Cult Horror – an Introduction

It is hard not to love horror movies.

They touch on the macabre; speculate on the unknown; present horrible monsters. They inspire nightmares; bring chills. They’re the reason to sleep with the lights on. They’re subtle and grate away gradually or they’re over the top – bucket’s of blood and all.

Fads and genres in movies come and go, but horror has been steadily popular for a long time now. We identify with the situations horror movies present because we fear death. We fear corruption – both physically and spiritually. We fear for the safety of our family and friends. We fear the unknown origin of creepy sounds. We fear having to face danger alone.

Great things can be done with horror in the right circumstances. If a horror movie identifies what we’re most scared of, establishes that anything can happen at any second, and then paces itself correctly, it is bound for greatness.

This segment is for exploring great horror, and touching on the bad. In a series of articles and reviews over the coming weeks and months (interspersed with regular programming), classic and modern horror will be analysed, and ideas will be investigated.

To get the ball rolling – what is your favourite horror movie? What has managed to scare you senseless?

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7 Responses to “Cult Horror – an Introduction”

  1. Splatter horror holds absolutely no interest for me. Horror, at its best, is cerebral, that’s what so many of the bad authors and hack film-makers working the field today don’t understand (or are incapable of comprehending). A zombie eating someone’s brains isn’t scary…but listening to a zombie thud and bump around a room, getting closer and closer to your hastily chosen hiding place IS. The most terrifying film of all time to me is “The Exorcist” and then I’d start naming Roman Polanski films, “The Tenant”, “Repulsion”, visions of horror that work on the MIND…

  2. I have to admit, I have a bit of a gorehound in me, but that is amusement park-style fun, and nowhere near as satisfying as the cereberal terrors. I tend to lean to Cronenberg and Argento for the style and dreamlike nature of their vision, but Carpenter probably scared me more consistently than any other director with The Thing, The Fog and Halloween. That’s a trio any director/writer can be proud of.

  3. Watched the first five minutes of Mario Bava’s “Black Sunday” the other night: holy crap! And this one was made back in 1961…

  4. Nicol (The Cult) Says:

    I like to think of Splatter/Gore as a technique, instead of a genre. It can be great if used correctly. The movies considered to be Splatter/Gore movies just load up on the technique and don’t have much else going for them.

    I planned on touching on this in a later post – but I’m pretty much recommending horror movie, [Rec], to everyone I see. I’m pretty sure that the way [Rec] presents zombies is almost perfect – and from your opinion on how zombie movies should be done, I’m sure you’ll like it.

    Anyway, one of my favourite horror movies is May – about a girl who wants to make a doll out of human body parts. It starts off slowly, with the idea lingering that something is not right with the main character. In a sharp burts right at the end, all of the horror happens – and the last few seconds of the movie justify the whole thing.

  5. I love most horror flicks. But the campy over the top splatter films or whatever mostly has a comedy/cool factor that draws me in, the horror element doesnt do anything for (or too) me.

    The only movie I can ever remember genuinely freaking me out a little bit strongly was Into The Mouth Of Madness. I dont know why, I have watched it since and just enjoyed it as a lighthearted Lovecraftian love letter (not even that strong a horror movie or anything), but the first time I caught it (quite young).. already started I think, so I was already a bit confused.. the whole concept really freaked me out. Isolation, being the only sane person, doubting your own mind… I dont know, some mix of that.

    Which is why I prefer more intellectually scary movies than splatter or jump out flicks, the latters dont do anything for me, but the right ideas than suck you in freak me the hell out on occasion. Same for lit approach.

  6. I enjoy horror movies but never really feel scared by them. One of the exceptions do this though was Evil Dead 2 when i first saw it, even though it’s funny. Strangely enough it scared me for the same reasons Gale listed for Into The Mouth of Madness.

    I also get freaked out by some Japanese horror films, like when I first saw The Ring, or Miike’s stuff like Audition or MPD Psycho.

  7. Scariest horror films, in no order:

    The Thing
    Event Horizon

    The master of written horror is H.P. Lovecraft. Stephen King can eat me.
    Too bad there has not been a single halfway decent movie based on any of his 40 or so stories in the 70 or so years since he wrote them.

    also really good:
    Night of the Living Dead (1990)
    Dawn of the Dead (both versions)

    and for Cliff above, the Exorcist is the most over hyped horror movie of all time. I prefer most episodes of Tales from the Crypt to it. I was completely bored. Maybe it would have been more shocking in the 70’s, or too a person with religious leanings, but I could not have been less impressed.

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