Updated: Dec 7, 2019
People love horror flicks in so many different ways. In fact, there are so many types of them which are classified as horror that attempting to define their exact traits is often a subjective exercise. Some like the gore and blood, others the stealthy serial killers, some fancy the twisted plots and ambiguous explanations to the events in the plot, and a few would call a movie a horror film only if it involves the supernatural.
Our list is also varied, but despite their differences these classics seem to have some common traits. The way we see it, horror movies can belong to different sub genres but their impact on viewers is really what in a sense truly defines them; and the word “horror” isn’t an exaggeration when it comes to the reaction they elicit from audiences in an almost universal way.
For instance, our top pick, The Exorcist (1973) really horrified viewers when it was released. People had smelling salts placed in theatres to revive the many who passed out while watching it. Many others just left half-way through because they simply couldn’t stomach the undiluted horror of the movie.
This movie horrifies viewers even today; though audiences have now been hardened and spoiled and made partially immune to the scares and jumps and everything else, it’s hard for a genuinely open-minded viewer to escape the sheer terror that the movie exudes. Inspired by an experience, writer William Blatty had, witnessing an actual case, the movie stays faithful to many of the characteristics of such a supernatural event. And as a truly great horror film, the emphasis is on telling the powerful story, unveiling complex characters, leading the audience towards a deep revelation. The horror is not the focus, it becomes an almost incidental outcome of the narrative itself.
Other movies that have made the top also reveal similar characteristics – powerful scripts, excellent story-telling, deep and complex characters, innovative plot development, superb direction, riveting music and realistic visual effects; all of which combine to take audiences into a dark world where reality is the worst nightmare!
10) Halloween (1978)
What is your ranking like? We’d love to hear your comments on this much debated theme!