Our Acronym is Better Than Theirs – Picking the LAMB’s Top 10 Horror Films

by Dylan · August 7, 2008 · Uncategorized · 10 Comments

Well, I called you out, and you responded. The results are in, and the LAMB has picked its Top 10 Horror Films (for background on this, click here). There were a total of 55 voters, with their votes spread out amongst 195 films.

As you might imagine, it was a terribly tight competition, with little dropoff in vote totals from one film to the next – there’s a decent sized gap between 2nd and 3rd, 4th and 5th, and 9th and 10th, but everything is tightly packed together like bodies in a freezer. Anyway, I’m sure you’ve stopped reading by now and are checking out the selections below, so I’ll just shut up now.

Here are your winners (1st place votes in parentheses):

10. 28 Days Later… – 61 points from 10 voters (0)

9. The Thing – 87 points from 12 voters (1)

8. Alien – 97 points from 19 voters (1)

7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – 105 points from 17 voters (2)

6. Dawn of the Dead (1978) – 126 points from 16 voters (5)

5. Night of the Living Dead – 130 points from 21 voters (2)

4. Psycho – 151 points from 20 votes (8)

3. The Shining – 162 points from 23 votes (5)

2. Halloween – 185 points from 28 votes (3)

1. The Exorcist – 202 points from 25 votes (9)

So…how many did you vote for? If you’d like to see yours and all the other votes, scroll down. I’ve added a post with all of them, but have dated it prior to this post so it won’t clutter the page.

Others receiving 1st-place votes: The Blair Witch Project, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Descent (2), The Evil Dead, Isle of the Dead, M, Nosferatu, Phantasm, Rosemary’s Baby, Saw (2), Shaun of the Dead, Silent Night Deadly Night, The Silence of the Lambs (2), Suspiria and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Next up? Sports movies. Go vote now so I don’t have to hassle you later! The poll is already up, and will be for two weeks – be sure to read the instructions. I would prefer that the films are mostly rather than tangentially about sports, but anything still goes (aka “The Jerry Maguire Complaint”). Please be sure to read all the instructions. Thanks.



10 Responses to Our Acronym is Better Than Theirs – Picking the LAMB’s Top 10 Horror Films

  1. Nick says:

    28 Days Later is number 10? That’s lame.

    And number one is THE EXORCIST? How very… cliche and unoriginal of the LAMBs. That movie is weak, seriously. The only part that remotely scared me was when she was crawling down the staircase all weird-like.

    Granted, the majority of the movies (though not all) on my list weren’t movies that scared me, but movies that I could just watch over and over (for whatever reasons).

    I also can’t believe I was the only person to suggest Misery. Kathy Bates is scary as hell in that movie.

  2. Nick says:

    Oh… and I won’t be voting in the next one, Fletch, just as a forewarning 😛 . I’m not a fan of sports movies (or sports in general, really).

  3. Fletch says:

    You know I’m no great connissuer of older movies, but you’re really showing your age with your list, Nick. I think Misery’s the oldest movie you have on there.

    I saw The Exorcist for the first time maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and though I wasn’t terribly frightened or anything, you have to think back to when it was released. People were freaked the f*ck out by it – not only due to general scares, but also by the subject matter. More importantly, I was surprised at what a well made film it is – it transcends the genre.

    I’m impressed and pretty glad that the horror classics dominate this list. It’s hard to get scared by them anymore when you consider all the mess that’s shown in horror these days. They seem so tame by comparison.

    But don’t listen to me much – I’m one of the least informed horror viewers here.

    Oh, and I understand about the sports flicks. I’m prepared for a lower turnout. Still, it’s a good genre to count down.

  4. Farzan says:

    I think each of those movies are good in their own way. Nice list and awesome blog. Keep up the good work

  5. Nick says:

    I know I’m showing my age. I wanted to put older ones on the list, really. Night and Dawn of the Dead (the original versions for both) *barely* missed my list.

  6. Nick says:

    Oh, I also wanted to put “Little Shop of Horrors” on the list, but I’m saving that for ‘musicals’ genre… you should do that one after sports.

  7. I think this is a great list. This is what a “greatest of” list should be: not just a “greatest of the last ten years when I’ve been watching movies” but a serious, history-considering list. And Nick does really show his age when criticizing THE EXORCIST because he denotes the scariest scene being the “spider-walk” scene. Well, that wasn’t even included in the original William Friedkin version. That’s part of the William Peter Blatty, lame-ass “Version You’ve NEVER seen” (and never should have seen, IMO). The original EXORCIST is textbook mastery in craft: perfect sound, editing, acting, makeup, special effects, scripting, and direction–and to boot a horror film that can be read in many different ways (I prefer to look at it as a film about the loss of religious faith, rather than as wholly a horror film). BTW, I am surprised at EVIL DEAD not making it into the top eschelon. It’s the only movie I’ve ever seen that made me jump while watching it at home.
    Anyway, nice job LAMBS, and I’m not a sports fan either, but I’ll be voting anyway! Thanks, Fletch!

  8. Nick says:

    Dean/Fletch/however else wants to take a crack at me:

    I’m not saying The Exorcist is a bad movie. And I was also aware that the spider-walk scene was not in the original version. What I’m saying is that I didn’t find it particularly scary… though, as I said, I didn’t find the majority of my own list scary. It’s difficult for a movie to honestly frighten me. Call it desensitization or what have you… but it’s true.

    But when I first watched it… I don’t know how many years ago it’s been now… it had been all hyped up as the scariest movie ever made, and my parents (especially, if not specifically, my incredibly religious mother) thought I was going to have nightmares for years or something. But then I watched it, and I was like “…that’s it? Sure, it had a couple creepy moments, but… seriously… that’s it?” And I haven’t watched it again since. However, I’m sure if I did watch it again, now that I’m older, my opinion might change. It’s been known to happen.

    Though I want to go on record saying while I don’t feel the movie is really scary in any way, I respect it for what it is and what it did and what it was for the time it came out (but hey… even the original black-and-white Frankenstein was peek-through-your-fingers terrifying when it first came out back in the day… and I don’t think anybody in this day and age, no matter what your profession of love is for film, could be terrified by that movie).

    But my list isn’t made of movies that I think are to stand the tests of time for best horror movies ever made. Instead, it’s full of movies that I can watch over and over and continually be entertained by for multiple reasons. If I would have made the list how all so-called movie aficionados would have wanted me to, it would have been pretty damn close to an AFI list (The Exorcist + everything Hitchcock).

    As for Evil Dead… I have no idea why I didn’t include that on my list, either. THAT movie is scary. I guess my brain wasn’t working the day I made the list.

    But to me, horror movies aren’t ones that only scare me while I’m watching them, but terrify me after-the-fact. I could have gone many different ways with my choices: entertainment-value, scare-value, jump-value, time-value (aka the AFI version… which I though was what we were attempting to avoid by doing this here). As I’ve said before, I went for the first. And every list would have been vastly different for each one of the other list-types.

    So… yeah. I’ve rambled enough now.

  9. Matt says:

    I’ve seen the Exorcist twice. The first time was on television in the comfort of my home. It was a big letdown. Then I saw it at a theater, on Halloween, in a nearly empty theater after midnight. For the next week whenever I closed my eyes I saw the freaky devil masks and I couldn’t stand to be alone in the dark. I guess my point is that I can see The Exorcist being overrated and also being one of the scariest movies of all time, because it was both to me.

  10. * (asterisk) says:

    The Exorcist was unavailable here in the UK for many many years, only getting a legal home-vid release, I think, about 10 years ago or so. The censors up until that point felt it impossible to cut any one scene and lessen its impact because the feeling of horror was all-pervading. I’m inclined to agree with them. It’s not about scares or jumps; it’s about “this is some creepy shit”.

    (And I’d like to go on record as saying I’ve still not seen the version with the spider-walk. Why would I? It was perfect without it already.)

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