Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Artists Tell Us Their Favorite Horror Movies
Universal StudiosWith Halloween just around the corner, Noisecreep reached out to a small army of metal, punk and hard rock musicians and asked them to name their favorite horror movies. As you'll see below, a few of the films get mentioned multiple times, but there are also some lesser-known gems on the list. Check it out below and let us know what your favorite horror movie is.
Vocalist, Lacuna Coil
"I would say 'Profondo Rosso' by Dario Argento, the master of Italian horror films. I usually love psychological thrillers more than splatter movies. This masterpiece includes mental people, scary scenery, disturbing kids' drawings and sick music from the band Goblin. I still have goose bumps if I think about the creepy "la la la" lullaby coming from a vinyl record that plays in some parts of the movie. I also adore 'House of 1000 Corpses.' I'm in love with Captain Spaulding, and I still have the head-knocker and the shirts Rob Zombie got me when he heard I was mad for this character!"
Guitarist, The Devil Wears Prada
"The phrase 'horror movie' brings a nightmare to my head, not of ghouls or ghosts, but of cheesy special effects, B-movie plotlines, and fourth grade sleepovers. Though I can appreciate the groundbreaking mood of 'Psycho,' the classics of Bela Lugosi or 'Nosferatu,' the true horror gem for me is 'The Shining,' of Stanley Kubrick direction. This film, based on master Stephen King's gruesome novel, brings not only terror, suspense and one crazy Jack Nicholson together, but is a true work of art in a genre clouded by cheese and a lack of substance. The shots, the acting, and Kubrick's famed vision make this one scary treat in the Halloween season!"
Comedian, Host of VH1 Classic's 'That Metal Show'
"My favorite horror film is from New Zealand and is called 'Dead Alive.' It was one of Peter Jackson's first films and was dubbed "the goriest fright film of all time." I brought a first date to see that film and she walked out after ten minutes. I stayed, of course, and at least I didn't have to share my popcorn with anyone."
"The realism of 'Halloween' is what makes it so unnerving. There is no zombie, creature or robot -- this is a guy in a mask. The thought of a lunatic running around killing your friends on Halloween night isn't so far off. It could easily happen. I think that scarred a lot of folks for a while. I recently showed this to a friend of mine who had never had the pleasure. Here was a dude in his 30s jumping out of his seat. This movie also has the most memorable theme music and took the score to an entire new level."
"The original 'Jaws' scared the hell out of me! It hit me so hard. I think it was due to the fact that it was our own fear of the water, what was below us. I remember staying out of the water for a long, long time. I watch this movie six to eight times a year. It never gets old to me."
"I know it sounds like a cop-out, but I have to pick 'A Nightmare on Elm Street.' Trust me, I have so many underground favorites, like 'Oldboy,' 'I Saw the Devil,' 'In the Mouth of Madness,' but seriously, if you take Jason, Michael Myers, Chucky -- they all share the same theme. They all strike when you are on their turf. Just the concept of Freddy still bums me out. That dude kills you when you are sleeping! If you love sleep half as much as me, you will understand how precious it is. Freddy still freaks me out!"
Vocalist, Winds of Plague
Founder, Metal Blade Records
"The original 'Dawn of the Dead' is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love the whole idea and the campiness of it as well. It's got a great story with tons of old school gore and a bit of humor, just the perfect horror flick. I refuse to see the remake, although I hear it is good, too. Also, on Halloween, I love watching another old fave, 'Dr. Butcher M.D.' We used to have Halloween parties back in the early LA metal days and watched that movie all the time!"
Vocalist/guitarist, Theory of a Deadman
"'Poltergeist' is one of my favorite films. I first experienced this movie when I was young, so of course anything you see when you're a kid pretty much ruins you for eternity. The part where the guy slowly tears his own face apart in the mirror was the best part. Needless to say, I had some serious nightmares for a while. My family also lived in a big creepy house that always had phantom creaks and moans during the night, so that didn't help either. Halloween is my all-time favorite time of the year. Getting the s--- scared out me is like a drug!"
Drummer, Charred Walls of the Damned and Writer, 'The Howard Stern Show'
"My favorite horror movie has to be John Carpenter's 'Halloween.' It's the movie I watch on my birthday every year and on Halloween day. The soundtrack to 'Halloween' is also my favorite movie soundtrack ever. The music is so perfectly simple and memorable, and I'm in awe of how much of a genius John Carpenter is. To co-write, direct, and score the greatest movie of all time (in my opinion) makes him a God in my eyes. His films are actually my whole top five favorite horror films -- 'Halloween,' 'The Fog,' 'The Thing,' 'Christine' and 'Prince of Darkness,' all perfect horror films."
Guitarist, Job For a Cowboy
"I'll go with 'Halloween' – the OG version. It's just the sickest and creepiest movie. No bulls---, just a dude in a William Shatner mask cutting people like cocaine [laughs]!"
"I guess my favorite would be a toss-up between two films. One you're probably already familiar with and the other one you may need to make yourself acquainted with ASAP. The first is the original 'Dracula' with Bela Lugosi. It has everything you need: scared townsfolk, haunting atmosphere, a dark gothic and a cerebral villain whom you end up rooting for in the end. Some of you might not know this, but as they shot the original 'Dracula' at Universal Studios by day, an entirely different crew would come in at night and shoot the Spanish version of the film. My second pick is 'Horror Hotel.' This film revolves around a college girl who goes to Massachusetts to interview a small town about witchcraft. Featuring witches and warlocks, it has just about everything you need to crawl up on the couch and have a creepy night! Oh, make sure you check it out till the end... it's worth it."
Bassist, Life of Agony and Creator of 'Crawl to Me' horror comic book series
"'The Shining' is not only my favorite horror film of all time, but just may be my favorite film, period. Kubrick's vision for the Stephen King classic was absolutely brilliant in so many ways and not just because of the iconic scenes, mind you. Sure, there's no doubt that the "Heeere's Johnny!" axe scene, the elevators pouring blood or the scary girls standing stiff at the end of the corridor are ingrained in our minds forever. But the real twisted parts of the film, for me, are the subtle scenes where Jack Torrance interacts with just about any other character. The scene where Grady's ghost tells Jack that he's always been the caretaker is a great example of what I'm talking about. The long pauses and delivery make it utterly twisted. The overall mood, pace and feel of 'The Shining' has strongly influenced my own works, especially in my latest psychological horror comic series, 'Crawl to Me.'"
Vocalist/guitarist, Hawthorne Heights
"First of all, I am a huge horror movie fan. It is my favorite genre by far, and the only one that can get me into the movie theater. It's tough to pick a favorite, because I love so many. If I had to choose just one, I would say 'A Nightmare on Elm Street.' I saw this movie the first day it came out on videotape, since I wasn't old enough to watch it in the movie theater. I remember being utterly horrified, to the point that I was afraid to go to the bathroom by myself. I loved everything about it and still do. I think the fact that it was shot on such a small budget with real make up is amazing. It seems like movies are afraid to do that these days. Freddy Krueger is an icon, and I think the character will stand the test of time. I can't say that very much for some recent horror movies I've see."
Vocalist, Set Your Goals
"One of my favorite horror movies of all-time is 'Scream.' This was hard to narrow down 'cause there's probably no genre I've enjoyed paying attention to more growing up. I was a big fan of the 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' movies, going into the theater back in seventh grade for this one -- but I think the thing 'Scream' had that 'Nightmare' didn't was a unique and updated chemistry between the cast that was ultra in-sync with youth culture at the time. The movie goes through the motions perfectly, from start to end, and you feel instantly connected to each of the characters, as if they'd have been your own friends in real life. Other horror movies I recommend include 'Sleepaway Camp,' 'Friday the 13th,' and 'Halloween.' Those are some starters for you to join the cult!"
"My favorite horror movie would have to be 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.' I remember seeing it as a kid, and it really opened my eyes to the occult side of horror. Summoning zombies through the power of Satan -- how can anything go wrong? Everyone dies and Satanic zombies prevail, and this movie has the creepiest zombie ever... Orville Dunworth!"
Guitarist, A Day to Remember
"I'll pick 'The Exorcist,' since it was the first movie to actually scare me. The girl crawling down the stairs -- backwards -- and the face on the back of the door still shock me. It's a truly terrifying movie at any age you see it."
Guitarist, Pop Evil
"My favorite horror movie is 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.' This was the first horror movie I ever saw, and I must have been 5 or 6. And for some reason, horror it didn't scare or bother me. Even at that age I understood the entertainment value of it and that it wasn't real. But for some strange reason I had and found an attraction to it and have been into horror movies ever since. It was the weekend I was staying at my grandfather's house, and he took me to rent a movie. I don't think he checked to even see what I had picked out, or if he did, he didn't seem to mind, which I'm glad, because I've been 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' fan ever since [laughs]!"
Guitarist, Dillinger Escape Plan, Vocalist, Old Gods
"My favorite horror movie has to be 'The Evil Dead.' No other film embodies the DIY ethic more than that movie. Its creators' willingness to persevere financial and physical hardships through a pure love of filmmaking resulted in one of the greatest pieces of independent cinema of all time and set a great example for all types of artists."
Season of Mist
Drummer, Municipal Waste
Vocalist, Cattle Decapitation and Murder Construct
"That's easy, 'Martyrs.' Although I'm not sure that it's as much of a horror movie as it is a thriller, I figured it'd be safe to put it in the horror category. It's an absolutely f---ed film with the gnarliest payoff of a twist ending that I've ever seen. I can't say enough good things about this movie. I just hope America doesn't try to remake it. I hear we are. That would completely suck. 'Martyrs' is one of the best movies I've ever seen regardless of genre."
Guitarist, Alien Ant Farm
"Horror might be too much of an indulging genre to nail it down to one movie for me. I love horror! It was always the freaks that scared me the most though. My all-time favorite has to be 1986's 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,' directed by Toby Hooper. It starred not only Dennis Hopper but also introduced the world to Bill Moseley as 'Chop-Top,' the man and character that turned freak into chic years later as Otis B. Driftwood in Rob Zombie's 'House of 1000 Corpses.' Hooper directed, co-wrote and made a masterpiece cult classic out of the first 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' by leaving horrific details to the imagination. In part two, he makes a huge left turn and doesn't spare any splatter or dark humor. He dunks your head right into the twisted world of this family of murdering cannibal freaks and leaves you with a pile of sick catch lines like, 'Lick my plate you dog dick!' Genius stuff."
Vocalist, Iced Earth and Into Eternity
"Well, because I'm a big nerd when it comes to this subject, I need to break this down into two eras of horror: old-school (pre-1989) and modern horror (1990 to present). For old-school horror, I would say it is a toss-up between the very first 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and Lucio Fulci's 'Zombie 2.' 'Nightmare' scared the crap out of me when I first saw it as a kid. 'Zombie 2' is a classic because it was the first zombie movie I ever saw. I got my dad to rent it for me for my birthday when I was, like, 10 years old. I remember the other kids were getting too scared to watch it. But I was glued to the TV set. Admittedly, the eyeball scene did give me some nightmares, but all it did was make me want to watch more of this kind of stuff. As far as modern horror goes, my favorite is the French movie 'Inside,' directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo. The gore is so realistic and the story is unique yet believable. 'Inside' is a perfect example of French Extremism, a sub-genre I'm really getting into."
Vocalist, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
"My favorite horror movie would have to be 'Halloween.' When I was a kid, it was the one movie that used to scare me the worst. I guess 'cause Michael Myers would always be in the background of the scenes, and no one ever realized he was there. He was such a psychopath, which makes it one of the best horror movies for me. Also, his mask doesn't get any scarier. It's probably the best horror-movie mask ever. And then theme song -- it's probably one of the scariest horror movie theme songs of all time."
Drummer, Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
"Hands down, my favorite horror movie of all time is the original 'Halloween.' I first saw the movie when I was 7 years old. I remember sitting in my room one night, flipping through channels on the TV and landing right on a scene with a close-up of his mask. I was glued to the TV for the rest of the night. I became a fanatic of the mysteriousness behind his every movement and the way he channeled his strength. I even went as far as making a haunted house in my bedroom one Halloween, and I made sure that Michael Myers was the central focus. I had to paint my face white because I couldn't afford to buy the $90 dollar mask! Needless to say it was a blast and I've been a huge horror fan ever since."
Guitarist, This Is Hell
"My favorite horror movie is by far 'The Shining.' It freaked me out as a little kid, and then I was able to appreciate the more subtle themes as I grew up. Everything about this movie is amazing, and everything about it is creepy. Those twin girls still put me on edge, and I consider puking every time that naked old lady gets out of the tub. Jack Nicholson is king. He was also a better Joker than Heath Ledger."
Bassist, Egypt Central
"'Event Horizon' is the one horror movie the band has watched countless times together on tour. The idea that there is a place worse than hell that has possessed a spaceship in the future, with a new crew trapped inside of it, is a great one."
Vocalist, New Years Day
"My favorite horror movie is still 'House of 1000 Corpses.' Other movies have come close, but at the end of the day, if I was stranded on a desert island for eternity and could only choose one movie to have with me, it would be that one. It has everything I look for in a good horror movie. I've seen it again and again. The dialogue is clever and rude. It disturbs me, which is what horror movies should do, right? It's also gory and repulsive but still cute, fun and enjoyable. The characters are lovable and memorable -- Captain Spaulding, Otis, Baby, Tiny and of course Fried Chicken! Plus it was directed by one of my jerks, Rob Zombie. You just can't go wrong with 'House of 1000 Corpses.'"
"The original 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' movie still scares the living crap out of me! On top of the fact that it's acted really well overall and insanely brutal throughout, Tobe Hooper doesn't use ridiculous special effects to scare you. He doesn't need to, because what's happening on the screen is more than strong enough to hold up on its own. Also technology back then was not what it is today, and that can only be perceived as a good thing when analyzing a movie such as 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' It forced movie makers to be more creative and push boundaries in a way that seems to be all but lost these days. I feel like that about a few movies that came out back then. 'Star Wars' is another perfect example of super creative film making with no crutches."
Bassist, Pop Evil
"I remember watching those 'Faces of Death' movies when I was 12 or 13 and trying to comprehend that it was all real footage. That was before the days of YouTube and being able to search the Internet for crazy stuff like that. Also noteworthy would be 'Strangeland' and 'The Devil's Rejects.' Both have creepy dudes with naked chicks tied up in their houses. That's pretty essential for my kind of scary movie."
Vocalist, Lacuna Coil
"One of my faves is an Italian movie called 'Profondo Rosso' from director Dario Argento. It's from the '70s and is probably the most famous cult film in my country. I grew up with it and love everything about it -- the atmosphere, the soundtrack, the story, the actors. I highly recommend it to fanatics of horror."
"That's easy: 'Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.' Ash is the ultimate warrior against the forces of evil. The art and feel of the movie was like no other of its time. Hail to the king, baby!"
Vocalist, Orphaned Land
"The original 'Dawn of the Dead' is my favorite. George Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' introduced me to zombies, but it was 'Dawn' that made me realize that it wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when, the zombies come. It was that real. And you can't argue with facts: "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth."