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Horror. Slasher. Suspense. Sci-Fi/Horror. Whatever you get into, especially if this is your thing, you will appreciate that these kinds of films never seem to lose their appeal. Good or bad, there is always an audience looking to get scared. Over the long history of the film medium, there have been countless flicks made that once watched, results in nightmares and wet beds or sleepless nights so you can avoid those nightmares. Years later after you grow up and think back to those movies you saw as a kid, how many do you actually remember? How many of those still touch those same nerves they did when you watch them now?
I’ll admit that horror films aren’t particularly a part of my utility belt. However, I have seen a fair share of films in the this genre and sub-genre and I can tell you now that years later, watching them again still stirs something inside me. Below is a list of five (of many) films I believe still stand the test of time.
The Shining (1980)
Shelly Duvall. As a kid, I had a crush on her (don’t judge) after I had seen the film Popeye. She’s how I came to The Shining. I would discover that this film was totally different than the Sailor Man’s adventure. Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror flick, believe it or not, wasn’t all that hot when it was first released. However, over time opinion of the film has shifted and it is now regarded as one of Kubrick’s great masterpieces. It contains great performances and is a solid portrait of one’s descent into madness and the effects it has on a family. Also, I don’t care what anyone says, kids can sometimes be more creepy than adults in films like this. Those Grady twins are still unsettling.
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
One of the masters of the horror film, Wes Craven’s first entry of the long-running slasher series is one of those films that will keep you up at night. It certainly kept me up. Sure, some of the effects seem a bit dated by today’s standards and even the acting might be a bit over the top, but watch this with the lights off and tell me you don’t feel a bit anxious. One of the reasons it’s still so effective is because it deals with a character that can kill you in one of the most sacred and private of places and that is your dreams. Dreams are supposed to be pleasant, right? Well, when Freddie hits the scene your dream becomes a nightmare and you just might not wake up. Don’t go to sleep on this one.
Of the 50 plus films that Hitchcock put out during his long and productive career, the story of Norman Bates and secretary Marion Crane, is probably one of his best-known works. Like Kubrick’s The Shining, Psycho debuted to mixed reviews, but as we all know, the film is highly regarded as a work of cinematic art. The fact that it is shot in black and white does much to heighten the suspense and makes it feel real. That chilling shower scene is the centerpiece of the film and manages to make one turn around at least once while in the shower.
One of the early slasher films, John Carpenter’s Halloween is still plenty disturbing without the graphic gore and excessive violence of today’s slasher films. Shot on a shoestring budget over the course of four weeks, it is a true accomplishment that holds up pretty well, even if some of the acting may seem laughable. One thing about this film that is definitely not laughable as Michael Myers terrorizes a small suburban town on Halloween night, is Carpenter’s musical score. The main theme is one of those unforgettable themes that gives the film its kick, and is one piece of music that sends chills down your spine. The simplicity of it mirrors that of the visceral fear of being hunted. And make no mistake, Myers is a hunter.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The first feature film directed by the zombie film king, George Romero. There would be no Resident Evil without this film. I would even argue that there would be no World War Z or even Walking Dead without this film. The musical score and film noir elements with the concept of hoards of dead people that won’t stay dead is a potent mix. This one is another flick that will keep you up at night.
I’m sure there are many other horror pictures that are just as timeless as these, but what do you all think out there faithful Fusers? Agree with this list? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!