Time Out London's "100 best horror films" blowout is more than a list; it's a microsite unto itself: "We polled well over 100 horror enthusiasts — with big names like Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro, Simon Pegg, Clive Barker and Alice Cooper, and horror legends like Coffin Joe, Kim Newman and Tom Six — and came up with a definitive top 100 list." Click on those names to see the individual ballots. "The result may surprise you: while the top ten may be stuffed with big hitters, the full list is wonderfully unpredictable and packed with oddball leftfield choices."
A couple of notes on the top five:
- The Exorcist (1973). Tom Huddleston calls up William Friedkin: "To be frank with you, [writer] Bill Blatty and I never set out to make a horror film. The idea never crossed our minds." TOL's notes; and take a look at the storyboards at OutNow (scroll down).
- The Shining (1980). TOL posts a making-of doc; I never cease to be amazed that The Overlook Hotel, a tumblr collecting "ephemera related to Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece of modern horror," carries on posting several discoveries a day. Earlier: a roundup on Rodney Ascher's Room 237, a documentary about the plethora of theories that have sprung up over the years regarding just what Kubrick was up to here.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). You know what we'll have to say about this one: Watch the two films Tobe Hooper made first, his comedic short The Heisters (1964) and his lost-and-found debut feature, Eggshells (1969). TOL posts notes and a scene.
- Psycho (1960). When it turned 50 in 2010, we posted a roundup. TOL's got a clip of Alfred Hitchcock discussing his classic.
- Alien (1979). Back on many minds again, of course, with Ridley Scott's "sort-of-prequel," Prometheus due in June. Ben Simington revisited Alien on its 30th anniversary in 2009 and TOL posts a doc on HR Giger.
A couple of accompanying features: Tom Huddleston explains how the poll was conducted and: "We asked Time Out's readers to submit a 30-word pitch for a horror movie, with the winning entry to be selected by Texas Chain Saw Massacre screenwriter Kim Henkel, and you responded in droves: more than 150 pitches were submitted, and although a few slightly missed the point (one simply read The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), most were inventive, thoughtful and often loveably bizarre. Kim Henkel took time out from prepping his new film Boneboys to pick our deserving winner."