There are films renowned for cinematic grotesqueries and dreaded for their potentially debilitating effects on the minds and psyches of audiences in the gloriously macabre annals of horror cinema. However, among the thousands of celebrated slashers, haunted house creepers, psychological thrillers, and creature-centric chillers, only a few are regarded as horror classics by the general public. Although that list is understandably exclusive, fans of the genre are constantly fine-tuning it with new additions and, of course, fevered attempts to rate the icons in some agreeable manner.
Such screenings seem to spark heated discussions about which films are deserving of top billing and which are best suited to staring up at their blood-splattered peers. During debates, genre titans are often forced to compete for unholy cinematic supremacy. And, since Reddit has never encountered a debate it didn’t want, that’s exactly where two legitimate horror icons (each deserving of “all-time greatest” status in their own right) squared off in an epic reader vote.
The Shining, a terrifying masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick, was one of the films in question. Its rival was a goth-tinged demonic nightmare film with an equally iconic cast. The competition was as close as you’d imagine, but when the final results were announced, many people were shocked by which film had moved The Shining to second place.
The Exorcist won a Reddit poll by a vote of 335 to 288. Even those who voted for The Shining were divided in the comments section. The Shining won the vote by a more narrow margin of 288 to 335. The Exorcists remains as vital to the horror genre today as it was nearly 50 years ago. It’s hard to argue any horror film is more iconic, at least according to Reddit users. “I think more horror fans flocked to the Theater to see Friday the 13th in May 1980 rather than The Shining,” said Fulanceanswer. The results are as diverse as the movies themselves, and even more revealing of the opinion of horror fans.