The Countdown of My 100 Favorite Horror Films comes to a close with the Top 3. Thank you for reading. I hope you found something worth watching on this list.
3. King Kong
This is my favorite movie of all-time. That may surprise a lot of people considering my affection for Gothic horror. A film crew goes to a remote island to film what has never been seen by any “white man.” Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is the intrepid filmmaker who drags destitute Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) along on a a voyage helmed by Captain Englehorn and first mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). Driscoll falls for Ann along the way.
After landing on Skull Island, Ann is kidnapped by the natives and offered as a sacrifice to Kong, a giant gorilla. The crew encounters all kinds of prehistoric creatures as they try to rescue Ann. Eventually, Driscoll rescues her and Denham hatches a plan to take Kong to New York, with predictable disastrous results.
This film, a pipe dream by Merian C. Cooper, pioneered so many movie making techniques and effects. Willis O’Brien established himself as one of the great effects people in Hollywood, and I have a special place in my heart for sound effects man Murray Spivack.
I don’t like slasher films but I like this one. This is the quintessential Halloween scary movie. Jamie Lee Curtis carries on her mother’s scream queen legacy and Donald Pleasence continues his run as a horror movie veteran. P.J. Soles is also in this one. Six-year-old Michael Myers murders his sister and comes back 15 years later on Halloween after escaping from the mental asylum that has kept him. You never know what drives his murderous rage.
It’s suspenseful, there isn’t a lot of gore, the soundtrack pulses throughout the movie.
There are some fascinating tidbits. Myers iconic mask is actually a William Shatner mask with the eye holes enlarged. If you watch one slasher movie … watch this one.
1. The Exorcist
Ellen Burnstyn, Max von Sydow and of course, Linda Blair, star in what I believe is the scariest movie ever made. I know what’s coming, I’ve seen this film numerous times, I know what’s coming and I still jump. It gets me every time … every freaking time. This is the movie that define demonic possession movies for all time. Nothing comes close.
I grew up sort of Catholic and this movie speaks to me on so many levels. Watch the extended version with the “crab walk” scene if you can. Watching The Exorcist is my Halloween tradition and I will be watching the Director’s Cut tonight.
Happy Halloween everyone.
There are such things.