Brooklyn Public Library


Five Decades of Fear

Oct 26, 2010 4:35 PM | 0 comments

I’m not a fan of today’s horror movies with their unnecessarily gratuitous blood and gore. I prefer scary movies that mess with my head and make me afraid to come out from under the covers or be home alone. Whenever I get an urge to be frightened, I always turn to what I consider are horror movie classics.

Some of my favorites from the 1950s and 1960s are black and white thrillers like House of Wax, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Night of the Living Dead and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. In my opinion, the absence of Technicolor just gives it that extra spooky appeal. 

For 70s classics, I gravitate toward films that take something simple like babysitting (When a Stranger Calls) or moving into a new house (The Amityville Horror) and turn it into your worst nightmare. I dare you to sleep well after watching them.

I’ve always loved a good vampire story, and the 1980s did not disappoint with gems like Fright Night and The Lost Boys. These funny, yet scary, films had me stockpiling garlic and holy water in my room at night!

But to be honest, no ghoul or goblin is scarier than what regular humans do to hurt one another, and that’s why The Silence of the Lambs and Scream had me creeped out for most of the 90s. However, honorable mention goes out to Christopher Walken in The Prophecy for making me afraid to go to church!

So while there were a few movies in this decade that gave me a start here and there (The Ring, 1408), nothing beats a horror flick from the archives to top off my Halloween night.

What are some of your favorites?

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