10 Influential Horror Movies & Their Curiosities

The horror genre is probably the most classical genre of cinema. Lumiere brothers (inventors of cinema) filmed in their first recording,"L'arrivee d'un train", the movement of a train that seemed to hit the watcher. The first people that saw this went out of the auditorium terrified.

Horror films appeal to our most elemental fears, to the unknown, to the monstrous... It provokes us a strong adrenaline surge, and takes us closer to the darkest side of human nature.

Following, I have selected 10 of the most influential movies in the terror genre. All of them are sagas, as a good terror movie never ends at the end of the film.

Tell your favorite horror movie and its plot on the comments

The Exorcist
, Based on a novel by William Peter Blatty. The movie won 2 Oscars. It is based on a real event, an exorcism that happened in Washington and that was even studied in the University of Georgetown. Actually, it happened to a boy that was 13 years old.

It is one of the so called damned movies, filled with strange happenings. For example, the starring actress, Mary Ure, died in the night in which the theater version of this film was shown. Her death was explained as a suicide, but it was never clear. During the filming, many actors of the movie suffered serious injuries, and even more, 9 people from the filming crew died in strange circumstances.

The plot of this movie is the following: the daughter of an actress suffers from strange symptoms, that can't be explained by medicine. She tries to cure her by all possible ways, but everything fails. Albeit she's not religious, she asks the help of a priest. The strange events that happen terrify all those around the little girl Megan.

The Omen, It won an Oscar and was starred by Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, and David Warner amongst others.

The Omen is another one of the damned movies. During the filming, its director Richard Donner was persecuted by a guru called Anton La Vey, that was the founder of a Church of Satan. He begged the director to stop the filming, because it would bring many deaths. Richard Donner lost his father, a brother, and his younger daughter in the same month.
The plane in which the scriptwriter of the movie was traveling, was hit by a lighting and this also happened to another airplane in which Gregory Peck was. In one of the scenes appears a zoo in which one of the actors died after being attacked by a lion.

The plot is the following: in an important and wealthy family, grows a sinister child that is always surrounded by strange circumstances. This child is the reincarnation of the Antichrist.

Halloween, In 1978, John Carpenter did a movie that was starred by Jamie Lee Curtis and Donal Pleasance. The film will turn into a classical of terror cinema. A psychopathic assassin starts to kill since he was a child. His obsession is to kill all the members of his family, specially his sister that is played by Jamie Lee Curtis. To know more about the Halloween movies series, read this article: Michael Myers Halloween Movies Special.

Scream, It was directed by Wes Craven, and starred by David Arquette, Neve Campbel, Courtney Cox and Drew Barrymore.
A serial killer is obsessed with terror movies and hides his face behind a mask that becomes the signature of his crimes. His first crime begins with the phone call of a stranger. It seems a joke, but it's not.

A Nightmare On Elm Street, The first movie was shown for first time in 1984, and was starred by Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Heather Largenkamp...
The most elemental fear is that your nightmares can become real. A group of friends have the same dream with a frightening man with burned face and blades as fingers. Reality turns into a nightmare and the nightmare becomes real. Now, their biggest problem is to avoid falling asleep.

Poltergeist, Steven Spielberg produced and wrote the script of this movie. There were many problems between his director Tobe Hooper and Spielberg himself. Spielberg conceived this movie with a more subtle touch of terror, while Hooper preferred a more bloody movie. Not in vain, Tobe had just finished filming the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The blond little girl that starred this movie died before reaching twelve; the girl that played the role of her sister died strangled by her boyfriend. Both of them are buried in the same cemetery in Los Angeles. In the second part of Poltergeist, 2 actors died: the one that did the role of the sect chief, from a stomach cancer, and Will Sampson, a Native American actor, had a sudden heart disease and died when he was only 53 years old.

The plot is the following: an American family lives in an idyllic neighborhood. Strange paranormal phenomena begin to happen, and their younger daughter disappears. Their perfect lives turn into a real hell, but the love between the members of this family is able to overcome that all.

Psycho, The brilliant director Alfred Hitchcock did this movie that is based on a novel by Robert Bloch. It is considered as one of the masterpieces of the terror genre, and the scene of the shower that was played by Janet Leigh is maybe one of the most repeated scenes of the history of cinema.
The plot: a young secretary commits a robbery and flees to a distant hotel. There, she is welcomed by a very shy boy called Norman that has many secrets to hide.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Directed by Tobe Hooper. Five teenagers decide to visit the tomb of the grandfather of one of them. What was going to be a calm summer evening, turns into the worst of their nightmares. They face a bloodthirsty family.
This movie was censored in many countries. It was filmed in Texas, where it caused a big shock because the people thought that many of the facts in which the movie was based happened in this state.

It is said that the character of Leatherface, that weared a dead skin mask, is based on Ed Gein, a serial killer. If you want to know more about the similarities and differences between them, read this.

Friday The 13th, Directed by Sean S. Cunningham. Starred by Betsy Palmer, Kevin Bacon, Hart Crosby... A group of friends spend their holidays on a summer camp. In this camp, there's the black legend of a boy that died downed in the lagoon.
This is the first movie of the series of Jason the assassin, that always appears with this face covered by a hockey mask.

As a curiosity, this first movie was filmed in a real camp in Blairstown (New Jersey, USA), where there is a plaque that says "Friday the 13th", in memory of the filming of this movie.

Hellraiser, Directed by Clive Barker, which is also a well known horror writer and has made the plot of famous computer games as Undying.

The plot is: Frank Cotton is an unscrupulous man that acquires a strange box. This box has small doors that are the access to other dimensions. He thinks he can dominate the powers of the box, and the powerful beings that inhabit those worlds, but he can't. Twenty years later, his brother and his wife live in the house of Frank, and their problems begin.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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bokjae said...

I love horror movies! Have seen all except the last one! Cheers!

Emma Alvarez said...

Actually it's my favorite genre :)

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