From brand new horror movies like “Get Out”, “Happy Death Day” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” to franchise continuations and reboots like “Alien: Covenant”, “It” and “Jigsaw,” 2017 has had a lot of great additions to the horror genre. But what about the originals? The movies that made this genre what it is today? They’re campy, cheesy and the effects aren’t great, but they rose to fame for a reason. So with Halloween right around the corner, here is your guide to the classic horror movies.
“Friday the 13th”: Ahh, the classic camp out in the woods murder spree movie. We owe this film so much—especially the trope that teens who have sex in horror movies die. Ultimately, none of the camp counselors have much depth to them, so you don’t care a whole lot when they get brutally hacked apart. By today’s standards, the movie isn’t that scary, but the fact that you don’t actually see the killer until the very end? Still pretty cool.
“Psycho”: If you think watching “Bates Motel” is enough to understand “Psycho” I’m here to tell you that you’re very wrong. Hitchcock was the OG horror movie master. Yeah, the effects are outdated and the whole thing is in black and white, but the movie still manages to be deeply unsettling.
“Halloween”: I mean, if you’re watching a horror movie in honor of the spooky holiday, this movie is pretty on the nose. The silent masked killer is a trope frequently copied in modern movies (like “Hush” one of the best modern horror movies currently on Netflix) so it’s great to see how it came to be. But is the movie still cheesy? Oh definitely.
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”: When I first sat down to watch this movie, I thought I knew exactly what I was getting in to. I thought it would be a lot of torture scenes, gore and shots of chainsaw wielding lunatics. And in a way, I was right, but there was more to it. There’s uncomfortable suspense that chills you—a family of cannibals can do that to a person. Plus, the idea that the horror doesn’t stop just because the sun is up is revolutionary.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street”: This Wes Craven film is honestly pretty weird. The villain has a twisted sense of humor, the traps are dream-like and surreal, and there’s an unexpected level of gore—all of which is backtracked by poppy 80s music. It’s a strange film, but at it’s core, this movie is creepy. Everyone has to sleep, and that’s how you die. The same concept could easily appear in a 2017 film. But let’s be fair, the real reason to watch this thing? Young Johnny Depp.
“The Exorcist”: Okay, most of the movies on this list don’t stand the test of time and horror into 2017. “The Exorcist” does. I mean, sure, the special effects? No longer mind blowing and horrific. But the general unease of the whole film, plus the creepy effects, plus the scary-as-all-hell soundtrack combine to make this movie still pack a punch. I watched it with the lights on. I’m not ashamed.