If you’ve ever wanted to read about the most controversial topic of all time, look no further Unearthly the download. A “Top 5 Horror Movies” list is something two people could argue about forever. And on the off-chance that they agree on something, they’re probably soulmates. I think eHarmony should actually use that as their only dimension of compatibility. Who cares about “emotional temperament” and “social style”? I just want to make sure my life partner has made an accurate assessment of Cat People.
So for Halloween we thought it would be a spooktacular treat if we made one of these controversial lists. Something to get your Goolish Grapes in a twist before horror movie prime-time is over. So without further ado, here is NYU Local’s (but really just Dan’s) top 5 horror movie countdown:
5 – Tetsuo: The Iron Man
If you were thinking Robert Downey Jr. when you read that title, I’ll admit that this movie IS fairly similar to Iron Man, just with more pipe sodomy. Think less of sleek shiny metal armor, and more of whirling drill-penises. Yeah, this is the list’s obligatory Japanese horror movie. We all know that Japanese horror movies are effed up (Kitten horror, anyone?), but not all of them provide an opportunity for the main character to say “Do you want a taste of my sewage pipe?” and mean it both as a euphemism and also literally. Also, this movie has a touching ending, where two horrible, rusted metal men realize their love for each other and become one giant hunk of metal. It’s the feel good hit of 1989, if you ask me.
4 – Eraserhead
Some people might call this a drama about child-rearing, but those people are probably just being cute. I’d recommend skipping this movie if you ever want to have children. On the other hand, this might be a good way to subtly talk someone out of having children, if that’s the sort of thing you do for fun. Imagine Full House, if Michelle were a horrible alien-chicken, and Danny Tanner cheated on Joey with Kimmy Gibbler. It’s David Lynch’s first movie, so obviously it’s going to be just a little weird. To illustrate, here is a scene of Eraserhead cutting up a regular chicken. Spoiler alert: it’s not a regular chicken.
3 – Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
The Evil Dead series has always been one of the greatest delights the horror-comedy genre has ever had to offer us. I’ve always been partial to the second one, because it’s where Sam Raimi really starts forcing Bruce Campbell to torture himself and lose his mind. If that clip doesn’t make you smile, then you’re too much of a good person to be watching horror movies anyway. This isn’t one of those “it’s so bad it’s good” horror movies, it’s more of a “This shouldn’t be as good as it is, but I’m somehow still genuinely impressed by this” kinda movie. Also worth noting is that both of the other Evil Dead movies are also fantastic, and the first one is genuinely grotesque. It even has tree-rape.
2 – Night of the Living Dead
“They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” Everyone has their favorite Hollywood monster, and I’d argue for all of eternity that the zombies are the most awesome. This is the movie that really popularized the zombie franchise, and with good reason. It’s a low budget movie, but even so, it’s still no Sunday School picnic. Don’t worry, she definitely deserves that punch in the face. After his next two zombie movies, George Romero’s career really takes a turn for the worse, so it’s good to relish this movie while you can, because after Dawn of the Dead, things start to go downhill for this series in a big way. While Night is the movie that spawned the “farmhouse survival plot”, Dawn, if you weren’t already aware, is the more infamous, archetypal mall-zombie movie. Who doesn’t love zombies riding escalators?
1 – The Shining
I had to pick either The Shining or Psycho as the greatest horror of all time, because they’re just that important. Fortunately, they’re both awesome movies which deserve to be seen as such. I think The Shining is the greatest thing in the world for SO many reasons. It’s because of the bar scene, because Jack Nicholson likes to talk about his feelings, because furries need love too, and because sometimes it’s better to take the stairs. This movie uses color and symbolism more perfectly than a little blurb could describe (Watch where you’re pointing those knives, subtle foreshadowing device!), and even a soulless person like myself gets a little anxious whenever Jack goes into room 237. It retains so much of its value after multiple viewings, because it’s not about the shock value of what happens, but the tense anticipation of things about to happen. Here is a completely accurate summary of the movie. OR IS IT??? (Cue cliffhanger ending)