It’s always dangerous talking about horror movies because the people that love horror films, truly love horror films. They’re like fans of Death Grips or Bernie Sanders in that anything bad said about their genre soul mate is determined slander and worthy of a fatwa.
See, from an evolutionary standpoint alone, man is predisposed to notice quick movements out of the corner of his eye and wake up when he hears things that go bump in the night. The prehistoric man who didn’t was the one who got eaten by a bear. But there’s another reason we flock in droves to watch people die and nearly die at the hands of possessed spirits and that’s the hit of adrenaline you get when you’re engaged with what’s happening on the screen.
It’s like nectar. You get this overwhelming tidal wave of dopamine when you’re terrified, a bit like when you narrowly avoid a car crash or watch a cage fight live. It’s an intoxicating cocktail of excitement and fear.
Which is why there are few things better than a bona fide, honest to God horror movie. One that gets your back sweating and your synapses fidgeting like a smoker in need of a nicotine hit. In fact the only thing better than a great horror movie is a genuinely awful one. The sort that Crow and Tom Servo would pick apart like carrion on Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
In recent years, the horror movie genre has been somewhat supplanted by the horror gaming genre. Games like Outlast, Amnesia and Five Nights at Freddy’s have become the speedball of choice for all the terror junkies out there. Which is a shame, because the horror genre has been going through something of a renaissance this decade.
Here’s 10 of the best.