Human beings enjoy being scared, under controlled circumstances. There is a certain thrill in experiencing fear, yet knowing that we are in no real danger. We ride roller coasters and engage in extreme sports, all for the thrill of the fear. One of the most popular ways of thrilling ourselves is through horror movies, a thriving industry rich in history and fear.
As a very large part of the movie industry, the horror genre contains many smaller sub-genres, all aimed to scaring the audience and providing a thrilling, yet fearful experience. Although taste in horror films will differ from person to person, there are some movies that are widely considered crowning achievements of the genre. Take a moment and familiarize yourself with these epic horror movies.
Based on the novel by Stephen King, widely considered the king of horror literature, the film adaptation of “The Shining” is often considered the crowning achievement of horror movies. Light on gore, but heavy on atmosphere and tension, the film provides a frightening experience that does not end when the movie is over. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the plot follows the developing madness of a failed novelist who succumbs to insanity after a long winter in a vacant, haunted hotel.
A faithful exploration of the 1971, best selling novel by William Peter Blatty, “The Exorcist” has been a pinnacle of fear since its release. The film follows the story of a young girl who has been possessed by demons. Directed by William Friedkin, the film offers some of the most sensational and frightening scenes in the history of cinema.
Inducing many irrational fears of water, the psychological thriller “Jaws” is an extremely popular movie that revolves around the terror a large shark causes to a community. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this film is full of classic scenes and memorable lines that put the movie into an elite category as one of the most frightening films of all time.
Director John Carpenter gave birth to the American “slasher” genre with the release of the movie “Halloween”. Spawning countless imitators and sequels, the film focuses on the traumatic relationship between a brother and sister, to put it mildly. The brother, a mysterious, unexplored murderer, rampages through a small town, butchering everyone in sight in an effort to kill his estranged sister.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is also a frightening pillar of the horror genre. Director Wes Craven crafted this intense horror film around a nightmare-stalking psychopath by the name of Freddy Krueger. The film takes on a new premise in the horror industry, as the protagonist attacks his victims when they are the most vulnerable, while they sleep. Krueger become a pop culture icon in the 80’s, and continues to inspire imitations and sequels.
Many people have differing tastes in horror films. However, there are many frightening achievements that stand the test of time, terrorizing people even to this day. The horror industry has been around for decades, and does not appear to be slowing down.