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.

#9: Red Eye (2005)

A tight and taut thriller from director Wes Craven that never makes excuses or relies on stall tactics to further the action, "Red Eye" is an invigorating take on the cat and mouse game, between villain and victim. When Lisa (Rachel McAdams) is on a flight, she meets the aptly named Jackson Ripper (Cillian Murphy) and shortly thereafter he takes her captive.

McAdams’ plucky determination breaks the mold of the damsel in distress archetype that typically haunts the horror genre. The victim and the villain are equally matched and the battle of wills is all the more entertaining to see play out as a result.

#8: Halloween (1978)

Merely hearing the slightest flourish from its theme can send shivers down your spine. Jamie Lee Curtis’ scream queen reign would be cemented in this disturbing tale. While the terrifying image of a blank-masked nutcase, Michael Myers, would haunt the nightmares of millions.

"Halloween" is a true classic in the horror genre and while it treads on a great deal of horror cliché, there is something that even all these years later, makes it feel disarmingly frightening. Though, there have been countless sequels, the original is where it all began and it was never scarier than this.

#7: Vacancy (2007) 

Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Luke Wilson) Fox are a couple trying to put the pieces back together following a devastating personal tragedy. Eventually they seek shelter in a vacant motel or so they thought.

If you have ever had second thoughts about staying in a dilapidated motel, seeing this fear actually depicted, will have every nerve ending, standing at attention. Determination and the human will to survive are boiled down to the essentials. As a thriller, it does not rely on lame character formulation to keep the scenario going or stretch beyond credulity. It’s precise and effective.

#6: Joy Ride (2001)

When two brothers (Paul Walker and Steve Zahn) are taking a road trip, they pull a cruel prank on a trucker, who then decides to get revenge. What begins as a light movie about brothers shooting the breeze; spirals into exploring the karmic consequences of mean spirited-ness and its terrifying ramifications.

Rusty Nail is similar to the antagonist from "The Hitcher" in his ruthlessness. However, the set-up makes him far more sympathetic than other horror villains. This element is the film’s greatest asset, as the characters and viewers experience a slow descent, into realizing the depths of Rusty Nail’s depravity.

Have you seen any of these thrillers? What did you think of them? Eclectic Pop wants to hear from you! You can share your thoughts by tweeting @EclecticPop or leaving a comment below.

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