Some of My Favorite Horror Movies

Some of My Favorite Horror Movies

The excellent fellows from the Stuff You Should Know podcast asked me out of the blue the other night if I could list my favorite horror movies. Can I list my favorite horror movies?! Is a bear Catholic?

I understand that jaded, seen it all before feeling. That’s why this list isn’t necessarily my all-time favorites, because a lot of the usual suspects would be on there. Halloween, Jaws, Night of the Living Dead. You don’t need me to tell you those are great horror movies. So this is a list of horror movies I love that you might not have seen yet. They’re not all obscure, some just weren’t very successful and never found a big audience.

Rawhead Rex

This movie is based on a Clive Barker story, and apparently Barker hates it. I love it. Rawhead, pictured above, is a demon unleashed on a small village in the UK. He’s just this terrifying monster that murders the crap out of people, but also has an underlying intelligence that makes his insane bloodlust even more terrifying.


The zombie movie that is just not a zombie movie, with the most novel viral vector I’ve ever seen. Try to watch this one as a blank slate, knowing as little as possible about it, and let the madness unfold.


I’m a really big fan of “holy crap reality is falling apart I don’t even know what the hell is going on here” horror. The shorter name is: mindfuck horror. This is a weird indie movie that is very much a mindfuck. There’s one small, brief scene involving a cliff that will make you shout or gasp and will haunt you forever, and you’ll know what I mean when you see it.


Did I mention I like mindfuck horror? This looks like a fairly standard “stranded on a spooky old ship” movie, but it is not. Oh, it is not.

The Monster Club

I saw this as a kid and it scared the bricks out of me. It doesn’t totally hold up, but it still has this greasy 70s grimness about it, even though it’s an anthology set against a frame story about a nightclub for monsters.

Return of the Living Dead III

I’ve been telling people about this movie for years and years. It’s essentially Romeo and Juliet, but Juliet is a zombie. You’d expect it to be straight-to-video dreck, but this is honestly a very good movie with a far better script and much better acting than it has any right to have.

The Car

An absolute classic about a demonic car that destroys an entire town. It gets pretty bleak.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

It’s trendy to hate on The Blair Witch Project, but it was groundbreaking and pretty terrifying. But no one even bothers to hate the sequel because no one went to see it. Which is a shame, since it’s a clever meta-movie that takes place in the aftermath of BWP hype. It doesn’t use found footage much at all, and has some great creepy atmosphere and chilling moments.

The Mothman Prophecies

Something about the voice of Indrid Cold on the phone still freaks me out. This movie does a good job of tackling the “weird otherdimensional entity whose motives are so inscrutable we can’t even begin to understand it” idea. Pretty cool for such a slick Hollywood production.

jason-livesFriday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

There’s a lot of nostalgia wrapped in how much I love this particular Friday the 13th, but it’s also the one where Jason first becomes a superzombie, and superzombie Jason is the best Jason.

Hellraiser 2

This makes the list partly because I just watched it, but holy hell is it ever good. I described it to a friend like this: “20 minutes of exposition and then a 2-hour artillery barrage of horror and insanity.” Most of it takes place in hell, and they created a pretty singular and impressive vision of what hell actually looks like in the Hellraiser universe.