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Best Halloween Horror Movies -- The Top 10 List

Posted Monday, October 27, 2008 at 3:27 PM Central

by Tim Briscoe

Here it is. The list of the Best Horror Movies to Watch on Halloween culled from reader submissions.

We scored the selections from the Top 5 lists we received from readers like you. What resulted was an interesting list of new and old favorites with a few surprises.

First, let's get a few honorable mentions out of the way. These seven movies didn't receive enough votes to crack the top 10 but they are worthy of at least a brief inclusion here.

And now for the top ten best, according to our readers. It starts with a four-way tie.

7. (tie) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The classic from director Wes Craven about Freddy Krueger, the disfigured boogeyman with the razor claws who attacked teens in their sleep. It started an entire franchise.

7. (tie) It (1990)

Author Stephen King proves just how scary clowns can be in this TV miniseries. Pennywise terrorizes seven kids and then meets them again in adulthood.

7. (tie) Suspiria (1977)

Master of horror Dario Argento's bizarre film about a ballet dancer enrolled at a school of witches. It's the first of his "Mother" trilogy which recently culminated with Mother of Tears.

7. (tie) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Director Tobe Hooper's classic shot in a quasi-documentary style. It's about teens caught by a family of cannibals in Texas. Disturbing and scary at the same time.

6. The Descent (2006)

The most recent film on the list. It's about six female cave explorers who get trapped by bloodthirsty creatures deep below the Earth's surface. It's quickly becoming a modern horror classic.

5. Jaws (1975)

The first big movie from director Steven Spielberg made everyone afraid of swimming for the sharks lurking below the water. Don't you wish Spielberg made another horror movie like this?

4. Psycho (1960)

Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock created the mold from which future slasher movies would be made. It's the story of Norman Bates and his mother.

3. The Shining (1980)

Auteur Stanley Kubrick's take on the Stephen King novel. The Torrances go to an isolated hotel and meet with violence. Perhaps one of Jack Nicholson's best performances.

2. Halloween (1978)

What list of Halloween movies could be without this one? It's director John Carpenter's film about killer Michael Myers stalking of a babysitter played by Jamie Lee Curtis.

1. The Exorcist (1973)

The story of Regan (young Linda Blair) and her possession by Satan. Max von Sydow plays the priest charged with exorcising the demons from her body.

There you have it. There are plenty of gems here for you to enjoy this Halloween. What do you think? Did the list meet up to your expectations? Of course there are many great horror movies that didn't make the cut.

And lastly, a postscript from reader Dan in Kentucky.

I got to see the new cut of The Exorcist a few years ago on the biggest single screen in San Francisco. It was a midnight screening & we were at the head of an enormous line that circled the block. The surround sound was amazing (I kept hearing spooky sounds coming from behind & all around) and the picture was magnificent. As the amped-up crowd filed out, we walked into the misty SF night at 3 AM, the street lamps' beams cutting through the dense fog. Hands-down the best movie experience I've ever had.

You just gotta love hearing about terrific movie-watching experiences like that. Makes you realize how both great a movie The Exorcist is and how moving film can be in general. Thanks for sharing, Dan.

Don't miss Part 1 of this article which includes our editor's picks and reader selections