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Top 5 Best Classic Horror Movies of All Time

Before we conclude this year's Halloween Special, how about we go back 30, 40 or even 50 years back to take a closer look on some of the Best Classic Horror Movies? Nevertheless, I'm sure that we missed out on quite a few Classics, and we hope that someday we get to do a Part 2 and talk about all the other films. So, presenting the Top 5 Best Classic Horror Movies of All Time.

Related - Top 5 Horror Movies of 2017 and 2018Top 5 Recent Scary Movies to Watch This Halloween

5. The Thing (1982)

Director - John Carpenter
Starring - Kurt Russell, Keith David and Wilford Brimley

Set in the frigid weather of Antartica, The Thing tells the story of a group of American Government researchers who were stranded within a trepidation of an extra-terrestrial entity which is causing conflict and taking over the world with it's ungodly and imitation abilities. Presented with its dreadful gory scenes, the special effects in this films were outstanding. From the imagination to the creation and the execution, the gruesome hair-raising scenes in this film gave me chills and honestly that's what made this film so special.

Carpenter's ability to capture both beautiful and petrifying shots must be appreciated alongside with the film's remarkably written screenplay. The compacted tension between the characters and the importance of their decision making was explained masterfully and kept the movie moving without any intervals. Overall, The Thing was one-of-a-kind and gave me those nightmarish shudders very often. I'm guessing that we'll never see a movie like this again and I'm happy that I took the time to sit and marvel the brilliance on-screen.

4. The Exorcist (1973)

Director - William Friedkin
Starring - Linda Blair and Jason Miller

A tale of exorcism that is loosely based on actual events, The Exorcist revolves around the demonic possession of a young girl and the purging of this demon through an exorcism performed by two priests. The Exorcist is a tense narrative of good versus evil where the paranormal aspects of the film is grounded in biblical faith. The contrast between good and evil is depicted perfectly through the opposing forces of religious faith and paranormal vengeance. The staircase spider walk is possibly one of the most iconic terrifying scenes in cinematic horror history and it straight up assaults the viewer with its powerful shocking visuals. The special effects used in this film is a sledgehammer to the head where it elevates the film to a higher level of frightening. An in-your-face horror storytelling, The Exorcist is a finely crafted tale of spirituality.

3. Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Director - Georges Franju
Starring - Édith Scob, Alida Valli and Pierre Brasseur

A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and he embarks on a mission to give her a new face. Georges Franju’s Eyes without a Face is vastly disturbing and poetic. A film on human experiments and facial transplants, this movie deals in themes of morality, insanity, superficiality of appearance and identity. The director attempts to give his own take on these themes with a film that is more arthouse than commercial filmmaking. Unlike the rest of the films in this list, Eyes without a Face does not have a solid story. This movie is chilling for its haunting but brilliant cinematography and bone-chilling scores. Eyes Without a Face plays on anxiety and fear. The audience will be able to empathize with the obsessive actions of the protagonist at first. Driven by guilt and paternal love, the protagonist becomes a monster and his insanity takes a toll on the viewer’s stomach for graphic terror. Vulgar, shocking and expressive, Eyes without a Face is a melange of horror and metaphorical poetry.

2. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Director - Roman Polanski
Starring - Mia Farrow, Ruth Gordon and John Cassavetes

Roman Polanski’s adaption of the novel with the same name resulted in a horror movie that is ominous and grisly all at the same time. Rosemary’s Baby kickstarted the trend of films that centred around the belief in the occult. A psychological thriller that revolves around a fearful pregnant woman, Rosemary’s Baby deals with important themes such as rape and paranoia. The very relevant themes presented to the viewer is accented by the acting of Mia Farrow, who plunges us into her world where we share her doubts and mistrusts. The devil is truly in the details with this one. Polanski’s leads us down a spiral staircase of dread where the scares from the film come from the slow-burning extrication of Rosemary’s mental state and where the audience are afraid to draw a line between hallucinations and the paranormal. A diabolical milestone of cinematic horror, Rosemary’s Baby is the synonym word for creepy.

1. Psycho (1960)

Director - Alfred Hitchcock
Starring - Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and John Gavin

It’s hard to have a list of classic horror films and not have Hitchcock’s Psycho rank-fluctuate among the top 3 spots. Arguably one of the most celebrated and horrifying cinematic classics of all time, Psycho is laden with histrionic realism and shocking visuals. Psycho’s horror lies in how it captures the audience as the camera’s point-of-view. The viewer is always left reeling from the peril of being slain themselves because of how immersive the film’s camerawork is. As the story builds steadily to its chilling climax, being forced to challenge Norman Bates directly gives a claustrophobic effect to the viewer and that itself is the payoff. Watch out for the sensational shower scene and the stair-murder as it jumps out as one the most arresting segments in the film and it is the very experience of seeing them unfold before your eyes that demonstrates how frighteningly clever Hitchcock is. A horror masterpiece that has stood the test of time, Psycho, is unnerving till this day.
-A Top 5 List by Team JFMF
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