1. The Shining (1980) -
This 80s classic is arguably Jack Nicholson’s greatest hit as the family-man who turns into a deranged-psychopath, after the presence of an evil spirit lures him into violence. This film is without a doubt the best of the horror genre – with its complexity and stylish storytelling, it is so much more than cheap shocks and jumps in the dark. Kubrick really hits the nail hard on the head with this famously quotable and suitably terrifying thriller.
2. American Psycho (2000) -
Christian Bale is brilliant in this psychological thriller as serial killer Patrick Bateman, a wealthy banker working for Wall Street in the 80s, living a life of expensive dinners, bachelor pads and beautiful women – those he leads into bed and violently murders. Bloody gore and creepy cackles aplenty, American Psycho keeps the audience fully engaged and has them questioning what is real and what is not.
3. The Exorcist (1973) -
Although heavily challenged nowadays, in 1973 The Exorcist was deemed the most disturbing film of all time. It follows Regan, a young girl possessed by the devil, whose Mother seeks the help of priests to save her daughter. It was common for viewers to vomit whilst watching The Exorcist – grotesque actions and demonic powers were areas that film had never discovered before, making this horror a spectacular classic.
4. Psycho -
Widely regarded as Hitchcock’s most influential film, Psycho tells the story of Marion – a real estate secretary who flees to a secluded motel, with a stolen $40,000 of her boss’ money, only to be sought out by an oblivious investigator, unaware of what unpleasant sights he may find when he arrives. Although typically gruesome and shocking, Psycho provides a stylishly gripping look into schizophrenia and its effects.
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) –
One of the most memorable horror characters Leatherface came from this 70s hit, and that’s not the only thing that will stay in the minds of horror movie fans after watching this golden oldie. Labelled one of the ‘wildest’ horrors of all time, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is as gut-wrenching as it sounds, following a group of friends as they visit their grandparents and on the way are hunted down and tortured by a chainsaw killer and a family of cannibals. Terrifying, bloody and full of heart-jolting jumps, this film can terrify any audience.