So-called horror buffs are only dilettantes if they have only seen one or two of these listed movies. These are movies that had the audience on the edge of its seat and have instigated at least three jumps on the jump factor scale. The jump factor scale measures how many times a movie has the audience so ramped up with tension about what’s going to happen next that it jumps when something finally does.
This 1979 vehicle directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver was a truly terrifying movie-going experience because the antagonist was as far from human as anything could get. The actual creature was designed by H.R. Giger, a surreal artist who routinely airbrushed disturbing images on various subjects. It was a perfect fit. The key element that made Alien so successful at delivering horror vibes was its slow buildup of tension as the crew of Nostromo tried to figure out what it was they had on-board while in turn being chopped down one by one.
It (no pun intended) would stand to reason that one of the scariest movies of all time would have Stephen King as source material. The story centers around seven children who called themselves the Loser Club encounter a demon that depicts itself as Pennywise, a child-killing clown. Having thought themselves free, the same seven are called upon 30 years later to battle the same demon who preys on the fears it instilled in them 30 years ago. Besides being based on Stephen King’s excellent novel, Tim Curry’s performance as the clown form of the demon with its teeth filed to points was as chilling in its own way as that of the Alien.
3. A Nightmare On Elm Street
Wes Craven’s 1984 slasher film set itself apart by introducing a truly intricate and chilling antagonist in Freddy Kreuger who, unlike previous slashers, was not silent and did not wear a mask to hide his horribly burned features. His backstory was equally as chilling. He was formerly a child molester who was caught by the townspeople and burned in a furnace. He invaded dreams, which basically made escaping him virtually impossible.
4. The Fly
Jeff Goldbloom’s performance deconstruction from a respected scientist into a man-sized fly-monster is as chilling a performance in its own right as Curry’s killer clown. David Cronenberg’s 1984 texture rich operatic horror story, a remake of the 1958 original, reveals what happens when man-made science clashes with nature.
Lets face it. In John Carpenter’s vehicle, Micheal Myers was the epitome of relentless. The silent, blank mask-wearing juggernaut stalked Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Curtis) with an intensity that was truly frightening. As in The Thing, Carpenter demonstrated his skill in building tension throughout the movie up to the climactic encounter.
There are many more horror movies that legit horror buffs have seen, often repeatedly, that sets them apart from mere dilettantes, but if any of these five didn’t make the should have seen list, they still are.
Editorial by Lee Birdine