What type of horror sub-genre and film will suit your terror-filled weekend?


Cole Manetta-DeHaven, Staff Writer

When it comes to the horror genre, the possibilities are endless. Horror isn’t just horror.

You will never hear Videodrome and The Blair Witch Project talked about in the same sentence. It’s all about the atmosphere and texture the film provides. Horror is like pizza, even when it’s bad, there’s still a little something viewers can enjoy.

Before the 2010s, audiences were used to either found footage or the over-the-top gore-fest that filmmakers such as Eli Roth and Rob Zombie provided to the masses.

By the time the 2010s rolled in, audience members were no longer intimidated by shaky hand-held camera footage or just blood and guts. The audience was tired of the basic formula that was being provided by big-money studios. The 2010s were going to be a different decade for horror.

In this new and youthful decade, we would be introduced to the sub-genre known as Elevated Horror.

We would also be introduced to new faces and soon-to-be prolific names of acclaimed directors such as Robert Eggers, Ari Aster, Jordan Peele, Ti West, and many more.

With these filmmakers, we got films like the dread-filled The House of the Devil, the terrifying uncertainty of Hereditary, the claustrophobic surrealism of The Lighthouse, and the social blockbuster that would end up being Get Out.

But a perfect place to start on Halloween  has to be Robert Egger’s modern classic The Witch.

The Witch follows a Puritan family in the 1630s that has been exiled from their village and forced to live in the wilderness due to religious disagreements. Not soon after an evil entity starts tearing the family apart.

The Witch has it all; a unique directing style from Robert Eggers, vivid historical accuracy, visceral and chilling imagery, and a star-making performance from a young Anya Taylor-Joy.

Now let’s move on to probably the most popular subgenre of them all: Slasher!

Making its start in the early 70s with Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The slasher genre has made its mark throughout the years with filmmakers like Wes Craven and John Carpenter.

Craven brought us The Last House On The Left, and Nightmare On Elm Street, while Carpenter brought us Halloween.

If viewers are unaware of the Slasher sub-genre, then there’s no better film to view than Wes Craven’s Scream.  This gem introduces all the Slasher fundamentals that have defined this style of film.

The storyline of the film Scream is centered around a group of high schoolers in a suburban town where a masked killer has started terrorizing the locals.

Scream is as satirical as a film can get. It calls out cliche horror stereotypes, yet it still uses them in the film. The film also presents an interesting conversation on what we should view as entertainment. Hopefully, after viewers watch, they will hesitate to open their doors on Halloween night.

The last sub-genre that will be discussed is probably the most critically loved of them all: Psychological Horror, which is the oldest subgenre out of the three discussed here.

Psychological Horror films date back at least to the 1960s, perhaps even earlier. A few of the finest examples are Alfred Hitchcock’s groundbreaking Psycho and Roman Polanski’s relevant classics such as Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby.

Other later classics include the uncomfortable realism of The Silence of the Lambs and the relatable paranoia of Black Swan.

But nothing stands out more in pop culture than Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s, The Shining. This film deserves every single positive thing that has been said about it over the decades.

The incredible performances in The Shining, from Jack Nicholson to Shelly Duvall, are an absolute must for film fans. Also, the huge yet isolating camera shots may make a viewer’s skin crawl.  And the score by Krzysztof Penderecki is a gem.

Regarding horror films, the viewing possibilities are literally frightening.  Check out the links below, and choose one that will keep you awake all weekend.