10 Classic Horror Films That Aren't Scary Any More

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Movies, says William Goldman, are not like vintage wines, changing with each passing year. Movies are (or were) just strips of celluloid running through a machine, and if you can find a print of The Great Train Robbery, it is exactly what it was when it was filmed in 1903. What changes are the times, the social attitudes and, perhaps most importantly, the opinion of the audience. John Carpenter€™s The Thing flopped on its initial release, with even the director of the 1951 original badmouthing it in the press, but the movie was re-evaluated when a new audience saw it on VHS, ultimately leading to the 2011 remake. Similarly, horror films that were considered ground breaking on release had less impact in later years. In 1968, Night Of The Living Dead was thought to be the most stomach-churning movie of all time, at least until the arrival of The Last House On The Left, The Driller Killer and I Spit On Your Grave. With its shoestring eeriness, downbeat ending and claustrophobic feel, George Romero€™s movie still works, but images that were once considered shocking €“ the sight of a young girl killing and eating her mother, say €“ are seen each week on The Walking Dead. The following 10 films are still entertaining, but each had their thunder stolen in later years, and none of them can be seen in the same way as they were on their initial release.


Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'