10. Halloween (1978)
Halloween is a 1978 American independent horror
film directed, produced, and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with
Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her
The film is set in the fictional midwestern
town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween, six year old Michael Myers
murders his older sister.
Fifteen years later, he escapes from a
psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager Laurie Strode
and her friends.
Michael's psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects
Michael's intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent
this from happening. Halloween was produced on a budget of $320,000 and
grossed $47.3 million at the box office in the United States, and $60
million worldwide, equivalent to over $203 million as of 2010, becoming
one of the most profitable independent films.
critics credit the film as the first in a long line of slasher films
inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). Halloween had many
imitators and originated several clichés found in low-budget horror
films of the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike many of its imitators, Halloween
contains little graphic violence and gore.
In 2006, it was
selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by
the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or
aesthetically significant". Some critics have suggested that Halloween
may encourage sadism and misogyny by identifying audiences with its
Other critics have suggested the film is a social
critique of the immorality of youth and teenagers in 1970s America, with
many of Myers's victims being sexually promiscuous substance abusers,
while the lone heroine is depicted as chaste and innocent hence her
survival (the lone survivor is seen smoking marijuana in one scene).
Carpenter dismisses such analyses.
Several of Halloween's
techniques and plot elements, although not founded in this film, have
nonetheless become a standard slasher movie trope.
9. The Ring (2002)
The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film
directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts and Martin
Henderson. It is an American remake of the 1996 Japanese horror film
Both films are based on Kôji Suzuki's novel Ring and focus
on a mysterious cursed videotape which contains a seemingly random
series of disturbing images.
After watching the tape, the viewer
receives a phone call in which a girl's voice announces that the viewer
will die in seven days. The film was a critical and commercial success.
teenage girls, 16-year-old Katie Embry (Amber Tamblyn) and 17-year-old
Becca Kotler (Rachael Bella), discuss a supposedly cursed videotape
while home alone at Katie's house. Katie reveals that, seven days
before, she went to a cabin at Sandi's Mountain Inn with friends, where
she viewed the video tape.
The girls laugh it off, but after a
series of strange occurrences in the next few minutes, involving a
television in the house turning itself on, Katie dies mysteriously and
horrifically while Becca watches, leading to Becca's
institutionalization in a mental hospital. Katie's 9-year-old cousin,
Aidan (David Dorfman), is visibly affected by the death.
Katie's funeral, Ruth Embry (Lindsay Frost) asks her sister Rachel
(Naomi Watts), Aidan's mother and a journalist, to investigate Katie's
death, which leads her to the cabin where Katie watched the tape. Rachel
finds and watches the tape; the phone rings, and she hears a child's
voice say "seven days", upsetting Rachel.
The next day, Rachel
calls Noah (Martin Henderson), an ex-boyfriend who is Aiden's father, to
show him the video and asks for his assistance based upon his
media-related skills. He asks her to make a copy for further
investigation, which she does, but later takes it home herself. To
Rachel's horror, she discovers Aidan watching the copy a few days later.
viewing the tape, Rachel begins experiencing nightmares, nose bleeds,
and surreal situations (for instance, when she pauses a section of the
tape in which a fly runs across the screen, she is able to pluck the fly
from the monitor). Increasingly anxious about getting to the origin of
the tape, Rachel investigates images of a woman seen in the tape.
a video lab, she discovers images in the tape's overscan area, which
through further research she discovers to be a lighthouse located on
Moesko Island. It also turns out that the tape's overscan does not
include time code, which hints that the tape was not made using
The woman turns out to be Anna Morgan, who
lived on the island in Washington, many years prior with her husband
Richard (Brian Cox). Rachel discovers that, after bringing home an
adopted daughter, tragedy befell the Morgan ranch – the horses raised on
the ranch went mad and killed themselves, which in turn supposedly had
caused Anna (who loved her horses) to become depressed and commit
goes to the Morgan house and finds Richard, who refuses to talk about
the video or his daughter and sends Rachel away. A local doctor tells
Rachel that Anna could not carry a baby to term and adopted a child
named Samara (Daveigh Chase).
The doctor recounts that Anna soon
complained about gruesome visions that only happened when Samara was
around, so both were sent to a mental institution. While Rachel is
investigating on Moesko Island, Noah is investigating the institution,
where he finds Anna's file and discovers that there was a video of
Samara, but the video is missing.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch,
Rachel sneaks back to the Morgan house where she discovers the missing
video, watches it, and is confronted by Richard who says that the girl
was evil. He then electrocutes himself in the bathtub, sending Rachel
running out of the room screaming.Noah arrives and, with Rachel, goes to
the barn to discover an attic where Samara was kept by her father.
the wallpaper they discover an image of a tree seen on the tape, which
grows near the Shelter Mountain Inn. At the inn, they discover a well
underneath the floor, in which Rachel finds Samara's body, experiencing a
vision of how her mother pushed her into it. Rachel notifies the
authorities, and gives Samara a proper burial.
Aidan that they will no longer be troubled by Samara. However, Aidan is
horrified, telling his mother she had freed her body, and that Samara
"never sleeps". In his apartment, Noah's TV turns on, revealing an image
in which a decaying Samara crawls from the well and out of the TV into
Horrified, Noah trips backward and tries to crawl away
from Samara. Samara faces him, exposes her true face and stares
directly at him, killing him with fear, which Rachel discovers after
racing to his apartment and seeing his face distorted like Katie's was.
returning to her apartment, Rachel destroys and burns the original
tape. Wondering why she had not died like the others, she remembers that
she made a copy of the tape. She soon notices the copy of the tape
underneath the couch. Rachel realizes the only way to escape and save
Aidan is to have him copy the tape and show it to someone else,
continuing the cycle. The film ends with Rachel helping Aidan to copy
the tape and placing it on the shelf in a video rental store.
8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent black-and-white zombie film directed by George A. Romero.
It premiered on October 1st, 1968, and was completed on a USD$114,000 budget.
decades of cinematic re-releases, it grossed some $12 million
domestically and $30 million internationally. Night of the Living Dead
was heavily criticized during its release because of its explicit
content and similarities to the ongoing Vietnam war.
eventually received critical acclaim and was selected by the Library of
Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film
deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
film follows Ben (Duane Jones), Barbra (Judith O'Dea), and five others,
who are trapped in a rural farmhouse in Pennsylvania and attempt to
survive the night while the house is being attacked by mysteriously
reanimated ghouls, otherwise known as zombies. Night of the Living Dead
is the origin of six other Living Dead films directed by George A.
Romero and became the inspiration for two remakes of the film, film of
the same name directed by Tom Savini, and Night of the Living Dead 3D,
which was directed by Jeff Broadstreet and contained a much different
Barbra (Judith O'Dea) and Johnny (Russell Streiner) drive to a rural
Pennsylvania cemetery to visit their father's grave. Barbra is afraid of
cemeteries; Johnny frightens her repeating, "They're coming to get you,
A pale skinned man (Bill Hinzman) is walking with a
limp around the cemetery, and Johnny says that he is "one of them."
Annoyed by Johnny's ignorance, Barbra goes to the man to apologize, but
he grabs her. Coming to save his sister, Johnny wrestles with the man
but is killed when he falls headfirst on a tombstone.
flees, being pursued by the man. Crashing her and Johnny's car into a
tree, she goes to an empty farmhouse where she discovers the half-eaten
corpse of the homeowner. As she runs out into the yard, she realizes
several more ghoulish figures are swarming toward the house. Suddenly, a
man named Ben (Duane Jones) arrives at the house, drags Barbra inside
and boards up the doors and windows. Barbra frantically insists that
they must go and rescue Johnny, then collapses in shock.
in the cellar are an angry married couple, Harry and Helen Cooper (Karl
Hardman and Marilyn Eastman), their daughter Karen (Kyra Schon), and
teenage couple Tom and Judy (Keith Wayne and Judith Ridley). Ben
activates a radio while Barbra awakens, believing Tom and Harry to be
more of the ghouls when they emerge from the cellar.
with each other, Harry wants everyone to hide in the cellar but Ben
deems it a "death trap" and remains upstairs. Tom agrees with Ben and
asks for Judy to come upstairs. Harry returns to the cellar to Helen and
Karen, who was bitten on the arm by one of the attackers and has fallen
ill. Radio reports explain that an epidemic of mass murder is sweeping
across the eastern seaboard.
discovers a television; the emergency broadcaster horrifyingly reveals
that the recently deceased have reanimated and are consuming the flesh
of living humans. Experts, scientists, and the military do not know the
cause; one scientist believes it is caused by radioactive contamination
from a space probe that exploded in the Earth's atmosphere.
the news reports reveal a series of local fortifications that the
living are to retreat to for safety from the living dead, Ben devises a
plan to escape from the house and head to the nearest one, for
protection and to get medical help for Karen, who is barely conscious.
Ben suggests they escape using the truck he drove to the house, but it
Ben and Tom drive the short distance to an outside gas pump
while Harry hurls Molotov cocktails from an upper window to restrain the
ghouls. Judy fears for Tom's safety and runs after him.
arrive at the pump but Tom spills fuel, setting the truck alight. Tom
and Judy drive the truck from the pump to avoid further damage but it
explodes, killing them.
Ben returns to the house to find Harry boarding
up the front door. Very angry with his actions, Ben kicks the door down
and furiously beats Harry.
approach the truck and feed on Tom and Judy's flesh. Back in the house,
a final report on the television reveals that a gunshot or heavy blow
to the head will stop the "ghouls" and that posses of armed men are
patrolling the countryside to restore order. After the ghouls attempt to
break into the house, Harry spots Ben's rifle and threatens to shoot
Ben wrestles the gun from Harry and shoots him. The ghouls
begin to tug Helen and Barbra through the windows. Harry stumbles into
the cellar to find Karen has died from the infected bite on her arm, and
Helen frees herself of the ghouls and proceeds to the
cellar to find Karen reanimated and consuming Harry's flesh. Karen
repeatedly stabs Helen with a cement trowel, killing her. Barbra spots
Johnny in the group of ghouls; distracted, she is carried away and never
Karen tries to attack Ben, but he pushes her away
and seals himself in the cellar, ironically the course of action he
originally argued against. Ben shoots the reanimated Harry and Helen. He
is the only one to survive the night, and awakens when a posse arrives.
He hears the posse and proceeds to the window, when a member of the
posse mistakes him for a ghoul and shoots him, killing him. His body is
then placed onto a burning pyre with other dead ghouls.
7. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American independent horror film
directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Hooper and Kim Henkel. The film
stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Teri
McMinn, William Vail, and Gunnar Hansen.
While it is presented
as a true story involving the ambush and murder of a group of friends on
a road trip in rural Texas by a family of cannibals, the film is
It is the first of six pictures in
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film franchise, which features Leatherface
(Hansen), a character modeled after Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.
produced the film for less than $300,000 with a cast of relatively
unknown actors, drawn mainly from the central Texas region where it was
shot. Principal photography took place between July 15th and August
Due to its extremely violent content, Hooper
struggled to find a distributor for the film; Bryanston Pictures
eventually picked it up. Hooper had limited the amount of onscreen gore
in hopes of securing a PG rating, but the Motion Picture Association of
America (MPAA) rated it R. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre debuted on
October 1st, 1974.
film initially drew a mixed reception from critics and it was banned in
many countries; nevertheless, it became a strong commercial success,
grossing $30.9 million at the United States box office. Despite the
early lack of critical consensus, it has gained a reputation as one of
the most influential horror films in cinema history. It originated
several elements common in the slasher film genre, including the use of
power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a
large, hulking, faceless figure.
Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) and her brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain),
travel with three friends—Jerry (Allen Danziger), Kirk (William Vail),
and Pam (Teri McMinn)—to a cemetery where the grave of the Hardestys'
grandfather is located. Their aim is to investigate reports of vandalism
and corpse defilement. Afterward, they decide to visit an old Hardesty
On the way there they pick up a hitchhiker
(Edwin Neal). He behaves bizarrely, and slashes himself and Franklin
with a straight razor before the group forces him out of the van. They
stop at a gas station to refuel, but the proprietor (Jim Siedow) tells
them that the pumps are empty. They continue to the homestead, intending
to return to the gas station once the fuel has been delivered.
they arrive, Franklin tells Kirk and Pam about a local swimming hole,
and the couple head off to find it. Instead, they stumble upon a nearby
house; Kirk calls out, asking for gas, while Pam waits on the front
Kirk receives no answer but when he discovers the door is
unlocked, he enters the house. Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) appears and
kills him. Pam enters soon after and finds the house is filled with
furniture made from human bones.
attempts to flee, but Leatherface catches her and impales her on a
meathook. At sunset, Jerry, Sally's boyfriend, heads out to look for Pam
and Kirk. He finds the couple's blanket outside the nearby house. He
investigates and finds Pam inside a freezer; she is still alive. Before
he can react, Leatherface murders him and stuffs him in the freezer with
With darkness falling, Sally and Franklin set out to find
their friends. As they near the neighboring house and call out,
Leatherface lunges from the darkness and kills Franklin with a chainsaw.
Sally escapes to the house and finds the desiccated remains of an
elderly couple in an upstairs room. She escapes from Leatherface by
jumping through a second floor window and flees to the gas station.
Leatherface disappears into the night.
proprietor calms her with offers of help, but then ties her up and
forces her into his truck. He drives to the house, arriving at the same
time as the hitchhiker, who turns out to be Leatherface's younger
When the pair bring Sally inside, the hitchhiker recognizes her
and taunts her.The men torment the bound and gagged Sally, while
Leatherface, now dressed as a woman, serves dinner.
and the hitchhiker bring an old man from upstairs to join the meal.
During the night, they decide Sally should be killed by "Grandpa" (John
Dugan). "Grandpa" tries to hit Sally with a hammer, but he is too weak.
In the confusion, Sally breaks free, leaps through a window, and escapes
to the road.
Leatherface and the hitchhiker give chase, but the
hitchhiker is run down and killed by a passing semi-trailer truck.
Armed with his chainsaw, Leatherface attacks the truck when the driver
stops to help. The driver hits him in the face with a large wrench.
Sally escapes in the bed of a passing pickup truck as Leatherface waves
the chainsaw above his head in frustration.
6. Poltergeist (1982)
is an American horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper, produced by Steven
Spielberg, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 4, 1982.
is the first and most successful of the Poltergeist film trilogy, and
was nominated for three Academy Awards.The franchise is often said to be
cursed, because several people associated with it, including stars
Dominique Dunne and Heather O'Rourke, died prematurely.
Poltergeist Curse" has been the focus of an E! True Hollywood Story.
The film was ranked as #80 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments and the
Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 20th scariest film ever
made. The film also appeared on American Film Institute's 100 Years...
100 Thrills, a list of America's most heart-pounding movies.
and Diane Freeling, and their children Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne,
are living a quiet life in a California suburb, when a group of
seemingly benign ghosts begin communicating with five-year-old Carol
Anne through the static on the family's television sets. A number of
other bizarre occurrences follow, including an earthquake that only the
Freelings feel, glasses and utensils that spontaneously break or bend,
and the ominous announcement by Carol Anne that the ghosts are there
begins to realize the presence of beings in her home, which fascinates
her. But when she brings these things to Steven's attention, he is
disturbed and worried. One night, during a rainstorm, a gnarled tree
comes to life and grabs Robbie through his bedroom window. However, this
is merely a distraction used by the ghosts to get Carol Anne's parents
to leave her unattended.
Diane and Steven rescue Robbie, Carol Anne is sucked through a portal
in her closet. The horrified Freelings realize she has been taken after
they begin to hear her communicating through a television set. A group
of parapsychologists from UC Irvine, Dr. Lesh, Ryan and Marty, come to
the Freeling house to investigate.
determine that the Freelings are experiencing a poltergeist, rather
than a true haunting. Dr. Lesh explains that the spirits have not moved
on to "the light" after death, but are stuck between dimensions.
have taken Carol Anne, Lesh says, because as an innocent 5-year-old,
her "life force" is as bright to them as the light, and they believe she
is their salvation. During the investigation, Steven, a real estate
agent for the subdivision development he lives in, is approached by his
boss, Lewis Teague, about a promotion.
The new project will
involve selling lots on a newly acquired hilltop parcel of land that
currently houses a cemetery. When Steven balks at the idea of relocating
the graveyard, his boss shrugs it off, explaining that the company had
done it before, in the very neighborhood where Steven now lives.After a
series of frightening paranormal episodes, Robbie and Dana are sent away
for their safety.
parapsychologists leave with the data they collected, but Dr. Lesh and
Ryan soon return with a spiritual medium, Tangina Barrons, who informs
Diane that Carol Anne is alive and in the house.
She also explains that,
in addition to the peaceful lost souls inhabiting the house, there is a
single malevolent spirit she calls the "Beast," that is using Carol
Anne to keep the spirits away from the light.
The assembled group
discovers that while the entrance to the other dimension is through the
children's bedroom closet, the exit is through the living room ceiling.
They send Diane to rescue Carol Anne, tying her to a rope that they've
managed to thread through both portals. As Tangina coaxes the agonized
spirits away from Carol Anne, Diane retrieves her daughter and they
emerge through the living room ceiling, falling unconscious to the
announces that the spirits are gone.However, while the spirits have
moved on, the Beast has not. On the family's final night in the house,
the Beast attacks Diane and the children.
Diane runs to her neighbors
for help, and in the process, slips and falls into the unfinished
swimming pool, from which coffins and rotting corpses erupt. Her
neighbors, terrified by the ghostly energy blazing from the house,
refuse to help.
Diane pulls out Robbie and Carol Anne from the
house, and Dana returns from a date to find coffins and dead bodies
exploding from the ground throughout the neighborhood. As Steven returns
home to this mayhem, he realizes that when Teague relocated the
cemetery under the subdivision, he merely moved the headstones in order
to save money.
Teague appears soon after, joining the Freelings'
neighbors in their horror at the Freeling house's explosive possession.
An enraged Steven confronts him with the fact that by leaving the
bodies in unmarked graves and building houses on top of them, Teague had
desecrated their burial grounds.
As the Freelings drive away in terror,
the house itself implodes into another dimension, to the astonishment
of onlookers. The family checks into a Holiday Inn for the night. Taking
no chances, Steven puts the room's television outside.
5. The Shining (1980)
Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film directed by Stanley
Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack
Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd.
The film is based on
the novel of the same name, by Stephen King, about a writer with a wife
and young son who accepts the job of off-season caretaker at an
The son, who possesses psychic abilities,
is able to see things in the future or past, such as the ghosts in the
hotel. Soon after moving in, and after a paralyzing winter storm that
leaves the family snowbound, the father becomes influenced by the
supernatural presence in the haunted hotel; he descends into madness and
attempts to kill his wife and son.
Unlike most films by Stanley
Kubrick, which saw a slow gradual release building on word-of-mouth, The
Shining was released in a manner more like a mass-market film, opening
at first in just two cities on Memorial Day, and then a month later
seeing a nationwide release (including drive-ins) after extensive
initial response to the film was mixed, later critical assessment has
been more favorable and it is now viewed as a classic of the horror
genre. Martin Scorsese, writing in The Daily Beast, ranked it as one of
the best horror films.
Film critics, film students, and Kubrick's
producer, Jan Harlan, have all remarked on the enormous influence the
film has had on popular culture which ranges from other macabre
thrillers to the cartoon series The Simpsons.
Torrance (Jack Nicholson) arrives at the Overlook Hotel to interview
for the open position of winter caretaker, with the aim of using the
hotel's solitude to work on his writing. The hotel itself is built on
the site of an Indian burial ground and becomes completely snowbound
during the long winters. Manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) warns him
that a previous caretaker got cabin fever and killed his family and
son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), has ESP and has had a terrifying premonition
about the hotel. Jack's wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), tells a visiting
doctor that Danny has an imaginary friend called Tony and that Jack had
given up drinking because he had physically abused Danny after a
binge.The family arrives at the hotel on closing day and is given a
elderly African-American chef Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers)
surprises Danny by speaking to him telepathically and offering him some
ice cream. He explains to Danny that he and his grandmother shared the
gift, which he calls "shining."
Danny asks if there is anything to be
afraid of in the hotel, particularly Room 237. Hallorann tells Danny
that the hotel itself has a "shine" to it along with many memories, not
all of which are good. He tells Danny to stay out of room 237.
month passes and Jack's writing project is going nowhere. Meanwhile,
Danny and Wendy have fun and go in the hotel's hedge maze; Jack
discovers a model of this maze, showing Wendy and Danny inside it, in
one of the hotel lounges. Wendy is concerned about the phone lines being
out due to the heavy snowfall and Danny has more frightening visions.
As time passes, Jack becomes frustrated and slowly starts acting
strangely, prone to violent outbursts.
curiosity about Room 237 finally gets the better of him when he sees
the room has been opened. Later, Danny shows up injured and visibly
traumatized, causing Wendy to think that Jack has been abusing Danny.
Jack wanders into the hotel’s Gold Room where he meets a ghostly
bartender named Lloyd (Joe Turkel) who serves him bourbon on the rocks.
complains to the bartender about his relationship with Wendy.
Afterward, Wendy shows up and informs him that Danny told her a "crazy
woman in one of the rooms" was responsible for his injuries. Jack
investigates Room 237 and has an encounter with the ghost of a dead
woman there, but tells Wendy he saw nothing.
Wendy and Jack argue about
whether Danny should be removed from the hotel and Jack returns to the
Gold Room, now filled with ghosts having a costume party.
he meets who he believes is the ghost of the previous caretaker, Grady
(Philip Stone), who tells Jack that he must "correct" his wife and
child. Later, Jack sabotages the hotel's two-way radio and the snowcat,
cutting off both communication with and access to the outside world.
Meanwhile, in Florida, Dick Hallorann gets a premonition that something
is wrong at the hotel and takes a flight back to Colorado to
investigate. Danny starts calling out "redrum" frantically and goes into
a trance, now referring to himself as "Tony."
discovers Jack's typewriter and that he has been typing endless pages
of manuscript repeating "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"
formatted in various styles. Horrified, she confronts Jack, but he
threatens her before she knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat and
locks him in a kitchen pantry.
Jack converses through the door
with Grady, who then unlocks the door, releasing him.Danny has written
"REDRUM" in lipstick on the door of Wendy’s bedroom. When Wendy sees
this in a mirror, she sees that the letters spell out "MURDER".
armed with a fire axe, then begins to chop through the door leading to
his family's living quarters. Wendy frantically sends Danny out through
the bathroom window, but cannot fit through it herself.
then starts chopping down the bathroom door with the axe and leers
through the hole he has made, shouting "Here's Johnny!", but backs off
after Wendy slashes his hand with a butcher knife.
Hearing the engine of
a snowcat Hallorann has borrowed to get up the mountain, Jack leaves
the room and begins to wander about the hotel, ambushing and killing
Hallorann with the axe in the lobby.
Wendy escapes the bathroom
and flees through the hotel, but encounters several ghosts along the
way. Meanwhile, Jack pursues Danny into the hedge maze by following his
footprints, but is misled when Danny manages to walk backwards in his
own tracks and leaps behind a corner, covering his tracks with snow.
and Danny escape in Hallorann's snowcat while Jack slowly freezes to
death in the hedge maze.In the final scene, the camera slowly zooms in
on an old photograph taken at the hotel on July 4th, 1921 as Midnight,
the Stars, and You is played through the hallways. A smiling Jack
Torrance is at the front of the crowd of revelers.
4. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film, which blends
elements of the crime and horror genres. It was directed by Jonathan
Demme and stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and Ted
It is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas
Harris, his second to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant
psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.
In the film,
Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, seeks the advice of Hannibal
Lecter, an imprisoned cannibal, for help in apprehending a serial killer
known only as "Buffalo Bill." When The Silence of the Lambs was
released on February 14th, 1991, it received much critical acclaim.
film won the top five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best
Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The 1999 Bollywood
film Sangharsh starring Preity Zinta, Akshay Kumar and Ashutosh Rana is
an unofficial adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs.
Starling is pulled from her training at the FBI Academy at Quantico,
Virginia, by Jack Crawford of the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit. He
tasks her with interviewing Hannibal Lecter, a former psychiatrist and
incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer, believing Lecter's insight
might be useful in the pursuit of a serial killer nicknamed "Buffalo
Bill" who skins his female victims' corpses.
Starling travels to
the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where she is
led by Dr. Frederick Chilton to Lecter's solitary quarters. Although
initially pleasant and courteous, Lecter grows impatient with Starling's
attempts at "dissecting" him and rebuffs her. As she is leaving, one of
the prisoners obscenely flicks semen at her.
considers discourtesy "unspeakably ugly," calls Starling back and tells
her to seek out an old patient of his. Starling is led to a storage lot
where she discovers a man's severed head. She returns to Lecter, who
tells her that the man is linked to Buffalo Bill.
Though Lecter denies
killing this man, he offers to profile Buffalo Bill if he can be
transferred away from Chilton, whom he dislikes. In light of Buffalo
Bill's recent abduction of a U.S. Senator's daughter, Crawford
authorizes Starling to offer Lecter a fake deal promising a prison
transfer if he provides information that helps find Buffalo Bill and
rescue the abductee.
Lecter begins a game of quid pro quo with Starling, offering
comprehensive clues and insights about Buffalo Bill in exchange for
events from Starling's childhood, something she was advised not to do.
Chilton secretly records the conversation and reveals Starling's deal as
a sham before offering to transfer Lecter in exchange for a deal of
Chilton's own making. Lecter agrees and is flown to Memphis where he
reveals personal information on Buffalo Bill to federal agents.
the manhunt begins, Starling visits Lecter at his special cell in a
Tennessee courthouse and confronts him with her decryption of the name
he provided ("Louis Friend," which is an anagram of "iron sulfide").
Lecter refuses Starling's pleas for the truth, as she believes
everything he stated was false, and forces her to recount her traumatic
tells him how she was orphaned, relocated to a relative's farm,
discovered a lamb slaughterhouse and failed in an attempt to rescue one
of the lambs. Lecter gives her the case files on Buffalo Bill, after
their conversation is interrupted by Chilton and the police who escort
her from the building.
Later that evening, Lecter manages to escape from
his cell, killing his two guards in the process, and disappears.
analyzes Lecter's annotations to the case files and realizes that
Buffalo Bill's first victim knew him personally before he killed her.
Starling travels to the victim's hometown and discovers that Buffalo
Bill was a tailor, with dresses and templates identical to the patches
of skin removed from each of his victims.
Crawford to inform him that Buffalo Bill is trying to fashion a "woman
suit" of real skin, but Crawford is already en route to make an arrest,
having cross-referenced Lecter's notes with a hospital's archives and
finding a man named Jame Gumb who once applied for a sex-change
Starling continues interviewing friends of Buffalo
Bill's first victim while Crawford leads an FBI tactical team to Gumb's
address in Illinois. Starling is led to the house of "Jack Gordon," who
she realizes is actually Jame Gumb. She pursues him into his multi-room
basement where she discovers the recently abducted Senator's daughter
alive, but traumatized and trapped in a dry well.
off the basement lights, Gumb stalks Starling in the dark with night
vision goggles but gives his position away when he cocks his revolver,
and is shot to death by Starling. Some time later at the FBI Academy
graduation party, Starling receives a phone call from Lecter, who is at
an airport in Bimini.
He assures her that he does not plan to pursue her
and asks her to show him the same courtesy, which she says she cannot
do. Lecter then hangs up the phone, saying he's "having an old friend
for dinner", and begins following a newly arrived Chilton, who is
fleeing since Lecter is at large.
3. Psycho (1960)
is a 1960 American psychological thriller film directed by Alfred
Hitchcock. The film is based on the screenplay by Joseph Stefano, who
adapted it from the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The
novel was based on the crimes of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.
film depicts the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Janet
Leigh), who is in hiding at a motel after embezzling from her employer,
and the motel's owner, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), and the aftermath
of their encounter.
Psycho initially received mixed
reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted a re-review which
was overwhelmingly positive and led to four Academy Award nominations.
film differs from many of the other horror films of early cinema, in
that it takes place in the present day. Psycho is now considered one of
Hitchcock's best films and is highly praised as a work of cinematic art
by international critics. The film spawned two sequels, a prequel, a
remake, and a television movie spin-off. The film is often categorized
by multiple sources as a drama, horror, mystery and thriller film.
need of money to marry her lover Sam Loomis, Marion Crane steals
$40,000 from her employer and flees Phoenix by car. While en route to
Sam's California home, she parks along the road to sleep. A highway
patrol officer awakens her and, suspicious of her agitated state, he
begins to follow her. When she trades her car for another one at a
dealership, he notes the new vehicle's details.
to the road but decides to spend the night at the Bates Motel rather
than drive in a heavy storm. Owner Norman Bates tells Marion he rarely
has customers because of a new interstate nearby and mentions he lives
with his mother in the house overlooking the motel. He invites Marion to
have supper with him.
She overhears Norman arguing with his
mother about his and Marion's sexual intentions, and during the meal she
angers him by suggesting he institutionalize his mother. He admits he
would like to do so but doesn't want to abandon her. Marion resolves to
return to Phoenix to return the money. As she undresses in her room,
Norman watches through a peephole in his office wall.
calculating how she can repay the money she has spent, Marion flushes
her notes down the toilet and begins to shower. An anonymous female
figure enters the bathroom and stabs her to death. Finding the corpse,
Norman is horrified by his mother's actions. He cleans the bathroom and
places Marion's body, wrapped in the shower curtain, and all her
possessions – including the money – in the trunk of her car and sinks it
in a swamp.
afterward, Sam is contacted by both Marion's sister Lila and private
detective Milton Arbogast, who has been hired by Marion's employer to
find her and recover the money. Arbogast traces Marion to the motel and
questions Norman, whose lies cause him to begin to stutter. He refuses
to let Arbogast talk to his mother, claiming she is ill.
calls Lila to update her and tells her he will contact her again after
hopefully questioning Norman's mother. Arbogast enters Norman's house
and at the top of the stairs is attacked by a figure who slashes his
face with a knife, pushes him down the stairs, then stabs him to death.
When Arbogast does not call Lila, she and Sam contact the local police.
Deputy Sheriff Al Chambers is perplexed to learn Arbogast saw a woman in
a window, since Norman's mother died ten years ago.
confronts his mother and urges her to hide in the cellar. She rejects
the idea and orders him out of her room, but against her will Norman
carries her to the cellar. Posing as a married couple, Sam and Lila
check into the motel and search Marion's room, where they find a scrap
of paper with "$40,000" written on it.
Sam distracts Norman, Lila sneaks into the house to search for his
mother. Sam suggests Norman killed Marion for the money so he could buy a
new hotel. Realizing Lila is not around, Norman knocks Sam unconscious
and rushes to the house.
Lila sees him and hides in the cellar
where she discovers the semi-preserved and hideously mummified body of
Mrs. Bates. Wearing his mother's clothes and a wig and carrying a knife,
Norman enters and tries to attack Lila, who is rescued by Sam.
Norman's arrest, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Fred Richmond tells Sam and
Lila Mrs. Bates is living in Norman's psyche. After the death of
Norman's father, the pair lived as if they were the only people in the
world. When his mother found a lover, Norman murdered both of them.
Consumed with guilt, he tried to "erase the crime" by bringing his
mother to life in his mind. He stole her corpse and preserved the body.
When he is "Mother", he acts, talks, and dresses as she would.
imagined his mother would be as jealous of a woman to whom he might be
attracted just as he was of his mother's lover. His psychosis protects
him from knowing about other crimes committed after his mother's death.
The sheriff mentions the unsolved disappearances of two young girls.
the final scene, Norman sits in a cell, his mind dominated by the Mother
persona. In voiceover, she explains she plans to prove to the
authorities she is incapable of violence by refusing to swat a fly that
has landed on her hand. The final shot shows Marion's car being
recovered from the swamp.
2. Orphan (2009)
is a 2009 American horror and thriller film directed by Jaume
Collet-Serra, starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Isabelle
Fuhrman in the title role.
The film centers on a couple who, after the death of their unborn child, adopt a mysterious 9-year old girl.
was produced by Joel Silver and Susan Downey of Dark Castle
Entertainment and Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran of
Appian Way Productions. The film was released theatrically in the United
States on July 24th, 2009.
The film received mixed critical reviews but Fuhrman's performance as Esther was acclaimed.
Coleman (Vera Farmiga) and her husband John (Peter Sarsgaard), are
experiencing strains in their marriage after Kate's third child was
stillborn. The loss is particularly hard on Kate, who is also recovering
from alcoholism. They adopt Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a 9-year-old
Russian girl, from the local orphanage.
While Kate and John's
deaf daughter Max (Aryana Engineer) embraces Esther almost immediately,
their son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett) is less welcoming. At school, after
mocking her old-fashioned dress, Esther's classmates attempt to take her
Bible and strip off the ribbons she always wears on her wrists and
neck, causing Esther to scream hysterically.
Kate grows suspicious when
Esther expresses far more knowledge of sex than would be expected of a
child her age, and later discovers that Esther was deceptive about her
piano playing ability.
She is further alarmed when Sister
Abigail (C. C. H. Pounder), the head of the orphanage, comes to their
home to warn her and John that whenever Esther is around, bad things
seem to happen, which is overheard by Esther. As Sister Abigail is
leaving in her car, Esther pushes Max into its path, forcing her to
swerve the car off the road.
As Sister Abigail rushes over to
see if Max is hurt, Esther kills the nun with a hammer. She convinces
Max to help her hide the weapon in their treehouse. Meanwhile, Kate's
attempts to tell John about Esther's strange ways fall on deaf ears.
Attempting to learn more about Esther, Kate finds the girl's hidden
Bible which came from a mental hospital in Estonia called the Saarne
e-mails a picture of Esther to them and asks that a doctor call her
back with more information. As Daniel learns about the death of Sister
Abigail from Max, Esther overhears him detail a plan to retrieve the
hammer to prove Esther's guilt.
While Daniel searches the treehouse,
Esther appears with the hammer and drops it in front of him. Spraying
lighter fluid on it and the floor, she sets the treehouse ablaze.
falls to the ground trying to escape the fire, and is knocked
unconscious. Esther tries to kill him with a rock, but Max stops her.
While Daniel is hospitalized from his fall, Esther slips into his room
and smothers him with a pillow, stopping his heart, but doctors quickly
revive him. Kate, realizing what happened, attacks Esther but orderlies
help John restrain her.
John takes Esther and Max home, doctors sedate Kate. That night, Esther
tries to seduce a drunken John, who finally realizes Kate might have
been right about her. He threatens to send her back to the orphanage and
she runs crying to her room.
Meanwhile, as Kate is coming out of
sedation, she receives a call on her cell phone from a doctor at the
Saarne Institute, who reveals that Esther is actually a 33-year-old
woman named Leena Klammer.
She has hypopituitarism, a condition
that stunted her physical growth, and has spent most of her life posing
as a little girl. The doctor tells Kate that Leena is extremely
dangerous and has killed a number of people in the past, including an
adoptive family whose father refused her romantic advances. Leena, angry
and hurt at being spurned by John, ransacks her room and removes the
makeup, false teeth, and body wrappings that enhanced her illusion as
taking off the wrist and neck bands that hid scars caused by the
straitjacket she wore in the mental hospital, Leena attacks John with a
knife. Max sees Leena stabbing her father repeatedly and hides.
unable to get John on the phone, rushes home, only to find John dead on
the floor. Leena fetches a gun from their safe and shoots Kate in the
arm, then goes to search for Max, finding her in the greenhouse.
Leena shoots at Max, Kate manages to crawl out onto the greenhouse
roof, breaks through the glass above Leena, and knocks her out. Kate
takes the gun and leaves the greenhouse with Max. Leena regains
consciousness and finds Kate outside near a frozen pond, where she
lunges at her, hurling them both onto the ice as Max watches from a hill
Max picks up the gun that was dropped by Kate during the
struggle and tries to shoot Leena, but hits the ice instead, causing
Kate and Leena to drop into the water. After a brief struggle, Kate
climbs out with Leena desperately clinging to her legs. Leena, calling
Kate "mommy", begs her not to let her die while holding a knife behind
Kate angrily responds that she is not her mother, and kicks
Leena in the face, sending her sinking back into the pond. Max and Kate
are met by the police moments later.
1. Exorcist (1973)
Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin,
adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and
based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim, dealing with the demonic
possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate attempts to win
back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests.
The film features Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller, and Mercedes McCambridge.
film is one of a cycle of 'demonic child' movies produced in the late
1960s and early 1970s, including Rosemary's Baby and The Omen.
film became the most profitable horror film of all time and one of the
highest earning movies in general, grossing $401,400,000 worldwide (and a
further $112,053,066 for the Director's Cut re-release in 2000), and at
the time of release briefly became the highest-grossing film of all
time, until being surpassed one year later by Steven Spielberg's Jaws.
film proved a huge effect on popular culture. The film earned ten
Academy Award nominations—winning two, one for Best Sound and Best
Adapted Screenplay, and losing Best Picture to The Sting. Along with the
novel on which it was based, Blatty's script has been published several
times over the years.
The Exorcist was commercially released in
the United States by Warner Bros. on December 26th, 1973, and
re-released on March 17th, 2000, with a restored version released on
September 22nd, 2000.
It was named the scariest movie of all time by
Entertainment Weekly and Movies.com and by viewers of AMC in 2006, and
was #3 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
at an archaeological dig in Al-hadar near Nineveh in Iraq, Father
Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow), an archaeologist, visits a site where a
small stone is found, resembling a grimacing, bestial creature. Merrin
travels onward to find the strange statue of Pazuzu, which has a head
similar to the one found earlier.Meanwhile, another priest, Father
Damien Karras (Jason Miller), a young priest at Georgetown University in
Washington, D.C., begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his
mother's terminal illness.
main story follows Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), an actress filming in
Georgetown, who notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior
of her 12-year-old daughter, Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair).
Regan has a
seizure, then exhibits strange, unnatural powers including levitation
and great strength. Regan curses and blasphemes in a demonic male voice.
Chris initially believes Regan's changes are related to
puberty, but doctors suspect a lesion in her brain. Regan endures a
series of unpleasant medical tests. When X-rays show nothing out of the
ordinary, a doctor advises that Regan be taken to a psychiatrist, whom
she assaults. Paranormal occurrences continue, including a violently
shaking bed, strange noises, and unexplained movements.
with these things, the director of Chris MacNeil's film, Burke Dennings
(Jack MacGowran), is found brutally murdered outside the MacNeil
When all medical explanations are exhausted, a doctor
recommends exorcism, suggesting that if Regan's symptoms are a
psychosomatic result of a belief in demonic possession, then perhaps an
exorcism would have the psychosomatic effect of ending them. In
desperation, Chris consults Karras, since he is both a priest and a
a period in which Karras observes Regan, she constantly refers to
herself as the Devil. Karras initially believes her to be merely
suffering from psychosis, until he records her speaking in a strange
language which turns out to be English spoken backwards.
his doubts, Karras decides to request permission from the Church to
conduct an exorcism.Merrin, an experienced exorcist, is summoned to
Washington to help.
He and Father Karras try to drive the spirit
from Regan. The demon threatens and taunts both priests, both
physically and verbally (including the demon using the voice of Karras'
mother), and Merrin dies of a heart attack. Karras attempts to perform
CPR to no avail. Regan giggles as Karras tries to save Merrin. Karras
strikes her and chokes her, challenging the demon to leave Regan and
The demon does so, whereupon the priest throws
himself through Regan's bedroom window and falls down the steps outside.
At the bottom, a devastated Father Dyer (William O'Malley)—and friend
of Father Karras—administers last rites as Father Karras dies.
restored to health and does not appear to remember her ordeal. Chris and
Regan leave Georgetown and their trauma behind.