Some things you just can’t avoid around Halloween and one of them is the never ending lists of top scary movies. There are tons of them and while there are some consistencies, their particular focus is usually pretty obvious. This particular list, for instance, has a heavy influence from the days of cheesy yore. While The Birds is pretty frightening (made so by Hitchcock’s genius non-use of music so as not to cue a scene), it’s coupled with more than its fare share of pre-World War II movies. I’m sure it was frightening in its day but really, how scary is Boris Karloff now?
What’s scary changes over time and, in my humble opinion, anyway, the kind of scary that transcends time irrespective of its cheese factor is few and far between. The original Romero’s Dawn of the Dead will carry on, not because it’s a first of its kind or simply old, but because it’s pretty horrifying. Just because something’s old doesn’t mean it’s scary and if you have to keep referencing how horrifying it was for its time, it’s probably lost it’s touch. Love you, Bela Lugosi, you are a classic. But let’s be honest: you don’t pack the same punch you used to. 30 Days of Night? Maybe a little bit more so.