Desert Island: Horror Movies

This is nothing I love more than being scared. Well, that may be an over-exaggeration, because I love pizza more. And dinosaurs. And Peter Pan. And my friends. Okay, I highly enjoy the thrill of being scared. Better? I like the adrenaline pumping through my body, the pounding of my heart, and the chills that run up and down my spine.

I decided to pretend I was stranded on that lonely desert island in the middle of the ocean, with only five horror movies to scare me for the rest of my life. It ended up being a much more difficult exercise than I ever thought. Did I go with classic thrillers? Spooky ghost stories? Bloody death traps? Read on and find out!

IT (1990)


To understand why this made for television adaptation of a Stephen King novel terrifies me, I have to divulge one of my greatest fears- clowns. I am absolutely terrified of clowns. I have tried to understand why and it keeps coming back to this movie. IT originally aired on TV in late November of 1990, a couple of weeks before my fourth birthday. Somehow I saw a scene containing Pennywise, the horrifying clown played by an uber creepy Tim Curry (thanks Mom and/or Dad). I still have nightmares about the clown with metal teeth that lives in the sewers, ripping the arms of children off of their bodies. The clown that carries balloons that shower you with blood when they pop.

I can’t watch this movie without wanting to cover my eyes or hide behind a pillow. Not normal behavior for me. I know that no matter how many times I view the horrific visage of Pennywise, I will never stop being scared.

Halloween (1978)


John Carpenter nailed suspense with this movie. The slow shots of Michael Myers stalking his prey get me every time. I want to scream at the victims to run as fast as they can, instead of standing around obliviously, easy pickings for the psychotic mass murderer with the soft steps. The score does nothing but add to the suspense. You know something bad is coming, and your skin begins to crawl when the first chords are played. It still holds up to this day.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)


After all of the campy sequels, I think people forget that in the original, Freddy Krueger was really scary. He could kill you in your freaking dreams! The idea of being forced to stay awake or be murdered is absolutely horrifying to me. Have you ever tried to stay awake when you had to? It becomes next to impossible!

Freddy is such a great villain. There is no mystery about who he is or what his motives are (okay, a tiny bit of mystery). He is a legit psycho killer who wants to murder the teenagers of Elm Street. Boom! The razor-fingered gloves are especially creepy, and burned faces freak me out.

The Lost Boys (1987)

lost boys

I straight up love vampires (as anyone who has seen the 22 posts on The Vampire Diaries might have noticed). There is something alluring about being young and gorgeous forever. I love The Lost Boys for so many reasons. Obviously the vampires. It is hilarious, especially Grandpa. Corey Haim and Jason Patric were so very beautiful. I want a dog like Nanook. The reasons are endless!

Even though the movie doesn’t scare me, I have watched it dozens of times so I know the re-watching value is high, making it a perfect desert island choice. Plus, it features one of my favorite exchanges:

Grandpa: Anything in here that might pass for after-shave?
Sam: How about some Windex, Grandpa?
Grandpa: Yeah, let me try some of that.

Scream (1996)


This is the first horror movie that I remember really enjoying. My favorite part (besides Matthew Lillard who I was inexplicably in love with) was how smart the movie is. The dialogue is snappy and highly quotable. The characters fought back and made intelligent decisions: agreeing to police protection, staying with large groups of people, etc. While the movie does lose a bit of the suspense in repeat viewings, it is still fun.

Runner Ups

Drag Me to Hell (2009)– A gypsy curse and an elderly woman who gums a girl’s chin. Disgusting every time.

Poltergeist (1982)– Another creepy clown scene and the tree is just horrifying. Also, Tangina is the shit.

The Craft (1996)– Witches and Skeet Ulrich. Winning combination? Plus, Fairuza Balk was creepy as fuck.


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