With the season of ghosts and goblins, banshees and demons almost upon us, we’ve been asking online readers which film frightener leaves them cowering behind the sofa.
Over the past week on derryjournal.com, readers have been choosing what movie they rank as the scariest. And now we reveal what movie you think is ideal for a couple of hours of Halloween horror.
Number 1 - The Exorcist
Polling a whopping 51% of more than 1600 votes, it’ll come as little surprise to fans of the genre that director William Friedkin’s 1973 classic tops our poll.
Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel and starring Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow, this classic centred on possessed child Regan, played by an 11 year-old Linda Blair.
Regan’s transformation from innocent child to devil-possessed soul and her ensuing exorcism has left generations of even the most hardened of horror aficionados on the edge of their seats. Garnering critical acclaim - and two Oscars - the film’s reach extended beyond the confines of cinema and became a popular culture phenomenon.
Few who have seen it will forget the projectile vomiting or the rotating head.
Few can argue that this is not the horror film among horror films.
Number 2 - Texas Chainsaw Massacre
First time director Tobe Hooper’s 1974 offering comes in at number 2 in our list - polling just over 7% of our online reader’s votes. Despite being banned in many parts of the cinema going world, many will say this movie’s more about playing with the audience’s mind rather than delivering a gore fest more akin to this era’s Saw type horrors.
The plot centres around five teenagers on their way to visit their grandfather’s grave, where they encounter the power tool wielding Leatherface and his family of grave robbing cannibals. What ensues is a terror filled, neverending nightmare.
The sound of the chainsaw still sends a tingle down horror fans spines almost 40 years on - despite an inferior 2003 remake.
Number 3 - The Omen. As with the top two on on our list, third placed The Omen was made in the golden horror era of the 1970’s. Director Richard Donner cast Hollywood legend Gregory Peck as the American ambassador who learns, much to his horror that his son is the antichrist. Like the poll topping The Exorcist, the innocence of childhood is contrasted with the pure evil of the devil. Think spooky music, think over protective Doberman, and a devil child’s power to render adults helpless to the point of death - as with the nanny.
Released post Exorcist, and spawning a series of inferior spawn of the devil sequels, many criticised the Omen as an attempt to cash in on the success of Friedkin’s film. But to do that seems unfair, and again four decades on, the Omen stands the test of time.
Also aking up the top ten on our list were Dawn of the Dead, The Blair Witch Project, The Ring, Psycho, the Sixth Sense, Alien, and Nightmare on Elm Street.