Horror. Even though it’s not among my favorite genres, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not open to watching the films that belong to this particular genre. I am an atheist. I don’t believe in ghosts or Satan or any other form of supernatural entity but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. As Bill Nye once said, “Do I believe in ghosts? No. However, I would love to see one.” Films like The Exorcist and The Conjuring have suggested that we may not really have all the answers and that anything could be possible.
Director William Friedkin, when asked in several interviews about his beliefs and what really compelled him to make The Exorcist, has stated that his intention was not really to make a horror film but to make a film about the mystery of faith. As a viewer, I am more interested in the horror films that bring out your worst fears without relying too heavily on excessive gore or violence. But I’m not against gore or violence either. I did enjoy films like The Ring, Evil Dead, The Cabin in the Woods etc. but I wouldn’t count them among my favorites.
However, there are several others that I thought were very effective and brilliantly managed to freak me out. The Exorcist itself is a perfect example. Even though I consider it to be the greatest horror film ever made, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it a second time. Now, if that isn’t the sign of a great film, I don’t know what is. Since it came out, not a single horror film has managed to terrify me as much as that one did. But there are few films that came quite close. In recent times, I thought The Conjuring succeeded in doing that. And, I’ve been hearing so many nice things about this new film The Witch. As I eagerly anticipate its release, I took some time to look back at some of my personal favorites in this genre. Here they are:
Aliens (1986) [Director: James Cameron]
The Shining (1980) [Director: Stanley Kubrick]
Halloween (1978) [Director: John Carpenter]
Vampyr (1932) [Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer]
The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari (1920) [Director: Robert Wiene]
Nosferatu (1922) [Director: F.W Murnau]
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) [Director: Werner Herzog]
Misery (1990) [Director: Rob Reiner]
Cure (1997) [Director:Kiyoshi Kurosawa]
Peeping Tom (1960) [Director: Michael Powell]
Silence of the Lambs (1991) [Director: Jonathan Demme]