Tis’ the season, not for a fat man in your chimney, but for a chill to run down your spine. Horror movies are basically a sacred tradition at this point. So, instead of having the daunting task of sifting through all the horror movies ever made, allow me to bring you the best horror movies around. This is a list of personal favorites, all leading down to the best. Also, the “spook score” is not a score of quality; it’s instead a score of how scary the overall film is to me, 1 being “nothing much” to 10 being “crying silently in the theatre.”
#10: Trilogy of Terror
Spook Score: 2/10
This is a TV movie, with three stories in total. One of the three has always caught my attention, the story Amelia. The plot of this story is Amelia receives a doll in the mail, with a letter attached to it. Long story short, the letter says if the sash that wraps the doll falls off, the doll comes to life and tries to kill you. Yeah, that plot sounds like something you get out of a cereal box, but younger me was real spooked. It is always scarier to have something small, and very fast, chasing after you. The doll had a kitchen knife, which it used to cut ankles and shove under doors. The movie concept is kind of like “Child’s Play,” which is the movie Chucky the Doll is in. Same general concept, only “Trilogy of Terror” was out 13 years before.
So, to a now hardened veteran of horror movies like me, “Trilogy of Terror” is hilarious, not even close to scary. So, I would give this movie an updated spook score of 2/10, and suggest this to anyone looking for a chapter in time.
#9: Cabin in the Woods
Spook Score: 3.5/10
The cabin in the woods is about a cabin in the woods, with plenty of monsters to fill in the gaps. This movie was pretty unique, which is a relief given the current horror market. Now, the common practice is to push out remakes, prequels, and sequels. Some form of creativity should be encouraged, as I am tired of the same movie being released each year.
Now, this movie was not very scary, but the plot was pretty good. I happened to get attached to a character, and that is not the best idea. The spook score is at a 3.5/10, as there were some creepy moments and plenty of monsters.
#8: As Above so Below
Spook Score: 4/10
Dead things are spooky, so a catacomb is a whole lot of spooky, especially one that messes with your mind. “As above so below” is about some people discovering a new section of the catacombs underneath Paris, only to find themselves trapped within. Then, a whole lot of things happen, all relating to each of the character’s inner demons.
Oh yeah, its also a found footage film, which I do not usually like. This film, however, did not overplay this to get cheap scares, similar to other horror movies (*cough*paranormal activity*cough*). This movie had a general creepy aspect, with plenty of claustrophobic areas, giving it a 4/10 on the spook score.
Spook Score: 2/10 (but really gross)
Basically everyone has seen or at least heard of “Saw,” but the general run down is a bunch of death traps. Yep, that’s basically it. The killer, Jigsaw, is dying from cancer and chooses people who, as he views it, have wasted their lives. So, if they survive the trap, they will love living life again. There are a lot of particularly gruesome scenes, with plenty of blood n’ stuff. Still, it must have worked well, as there are 7 other movies following this one. But, isn’t the first movie the best of the series?
I chose this one of the “Saw” series, as it had to focus more on plot rather than gore. As the franchise grew, so did its budget for special effects. In total, the first “Saw” was not very scary at all, just pretty gross. I did like the suspense made during the movie, giving it a 2/10 on the spook score.
#6: Get Out
Spook Score: 4.5/10
I never like anything that has to do with losing one’s mind, and there are rarely any exceptions to that. “Get Out” is not an exception, as the main character is dealing with a lot of mind voodoo. This movie had as many twists as a twizzler, and it sure brought me into the story.
Since I don’t want anything to do with sanity, the spook score is slightly higher. The score is 4.5/10, but I did walk away from the theatre pretty satisfied. There were not many jumpscares, and it mainly focused on plot.
#5: The Shining
Spook Score: 3/10
I love movies that have more depth below the surface, ones where the viewer can see the hidden details. “The Shining” is about a man going crazy in a big hotel, and it definitely is interesting. There are plenty of details foreshadowing the ending, and many fan theories accompanying them. There are parts of the movie that are just generally creepy, and the actors’ performances sold it.
This movie was not very scary for me, but I would much rather prefer scares plot wise versus a boring jumpscare. The spook score is 3/10, and it was worth another watch to get all the details in.
#4: It (2017)
Spook Score: 5/10
Now I am not talking about the original miniseries back in 1990, but the remake (disregard my previous comments on remakes for this one), as it just didn’t do much for me. The remake, however, was a much better final product. This movie managed to combine comedy and horror in one, with each aspect not knocking the other out. Now, I hate jumpscares, so I was pleasantly surprised by the low number of them for a current horror movie. Sure there were some, but that wasn’t the movies only way of making a spook.
There were scenes where I was genuinely creeped out, particularly around the character of a painting. The actor who played Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård, did a great job, and gave a lot more life to the character. Overall, the spook score is a 5/10, but was very entertaining without just shoving horror down your throat.
Spook Score: 8.5/10
Let’s just be clear: I hate anything to do with things going into people. I can handle gore, jumpscares, and general spooky sounds, but this movie was not fun for me. The freaking alien bursting out of someone’s chest is iconic, yet it still gives me the heeby jeebies. To make it worse, everyone in the ship is stupid, resulting in gross deaths. It goes like this: “Hey, this weird alien is stuck on this guy’s face, should we do anything?” “Nah.” Now there are plenty of crappy sequels, trying to achieve the success of the first.
This is the movie that made me question if being an astronaut is a profitable occupation, so the spook meter is reaching untouched grounds! The spook score is 8.5/10.
#2: The Thing
Spook Score: 4/10
Ah yes, “The Thing” has always been on my shelf. Sadly, I don’t have a VCR player anymore. “The Thing” is the thing in my house, and will remain a timeless classic. “The Thing” is about a shapeshifting alien slowly killing the scientist in their base camp. This movie is awesome, as how can you tell if the person you are next to is a friend or a foe? The ending was very open, and there have been hundreds of fan theories of what the actual ending meant. This is just an awesome idea of a movie, rather than something concrete like “Friday the Thirteenth.”
The spook score is mainly due to suspense, giving it a 4/10. This film gave the viewers clues and had their attentions locked in, giving a pretty good movie in return.
#1: Evil Dead
Spook Score: 2/10
If anyone were to ask my favorite horror movie, it would be time to bust out this bad boy. “Evil Dead” may not seem like much to others, but this movie is the bomb. You could choose any of the series and still have fun watching. In this film, you got head explosions, a book of the dead, and another cabin in the woods, so what is not to love? I played this movie enough times for the VCR player to spit it back out, mangled and broken. You could pop this into your tv any day of the week.
Now, this movie is not very spooky at all, instead it’s pretty funny. This franchise is incredibly iconic. I mean who else uses a chainsaw as a hand? So, the spook score is just at 2/10, as nothing scary really happened.
Jordan Rust, Print Design Editor