Decades of Horror

Oct 292003
Authors: Jeremy Anderson

For the past thirty years or so, studios have been churning out

an abundance of horror movies; some have been really good, while

many have been really bad. People often disagree as to the

“scariest” movies of all time, but here are my picks for the “best”

chillers and thrillers of the last few decades that are sure to

give you a frighteningly good time this Halloween.


1. “Halloween” (1978)

One of the most famous of all horror films equals the perfect

choice for home viewing this holiday. This classic gave birth to

horror icon, Michael Myers, who comes home one Halloween with

terrifying consequences for his victims. The movie produced several

inferior sequels, but the very scary original stands the test of

time as one of the greatest horror films ever.

2. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

An oldie, but goodie about a chainsaw-wielding maniac in the

backwoods of Texas who terrorizes a group of extremely annoying

teen-agers. Director Tobe Hooper makes you feel like you are losing

your sanity right along with the film’s heroine. This influential

movie has clearly been the inspiration for several other horror

films over the years.

3. “Carrie” (1976)

Another often-imitated horror classic about a high school

outcast who gets revenge over her tormentors on prom night. The

film is aided by chilling performances by Sissy Spacek and Piper

Laurie. “Carrie” is the one of the only horror films in history to

receive major critical acclaim.

Honorable Mentions: “The Stepford Wives” and “The Exorcist”


1.”The Shining” (1980)

Easily one of the greatest horror films of all time. Jack

Nicholson stars, in one of his best roles, as a writer who goes

more than a little mad while snowed-in at an empty hotel with his

family. The “RED RUM” part used to scare the crap out of me as a


2. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…” Teens are stalked in

their nightmares by a madman with a glove of knives in this popular

and scary film. The original deserves applause for introducing one

of the most notorious of all villains from the horror genre, Freddy

Krueger. This film spawned many surprisingly good sequels, which is

more than I can say for another famous horror series of the 80s,

“Friday the 13th.”

3. “Poltergeist” (1982)

Definitely one of the best ghost stories ever, this fright fest

is about a family who is forced to fend off supernatural spirits

after the youngest daughter gets trapped in the TV. It is scary and

entertaining despite sometimes getting overlooked next to the more

gory and violent films of the genre.

Honorable mentions: “The Lost Boys,” “The Fog,” “Children of the

Corn” and “The Changeling,”


1. “Scream” (1996)

This film single-handedly revived the slasher movie genre. The

whole masked killer stalking teen-agers angle had been done many

times before it, but “Scream’s” combination of a clever script with

real scares made it the best horror film of the 90s.

2. “Candyman” (1992)

This is a dark and grisly tale of a hook-handed man who kills

those who say his name three times in the mirror. It is gory and

seriously scary.

3. “Jurassic Park” (1993)

Although not a horror film in the traditional sense, you have to

admit you too thought those dinos were pretty darn scary the first

time you saw this movie. The film was a milestone achievement in

the world of motion picture special effects as well as one of the

most thrilling movies of all time.

Honorable mentions: “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Final

Destination,” “Interview with the Vampire,” “The Sixth Sense,”

“From Dusk till Dawn,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Blair Witch Project,”

“Bride of Chucky” and “Arachnophobia”


1. “The Ring” (2002)

An amazingly scary movie about a mysterious videotape that

causes viewers to die seven days after watching it. There are

fantastic visuals as well as one of the creepiest villains in the

history of movies. It is my personal candidate for the scariest

film of all time.

2. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2003)

This is a truly scary remake of the1974 classic and definitely

not for the faint of heart. Go see it this Halloween while it is

still playing in theatres.

3. “The Cell” (2000)

This under appreciated thriller may not be a true horror movie,

but its incredible and disturbing visual effects are still pretty

creepy. Jennifer Lopez stars as a therapist who enters the mind of

a serial killer through an experimental treatment process. The

sinister world she encounters in there is amazing and haunting.

Honorable mentions: “The Others,” “Session 9,” “Final

Destination 2,” “Signs,” “Brotherhood of the Wolf,” “May” and “Joy





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