A true classic never goes out of style, right? Okay, I kinda grabbed that from Bride of Chucky, but the sentiment still stands. Newer horror movies have more technology at their disposal, and they’re often better looking (and, in many instances, just as good, if not better, than their predecessors). But classic horror has a certain charm about it. Here are a few of my favorite classics.
Halloween: My favorite slasher movie of all time. What I love about it is its simplicity: A babysitter, a masked killer, and…well, that’s about it. The story isn’t bogged down with unnecessary backstories, and it doesn’t try to be slick. It just sticks a likable, vulnerable protagonist in the path of a mysterious villain.
Pet Sematary: The first time I saw this movie was on a Sunday morning when I was about eight. I didn’t catch the whole thing, which is probably good; it would have scared the daylights out of me. The book as well as the movie have influenced my writing and even how I see things in life.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Let’s face it — Freddy Krueger isn’t exactly the scariest villain ever. Despite being pretty terrible in his pre-Nightmare life (he was killed in an act of vengeance by parents of the children he molested), he took on a fascinating and even comedic persona in death. Add in a likable protagonist with a clear character arc and it’s no wonder this movie saved New Line from bankruptcy.
Child’s Play: This movie came out the year I was born; apparently lots of my friends watched it when they were kids and were traumatized for life. I didn’t see it until I was a teenager, and I laughed my butt off because it’s so incredibly campy. But camp aside, I love all the Child’s Play movies — though the latest, Curse of Chucky, tried a little too hard to go back to the franchise’s “horror” roots.
Carrie: While the story isn’t particularly scary, Carrie showcases the timeless themes of bullying and feeling isolated. The protagonist is a teenager, as are many who can relate, but I’ll let you young ones in on a secret: Once you’re a grown up, that desire to fit in doesn’t fully go away.
Candyman: I feel like a lot of people forget about this movie, even though it’s really good. It’s basically an adult version of the Bloody Mary story — but instead of a queen, the supernatural figure is a former slave. With its underlying themes of race relations, this is one of the few classics that might warrant a remake.
What are your favorite classic horror movies?