General Question

OpryLeigh's avatar

New to horror: What would you recommend?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25251points) August 20th, 2009

I am looking for scary films to watch as I have recently started to enjoy them (I used to hate them!). However, I don’t want to much blood and guts/mass murderer types (although if you know of any really good ones then feel free to mention them), I prefer the more chilling stuff. Things that make the imagination work over time! I love anything to do with ghosts and have got Poltergeist (sp?) ready to watch. What would you recommend?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

75 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

The Ring and The Grudge would probably fit into the category pretty well. You may also want to have a look at the Japanese originals. 28 Days Later is a good “zombie” movie but there is quite a bit of violence particularly towards the end. Then there’s always The Blair Witch Project.

If you don’t mind the fact that it’s in French The Brotherhood of the Wolf is also good. REC is a Spanish film that hollywood remade as Quarantine but the spanish version is probably superior.

jaketheripper's avatar

The Number 23, 1408, The mothman prophecies, The wicker man, The haunting of emily rose, The house on haunted hill (i saw the 90something remake not the original) The haunting in connecticut
no particular order there… none of those have too much gore as i remember

Lightlyseared's avatar

@jaketheripper The original (1973) wicker man I hope. The Nicholas Cage version was a very poor attempt at film making

jaketheripper's avatar

I actually thought it was pretty good, but im a big cage fan so maybe I had rose colored glasses…

rawpixels's avatar

The Strangers
The Orphanage

aprilsimnel's avatar

The Shining

bhec10's avatar

Definitely the Saw film series.

lunabean's avatar

the orphan was a good psychological thriller and if you’re into japanese horror, which you should be, you should watch reincarnation.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Eyes without a face
I haven’t seen it and I don’t plan on it. I just read a small summary of it in a New York Times article, and that was enough to scare the crap out of me.

bhec10's avatar

@teh_kvlt_liberal The name says it all! Great movie!

yeah's avatar

28 weeks ! Micheal meyers will scare the crap out of you but it is a bit rude and bloody so is freddy. The excersism of emily rose. Btw is a true story. The amitiville horror again true story the six sense . LOL I also love horror movies but h8 the ones with way to many xrated scenes and blood I enjoy one that you don’t have to fastforwad skip or turn off because of the youngsters lols

SuperMouse's avatar

Where’s Deaddolly when we need her?

PerryDolia's avatar

the original Night of the Living Dead.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

28 days later was a pretty solid Zombie flick.
The Descent is a lesser known import from scotland, scared the crap out of me.

ShanEnri's avatar

I’ll second The Orphanage. As well as The Descent! The Grave Dancers was pretty creepy too.

hex's avatar

Classic: Isle of the Dead 1945
Modern Classic: The Shining 1980
Recent: The Haunting in Connecticut 2009

For zombie flicks, see anything by George Romero, original or remake, can’t go wrong.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

The scariest thing I’ve ever seen is a Japanese movie called Audition (not for those with weak stomachs!).

I prefer zombie movies, because they are usually funny as well as scary. You’ve got to see the first Evil Dead. I also just recently saw a Norwegian zombie movie called Dead Snow, which was not scary, but funny and entertaining. Check it out.

BluRhino's avatar

Let the Right One In”....Best Vampire movie in a long while. Swedish. Very cool, not too much gore.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@BluRhino Just watched the trailer, it looks really good. I’ll definitely have to check that out!

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@BluRhino same here… looks interesting.

cwilbur's avatar

Dog Soldiers. Low-budget, but good actors, and well-done. They use their effects budget to suggest the monster a lot more than they show it (which is good).

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@cwilbur the maker of Dog soldiers did The Descent too, if you haven’t seen it, follows the same style, low budget, but creepy as hell.

AstroChuck's avatar

The Exorcist

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Tourist Trap
It’s cheesy (in a good way), funny, little to none blood, and it has a creepy vibe. Plus Mannequins.
The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. If you think there’s too much blood/gore in it, you’re a wuss. Seriously. Plus it’s a fucking masterpiece.
original Black Christmas. There wasn’t a whole lot of blood/gore as far as I remember,
Forget remakes. The only good remakes were the thing and the fly. Stick with the classics

aprilsimnel's avatar

Oh, Motel Hell is good for a larf.

dalepetrie's avatar

First off, some decent answers….I’d honestly stay away from the Saw series….the first one was kind of imaginative, but really it degenerated as the sequels came about (they always do) into just a bloody mess, and even the first one is really, really gory. I have no problem with that, but if you’re going to do gore, you’re best to go with Rob Zombie films like House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects or his Halloween remake, they are the height of brutality, particularly Devil’s Rejects…one of my all time favorite horror movies and one of the few that I actually found to be “scary”, though having a serial killer theme, may not be for you.

The thing about horror was that in the early 70s when you had classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Exorcist, the fear was more about suspense, really building up the tension to scare you big time when the really scary scenes happened, as opposed to much of the modern horror which is all about trying to keep you on the edge of your seat…it’s the movie equivalent of jumping out and saying boo in my opinion.

That’s one reason I didn’t like some of the films mentioned….The Ring and The Grudge, I can see why they were popular, but I’d definitely go with the original Japanese versions of these films…I kind of felt like the story/concept was good, but it was ruined by them trying too hard to scare you and not really letting the fear wash over you and take over.

And I have to say, no offense intended to @jaketheripper, but everything he posted, with the exception of 1408 (which I say you’re better off reading Stephen King’s short story to be honest), was in my opinion perfect examples of that modern kind of horror filmmaking which really forgets about suspense and just tries to creep you out in some way. Not bad if that’s what you’re into, but I suspect that’s not what you’re going to be into. Some examples of what I’m talking about…take the Number 23 for example. Dude starts seeing the number 23 everywhere, and the film just degenerates into, “omigod, the number 23,” repeat ad nauseum. And the Haunting in Connecticut, supposedly based on a “true” story, but basically the real story is really boring and most of what was reported by this family that was haunted was inconsistent from one family member to the next, but this made it look like every 10 minutes something scary was jumping out at you…I felt it lacked imagination…very much been there, done that for me.

Poltergeist, at least the first one is definitely a good choice, and someone mentioned Audition, these are more what I think you’re going for. The Orphan is perhaps one of the best of this type of horror film in quite some time, very good, mostly original story with a killer twist ending, and the fear is just more palpable…it reminded me of a movie from the early 90s called The Good Son, which I think is also a good choice. Some modern movies that got the suspense/horror thing down right in my opinion are The Sixth Sense, The Others and What Lies Beneath, all great suspenseful horror movies with twist endings you really don’t see coming. Someone mentioned Blair Witch, and that one was REALLY effective on a big screen in the dark, I’m not sure you can get the proper effect on that one if you see it on DVD, but it’s worth a shot.

A lot of people mentioned the Shining, and yes, I’d go with that one, but make sure you get the theatrical version featuring Jack Nicholson, not the made for TV version with I think Tim Daly….here’s a rare example of where I disagree with the author on this one…though I think we’d both say “read the book, it’s better”, King was unhappy with the theatrical version, whereas most film fans and critics, even those who loved the book, think this is an all time great horror movie. Now, with Stephen King though, rarely do you find a movie as good as the book, however I have to say the recent adaptation of The Mist, was perhaps the best adaptation of a King book I’ve ever seen, I HIGHLY recommend that because of the way the suspense builds into outright terror.

Another one I enjoyed quite a bit was called the Gravedancers….it was a really good supernatural story which also had some pretty nice effects towards the end. Anyway, that ought to be enough to get you started.

wenn's avatar

I am a fan of Korean horror so i recommend Epitaph and Muoi. there are a few other interesting ones but can’t recall them at the moment.

Also a messed up Japanese film, Ichi The Killer.

All good stuff. But definitely recommend Epitaph. It’s just crazy weird.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@dalepetrie I’m glad you mentioned Stephen King because not only am I looking for decent horror films but I am also going to read some of his books. I have read some of his short stories which I loved and so have a few of his books on my “to read” list.

dalepetrie's avatar

Read the Stand, the Expanded, Complete version from 1991, his absolutely #1 best and scariest and most suspenseful book.

antimatter's avatar

Pulse was good

OpryLeigh's avatar

OK, so a quick update. Watched the 1979 version of The Amityville Horror today. Not scary at all, in fact a only have two things to say about that film a: I can see why Barbra Streisand married James Brolin – yummy! and b: thank goodness he went back for the dog at the end!!! Has anyone seen the more recent version of this film? Any good?

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Meh I thought it was average. Nothing special

RareDenver's avatar

I’ve been meaning to watch The Orphanage for some time now and after reading this thread earlier decided now was a good a time as any. Wow, what a great film.

I would recommend The Others as a good ghost story but not really horror. The Ring is good also but you can probably give The Grudge a miss.

filmfann's avatar

@wenn Ichi the Killer? Really? I just didn’t understand that.

My picks (heavy on the classics):

Night of the Living Dead
The Birds
Psycho
Alien
Aliens
The Blair Witch Project
Cloverfield
The Thing (with Kurt Russell)
Jaws
The Stand (tv miniseries)

Aethelwine's avatar

@filmfann much lurve for The Thing (with Kurt Russell). Some say music can make or break a movie. The music in that movie is chilling! Carpenter knows his shit.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

preemptive compliment:

jonsblond I love your pic… even though Orton trying to play out there is like watching someone pistol whip a blind kid

Aethelwine's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 I usually don’t watch preseason but I’ve been told it hasn’t been pretty. sigh

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@jonsblond good job McDaniels…

fandom Off

MacBean's avatar

Wow. Usually when I answer questions like these, I only add new ones and let previous recommendations speak for themselves. But there are SO MANY movies that have been mentioned here that I would NOT recommend (especially taking the info in the details into consideration), that I’m going to include repeats in my list.

I’m going to go through my list of 1775 movies I’ve rated on Netflix and list anything rated four or five stars, and a few things rated three. When I rate movies on Netflix, five stars means I could watch it over and over and never get sick of it, four stars means I’m almost certain I will actually seek it out again, and three stars means I’ll probably watch it again someday when someone else wants to or I happen to catch it on TV.

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that as a HUGE horror fan, my mind divides the genre up into many subgenres, and I count things that a lot of people wouldn’t. For example, most people categorize Pan’s Labyrinth as pure fantasy. But Ofelia’s step father is SCARY AS FUCK and places the film firmly at the edge of horror in my book. So there’s some stuff in this list that would more commonly be filed as “sci-fi/fantasy” or “thriller” and even “comedy” in a couple of cases.

.
Five Stars:

- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
Delicatessen (1991)
The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
Dracula (1931)
Freaks (1932)
Let the Right One In (2008)
The Orphanage (2007)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Psycho (1960)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Wolf Man (1941)

.
Four Stars:

- 13 Ghosts (1960)
The Bad Seed (1956)
Benny’s Video (1992)
Borderland (2007)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Day of the Dead (1985)
Dead Alive (1992)
The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007)
The Exorcist (1973)
Fido (2006)
Final Destination (2000)
The Fog (1980)
Frankenstein (1931)
From Within (2008)
The Good Son (1993)
The Haunting (1963)
Hide and Seek (2005)
House of Wax (1953)
House on Haunted Hill (1958)
Jesus Camp (2006)
Land of the Dead (2005)
The Mist (2007)
Mulberry Street (2006)
Night of the Lepus (1972)
Nosferatu (1929)
The Old Dark House (1932)
The Omen (1976)
Premonition (2004)
Ravenous (1999)
Session 9 (2001)
Se7en (1995)
The Shining (1980)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Spider (2003)
The Stepford Wives (1975) (I liked the newer version, too, but it was comedy, not horror.)
Stephen King’s It (1990)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Uzumaki (2000)

.
And a handful of Three Stars, based on your details about what you’re looking for:

-1408 (2007)
The Frighteners (1996)
The Game (1997)
I’m Not Scared (2003)
The Other (1972)
The Others (2001)
– (Poltergeist would’ve been here, except you said you’ve already got that one to watch. :D)
Stir of Echoes (1999)

Also a Three Star, I have to add this one because all the rest of the films in the series were in the list of Fours, and you can’t watch a series and leave out the first one:
Night of the Living Dead (1968)

filmfann's avatar

@MacBean Lurve for Freaks. How did I forget that?
Goobledy Gobbley One of Us!

MacBean's avatar

@filmfann: Hooray for pre-Code film. :D

dalepetrie's avatar

@MacBean – lurve for including Jesus Camp….wish I could give you 10 GAs for THAT one.

give_seek's avatar

I luv filmfann’s list! I would take out Blair Witch and add The Exorcist.

RareDenver's avatar

@MacBean I love that you have Jesus Camp in there, it was pretty scary!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@give_seek Is The Exorcist actually scary though? I have heard that it is very dated and so not as scary as it was once considered to be.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Leanne1986 – It works. It works PARTICULARLY well on Catholics (even lapsed ones). There’s something inherently disconcerting about having something unknown take over control of your mind and body. Basically, if your idea of horror is blood and gore, it probably won’t work for you. But if you like that kind of horror where it just kind of creeps up on you, yes, it still works, even today.

That reminds me, another one I liked recently was Bug, well worth a rental, very atmospheric and freaky.

filmfann's avatar

When the Exorcist first came out, my friend John and I went to see it. We laughed thru the entire movie. We thought it was terrible, and unbelievably stupid.
20 years later, I showed the movie to my teenage daughter. It scared the crap out of me.
Now that I had kids, I had become vulnerable to it.

MacBean's avatar

hahahaha I <3 those of you who noticed Jesus Camp. I threw it in there to see if people paid attention. :D

wenn's avatar

@filmfann I dont think Ichi The Killer is supposed to be understood really. It’s just messed up.

MacBean's avatar

@wenn & @filmfann: I feel that way about most Takashi Miike films I’ve seen. At the end, I kind of sit there for a while, going ”...Whaaat?”

Aethelwine's avatar

@Leanne1986 I feel that The Exorcist III is scarier than The Exorcist, and not as dated. It’s one of the scariest movies (for me).

wenn's avatar

@MacBean totally, He did a Masters of Horror short movie called Imprint, maybe you’ve seen it, but that was probably the weirdest thing ive ever watched.

MacBean's avatar

@wenn: Yep, I’ve seen every episode of MoH. :D I remember not caring for the end of Imprint (and the review I linked to supports that) but I can’t actually remember what the end was anymore… Oops.

wenn's avatar

@MacBean in the end the guy shoots the lady in the head and then they just show him in the jail cell all crazy with his little sister and his love (cant remember names) standing there, and then jsut ends. i agree was a poor ending.

perplexism's avatar

I mentioned this somewhere else on here, but High Tension and The Descent might be worth checking out. I know both scared the holy jeebus out of me.

The Bad Seed, is one of my favorite classic horror films. It’s actually a film my mother introduced me to.

Blair Witch Project made me sleepy. In fact, every single time I attempted to watch it ended in a snooze fest.

efritz's avatar

The Host, A Tale of Three Sisters – pretty much anything Korean. And they’re not gory at all really, just . . . suspenseful. . .

wenn's avatar

@efritz do you mean A Tale Of Two Sisters? if so i agree worth checkign out. its a bit strange. gotta love korean horror/suspense.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m assuming these Korean films that people are recommending have subtitles! I don’t speak Korean!

wenn's avatar

@Leanne1986 안녕(annyeong, means hello) yes yes they can be found/downloaded with subtitles

Here is one copy A Tale Of Two Sisters , havent downloaded these particular files, but when you extract the movie a sub file should come with it.

efritz's avatar

@wenn – whoops yeah, I have trouble with single-digit numbers :)

wenn's avatar

@efritz you should try this German word for fun, Geschwindigkeitsbegrunzung. Took me 3 weeks to say it properly, means ‘speed limit’. fun huh?

efritz's avatar

@wenn – gah. no habla german. ever.

Zen's avatar

I do not like horror as a rule, but occasionally watch one either inadvertantly, and, like the proverbial road accident, cannot turn away.

Saw was excellent, but veeeery scary.

Cube was interesting and scary, too.

Any of the M. Night Shalamaladingdong movies – avoid like the plague, except for The Sixth Sense. But it’s too late for that one anyway if you hadn’t already seen it, as everyone knows that Bruce’s character is dead. Oops, I hope I didn’t give it away…?

aprilsimnel's avatar

“M. Night Shalamaladingdong” is exactly what I call him!

dalepetrie's avatar

@Zen – I actually didn’t hate Unbreakable, but unlike most people, I actually saw it.

RareDenver's avatar

@dalepetrie I didn’t completely hate Unbreakable either but I did find it a little disappointing

Zen's avatar

When one says didn’t completely not unhate totally something, does that mean you liked it, or not? I’m confused. Plain speak, folk, plain speak.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Zen Urgh! The Sixth Sense bored me to tears!

filmfann's avatar

Sixth Sense one of the best horror films of the last 20 years.

Response moderated (Spam)
rangerr's avatar

I’m late on this, but nobody mentioned Children of the Corn.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Nothing at all. With all the horror in the world, perhaps something else would be better. No one ever thinks how horror films enter the consciousness of people on a very deep level. I am not just talking about psychopaths who watch horror films over and over and commit acts of evil because they are crazy anyway…I am just talking about how horror films leave imprints on the minds of good people who watch them for “entertainment” too. The dark energy and the fear is not something that you are consciously aware of, but it does enter your psyche. And more than that, it enters the mass psyche.

I know people who watch horror films and allow their children to watch horror films…which I find really alarming. A child’s mind is extremely vulnerable.

I am also not talking about suspense films…(say, Alfred Hitchcock) which are classics….but the blood and guts horror films of the last decades which are really profane to the senses.

I apologize if I have offended horror flick fans…but it’s something that I feel strongly about.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Thank you for your comment but I did say how I wasn’t very interested in blood, guts and murder.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Sorry, Leanne…for the misunderstanding. I re-read what you wrote and see where I steered off. So, I’ll leave my comments for the horror—blood/guts readers. Apologies to you. Hope you found something cool to see.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther