FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 31, 2013

SHOCKtober: 10-1

Well, well, here we are. The end of our long, difficult journey has arrived. Let's throw that ring into the lava and get on with it, shall we? Without further ado, here are the ten films that have scared you guys the most. The number in bold is the number of votes received.

10. Poltergeist -- 1982, Tobe Hooper -- 17

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street -- 1984, Wes Craven -- 17

8. The Ring -- 2002, Gore Verbinski -- 18

7. The Descent -- 2005, Neil Marshall -- 22

6. Alien -- 1979, Ridley Scott -- 23

5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre -- 1974, Tobe Hooper -- 25

4. The Shining -- 1980, Stanley Kubrick -- 25

3. The Blair Witch Project -- 1999, Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez -- 27

2. Halloween -- 1978, John Carpenter -- 28

1. The Exorcist -- 1973, William Friedkin -- 36

And there you have it. That's a mighty fine Top 10, folks! It wouldn't exactly match up to mine (I should maybe get around to posting that some time), but I would gladly take it.

I was interested to see how it stacks up against your 2010 list of favorite horror films, so I made this scientific chart:

Now, there are some major discrepancies in terms of vote numbers, so that's worth bearing in mind. In 2010, I asked for your Top 20 favorites...I learned my lesson from the madness that wrought and this year, I only asked for ten movies. Also, the voter turnout this year was decidedly lower. But still, a comparison is noteworthy.

Look at that, in 2013, not a zombie in sight! 2010, not a Blair Witch to be found! Freddy Krueger earned the same spot on both lists! Leatherface and Jack Torrance swapped places! The WOW FACTOR is immense.

Anyway. Good job, everyone. Pat yourself on the back! Unless you didn't submit your that case, punch yourself in the face! With candy. It's Halloween!


Sandisan said...

That is a damn fine list right there. And I know I didn't have a zombie film on my list, because zombies don't really scare me. They scare me in the same way a tiger scares me: only if it were actually in front of me. The worst reaction I had to Night of the Living Dead was that I couldn't eat chicken for a week.

Colleen said...

Oh Halloween 3, how people hate you. I, on the other hand, will always appreciate Carpenter's idea of making different films under the Halloween moniker. Even if said idea was an abject failure.

Dead In Hell said...

I appreciate the idea too, Colleen. And I know Carpenter never actually intended for there to be a direct sequel to Halloween and the Michael Myers story. But I think the fact that he ended up writing the sequel after all - even though he meant Part II as a definitive ending - made Halloween III that much harder to accept. At that point, it was not just an anthology franchise, but the Michael Myers franchise. At least in the minds of many. It's too bad though, since a long running Carpenter-led Halloween franchise would have been pretty cool. Certainly more interesting than the shallow substandard imitations that have followed his original films (not to say I didn't like one or two of the sequels...).

Anyways this is a pretty cool list. Might be time again to rewatch ANOES, in co-honor of both the Shocktober countdown and Halloweentime. And the fact that I've recently watched the Halloween and Friday series again, and it's time for the final act of the big three. Also, am I crazy for thinking the Exorcist III is both better and scarier than the first film? George C. Scott. Clever, well-written dialogue. Creepy hospital decapitations. It's everything I want from a horror movie!

Chris Otto said...

Blair Witch really surprises me. I feel like there's a generation-gap thing going on there. Would be interested to see the demographics of the people who ranked that. Then again, I guess the young ones were just as flummoxed by all those silly movies from the 1970s.

Mostly, though, I just want to thank Stacie for putting this all together. Wonderful job! It's been a super month of talking about great horror films, and your efforts are appreciated.

Dead In Hell said...

I suppose Blair Witch feels pretty modern in a way, particularly because only recently did found-footage really become a whole thing in the genre, and especially compared to classics like TCM or Halloween. But 1999 was a bit farther away than I often realize. 14 years is a whole person. In fact, probably most of the persons who voted Paranormal Activity and The Strangers. OH but I kid. A bit.

But really. It is interesting to see the intersection of old and new here. I was a kid when TBWP came out, and I remember being pretty O_O at the time. Now it has lost its luster. Halloween still puts chills down my spine, from the dread of the Shape watching in the distance to the full tilt terror of his final act assault.

Verdant Earl said...

I love this list. Tracy Jordan, like me, would take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

But while I dig them all, I don't get the over-the-top love of The Descent. It was cool. Definitely Top 50 material, but Top 10? I dunno about that. Strokes = Different.

AE said...

I never got around to submitting a list (lazy!) but I don't think I would've been honest enough to put "Nightmare on Elm Street" on it. But I'm glad to see it because that movie kept me awake many a night as a tyke.

So happy to see the staying power of "The Descent" too!

Chris Otto said...

Indeed, the last act of Halloween is unrivaled. My favorite scene is when she's trying to get into the locked house, and MM is just walking, deliberately, across the street toward her. Pure evil, unhurried and unbothered.

Stacie Ponder said...

I have a friend who's got a theory about Blair Witch: that it doesn't work for people who had no experiences playing in the woods as kids.

She grew up in Las Vegas and could not have been more bored with the film. Friends who grew up in Los Angeles and the such...same thing. I don't know if her theory holds water in the bigger picture, but I'm an old and BWP scared the hell out of me...and I spent a lot of time in the woods across the street from my house growing up, telling stories and looking for the "crazy guy" who lived in them somewhere.

Also, I watched Paranormal Activity again last night and man, it doesn't really hold up to repeat viewings very well. :(

Zombie Cupcake said...

Yes yes yes. Thanks so much for doing this Stacie!

(I'm a child of the woods and BWP still scares me, under the right conditions...).

Dead In Hell said...

That is precisely what makes Halloween so unnerving. In a way, it's similar to what Stacie was noting in The Exorcist. That deliberate, unhurried, unworried evil. It's not just, say, Frank Zito from Maniac who is more...despicable than terrifying. It's something otherworldly.

And I think that's a fair supposition about Blair Witch. I, too, spent many a day in the woods in my youth hearing stories about the ubiquitous crazy woods guy that resides in all childhood forays into the brush. It no doubt influenced the effect that the film had on me in a big way.

Is your friend from Vegas terrified by Leprechaun 3, by chance? That would wrap things up nicely.

Colleen said...

Chris, Blair Witch made my top 10 scariest ever. I'm 37 now which is certainly not old. But I did grow up in Wyoming and Colorado with a healthy fear/respect of the woods.

Is that why I couldn't go camping for a year? Shudder.

CashBailey said...

BLAIR WITCH genuinely shook me because I had no fucking clue where it was going. And that finale reduced me to a blubbering fool.

Chris Otto said...

I certainly don't *hate* Blair Witch. I might consider it if I was stretching my list to 20 or 25. And it's certainly one of the most effective and original (at the time) scary films of the past 20 years. I admit I never saw it in the right conditions, either. Only twice on DVD, not in the theater. (It was night-time, though.) On the other hand, I grew up camping all the time in the northcentral PA woods and I wouldn't say I became more frightened of the outdoors after this film. On the other hand, I'm that guy who always has to have the blanket covering his feet at night, and I would sure as shit never sleep in the same room as a clown doll. :)

Stacie Ponder said...

Oh no, she didn't mean becoming more afraid of the outdoors because of BWP. Her thesis was that people who grew up around woods, who played in them as a kid and told scary stories about them, would be more affected by the movie than people who'd had no woodsy experiences.

Chris Otto said...

Nah. Mostly I just thought those three were blubbering idiots without the sense of one person between the three of them. Maybe I'm the exception that proves the thesis, though!