At Shoot the Projectionist, Ed Hardy Jr. is accepting nominations for “31 Flicks That Give You the Willies.” Although he’s not explicit about it, we can safely assume that we’re naming our favorite horror movies. The deadline for nominations is Saturday, October 13.

Mine follow, and an explanation is probably in order.

First, I excluded from my nominations obvious choices that nearly everybody will choose.

Second, there’s an important distinction in my mind between something that “gives me the willies” and something that’s a great horror movie. Horror doesn’t have to scare me or creep me out to be great in my book. Conversely, something that does give me the willies isn’t by definition a great horror movie. I am abiding by the spirit of the prompt rather than the letter.

Last, some of my choices are more comfortably associated with a genre other than horror. But while Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream might be an explicit after-school special on drug addiction, it’s still a horrifying experience.

My nominations:
28 Days Later (2002)
Audition (1999)
The Birds (1963)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Brood (1979)
Candyman (1992)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
Clean, Shaven (1994)
Cronos (1993)
Dead Ringers (1988)
The Descent (2005)
The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
The Fly (1986)
Freaks (1932)
Funny Games (1997)
Ginger Snaps (2001)
The Haunting (1963)
In Dreams (1998)
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
The Last Wave (1977)
Martin (1978)
The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Spider Forest (2004)
Suspiria (1977)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
The Vanishing (1988)

Would have made the list but for the prohibition against television:
The Plumber (1979)

Canonical horror movies left off because plenty of other people will nominate them:
Carrie (1976)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The Exorcist (1973)
Halloween (1978)
Jaws (1975)
The Shining (1980)

Very nice list and we share a few similar films.

I’ve been really curious about Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and I wanted to see it in a theater, but I missed it when it briefly played locally. The book is one of favorites so I’m worried that I might be too close to the original material and in turn too critical of the film, but after seeing it on your list and reading your thoughts on it, I’m eager to give it a look once again. I like the director a lot, so I feel rather silly for neglecting the movie for so long. Time to rectify that!

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