Every October, all major networks play horror film marathons, going through the same classics year after year. When people are asked what horror movies are the best to watch, the usual responses are “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween.” More recently, the answers have moved to “Insidious” and “Paranormal Activity.” Here are a few other horror films that are worth watching.
Though this classic is well known and often spoofed, a shocking amount of people have not seen it, except for glimpses. The sci-fi horror film to end all others, “Alien” has withstood the test of time. Though many people like the action focused sequel more, “Alien” remains one of the horror greats.
A 2012 slasher film starring Elijah Wood (“The Lord of the Rings”), this movie is worth watching for its unwavering focus on the psyche of the killer. “Maniac” follows a mannequin store owner who murders women to make mannequins in their likeness. The main draw of this film is it is entirely shot in first person. The audience is the killer. This film does not shy away from anything, so be careful who you watch it with.
This 2008 horror film is a remake of the Spanish film “REC” and stars Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”). It is set in an apartment complex that has been quarantined due to a rabies outbreak. It is shot in first person, though the camerawork is not distracting. This fast-paced horror is best watched in pitch black with surround sound in order to compliment the feeling of being the cameraman.
7. “The Thing”
A 1982 sci-fi horror, “The Thing” follows researchers (Kurt Russell and Keith David) in an Antarctic outpost who are attacked by a shape-shifting alien. The psychological aspect of this film is great, since they do not know who in their group is actually human. A John Carpenter classic, this is a must see. Also, the 2011 prequel of the same name does it service, just watch it after the original.
6. “V/H/S” series
This is a new series that has flown under the radar of many. Both films are anthologies with a frame narrative. Every bit is shot in first person, but it is explained well. Certain segments are merely okay, but when the stories hit their stride, these films can be terrifying. The best part about this series is that it covers a wide range of the horror genre. There is something for every monster lover.
5. “The Cabin in the Woods”
Written by Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”), this movie is not exactly scary, but it pays such great homage to all horror films, it is a must-see. It follows four college students who go to a remote cabin and all manners of horror ensue. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Richard Jenkins (“Step Brothers”), this is a great movie for any horror fan.
4. “Trick ‘R Treat”
Another horror anthology, this 2007 film is about the consequences of blaspheming Halloween tradition. An ensemble cast including Leslie Bibb, Brian Cox, and Anna Paquin stars in this cult favorite. “Trick ‘R Treat” is a personal favorite, having introduced one of the creepiest, yet likeable monsters in recent memory. This monster is probably the best visual presentation of Halloween.
3. “30 Days of Night”
Based on the comic series of the same name, this 2007 vampire film did the creature justice. Set in Barrow, Alaska, the film follows a group of townsfolk who try to survive after vampires arrive to hunt during a month of darkness. Starring Josh Hartnett (“Black Hawk Down”), this horror film is bloody and intense, and great fun for people who love classic vampires.
2. “Let Me In”
This 2010 British-American remake of the Swedish “Let the Right One In” is about a boy who befriends a vampire forever trapped in a young girl’s body. Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”) and Chlӧe Grace Moretz (“Kick Ass”) star in this dramatic horror and did an outstanding job. Focusing on the themes of lost innocence, loneliness and bullying, this great film is worth watching for any genre lover, even if it is not scary.
1. 28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later
My personal horror favorites, these British horror films do not disappoint. A virus created to understand anger in humans gets out in Great Britain and turns those infected into raging, zombie-like beings that tirelessly search for something to kill. The infected are the penultimate running monster. They are not zombies, but seek to kill anything alive as the rage center of the mind is overloaded. This is British horror at its best and spawned one of the best film soundtracks with “In the House-In a Heartbeat” by John Murphy. These films must be included in any respectable horror collection.