Classic horrors still top recent attempts

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“Pyscho,” released in 1960, is a black-and-white psychological thriller which remains a top movie of the horror genre along with “Silence of the Lambs,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Thing.”

Arthur Aumann

Today’s horror movies — Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween,” the “Paranormal Activity” series and “Saw” — feel like the dying last words of a jaded genre.

Here are some classic horror movies that have stood the test of time and sit atop the genre — they make up the Mount Rushmore of horror movies, if you will.

“The Silence of the Lambs”

Rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling enlists the help of incarcerated psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter while tracking down a serial killer who skins his victims.

What sounds like one of the most overplayed tropes in the genre turns out to be the apex of it. The performances of “The Silence of the Lambs” set the film apart from every other horror movie, as each actor is perfectly cast.

Horror movies traditionally don’t garner much critical acclaim; however, after seeing “The Silence of the Lambs,” it’s easy to see how it won five Oscars at the 64th Academy Awards.

“Psycho”

After stealing $40,000 from her employer, secretary Marion Crane checks into a motel run by a strange young man who has been under the domination of his mother for too long.

“Psycho,” released over 50 years ago, is the quintessential American slasher movie and gave way to a seemingly endless string of imitators. While it’s most famous for its shower scenes, the eerie ending and Anthony Perkins’ subtly creepy performance are what will always stick with me.

“Rosemary’s Baby”

When a newlywed wife becomes pregnant, she begins to believe her seemingly nice neighbors are out to get her and her unborn baby.

“Rosemary’s Baby” isn’t a particularly scary movie in the traditional sense as it focuses on building tension and suspense through Rosemary’s descent into paranoia and occult. There’s an impending sense of fear and dread, like a roller coaster you can’t get off, as Rosemary attempts to unravel her neighbors’ secrets.

“The Thing”

A group of scientists on an expedition in the Antarctic is terrorized by an alien that takes on the appearance of the person it kills.

Similar to “Alien,” “The Thing” is about isolation and the terror of being trapped in a remote location with a killer — and, in this case, a shape-shifting one.

This is certainly the most gory movie on the list. What starts as a splatter fest evolves into a game of “Clue” with characters trying to figure out which form the alien has taken.

While director John Carpenter is better known for his iconic slasher “Halloween,” I feel “The Thing” is his best work.