Vic’s Intro to Horror: Top Horror Movies for the Newbies!

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Are you new to the “Horror” genre? Well, I’m not and I was recently contacted by my friend, Michael, from “Parlor of Horror” to participate in a new blog project. I am to name the Top Horror Films that are, in my opinion, the best movies to introduce to a newcomer of the wildly popular genre.

These picks are to be films that I deem very worthy to expose the newly indoctrinated to in order to guide them into the amazing world of classic and modern horror. There are a few that I will be adding that are no brainers and a few that I really had to think about. I was asked to keep the list at 10 but I may cheat a bit and do 12 or 15 depending on that titles I believe are strong contenders. These picks of mine are well acted, well written and brilliantly directed.

Some are beautifully realized and photographed and some are thought provoking.  They have social and metaphorical messages that resonate long after the first viewing. Some are groundbreaking and others are edgy, deep and engaging. They are all in one way or another a fantastic way to start off on a scary journey through the realm of horror cinema. This is going to be hard and keeping it at under 20 is pretty damn near impossible. But here goes…

( Vic’s Note: The films are not in any particular order)

Jaws (1975)

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The Exorcist (1973)


Alien (1979)

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Psycho (1963)

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The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1925)

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The Changeling (1981)

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The Haunting (1963)


Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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The Thing (1982)

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Halloween (1978)

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Poltergeist (1982)

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Horror of Dracula (1958)

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REC (2007)

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The Silence of the Lambs (1989)

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Hope you guys enjoyed the list!

Here are some other awesome bloggers who have done their lists before me. Please, stop by them and check them out!

Parlor of Horror

Horrific Healing

Fringe Void

Seven Doors of Cinema


– Vic


    • I almost left it off the list! What motivated me was the memory of watching it for the first time in a darkened theater in the Bronx back in 1982. After that it was a no brainer putting it on the list. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Always appreciated. 🙂

  1. Great list Vic! I almost put Poltergeist in my list too. It was so hard to get this down to a small list. I think ‘haunted house/ghostly horror is under-represented in my list, so it was good to see The Changeling and The Haunting in here too.

    • I love both films very much and hold them in such high regard. I couldn’t leave them off. I’m glad you enjoyed the list. I know that there were a few mainstream picks in there but I tried to show some diversity with the titles. Especially “Caligari” which gets overlooked on lists more often than not. This was fun to do and I’m glad you involved me! 😀

  2. I definitely have to check a few of these out. Can’t say horror movies are really my thing, but I do love classic movies, and who doesn’t enjoy a good scary flick every so often? I think I’ll start with Psycho…

    • Psycho is a great place to start and after I would suggest The Haunting which is a great entry by Robert Wise (The Andromeda Strain). Of course you can’t get anymore classic than The Cabinet of Caligari. I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, William!

  3. This is a first class list all the way. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is an amazing, influential piece of cinema, horror or otherwise, and titles like Dawn Of The Dead, The Changeling, The Thing, Horror Of Dracula and Psycho are all great selections to help show someone the diversity of horror and how it can weave itself into the many facets of cinema. This whole list, in fact, really showcases the genre’s versatility. Thanks for sharing and for the link, I appreciate it!

    • Thank you very much! I really appreciate that. I’m glad you liked the various horror picks. I tried hard to present examples of the finest work that would leave a lasting impression and entertain as well as scare the viewers. Caligari was one movie I could not leave off. Like you said it is very influential and it is an incredible piece of art. It’s nightmarish quality and execution is top notch. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Thanks Tyson! Much appreciated, buddy. I felt like I ran a marathon after watching REC. So frightening and completely absorbing. I had to put it on the list. I think a film like this is a great example of how to do an absorbing horror film right no matter the country of origin. I was going to try and add a new wave French horror film but I couldn’t really decide on one that is absolutely seminal for the new horror movie watcher. I’m sure some would disagree. Many love High Tension, Martyrs and Inside. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • ANOES came SO close, Michael. That’s the honest truth. I’m thinking of continuing this list somewhat and I’ll be sure to add some Craven there for sure. He deserves it, surely. Also, I didn’t add any Classic Universal Horror titles in there. I’m surprised no one has bitten my head off on that one 🙂

  4. Excellent list! Jaws, Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, and several others, I, of course, expected to see on a list like this, but I was thoroughly impressed with your pick of The Changeling.

    • Why thank you! I hold “The Changeling” in very high regard. It has always been a film that I’ve respected on so many levels. It deserves to be seen by not only the new horror watcher but the seasoned audiences that may have missed the opportunity to experience it firsthand. I’m glad you liked the pick! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated! 🙂

  5. You’d make a great teacher, Vic! And thanks for including the always impressive THE CHANGELING – phenomenal story that still creeps me out!

    • Ha! That means a lot, my friend. I think I may have missed my calling because my kids always say that. 🙂

      Hey, you know “The Changeling” gets much love in my universe! I can’t say enough great things about Medak’s film. Hell, I may watch it today, lol.

      Thanks always, Bill, for stopping in, man!

      • Vic, your children have great insight! As for THE CHANGELING, I watched it again a week ago. Still as fabulous as when I first saw it.

  6. “The Changelin” is SO under-rated! George C. Scott is terrific, and the film has great plotting, lots of good scares and tons of atmosphere…great list!

    • Man, I love The Changeling to no end. Scott was amazing, wasn’t he? Great performance. I really liked how Medak set up his character before even getting into the meat of the story. Made the viewer really care for him and what he had to go through.

      I also liked that it was a kind of ghostly “whodunnit” too. The mood and style (and the atmosphere you mentioned) was stunning. All around a classic production. Glad you liked the list, John. Thanks for checking in!

      • All true – the opening sequence sets the stage…and Scott acts the hell out of the movie! The other films are all great as well!

    • Glad you liked it, Bill. No way I would exclude The Changeling, man. It’s a must see for the un-indoctrinated. Thanks for checking in. Always appreciated!

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