I saw this when it was still unclear as to whether it was real or fake (I wasn't completely sure it was fake until a few weeks later when I saw that Heather chick in a Steak & Shake commercial). Apparently all of the reactions are real, as there was no real script and the actors were basically sent out into the woods and basically told "we're going to scare you." Anyway, when I saw it, it freaked me out. What the fuck is that dude doing in the corner?!
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (IMDB; Amazon) (the original, not that tripe they passed off as a remake a few years ago).
There's something about the way this movie is filmed that makes it especially scary. Plus you never really knew where Leatherface was coming from, both spatially and mentally. Probably because the film is loosely based on the life of Ed Gein. Bartender at Canal Bar? No, serial killer, Wisconsin, 1950s.
It was the summer of 1989. I staying at Jeremy "The Floppy Burrito" DeMuth's house for a couple weeks while my parents were traveling 'round the globe without their children. Jeremy and I made a habit of forging his mother's signature in order to rent R-rated movies. The Mutilator was no exception. It's a classic '80s slasher movie, complete with creative murders, a crazy-ass vindictive father, and, most importantly for 11-year-old boys, titties!
Next time you decide to pour pig's blood on a coal miner's daughter, make sure she can't close doors and light fires with her mind.
Is it coincidence that Rosemary's baby was conceived exactly nine months before my birthday (granted, several years before I was born) or that they were going to name it Andrew? Probably. But nonetheless, this is a classic Roman Polanski creation.
For those of us who were kids in the '80s, I don't know if there was a more terrifying man than Freddy Krueger. As if his disfigured face, unbrushed teeth, and knives for fingers weren't enough to strike terror in adolescents, he could ENTER YOUR DREAMS. Not cool. Seriously, Wes Craven, fuck you. One, two, Freddy's comin' for you . . .
The quintessential Halloween movie (as evidenced by the title). If you have any kids who are giving you lip about not being lax on Halloween, shut them up with this. And has there ever been a better song (or piano riff, I guess) for a horror movie?
Another classic '80s cheesy slasher movie. This is one of the first movies that made me realize that horror movies can be just as (if not more) hilarious as they are scary. A must-see, as far as I'm concerned.
It deems itself "the scariest movie of all-time," and it may be right. What a great movie. I saw this for the first time when I was 17, and it scared the shit out of me. Figuratively. Plus, it's based on a true story. Chew on THAT next time your kid is levitating and disparaging the moral turpitude of priests' mothers who may reside in hell.
With the possible exception of Operation Dump Drop, I have never been more terrified of a movie than the first time I saw this. This was another one that Jeremy and I rented in the summer of '89. We had always noticed the cover of The Shining in the video store and been intrigued, so we finally rented it. I made it about a third of the way through before I left the room, went up stairs and listened to my then-new Skid Row tape while playing Wizard and Warriors on Nintendo and trying not to think about those fucking twin girls. I have since managed to get all the way through the film, and it is hands down my favorite horror movie.
If you don't feel like watching a full movie, I highly recommend Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments, which is on Thursday and Friday.