As many of you who frequent the site know, I LOVE Horror movies. With Halloween looming, I thought this would be kind of fun. With so many Horror movies out there to see, I started to think about what kind of Horror movies I like the best. Funny thing is, I had done a similar list in the past and was surprised how much my tastes had changed in just a few years time. Check it out:
HONORABLE MENTION: META-HORROR.
Examples: Cabin in the Woods, Scream, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
In all honesty, this would probably be my favorite if I was entirely sure I could even call it a sub-genre. In fact, the only three good examples I could think of are listed above… and two of those were written by the same dude! On top of that, almost all those films are mentioned and fit better into some of the categories lsited below. Still, these films deserve a lot of respect as they manage to turn the genre inside out and play on the over-used conventions used in almost every Horror film you ever see. Then, they flip them on their heads and, in most case, send the genre heading into a new and fresh direction.
5. MOVIE MANIAC ICONS.
Examples: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play.
I touched on this in our Top 17 Horror Movie Baddies post. There’s something great about a Horror movie that is set around an interesting villain with a rich mythology. In a way, by creating a deep back story for these movie maniacs, we feel compelled not only to root for their victims but for the baddies themselves. Plus, it makes everything they do seem justifiable in a twisted way and all the more creepy.
4. HORROR COMEDIES.
Examples: Shaun of the Dead, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Evil Dead II, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It feels weird even counting this as a genre but, in recent years, these films have turned out to be more successful and entertaining than most the Horror being produced in Hollywood. Much like Meta-Horror films, Comedy can be used to take a look at how ridiculous the genre as a whole can be and play upon the absurdity of it in a fun way. In a way that allows us to relieve that tension of fear with the power of laughter… Power of Laughter? That was my favorite Huey Lewis song!
3. SLASHER FILMS.
Examples: Prom Night, Black Christmas, Scream.
I don’t know about you but, aside from burning alive and drowning, being stabbed has always seemed like the worst way to go out. I have often said I could die a happy man if I could just manage to avoid being stabbed in my life. While the Slasher film has lost a lot of what made it so popular in the 70s and 80s, the films featuring mad men lurking in the shadows with a large butcher’s knife still get my goat… yeah, I said “my goat”.
2. FOUND FOOTAGE FILMS.
Examples: The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield.
Films like these are hard to do. The three listed above are the only three I can think of that have completely got it right. When these films fail, you feel like you’re watching a movie the second the first image hits the screen. When it mildly succeeds, you get something like The Fourth Kind. However, when a filmmaker nails it, you can get some of the most terrifying images ever caught on film. The realism is what makes these films work and, if it’s done right, well, good luck sleeping tonight.
1. END OF THE WORLD SCENARIOS.
Examples: Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, [REC], 28 Weeks Later.
I don’t know if these are the scariest films out there but I still LOVE any film that grapples with the topic of humans trying to survive in a world they have lost control of and that is slowly trying to consume them. Be it an alien invasion, an infectious outbreak, zombies or pod people, these movies are money in my book… money in my wallet would make more sense though.
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.