Oh the Horror!

Horror movies are an acquired taste. Their appeal is in their ability to get our adrenaline flowing and, I suppose, some folks don't want to feel that rush (although I can't imagine why.) When watching a horror movie with a group - especially in a crowded theater - the best part of the experience is when something really scary happens and a room full of people jump or scream, and then laugh like crazy. We do love a good fright.

Within the horror genre, there are myriad sub-genres offering something for everyone. You don't like things that jump out at you? Fine. We've got creepy crawlies that come at you slowly. Blood make you queasy? Okay, no slasher films for you. How about a nice psychological horror film? From the base to the elegant, there are scary films for every taste. Me, I like a subtle horror best - preferably with some thinly-veiled cultural analogy or religious theme - think Rosemary's Baby or The Omen (the original, please.)

Ages ago, a friend of mine announced that he'd never really seen a horror film. He might as well have thrown an actual gauntlet on the ground, the challenge was so obvious. I set out to come up with a list of palatable horror movies containing at least one representative film from each sub-genre. It stands to reason that I would only include movies that I considered to be superior or classic in their category. Please note that these two things can be mutually exclusive. Sometimes the best horror films are really, really bad.

So, in no particular order, here's the list I provided my friend. Through the miracle of Alex-never-trashes-any-email, I still had it in all its gory glory. Each movie's release year is listed (in case there were other versions) as is the sub-genre that the movie belongs to.

A final word about the list...It's my list. My taste. My opinion. For example, you'll notice there's only one slasher movie on here. I'm not a fan. So don't shoot me for not listing Saw/Friday the 13th/Halloween/et al. I'm sure you have your favorites too and I welcome your comments. If you think I missed a great film or a classic, put it in the comments section and tell me why I should love it as much as you do. 

Without further ado, your horror movie starter list. Enjoy!

- Alex

Lost Boys (1987) - vampire
Pet Sematary (1989) - undead/zombie
Seven (1995) - pyscho killer (Qu'est-ce que c'est?)
Salems Lot (1979) - vampire
Phantasm (1979) - I don't know what category to put this in to.
Reanimator (1985) - scientist reanimates human flesh
Carrie (1976) - paranormal/psycho killer
The Omen (1976) - religious/demon
Rosemary's Baby (1968) - religious/demon
Hell Raiser (1987) - monsters from another dimension
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) - religious/undead
Believers (1987) - religious
28 Days Later (2002) - virus apocalypse
The Thing (1982) - alien/monster
of the Damned (1960) - alien
Evil Dead (1981) - monster/demon
Evil Dead II (1987) - monster/demon
Army of Darkness (Evil Dead III) (1992) - monster/demon
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 & 1977) - alien
The Mist (2007) - monster
The Blair Witch Project (1999) - witchcraft
Frailty (2001) - demon
Psycho (1960) - pyscho
Alien (1979) - alien
The Shining (1980) - ghost
Severance (2007) - slasher (this is a British film)

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