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Essential Horror Films
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Stephen King
Writer

Earlier this month, Stephen King tweeted:

"God, how I wish I could go to a movie tonight. Popcorn, Junior Mints, big old soda, sitting in the third row and watching some action flick or goofball comedy. I'd love that."

We couldn't agree more. Until then, the author shared with us his top five horror movies to watch at home.

1
The Blair Witch Project
1999
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“Blair Witch” scared the living daylights out of me, I think because it was so unpolished. And nothing tops the final shot.

2
Alien
1979
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In “Alien,” I loved the working-class ethic of the guys on the ship (Ripley included), and all the swinging chains. But of course, with that one, it’s all about the “chest bursting” scene. At that time, no one had ever seen anything like that.

3
The Exorcist
1973
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“The Exorcist” is scary from the start, when—in the prologue—the clock suddenly stops. It’s very claustrophobic for a studio movie, and every time we go back to that bedroom with Regan, we dread even more what we’re going to see. But for me it’s the grisly grace notes that make the film. Who can forget, “Couldja help an old altar boy, fadder?”

4
Dawn of the Dead
1978
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It’s like "Alien," only instead of one amazing gross-out we’ve never seen before, there are half a dozen, like the woman biting into the cop’s neck or the top of the zombie’s head getting cut off by a helicopter blade. Kudos to Tom Savini, who dreamed up the special effects, with no CGI. And again, there’s the constant claustrophobia of the diminishing band of survivors being trapped in a shopping mall.

5
The Brood
1979
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“The Brood” is David Cronenberg’s first great film, with Samantha Eggar (“BAD mummies! FUCKED-UP mummies!”) and Oliver Reed (who looks on the verge of exploding) playing parents from hell. Only hell turns out to be the children.

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