Halloween is right around the corner. It’s certainly a time for sweets and light-hearted spookiness, but no Halloween is complete without watching a horror film or two. The horror genre is replete with a variety of sub-genres such as the classic slasher, the psychological thriller, and the low budget first person shaky camera movie. With that being said, there are plenty of poorly made horror films produced every year, especially around Halloween. If you are looking for a fright but aren’t willing to sacrifice on the overall quality of the film, we at BorrowFox have made a list of the 4 best horror films of all time to help you get into the Halloween spirit.
The Best that Horror Has to Offer
Directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick, and based off of the novel by the equally accomplished Stephen King, The Shining is easily one of the most mind bending, frightening, and well made films ever made. Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall star as a husband and wife who, along with their young son, move to a desolate hotel in order for Jack (played by Nicholson) to become the caretaker. Evil spirits haunt the hotel causing Jack to turn into a murderous, rampaging man, while the couple’s son psychically interacts with the spirits in the hotel. The film has some of the most iconic scenes in the horror genre, including the elevator scene and the “here’s Johnny scene”. The film has been rightfully credited as a masterpiece and is often rated as among the best horror films ever made.
The Blair Witch Project ushered a brand new type of horror when it was released. The film, which was made on a micro budget of only $60,000 and wound up grossing over $250 million, breathed new life into the horror genre. Blair Witch is an ultra realistic “lost footage” film that follows a group of student filmmakers who go to investigate the “Blair Witch” legend. The footage that the students capture is found years later and it is implied that that is what the viewer is watching. The film is chilling and masterfully constructed – especially considering the budget. Although the entire film is haunting, this scene in particular stands out as especially frightening, and is one that has made its way into the cultural consciousness.
George Romero’s masterful Night of the Living Dead was one of the first horror movies to transcend into a piece of art that was greater than simple shocks and frights. The 1968 film, released during the height of the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement, was initially considered to be nothing more than a silly, overly gory film that was only made to make the audience uncomfortable and scared. While the film certainly did achieve a level of horror, it is not a typical zombie movie. Elliot Stein wrote, Night of the Living Dead “was not set in Transylvania, but Pennsylvania – this was Middle America at war, and the zombie carnage seemed a grotesque echo of the conflict then raging in Vietnam.” If you are looking for a movie that goes above and beyond the usual elements associated with the horror genre, Night of the Living Dead is the perfect choice.
Although it pales in comparison to The Shining and Night of the Living Dead in terms of high cinematic merit, Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most influential horror films made in the past 50 years. In the film the monster Freddy Kreuger terrorizes a group of teenagers in their dreams. He chases them with his deadly knife fingers all the while the teenagers attempt to avoid sleep at all cost. The movie, especially by today’s standards, is campy, silly, and a bit ridiculous. However, it still holds up in its ability to frighten, and was the movie that sparked the entire slasher film genre.