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Top 10 Horror Films for Friday the 13th

Seeing as it’s Friday the 13th today, it got us thinking at This Is Horror about what films you should consider watching on this dark and cold night in the middle of winter. However, we’re tired of the same old lists that include, admittedly, classic horror films such as The Exorcist etc.

So, if you’ve got the inclination, why not see if you can grab a copy of one these alternative classics, either from your dusty old DVD collection or perhaps from a downloadable – and legal – source when you get home tonight?

Creepshow1. Creepshow

Thirty years old now, the anthology directed by George A. Romero and based on Stephen King short stories still packs a punch.










Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon2. Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

A great independent film that breaks down the barriers of the slasher film sub-genre. Deserves a better following than it already has.










Trick-r-Treat3. Trick ‘r Treat

Another anthology, all based around a single Halloween night. Most anthologies have a weaker or comedic tale within their ranks. This film, however, does not. The stories are nasty and nothing short of fantastic.









Paranormal Activity4. Paranormal Activity

It may have its haters and detractors, but if you watch this film in the right conditions – lights off, sound system up and just before you go to bed – this is one of the best scary films of recent times.









Scream5. Scream

Love it or hate it, there is no denying the fact that before Wes Craven’s film came along in 1996, the horror genre was falling on its backside, doomed to go direct to video apart from major Hollywood productions like Interview With A Vampire.








Saw6. Saw

The original was a cracking little film. Shorn of all the expectation of the later films to create more elaborate set pieces and traps, Saw was a very clever and twisted tale of not wasting your life. The surprise ending was brilliant and no-one saw it coming.









The Descent7. The Descent

Neil Marshall’s follow-up to Dog Soldiers was a very different beast entirely. A claustrophobic tale of a group of female friends who, whilst caving, find themselves trapped underground. While they are trying to find another way to get back topside, a group of subterranean creatures start to hunt them and pick them off one by one. A rather ambiguous final shot left viewers wondering what happened next. The sequel ruined that!








Demons by Dario Argento8. Demons

If it’s gore you’re after, then you’d do a lot worse than settling down for the ’80s Italian classic Demons from Lamberto Bava. Yes there are some pacing issues and the deus ex-machina way that the helicopter is introduced near the end is nothing short of head scratching. But, it is worth a viewing if you’ve not already seen it.









The Mist9. The Mist

Frank Darabont directs a Stephen King story. The fact that he had already done this with The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile should only confirm that this must be worth a viewing. Again, a claustrophobic movie, where the extremes of human behaviour are put on show, but with an ending that is pure sucker punch.

And finally………..







Evil Dead 210. Evil Dead 2

Just for pure entertainment purposes. Revisit this now 26 year old (!) film from Sam Raimi and remember why it was so good.


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  1. Thanks for the list. As much as I have a deep-seated need to see The Exorcist at the top of every list, I know what you’re saying! Thanks for mixing things up. Sadly, I don’t see many horror films, due to the fact that no one else in my family partakes of them. I had to watch Let Me In most recently on my laptop with headphones!! Very sad!
    I really want to watch The Mist now, and I still haven’t seen Parnormal Activity. I know; some horror writer, huh?


    • JD Gillam on January 14, 2012 at 9:01 am
    • Reply

    Hey Jimmy, it doesn’t make you any less of a horror writer, just because you haven’t seen a few horror films – there’s too many out there!
    I can’t recommend The Mist enough and it was the reason I got so uber excited when Darabont was initially announced as show-runner for Walking Dead.
    As for Paranormal Activity, watch it in bed, in the dark with your headphones in – I DARE YOU!

    JD Gillam

    1. Thanks for your note. I will definitely do that. Some folks watch horror films only during the day, but that robs the viewer of the experience. Last year I watched the classic film, The Changeling. I had never seen it. *slaps hand* In any event, I watched it just after the sun had gone down and I felt shivers twice when I felt as if the ghost activity I was watching had suddenly joined me in the house. It was great!


  2. Wow, aside from The Mist, Evil Dead 2, and The Descent, I can’t understand why any of those were chosen over genre changing classics like The Shining or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I could go rambling on through a list of classic horror movies whose originality still stands up today, and none were on that list! Where is “The Thing From Another World”, “The Fly”, “Hellraiser”, “Frailty”, “Phantasm”, “Scanners”, “Videodrome”, “Pumpkinhead”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Alien”, and a whole slew of other must own movies?

  3. Oh, that are good films in this post because like to watch Horror Films to much. In this list l like the best one is Evil Dead 2. Thanks for this note!

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