Every good horror website needs a master list, so The Scariest Things has finally come up with our TOP 100 HORROR MOVIES OF ALL TIME! And, tonight, we start at the bottom and work our way to the top.
If you have been paying attention to our website over the past two weeks, you will have noticed a lot of activity! Lots of people getting their top 25 Horror picks submitted and posted. And we have quite a jury for you! The Scariest Things has tapped a number of our peers in the genre community, and some of our biggest fans, to come up with a definitive list of our favorite scary films. We allowed the jurors a lot of latitude for their selection criteria, and you will see that everybody came up with a list that was different from every other ballot. You can find all those ballots HERE.
In addition to the Scariest Things staff writers, Eric Li (Lightninli), Mike Campbell, (Msoup), Robert Zilbauer (ZED), and Amy Faust (ShakycamKitty), Our jury includes some luminary figures in the genre including:
- Up and coming young horror director, Marc Martínez Jordán, whose debut horror feature Framed has been tearing up the horror film circuit this year.
- The lovely and talented screenwriter of the shocking new nunsploitation thriller, that is also on the horror festival circuit, St. Agatha, Sara Sometti Michaels.
- The editor and writer of the famed horror comic series Hellboy, Scott Allie.
- Horror film festival favorite, short film creator Chris McInroy, the director of Death Metal, and We Summoned a Demon.
- Horror film music composer, and Evanescence drummer, Rocky Gray.
- The editor of the horror movie review site Horror World & Reviews, Luca Pincelli.
- Staff writer for Diabolique, Scream Magazine,Ghastly Grinning,andGruesome Magazine, Joseph Perry.
- Organizer of Mad Monster Party conventions, and contributing writer to Famous Monsters of Filmland, Joe Moe.
- Broadcaster of Horror Happens Radio, Jay Kay.
- Author of “The Lurker in the Lobby: The Guide to the Cinema of H.P. Lovecraft” and the creator of The HP Lovecraft Film Festival, Andrew Migliore.
- The Organizer of the Portland Horror Film Festival, and The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Gwen Callahan.
- Horror novel cover artist, and a website designer for the stars of horror fiction, Deena Warner.
- The Three Angry Nerds, Kurtis, Brandon, and Sara of Tremble Podcast.
- The broadcasters of Horror Holocaust Radio, Jeff Dean and Willy Greer.
- Budding young actor Kian Doughty, star of the Justin Zimmerman short horror film Made You Look.
- The Kaijucast podcaster, Gretchen Brooks. (Stomp stomp)
We supplemented these professionals, with some select great horror fans, some whom we’ve met online or at the festival, and some of whom are simply old pals, (Matt, Mike, Elizabeth, Ingo, Chris, Tom, Sharon, Roberta, and Marne) who we knew were also passionate about the scary stuff, and give us the fan’s perspective. Let’s hear it for nepotism! YEAH! Thank you so much guys for submitting. I hope you had as much fun with this as I did!
Are we celebrating the most frightening horror movies? Not explicitly, but all of the movies on this list had that aim in mind, and most of them really succeeded, even if the intent was to scare us when we were young children. Is this the celebrating the nastiest and most extreme horror movies? Not necessarily, but we’ve got some really famous twisted and nasty films on this roster to be sure. I think the makeup of this esteemed jury leaned less on the extreme nastiness of films like Maniac, Cannibal Holocaust, and Salo, but there are guaranteed to be movies on this list that will have the gore-fans applauding. On the 30 ballots, we received a total of 326 movies that received votes, meaning that 226 movies that were on people’s lists didn’t make the big list. Everybody’s #1 and #2 picks got into the field… some just barely.
We had some oddity selections to be sure. Michael Jackson’s Thriller got a vote. Apocalypse Now got a vote. (what?) Frankenhooker got a vote. (HA!) We’ve got a number of “Horror adjacent” movies in here, with some horror comedies, some TV horror, some kid’s gateway spooky films, and a bunch of thrillers that made the list. So, there will be the inevitable “That’s not scary!” or “You guys are full of shit!” claims, I’m sure. I will also point back to our panel and have you consider if you figure all those folks don’t know what they’re talking about. But that’s what we’re looking for! We’d love your input, love it or hate it! We like to say on the podcast we are your GATEWAY to the trends and tropes of the horror genre, and by doing a very democratic list, this in general steers the selections away from the individual passion preferences and more towards consensus. But I guarantee that there will be new films for you to find on this list… particularly in this leadoff episode. Eric and Mike’s list of movies that we are ashamed not to have seen just got bigger. (Listen to our Episode XXI for the list of shame.)
Having said all that, you’ll get a chance to hear Eric and Mike riff on the list itself, and there are some films that we debate as to whether they are list-worthy, but in the end, if they made the list, they made the list… and that’s democracy folks! I know there are some of my movies that failed to make the grade. (Still bummed about Frankenstein and Cat People… and I know Mike wishes that more people liked The Brood and The Hills Have Eyes.) But in the end, the entire jury had a blast doing these lists, and we’ve found how fun it is to have a community of horror fans do this.
We had a lot of conversations like: “OH! MAN! I wish I had that on my list!” and “Nice pick! I’m glad you put that one in!” and “I really need to see that.” I suspect Willie Greer may have single-handedly encouraged the jury to seek out the #94 selection. This has been a fantastic way for us to stay in contact with the horror community, and more importantly a way to say thank you to all the fans who’ve gotten us so far in so little time! (We just passed 55,000 views! WOW WOW!)
Please note, we actually had to include 101 films… since there was a four-way tie for #98. We will be posting a graphic scoreboard of the ballots as they reveal from week to week. But you will hear it first, on the Podcast.