No, seriously, Red Dragon?

Time Magazine has posted its list of the Top 25 Horror Movies of all time, by critic Richard Corliss. It’s pretty ridiculous. Red Dragon? It includes a lot of films that are fondly remembered but not in serious contention for the canon–Dead Alive, Black Sunday, freaking Blood Feast. And then there are the countless omissions–obviously these things are subjective, but the absence of The Shining, The Blair Witch Project, Dawn of the Dead, and Rosemary’s Baby seems particularly glaring, and that’s before we get into more tenuous or debatable territory like The Sixth Sense, The Ring, Hellraiser, Evil Dead 2, Henry, Suspiria, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hostel, 28 Days Later, etc. And again, The Silence of the Lambs doesn’t make the cut but Red Dragon does. Finally, the too-clever-by-half non-horror selections are pretty preposterous–Bambi? Arrival of a Train? I understand what they’re saying, but those films aren’t horror films, they’re movies that had parts that scared people. The flying monkeys scared the shit out of every little kid in America but The Wizard of Oz is not a horror movie.

Lists like this one really make me question the value of listmaking as part of the critical enterprise, because the “hey, it started a conversation” thing is only worthwhile if the conversation doesn’t muddy the waters and force knowledgeable people to spend valuable time smacking down stupidity. This goes double when the list is presented not as one dude’s opinion but by a publication that presumes authority on all topics about which it speaks.

One Response to No, seriously, Red Dragon?

  1. And no Red Dragon!

    AOL/Moviefone has finished up its countdown of the 31 Best Horror Movies of All Time (click the link for the whole shebang). Unlike that goofy Time/Richard Corliss list, this one’s very, very solid. There are a lot fewer surprises (maybe…

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