Holman’s Halloween Picks: Joe’s Top 40 Most Horrifying Movies, Part III

#20. Population 436 (2006)
Director: Michelle MacLaren
Starring: Leigh Enns, Susan Kelso, Rick Skene
Grade: B+ (3 ½ stars)

Imagine a town where the old, white, Christian townsfolk believe that the number 436 is sacred and that when a new resident “moves in” (aka: is trapped by staying a night in the city and not permitted to leave by unseen forces), an older resident dies to make room
for the new arrival. Does that creep you out? Then go and see this lesser known horror movie, a chilling flick that is sure to leave lasting impressions. Trailer

#19. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Grade: A+ (4 stars)

Perhaps Shyamalan’s only great movie, The Sixth Sense is not only a brilliant film, but one that will play the heartstrings of its audiences in other ways besides just inducing fear. Trailer

#18. The Blob (1988)
Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Shawnee Smith, Donovan Leitch, Kevin Dillon
Grade: A+ (4 stars)

Gooey stuff disturbs us. All the more so do movies like The Blob about an acidic oozing thing that grows by consuming everyone in its path. All these years later, it is still an amazingly frightening film. Trailer

#17. 28 Days Later (2004)
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston
Grade: A+ (4 stars)

Zombie movies are a dime-a-dozen. Good ones like this that expose for us the fact that non-zombies can be just as bad...just about priceless—an out-and-out must-see. Trailer

#16. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Director: George A. Romero
Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
Grade: A+ (4 stars)

This, the mother of all zombie movies created by George Romero, is of such high quality that it’s more than a classic—it’s a Halloween and horror icon. You’re not a true zombie or horror junkie until you’ve bowed at the feet of this incredible movie that birthed a genre that literally changed the world of entertainment. Trailer

#15. Duel (1971)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Dennis Weaver, Eddie Firestone, Gene Dynarski
Grade: A+ (4 stars)

You have no idea who that insane trucker is behind you who has been trying to run you off the road for miles, but you know he has every intention of killing you. This Spielberg classic is one that will quite practically change the way you think every time you see an 18-wheeler on the road for the rest of your life! Trailer

#14. Paranormal Activity (2010)
Director: Oren Peli
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Mark Fredrichs
Grade: C+ (2 ½ stars)

It’s another camcorder film in the style of Blair Witch. Mock it if you will, but this film, about a young woman plagued by a demonic presence, is among the scariest movies ever made, period! Trailer

#13. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal and Allen Danziger
Grade: (A-) (4 stars)

It’s rampant bloodshed let loose in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, another film very loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein. There’s no missing this one if body-rending and bloodbaths are your thing. Trailer

#12. Blair Witch Project (1999)
Director: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez
Starring: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams and Joshua Leonard
Grade: B- (3 stars)

It came out when camcorder films of the so-called reality persuasion (“a year later, their footage was found”) were new. Some laughed, but that was because they didn’t watch it or follow the story. This story, which follows three film students who travel to Maryland to make a documentary about the legend of the Blair Witch, find much more than they ever imagined.

The witch you never see. The distant sounds, the screams, getting hopelessly lost, the boys lined up against the wall…it all makes perfect sense. That's because this is a legendary horror movie—and you better believe it’s scary as bloody hell! Trailer

#11. The Changeling (1980)
Director: Peter Medak
Starring: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas
Grade: A+ (4 stars)

A bone-chilling and utterly terrifying story about a haunted house and a murder investigation, this amazing movie is about a composer who moves into a house after losing his wife and daughter in an accident and finds terrifying supernatural forces at work and a whole lot more—truly one of the great horror movies. Trailer

Continue the Countdown…