I figured this might well be of interest to people who might wonder just what kinds of horror films I really, really like, considering some of the dreck I watch for this blog a lot of the time. So, in no particular order (because they tend to change position in my mental list depending on my mood), here's a list of my ten favourite horror films, along with brief reasons as to why I consider each film to be awesome.
1 - Dawn of the Dead (1978 version): This was the movie that introduced me to zombie movies, and therefore started a slightly disturbing love affair that continues to this day. I love the setting, I love the plot, I love Tom Savini's work, I love the music, I love the social commentary... Really, I can't think of much I don't love about this film.
2 - From Dusk Till Dawn: It has George Clooney and Salma Heyek in it. If that's not enough, it's also directed by Robert Rodriguez, written by Quentin Tarentino and has a biker bar full of kick-ass scaly Aztec vampires. It's non-stop action that manages to transition from crime drama to vampire action-horror almost seemlessly.
3 - Versus: Yakuza kung-fu zombies with guns. Nothing more needs to be said.
4 - Profundo Rosso: One of Dario Argento's best films, and one of the best giallos full stop. It's hauntingly beautiful even with its violence, and the mystery is kept up right until the end. If you want to introduce someone to Argento's work (or get into him yourself) this is pretty much the first film you should watch.
5 - Suspiria: The second film you should watch when starting along the path of watching Dario Argento's films. It's not exactly got the most coherent plot (witches, dance school, raining maggots, razorwire in rooms etc etc) but who cares when the film is this beautiful? The music, of course, is also wonderful.
6 - Ringu: The film that made me fall in love with Asian horror - once I had calmed down and felt safe enough to get near the television again. The film is just plotted so tightly that the tension rises almost without you realising it, until the climax at the end nearly makes you leap out of your seat screaming.
7 - Nightbreed: My favourite Clive Barker film (sorry, Hellraiser!) I love the dark fairy tale aspect of it and the fact that it's not the monsters who are the bad guys. And hey, David Cronenberg plays a good psycho!
8 - Return of the Living Dead Part 3: I admit that the main reason for this being on the top ten list is rather shallow: Mindy Clarke. Seriously, she takes extreme body piercing and makes it incredibly hot. Oh, and there's also a surprisingly touching plot for a sequel of a franchise whose previous offering had been pretty poor, being one part Romeo and Juliet and one part Bride of Frankenstein.
9 - Braindead: Before Peter Jackson made more money than God with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, he was a director of splatter and horror films, and this was one of them. Sumatran rat monkey bites turn a suburban matriarch into a zombie, she infects others and by the end of the film someone's minces several dozen zombies with a lawnmower. Plus it contains a priest saying the line, "I kick arse for the Lord!"
10 - Shaun of the Dead: The only zombie film other than Land of the Dead I've ever been able to get Nick to watch with me. In this case it's because he's a fan of the Spaced crew (in the other case it was the magic name of Dennis Hopper). I don't even mind that technically a zom-rom-com.
Honourable Mention (because I can't decide if it can be classed as horror or not) - Battle Royale: I love the pitch black satire of this film, as well as the fact that it could even be seen as plausible in today's reality tv-obsessed and scapegoating the young society.