In time for the horror fest, what are your favorite horror films? They don't need to be super scary, just movies that you enjoy that happen to be classified as horror. In no particular order...
The Shining: I love the hammy acting in this film. Kubrick was a great director, but overacting seemed be a staple of his films and somehow it really works in this one.
The Howling: My introduction to a good monster flick at ten years old from a neighbor with HBO when cable TV was still something new and exciting.
The Thing (John Carpenter): Only in the 1980's could you get away with your "token black guy" riding around a science lab in Antarctica on rollerskates listening to Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." Exactly what science were they working on, anyway? Actually, this might have been the first movie with two "token black guys." The other one was kind of a dick, but the movie is fun from start to finish.
The Exorcist: Probably the scariest movie ever made, though I've seen it so many times that it seems more like a well-made thriller than horror. But it's scary... if you've never seen it.
28 Days Later: Modern horror from the director of "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire." Kind of an original twist on a zombie flick with a political message of what the world looked like after 9-11. We were all infected with rage.
Alien/Aliens: The first two movies in this franchise are definitely worth a look. Sci-fi, action, thriller, horror and all of the above rolled into two incredible films. Directed by Ridley Scott and James Cameron, respectively. Two legends, two legendary movies.
Rosemary's Baby: The movie isn't very scary, unless you happen to be pregnant, but Roman Polanski's "Manson Era" film is worth a watch, if for no other reason than to see an adorable Mia Farrow naked.
The Silence of the Lambs: I always scratched my head on this film being labelled "horror" as opposed to thriller or crime drama, but it is and it's one of the greatest "horror" films of all time, assuming you're willing to accept that classification. Won the Oscar for Best Picture. How many horror films can say that?
The Sixth Sense/Signs: M. Night Shyamalan seems to have a gift for making each of his movies a bit worse than the last. His early films, including "Unbreakable" are a great ride. Both of these movies have a tendency to seem like mundane dramas until the shocking moments, but the shocking moments are well worth waiting for.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Wrong Turn: I lump these together not because of shared directors but because of shared themes. Toby Hooper's "Chainsaw Massacre" is a low budget beauty whereas "Wrong Turn" is the best modern adaptation of the cannibal hillbilly genre.
Poltergeist: Another Toby Hooper film, produced by a not-quite-superstar Steven Spielberg. To this day clowns and old trees give me the creeps.
Jaws: Is this horror or just plain fun? "You'd like to prove that, wouldn't you?" A great horror movie has a villain that you can't reason with. A ghost, the devil or a 30 foot shark.
Halloween: Take your pick, John Carpenter's late-70's thriller or Rob Zombie's remake. I've never been a fan of Rob Zombie, but he turned gratuitous violence into something Tarrentino never did: entertaining. If you have to pick one, pick the original, but I recommend both.
Frailty: Ok, I had to include a movie that I'm pretty sure you haven't seen. It's unfortunate that this flick never got much press. The acting is superb and the plot is genuinely horrific. Delusional father becomes convinced that God has chosen him to kill demons masquerading as ordinary folks and drags his two young boys into the massacre.
Orphan: One of the most cringe-worthy movies on my list. This girl isn't supernatural, she's just freakin' evil.
Pan's Labryinth: Don't watch this movie in English, as it seems to lose all of its luster. I'm not sure if it's sci-fi or horror, but Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece is worth at least three watches, assuming you've got thread and needle to sew up your cheeks.
Let the Right One In: Another foreign masterpiece. Testament to this movie's greatness is the nearly immediate work on the American remake "Let Me In," which is a fine movie but fails to capture the loneliness and sympathy of the Swedish original.