The 100 best horror films – contributors O-R

View the top ten lists of horror films chosen by the likes of Simon Pegg and Debbie Rochon

Black titles are clickable and denote top 100 placing

Alex Orr

Writer/director Alex Orr’s feature debut, the low budget horror flick ‘Blood Car’, cleverly combined eco-fear and slapstick splat. He’s worked as a cinematographer, producer, assistant director and actor in a broad variety of films and TV shows.

(In no particular order)

  1. Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)
  2. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
  3. A Bucket of Blood (Roger Corman, 1959)
  4. Vampire’s Kiss (Robert Bierman, 1988)
  5. Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985)
  6. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
  7. Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997)
  8. Jacob's Ladder (Adrian Lyne, 1990)
  9. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
  10. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)

‘The joy that “Piranha” takes in doing horrible things makes me happy. “Re-Animator” is a laundry list of awesome. “Jacob’s Ladder” proves that hell, LSD and the NYC subway are all the same thing, if you think about it. And as for “Antichrist”... I just want the “chaos reigns” fox to be in some more films.’

Andre Øvredal

Andrè Øvredal is the writer-director behind 2011’s smash-hit Norwegian horror-comedy ‘Troll Hunter’.

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg is the hugely talented comic writer and actor behind ‘Spaced’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and, of course, ‘Shaun of the Dead’. He’s currently upped sticks to Hollywood, where he’s appearing as Cheeky British Chappie in the likes of ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’.

John Penney

John Penney is the writer (and sometime director) of a number of horror titles, including ‘The Kindred’, ‘Return of the Living Dead III’ and the wonderfully titled ‘Zyzzyx Rd’. His latest film, ‘Shadows’, was released in 2011.

‘This was very hard. There were so many I wanted to include – “Frailty”, “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Dawn of the Dead” – but in the end, I went with films that shaped my work and inspired me personally. In these films are the images and feelings that continue to haunt my work. Most of mine deal with insanity, supernatural elements and emotional pain. Some are just plain exhilarating. “The Shuttered Room” was the first horror film that terrified me as a child. The idea of a homicidal sibling shook me to the core. But “The Exorcist” provided the deepest, most disturbing scares of my life. That film captured the feeling of pure evil. There was no place you could go to escape.’

Isabel Pinedo

Isabel Pinedo is an associate professor of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College of The City University of New York. She is the author of ‘Recreational Terror: Women and the Pleasures of Horror Film Viewing’.

‘If you had asked me to do this eight years ago, you would have seen J-Horror titles (“Ju-On”, “Shutter”), and six years ago an additional torture porn title (“Hostel”). I've recently been impressed by a host of Scandinavian (“Trollhunter”, “Let the Right One In”) and UK films (“The Children”) but they didn't climb high enough to make the short list. Same for the haunting films I like so much (“Paranormal Activity”, “Insidious”), the wonderful zombie menace (“28 Days Later”, “Zombieland”), or the world of the freaky cadaver (“Nekromantik”).’

Dave Pirie

Dave Pirie is a novelist and Bafta-nominated screenwriter whose credits include TV’s ‘The Woman in White’ and ‘Murderland’. His books on horror include ‘A Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema, 1946-1972’ and ‘The Vampire Cinema’. He is also a former film editor at Time Out.

‘Also “The Ring” (US remake) and “The Last Exorcism”.’

Paco Plaza

With his co-director Jaime Balaguero, Paco Plaza created the iconic Barcelona-set ‘found footage’ horror movie ‘REC’. He has since made two sequels to that film, including the upcoming ‘Rec: Genesis’, which is out in July 2012.

Ian Rattray

Ian Rattray is one of the unholy quartet who organise Film4 FrightFest, the UK’s leading horror movie festival. In his spare time he is a film distributor and booker with over twenty years experience.The next FrightFest kicks off on Aug 23.

Craig Reardon

Craig Reardon is a legend in the world of special make-up effects. His credits include ‘Altered States’, ‘Poltergeist’, ‘Dreamscape’, ‘Weird Science’, ‘Buffy’ and most recently TV’s ‘Without a Trace’.

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers is an experimental filmmaker and artist based in London. His first feature film ‘Two Years at Sea’ premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year, where it won the FIPRESCI prize, and is released on May 4.

  1. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)
  2. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)
  3. The Old Dark House (James Whale, 1932)
  4. Onibaba (Kaneto Shindô, 1964)
  5. Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931)
  6. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
  7. Messiah of Evil (Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, 1973)
  8. Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985)
  9. The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)
  10. The Return of the Living Dead (Dan O’Bannon, 1985)

‘Oh, but, “Evil Dead II”, “Night of the Comet”, “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue”, “The Devil Rides Out”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Suspiria”, “Basket Case”, “Dawn of an Evil Millenium”, “La Vampire Nue”, “The Stuff”, “The Masque of the Red Death”, “Society”, “Braindead”, “The Howling”, “Dog Soldiers”, “Prince of Darkness”, “Bride of Frankenstein”... and that’s why lists are evil.’

Tim Robey

Tim Robey is a film critic for the Daily Telegraph. He has also written for Variety, and co-edited film fan source book ‘The DVD Stack’.

  1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
  2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
  3. Mulholland Dr (David Lynch, 2001)
  4. The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein, 1928)
  5. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
  6. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
  7. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
  8. The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
  9. Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
  10. Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979)

Debbie Rochon

In a three decade career, Debbie Rochon has appeared in over 100 exploitation movies. Our favourite titles from her CV include ‘Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader’, ‘The Erotic Ghost’, ‘Scrotal Vengeance’, ‘Playmate of the Apes’ (in which she played Dr Cornholeus), ‘Dr Horror’s Erotic House of Idiots’ and of course the classic ‘Bikini Bloodbath Christmas’. She is currently working on far too many films to list here.

‘Stanley Kubrick takes his time with “The Shining”. Although it’s well documented that Stephen King was not a fan, Kubrick takes the key elements from the novel and brings them to life with intense characters, a feeling of isolation, incredible use of sound and a tension that builds beautifully from beginning to end. Paul Andrew Williams’s “The Cottage” is one of the most perfect examples of a horror movie that rides the fence of comedy. It’s hilariously funny, sincerely scary and the performances sell the material beautifully. And “Cemetery Man” is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Michele Soavi delivers a zombie film love story, in which a man is willing to give up everything for his love, including his privates, all while keeping a cemetery safe from its own inhabitants. It’s a perfect combination of frights, zombies and romance as only the Italians can do.’

Bernard Rose

Bernard Rose is a British-born writer-director with a diverse CV ranging from period dramas ‘Immortal Beloved’ and ‘Anna Karenina’ to modern fare like ‘ivansxtc’. His work in the horror field includes the astonishing ‘Paperhouse’ and cult favourite ‘Candyman’. He is currently completing post production on two films, ‘Boxing Day’ and ‘Two Jacks’.

Joshua Rothkopf

Joshua Rothkopf is the senior film writer at Time Out New York.

‘“Texas Chain Saw” is a feverish oven of sweat, grease and rage – and probably the best American satire made. “Poltergeist” is the secret masterpiece of the ‘80s, “ghost-directed” by Steven Spielberg, chomping down hard on his pet themes. Pound for pound, “Creepshow” is Romero’s most stylish effort, also a testament to the genre’s finest scenarist (though not its finest actor), Stephen King. And let the day come when bold end-of-civilization tale “The Mist” is appreciated for what it is: Hollywood’s bleakest project since “Freaks”.’

Simon Rumley

After years making low budget British dramas and horror flicks, writer-director Simon Rumley attracted broader attention when he moved to the US in 2010 to make the brutal but brilliant ‘Red White & Blue’. He followed it with segments in two portmanteau horror features, ‘Little Deaths’ and ‘The ABCs of Death’.

  1. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
  2. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
  3. A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim Jee-woon, 2003)
  4. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
  5. Tetsuo (Shin'ya Tsukamoto, 1989)
  6. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aranofsky, 2000)
  7. Santa Sangre (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1989)
  8. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
  9. Final Destination (James Wong, 2000)
  10. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

John A Russo

John A Russo is an American screenwriter, producer and director who changed horror forever when he created the original ‘Night of the Living Dead’ with George Romero. His work as a director includes ‘Midnight’, ‘Heartstopper’ and ‘Santa Claws’.