A.frame
Dawn of the Dead
Stephen King: 5 Essential Horror Films
stephen-king.by-shane-leonard wide-f9df986f26c8d66ecb63cf8e49bded6360cbd9d3
Stephen King
Writer

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

Of course, what King knows best of all is horror. He's the brilliant mind behind the novels Cujo, Firestarter, Pet Sematary and The Shining and so many others, which have found second lives on the big screen as scary movies. The 1976 adaptation of Carrie earned stars Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie each Oscar nominations.

Below, the author shares with A.frame the five horror movies that most scare him.

1
The Blair Witch Project
1999
http://aple.tmsimg.com/assets/p22546_i_h11_ab.jpg
Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

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
Alien
Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

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
http://aple.tmsimg.com/assets/p6107_k_h10_aa.jpg
Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

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
http://aple.tmsimg.com/assets/p11744_i_h10_ab.jpg?w=1920&h=1080

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
The Brood
Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

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.

Related Lists
© 2022 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences