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NewCityNet Top Ten Horror

Slasher film countdown

By Gina Leyba

AUGUST 10, 1998:  When I heard of the release of yet another Halloween sequel with the return of Jamie Lee Curtis, I couldn't wait to see how the producers were going to pull it off. I have always gotten a rush off of horror flicks. I was turned on to them - and essentially traumatized - at a young age by family members (who will remain anonymous, so I don't become a suspect in their disappearances). Not all people enjoy the rush that horror movies give - but for those who do, here is a list of my favorite horror films. The Scare-O-Meter and Gore-O-Meters rate each movie from 1 (least) to 10 (most).

1. Night of the Living Dead

The horror classic, about the dead rising from their graves, gave me nightmares for several days. The sight of the zombies made my blood run cold. The "feast" after the car blows up is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I was glad it was in black and white, at this point. Even if it was a low-budget effort, George A. Romero's direction found a way to make this my pick for the scariest, not to mention the goriest movie in history.
Scare-O-Meter 10
Gore-O-Meter 10

2. The Shining

A chilling adaptation of Stephen King's novel about a haunted hotel that makes the man of the house go mad. After seeing this movie at an impressionable age, I am now afraid of big resort hotels. Stanley Kubrick's direction is fabulous and frightening all in one. Nobody but Jack Nicholson could have performed the role of Jack Torrance. His "Here's Johnny!" grimace remains one of the greatest lines in horror movie history. I was surprised to find out that the classic line was an ad lib - just one more reason to admire Nicholson's work. I still catch this one when it is on television, as long as it is during the day and there is someone to watch it with. And I still scream at the sight of the twins
Scare-O-Meter 10
Gore-O-Meter 2

3. Halloween

John Carpenter's horror classic branded Jamie Lee Curtis as the "Scream Queen" and skyrocketed her career. Despite Halloween's many dubious sequels, this first installment was the best, and Michael Myers has always been the scariest of all the serial killers, beating out Friday the 13th's Jason and Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy by far. This is one of my favorites - I can watch over and over and still enjoy it.
Scare-0-Meter 9
Gore-O-Meter 5

4. The Exorcist

Linda Blair was made a star - and what a way to become famous, being the butt of parodies of projectile vomit and spinning heads! But the most disturbing moment is the scene with the crucifix... Ouch! A truly frightening and repulsive flick, "The Exorcist" tends to scare most people out of their wits. ΚΚ
Scare-O-Meter 9
Gore-O-Meter 9

5. The Amityville Horror

The only reason this movie scared me is because it is based on a true story. In 1974, Ron DeFeo murdered his entire family as they slept, claiming that a voice in the house told him to do it. A year later, another family moved into the house and fled twenty-eight days, later claiming the house was haunted. I have heard that the story was a hoax, but the movie version of what occurred is disturbing. Just the fact that someone killed his family in the house is dire enough for me.
Scare-O-Meter 9
Gore-O-Meter 3

6. Hellraiser

More disgusting than scary, this one is still a must see. The story is intriguing and kept my attention throughout - magic puzzle box conjures up Pinhead and his evil sidekicks, who drag humans into the depths of Hell. There are some scary scenes, and the gore is tip top. I would recommend this for a night hanging out drinking with friends.
Scare-O-Meter 6
Gore-O-Meter 9

7. Psycho

In the 1960s, this movie terrified people so much that they refused to shower. Showing Janet Leigh in her bra must have been risqué enough to offend back then, but that scene is pretty tame compared to movies today. Nonetheless, "Psycho" is a classic, one of Hitchcock's best. Despite Gus Van Sant's efforts to redo this movie, it should absolutely NOT be remade.
Scare-O-Meter 6
Gore-O-Meter 5

8. My Bloody Valentine

This slasher revenge movie, full of scary dark images, did not receive the attention it deserved. A small mining town is haunted with the memories of a miner was injured in an explosion on Valentine's Day. A year later, he gets revenge by killing the men who caused the accident by leaving the mine early to go to a Valentine's Day dance. He kills them creatively, to say the least, with a warning that he would kill again if another dance was held. Guess what happens next? The funnest part is trying to figure out who is really responsible for the bloodbath. This is the perfect choice when you have no date for Valentine's Day.
Scare-O-Meter 5
Gore-O-Meter 7

9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The legacy of Leatherface was born in this cult classic. The narrator claims this is based on a true story, but when you're talking about human barbecue, I have my doubts. Some scenes were done well, such as the madness scenes toward the end of the movie. There are some gross parts and very bizarre with a lot of psychological aspects. The only part that really got on my nerves was when one girl would not stop screaming. I found myself rooting for Leatherface: "Just kill her!"
Scare-O-Meter 2
Gore-O-Meter 2

10. Freaks

From the director of the 1931 version of Dracula, Tod Browning. More weird than scary, I am sure this movie was horrifying in its day. Starring genuine side-show freaks the likes of which you just don't see these days - such as the bearded lady, a human torso, and Siamese twins joined at the back - the film's plot follows a beautiful trapeze artist who tries to swindle a midget out of his small fortune. The little person and his freakish friends take big revenge on her, in a most grotesque way.
Scare-O-Meter 1
Gore-O-Meter 1

Oh, by the way, I did see "H20," with Jamie Lee Curtis, and enjoyed it almost as much as the first. It has references to "Psycho" that were pretty amusing. It is too soon to rank it in my Top Ten - but it very well may become one of my favorites.

If you're too scared to leave the house to watch a horror movie, check out one of these titles at a video store. Happy haunting, uh, hunting.

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