IMDB Best Movies in the Horror Genre

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I can’t help but love the Internet Movie Database. No matter what cinematic tidbit you‘re searching for, they‘ll have it and much, much more. I just so happen to be a sucker for their rankings–by genre–of the greatest films ever made. These are determined by the readers of the site, and they constantly change to reflect the latest votes. Which brings me to this list of the IMDB Best Movies in the Horror Genre.

From time to time, everyone enjoys being scared senseless and perhaps losing control of their bladder. A number of the horror films below are perfect for inducing such a reaction. And even if they’re not frightening by modern standards, they remain genre classics worthy of a look.

To rent any of the IMDB best movies in the horror genre, just head on over to Netflix. They have over 100,000 films to choose from, and they even offer a free trial membership. We also get a tiny commission for sending you there (and, no, it doesn’t affect your final price).

Psycho (1960) – Anthony Perkins will always be remembered for his role as Norman Bates in this Alfred Hitchcock classic. Norman is a lonely young man with an overbearing mother and a thing for taxidermy, but his life gets more interesting when a gorgeous embezzler (Janet Leigh) stops for the night at the Bates Motel. The shower scene remains the benchmark of the horror genre (or any genre, for that matter).

Alien (1979) – The spaceship Nostromo touches down on an isolated planetoid, but the place isn’t as deserted as it initially looks. The crew brings back some manner of alien creature, and the resulting mayhem launched a franchise that’s still around to this day. Directed by Ridley Scott, the tense sci-fi/horror mix stars Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto and Veronica Cartwright.

The Shining (1980) – Stanley Kubrick adapts Stephen King’s novel to the big screen. King was unhappy with the finished product, which isn’t a surprise considering that he directed Maximum Overdrive. An aspiring novelist, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), takes a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, a place where the terrible deeds of the past still haunt the rooms and corridors. As Jack slowly succumbs to the madness in the air, his wife (Shelley Duvall) and child (Danny Lloyd) begin to fear for their lives. Strangely, of the last nine films directed by Kubrick, The Shining was the only one not to receive an Oscar nomination.

Aliens (1986) – James Cameron assured the popularity of the franchise by taking horror elements from the first and injecting substantial doses of action. Instead of just one alien, this time there are swarms of them (plus a gigantic Alien Queen). Ripley returns, having been fished out of suspended animation after 57 years. She’s quickly recruited to revisit the planetoid where her crew found the killer xenomorph from the first film, and this time she’s backed up by a unit of space marines (including Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn). From there, all hell breaks loose.

Les Diaboliques (1955) – In this French film from director Henri-Georges Clouzot, a cruel man is murdered by a combination of his wife and mistress. But when his body disappears and strange events begin to occur, it’s obvious that all is not as it seems. An instant classic, often compared to the best works from Hitchcock.

The Thing (1982) – Kurt Russell stars and John Carpenter directs in this tale of a research station in Antarctica plagued by a shape-shifting killer from beyond the stars. Carpenter’s relentless soundtrack and the long shots of empty, frozen corridors combine to give the film a staggering sense of isolation and doom. Overlooked upon its release, it’s now regarded as a masterpiece of terror.

King Kong (1933) – Fay Wray stars as a beautiful actress who travels to the mysterious Skull Island to shoot a film. There, she and the rest of crew encounter Kong, a mighty 18-foot gorilla worshipped by the local tribesmen. Kong takes a liking to the blonde actress, carrying her off into the jungle. The rest of the film involves either Kong or Wray in captivity, and the climax atop the Empire State Building has been duplicated in numerous remakes.

Frankenstein (1931) – The epitome of the classic Universal monster movie, Frankenstein was based on the novel by Mary Shelley and starred Boris Karloff as the tragic creature cobbled together from various corpses. Escaping from his creator, the confused creature roams the countryside, his faulty mind burning with thoughts of revenge. The scene with a young peasant girl and the monster remains one of my all-time movie moments.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – Directed by Roman Polanski, Rosemary’s Baby stars Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse, a young housewife who moves into a notorious apartment building with her actor husband (John Cassavetes). Strange events begin to occur, especially after Rosemary becomes pregnant. Why did she imagine being raped by a demonic presence, and why the sudden urge for raw meat?

Let the Right One In (2008) – A grisly Swedish film about the budding romance between a bullied 12-year-old boy and an ageless vampire who resembles a girl of the same age. Based on the novel of the same name, but anyone wanting to read the book should be warned that it’s even more disturbing than the film. Look for the American remake, Let Me In, to hit theaters later in 2010.

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If you’ve enjoyed this list of the IMDB best movies in the horror genre, you’ll want to read the following posts as soon as possible:

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 2:06 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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