With Halloween upon us, it's time to settle down and curl up with a good horror novel or horror movie. But when tomorrow dawns, you may want to know a little more about the horror genre and its history. May I suggest picking up a copy of my Knowing Fear or A Hideous Bit of Morbidity?
I've received a few requests for a list of some of my favorite horror movies, so for Halloween I'm going to share ten of the movies I enjoy this time of year. This is not meant as a critical assessment of their absolute value as cinema, or even their ultimate value for the horror genre. (For that, read my Knowing Fear.) As you'll see, I tend to enjoy older films more than modern ones. I think this due to horror's relationship to the Gothic, and the age of the film creates that layer of historicity that recreates some of the ancient terror of the Gothic.
If I get to count TV movies, I'd also give an honorable mention to segment three of Trilogy of Terror (1975), "Amelia," about an evil doll stalking a woman, and the first segment of the 1969 Night Gallery pilot movie, "The Cemetery," about a mysteriously changing painting that seemingly depicts the imminent rise of a zombie and its attack on its former home.
Finally, if you aren't too serious about your horror, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) is the best monster mash available, and one that works almost as well as a Universal Horror film as a comedy.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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