Horror is a genre that revels in fear and disgust for our entertainment. It's been haunting the silver screen for over a century, inspired by folklore, religious beliefs, and literary giants like Poe and Shelley. But it found its true form in 1931 with “Dracula.” Horror defies normality, embracing monsters, apocalyptic scenarios, and the supernatural. As critic Robin Wood put it, "normality is threatened by the monster," and this threat keeps us hooked.
Before "Dracula," the term "horror film" was a bit of a misfit, used for everything from battles to addiction tales. But Dracula gave it identity. What defines a horror film? It's all about manipulating your senses – negative space, jump scares, and mirrors that reflect our deepest fears. Music adds to the unease with dissonance and eerie timbres. Themes in horror are diverse, from the horrors of personality, like Frankenstein's monster, to fears of Armageddon, whether sci-fi or natural. And then there's the demonic, with satanic rituals and witchcraft. But horror is more than shock value. It's a mirror reflecting our cultural anxieties, from war to disease. It helps us confront the darkest corners of our psyche. So, embrace the macabre. In horror, we find a mirror for our fears and desires.
Today the band FEED US from Boston, and producer Ben Didsbury aka R|verghxst, one half of the project, brings us a list of some of his favorite horror films!
Night of the Living Dead (1968). The parent of modern horror. It deftly weaves in the social issues of the late 60s (which are unfortunately still relevant today) with spine-tingling suspense and a gut-punch of an ending. For a treat, read Robert Eberts classic review of the movie.
Susperia (1977). Perhaps the pinnacle of the Italian Giallo horror movement. This one is all vibes, helped along by the killer soundtrack by Goblin. Don't worry about the plot, it's really not about that. Also, don't sleep on the 2018 remake.
Audition (1999). No horror-movie list would be complete without representation from Japan. There are so many to choose from, but this one will stick with you. You'll never look at needles or sacks the same way.
Housebound (2014). Now for something completely different This is a New Zealand horror-comedy that borrows heavily from other classic movies, but adds just the right amount of new thrills and laughs to make it unique. It has the best (and maybe only) scene of defiant urination in movie history.
Barbarian (2022). Coming out of the horror-renaissance of the past decade, it finds a way to mix "elevated" horror with crowd-pleasing scares. This one is definitely better when you go in as cold as possible, but it has one of the best tonal shifts in horror history.
And now the guys who made the above list present to you perfect Halloween video for your viewing and listening pleasure: