After a week of voting, Omaha Go readers have picked the best horror movie ever made.
And it is emphatically, completely "The Exorcist," which destroyed its competitors through every round and gave "Silence of the Lambs" a good stomping in the championship game.
Thanks for voting, guys. And, more important, thanks for not allowing "Saw" to make it past the first round.
If you can't see the bracket, click here.
Face-off: "Exorcist" vs. "Silence of the Lambs"
The Oscars have always been stingy when it comes to horror movies, and “Exorcist” was the first horror movie to be nominated for a best picture Academy Award. The American Film Institute listed it as the third most thrilling American movie (after “Psycho” and “Jaws”).
The first and only horror movie to win a best picture Oscar, “Lambs” is also one of only three movies to win the “big five” Academy Awards: best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay. AFI listed it as the fifth most thrilling American movie.
“The Exorcist” is pretty much synonymous with “scariest movie ever made.” Forty years since its release, it remains a horribly upsetting movie. And to its credit, it has very few jump-scares. Its horror comes from the vile imagery and religion-based fears of true evil.
Like “The Exorcist,” “The Silence of the Lambs” doesn't traffic in jump-scares. It's not even that scary while you're watching it. What “Lambs” does is leave you with a terrific feeling of dread and hopelessness. It's the kind of movie you have to scrub off later.
It's a testament to the quality of “Exorcist” (and “Lambs”) that no one's dared remake it yet. But with the countless sequels and knock-offs, it's easily one of the most influential movies ever made. If you want your devil possession movie to succeed, you put some variation of the word “Exorcism” in the title.
“Silence of the Lambs” is a Trojan horse. It's an exploitation movie in psychological thriller clothes. It made it so that respectable movies could also include sickening violence and great dollops of dread. It also, for better or worse, forced every subsequent serial killer movie to up its ick factor.