10 Awesome Horror Films That Didn't Rely On CGI

CGI has often been a scourge on the horror genre, but it's not always necessary...

slither movie
Universal Pictures

In the past few decades, too often have movies relied on CGI to pull off otherwise expensive, complex effects. No genre has suffered worse than the horror genre, with computer generated blood and fake-looking creatures pulling audiences right out of the picture.

When The Thing's prequel was first announced, fans were excited to learn that filmmakers intended to revert back to the practical effects that worked so well in John Carpenter's original. The extreme gore and creative creature design by make-up legend Rob Bottin was part of what made the 1982 film so memorably frightening.

It was an outrage, then, that though some images of creature design released showed promise, director Mattijs Van Heijninjen Jr. and crew resorted to CGI as the animatronics couldn't be pulled off convincingly. In fact, creature effects supervisor Alec Ginnis claims the whole experience left his team with "post-partum depression". And it's not like the CGI is at all convincing. It's somewhat baffling that nearly30 years after Carpenter's film, they couldn't make a simple animatronic monster work.

Still, there are some horror movies that happily rely on retro design, making them infinitely more effective...

10. Slither

slither movie
Universal Pictures

A lot of films on this list pay homage to classic horror films of the 70s and 80s, and James Gunn's gory monster flick is no exception. Everything from David Cronenberg's They Came From Within to Fred Dekker's underrated Night of the Creeps is lovingly referenced.

As a result, the plot is hardly original, but the creature design certainly is. After a meteor crashes and infects a never-better Michael Rooker with an alien slug that craves raw meat, he sets about wreaking havoc on the small town as he begins to grotesquely transform into a monstrous, tentacled creature.

From a woman force-fed meat until she's a giant ball of flesh to Rooker disemboweling a local policeman with the swipe of a tentacle, nothing is off the table. Years before Gunn made the leap to the MCU and fresh out of the Troma school of film, Slither has the kind of tongue-in-cheek fun genre fans can get behind. And the impetus is very much on more practical than digitally faked effects.

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Kenny Hedges is carbon-based. So I suppose a simple top 5 in no order will do: Halloween, Crimes and Misdemeanors, L.A. Confidential, Billy Liar, Blow Out He has his own website - thefilmreal.com - and is always looking for new writers with differing views to broaden the discussion.