With Halloween coming up, it’s the perfect time to revisit the horror genre. In this list, we will discuss 26 horror movies, and why you should watch them.
A is for “An American Werewolf in London”
Two American college students are backpacking through Britain when a large wolf attacks. As one of the backpackers gets brutally killed, the other is becoming a werewolf. A staple of the werewolf genre, An American Werewolf In London is a haunting film about the challenging choices we must make.
B is for “Blade”
Not only is Blade an essential superhero movie, but it is also crucial at understanding the vampire genre. In this film, we follow a vampire hunter called Eric Brooks. However, he’s also a half-vampire, which creates interesting characterisation. You’ll watch it for the action, but remember Blade for the lasting impact it had on horror and superhero cinema.
C is for “Carrie”
Carrie not only represents supernatural horrors, but also the ones of adolescence. From the completely unlikeable characters to the ghastly massacre at the end, Carrie is an unforgettable experience. Ultimately, it may be the best argument against bullying ever put on cinema.
If your teenage years are behind you, Carrie will make you very thankful.
D is for “The Devil’s Backbone”
Guillermo Del Toro is well known for The Shape of Water and Pan’s Labyrinth, but The Devil’s Backbone still stands up well today. Creepy and unsettling, Del Toro fuses drama with horror. The school setting is unnerving, and as secrets get revealed, so do our fears.
The gothic energy of this film is perfect for those who loved The Orphanage.
E is for “The Exorcist”
The Exorcist is the stuff of horror legends- and rightfully so. Everything about this movie is creepy and almost satanic in its scares. The performance by Linda Blair is unnerving: she goes from sweet child to a raging and vulgar presence of evil.
F is for “Funny Games”
Haneke’s damning commentary on media violence has been praised and condemned worldwide. Either way, there is no denying that the German director managed to mortify and sicken the stomachs of many viewers. Here, a family of three are tortured and tormented to the sick whims of men. There is no mercy nor redemption in this story: just the awful reminder that people can enjoy us at our very lowest.
G is for “Grindhouse”
Two films in one sounds like a bizaare, old-fashioned concept, but for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, it was the chance to make some movie magic. Both Planet Terror and Death Proof are violent, bloody affairs- but they are also fun with plenty of grit and attitude.
You don’t have to watch both films straight after another, but it can make a fun afternoon.
H is for “Halloween”
Helmed by John Carpenter, Halloween is quite possibly the most iconic slasher film of all time. There is no denying its scares: from the screeching score, to the blankness of Michael Myer’s character. The low budget filmmaking only adds to the horror.
I is for “It”
With quite possibly the creepiest clown ever, It is the two-part story of ‘The Loser’s Club’ and their misfortunes with Pennywise The Dancing Clown. The movies themselves are fantastic, emotional, scary and in parts, darkly funny.
You can read some posts about “It” and Pennywise here: (Part One) (Part Two).
J is for is “Jacob’s Ladder”
Descending into madness has never been more horrific. Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins), a veteran, is plagued by flashbacks and hallucinations. As he struggles to maintain his sanity, he enters a psychological hell where little makes sense and only pain is assured. A fantastic film that has been forgotten by many.
K is for “Krampus”
It’s time for Christmas cheer, right? Wrong! Krampus, a dark fantasy horror film, is nasty and unpleasant. The characters (for the most part) are dreadful, and the humour game is strong. Whilst the film is flawed and not all of the jokes land, it’s still an hilarious insight into the time of year when we realize just how naughty we have been all year.
L is for “Let The Right One In”
A bullied young boy befriends a bloodthirsty vampire in this acclaimed Swedish horror film. With its brooding atmosphere and wonderful character moments, Let The Right One In may be the greatest vampire movie of this century so far.
It’s a well-executed film that reminds us of the spectacular heights filmmaking can reach.
M is for “Midsommar”
Midsommar is a visually stunning folk horror film that shows the dark, simmering horror admist a summer’s day. From the mastermind of Hereditary, Ari Aster transforms the idyllic Swedish setting into a disturbing playground of horror.
It’s a film that is sure to divide others, yet it would be difficult to forget.
N is for “The Night of the Living Dead”
Also known as the quintessential zombie film, The Night of the Living Dead is a film drenched in metaphor and complexities. As we follow the lives of seven individuals trapped inside a rural farmhouse, we are reminded of the turmoils that exist within our own homes.
Made with a small budget, this movie is also a terrific example of George O. Romero’s creativity.
O is for “The Omen”
Whilst never reaching the iconic heights of The Exorcist, the film The Omen is still a staple in the horror genre. Damien Thorn may be the creepiest little boy out there, and after seeing this film, you’ll know why.
Blending family drama with horror, The Omen depicts the Antichrist in its most innocent form. Prophetic and chilling, The Omen will make you believe in a greater force of evil.
P is for “Poltergiest”
Known for the eerie ‘they’re here’ to the haunting atmosphere- Poltergiest is a scary, unsettling adventure to the world of the unknown. Poltergiest is not only instrumental as a horror film, but also as a cultural landmark of the 80s. It is undeniably creepy.
Everyone knows this movie, even if they haven’t seen it.
Q is for “A Quiet Place”
Original and groundbreaking, A Quiet Place proves that a great movie can be made with sparse dialogue. Not only that, but there are terrific performances, with Emily Blunt being a stand-out.
The tension will make you dread watching the next second. However, this movie is worth watching. It’s well made, meaningful and never feels shallow or cheap.
R is for “Resident Evil”
Look. These movies are deeply flawed, yet for some, they offer escapism and action. Spanning multiple movies and an upcoming reboot, the Resident Evil series is the most successful big screen adaption of a video game. Our protagonist, Alice, takes no trash and emerged as one of the biggest female action heroes of the early 2000s.
So grab your popcorn, turn off your brain and watch this series! Or maybe, stick to playing the game.
S is for “Suspiria”
Suspiria is, essentially, a demonic slasher version of The Red Shoes. Here, the world of ballet reveals to be underlined by witches who mean to do harm. Set in a rainy Berlin, danger is in every corner of Dante Argento’s imagination.
After you watch it, maybe you could check out the 2018 remake that was directed by Luca Guadagnino.
T is for “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
As unnerving today as it was released forty years ago, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre proves that there is horror among the daylight. Featuring the notorious Leatherface and his creepy family, we watch a group of friends meet grisly ends. However, this movie also helped develop the ‘final girl’ trope, resulting in a bone-chilling chase sequence.
A must watch for any horror fan
U is for “Under The Skin”
A science fiction fable set in Scotland, Under The Skin is a remarkable gem of a horror film. Told from the perspective of an alien who lures her victims into the darkness, director Jonathan Glazer invites us into a world of violence and loneliness.
Scarlett Johansson’s performance is also terrific.
V is for “Videodrome”
The body horror of David Cronenberg’s cinema has been discussed by film scholars for decades. And for a good reason- the reality depicted in Videodrome is weird and trippy. More than that, Videodrome blends the television we love with torture and graphic violence.
After you watch this, check out Scanners.
W is for “The Wicker Man”
Known for the iconic closing scene, The Wicker Man is a strange and peculiar film. Taking the shape of a traditional detective story, The Wicker Man leaves us with questions that we don’t want to know the answers to. That being said, The Wicker Man also reminds us of our differences with other human beings, and the horrifying underbelly that lurks underneath.
X is for “X the Unknown” (1956)
This mostly forgotten ’50s film deserves a second chance by society. It’s a british science fiction film about a radioactive creature from the centre of the earth that is now terrorizing a Scottish village. That’s unpleasant!
Y is for “You’re Next”
A wealthy yet estranged family comes together, only to find themselves trapped and being attacked by animal mask wearers. Requiring a tough stomach (and also the willingness to laugh), You’re Next is a perfectly watchable horror movie, even if it didn’t overhaul the genre.
Z is for “Zombieland”
Zombieland is a popular, fun film. It’s also heartwarming, stylish, cute in parts, violent and witty as hell. Often seen as the American answer to Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland is the ultimate crowd pleaser for comedy horror fans.
And that brings a close to this list! Now onto you. What are your favourite horror movies? Comment below!
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