Monday, 11 March 2013

Fifteen Horror Films That Changed My Life

The Horror genre can have a life changing effect on you, I know it did for me.

With that in mind I thought I'd share my top fifteen life changing Horror films with you, so here they are In no particular order (to see the trailer for the film just click on the film name):

1. The Evil Dead (1981)
Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

The first low budget horror I saw and it had such a lasting effect on me that I still love it all these years later. It made me realise you don't need a big budget to make a film and it introduced me to the LEGENDARY Bruce Campbell.

2: Frankenstein (1931)
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

As a child I was naive enough to think that 'Frankenstein's Monster' was a cartoon character that I had a toy figure of. All that changed when I watched this film, it solidified my love for the monster who still remains to be my favourite to this day. It also introduced me to the amazing Boris Karloff.

3. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Painfully shy Angela Baker is sent away to summer camp with her cousin.

Anyone who has seen this film will remember THAT ending! I'd never witnessed anything like it and it has since become one of my firm favourites that I have never got bored of watching.
4: The Exorcist (1973) 
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Being raised in a religious household this film scared the crap out of me and gave me nightmares for years. For a long time I had an irrational fear of being possessed and it took me a long time to get over that.

5: Psycho (1960)
A thirty-something secretary steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother.

This was my introduction to the genius of the iconic Alfred Hitchcock, after viewing this film I scoured stores for his other works. I instantly fell in love with the 'Norman Bates' character, how could I not with an amazing performance from Anthony Perkins?!

6: Halloween (1978)
A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish teenage girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets.

I remember watching this on VHS, it was a moment I'll never forget. The 'Michael Myers' character terrified me with his blank face, slow walk and staking ways. This film is what made me scared of dark rooms, plus it gave us one of the greatest speeches in film deliver by the late great Donald Pleasance.
Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

Yes another John Carpenter movie. What can I say,the man had a big effect on my adolescence. With "The Thing" I saw how great practical effects could be done and the tension and paranoia he brought on screen was amazing.

8: Hellraiser (1987)

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover, who's being chased by demons after he escaped from their Hell.

This was the film that introduced me to the sado-masochistic world of Clive Barker and I've never looked back. His 'Pinhead' character is so iconic and still talked about and loved even now, that includes me.

9: Pit And The Pendulum (1961)

When his sister Elizabeth dies suddenly, Francis Barnard visits his brother-in-law Don Medina to find out exactly what happened to her.

This was not only my first Vincent Price film it was also my first experience of Roger Corman and Edgar Allan Poe and what an introduction. The infamous finale had me on the edge of my seat.

10: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Five friends visiting their grandpa's old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

For many years this film was banned in the UK, then when the ban was lifted it got screened on TV on a Halloween night. I was not disappointed and my love affair with 'Leatherface' never stopped.

11: Freaks (1932)
A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

If you've seen this film then you know why it's on here. Tod Browning was a genius and this film was my introduction to that.

12: The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Three film students go missing after traveling into the woods of Maryland to make a documentary about the local Blair Witch legend leaving only their footage behind.

Now this is a film that will divide Horror fans but this film was a saving grace for me (I'll explain that in a later post). I love found footage films and this is, in my opinion, one of the best.

13: The House By The Cemetery (1981) 

A deranged killer lives in the basement of an old mansion and pops out occasionally to commit grisly murders.

Lucio Fulci's classic film opened my eyes to a world of film-making I'd only dreamt about. he didn't have the moniker of 'The Italian Master of Splatter' for nothing.

14: Day Of The Dead (1985)
A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.

Believe it or not this was my first Zombie film, I'd heard of them but never watched one and after watching this I became obsessed with Romero's work and the zombie genre.

15: Videodrome (1983)
A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

I'll never forget the first time I saw this, when it finished I thought "What the fuck did I just watch?!", I soon discovered that, that is the world of David Cronenberg and I was hooked.

Honourable Mentions
Well that's my lot, honestly I could've done '100 Horror Films That Changed My Life' but I thought it'd be best to focus on the main films. I'd love to hear what Horror films changed your life.

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