Essential American Horror films

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?

Mine-

The Universal Essentials
Chaney Sr PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Karloff’s FRANKENSTEIN & BRIDE of F, maybe SON
Lugosi’s DRACULA
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
PSYCHO

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.

This was it!

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?

I would add:

The Exorcist
The Thing (John Carpenter version)
Alien
Evil Dead 2

I can’t believe I forgot NOTLD!!!

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.

Btw, I also omitted Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad & Greek myth movies & giant monster movies & SciFi but they may well qualify. In fact I’ll throw in now…

King Kong
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
Godzilla
Jason & the Argonauts
War of the Worlds (original)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original)

And I just thought of
Rosemary’s Baby
The Omen

Dennis- good choices!

Godzilla-- the good one-- is Japanese.

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.

Are there any American animated horror films?

How about Poltergeist? I’ve been giving bent trees growing beside bedroom windows the stinkeye ever since I saw it.

OK, I’ll buy that. Or as Uncle Birdie says, “Like she had an extra mouth.” :eek:

How about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

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.

The Descent - that’s good and scary!

The original Cape Fear (much better IMO then the remake, but then I really don’t like Juilette Lewis)

I’d add The Sixth Sense.

Yeah, but it didn’t have the rake gag. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sideshow Bob is a disgrace to the American Horror scene, I don’t even count that one.

Hellraiser (1987), Videodrome, Angel Heart (1987).

That’s more of a thriller than a horror movie, isn’t it?

I don’t believe I saw Friday the 13th on here anywhere

I’d add Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which is much, much better than the Stephen King book it’s (loosely) based on. And I say that despite being a huge King fan.

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!

Which one?

I forgot the Uncle Birdie quote! SHIVERS!!!

shantih & Student Driver- Good ones!

I will debate GODZILLA. Technically, I will say GOJIRA is the Japanese movie, while GODZILLA was the Americanized re-edit & therefore qualifies! LOL!

Add Carrie: Stephen King, teen genre, psychic powers.