HOLLYWOOD—Well it is official we are in the month of October, it is getting darker outside earlier, the leaves are falling, it’s raining a bit more, candy is in abundance, costumes are out and all things scary are in the forefront. So October is all about horror and things spooky and scary. If you haven’t already started looking at streaming services many are releasing their catalogues of flicks that will cater to all people. You might like the haunted house element, classic horror, supernatural, zombie invasions, thrillers, suspense or the 80s motif of the slasher genre.
Everyone has their cup of tea, but horror is a fascinating genre of cinema because it has been around since the 1918 classic, look at “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” for those who have no clue, the same applies for the 1920s “Nosferatu.” We have the monster classics of the 1930s like “The Mummy,” “Frankenstein” and then the invasion flicks of the 1950s, before 1960 ushered in the classic “Psycho.” Other classics include “Rosemary’s Baby” before the 1970s started to see a progression into more violence and teen angst. We have the disturbing “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Black Christmas” that took tips from the 1959 flick “Peeping Tom” (which started the slasher craze as we know it; not many people are aware of that people), before John Carpenter’s classic “Halloween” defined what modern horror was at that time.
We also have “Alien” released in 1979 that is the quintessential suspense flick that I absolutely adore and has yet to be replicated people. The 1980s absolutely destroyed the horror genre as “Friday the 13th” redefined slasher flicks and we had a bevy and I mean a bevy of flicks that were just terrible and absolutely killed the genre with countless sequels and imitators trying to capitalize on the success of that film.
On top of that we had a few standouts with the introduction of iconic villain, Freddy Krueger in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” Pinhead’s “Hellraiser” and that devious doll, Chucky in “Child’s Play.” The 90s saw the resurgence of horror with “Scream” proving the meta-narrative can work when done appropriately. We saw countless flicks attempting to cash in on the resurgence of horror with flicks like “Urban Legend,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and countless whodunits which became the new craze.
The 2000s saw the birth of three new genres, remakes, torture porn and supernatural entities. I mean I love the 2002 classic “The Ring” and the 2004 flick “The Grudge” was fun. “Saw” became an instant classic, but subsequent sequels killed the franchise and in terms of remakes name a horror flick between 1970 and 1980 that was not remade between 2003 to current day. I will admit “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was iconic, but that is probably because I had never seen the 1974 classic before I saw that remake.
Now, we are stalled in scope with horror because very limited original ideas are present. I didn’t love the recent “Malignant,” but was a major fan of “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2.” “Halloween” the 2018 version was a massive improvement in the franchise, but how many times can you remake a movie that was already remade. I just guessing we are going to see a flood of remakes of remakes which I think is absolutely stupid. Why? They’re not really a remake, not a sequel, not a prequel, not a reboot, but has tidbits of all of those in the actual flick, so what do you call it? I guess another entry in the franchise.
I’ve come to realize after years of being a fan of horror, that I don’t like violence, I don’t like explicit or excessive violence. It’s not necessary and it does not provide anything to the narrative or the movie in my opinion. I am more a suspense person. Crafting the right story with a strong element of suspense is what I find fascinating in a movie. One of my favorites is “Seven” and like I said “Alien” just crafts tension in way that unnerves you and I would love to see in a modern day movie. Hell, to be honest I would LOVE to see a remake of Ridley Scott’s classic, but only if he was to craft the flick people. He talked about it before, but we saw “Prometheus” and the not so satisfying “Alien: Covenant” that failed to inspire the box-office.
So horror has many subgenres to it, but true classic horror unnerves you, it does NOT disgust you. That is something I want you to remember this October if you’re looking for a scare. The classics, flicks from the early days of horror are the best, you might find a few nuggets in the 70s, I would almost skip the 80s entirely with minor exceptions (unless it involves Freddy, Jason or Michael Myers, you’re seeing flicks that attempted to capitalize off the success of those franchises), think supernatural and haunted house people. Go for an actual scare nothing that churns your stomach.