21 Artists Share Their Favorite Horror Movies

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21 Artists Share Their Favorite Horror Movies

We’ve all got different relationships with our favorite horror movies. Some are delighted by an on-screen gorefest, but for others, it can be a thoughtful look at the human condition, illuminating all kinds of fears stowed within us. Either way, it’s Halloween—that time of year again when these films really shine. We asked 20 artists to share their favorite horror films, and you can let us know yours in the comment box below.

1. Russ Manning (Rush Midnight, Twin Shadow)

1. The Exorcist
This is one of the first horror movies I watched….The makeup is supreme and this actress Linda Blair totally nails both innocence and evil.

2. Ringu
I couldn’t turn on the television when by myself for about week after watching this one. This is the original; darker and more suspenseful than the American remake.

3. Halloween 2
Michael Myers is a machine who can lift nurses off of the ground with one hand and withstand boiling water in the name of murder. He’s a unique immortal and we’re afraid because we have no [way to] sympathize with him.

4. REC
Although some of these zombies look more like circus freaks, just wait for the ending! There is no hope and this is that classic non-Hollywood narrative where no one escapes.

5. Paranormal Activity 3
Just watched this recently and luckily I have company at night. There’s nothing scarier than to watch a character you once sympathized with transform into the demon that lives in the basement. No soundtrack and a stationary camera help create a unique surveillance of horror.

6. The Silence of the Lambs
I once hung out with Jody Foster and she’s fun!

7. Candyman
Candyman among others inspired me and my friends to stand in front of the mirror and turn off the lights and hope our pants stay dry. Philip Glass’ score adds some true class to this movie, elevating it above many ‘90s horror flicks.

8. 28 Days Later
The motion-jitter effect used in this one is super effective. The consistent cold color palette and Godspeed You! Black Emperor opening song grabbed my attention. Not the most original plotline and a slightly too-good-to-be-true ending, but one of the most beautiful zombie movies I’ve ever watched.

9. The Amityville Horror (1977)
The opening theme is the creepiest ever. Again, nothing scares me more than little girls’ haunted spirits. While AH no longer has me jumping off my chair, I’m sure in 1978 it was the most bad ass date movie. Its probably one of the most recycled stories in history.

10. Stephen King’s IT
I’ve always hated clowns so this movie really cuts the cake. Part one is worth seeing, in which innocent children are tormented by their worst fears, embodied by this horrendous clown. This one challenges pure innocent and frailty against true evil.

2. Sergio Trevino (Buxton)

Favorite Horror Movie:
Event Horizon

When did you first experience the movie?

What’s the scariest scene?
When Sam Neil rips his eyes out (at this point I only knew him as the doctor from Jurassic Park.)

Are there any personal fears that resonate with you in this movie?
I guess isolation. I refuse to watch it again, can’t say why.

Why is this scarier than any other horror movie out there?
I think it just caught me in a vulnerable position. And it always throws me for a whirl when the protagonist becomes the antagonist. It’s like “Hey I like this guy. Wait, no I don’t….what happened to his eyes? We’re not in Jurassic Park anymore!”

3. Aaron Beam (Red Fang)

Favorite Horror Movie:
The Shining

When did you first experience the movie?
I was probably 13 or 14 when I first saw pieces of it, but I never made it all the way through until I was maybe 24. Too scary!

What’s the scariest scene in the movie?
Probably when the kid goes into the bathroom to see what is in the bathtub.

Are there any personal fears that resonate with you in this movie?
Discovering a mutilated body.

Why is this better than any other horror movie out there?
Because it was made by a true master of cinema and does not rely solely on suspense or horror movie gimmicks. Rather, it explores basic human fears and makes them corporeal. It is more about mental illness and its effects on relationships than cheap thrills.

4. Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth/Primate/Venomous Concept)

Favorite Horror Movie:
Camp Rock II

How old were you when you first saw the movie?

What’s the scariest scene in the movie?
When Demi Lovato started to tearing up with these feeling things

Are there any personal fears that resonate with you in this movie?
Joe Jonas playing guitar and emoting feelings

Why is this scarier than any other horror movie out there?
‘Cause they have record deals….

5. Slam Donahue

I got into the horror movie game late. I’d watch through my fingers, telling/shrieking at my brother to switch off Jason, Freddy, Michael, Candy Man, whoever. So, excuse my plebeian tastes as this is more a list of which movies terrified me and not a list of the best gore fantasy.

1. Alien
Male rape. (Ed.—He’s referring to this.)

2. It
I can’t stand to look at Stephen King now without shuddering a bit. When I was a child, hearing the name alone would send me shivering up into my room and under the blankets. This film made me scared of clowns, spiders and John Ritter (RIP) all in one go.

3. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
This was one of those movies that somehow existed on a random VHS at my parent’s house for as long as I can remember. Taped off HBO, it had the old Home Box Office bumpers intact, I would blind fast forward through it since inexplicably Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was the second film on the tape. I’d push the dusty tape in and hit fast forward and look away with all my might. Once, misjudging the time, I hit play looked back and a guy was eating Jason’s black beating heart.

4. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
This was my reward for blind firing through Jason. But only the first hour, then Pee-Wee has to deal with Francis, evil clowns, a demon/ghost truck driver, that shitty older brother from The Wonder Years, and I believe a rodeo somewhere in there—I was already on to playing Sega Genesis at this point.

5. Cube
Once when I had to flu in middle school, I woke up from my fever in the middle of Cube playing on the television. Delirious, I thought I imagined it and told everyone of my insane dream. Shifting rooms, people being impaled, terrible dialogue, all things my virus-fighting brain might hallucinate. Years later, I almost had an existential breakdown when I saw Cube 2: Hypercube on the shelf at Blockbuster Video. How did they make a sequel to my dream?