The Tom Cruise movie War of the Worlds is based on one of the scariest and most successful Halloween pranks ever: the Mercury Radio performance of the H. G. Wells classic story that nearly sparked a panic upon its broadcast in 1938. With roots so firmly planted in scaring the wits out of people – and the Halloween holiday nearly here – it’s easy to see how Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds made the Jack FM list for the Top 25 scariest movies of all time. Not only living up to the impressive lineage of the original story, Tom’s performance alongside a young Dakota Fanning ups the fear factor and adds a new chapter to the life of this thriller masterpiece.
At the time of its release in 2005, War of the Worlds was considered a gripping return to the horror movies that brought Spielberg fame – including taut thrillers like Duel and Jaws. With aliens virtually wiping out all of humanity through the duration of the movie, Tom’s character, Ray, struggles to keep moving through an apocalyptic landscape, dodging the marauding invaders as well as malevolent survivors (such as Oscar winner Tim Robbins in an ultra-creepy role).
War of the Worlds makes its way onto a list occupied by horror movie and Halloween film staples such as the aforementioned Jaws, The Exorcist, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We’re even looking at the list through our fingers, let alone the movies on them.
A divorced longshoreman taking care of his son (played by Justin Chatwin) and daughter (Fanning) for the weekend, Tom starts running immediately from the alien onslaught and doesn’t let up through the entirety of the film. With long stretches of silent anxiety punctuated by bursts of heart-pounding action, it’s easy to see how this Tom Cruise movie gets included in an all-time scariest list!
After surviving untold trials in an attempt to survive and hold his family together, Tom’s character strengthens the bonds to his children. Whether or not that’s enough to overcome life as the target of cold, merciless extraterrestrials… that’s for you to find out on the DVD! If you’re looking for a great Halloween movie to jump off the couch with fright to, this one is perfect.
For all the fans of visual effects, War of the Worlds is also noted for the amazing work of the team at Industrial Light & Magic in creating the terror-filled landscape. Take a look at the before and after of a shot from the movie below to get an idea of the extensive
Are you planning on taking in War of the Worlds as a part of your Halloween celebration? Do you think it’s one of the scariest movies of all time? Let us know in the comments section!