In honor of the upcoming holiday (and it's my personal favorite), this blog is off the usual topic of writing. Today, I’m sharing a bit about horror movies. I have a background in film (it was my major) and I’ve taken dozens of courses devoted to different genres, styles, and directors. And writing and movies are connected - after all, every movie begins with a story idea!
Horror movies (like ice cream) come in a variety of flavors, and horror movie fans/buffs have their own personal likes and dislikes. Some people are devoted to the classic 1930 and 1940 Universal Studios films starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Others enjoy the British Hammer films of the 1960s. Other types of fans are attracted to a specific genre (torture porn, mutant cannibal families, clowns) or a monster (werewolves, zombies). Still other folks are loyal to a specific character (Jason Voorhees) or franchise (Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm St.)
So what are my favorites among these categories? I have my list of “classics” but I have a special fondness for 1970s horror films. Some are considered classic or revolutionary and others are just plain bad. (The “so bad they’re good” kind.)
I could go on and on (really!) but here’s a list of my top ten classics (in alphabetical order – with 1 tie.). They’re not all necessarily gory or scary, but they have a good story, tense camera work, or are just plain cool.
- The Amityville Horror (1975) – Some houses are cheap for a reason!
- Dog Soldiers (2002) – Best werewolf movie ever.
- Dracula (1931) tied with The Mummy (1932) – Can’t choose between them, sorry
- Evil Dead (1983) – Gave us Bruce Campbell in the worst cabin ever – yey!
- Halloween (1978) – An instant classic that still freaks people out – and the music…
- King Kong (1933) – A classic for its time – the island part is the best
- The Other (1972) – Often overlooked story about creepy twins – need I say more?
- Pitch Black (2000) – Life on other planets isn’t always nice
- Psycho (1960) – Leave it to Alfred to scare everyone out of the shower
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – Paranoia and persecution = Polanski
And, in my personal favorite genre, 1970s horror movies, here are the top ten.
- Bad Ronald (1974) – Who’s living behind your walls?
- Black Christmas (1974) – The first really creepy Christmas movie
- The Car (1977) – Before Christine started trouble, this scared everyone
- Dark Night of the Scarecrow – Okay, it’s really 1981, but who’s not afraid of the last scene in this TV movie?
- Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) – When someone tells you not to open something, don’t!
- Frogs (1972) – One of my favorites – original poster had a hand hanging out of the frog’s mouth
- The Hills Have Eyes (1977) – A family goes camping and meets another, stranger, family
- Race with the Devil (1975) – Again, while trying to go camping, a group meets up with trouble (anti-camping movies are their own genre!)
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – The horror classic about a dysfunctional family – and there’s no blood – really!
- Twisted Brain (1974) – Horror in high school (makes a great double feature with Bad Ronald!)
So there you have it, my take on horror movies. What are yours? What do you think of these? Check a few out and enjoy them – at your own risk!
KelliYes, the photo is of my 1970s Halloween decorations!!