Engineernerd’s Top 10 Creepy Movies

February 5, 2010 | By More

I love scary movies. I’m not that much for over the top gore just to be gross. But I do love a movie that is a just plain good scare. Maybe it’s because my birthday and Halloween share the same month.

1. Phantom of the Opera (Lon Chaney). I know it’s a silent film. But it’s a pretty darn good silent film. Lon Chaney was known as the “Man of a Thousand Faces” for good reason. His Phantom makeup will haunt you for awhile after seeing this one. Keep in mind he didn’t have all the modern tools and materials modern makeup artist have, and it’s even more impressive.

2. House of Wax. Vincent Price always managed to pull of sophisticated creepy. This is one of my favorite Price films. I remember how creepy I found it as kid to visit wax museums in Niagra Falls after seeing this film.

3. Abominable Dr. Phibes. I know another Vincent Price flick. Mrs. Nerd and I watched this one around last Halloween. While it definitely fits is over the top, there are some truly scary things. (You can check out my review of this film here.)

4. Saw. A man sets about using mechanical methods to make people re-examine there lives and choices. I think the scary part of this film and it’s sequels is not the gore, but the thought of what you would do in the same situation. I personally couldn’t cut my own foot off.

5. The Ring. I have a bit of a fascination with Asian horror films. And this is the one that started it. Ghosts and revenge are a frequent Asian horror theme and this film has it in spades. Both the original (Ringu) and the American version are scary watches. I still get creeped out by the “video” that is in this film.

Giant Frankenstein Model Kit6. Psychos in Love. This one was tied with “American Psycho” for making it to my list. They are both favorites of Mrs. Nerd. This is one that she managed to track down on VHS. A low budget film about a murderous couple with a plumbing problem. It’s so cheesy, it’s good.

7. Hellraiser. Why is this one on the list? One reason it stuck with and, quite frankly, scared the crap out of me when I saw it originally. Clive Barker likes to blend horror, sex, and bondage into his films. The first film in this series was shocking in it’s portrayal of these subjects. His introduction to the world of Cenobites gave us the cruel and creepy Pinhead. If you don’t feel slightly queasy or horrified by this film, you should probably seek professional help.

8. Poltergeist. Steven Speilberg’s haunted house flick is on the list for one reason. It’s a pretty average family involved in an extraordinary circumstance.  The film had the a ghost hunting team long before ghost hunting reality shows became a staple of modern TV. Between some of the on screen scares and off screen events to the cast, this film is probably under-rated for it’s place in the scary film genre.

9. Puppet Master. It’s a toy website so I had to include something related, right? What kid didn’t have nightmares of their toys coming to life in the middle of the night and running amok in their room? I think that’s what appeals to me about. Sometimes they’re good toys, sometimes they’re not. Both are just fine by me.

10. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I know this one is another surprising one. But I really think this telling of the classic story here really binds this film together. While making a more book accurate adaption that most it it’s predecessors, the film also brings out the muted sexual overtones of the book out in a manner that a modern audience can pick up on.  The film I think also does a fairly good job of special effects that are toned down to the point where you ask yourself, “Did I really see that?”

I know there are dozens of other films that I could have picked, but these are the one that stand out in my mind. Comment bellow and tell me what your favorites are.

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  1. Errex says:

    Nice, I concur on “House of Wax”, it was a pretty fun scare.

    I like japanese horror, with the original “Dark Waters” being top on my list.

    One movie I also like is a mexican film called “El Libro de Piedra”. For a 60’s film with very little going on FX wise, it always manages to creep me out with sheer atmosphere and very clever lighting.

  2. Engineernerd says:

    I really think that is one of the reasons I like some of the Asian stuff. They really have the atmosphere right and use f/x only where needed.