Horror films can range from psychological thrillers to morbid and grisly tales. No matter the type, people cower in the theatres while witnessing scary movies or acquire some sort of satisfying adrenaline rush.
While I tremble at almost any scary movie, I admit my terror depends on what type of horror film I’m watching.
Psychological thrillers are typically the most praised of horror films, and some of the most difficult to watch.
“Silence of the Lambs” and “The Shining” are considered iconic, as they capitalize on haunting foreboding and pathological characters to deliver frightening, yet smashing narratives.
The latter focuses on serial killer Hannibal Lecter, who is cannibalistic and skins his victims. The former is about a family’s stay in an isolated hotel, where the father is violently influenced by an evil presence. It’s these types of scary movies that leave audiences feeling eerily disturbed, even days after watching the film.
Perhaps some of the most popular among young adults and teens are supernatural horror films.
Newly released “Sinister 2” and its prequel are examples of supernatural horror films, which depend on paranormal forces and revulsions to create an eerie atmosphere.
Supernatural horror movies rely on suspense, as audiences anticipate screams or haunting figures that could appear on the screen at any moment.
Another fan favorite is slasher film, such as the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th.”
Slasher films revolve around mass murders and gruesome images — the type that force people like me to cover my eyes. Just like supernatural horror films, slasher films focus on suspense, typically with villains stalking and slaughtering their victims and are usually the most graphic.
Personally, I find the most terrifying films are the ones that are chillingly realistic.
Maybe I’m a little weird for thinking this way, but I honestly believe that the movies based on events that can or have actually happened are the scariest. And I’m not talking about those scary movies that claim that “the events depicted in this film is based off of actual events.” I’m saying that I tremble at movies depicting historical or wartime events.
A few examples would be films such as “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” While both films are rightfully considered cinematic masterpieces, they both depict the ugly nature of man. “Schindler’s List” abrasively renders the evils that humans are capable of by portraying the systematic murder of those considered inferior to the Nazis. Steven Spielberg aimed to capture the true nature of the Holocaust with his graphic, but honest film.
“Saving Private Ryan” is another example, that illustrates the horrors of the deadliest conflict in recorded history. The film opens with soldier being slaughtered on the Normandy coast, by showing the graphic images of soldiers slain in the line of duty. The Normandy landing scene is so graphic, I honestly covered my eyes for most of it.
These films are more horrifying than your typical supernatural or slasher film because the message is that the most terrifying “monster” is actually man. These films show what human beings are capable of — and are the most horrific of horror movies.
Fall is the perfect season to host a scary movie night with friends. But while jump-scares, zombies and haunted houses are frightening, they aren’t too realistic. So next stormy Friday night when you’re trying to choose a film to watch, consider your options and the many subcategories of the horror genre. And if you think I’m crazy, note that according to a 2015 survey by Chapman University, 58 percent of Americans fear corrupt government officials the most — above zombies and demons.