“I don’t like Horror they’re too scary” quit being a wimp and give one of these films a try! Horror is good for us, as it stretches our imagination and gives us a free adrenaline rush. Nowadays horror is just about jump scares and ghostly nonsense. In the cinema at the moment the films are mostly paranormal or zombie related. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against these types of horror, but there are lots of classics worth trying first which are more psychologically creepy. In my opinion a horror that leaves you thinking long after the film ends is worth watching instead of just a bunch of quick meaningless scares. I think Horror films also have to be fun to watch. Some I have included are quite retro and you don’t have to take them too seriously. I think if a horror looks old and dated, if the subject matter is still strong then it doesn’t matter.
Please comment if you have any greats that I haven’t mentioned or please tell me some of your favourites I’d love to hear them.
The Shining – If you haven’t seen the Shining then you need to watch it. The combination of Stanley Kubrick’s artistic genius, alongside the creepy acting from Jack Nicholson is a real treat. You can cut the tension with a knife and the eerieness is off the charts. If you think you won’t bother as you’ve read the book, think again. I’ve read the book and this re-imagining is so much better. This film does build the tension with music and there isn’t always a pay off so it can leave your nerves shot. ‘Paranormal activity’ (The original only) I think also creates an excellent build up of tension in this same way but The Shining has a much better story.
The Descent – this is quite a fun film to watch with other people. The dank dark potholing they venture down to is a great horror atmosphere. There is also the dynamic of the tension between the group and all the backstabbing to try and escape. The evil that lurks in the cave is definitely scary and not too hard to believe, when you consider some of the strange creatures they find on nature documentaries. There is a fair amount of gore in this film so the squeemish be aware!
Rosemary’s Baby – don’t be put off because this is an old film. The story is closer to a thriller but it deserves the title of horror because the subject is quite strong. My girlfriend is 22 and she found this film entrancing. This film has great moments of obscurity and surrealism which leaves you feeling uneasy. Definitely one to try out. This is perhaps a great starter for those less into violent horror.
The Exorcist – when this film hit the cinema my dad didn’t know what it was about, he was dating my mother at the time and thought if he invited her she would get scared and cuddle up to him. My dad ended up being the scared one and cuddled up to her instead. Now this film still holds a dark premise. The thought of the little girl being the object of the devils spirit is scary enough. You can see from this film why it upset religious people so much. The art in this film is excellent and the story is still punchy and fun.
28 Days Later – Danny Boyle gets on my nerves at times. I wasn’t that into Trainspotting and I didn’t get the fascination with Slumdog Millionaire, but this film I enjoyed. Set in a desserted London, this is a great modern take on a zombie movie. The people aren’t so much zombies but as living viruses fuelled by a rage virus. The story isn’t just about that though, it follows the survival of these oddly matched people. The drama is excellent and it takes you on a journey of hope. This one definitely leaves you thinking.
Occulus – this is a modern horror about a woman in search of this antique mirror that supposedly holds mystical paranormal powers. This film is a bit of a head fuck and sketched me out at times but is none the less gripping. This one definitely kept me awake that night as it plays on your mind. Definitely give this one a go.
Ring – the book is also worth reading and I have no gripes with the American version either. I would recommend watching the Japanese one as it has a dark side to it that is great. The story of a videotape that when watched will put a curse of you that kills you if you don’t make someone else watch it is great! The film is less about the horror but more about dealing with this awful situation and indirectly having to learn about how this came to pass. This film is a Great modern classic.
Bram Stokers Dracula – this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I found the art of this film entrancing. Keane Reeves was a bit scary because of his British accent. Gary Oldman steals the show though with a fantastic eerie interpretation of Dracula. In terms of gore there are a few spoonfuls of sugar that I enjoyed. The visuals of this film are intense and won awards thanks to Francis Ford Coppola. Anthony Hopkins also does a great part of playing Van Helsing. Also, don’t have a go at this film for being oldie worldie it was supposed to be set in the past! It is 2 hours but for me they flew by.
The Silence of the Lambs – this is more of a thriller but again very good. Anthony Hopkins is outstanding and plays a superb Hannibal lecter. A film called ‘manhunter’ tried to capture the idea of Hannibal lecter but failed miserably. Silence of the Lambs has style and the story is enticing. Jodie Foster plays a strange vulnerability in her character but it does compliment the film. You watch as these two characters on different sides of the glass build up a strange rappore.
The Thing – cheesy? Check! Retro? Check! I love this movie. This was in the days where animatronics were used instead of endless CGI crap. The story of an alien monster buried in the snow in frozen animation waiting to be discovered Is fascinating. This monster can polymorph into any living creature. The dynamic of the crew not trusting one another is great and you can feel the dread that they do in just not knowing. This was originally a classic that John Carpenter reimagined. I have intentionally picked this horror over Halloween because I think that Halloween was a bit of a novelty of that time and I struggle to find anything in Halloween other than just artistic merit. This film however is fun and worth a watch.
I have intentionally limited the amount of horror with intense gore or extremely messed up storyline for possibly another post. These films are really for everyone to try and if you don’t like Horror treat them like an amusement ride.
Tell me what you like about horror in the comments and please share some recommendations for me to try!