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.

And I'll begin with #5.

In 1991, I got a hold of a copy of Thomas Harris's novel The Silence of the Lambs about two weeks before its film adaptation was to hit the big screen. I tore through it. Excellent book.

And, happily, an excellent movie--it followed the book to the letter. And it was a disturbing movie.

21 years ago, we may not have been fully prepared for the depths to which we would sink as we followed FBI agent Clarice Starling--played by Jodie Foster--in her quest to find the demented serial killer Buffalo Bill, so named because he skinned his victims.

Her last best hope, as we all now know, was another serial killer, the even more sinister and perverse Hannibal Lecter--played by Anthony Hopkins--a cannibal who resided in the lowest levels of a Baltimore insane asylum, well out of reach of the human race.

But he grew to enjoy Clarice's company and was happy to help her, even if he did so cryptically.

Two unbelievably twisted serial killers. Two parallel, yet intertwined, storylines.

And a classic was born.