A Noob’s guide to the horror universe
You know the weekend is just around the corner when you’re mindlessly staring at that desktop calendar and daydreaming about what to binge-watch on Netflix or getting that much-needed good night’s sleep when Friday strikes.
Speaking of Netflix, when was the last time you saw a good horror film with your friends?
It’s not surprising that some of us are afraid to watch horror movies, especially at night when we get this sudden burst of paranoia and last minute jitters as soon as the lights darken in the hall and our anxiety levels peak right before that first jump scare.
That being said, this particular genre is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re new to the world of horror I suggest we balance out the “fear metre” by starting out with the nail-biting popcorn flicks and then gradually moving on to the grittier stuff that causes trauma-inducing nightmares.
If you’re fascinated with the occult and supernatural themes then this timeless classic should be #1 on your watchlist!
Adapted from the best-selling novel by Stephen King, The Shining tells the story of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who becomes mentally unstable after moving in with his family to an isolated hotel that is seemingly haunted.
As Jack grows more psychotic, his wife and son desperately try to escape the hotel while fleeing from a murderous Jack who relentlessly chases after them.
Watch this cinematic masterpiece at your own risk! Or better yet be smart and don’t watch it at all.
2. The Sixth Sense
If you felt The Shining wasn’t supernatural enough for you then this pick will definitely make your skin crawl!
The Sixth Sense is a nerve-racking movie that’ll leave you feeling more disturbed than scared.
This nostalgic classic from the 90’s tells the story of a gifted, but troubled boy named Cole Sears (Haley Joel Osment) who has the ability to see and converse with the dead and an equally troubled child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) who tries his best to help him.
If ghosts give you the creeps then I recommend you stick with this movie till the very end and spoiler alert! There’s more than one twist to this story.
3. The Ring (2002)
Since we’re moving along with the supernatural horror category, I’d say it’s only fair we add The Ring to the list.
When I mentioned earlier that horror is not for the faint-hearted I really meant it! If this film doesn’t send chills down your spine then the scream of the person sitting next to you will.
A remake of the 1998 Japanese movie of the same name, the story of The Ring is about a mysterious videotape that leaves a deadly curse hanging onto whoever watches it, eventually causing that person to brutally die within 7 days.
Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is a journalist who attempts to uncover the truth behind the video and in the process ends up fighting for her own life and her son’s.
If you’re bored on a Friday night and got nothing else planned then you can trust this film to liven the atmosphere. But be warned though! You might get more than what you asked for.
4. Get Out
Coming back to the more grounded and realistic movies, here’s an off-beat story that’ll certainly give newcomers a few goosebumps.
While ghosts and haunted houses are recurring themes in the horror universe they aren’t necessarily the most frightening.
Sometimes the best dread comes from psychological horror and that’s exactly what Get Out is all about.
The film centers around a young African-American named Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) as he accompanies his Caucasian girlfriend to meet her parents at a secluded estate in a remote countryside. But Chris soon encounters unusual occurrences within the isolated community; particularly the strange behavior he receives from her parents.
This movie isn’t your typical screamer; it’s a weird mix between satire and psychological thriller infused with some old school horror clichés but with a storyline that’ll keep you invested at all times.
Now let’s take a look at a film that takes horror back to its basics: “blood and gore”
If there’s one film that today’s generation can relate to on a personal level it might as well be Hush.
This heart-pounding slasher pick will raise your anxiety levels to unexpected heights as you struggle to keep your eyes open without gasping every few minutes.
The plot follows a young female author named Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) who retreats to an isolated cabin in the woods after a failed corrective surgery resulted in the loss of her ability to both hear and speak.
As night falls, a masked figure quietly stalks Maddie from outside the cabin, stealing her phone and threatening her by sending photos of her typing on the computer using her own social media account.
Once Maddie realizes she’s in danger it quickly becomes a cat-and-mouse game, as she attempts to survive the night by searching ways to outwit and ultimately escape her potential killer.
If you want the full jump scare experience then this is it! But that’s only half the horror the other half is realizing the fact that sometimes the best person to protect you is yourself.
6. The Conjuring
Warning! Don’t watch this movie alone unless you’re planning on getting a series of panic attacks.
Circling back one last time to the supernatural theme leads us to The Conjuring.
Loosely based on historical events, this sinister tale follows paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they attempt to help the Perron family understand the increasingly disturbing incidents which plague their rural farmhouse in Rhode Island.
As the story unfolds, more light is shed on the history of the house and the gruesome details concerning the previous family who resided there.
All things considered, the horror genre is pretty unique in the sense that you never know what to expect.
Follow this guide and take the baby steps or puff your chest and go straight for all the A-list titles if you think you’re strong enough to survive one heart attack after another.