Dawn of the Dead (1978)- No one mixes horror and social commentary better than George A. Romero, no one. One of the most horrific, gory and untactful horror movies ever made, DOTD was also a slap in the face to the sheepish mall culture that America was turning into. This is the standard to which all zombie movies are held, even to this day, and for good reason; it's one of the best horror flicks ever made. Not for the squeamish.
The Thing (1982)- John Carpenter was horror gold in the 70's and 80's, and this is just one of his many masterpieces. A remake, Carpenter hit every mark he aimed for, and then some, creating a tense and paranoid little world, where isolation and mistrust are the true horror. The FX in this movie are still some of the best ever put to film, the "Thing" in the movie changing into wildly grotesque shapes that are guaranteed to give nightmares. This movie holds up VERY well after 26 years, and will always be a classic.
Scream (1996)- Try as I might to hate this movie because it's so damn campy and hip, I can't deny how good it is, nor it's importance to the genre. Face it, horror was a mess in the 90's, and nearly dead; millions of sequels, yet not much original new material hit the cinemas, then along came Scream. Fun, tongue in cheek, original and surprisingly creepy and violent, it reminded us all just how much we love our horror.
Zodiac (2007)- One of the most mysterious and terrifying serial killers of the 20th century, one of the most brilliant films of the 21st. Zodiac is aces in every way, creating and drawing us into a world filled with panic and fear. Masterfully directed, brilliantly acted, a tight script and maybe one of the creepiest scenes ever (the basement, I'll say no more) Zodiac is a modern day classic, which shouldn't be overlooked as just a drama.
Tomorrow brings #3!!!!!