Horror movies are known for giving viewers unease with odd settings and scary sounds. But the question is which of these movies really set the foundation of what the horror genre is known for today?
The horror genre foundation can be traced back to the 1880s when the first horror movie was made available to the public. Let’s look at ten movies that changed the world view of the horror genre.
1. The Execution of Mary Stutart
The movie is recognised as the first horror movie, which interestingly, lasted for only 18 seconds. It was produced in 1895 and has only one special effect – but that was huge in those days. The execution of Mary Stutart involved a special effect that included the beheading of an actress. Easy there, the actress wasn’t beheaded really. There was a stop frame edit that replaced the actress with a mannequin. That silent, short movie begot the revolution of the horror genre.
2. The Night of the Living Dead
The night of the living dead signalled the introduction of re-animated corpses as flesh-eating cannibals. It was realised in 1968 by the late director, George Romero and has since then never lost its relevance as the first zombie movie.
Its relevance was further proved when it was rebooted by American director Tom Savini and Israeli Menahem Golan using the exact screenplay. ‘The Night of The Living Dead’ was added by the Library of Congress to the National Film Registry, deeming it culturally, historically and aesthetically significant.
3. The Shinning
The shinning is a movie based on Stephen King novel in 1977 – it bears the same name. Stanley Kubrick, the director, was able to perfectly replicates Stephen’s idea of a story of a haunted hotel and a caretaker called Jack who fell victim under its evil influence. ‘The Shinning’ originality tries to create a balance between the psychological and the supernatural. It is remembered for its unsettling nature of nearly every scene.
4. The Exorcist
‘The Exorcist’ is considered one of the greatest horror movies of all time. It was indeed the first movie to receive an Academy Award nomination in Best Picture. Like ‘The Shinning’, ‘The Exorcist’ was also based on a novel. The author of the novel, William Blatey, tells the story of a young girl possessed by a demon.
The film’s intense scares and gore were so disturbing, that some audience members during the film’s initial release in December 1973 were reported to have fainted, cried or even vomited in the aisles. ‘The Exorcist’ was, in 2010, selected by the Library of Congress to be preserved as a part of its National Film Registry – a testament to its influence and originality in the horror genre.
‘Psycho’ was directed by British filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, and is considered one of its greatest movie. That is evident in the movie breaking the box office records in the United States, Japan, France, Canada and Britain.
The movie, which was realised in June 1960, continues to inspire horror movies that favour psychological scares and less gore.