5 Game Changing Horror Films That Improved The Genre Forever.

It’s already September, which means that Halloween is just around the corner.

The only time of year when it’s acceptable to walk down the street brandishing a bloody weapon and approaching the houses of strangers in an attempt to extract goods from them, in exchange for the safety of their property.

Horror films are a big part of Halloween, and the horror genre has changed a lot over the years, both positively and negatively, and here are five of the very familiar films that changed it for the better.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)


The Blair Witch Project was not the first film to ever use the found footage format, but it was certainly the film that popularised said format in the mainstream. Paving the way for films like Cloverfield (2008), REC (2007), and Quarantine (2008), the films plot centres around three student filmmakers attempting to make a documentary on a local legend, but things are more than what they seem. The iconic and ambiguous film still holds up well today, with its legendary ending and constant surreal suspense, it’s little wonder that audiences are still being terrified by this independent psychological horror film.

The Exorcist (1973)


The granddaddy of them all, The Exorcist is terror personified. Banned at one point for its graphic depiction of possession, this terrifying Oscar winner has been terrifying film goers for generations. With a story-line based on the horrifying concept of the possession of a young girl, subsequently leading to an exorcist being brought in to cast the negative spirits out, this is quite possibly the most legendary horror movie of all time, and has provided inspiration for 33 years worth of supernatural films.

Scream (1996)


Wes Craven is the quintessential master of the horror genre, and while his earlier classic  A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) almost made this list, it’s this teen-horror, slasher classic that really changed the game. Before the release of Scream, it was very arguable that the slasher sub-genre was dying, but this ultra-realistic cult phenomenon, featuring a group of friends being stalked by an unknown masked killer, gave it new life and gave new meaning to the phrase “whodunnit?”. Unfortunately, the films ultra-realism did inspire some tragic real life events, but it was also responsible for a teen-horror revolution in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, which included the likes of I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Final Destination (2000), and Jeepers Creepers (2001). The film also received three equally successful sequels, cementing its legacy as a legendary horror franchise.

The Babadook (2014)


The Babadook is quite possibly the most terrifying thing I have ever seen, it is a hyper-intense, barrel of darkness, filled to the brim with pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel. This balls-to-the-wall decent into hysteria follows a young, single mother, struggling to raise her child without her husband, who died shortly before said child was born, whilst being haunted by a sinister presence in her home. Honestly, just typing that made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. This came at a time when horror was in a rut, held down with a boring succession of jump-scare infested so-called films, and gave genre fans something they really needed, something truly terrifying. This modern horror masterpiece will not be bested for a long time, challenging all horror producers to come up with more new and unique plots for their motion pictures. Australian independent cinema, I salute you.

Alien (1979)


The definitive creature feature, Alien was truly one of a kind when it brought its iconic blend of science fiction and horror to the silver screen in 1979. Audiences were shocked and terrified when they witnessed the crew of a spaceship being ruthlessly hunted, and gradually picked off one by one, by a vicious, unidentifiable creature. Couple that with the truly brutal “chest-burst” scene and you have an instant classic that changed the face of horror, inspiring films across the spectrum, from Predator (1987), to the dreadful Apollo 18 (2011), to its very own conjoined universe spin-off Prometheus (2012). It’s safe to say that horror fans owe decades of entertainment to one Mr Ridley Scott.

Did I miss any horror films that you think re-invented the genre? Was your favourite horror film left off the list? Have a list idea? Have a review request? Drop them in the comment section below or go through the blogs contact page.

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