Martin Scorsese is obviously a walking encyclopedia of film and if you stop to ask him about any genre or subject, chances are he’s some kind of expert. The Daily Beast did just that, asking the American filmmaker what his favorite horror movies were in time for Halloween and the director put together a list of his “11 Scariest Horror Movies Of All Time.” It’s a good list, obviously, though we’re sort of surprised “Peeping Tom” by his beloved Michael Powell isn’t on it.
List below with YouTube clips where applicable. And yes, it’s a list released last year, but hey, it’s Halloween.
1. “The Haunting” (1963)
You’ll notice this Robert Wise-directed horror was on our recent Haunted House films list as well.
2. “Isle of the Dead” (1945)
Directed by Mark Robson, “Isle Of The Dead” is a horror impresario Val Lewton-produced picture for RKO that stars the great Boris Karloff.
3. “The Uninvited” (1944)
Lewis Allen‘s American supernatural mystery/romance stars Ray Milland and was nominated for a 1945 Academy Award for Best Black and White Cinematography for Charles Lang‘s camerawork.
4. “The Entity” (1981)
Barbara Hershey is a woman who is tormented and sexually assaulted (raped) by an invisible demon.
5. “Dead Of Night” (1945)
A British compendium horror film made by Ealing Studios; episodes directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer. Here’s a clip.
6. “The Changeling” (1980)
Peter Medak‘s haunted house horror starring George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere (Scott’s real-life wife) almost made our Haunted House feature list, but then we pulled it last minute. Now we’re kicking ourselves as we would have seemed ahead of the curve.
7. “The Shining” (1980)
Of course Kubrick’s horror masterpiece has to be on his list. It’s incalculably unnerving. The Krzysztof Penderecki soundtrack makes the movie almost unwatchable for this writer, it’s so frighteningly creepy.
8. “The Exorcist” (1973)
William Friedkin‘s 70s horror was the “Jaws” of its time; a total blockbuster. Obviously still terrifying to this day, Ellen Burstyn is superb in it. This and “The Shining” were on an all-time horror list that we put together a few years ago. Special shout-out to Mike Oldfield‘s Tubular Bells on the soundtrack; Friedkin always did have an ear for strange and exotic sounds that would make his films that much more horrifying.
9. “Night Of The Demon” (1957)
The plot of Jacques Tourneur‘s film revolves around an American professor investigating a satanic cult that is suspected of more than one murder.
Trailer is here
10. “The Innocents” (1961)
Jack Clayton’s psychological horror stars Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave and Megs Jenkins. And yes, it was on our Haunted House horrors list too.
11. “Psycho” (1960)
Scorsese writes, “Again, it’s so familiar that you think: great movie, but it’s not so scary anymore. Then you watch it…and quickly start thinking again. The shower…the swamp…the relationship between mother and son—it’s extremely disturbing on so many levels. It’s also a great work of art.”