As part of a new feature (well actually how successful it is depends on whether it actually becomes a new feature) I am going to plan out the ultimate horror movie marathon with carefully selected titles (and by carefully I mean the ones I thought of first) that form the complete spectrum of horror movies. But of course, if you have seen ever title I select and want to try something new then do not despair because I have also pitched an alternate and not as frequently seen title alongside each selection that is similar in some ways and aims at the same horror sub-genre. Enjoy (or don’t because everyone on the internet has an opinion and will inevitably get angry at the absence of one of their favourites, even though I’m not ordering them to watch these movies so why they get so frustrated about it I’ll never know).
1: The Exorcist - Starting off big, if you are watching a horror of such superb standards as ‘The Exorcist’ then you have to be wide awake to do so. The demonic masterpiece is so much more than gruesome effects, it reflects a viewer’s fear back at them, be it religious, societal or culturally. The nature of its horror is one of rawness and dread. You are stuck on this rollercoaster ride of horror, savouring the time before the adrenaline rush with a prolonged sense of trepidation.Alternatively; The Babadook – A demonic presence testing the bond between parent and child, that could describe both ‘The Exorcist’ and the 2014 horror movie ‘The Babadook’. There is a similar rawness to its horror with a comparable slow burn before a gut wrenching climax. To top it all off the director of ‘The Exorcist’ himself, William Friedkin said that he had ‘never seen a more terrifying film’.
2: The Shining – It is still early in this marathon, now is the time to get the think pieces out of the way. You can even take some time to debate with company or yourself (although going through all these movies by yourself suggests a stomach of steel) to discover the hidden meaning behind this film. Is it about Native Americans, the moon landing, or is Stanley Kubrick just crazy? You decide by watching it now.Alternatively; Under the Skin – A horror movie the mixes deep philosophical ideologies and hidden meanings to create a work of infinite discussion and various possible interpretations as Scarlett Johannsen plays a parasitic alien seductress visiting earth.
3: Halloween – Time for a slasher, and what else can you have other than John Carpenter’s original landmark horror remains the best of its genre. It uses sheer directorial brilliance to induce its fear upon watching you may be shocked by how little blood and gore there is while the feeling of terror is very real indeed.Alternatively; Black Christmas – One misconception is that ‘Halloween’ invented the slasher genre, but it actually just popularised it. ‘Black Christmas’ pre dates Carpenter’s film and though it is not as refined or as polished, but for horror fans it is worth checking out as not many people have (probably something to do with the original release date coinciding with ‘The Godfather Part 2’).
4: Scream – As time goes on you won’t be paying as much attention, but why should that mean a dip in quality? Wes Craven wanted to reinvigorate the slasher genre and did so by parodying it with a love letter. The horror movie about people who watch horror movies must have an even more resonating terror for those watching it in the middle of a bunch of other horror movies.Alternatively; New Nightmare – Before he tried it with ‘Scream’, Craven used the meta-horror tone with, what was by now, his ailing ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise. As the millionth instalment in the increasingly degenerative series it was mostly overlooked but was secretly ingenious, featuring Freddie Krueger coming after a real Wes Craven and the actors of the franchise. Though it failed commercially, critically it succeeded and proved how such an idea could be successful…
5: 28 Days Later - Zombie time, and though there are many great works by Romero you are eight hours into this and are you really going to sit through slow shuffling black and white zombies. You want something visceral with a surge of adrenaline. You want Danny Boyle’s fast paced, rapidly edited, shoe-string budgeted post-apocalyptic thrill ride. In other words, running zombies.Alternatively; 28 Weeks Later – I know it seems like a cop out to just go with the sequel but I feel as if hardly anyone gives this one a chance as it is equally thrilling (if not quite as well made or as terror inducing) as the first, plus the best use of a helicopter in a horror movie ever. But if you are still not satisfied I can also recommend Zack Snyder’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake.
6: Evil Dead 2 – So you’ve seen the most horrifying films imaginable but for the penultimate round why not take a chance to laugh along with that horror as well. It will be just in time for the new series ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ as well, so if you’re a fan or new, this is a good chance to catch up.Alternatively; What We Do in the Shadows – A vampire mockumentary that is so much more intelligent, well directed and wonderfully acted than it ever deserved to be. If you have yet to see this horror comedy then do yourself a favour and check it out.
Then as a finale, well I actually have no alternative for this as what could be a better way to round out this fright fest that Joss Whedon’s ‘Cabin in the Woods’. Whether you’ve watched it multiple times or never before you can appreciate how it satirises and honours every horror trope imaginable and combines them into one glorious movie.So what are your thoughts, did you like this list or could you do better? Leave your thoughts in a comment below, also if you want more writings on horror follow this link about Horror Movies and society
Thanks and bye.