William Friedkin's The Exorcist has been voted the best horror film ever made in a new Halloween poll.

The 1973 thriller, based on William Peter Blatty's book, topped an online poll of more than 6,000 HMV customers, thanks to its unique blend of supernatural horror, religious iconography and a taboo-breaking script.

The Shining, Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of the Stephen King novel, finished a narrow second while Alien was voted third.

James Wan's Saw, from 2004, was a surprise choice in fifth and the highest-placing film from the 21st century.

Jonny Scurfield, an HMV DVD buyer, commented: "Over the last few years, we've seen a significant upsurge of interest in this genre - probably more than for any other movie category, with younger customers in their late teens and early 20s leading the way.

"Halloween has become a key retail event, with sales of horror DVDs more than doubling in the past three years, and this year, with the doom and gloom of the credit crunch, you get The Feeling it may prove a bit of a boom for horror, with more people staying in to watch their favourite movies."

The top 50 films in vote order (title/director/date/% votes received/position last year)

1 The Exorcist - William Friedkin (1973)/8.8% (1)
2 The Shining - Stanley Kubrick (1980)/7.6% (2)
3 Alien - Ridley Scott (1979)/5.8% (11)
4 The Silence Of The Lambs - Jonathan Demme (1991)/5.7% (12)
5 Saw - James Wan (2004)/5.4% (15)
6 Halloween - John Carpenter (1978)/4.0% (3)
7 A Nightmare On Elm Street - Wes Craven (1984)/3.9% (4)
8 Ring (Ringu) - Hideo Nakata (1998)/3.3% (5)
9 The Wicker Man - Robin Hardy (1973)/3.1% (17)
10 The Omen - Richard Donner (1976)/3.0% (7)
11 The Birds - Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
12 The Thing - John Carpenter (1982)
13 Lost Boys - Joel Schumacher (1987)
14 Dawn of the Dead - George A. Romero (1978)
15 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Tobe Hooper (1974)
16 Jaws - Steven Spielberg (1975)
17 The Blair Witch Project - Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez (1999)
18 An American Werewolf in London - John Landis (1981)
19 Se7en - David Fincher (1995)
20 Poltergeist - Tobe Hooper (1982)
21 The Amityville Horror. Stuart Rosenberg (1979)
22 Candyman - Bernard Rose (1992)
23 Scream - Wes Craven (1996)
24 Carrie - Brian De Palma (1976)
25 Friday the 13th - Sean S Cunningham (1980)
26 Final Destination - James Wong (2000)
27 The Evil Dead - Sam Raimi (1981)
28 Hellraiser - Clive Barker (1987)
29 Hostel - Eli Roth (2005)
30 Salem '> s Lot - Mikael Salomon (2004)
31 The Descent - Neil Marshall (2005)
32 The Hills Have Eyes - Wes Craven (1977)
33 Wolf Creek - Greg McLean (2005)
34 Misery - Rob Reiner (1991)
35 Rosemary's Baby - Roman Polanski (1968)
36 Child's Play - Tom Holland (1989)
37 The Orphanage - Juan Antonio Bayona (2008)
38 The Entity - Sidney J Furie (1981)
39 Nosferatu - FW Murnau (1922)
40 Night of the Living Dead - George A. Romero (1968)
41 House on Haunted Hill, William Malone (2000)
42 The Haunting, Robert Wise (1963)
43 It - Tommy Lee Wallace (1990)
44 Audition - Takashi Miike (1999)
45 The Changeling - Peter Medak (1980)
46 The Mist - Frank Darabont (2008)
47 Suspiria - Dario Argento (1977)
48 The Vanishing - George Sluizer (1993)
49 Shutter - Masayuki Ochiai (2008)
50 Planet Terror - Robert Rodriguez (2007)


31/10/2008 06:31:01