10 Horror Favorites Everyone Should Watch

by Dusan on October 11th, 2018 | |

  1. While not the typical or mainstream idea of scary, It Follows, from director David Robert Mitchell, charts its own creepy path. It’s minimal on the jump scares and excessive gore audiences usually deem scary, but it makes up for it in spades. The premise is this: Jay sleeps with a boy and is given what is essentially a sexually transmitted ghost. The ghost, the It of the title, perpetually follows the victim wherever they go until it catches and kills them. The movie can be seen as a metaphor for growing into adulthood as the specter of adulthood looms over us like the It, making life feel nerve-wracking. Additionally, the film uses an abundance of wide shots that include blurred backgrounds so the audience is constantly guessing if and where the It will show up.
  1. If you’re a horror fan then you probably know the ins and outs of the zombie genre, but have you watched the original George A. Romero seminal classic, Night of the Living Dead? It’s said that initial audiences were stunned into silence, they were watching the true birth of a genre, after all. Audiences were shocked at the flesh-crazed zombies. And it could have never been if Romero had gotten the bigger budget for a sci-fi comedy he wanted. But thanks to limited funds they pull rabbits out of a hat and made a legendary entry in the horror genre.
  1. Like number 9, this one involves the beginnings of a horror sub-genre, this time: found-footage in Cannibal Holocaust. Now, going on a documentary expedition to the Amazon to check out some cannibal tribes is dangerous stuff, but they really underestimated just how wrong things could go in this 1980 classic by Ruggero Deodato. The characters are brutally murdered in various ways by the natives, along with a few (real!) monkeys and turtles. The graphic nature of the film made it banned in multiple countries and the realistic style even made it a subject of legal issues before Deodato trotted out his actors to prove that no, they didn’t actually die.
  1. Plenty of horror movies say they’re based on true events, but few are as realistic as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer from director John McNaughton. The film is based on the confessions of Henry Lee Lucas a serial killer who was convicted of 11 murders, but claimed to have killed 100+ people. It’s naturalistic and has been praised for letting the audience directly into the head of a serial killer as we watch Henry go about his life: going to work, eating with friends, and casual murdering strangers. It’s been banned in a few places, but we recommend checking it out anyway.
  1. Gaspar Noe is known for his depraved movies and 2002’s Irreversible is no different. It’s not a silly jump scare movie or a simple gore-fest as Roger Ebert himself said that most people would find the film “unwatchable.” The film was a part of the New French Extremity movement and really hits home with ferocious and cruel violence. It works backwards chronologically as two men avenge the rape and beating of a friend. It was shocking enough at its Cannes screening that many people left the audience.
  1. Stanley Kubrick is an iconic director and his 1980 staple The Shining is no different. Though it’s now looked upon as a horror classic the initial reviews were indifferent at best and at worst they got Kubrick nominated for Worst Director at the inaugural Razzies. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Kubrick does wonders with his particular sense of detail and style. The use of well-lit scenes and well-dressed sets make the audience sit there and take in every disturbing detail.
  1. Considered by some to be a more classy type of horror, Rosemary’s Baby follows Mia Farrow as she becomes pregnant under enigmatic circumstances and she begins to question her own sanity. Who is the true father of her growing offspring? The camera work draws the audience into Rosemary’s world so that they too feel cornered and paranoid. Though to some modern audiences it is not enough, the original 60s audiences connected to the religious themes and the anxieties of city living.
  1. Another film that sometimes doesn’t stand up to modern expectations of scary, The Exorcist from director William Friedkin was one of the most shocking films of the 70s. It’s visceral and emotional tone made it an instant classic. The idea of an affluent young girl being afflicted with such a problem as possession made audiences scared to look under the bed. Pazzuzu and Regan helped the film become one of the highest grossing horror movies of all time.
  1. Ringu from 1998 is the first film in the trend we call J-horror, another genre building block of horror. After 20 years the film’s slow-burn pace still holds up, making viewers feel like they shouldn’t have watched it, not unlike the video cassette of the film’s plot. The film does away with cheap jump scares and trades in pure dread and disturbing imagery.
  1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974. Though not the first slasher film, American masked slashers were born in the form of Leatherface and his family in 1974. Without computer effects or fancy tricks up his sleeve, Tobe Hooper made a horror staple that has lasted the ages. It bears no thrills and thrusts the audience into scene-after-scene of pure adrenaline and horror. It was banned in several countries and we all know that usually means high praise when it comes to the number of scares.

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