Furious Greats from 5 Horror Subgenres
Horror is a broad genre to say the least. That’s because there are a lot of different things that scare peoples’ socks off. If you want to be a true horror aficionado, here are several categories and their respective movies to add to your collection.
Science is the means with which we try and understand the world (or worlds) around us. But we also fear what we don’t understand. Thus, we have the perfect scenario for fear-inducing movie exploitation.
Creepiness of space? Check. Psychological terror? Check. The guy from The Matrix and the guy from Jurassic Park? Double check. Event Horizon combines the perfect amount of mind-bending scares and black hole claustrophobia for gratifying horror consumption by any fan of the genre. Bluray@Amazon
If you don’t already own — or worse, haven’t seen — Alien, then shame on you. This quintessential sci-fi horror flick made it OK for sci-fi and horror to occupy the same film reel. It also shaped countless other space flicks (see above) and established an entire movie multiverse around the film’s mythology via Aliens vs. Predator, Prometheus, et al. BluRay@Amazon
Your body is your sanctuary. That’s why it’s disconcerting when something out of your control happens to it—be it a growth, muscle spasm, you name it. Body Horror films capitalize on this fear by hyperbolizing the deterioration, regeneration, or manipulation of the human body in some way.
How exactly we’ll make contact with aliens has been a subject of much debate. Hopefully it’s not the kind as depicted in The Thing. That is, hopefully the aliens don’t merge with our bodies—hiding within and making us transform into horrific beasts with only a vague semblance of our former selves. BluRay@Amazon
Under the radar to some horror movie-goers, Teeth is a full-on metaphor for the stress and fear that accompany that significant time when a girl becomes woman, made manifest by the protagonist’s “gift”. At the same time, it addresses every heterosexual male’s ultimate fear, whether they know it or not. DVD@Amazon
There’s no reason why you can’t break up the frights every now and again for some laughs. Often mixing both gruesome-goodness and tongue-in-cheek humor, this subgenre is perfect for those who like to slap their knee as much as squirm.
Shaun of the Dead
Full of countless jokes and ridiculous situations, it can be argued that Shaun of the Dead is responsible for pulling Romero’s zombies into the mainstream, making the sub-sub-genre accessible to a wider audience. Own it and prepare to chuckle aloud. BluRay@Amazon
Two groups of people just want to vacation in peace. Unfortunately, a big misunderstanding pits the two parties against one another in a comical spectacle that quickly becomes just as gory as it is funny. It was a limited release, so check it out if you missed it. DVD@Amazon
You know when a movie is so bad that it’s good? Well that’s basically the gist for horror movies that fall into this category. You may see a mic drop into frame, and you can expect poor production value. That doesn’t mean these films aren’t a good time and can’t pack some eeriness.
And the winner of the most surreal, most incomprehensible horror movie goes to House. This outrageous romp messes with you from beginning to end. Once the bodiless heads start biting behinds and chopped off legs become self-aware, you realize this movie isn’t made to be taken seriously. But you’ll still somehow sit through it because you just have to know how it’ll conclude. Criterion@Amazon
Troll 2 takes the cake for not only being a terribly, terribly made horror movie, but just a terrible movie in general. Tarnishing a somewhat decent Troll movie, Troll 2 is a movie that once you’ve seen it there’s simply no going back. You’ll never be the same again. The epitome of Z-Grade. Thus making it a must-see. DVD@Amazon
A pretty self-explanatory genre name, foreign horror hails from any country other than the US of A. No, Canada doesn’t count, and no, it doesn’t have to be Japanese. Hollywood remakes don’t count, either.
Let the Right One In
If you’ve seen this Swedish export, congratulations. You just got cooler. Both a vampire and coming of age/relationship tale, Let the Right One In was unfortunate enough to come out just before the abysmal Twilight series—and as a result was overshadowed by it. It’s still one of the best vampire films before they all went sparkly. DVD@Amazon
First brutally disgusting then psychologically twisted, High Tension starts out great and ends even better. Reminiscent of 70’s style slashers, it’s one of a handful of great French horror films with scenes that leave a long lasting impression on the psyche. DVD@Amazon
There you have it. Pick up these nightmare-prompting gems and gain the respect of any horror enthusiast who dares to look for holes in your collection.
What furious favorites would you add to these genres?