Definitive? No. What I’ll be watching? Yes.

20.) Night of the Living Dead (1968) Even better knowing the surreal background of who the actors are, how they made it for pennies.

19.) The Omen (1976)“It’s all for you, Damien!” The nanny’s death scene lingers on your eyeballs.

18.) House of Wax (1953) There needs to be some Vincent Price around this time of year.

17.) Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The series went south after the first one. But the first one is really good (and bad). Wes freakin’ Craven.

16.) “The Game” (1997) Maybe not “horror”. But horrible to have Sean Penn as your brother.

15.) The Orphanage (2007) combined with…

14.) The Devil’s Backbone (2001) Both, the latter a great Guillermo del Toro film, use the setting of an orphanage.

13.) Joyride (2001) Starring Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski and a 1971 Chrysler Newport. Ironic, retro (and regrettable) use of a CB radio.

12.) Carnival of Souls (1962) combined with…

11.) It Follows (2015) A good starting premise for a horror movie: is someone following me?

10.) Halloween (1978) combined with…

9.) Christine (1983) Both by John Carpenter, who, like Wes Craven, knew how to balance light and dark. And the car motif again (’58 Plymouth Fury).

8.) Carrie (1976) The novel. Sissy Spacek. Piper Laurie. Blood. High school. Also, blood.

7.) Ringu (1998) The Japanese original about the VCR tape that kills you. The US version a few years later is nearly as good.

6.) Audition (1999) Another Japanese horror movie: a widower “audtions” his next wife and makes a very very very bad casting decision.

5.) Nosferatu (1922) German–I’ve shown this to friends who didn’t think a 100 year old movie would be able to freak ’em out. Wrong.

4.) Rosemary’s Baby (1968) I was way too young the first time I saw this, but it’s never too late to start the nightmares.

3.) The Shining (1980) We are all Shelly Duvall.

2.) Silence of The Lambs (1991) I don’t think of this as just a “horror” movie because it’s so good. But, it’s also a horror movie.

1.) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Because if you could show someone only ONE horror movie to explain the genre, this is it.

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