Sunday, October 10, 2010


 As the witching hour slowly approaches, it now comes the time that just about every horror aficionado dreads.  I'm referring to, of course, when our friends and loved ones harass the living daylights out of us over recommendations for scary movies.  Luckily for me, everyone who asks is between the ages of 18-23 and for some reason, are completely oblivious to the horror genre. I'm not sure why people who spend their Halloween season trying to figure out which form of a costume looks sluttier suddenly feel compelled to watch horror films in October, but alas, who am I to judge?  So as an attempt to finally compile a list of films to keep my chummy collegiate chums at bay, here is a categorized list (five films per category) of the horror films I refer to my collegiate buds for the upcoming haunting season.

If there's anything I've learned from being in the collegiate environment, it's that anyone born after 1985 seems to have absolutely zero knowledge whatsoever on horror films made before their time. It's weird to comprehend this, but yes, there are people out there who haven't ever seen a horror film in black in white or without computer effects. That being said, I found it necessary to open this list with the horror films of yesteryear.

Psycho (1960)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Nosferatu (1922)

One of the more depressing facts of the horror genre is coming to terms with the fact that some of the greatest horror films in existence aren't in English.  Honestly, a good percent of College Americans are just too damn lazy to read freaking subtitles.  However, there are some films too spectacular to look past and deserve their recommendations. 

Let The Right One In (2008)
Audition (1999/2000)
The Orphanage (2007)
Inside (2007)
[REC] (2007)

No matter how many horror movies I sit through, there's always something scarier about the thought of it actually happening.  Even if people claim not to believe in them, everyone at some point, has been afraid of ghosts.  There's something about the possibility of what goes bump in the night to be someone...something else.  The mystery of what becomes of us after we leave this life is a seemingly universal fear for everyone, and ghost movies exploit that fear better than anything.

Lady in White (1988)
The Changeling (1980)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
The Shining (1980)
Lake Mungo (2010)

Alright, let's face it.  There is absolutely nothing greater in the world of horror movie monsters, than zombies.  Zombies are the kings of the horror world and I don't see them losing their crown anytime soon.  Even people who hate horror movies understand the workings and the concept behind our undead favorites. The plus side of the zombie being such a popular creature is the plethora of zombie films being cranked out every year. The downside...they're not all good.

Romero's Night/Dawn/Day of the Dead (1968/1977/1985)
Zombi 2 (1979)
...28 Days Later (2002)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Believe it or not, there is a huge following for horror comedies.  The combinations of laughing and screaming seem to entertain the masses.  While most horror comedies tend to be run by the zombie genre, there are plenty of other comedy horror flicks to tickle your fancy. Horror comedies seem to be like the zombie, in that just about everyone loves them. Horror comedies also come in handy when dealing with someone who isn't all that familiar with horror films or tends to scare easily.  It's a nice gateway into the realm we all love so dearly.

An American Werewolf In London (1981)
Fright Night (1985)
Evil Dead II (1987)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Zombieland (2009)

Probably the most well-known of the horror genres, college kids seem to eat up slasher films.  With unique kills, sassy dialogue, and the ever entrancing final girls seem to drive straight up young adult alleys.  The sad thing is that most people my age recognize slashers as something concocted by Rob Zombie (or an absolutely dreadful remake company), and all of the great ones go unnoticed.

Candyman (1992)
Black Christmas (1974)
Halloween (1978)
Scream (1996)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Everyone knows that college is filled with more than its fair share of nerds.  After the countless unnecessary GenEd's of the biologies and the computer sciences, it's nice to see the sci-fi work in a more entertaining fashion.  And what do nerds love more than science fiction? Horror of course! You add a little horror to the mix, and you've got something that appeals to more than just the protractor posse!  No offense of course, most of my best friends are nerds....Anyway, sci-fi and horror seem to go hand and hand.  It is by combining these two forces that we are given some of the best horror films in existence.

Videodrome (1983)
The Thing (1982)
Alien (1979)
Event Horizon (1997)

There really isn't much that needs to be said.  College kids are a simple breed with simple expectations and simple amusements.  There's no easier way to amuse the sick and twisted little minds of the future's best and brightest than to smother the screen in blood and guts.  It seems that college kids have all been struck by the Saw & Hostel bugs but haven't really seen anything gorier than that.  There are some films like Cannibal Holocaust that I'd never recommend to a college crowd, but that isn't to say there aren't gory gems that need to be seen by the masses!

Re-Animator (1985)
Dead Alive (1994)
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
The Beyond (1981)
City of the Living Dead (1980)

16 comment(s):

B-Sol said...

Excellent. Should be printed out and distributed on campuses everywhere!

Unknown said...

Great list! I've got to check out Lake Mungo...

Pax Romano said...

I concur with B Sol. You should teach a class!

Anonymous said...

anyone born after 1985 seems to have absolutely zero knowledge whatsoever on horror films made before their time

Or indeed films of ANY sort made before then... sigh.

Cinema Du Meep said...

Just stopping in to say Hi. I love this place. Finally, a blog my grandmother would be proud of!

(she was a big fan of I Spit On Your Grave and movies of it's ilk)

Zachary Kelley said...

Excellent list,but I was surprised all the foreign recommendation were all so recent. I think Susperia, if nothing else, belongs in there.

Otherwise, should be required viewing for all horror fans.

The Fiji Mermaid said...

Awesome list I think I would agree with just about every flick listed there.

Yolanda Barker said...

What an awesome blog. Your film choices rock, and I love your writing style! Looking forward to reading more,



The Mike said...

Good stuff, ma'am! Little ashamed to say there are a handful here I still need to see, but in general they rock!

Andreas said...

Oh, man, do I empathize... working at a college library has shown me just how limited the patrons' tastes often are.

Maybe I'll pull out this list the next time somebody asks me for horror recommendations. Then maybe I can indoctrinate them into watching Carnival of Souls and Candyman.

Elliot Ibáñez said...

The Orphanage? Paranormal Activity? for real???? I'd rather have a Twatlight marathon with some Glitter and Crossroads...

Gargantua said...

I've seen most of these, but The Orphanage intrigues me. I went and watched a trailer, but I couldn't tell if it was true horror or more along the line of suspense. Guess I'll have to watch it since it made the list. :)

AK said...

Great list. I finally got around to seeing Peeping Tom last night, and I would put it right up there with Psycho, but if you're teaching the essentials, I guess you should start with Hitch.

MacReady said...

Nicely done on the inclusion of Lifeforce! I just came across that gem a few years back. Dan O'Bannon rules! Tobe Hopper rules! Nice.

Spooky Sean said...

You have excellent taste.

hannibal said...

I 'm a 39 year-old married woman and i swear to Freddy Krueger's glove i love you!!! you MUST be my long lost younger [and wittier] sister from hell with the greatest taste in horror movies in the known universe. Fantastic blog, superb lists, i'm recommending it to my horror-hungry best man asap :)

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