As part of HitFix's recent Ultimate Horror Movie Poll, genre icon Clive Barker (whose own “Hellraiser” finished at No. 43 on the Top 100) gave us his personal picks for the 10 greatest horror films of all time — all of which saw release before 1980. If you're looking for Halloween weekend viewing ideas — and you're not afraid of subtitles and older movies — this might be a good place to start.
After checking out Barker's full list below (not to mention his personal appreciation of “Bride of Frankenstein”), you can peruse over 100 individual Top 10 lists submitted by such names as Scott Derrickson, James Gunn, “Re-Animator” director Stuart Gordon and Cassandra Peterson (a.k.a. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) by navigating here.
10. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
9. Suspiria (1977)
8. Orpheus (1950)
7. Onibaba (1964)
6. Freaks (1932)
5. The Exorcist (1973)
4. Dracula (1958)
3. Carrie (1976)
2. The Brood (1979)
1. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Clive's personal appreciation of “Bride of Frankenstein”:
If I had to choose two films for a desert island, they would be this and Orphée [a.k.a. 'Orpheus']. Bride is a wonderful combination of humor and horror, a mixture which rarely works as well as it should. Visually, it”s very dense and elaborate – the sets and photography are outstanding, the lighting is perfect. Karloff”s performance has everything – warmth, wit, and it”s also frightening – he outclasses all the other actors who have attempted the part. It”s very camp in places, but it always delivers – I particularly like the scenes with Pretorius and his little homunculi, the lunch on the coffins, Lanchester”s Nefertiti hairstyle and, of course, Karloff”s “We belong dead” line.