Editor’s Note: Good movies bring art to life, and are accessible in a way that books — which take hours to read — and great works of art — often hidden in private collections or distant museums — are not. After our piece on 100 Essential Reads, it’s only logical for us to extend our passions and expertise on the world of film. For the next couple of months, we’ll be releasing lists of our favorite movies, divided into ten genres: Drama, Comedy, Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Documentary, Romance, Family, Foreign, and Thriller. Once all the lists have been released, we’ll compile our top 100 from across the board to form a Definitive Men’s Movie Collection.
Horror movies aren’t for everyone. You’ve heard it a million times, or else you’ve said it a million times: “I just don’t like them”. Oh really? You don’t like The Shining or The Exorcist or Planet Terror or Psycho? Those are horror movies, jacko, and you like them. Admit it.
What you should say — what’s far more likely — is that you don’t like most horror movies. In our time as horror fans, we’ve realized the incredible range of this divisive genre. Horror is no one-trick pony. You might hate corny slashers like Halloween, but what about romping gore-fests like Dead Alive? Or super-scare ghost movies like Insidious that threaten to put you in the psych ward for a few days afterward? Check out silly black humor horrors like Dead Snow or a classic psychological thriller like The Innocents. Indie fan? There’re plenty of horrors for that. Genre-defying strangeness? Four words: Cabin in the Woods (and many others). Perhaps you’re demented and enjoy “torture porn”, a la Audition; there are plenty of films for you to watch, but you should also seek therapy immediately.
Truth is, skimming our list of the best 50 horror films of all time on this very special Friday the 13th should do more to convince you than any argument ever will. We’ve gathered a true blend of styles, with plenty of films that could easily bleed into other genres, and, of course, a bunch that are pure horror to their very blackened hearts. The bloody thread that ties them together? Very simply, they deal with the darkest sides of human nature: cruelty, despair, madness and the like. They’re are all monster movies in one way or another.