I love watching films, and horror is, without a doubt, my favourite film genre. Although I’m a self confessed scaredy cat, and whenever I’m on my own at night I freak myself out by remembering all of the scariest parts of the films I’ve watched, I still can’t resist them. In the past year my collection of horror DVDs has increased significantly, and while all of them have been brilliant, I’ve really enjoyed watching the majority of them, there have been a few that have really stood out to me and that I’ve, in all honesty, become a little bit obsessed with. So, combining my love of horror films with my love of lists, here are my personal top 5 horror films that I’ve seen in the past year.
5. The Omen Trilogy (1976 – 1981)
The Omen Trilogy is, quite simply, an incredible series of films. Although they did chill me to the bone, I don’t find them as scary as I have other films in this genre. With The Omen it’s a completely different kind of scare altogether; if anything I found them more disturbing than terrifying. They really make you think about the possible existence of God and Satan and the battles between good and evil, being sought after and attacked by powers that are completely out of your hands is what makes these films scary for me personally. They’re extremely thought provoking films and just brilliantly made. The continuation of the story throughout the three films has got to be one of the most gripping plots that I’ve ever witnessed in a horror film. Once you’ve watched one, you will have to watch the other two pretty much immediately after, they’re just that good. Fantastic films that are so deserved of their status as now classic horror films.
4. Final Destination (2000 – 2001)
I had caught snippets of the majority of the films over the years, but I’ve never actually sat down and watched all of them until a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I began watching the first film, I was hooked. I don’t know what it is about them that makes them so addictive, but once I’d seen one I had to watch the others basically as soon as the credits had rolled. They are extremely graphic and gory films at the best of times, so they may not be the best film choices for those who have a bit of a nauseous disposition, but if you aren’t opposed to a bit of blood and gore throughout pretty much the entire film, then watch away! There are a lot of moments during the films where I had to hide behind my hands to avoid seeing a blood splattering moment; I’m not a very squeamish person, but there were a couple of moments where the gore was even too much for me. Despite the continuous appearance of death and it’s bloody ways, and despite the fact that it’s the same story line for all five films, they’re still entertaining to watch (does that make me completely sick??), and I feel they’re quite a unique addition to the horror genre.
3. Insidious 2 (2013)
I’m a huge fan of the original Insidious film that was released in 2011 (correct me if I’m wrong!) and I was very excited when I knew that a second instalment was going to be released. For some reason, I didn’t get round to seeing Insidious 2 when it came out in the cinema last September, so I only recently saw it after buying it on DVD. I know it’s a film that has kind of divided opinions amongst critics and film fans, but I personally thought it was a fantastic second instalment to the series. The plot was a lot more intriguing than the first film, so much more happens throughout the film, and the whole events that take place, in all honesty, completely fascinated me. I had no idea how they would continue on the story from the first film into the second, so didn’t have a clue what to expect, but it’s simple to say that I wasn’t left disappointed in the slightest. I didn’t think in a million years I would prefer it over the first film, but I actually would choose to watch Insidious 2 over Insidious. As I said, it’s not a film that everyone has warmed to, but it’s become one of my favourite horror films. I love the way it’s filmed, the cast are all brilliant, and the plot has got to have one of the best plot twists that I’ve ever seen.
2. The Amityville Horror (1979)
A film I often heard about from other film fans, and that people always seemed to be quite shocked I hadn’t seen being such a fan of horror films. I eventually watched it a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t believe it took me so long to get round to watching it. Of course, it was made in the late seventies, so compared to today’s standards, it does look a bit dated, but I think that’s what gives it that bit of extra charm. For me, the almost vintage look and feel to the film makes it all the more creepier. It’s a strangely fascinating tale; one that plays on your mind for a good while after the film has come to an end, with this being all the more with it apparently being based on a true story. Films that come with that description always draw me in; I don’t necessarily believe or disbelieve that the events that are portrayed in the film actually happened, but to watch the film and read more into what is supposedly meant to have happened to the Lutz family in the early 70s makes the film all the more thrilling. For its age, The Amityville Horror is such a well made film, and one that I feel will be enjoyed for many more decades to come.
1. The Conjuring (2013)
I wrote a review on James Wan’s horror masterpiece all the way back in August last year after seeing it in the cinema, and my opinion hasn’t changed at all having seen it twice more since it’s cinematic release. If anything my love for it has only increased. Words cannot describe how utterly amazing I think The Conjuring is. I don’t think it can be compared to any other film that I’ve ever seen in the horror genre, for me it is that incredible. It’s also the only horror film that’s ever reduced me to tears. I am ashamed to admit that, but what can I say? It may well be my favourite film for this genre, but I don’t do dolls. That’s all I will say on that one for those of you that may have not yet seen it. The story is full of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat at all times. From start to finish the suspense never ends, with the tension only ever increasing as it goes on. The jumps are truly terrifying, sometimes even chilling you to your very core. The cinematography makes it all the more disturbing, and you really feel as though you have been transported back to the 1970s, even at times feeling as you are there in the actual scenery with the characters themselves. I think it’s going to take a lot for another horror film to knock The Conjuring off of my top spot, and I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone that loves a good scare and hasn’t seen it yet. It is really not one to be missed!