PHN 2009: Top 31 Horror Films of All Time – #21-17

paulstop315 more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween … 5 more days till Halloween … SILVER SHAMROCK!

Running every day until PAULOWEEN, I’m going to be listing my top 31 Horror Films of ALL TIME.  I know there will be disagreements, in fact I’m encouraging it!  Let me know if you agree, disagree, or think I’m leaving something out of my list!  Let me tell you, this list wasn’t easy to put together, especially when you’ve seen as many horror films as I have.

See numbers 31-27 here!

And numbers 26-22 here!

After the jump, check out my choices for 21-17!

EvilDead2.2

21. Evil Dead II

Sure, Evil Dead II really isn’t the best film in the world.  Really, we all love it because, for a while, it became this cult film that you were never able to see because it was always checked out at the video store.  But you always heard about the X-Rated horror movie that featured the guy chopping off his own hand and all that crazy sh*t like the laughing moose head.  Ultimately, Evil Dead II is both a product and a victim of overactive fanboys, including myself.  The promise of what Evil Dead II is may be better than the actual film, but that’s half of its charm.  The original Evil Dead and this sequel are inspirations for low budget filmmakers everywhere – its star is now a B-Movie legend, and its director has directed one of the top grossing films of all time.  Evil Dead II is a helluva fun film, and a dark comedy that most comedy/horrors try to replicate, but none with quite the same energy and madcap madness.

rec20. Rec

In a time where zombie films and shockumentaries are a dime a dozen, Rec manages to be both and still feel like a new experience and ultimately be a terrifying movie.  Which isn’t an easy feat – most American audiences have only seen it on DVD, yet it still manages to be scary as hell, which isn’t easy.  Most films lose much not only in the translation to a home TV, but because of language barriers.  Yet this Spanish-language film manages to overcome both of these to scare its audiences.  Filmed primarily in one apartment building, we follow a young news reporter as she follows a group of fire fighters on absolutely the WRONG call.  The American version, Quarantine, manages to do a pretty decent job of translating the original for American audiences, but loses much in the last couple of minutes.  The last 15 minutes of Rec will stick with you – trust me.

ring19. The Ring

The film we can blame for all the American remakes of Asian horror films in recent years.  But, if all of them were as good as The Ring, we’d be calling this a golden age of horror.  The Ring manages to have excellent casting, excellent direction (I mean, come on, this guy directed Pirates of the Caribbean!), while terrifying audiences more than any PG-13 horror film has any right to.  Imagery that actually makes you uneasy, and a shocking twist that even I didn’t see coming.  Too bad The Ring Two was so bad.

dracula18. Dracula

Yes…there’s nothing quite as legendary in horror history as Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire character.  While now this movie may seem hokey, in its time, Dracula haunted audiences like no other movie.  This movie redefined the portrayal of the vampire that largely influenced vampire cinema even to this day.  Classic, creepy imagery that may actually not be as good as stories based on the same story (like Nosferatu), but very few are quite as iconic.

hostel17. Hostel

Man…I don’t think American audiences were quite ready for Hostel.  Much like many of the other films on this list, Hostel redefined horror cinema in a way that we’re only seeing audiences get sick of recently, partly because of this film’s sequel, which was expected to be a blockbuster hit, and ended up being a box office flop.  Still, the original Hostel is so damn scary in a way that most films aren’t – it’s not about jump scares or just creepiness.  Hostel is intense – once the twist occurs and the leads are abducted and taken to the titular location, the film just doesn’t let go.  You’re disgusted, horrified, tense … and exhausted when it’s all done.  While you’re not laughing at some of the great dark humor, that is.  I love Hostel II almost as much as I love the original, but for different reasons.

Check back tomorrow for #16-12!

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