Our Top 10 Horror Films

Poster: Donal McNamara

1. THE SHINING (1980)
The Shining
Without a doubt my favourite and most inspirational horror film of all time. This eerie classic based on Stephen King’s novel is phenomenal, with a terrifying score, terrific set location and although what some consider a slightly over the top performance from Nicholson I find to be very psychotic and brilliantly executed. Despite many changes to the book, this is one of the first films that got me into the horror genre, so this definitely ranks at number one for me.

2. THE EXORCIST 3 (1990)
The Exorcist 3
I had the privilege of re-visiting this classic at a film festival recently on the big screen, and it is one of few films I actually find superior to the original film. This has a nice mixture of horror and psychological drama, with an excellent pay off and truly evil villain, and most fans of the first film will agree it is a very worthy sequel, unlike the other sequels that were made.

3. THE EXORCIST (1973)
The Exorcist

To this day this still remains one of the most iconic and well known horror films, which caused immense controversy for many years.  As a teenager  I was determined to view it, but since it was withdrawn on VHS in Ireland and the UK at the time, I had to wait many years before I got hold of a copy. A cinematic masterpiece, and truly terrifying one as well. 

4. FREAKS (1933)

Not exactly a horror, more of a drama set in a circus, but still on my list, and a true little gem. Quite horrifying due to its subject matter so it is sometimes listed as a horror, but still a classic and a must see for all genre fans. Freaks also seems to have inspired the creators of the TV series ‘American Horror Story’ for their fourth season ‘Freak Show’ as some of the characters are very similar.

An American Werewolf in London

Another classic on my list, which is a black comedy as well as a horror with some of the best make up effects in any horror film I have seen, along with the best transformation scene ever. A funny, witty, creepy and gripping classic which adds alot of charm as well as gore. 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

My favourite slasher film of all time, which spawned several sequels, that were hit and miss but this has one of the most demented killers on screen. Despite its title there is very little bloodshed, but is still very disturbing and a must see for any fans of horror. 

7. SAW (2004)

My favourite horror franchise of all time, since I can’t name them all, the first one gets on to this list. A very low budget psychological horror, with great plots and new ideas alot of recent horrors didn’t have, and overall very clever with one of the best endings I have seen. The gore factor is higher in the sequels, but I really enjoyed them all, part 7 was the final installment in 2010.

8. THE DESCENT (2005)
The Descent

I only saw this a few years ago, and unfortunately didn’t see it on the big screen, but this was another fantastic recent enough horror film, with a very claustrophobic atmosphere, and the most bizarre and savage creatures which catch the viewer off guard. Great suspense and gore, this one has everything a horror fan could ask for. 

9. THE THING (1980)
The Thing

Another creature feature set in Antarctica, with a chilling atmosphere and great use of animatronic effects for the beasts and monsters. Another popular one with horror fans, with excessive use of bloodshed and scares. 

10. CARRIE (1976)

Last one on the list, but still not least, another popular Stephen King classic which had several debuts for many now famous stars. Set in the 70’s at a high school, it is a harsh view of bullying on the main character which all wraps itself up with a  frenzy of gore and horror.

Donal McNamara is a member of the Lobster Pot Restaurant team at Galway Bay Hotel.
The team at Galway Bay Hotel also recreated some iconic horror movie scenes recently in the run up to Halloween.


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FilmsGalway Bay HotelHalloween

Galway Bay Hotel • October 29, 2015

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