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The best of horror through the decades

The best of horror through the decades

The best of horror through the decades
October 13
11:46 2020

Horror is a genre that is often overlooked, but also has so much to give. This time of year is encouraging me to make a list of the best horror movies from each decade, going all the way back to before horror movies were considered a thing. Since we are covering ten movies, the commentary portion will be pretty short, but we are still going to talk about some of the best of the best. Without any wait, let’s get spooky.

1920s: “Nosferatu” (1922)

Truly one of the most terrifying movies I saw growing up. The extremely horrific stature of Count Orlok worked his way into a vast majority of my nightmares. I rewatched this movie earlier this year, only to find out it has not lost an ounce of horror. The silent film has remained one of the most influential of all time, as Robert Eggers is looking to make his own version in the future.

1930s: “Frankenstein” (1931)

Probably one of the most well-known movies on this list, “Frankenstein’s” monster has lived within and dominated pop culture for decades. While this movie may not be the most terrifying, especially now, there is still something so impressive about it. This movie has gone on to be one of the most influential pieces of pop culture ever. It is also extremely short in runtime, if you are looking for a quick scare.

1940s: “The Wolf Man” (1941)

By now, it should be evident the first couple of decades established some of the best monsters in the history of horror, but I feel like this movie is often overlooked. The practical effects are beautifully done, along with an extremely well-written story. This is one of the movies I often go back to if I want to take a trip to the start of horror.

1950s: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956)

This is the movie I blame for me having trust issues. It’s a movie with a concept that will shake anyone to their core. The scariest thing a person can face is not being trusted among a group of people, and a movie like this just go to show the deadliest thing (and also the most important thing) to have in this life is the trust of others.

1960s: “Psycho” (1960)

This is one of the most referenced movies of all time, while also being one that put horror on the map. I think this movie is a household name in across the globe, and even if you haven’t seen “Psycho,” all I have to do is mention a shower curtain and you know exactly what I am talking about.

1970s: “Halloween” (1978)

One of my favorite movies of all time features one of the most well-known killers of the slasher era. This decade was the first where I had trouble picking a movie, but after recently watching “Halloween” again, I think no slasher has ever come close, nor will one ever come close in the future. I could go on about the importance of this movie, but it is one you must watch to understand how important it really is.

1980s: “The Thing” (1982) 

John Carpenter is back with his second movie on this list. Carpenter is the best horror director of all time, but to call him just a horror director is a disservice to everything else he has done. Whether it is the amazing acting or perfect practical effects, there will never be another horror movie like this one. Of all the decades, I would have to pick this one to be my favorite, and I choose “The Thing” to be the best movie on this list.

1990s: “Scream” (1996)

Wes Craven decided to make a movie that was extremely self-aware about the horror genre. What separates this movie from others is the characters. Every character is extremely easy to remember because they have more than just two characteristic traits. “Scream” will forever be known as the reset button for the horror genre, and while it is one of the best, it led to a lot of spoofs and influenced a lot of garbage.

2000s: “Trick ‘r Treat” (2007)

This is another wildly underrated option. I truly think this is a must-watch, especially if you are trying to get into horror. It is one of the best to ever be put out, and the anthology aspect just adds another layer of perfection. If you know someone who has seen this movie, chances are they absolutely love it. I will protect this movie until I am in my own grave.

2010s: “Ready or Not” (2019)

The reason I picked this over any of the other artsy horror films we saw in the back half of the last decade was because “Ready or Not” was the first time I watched a horror movie in recent years and felt like I was watching “Halloween” or “Scream” for the first time again. I truly love this movie more and more as time goes by, and this is another one I will not let anyone throw slander at.

Featured image: Courtesy Dimension Films

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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