Filmmaker, blogger and entrepreneur Stacie Ponder of the essential Final Girl recently called on the Blogosphere to contribute their personal Top 20 Horror films for a top secret project. Me, being the dumb dumb that I am kept delaying the creation of my personal list, and lo and behold I done forgot the due date. Well, Stacie is now unveiling her plans and counting down all selected films (732 total!) throughout October beginning now on her blog, so check it out here.
While my contribution won't be a factor in Final Girl's countdown, I thought, well since I worked on it, I might as well share it here.
A few notes:
* I limited the list to one film per filmmaker
* In cases where I had to choose between multiple candidates for a particular filmmaker and the choice presented me with either a film I think is better overall versus a film I find "scarier", I chose the "scarier" film (this particularly came in to play for my Dario Argento selection)
* As you could no doubt discern, I am more of fan of atmosphere and an overall unsettling or creepy vibe than I am of excessive gore
* As with all list, this is ephemeral and may have already changed by time you read it.
* Only four of the twenty films here have neither been remade (or re-adapted in some cases) or sequelized. Can you guess which ones?
* Maybe next October I will update this with some notes, but for now, here's an image from each film:
Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)
American Werewolf in London (1981, John Landis)
Bay of Blood (1971, Mario Bava)
Black Christmas (1974, Bob Clark)
Carrie (1976, Brian DePalma)
The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall)
Don't Look Now (1973, Nicolas Roeg)
The Evil Dead (1981, Sam Raimi)
The Exorcist (1973, William Friedkin)
Eyes Without a Face (1960, Georges Franju)
Frankenstein (1931, James Whale)
Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)
Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg)
Let the Right One In (2008, Tomas Alfredsson)
Night of the Living Dead (1968, George Romero)
Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
Repulsion (1965, Roman Polanski)
The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)
Suspiria (1977, Dario Argento)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1973, Tobe Hooper)
Runner-ups: The Brood (1979, David Cronenberg), Cat People (1942, Jacques Tourner), Dellamorte Dellamore (1994, Michele Soavi), Freaks (1932, Tod Browning), Friday the 13th part 2 (1981, Steve Miner), The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton)*, Pet Sematary (1989, Mary Lambert)**
The "They Would Be Here if I didn't limit each director to one entry" Edition: The Birds (1963, Alfred Hitchcock), Black Sunday (1960, Mario Bava), Dawn of the Dead (1978, George Romero), Deep Red (1975, Dario Argento), The Fly (1986, David Cronenberg), Poltergeist (1982, Tobe Hooper), Rosemary's Baby (1969, Roman Polanski), Shivers (1975, David Cronenberg), Sisters (1973, Brian DePalma), Tenebre (1982, Dario Argento), The Tenant (1976, Roman Polanski), The Thing (1982, John Carpenter)
*I have only seen The Innocents once, and it was really late at night, it's the most likely to make the final twenty after another viewing
** I have not seen Pet Sematary since the days of VHS, so I am not sure if it will hold up now, but that creepy kid scared the bejesus out of me (seriously, check for yourself, I am completely sans bejesuses now!) when I saw it at the theatres in 1989.
Feel free to let me know which monumentally great film I forgot to include in the comments section below.