I can’t find the thread but this past week, someone asked for essential American movies for someone from another land who wants to be Americanized. Except for KING KONG, there was a real lack of monster/horror films. SOOOOO- what do you suggest?
The Universal Essentials
Chaney Sr PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Karloff’s FRANKENSTEIN & BRIDE of F, maybe SON
Chaney Jr’s WOLF MAN
F MEETS THE W M
ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET F
maybe Karloff’s THE MUMMY, Rains’ THE INVISIBLE MAN
and CREATURE OF THE BLACK LAGOON
NIGHT OF THE HUNTER
I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN
I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF
The AIP Essentials
Price’s FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
and MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
and TALES OF TERROR
and THE RAVEN
Stockwell’s THE DUNWICH HORROR
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE- original and Part 2
HALLOWEEN original & part 2
NIGHTMARE OF ELM STREET
RE-ANIMATOR and BRIDE of R-A
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Tim Burton’s SLEEPY HOLLOW
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
There are a lot I just haven’t thought about that I’m sure to agree with, so let 'en rip!
NOTE: I have disqualified from my own list films by Hammer Studios & its spin-offs like Amicus. If you want to submit one, please defend it as an “essential American” one.
Well, you don’t have Night of the Living Dead on there. I don’t see Night of the Hunter in the same category – it’s a suspense drama, certainly, but not a horror movie/thriller. Was that what you were thinking of?
Nope, I meant NOTH- two scenes take it past suspence into the horror territory- Shelly Winters down in the lake with the strand of hair across her throat like a slash and Robert Mitchum’s long striding shadow stalking the children.
I’d add The Little Shop of Horrors (though you might disqualify it since it’s as much comedy as it is horror), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (again could be disqualified as more thriller than horror) Kubrick’s version of The Shining, Jaws, Freaks, Cat People and the other Val Lewton horror films.
early-mid 80’s Prince of Darkness - its got Alice Cooper in it - could it be more American?? (Although to be fair, he is the mute homeless person, who eventually grosses the audience out in one way or another.)
I know the Saw series and Hostel are generally called “Torture Porn” now, but those are pretty damn horrific. I gotta see Saw 6 still though - the plot drags me on, though the gore squicks me out.
ETA: in retrospect - Saw and Hostel are not Essentials. So you can disregard.
I loves me some Hellraiser but it strikes me as quite British. Hmmmm.
I was gonna say “Videodrome is Canadian” BUT Canada IS America (as the movie points out!)
To the Cape Fear discussion- Original one is a thriller, Remake is a horror film. I don’t know if I’d count the latter as an Essential one tho. Unfortunately, seeing the remake first spoiled the original for me. Maybe if I saw the original again now that several years have passed, I’d like it better.
Re Stephen King- I’ll add CARRIE as THE ESSENTIAL AMERICAN STEPHEN KING HORROR FILM!!! & throw in CHRISTINE, PET SEMATARY, THE DEAD ZONE & maybe THE STAND miniseries. SK is chuck full of Americana!