RT's Top 20 Halloween Movie Countdown, Part 4

by | October 31, 2006 | Comments

Happy Halloween! We’ve been counting down the Top 20 Halloween flicks and today we unveil the number one best-reviewed in horror and suspense cinema, so without further ado…

Author: Christina Troup

We searched the site for the top 20 horror/suspense movies to reveal the numero uno cinematic scare just in time for a frightful Halloween film fest.**

Read on for the Top Five Halloween movies on RT!

5) Shaun of the Dead (2004) 89%

The satirical zombie farce "Shaun of the Dead" was a breakout hit in 2004 and it’s no wonder. The clever comedy hits the nail on the head — or is it brain? — by taking a page from the Romero library and reflecting the oft zombie-like façade of society. Granted, "Shaun of the Dead" exhibits far more belly laughs than gore, but it’s a welcomed respite from grim post-apocalyptic tales where the dead rise and feast upon the living.

Starring: Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Nick Frost
Directed by: Edgar Wright

4) 28 Days Later (2002) 89%

In "28 Days Later" a wall inside a church reads, "The end is nigh." It’s an ominous warning to Jim (Cillian Murphy), who awakes from a coma to find London completely void of life, save for the not-so friendly survivors infected with a virus known as "The Rage." Eventually, Jim finds uninfected folks who inform him of the grim state of mankind and together they search for salvation. Directed by Danny Boyle of "Trainspotting" fame, "28 Days Later" isn’t so much a stylish update of the zombie genre as it is a chillingly realistic take on the threat of a potential viral pandemic that may ultimately lead to the extinction of the human race.

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson
Directed by: Danny Boyle

3) Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut (2001) 90%

The extended director’s cut of "Donnie Darko" delves deeper into the tormented soul of a teen who simply wasn’t made for this world. The additional 20 minutes of unreleased footage give insight into Donnie’s tortured mind and make sense of the utterly confusing time travel aspect that was far too underdeveloped in the first version. And yet, even with a few more pieces to help solve the puzzle, the reissued edition of "Donnie Darko" manages to retain the mind-boggling mystery that made the original so engaging.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Patrick Swayze
Directed by: Richard Kelly

2) The Devil’s Backbone (2001) 91%

Director Guillermo del Toro, a master of the horror fable, executes a chilling ghost story amid the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War in "The Devil’s Backbone." The story surrounds a young orphan named Carlos who is visited by an apparition: a hollow-eyed young boy named Santi. The ghost of Santi seeks justice and Carlos decides to uncover the truth and avenge the boy’s death. What follows is a smart and complex supernatural thriller.

Starring: Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, Federico Luppi
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

1) Psycho (1960) 98%

There are so many elements that make Alfred Hitchcock‘s "Psycho" a tell-tale classic. Is it the perfectly perverse character of Norman Bates? The shrieking violins during the infamous shower scene? Or, perhaps, the fact that the film is loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein? Regardless, there’s no denying that Hitchcock’s impeccably paced, crisp black-and-white thriller gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "Mama’s boy."

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Click here for Part One of the Countdown (#20-16)
Click here for Part Two of the Countdown (#15-11)

Click here for Part Three of the Countdown (#10-6)

**These are our top-Tomatometer picks with at least 40 reviews counted, which is why some of the classics of spooky cinema aren’t included.