Top Five Frightening Flicks

Just in time for Halloween, the hosts of Central Michigan Life's podcast "Horror Central" chose their Top Five scary movies of all time.

Rudi Parker, Kelsey Cavazos and Ryan McCary each collaborated to create a list of horror films that changed the genre for them. Plenty of these films spawned multiple sequels that were quite forgettable, but the impact each had in cinema remains immeasurable. To satisfy your need for the macabre, listen to "Horror Central" each Thursday at 4 p.m. on iTunes or Central Michigan Life's Soundcloud channel.

Whether you're trying to put a fright into your roommates or get close to your significant other on a spooky night, check out these five horror masterpieces. 

5) Saw (2004)

A low budget independent psychological horror film directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannel became one of the most profitable horror films since 1996's Scream. The film changed the genre with its uneasy gore and clever yet brutal traps. The film ended with a shocking twist that made the film even more memorable. 

4) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

This 1920 film was one of the first horror films ever created. It is a German expressionist silent horror film directed by Robert Wiene. The set of the film features a dark and twisted visual style. Even though it is a silent film, the storytelling is top-notch. Also, the mind-bending set helps create an unshakably eerie feeling to the film's aesthetic, which is guaranteed to haunt your dreams.

3) Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven. After Craven had a real life incident with an ominous fedora-donned stranger and found newspaper reports of people dying in their sleep, the deadly Freddy Krueger was born. The film is credited with carrying on many tropes found in low-budget horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, including the morality play that revolves around killing sexual promiscuous in teenagers. The story about a burned child murderer getting revenge on the kids of Elm Street through their dreams was a fresh concept for the time and unraveling the sins of their parents is a classic throughout the film's brisk 91 minute runtime. 

2) Halloween (1978)

An independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter takes the second spot on our list. It's another low budget film that did great in the box office and became a cult classic, inspiring a cavalcade of sequels, spinoffs and imitators. It has a timeless story that still makes anyone feel uneasy. The unstoppable killer can be anyone under the emotionless mask, which heightens the fear and tension as the body count rises. Another reason for the success of this film was the moody music, particularly the main theme, which can still put a chill in our spine to this day.

1) The Shining (1980)

 This may seem typical choice for the number one spot, but it deserves to be. It is a psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, a master of many genres. The story is another timeless masterpiece because like in Halloween, the killer can be anyone. Jack Nicholson is unforgettable in his role as a family man on the descent to madness. The cinematography is phenomenal because every shot composition has been carefully planned out. Even though Stephen King hates the film, you shouldn't. It reflects on the reality that real horror comes from people, not the supernatural.