Reel Picks: Top 10 Horror Movies

by Chris

September 20, 2021

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Welcome to Reel Picks!

Looking for some recommendations for great films, I’ve got them. All out of ideas of what to watch? I’ve got some great ones for you! Wondering if a film is worth the watch and want an opinion about it? I got your opinion right here with my Top 10 Horror Movies!

Who doesn’t love a good scary flick? Whether alone in the dark or sitting next to someone with their fingernails digging into your arm right as that jump scare comes up, there are different types out there that just about everyone will scream at. A Top 10 for horror movies is a tough one being that horror is in the eyes of the beholder. One person’s fright is always another person’s funny. One person’s gore is always another person’s bore. While I personally found The Blair Witch Project to be a bore and not scary at all, others consider it the scariest film they’ve ever seen. So, with that being said, here are my picks for the Top 10 Horror Movies!

**Disclaimer – Some of the links are affiliate links which means I might get paid a small amount. But no worries, it won’t cost you anything extra.

Top 10 Horror Movies

10. Wishmaster

I was admittedly late getting into the horror movie genre. I personally never really cared for it until I was a little older. This was the first straight up horror movie I remember seeing in theaters and boy was it a doozy of a horror movie. Taking the myth of the wish granting genie in a bottle and completely turning it around to make into something as far away from a fun loving blue genie as possible, this one presents him as a trapped demon-like character waiting to unleash his army upon granting a person’s third wish. In the meantime though, most wishes made get turned around in the worst possible way and some truly shocking scenes ensue.

9. John Carpenter’s Vampires

There are a number of different vampire movies out there. But this one stands out to me as one of the best. It’s a no frills, non romantic (yeah I’m looking at you Twilight), straight up graphic and balls to the wall vampire movie that strips away a lot of the “myths” around what does and doesn’t kill them. In this film centering around a Vatican sanctioned team of vampire hunters, everything is stripped down to bare bones. Crosses don’t work, garlic doesn’t work (a rather hilarious explanation once you see it), an holy water has no effect. Basically if you want to kill them, you drive a wooden stake through their heart or, as is the case with this team, you shoot them with a crossbow attached to a winch and literally drag them from their hideout into the sunlight where they burn to death. It’s gritty, it’s violent, and James Woods is absolute perfection in the lead role. This is just one more example of why John Carpenter is the master of horror.

8. Event Horizon

Horror movies can be fairly formulaic, but this one really came out of nowhere for me. I went into this expecting to see a cool looking science fiction space travel movie. I knew what it might be from the trailers but back in the day, they really didn’t give away that much about a movie’s plot. At least not like they do today (ahem, I’m looking at you Terminator Genisys). I was completely surprised with the film that I ended up seeing. Shocking and nightmare inducing visuals and a quite original storyline that would probably have never been made nowadays for a number of reasons make this a completely frightening and visually awesome film.

7. Cube

During the course of this movie, you are presented with just about as much information as the prisoners of the titular cube are presented with, and that’s not much at all. A group of strangers wake up together in a mysterious looking cube shaped room with no recollection of how they got there. Moreover, there is only one exit out of the six total on each side of the cube that does NOT lead to a gruesome death. The answers that can possibly determine a way out lie in complex mathematical equations to figure out which tunnels to crawl through. Oh, and the cube shifts every so often also. Why are they there? Who brought them there? Who can they trust? This one has loads of fear, paranoia, and an extremely claustrophobic feel. If any of those scare you and you like being scared (you must be if you’re reading this list), definitely give this a look.

6. Silent Hill

Video game adaptations don’t often make it up there on a list of horror movies. The Resident Evil franchise is definitely more sci-fi action than horror in my opinion. Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead really aren’t anything but Uwe Boll bombs that have nothing going for them. Imagine my surprise when I went into Silent Hill expecting another Resident Evil and actually found a pretty dang scary flick. The look, the feel, the straight up graphic scenes, all of it presents a completely isolated and even claustrophobic feel with the fog surrounding the viewer so much. When the darkness descends and the inhuman creatures and especially Pyramid Head come out, that stuff for me is pure nightmare fuel. In a dark room with a big screen you’re sure to feel a little uneasy while watching this film, and I’m sure that’s just what they set out to accomplish.

5. The Hills Have Eyes

This remake of the 1977 film of the same name probably rates the highest in terms of pure shock visuals. Director Alexandre Aja is certainly a talented director (this isn’t the only film of his on this list) who knows how to bring more than just jump scares and generic slasher characters and victims. The way he definitely doesn’t shy away from every gruesome detail of this unlucky family’s trip through the deserts of New Mexico is something that is not done much anymore. I won’t give away anything but just to say that there were a couple of scenes even I had a hard time watching. As well as one that was so gross it was somewhat funny. If you haven’t seen this one yet, do so now. And on a side note, if you’re a fan of the Fallout game series, you’ll especially love this one!

4. The Evil Dead

It’s funny how a barebones budgeted film with a completely unknown (at the time) cast of characters can turn out to be such a genuinely scary film and such a cult favorite. The camera work is completely amateur, the makeup and costume design do look rather cheap and rubber like, and there are almost no special effects at all. But yet all of this comes together and basically cancels each other out to make a perfectly horrifying experience. Much credit to the actors for their ability to portray the Deadites with such perfect facial expressions and movement that bring more terror than a high budget special effects filled Hollywood special. The fake bodily fluid and blood is there in buckets and it’s all practical. It may be a low budget, cheesy film, but there’s almost none better and it should be on any horror movie lover’s list.

3. The Exorcist

All of the demonic possession movies that have come out since this one have been compared to it. And so far, in my opinion, none have been able to live up to it. Just like the previous entry in this list, it is full of almost all practical effects and shot almost documentary style which adds to the realistic look. And oh, the pea soup references that have followed it. If you haven’t seen The Exorcist, you’ll know that reference once you do. The odd contortions of the main character as she deals with being possessed by a demon and the struggles to free her from it are unsettling to see, as well as the…ahem…other things that happen to her which I shall not mention, you just have to watch the movie. Just be warned if you haven’t seen it, it’s graphic, it’s terrifying, and it’s all happening to an innocent child. It’s one of the best horror flicks out there, but it is quite disturbing, as I’m sure was the intention.

2. High Tension

Anyone out there ever had that nightmare of someone following you and you have to constantly keep hiding from them? Yeah that’s pretty much the vibe of this film. After a psycho comes to a family’s home and kills all, save for the daughter whom he takes while her college friend follows them looking for her chance to rescue her. Very visually isolating and leaves you hoping that the next jump scare will come just so your heartbeat can slow down just a bit until the next one. The unforgiving and graphic nature of this film is up there with some of the most over the top films I’ve seen. Oh, and the huge twist ending is something that surprised even me. Check this one out!

1. The Descent

Oh my lord, this one absolutely came out of nowhere. I completely did not expect this one to be as completely terrifying as it was. All you claustrophobics out there be warned, this one could well push you to your limits and beyond. It is completely isolated, completely enclosed, and it seems that the more they travel into the cave desperately looking to escape the creatures and find a way out only seems to take them further into darkness and further into hopelessness. If you didn’t know what this movie was as you went into it, you would think it might be a survival film as it certainly starts out that way. But those creatures hit you like a ton of bricks and completely turn this movie into one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen. While I won’t spoil the ending, I will say there are two different endings. All I will say is the much better of the two is the UK version. Wow.

So there you have it! Being only a Top 10 list I know I left some out so feel free to comment below with your favorites! Stay tuned for the next Reel Picks Top 10 and in the meantime, don’t forget to check out the other films that I have reviewed!

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