Here’s my final blog about my favourite horror films, I have trawled through my extensive dvd collection and found a few more films to add to this now quite large list.
Fright Night (1985)
Recently remade with Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell in the lead roles, this film as doubles up as one of the finest films of the 80s. It is not full on horror, but also has light moments of comedy. The premise is really straight forward; normal teenage Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) thinks he is living next door to a vampire (Chris Sarandon), and when people from the neighbourhoos start to go missing the obvious suspect for Charley, is the neighbour who he only sees at night.
A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Despite having a couple of minor successes in the 70s in the horror genre, Director Wes Craven’s career really took off after he released this seminal slasher.
I’m sure everyone already knows the plot of the film, but for those that don’t; it tells the story of Nancy and her friends who are terrorised in their dreams by a man with ‘knives for fingers’. This man is revealed as Fred Krueger, a child murderer who didn’t go to jail on a technicality, and was subsequently burned to death by a mob of vigilante parents. He now returns to avenge his death, by terrorising the children of these parents in their dreams.
The actual story itself was so original, and so thought provoking for its time, it really cannot be ignored. Also Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp (lest we forget Johnny Depp too in his first film role) really do shine as the maniacal Krueger and his would-be-victim Nancy.
From Director Adam Green (Hatchet 1&2) comes this really basic tale of three friends who become trapped on a ski ride high in the mountains, after the park closes for the weekend. It stars Kevin Zegers and Shawn Ashmore (X Men 1-3) and Emma Bell, and is just a straight up nerve shredder. It works on a really psychological level, as the friends must contemplate how they can get down, and also negotiate a pack of ravenous wolves who lurk below waiting for their next meal.
Those who had Green down as a one trick pony after the Hatchet gore fests really do need to invest in this film, as he shows he can mix it up with a tight script, good acting and superb character development as all three are fleshed out to the point where you really start to feel something for them.
Some notable mentions –
Night of the Demons (1988) – Very basic shocker as people become demons in haunted house, entertaining gore fest.
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) – Craven returns to his old stomping ground for clever film-within-a-film take on the Krueger tale.
Halloween H20 (1998) – Michael Myers is given the Kevin Williamson treatment, and Jamie Lee Curtis returns to finish off her arch nemesis.
Burning Bright (2010) – In a nutshell, family are terrorised in their house by tiger, nerve shredder.
Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) – Another from the slashers golden age, tells the story of a young boy who sees someone murdered by a man dressed as a Santa, and years later snaps and goes on a killing spree himself. Very controversial on its release, and actually banned.
Hellraiser (1988) – Clive Barker’s masterpiece is probably as close as you got in the 80s to whole ‘torture porn’ of today. Tells the story of the lament configuration box which can open the gates to hell and unleash the deadly cenobites. A visual spectacle.