James Gunn horror

James Gunn knows a thing or two about horror movies. Before he became known for his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he got his start working for the low-budget studio Troma, where he wrote Tromeo & Juliet, and he went on to write the fantastic 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead and made his feature directorial debut with 2006’s Slither, a creature feature starring Nathan Fillion.

As we creep toward Halloween, Gunn took to Facebook to share a list of his top 50 favorite horror movies of all time. While some of his choices are expected (The Thing, Rosemary’s Baby), there are a couple that you’re not likely to find on many other lists out there. Check out the filmmaker’s full list below.

Here’s What Gunn had to say over on his Facebook page:

In case you’re looking for some horror movies to watch in this Halloween season, here are a few of my favorites, in kinda-sorta order of preference. I of course am not including the movies I had a hand in, such as Slither, Dawn of the Dead, or The Belko Experiment. Those are films you should, obviously, watch first.

And I should note, as usual, this is my list of FAVORITES. It does not mean these are the BEST. They are simply the horror films I get the most out of personally.

1. Jaws – Spielberg, 1975
2. Audition – Miike, 1999
3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Kaufman, 1978
4. The Host – Bong Joon-ho, 2006
5. The Thing – Carpenter, 1982
6. Green Room – Saulnier, 2016
7. The Brood – Cronenberg, 1979
8. Rosemary’s Baby – Polanski, 1968
9. A Tale of Two Sisters – Kim Jee-woon, 2004
10. The Birds – Hitchcock, 1963
11. 28 Days Later – Boyle, 2003
12. Train to Busan – Sang-ho Yeon, 2016
13. House – Obayashi, 1977
14. Saw – Wan, 2004
15. Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Siegel, 1956
16. Night of the Living Dead – Romero, 1968
17. They Live – Carpenter, 1988
18. Cloverfield – Reeves, 2008
19. Cronos – Del Toro, 1993
20. Piranha 3D – Aja, 2010
21. Peeping Tom – Powell, 1960
22. The Night of the Hunter – Laughton, 1955
23. The Mist – Darabont, 2007
24. Dead Alive – Jackson, 1992
25. Shaun of the Dead – Wright, 2004
26. Funny Games – Haneke, 1997
27. Troll Hunter – Ovredal, 2011
28. Evil Dead II – Raimi, 1987
29. The Shining – Kubrick, 1980
30. The Descent – Marshall, 2005
31. Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages – Christensen, 1929
32. The Sixth Sense – Shyamalan, 1999
33. Aliens – Cameron, 1986
34. Bride of Frankenstein – Whale, 1935
35. Martin – Romero, 1977
36. Near Dark – Bigelow, 1987
37. Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein – Barton, 1948
38. Suspiria – Argento, 1977
39. Zombieland – Fleisher, 2009
40. King Kong – Shoedsack, Cooper, 1933
41. Get Out – Peele, 2017
42. Scream – Craven, 1996
43. Cemetery Man – Soavi, 1996
44. Shivers – Cronenberg, 1975
45. Carrie – DePalma, 1976
46. Basket Case – Henenlotter, 1982
47. The Blob – Russell, 1988
48. Alien – Scott, 1979
49. The Fly – Cronenberg, 1986
50. The Faculty – Rodgriquez, 1998

Again, there are some excellent and expected choices in here: films like Jaws, Alien, The Host, The Birds, Saw, The Shining, etc. There are a couple I take issue with: Aliens strikes me as more of an action movie than a horror film, and personally I find Green Room to be more of a siege thriller than a straight-up horror flick. And The Faculty, the Robert Rodriguez-directed high school movie from the late ’90s? How many of you even remember that film existed? But hey, that’s the fun part about these kinds of lists – we can all argue about his picks, and hopefully this will inspire people to check out some of these movies that they haven’t seen. I know I still have a few to cross off my own list (The Brood, House, Martin, etc).

A couple of things worth noting: in a Facebook comment, he clarifies that he included horror films with comedy elements but not comedies with horror elements, otherwise What We Do in The Shadows would be on the list. Some of his responses to incredulous Facebook comments on his post are super entertaining – he basically says that The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, and Halloween don’t do much for him these days, and he considered putting Frighteners, Return of the Living Dead, and The Invitation on the list before making his final cuts. Also, Gunn must really love Invasion of the Body Snatchers because two versions appear in his top 15. And finally, because he’ll never be able to escape questions about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, someone suggested that he cast Brad Pitt as Adam Warlock, and he diplomatically responded, “Would definitely not be my choice for that character.”

What do you think about his choices here?

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