Word on the Street: Horror Movie Edition

There is no denying that horror movies are popular among young kids all across the nation. We see it with the success of recent horror films like Paranormal Activity and any one of the Saw movies. However, when it comes down to it: which horror movie takes the cake?

Before you see the results, take a look at a few reasons why people love their favorite horror movies!


“My favorite horror movie is Rear Window,” stated Comparative Literature Major, Alexis Dixon. “Because it has a very intriguing plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat and it’s mysterious and it’s really, really great to watch.”

Alexis Dixon shows off her favorite horror movie -- Rear Window (Photo by Megan Elsen)

Among the others questioned, Dixon was the only one who responded with the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rear Window. However, this isn’t the only Hitchcock film to make the list.

Out of all the females asked (ages 20 to 55), the iconic Hitchcock film Psycho was one of the most frequent answers provided. Not only is Psycho one of the most famous horror films of all time, but it is loved by all ages. We all remember the infamous shower scene, don’t we?

The Stanley Kubrick film The Shining was tied with Psycho for having the most votes, according to the ladies.

“I love The Shining because it scares me every single time I watch it,” commented Iowa Junior Lauren Mucker. “Jack Nicholson is just absolutely insane in that movie.”

The psychological thriller Donnie Darko also made its way onto the list. However although this is not generally considered a horror film, it does in fact have elements that would be present in a horror film. The meaning of horror can be different for all types of people.


The zombie thriller 28 Days Later…, directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle, took the cake for the men surveyed. Although 28 Days Later… is one of many zombie horror films, audiences and critics responded very well when it was released back in 2002.

Iowa City resident Dillon Weaver didn’t hesitate with his answer of 28 Days Later… “It’s definitely one of the better zombie films I’ve seen. I like it because it’s a zombie movie, but it doesn’t shove the walking dead into your face like other zombie movies.”

Unlike the ladies, the guys had a bigger variety with their answers. Not including 28 Days Later… or the 1981 cult classic The Evil Dead, there were no other repeated answers. The films chosen also spanned from the 1940’s all the way to the 2000’s.

And for those of you who do not know that Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, also makes horror films! His 1992 film Dead Alive made the list. This film has also been voted on of the goriest horror films of all time, so no wonder it made its way onto the list!

“It’s plain and simple, I love Dead Alive,” stated Max Wright, an avid horror movie watcher. “It’s disgusting, exciting and just awesome.”



Taking into account both the male and female responses, 28 Days Later… takes the cake for the “Word on the Street: Horror Movie Edition” most voted horror film prize!

Dominated by all male answers, 28 Days Later… beat out The Shining, Psycho and The Exorcist, who were all tied for second. Judging by these results, the time period in which the film was released has no baring on the films’ likeability. Each of these films were released in different decades, with Psycho being the only black and white film on top.

But we cannot forget about all the other special films on the list. Here are a few honorable mentions in regards to different aspects of horror films!

*Earliest Horror Film*

The Hitchcock film Shadow of a Doubt, which was released all the back in 1943 is the earliest horror film on the list. Blurring genre definitions, Shadow of a Doubt is undoubtedly a classic horror film. Shadow of a Doubt was the earliest film by a long shot. It wins the earliest horror film honorable mention by a staggering 13 years!

*Foreign Horror Films*

Among the other results, there were very few votes for foreign horror films. The two foreign films chosen were The Orphanage and the French film High Tension. This could just be a result in the lack of foreign horror released in the United States.

*Most Voted Decade*

Not taking in account repeated answers, the 2000’s were the most voted decade for horror film releases. Among the films released in the 2000’s were The Cell (2000), the winner 28 Days Later… (2002), The Strangers (2008) and Saw (2004).

Second place was given to the 1960’s. The films voted for which were released in the 1960’s were Psycho (1960), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Birds (1963).

So there you are! The list of the top horror films, according to mostly students on the University of Iowa campus. But, it is not over yet! It’s your turn to vote…


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