’Tis the season to open Netflix and grab your favourite stuffed animal for protection. Many students will go to a Halloween party this year, but some will honour the tradition of staying home and watching a good ol’ fashioned horror flick. With so many horror movies to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one. The Medium spoke with some favourite professors, who dished out their picks for the best-ever horror flicks to help you decide.
28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle (he also directed Trainspotting, Sunshine, and Slumdog Millionaire). This fantastic movie is an intense, paranoid reworking of the zombie genre. The zombies are frightening. They don’t lumber along brainlessly—they sprint ferociously after you.
The Shining. So many creepily iconic images: the river of blood sloshing through the elevator doors; little Danny riding around the cavernous hotel on his big wheel (not to mention those twins!); Jack at his typewriter, glowering into the camera…
Just an unremitting aesthetic distillation of dread and revulsion and total paranoia.
I really enjoyed the first Saw flick. I caught the midnight showing of Saw when it first came out in theatres, and I remember laying myself down to bed that night and noticing that my closet door was open a crack. I was instantly freaked out by the possibility of Jigsaw being on the other side. That’s what makes a great horror flick: the fear festers even after the movie’s over.
For me, it’s a toss-up between The Shining and The Exorcist. Lots of movies scare you by startling you. Great horror uses disturbing and unsettling ideas. It develops terrifying possibilities that you find yourself grateful to realize aren’t real. Actually, The Shining and The Exorcist were the first movies I saw as a kid with truly disturbing realities.