Horror Film-Time Part II.

In Part I, I looked at films from the silents through the 1960’s, and selected various films for a hypothetical year-long film class.  I must admit I prefer the early films. Nonetheless, here are additional films from 1970 to present day that I would include for viewing and discussion.

The 1970’s

No list is complete without The Exorcist (1973).  I especially like the Blue ray restored version of the film. I’d also include Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968) as a companion film.  Both films defined the modern possession movie genre.  I also like Blacula (1972) as an early example of the exploitation-horror genre.  William Marshall makes a kick-ass count.  I also like the TVM The Night Stalker (1972), starring Darren McGavin as seedy journalist Carl Kolchak battling a modern-day vampire in Las Vegas.  I’m tempted to also throw in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973), which scared the hell out of me as a kid.  I’d round out the 70’s with The Wicker Man (1973) and Alien (1979).  For extra credit I’d ask students to write an essay why Alien is not science fiction, but gothic horror.

The 1980’s

The 1980’s sucked for horror film.  That’s my opinion.  I’d show Carpenter’s The Fog (1980) and The Thing (1982) and Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986).  The fly is one of the finest horror remakes of all-time.  I might show A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).  I’d round out the 1980’s with a rip-roaring 16mm showing of Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator (1985).

The 1990’s

When I think of the 90’s, I think of Japanese horror and hand-held camera and the emergence of indy horror films.  I’d show the scary Japanese film Ringu (1998) and the found-film The Blair Witch Project (1999).

The 2000’s

I’m fond of the terrific zombie film 28 Days Later (2002), with lightning quick un-dead.  I’d also show Ju-On (2003), as a modern day Japanese ghost story.  And I’d finish the class with the awesome Let the Right One In (2008) and the silent H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s The Call of Cthulhu (2007).  For a final exam I might ask students to team up and present a screenplay and conceptual approach for filming At the Mountains of Madness.

2 Responses to “Horror Film-Time Part II.”

  1. I support everything you said here. Just would add a few personal favorites from the 1970’s: The Legend Of Hell House (1973) a metaphysical ghost story with lots of familiar names (Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, and Michael Gough); Alice Sweet Alice, aka Communion (1976) a nasty story with Brooke Shields in her first feature film; and Ruby (1977) a ghost story set in Florida with Piper Laurie, Stuart Whitman, Janit Baldwin and others.

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