How do we decide what are horror films and what isn’t? I’ve been having this discussion with a couple of people and it’s still difficult to say. This is what the internet defines a Horror Film – “A horror film is a movie that seeks to elicit a physiological reaction, such as an elevated heartbeat, through the use of fear and shocking one’s audiences” (source Wikipedia). The comment that I think is reverent is “Horror films often deal with viewers’ nightmares, fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown” I think this is what defines whether it’s a Horror or Fantasy/Thriller for example IT is often described as a Horror due to it playing with peoples fear and especially of Clowns for the Pennywise character however if you don’t have those fears it’s more thriller/fantasy than horror. When I was growing up the main one was Nightmare of Elm Street though technically I wasn’t old enough to watch them these were to me genuine horror movies as scared me, they don’t anymore though, but ones like Child’s Play which gave us Chucky never did though I know for other people it did.
Thriller movies like 47 Meters Down could also be classed as a Horror like Jaws was though I found 47 Meters Down kept me on the edge of my seat with heart racing whilst IT besides one scene never did though I enjoyed the movie as a whole.
Horror films seem to be split up now too so you have psychological horror which mother! has been classed under as relies on religion the scare; Sci-Fi like the Alien films; Slasher/Splatter like Saw, Friday the 13th; Supernatural like Exorcist, The Omen and Zombie/Vampire ones. I however would include Nature in to Horror like The Day After Tomorrow and San Andreas Quake which are disaster films which to me are more Horror as could happen or more likely to happen then the majority of Horror movies which scares me more. These are some films I’ve been told are good Horror Movies to show the range of Horror –
Se7en – a Crime/Thriller rather than horror where police have to solve 7 murders based on the 7 deadly sins.
Final Destination – a series of films where a group cheat death after a premonition but each individual then dies through freak accidents, started off well but got predictable.
28 Days Later – A Danny Boyle film and probably one of the best Zombie films.
Friends Request – this is my favourite as even though you could guess what’s happening it still surprises you when does.
The Shining – This returning to some cinemas shortly for a special run, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson it’s another based on a Stephen King Novel and is often in the top 10 Horror Movies though not originally a success.
Psycho – possibly one of the best known and most famous horror scene.
Carrie – based on a Stephen King novel possibly the best known as well as first adaptation and a coming of age film.
They’re hundreds of other good Horror Movies and I’ve only mentioned a few, other horror films I grew up with apart from ones mentioned early were poltergeist, Friday the 13th and Halloween.
I think Horror is probably the Genre of Movies that has the most released as normally one every other week (or so it seems) this week sees Happy Death Day in the UK.
Personally I’m not a major fan of Horror as rather than what’s happening on screen it’s the loud music that annoys me, I know possibly part of the package but it ruins the film for me. The scenes that scare me the most are ones where you see someone at a window and not only in Horror movies as I remember a scene from Only Fools and Horses that was similar and scared me, I do like a good thriller though as find they have a better story behind it.