Top 100 Horror Films, 25-1 / by Todd Yarbrough


Well, we're finally here! Halloween unfortunately is on a Tuesday this year, but tonight feels like a great night for some horror movies. My previous installments can be found here, here, and here. My top 25 is actually pretty expected, with many of the so-called horror classics making it onto the final quartile. There are a couple of surprises, or lesser known movies. Audition is a movie that many people have not seen, and for good reason. It is unbridled horror, with as many hard to watch scenes as movies like Hostel or Saw, but with a far better script and story to back up the cringe moments. A movie that I believe is quite underrated is Phantasm. It is a wonderful horror movie with a creepy villain (The Tall Man!) and a fantastic score to accompany the many frights. 

I'd should say something about the Rosemary's Baby. I thought of leaving it off the list, given the horrendous things Roman Polanski, the film's director, has done. I have decided to keep the movie on the list. Movies take 100s of people to make. Writers, photographers, editors, crew, foodservice, etc. all conspire to make a movie what it is. While Roman Polanski is a monster, the quality of the film is not, at all, owed solely to him. In fact, one could easily argue that the reason the movie is so good is because of the performance of Mia Farrow. She is utterly brilliant. Further, Rosemary's Baby was conceived as a vehicle to explore the relationship women and their expected social roles as mothers. It is tragically ironic that such a heinous person as Polanski wrote that vehicle, but it remains a movie full of symbolism for the plight of young women and mothers. It is a true shame that the director has received seemingly more attention for this movie than his crimes, but perhaps we should not ignore the movie and make sure to state each time the movie is mentioned that it's director was a monster. 

So, my favorite horror film of all time is The Exorcist. It is top to bottom, right to left, in and out, a wonderful film. The sound, my god the sound. The Exorcist was the first movie I remember actually paying attention to the sound, not the music, but the actual sound effects. I later found out that the movie had won an Academy Award for its sound, something I wasn't at all surprised to find out. I think what ultimately makes the move so damn good is that it taps into a visceral fear that everyone has, that the devil may get us. I'm not even a religious person, and the movie's use of religion is so effective that I find myself buying into its religious side. Direction, writing, editing, pacing, music, sound, acting... the movie has it all. Its among my favorite movies of all time, regardless of genre. I don't think anything comes close to its quality as a horror film.