In the run-up to Halloween, I thought I’d lay out my favorite horror movies of all time. Now, I have a couple of changes from previous lists.

First, I no longer call this a list of the five scariest movies of all time because they’re excellent films and I’ve watched them a number of times for THAT reason. So they don’t “scare” me anymore. But I deeply appreciate how they CAN scare someone. Naturally, I’d love to see them all again as if I were watching them for the first time, but that’s not happening.

Second, there are a couple of movies in my list that some might not regard as “horror” films. One is also a science fiction movie. Another could legitimately be called a crime drama. Well, actually, three others could be. But, they are also all, in my opinion, horror movies.

I will continue with #4.

"In space, no one can hear you scream."

It's a memorable tagline for what I believe is a great horror movie that got overshadowed by its action-packed sequel 7 years later. Don't get me wrong. I really like Aliens. But I consider it to be more of a solid action adventure than a horror movie. And it made more money. And, at the time, it received more critical acclaim.

But as the years have passed, the original Alien has become a classic. At 33 years old, it has aged beautifully. I can sadly state that the same cannot be said for the 34-year-old Halloween, after a recent viewing. But, back to Alien. What a great, creepy monster movie/haunted house flick. The foreboding music score lies beneath all the action and the dialogue. There is no natural light at any time during the film. It's almost always dark.

The crew of the space salvage ship Nostromo have absolutely no idea what, if anything, they will find when they answer a distress call from a remote planet. And once something--whatever it is--latches on to John Hurt's mask, first-time viewers still have no clue what to expect. It certainly isn't the dinner scene to beat all dinner scenes.

I'd describe it, but just in case you haven't seen it, I'll let you make the horrifying discovery for yourself. Alien introduced the world to the seemingly indestructible Ellen Ripley--played here and in the three sequels by Sigourney Weaver--and a great character named Ash, played by Ian Holm.

The monster makes it a haunted house movie. Ash makes it a horror movie. Ash is a synthetic human who, oddly enough, has his own spades. And he accounts for one of the goriest scenes in the film.

Dark corners, dripping water, heavy breathing, and, of course, a cat that can jump out at you.

Now THIS is a horror movie.