Earlier this week we asked a few notable names what their favorite scary movie is, and we'll be back with more recommendations each week through Halloween (from the likes of Chris Eigeman, John Darnielle, Andrew WK, and many more). For now, a special Friday edition from the folks behind Nitehawk Cinemas, who are screening scary movies all month—from Fright Night to Buffy The Vampire Slayer to The Evil Dead.
JOHN WOODS (Nitehawk Cinema Co-Cinema Director): The Haunting (1963) still holds up but do the right thing and switch off your phone and turn off the lights if you're watching at home. The use of audio is incredibly effective with the scares. More obscure but Burn Witch Burn (1962) is another atmospheric gem worth seeking out that still has some legit moments. But all told I still have to go with The Exorcist as the overall champ for its almost documentary-like approach at times and hardcore pedigree.
MASON RADER (Nitehawk Cinema Co-Cinema Director): In promoting the film Alien it was stated, "In space no one can hear you scream." In a silent film you can't hear the screams on-screen. The fear is amorphous. The scream remains stuck in the throat. F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror from 1922 is a nightmare made visible... the silent scream is the loudest.
[Ed. note: the film is playing, "with eerie musical accompaniment," at Nitehawk Cinema this Halloween.]