as I would gladly welcome his talent back into the genre. He’s not making too many friends in the other genres anyways. Come back Night!
I’M TERRIFIED OF DEMON DARTH MAUL!
Insidious is the type of movie you don’t realize you’re enjoying because you’re too busy trying to predict the next time something gruesome will jump out at you. If you’re a fan of horror movies there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
We decided to catch a 6:30 show because the film is rated 14A and we wanted to avoid all the punks that tend to ruin movies like this.
Unfortunately, it didn’t matter. It was unavoidable. It’s tough to get excited for a movie when you spend the first 10 minutes begging for people around you to shut up. However, two oblivious women continually made me laugh.
The first woman entered the packed theater and literally stormed up the stairs looking for 2 seats. She entered the aisle in front of us 2 minutes before show time and rudely demanded answers.
“Are these seats taken?”
After a quick wave to her boyfriend, who is probably terrified of her, she left to purchase a soda. Meanwhile, a polite gentleman spoiled our perfect situation with empty seats on either side by asking us to ‘skooch’ over. The trailers had just begun, we thought we were home free!
His girlfriend joined him and instantly began complaining about all the chatter going on.
“This better not go on for the entire movie.”
Back to the rude girl, who had returned with her soda. Her boyfriend was in HER seat. She never sat down, why was that HER seat? That wasn’t going to fly at all. She demanded that he move. This is a girl who isn’t happy unless everything goes her way. I remembered wondering what would have happened if he didn’t move over. She probably would have stood there and yelled at him.
So here we are, the trailers are almost over and two angry ladies are annoyed by several loud groups of kids. The perfect setup. I knew one of these two grumpy women would tell them to shut up eventually. I stopped worrying.
Insidious starts very slowly. I was actually a little bored at first which didn’t help the restless crowd we were apart of. I was really hoping the movie would start with a huge scare so people would pay attention.
During this period, the oblivious women demonstrated just how selfish and oblivious they were.
The rude woman in front of us checked her cell phone no less than 10 times in that first half an hour. She didn’t turn the brightness down or try to shield it. She just didn’t care. At the same time she was ‘shhhhh-ing’ people around her.
The woman beside us who we ‘skooched’ for didn’t know how to whisper at all. She spent more time complaining about the people talking than anyone yet didn’t realize she was adding to the problem.
“This was the worst 20 bucks I ever spent. I’m leaving. Are you coming or not?” she asked her annoyed boyfriend. He didn’t respond by the way.
It appeared hopeless. People wouldn’t shut up and no one was coming to the rescue. Until Insidious really got going.
I jumped at least a dozen times wondering where this haunted house/possessed child thriller was going to go next. Then it was revealed that this wasn’t a typical haunted house movie at all. It was something entirely different, original and entertaining. By the time we got to the one hour mark the entire crowd had settled in for an intense and frightening story.
It was at this point, I realized just how much I liked Insidious. The first time you see a demon version of Darth Maul appear you will find yourself nervously wondering when he will show up again. I liked that the ghosts and creatures in this movie behaved differently than most we’ve seen before. They don’t just disappear. They linger for longer and more terrifying moments.
That’s why horror movies are fun. When a premise is established and you think you know the rules yet you’re still shocked at every turn it’s inspiring as a fan of horror.
By the time the whole plot was revealed I was smiling ear to ear after every single scare. If you love horror, Insidious is definitely one to check out while it’s still in theaters. Hopefully you get a better audience than we did. You need a great audience for movies like this to fully experience the atmosphere the filmmakers work so tirelessly to create. If Insidious sucked we were doomed. Thankfully it didn’t.
When we left the theater, I spotted both women at the customer service counter demanding their money back. Some people love to complain.
PS: It’s nice to see a new tale from the brilliant minds behind Saw. I’ll be watching Saw (the first) and Insidious back to back in the future.