Well, here we are in lame November. Stores are putting away the fake eyeballs and putting up the fake trees. While it's safe to say that most–if not all–of us will continue to indulge in all things horror no matter what the stupid calendar says, it's a sad fact that another SHOCKtober has come to an end. There's only one thing left to do, and that's some good old-fashioned number crunchin' and comparin'.
Let's face it, when it comes to clicking, the world of "2017" is a much lazier place than the "2010" world gone by. People simply do not want to click more than once! We've grown so accustomed to sites like hell Facebook, hubs that allow you to scroll and watch videos and message people and comment and read articles on other sites without ever really leaving the confines of Facebook itself. Had I allowed folks to leave their lists as comments over there, I assure you there would have been a higher turnout. People "liked" my posts but never sent emails–emails are a lot of work! I get it. The Internet and the way we interact with it has changed a shit ton over the last seven years, so I was not expecting 2010 numbers. And I didn't get them! But the turnout was terrific anyway, and I thank everyone who sent in a list of their 20 favorite horror movies. We got another great master list with more variety and--aw heck, let's just get to the numbers.
Total movies on the list: 632 (2017) / 732 (2010)
I didn't keep track of the number of people who submitted lists, but it was far, far fewer this time around. You can't really tell by the total number of films on the list–only 100 fewer!–but the number of votes really gives it away. Still, dang, 632 movies ain't nothin' to sneeze at. SO DON'T SNEEZE AT THEM.
Number of movies released since 2010: 78
A kind reader tallied up that a total of 258 movies appear on the 2017 list that did not appear on the 2010 list. That's nuts! According to my science calculator, 78 films on the 2017 list were released after 2010. That's nuts-ier! Heck, one of those films, It Follows, made the Top 20. I'd say horror is doing just fine, thank you.
Number of women directors: 9 (2010) / 26 (2017)
This is the most telling number of all (and my favorite)–there are more and more women making movies out there! And wow, some of the movies are great! How nice that future lists of " the best horror movies directed by women" won't simply include Near Dark and American Psycho. Gee golly, maybe one day there will be so many women directors out there that they won't be segregated. A Final Girl can dream!
The Top 10s
Now here is where we see how much of a drop off in participants there was from 2010 to 2017: the #10 movie in 2010 received more votes than the #1 movie in 2017! And the #1 movie in 2010 received more than twice the votes than the #1 movie in 2017. But it's quite interesting to compare the Top 10s, no?
10. 2017: Carrie // 2010: The Descent 9. 2017: Black Christmas // 2010: A Nightmare on Elm Street 8. 2017: Night of the Living Dead // 2010: Suspiria 7. 2017: Dawn of the Dead // 2010: Dawn of the Dead 6. 2017: Alien // 2010: Night of the Living Dead 5. 2017: The Shining // 2010: The Shining 4. 2017: The Exorcist // 2010: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 3. 2017: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre // 2010: The Exorcist 2. 2017: The Thing // 2010: The Thing 1. 2017: Halloween (52 votes) // 2010: Halloween (123 votes)
Weird, right? Some flip-floppin', some samey-samin'. In, say, 40 years when my ghost is running SHOCKtober 2057, what will the Top 10 look like? Where will these movies place? I think some recent films are absolutely classics already (hello, The VVitch) and down the line they'll be as revered as the "canon" is. Right? Maybe? I guess we'll have to wait and see!
A fun little question posted in the comments recently: starting at #1, how far down the list do you have to go before you get to a movie you haven't seen yet? I made it to 109–I haven't seen The Final Girls yet. (I know, right? That's some Alanis Morrisette-level irony right there!)
Again, thank you to everyone who participated. Although, again: I am disappointed in every single one of you! Nary a vote for Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes. That's fine, I'll be over here in the corner all by myself talking to the possessed floor lamp.
Here we are, the Top 10, the Final Countdown, the winner's circle, the crème de la crème, the head honchos, the big cheeses, your favorite horror movies of ALL TIME! Bold numbers indicate number of votes received.
I have to admit, I was kind of rooting for The Thing to take the #1 spot just so there'd be an upset, but there's no toppling the tale of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. They were close right until the end (heck, the whole Top 10 was pretty close), though, and ultimately they're not separated by that many votes. Maybe when I do this again in like ten years...? Eh, who am I kidding, Halloween is just way too beloved. But congrats to John Carpenter on taking the #1 and #2 spots, I'm sure he finds this to be the highest honor he's ever received!
YES I know there are some ties in there–Black Christmas and Night of the Living Dead, Alien and The Shining–but as I said way back when, this ain't yer mama's countdown! I play by my own rules, and my own rules say the rankings are sometimes arbitrary!
And just like that, it's over.
OR IS IT? I'll be back tomorrow with some kind of a post-game show... much like evil, SHOCKtober never dies! Thanks to everyone who cast a vote! Thanks to everyone who's just reading along! Happy Halloween! Exclamation point!
I introduced some pals to Creepshow recently and they really dug it (thank goodness, otherwise we'd have to stop being pals). I was especially pleased that they each made an astute observation: "Are we supposed to hate Billie? I don't, she's fun."
Man I tells ya, the warm reception that Death Count has gotten so far really warms me in my heart place.
The limited sketch edition has sold out, so thanks to everyone who picked one up! If you missed out, though, I've got good news: I'm doing a sketch edition giveaway! The winner will receive a copy of the book along with the Crystal Lake Kick Line sketch you see below! All you have to do is follow me on Instagram @finalgrrl and hashtag something or other with #f13DeathCount. I'll be drawing a winner on November 1st from everyone who hashtags and follows, so give it a go! A moment of social media pain is worth a lifetime of having this book and original art.
As you know, reader pics are my everything so keep 'em coming, I'll never get enough. And for real, the enthusiasm and all of it means the world.
Can you feel the excitement in the air? We're breaking into the Top 50, aww yeah!
The following films received EIGHT VOTES each!
61. 28 Days Later -- 2002, Danny Boyle 60. The Cabin in the Woods -- 2012, Drew Goddard 59. Deep Red -- 1975, Dario Argento 58. Friday the 13th Part 2 -- 1981, Steve Miner 57. Martyrs -- 2008, Pascal Laugier 56. Tenebre -- 1982, Dario Argento 55. The Babadook -- 2014, Jennifer Kent 54. The Birds -- 1963, Alfred Hitchcock 53. The Innocents -- 1961, Jack Clayton 52. Videodrome -- 1983, David Cronenberg
How crazy is Halloween III? It's crazy! Not every day that you see a horror movie whose villain wants the wholesale slaughter of children, never mind that the plan involves masks that, when triggered, make snakes come out of kids' faces. I don't understand the science behind it, but I sure do love it. (That gif, by the way, is courtesy of our pal Jason over at My New Plaid Pants, who featured Season of the Witch in his excellent, long-running "Ways Not to Die" series.)
82. From Beyond -- 1986, Stuart Gordon 81. Happy Birthday to Me -- 1981, J. Lee Thompson 80. Inside -- 2007, Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury 79. Messiah of Evil -- 1973, Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz 78. Near Dark -- 1987, Kathryn Bigelow 77. [REC] -- 2007, Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza 76. Ringu -- 1998, Hideo Nakata 75. The Omen -- 1976, Richard Donner 74. The Others -- 2001, Alejandro Amenábar 73. Tourist Trap -- 1979, David Schmoeller
I checked out Messiah of Evil after reading its praises in the comment section on this very blog and I fell in love with it, ain't that somethin'. So if you haven't seen it yet, consider this my recommendation that you get it in your face anon.
Doesn't Tourist Trap seem more like a 1982 film than a 1979 film? It does to me. And now you know how I feel about that, so have a great weekend!
I you do not follow me at Kotaku, well, I figured I would let you know about some of my recent posts over there as I've been busy. Perhaps something will be of interest to you! Or not, who can say. It's your life, man, be interested in whatever you want.
Today I've got a piece called Video Games, According to Horror Movies, a look at some of the ridiculous (and often hilarious) ways games and game developers are portrayed in horror movies. Films like Brainscan, Stay Alive, Nightmares, and Hellraiser: Hellworld all get it delightfully wrong and I couldn't be more pleased.
Also, Hellworld is the EIGHTH Hellraiser movie and it is not the last. It's shocking just how massive some of these franchises are–like, everyone knows there are more Friday the 13th movies than you could count on all of your fingers (I assume). But there are almost 20 Amityville movies! How can that be? And don't get me started–don't even get me started–on Witchcraft. Last I knew they were up to Witchcraft MCMXVIII.
I also wrote a piece about the current state of horror games (spoiler alert: it's pretty dang great!). Basically there's a shit ton of good stuff out there in every imaginable subgenre. It parallels the ebbs and flows of the horror film industry, to an extent: when "corporate"/big budget stuff gets too bland and fans get tired, the indies experiment with new ideas and make it all feel fresh again.
I done did my first review of a AAA, The Evil Within 2, huzzah and hooray! (spoiler alert: it's pretty dang great!) I loved it. Fantastic open world-ish survival horror. If that's your bag at all, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
It's all fulla nope.
I wrote a bit about a recent Friday the 13th: The Game update, although since then there's been another update that adds Fox as a playable character and I don't even know why I'm still writing here when I could be playing as Fox?
Finally, I wrote a list of horror movie recommendations for horror game fans. You know, if you like this game, watch this movie kind of stuff. Of course, the inverse also applies–if you're a fan of one of these movies, maybe you'll enjoy the game. It's not 1:1 stuff, like "If you enjoy playing Resident Evil, watch Resident Evil!" because man, what a boring list that would be. It's more moods and vibes and maybe some lesser known films, so maybe someone somewhere got introduced to something great and then my life will feel complete. It's been a great SHOCKtober all around, and it ain't over yet!
Aww yeah, into the top 100! We're getting to the nitty and the gritty, children. Each of these movies received FOUR VOTES!
104. The Stepford Wives -- 1975, Bryan Forbes 103. The Void -- 2016, Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski 102. Wolfen -- 1981, Michael Wadleigh, John D. Hancock, Rupert Hitzig 101. Zombie -- 1979, Lucio Fulci
Each of the following movies got FIVE VOTES:
100. Audition -- 1999, Takashi Miike 99. Brain Damage -- 1988, Frank Henenlotter 98. Dawn of the Dead -- 2004, Zack Snyder 97. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI -- Tom McLoughlin 96. Ginger Snaps -- 2000, John Fawcett 95. Hausu -- 1977, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi 94. High Tension -- 2003, Alexandre Aja 93. Inferno -- 1980, Dario Argento 92. Pieces -- 1982, Juan Piquer Simón 91. Shivers -- 1975, David Cronenberg 90. The Blob -- 1988, Chuck Russell 89. The Conjuring -- 2013, James Wan 88. The Legend of Hell House -- 1973, John Hough 87. The Lost Boys -- 1987, Joel Schumacher 86. The Slumber Party Massacre -- 1982, Amy Holden Jones 85. The Vanishing -- 1988, George Sluizer
These movies received SIX VOTES each:
84. Dead Alive -- 1992, Peter Jackson 83. Event Horizon -- 1997, Paul W.S. Anderson
Look, I don't want to be a pill or a sore sport here, but I checked out The Void because it's like the hottest thing and man, I just couldn't really get into it. The special effects were cool and I'm into the old school approach to gore and the such, but things were kept so dark it was hard to really appreciate them. The story felt like a rehash of several better movies, and I'm tired of useless women in horror movies. Well, everywhere and all movies, really, but horror especially. That doesn't mean they all have to be the Final Girl or lawd forbid "strong female characters" (I'd love to see that term go into fucking retirement), but...well, the breakdown of characters in the little ensemble of The Void just got me all riled up. Ah well, I don't want to spoil things for those who haven't seen it (or go on a forever tirade), so I guess I'll just go burn my bra.
But not before posting this absolutely obligatory scene from you-know-what:
Ooh we're almost in the home stretch...but today we're still listing movies that each received FOUR VOTES!
125. Fright Night -- 1985, Tom Holland 124. Ghost Story -- 1981, John Irvin 123. Hellbound: Hellraiser II -- 1988, Tony Randel 122. The House on Sorority Row -- 1983, Mark Rosman 121. In the Mouth of Madness -- 1994, John Carpenter 120. Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- 1956, Don Siegel 119. Pulse -- 2001, Kiyoshi Kurosawa 118. Maniac -- 1980, William Lustig 117. Misery -- 1990, Rob Reiner 116. Paranormal Activity -- 2007, Oren Peli 115. Pet Sematary -- 1989, Mary Lambert 114. Phenomena -- 1985, Dario Argento 113. Possession -- 1981, Andrzej Zulawski 112. Prom Night -- 1980, Paul Lynch 111. Pumpkinhead -- 1988, Stan Winston 110. Slaughter High -- 1986, George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, Peter Mackenzie Litten 109. The Final Girls -- 2015, Todd Strauss-Schulson 108. House on Haunted Hill -- 1959, William Castle 107. The Innkeepers -- 2011, Ti West 106. The Sentinel -- 1977, Michael Winner 105. The Seventh Victim -- 1943, Mark Robson
I tells ya, this tiny clip from House on Sorority Row never fails to brighten my day:
The House on Sorority Row (1983) Hilariously bad line reading by Jodie Draigie - YouTube
I could watch that on a loop forever!
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