Oh, what a genre. Horror is a tricky one, to be sure. It can so easily be hit or miss, and much of it ends up hanging on what new and exciting twists the director and writer can pull off that hasn't been done before. They certainly get a much worse rep than they should, I think, because some of them can truly achieve varying degrees of brilliance.
- Was there really any question here? There is one quintessential horror film, and it's Psycho. Now, just to clarify, I'm a huge fan of both Jurassic Park and Rear Window, but for the record, I consider them an adventure and a thriller, respectively. The true horror champ is the story of Norman Bates and his deadly obsessive nature. And poor Janet Leigh and her unsuspecting (if deeply flawed) anti-heroine is there for the killing. What sets this flick apart from the bevy of other copycats is its incredible showmanship (That cinematography! Those daring costume choices! That legendary score!), the gut-wrenching performances from Anthony Perkins and Leigh, and the fact that despite its age, it still packs quite a terrifying wallop. From the explosive shower scene, to the impeccable tete a tete that Leigh and Perkins find themselves exchanging, Psycho is both incredibly eerie and a beautiful showcase of what movie magic truly is.