By ELIOT HAGEN
With Halloween weekend here, it’s time to swallow your fear and watch a horror film. Rather than shelling out $8 to see “Saw V” or “Quarantine,” why not check out one from my list of the top 5 horror films.
#5 – Ringu/The Ring (1998/2002)
If you are able to watch either of these without thinking about “Scary Movie 3” and let yourself get sucked in, both are incredibly scary experiences. With Asian horror in a completely different league than American horror, the Japanese version is a bit more frightening to those in the right frame of mind. I think it’s the better film but, in a pinch, the American remake delivers a hefty helping of scares.
#4 – The Omen (1976)
Made in a time when horror films weren’t just gore-fests, an aging Gregory Peck and Lee Remick head the cast as the Thorns, a couple who believe that their son is the Devil. Along with Richard Donner’s direction, you can’t really go wrong with this one. But I’d advise steering clear of the sequels and the 2006 remake.
#3 – The Exorcist (1973)
This one is a classic that everyone should see. Featuring a top-notch cast, this one hits particularly close to home for anyone who’s ever lived by the Potomac. Still considered shocking today with spectacular effects and an incredibly disturbing performance by Linda Blair, “The Exorcist” is a must for any horror movie night.
#2 – The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy and Brooke Adams all star as a group of friends trying to survive an alien invasion in this remake of the classic 1956 film. Once again, stay away from the most recent remake, made in 2007 starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. It’s nowhere near as scary and it fails at pulling off a political message.
#1 – The Shining (1980)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Need I say more? One of the greatest cinematic geniuses in the history of the art form delivers the greatest horror film ever made. With Jack Nicholson in an outstanding performance as the caretaker of the ominous Overlook Hotel, this is definitely the best Stephen King film adaptation and fans of his writing and film in general should see “The Shining.”