Eclectic Pop

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Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: The Complete List

Are you ready for Eclectic Pop's Top 25 Film Thrills and Chills? The list had been broken down into five parts and has now been compiled into one place. The only thing scarier than the movies on this list is the thought of having to click your way through five different posts.

To rewind, this is a list of unorthodox thrillers and straight-up “scary” movies that should have you on the edge of your seat. The top 25 is not composed to reflect the scariest movies of all-time, rather serve as an eclectic guide through notoriously frightening fare, as well as some of the lesser known, anxiety-riddled tales.

These are the most frightening movies yours truly has seen and nothing was left off. So why not call this list "the scariest movies of all-time?" Because there are still some scary movies yours truly has yet to see.

Some themes strike fear more than others so it was important to cover an array of factors. This list runs the gamut of suspense -- from the paranormal to the glaringly obvious psycho villains, to the more subtlety lethal threats. Prepare to be scared…

Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: And the #1 Spot Goes to...'The Strangers'

With a vigorous series of knocks at the door of a remote cabin, "The Strangers" sets the stage for the most terrifying and eerie film experience, ever. Toying with every dark fear that resides within the human mind, the villainous trio that terrorizes a young couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) trying to relax after a friend’s wedding; shows no mercy.

Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: #5 - #1

#5: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Two Americans, backpacking through Europe get more than they bargained for when they are attacked by a werewolf. David Naughton brings an affable charm to newfound werewolf, David and his performance has you rooting for him the whole way through.

One key ingredient that puts this movie in another stratosphere is the romantic relationship that is presented. Normally, the “love story” is thrown in as an afterthought but Naughton and Jenny Agutter (Alex) have such terrific chemistry, that it escalates the romance to refreshingly authentic levels.

All these years later, the special effects of this horror classic still stand the test of time and with a superlative opening sequence that is still one of film’s most memorable moments, there’s no questioning why "An American Werewolf in London" is a horror classic.

Retro Movie Review: 'Stir of Echos' (1999)

When a man’s (Kevin Bacon) sister-in-law (Illeana Douglas) hypnotizes him at a party, it kick starts a series of strange events, and an even darker mystery. Besieged by terrifying visions of a young woman from that point on; Tom's desperate efforts to make them stop takes an unraveling toll on his life.

While figuring out why he has the ability to conjure these visions in the first place is an equally fascinating and vital aspect to the movie’s plot. Paranormal and eerie in overall tone, 1999's "Stir of Echoes" taps into the supernatural by keeping it based in a hyper reality.

Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: #10 - #5

#10: The Birds (1963)

The horror peaking behind Hitchcock's "The Birds" does not solely lie with what is shown, rather what is not. Most of the movie centers around the sense of foreboding taking place in the home where Tippi Hedren’s Melanie waits out the bird attack. The thought of a creature as idyllic and commonplace as a bird, attacking people is a terrifying thought.

One animal turning against humans is a scary idea, add a whole species banding together and it makes for a far more threatening notion. Underestimating the power of animals, leads to a false security that lowers the naturally present and alert, human guard. After seeing "The Birds", your defenses will be on high alert.

Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: #15 - #10

#15: The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

If you are familiar with the lore behind the Mothman mythos, that of a real-life terror suffered by members of a West Virginia town, it elevates the chill quotient, considerably. Time for a little historical backstory. In the 1960’s, the town of Point Pleasant was paralyzed by a “haunting” of sorts, as denizens widely reported sightings of a paranormal figure that would become known as the Mothman.

While the actual events chronicled in the book the movie was based on would have made for a good enough story all of its own; director Mark Pellington, gives the audience some honest scares, in a more modern take that circles around a reporter (Richard Gere) inadvertently investigating the Mothman after his wife’s death. One name will haunt you afterward: Indrid Cold.

Movie Review: 'Mama' (2013)

Guillermo Del Toro, the mind who brought the world, the visually disturbing Pan’s Labyrinth was the highly publicized producer behind this frightener. If you’ve seen just a little of the aforementioned film, you know that he is an expert in unnerving imagery. The same caliber of terrifying graphics won’t be found in Mama. What the film does succeed in; is its manner of storytelling and with its performances which, manage to push the film into a higher tier.

Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: #20 - #15

#20: Frequency (2000)

There is something strongly sentimental and deeply disturbing about this cross-time story. Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel play a father and son separated by death but brought together through a short-wave radio. Their goal is to stop the death of Quaid’s character in the past and as with most cross-time stories; there are consequences. A seedy mystery adds an eerie feeling that is felt throughout. 

The compelling blend of science fiction and fantasy is well-executed while maintaining a legitimate atmosphere. Director Gregory Hoblit bolsters the suspense, keeping the pace from losing steam. Stellar turns by Caviezel and Quaid make it easy to root for their characters to succeed and frightened at the costs if they fail.

Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: #25 - #20

Introducing, the Top 25 Film Thrills and Chills, a list of unorthodox thrillers or “scary” movies, that should leave you on the edge of your seat. This list is not composed to reflect the all-time scariest movies, rather an eclectic guide through both the more notoriously frightening fare and some of the lesser known, anxiety-riddled tales.

It runs the gamut of suspense -- from the paranormal to the glaringly obvious psycho villains, to the more subtlety lethal threats. Prepare to be scared…

See It or Free It: 'Reign'

Reign arrives hot on the heels of the success of HBO's Game of Thrones and Starz’s recent broadcast of The White Queen. Both shows have done well for their respective networks, and have garnered quite a passionate fanbase. The White Queen has been at the forefront of a lot of female viewer’s frenzy.

Spotlight Artist | Dead Sea Navigators

Dead Sea Navigators have a definitive voice and their songs are sparked with a fever of melodic foreboding. You can currently listen to 2 songs off of their recent EP Uncharted on Bandcamp. Among the tracks is “Actors”, a wily piano ballad masked in a dark, foreshadowing energy. “Crellin” is an emotional cauldron of bold instrumentation with a beautiful, piano based melody.

The Avett Brothers: Magpie and the Dandelions (Album Review)

The Avett Brothers are back with their 8th studio album, it’s a follow-up that builds from the foundation of their previous album, The Carpenter. This album is more upbeat, a melodic splendor with grander sentiments of joy and more explorations into the trials and tribulations of being a musician.

Movie Review: 'The Master' (2012)

“The Master” is dumbfounding. Paul Thomas Anderson’s almost 2 and half-hour film is a tour de force in the closest avant-garde filmmaking that American cinema has seen in some time, all the while maintaining some semblance of mainstream appeal.

Anderson (the director of “Boogie Nights”) has long b…

Must-See Movie Review: 'The Daytrippers' (1996)

A good movie entertains you. A great movie challenges you. A phenomenal movie makes you forget you’re watching one. A movie that accomplishes all of those feats is a must-see.

“The Daytrippers” captures the genuine comedy that springs from the antics of a family. The adventure of the film begins when the eldest daughter, Eliza (Hope Davis), finds a love letter amongst her husband, Louis’ (Stanley Tucci) things.

Retro Movie Review: 'Wicker Park' (2004)

When “Wicker Park” was released, the trailers had hinted it was a taut sexual thriller, in the vein of Adrian Lyne's wheelhouse. Well, this was not that kind of movie and to be fair, it could not compete on that level, given its PG-13 rating. All of the provocative illusions are actually nothing.

This would be better described as an indie romance; it’s not erotic in the least bit. It’s not a thriller either. It’s a romantic drama that treads on the loose strings of a Romeo and Juliet-type miscommunication.

Top 25 Remaining Movies of 2013 | Part 5

#21: Philomena

Steve Coogan stars as a journalist trying to help a woman (Judi Dench) find the son she was forced to give up for adoption many decades ago. Coogan is always a treat as both a comedian (“Alan Partridge”) and a dramatic actor (“The Look of Love”), his charisma is capable of buoying quite a bit. Fortunately, the set-up doesn’t sound like it will need to rely on that completely.

Seeing Coogan play opposite Dench is also bolstering anticipation, as they embark on a heartfelt reunion/quasi-road trip. “Philomena” posses the makings of a magical interlude.
Release Date: November 27 (Wide Release) - Read Eclectic Pop's Review, here

Song of the Day: 'Stars' by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Haunting, poignant and with just the right amount of soul, “Stars”, from the stupendous album The Lion The Beast The Beat, is an all-encompassing portrait of grief over a profound loss. Grace Potter’s vocals are rich in intoxicating, sorrow and triumph.

See It or Free It: 'Betrayal'

Never before has an affair seemed more nonsensical. The connection between the protagonists is completely devoid of any passionate chemistry and the overall story lacks any highly palatable stakes.

Dealing with the fallout of two rich people as they engage in an affair for no real personal reasons such as a lack of martial affection, financial distress or overall boredom with their lives; is painful. Not that any reason would suffice, in terms of justification, it would at least provide a motivation for the betrayal.

See It or Free It: 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland'

Where “Once Upon a Time” is quirky, “…Wonderland” is simply bizarre. The show is so out there that a better title would’ve been “Once Upon a Time on an Acid Trip”. The imagery is mind-bendingly wacky and so distractive that getting to the heart of the story seems a hectic impossibility.

See It or Free It: 'The Tomorrow People'

The pilot was sharp and struck all of the vital components that surround an origin story for a supernaturally based series. The lead character, Stephen (Robbie Amell), is highly likable as an everyday guy with bigger than life problems.

Those problems are boiled down in a relatable fashion for viewers. He’s an outsider at school, a good son, frustrated older brother and a student with street smarts. A truly likable lead is a tough commodity to secure and “The Tomorrow People” has excelled in finding that key component.

Let's Discuss: 'Glee's' Farewell to Finn

Going in, I knew this episode would be tough to watch. Tough isn’t the word that came to mind when I saw it though. The word was heartbreaking. The send-off/tribute to Finn was a necessary moment that we all knew was coming after Cory Monteith’s untimely death in July.

No stranger from shying away from the hard topics, “Glee” stepped up to the plate in true fashion. It was the farewell that I, as a fan, didn’t even know we needed. The thing about the makers of “Glee” is they know their fans and when it was over, I felt like they got it, they had heard what everyone was looking for and tried their best to give it to them. Quite frankly, I had very few requirements other than what I’d mentioned in ‘Let’s Talk About…Cory Monteith and Glee'.

See It or Free It: 'The Originals'

The new pilot or (pilot 2.0) was a refreshing way to go about reintroducing the characters while, sidestepping a complete rehash of the backdoor pilot. The reason this worked so effectively is because it allowed the show to focus on its most valuable asset, Elijah (David Gillies). Seeing things from his perspective was an invigorating turn and then…Klaus staked him…again.

See It or Free It: 'Masters of Sex'

As frigid and clinical as the lead character it portrays, this show is filled with untapped potential. Since the premiere of its teaser, the show had hinted it would titillate viewers with the sexual research of Masters and Johnson, the revered scientists whose research provided a scientific breakthrough that changed the way a lot of people viewed and approached sex.

See It or Free It: 'The Blacklist'

Truly one of the best new shows of the fall season. The pilot was fantastic and James Spader delivers a performance that is edgily brilliant, keeping you on the edge of your seat. Spader is in a rare league, an actor capable of spinning an elaborate web of such convincing charm that it is impossible to decipher his next move.

The premise is slick and stylistic; it definitely sidesteps the pitfalls of procedural purgatory, where character development can sometimes be stunted by the focus on the crime of the week.

Song of the Day: 'Love is a Fire' by Courrier

Courrier breaths the fiery embers of life into this indie rock tune that’s slow build, escalates into an amazing crescendo of sound. “Love is a Fire” is off of Courrier’s album Cathedrals of Color. This song really captivates you from the moment its opening beats begin. The chord progression is driven by a steady rhythm, the electric guitar summoning its rock edge as its melodic properties lull you into a psychedelic head space.

Song of the Day: 'Let Her Go' by Passenger

This slow, dreamy ballad has dominated the European charts and rightfully so. “Let Her Go” is a soliloquy of sweet melodic yearning with a folk edge that holds back on over-sentimentality. There is an acoustic quality that allows the vocals to be heard and take center stage with lyrics that are thought provoking and earnest.

This is a love song that isn’t really a love song; it’s a pondering about love…song. “Let Her Go” is from the album, All the Little Lights (which is worth checking out as a whole).

Eclectic Pop News: Guesting on The Dr. Bones Show Podcast

Hello Readers! I am excited to announce that I will be a guest on the Dr. Bones' Show tonight at 9 p.m est. We will be discussing music and Eclectic Pop. Dr. Bones always picks out the best in underground, emerging music talent and gives them a platform to be heard.

His podcast features interv…

The Cornerstones: Stand In Line (Album Review)

The Cornerstones will transport you to the golden era of music with their latest album, “Stand In Line”. The album is a culmination of a time where music mattered. The Cornerstones successfully hearken to the touchstones of music’s most prolific moments; with “Stand In Line” you will find the philosophical aspects of the 60’s, the defiance of the 70’s, the bravado of the 80’s and the evolutionary reflection of the 90’s.

Concert Review: Trial By Fire

Performing a show where you cover the legendary Journey is no easy task. Journey has one of the most iconic legacies in arena rock, a perennial favorite among many music fans with a catalog that spans a myriad of smash hits. Journey's legacy is expansive and their sound is so recognizable that covering them is a dangerous risk to take because failing to meet the mark could prove a critical mistake.

Let's Discuss: The 'Gossip Girl' Series Finale

Promo poster featuring Chuck and Blair from The CW series 'Gossip Girl'
When it comes to series finales, both satisfying and not, it is easy to get lost thinking through the ones that have missed the mark. When thinking of this topic, one particular finale quickly rises to the top of the heap, the finale of “Gossip Girl.”

Yes, I watched the outlandish soap about snobby rich kids, ever since its Season 1 premiere. It was not because it was always a top-tier offering.

Missed storyline opportunities, baffling character contradictions, and a series of over-hyped controversies to suit the media machine, would ultimately be a smoke screen for a rather frustrating series. The reason it was impossible to write the show off was because “Gossip Girl” was an amazing tease. There always seemed to be the promise, the hope, for something better to be cultivated and realized.

Let's Discuss: The Fiery TV Finale Debate

For two Sundays in a row, viewers have had to say goodbye to two of cable’s most talked-about shows. “Breaking Bad” and “Dexter” both ended their respective runs with fanfare galore. In the case of “Breaking Bad,” they had to follow-up the panned “Dexter” finale, and expectations were high.