With Halloween approaching, it got me thinking about how the classic horror film doesn’t really exist anymore. I haven’t seen the latest Brit flick Demons Never Die yet, but haven’t heard great things about it to be honest.
Alas, gone are the days when it used to be a proper event whenever a scary movie was about to drop in the cinema. From Nightmare on Elm Street and its sequels, Friday 13th and Child’s Play, it was enough to get everyone (old and young) excited at the prospect of being scared sh**less all in the name of entertainment!
To this day a lot of the classic horrors are a lot more frightening that the newer ones, even with the advent of the Internet, HD, improved 3D, GGI and other technologies. For me the best flicks from this genre were either the ones which were just damn right disgustingly gruesome or the ones that weren’t that scary but had a good enough storyline to keep you entertained and cause the odd heart jump in all the right places. And if you were lucky you got both.
So, in saying that…I Miss The Old School take a look at the the top five old school horror flicks (in our humble opinion of course) of all time… ‘Of all time!’ *Kanye voice*
LOST BOYS (1988)
I actually debated putting this in here because many may argue that this is not actually a horror film per se. But because it featured vampires, fangs and weird make-up I think it makes the cut. As a huge Corey Haim and Corey Feldman fan in the 80s, this was one of their better movies, although, it was more like a live comic book than a film that gave me the heebee-jeebees. There were moments (at least when I watched it the first time round) that I jumped a little, but this is definitely one of those where you are more caught up with the storyline than being scared.
FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)
I had no idea that US horror franchise Friday the 13th comprised 12 movies, a TV show, novels, comic books AND merchandise (source: Wikipedia), but that goes some way to explain what a sensation the movie’s main star Jason Voorhees turned out to be, although admittedly the later films didn’t live up to the first few.
Part one came out in 1980 and the audience were let in on the fact that Jason Voorhees was a little boy who had drowned in a lake while away at camp. His mother is out for revenge as she blames two counsellors for her son’s ‘death’, as they were ‘knocking boots’ while they were supposed to be watching him. Naughty naughty! So, like any mother would, she later goes back to the camp armed with a trusty machete on a brutal killing spree,. The follow-up films are centred around the ‘haunted’ lake, and adult Jason makes his debut in Part II. The first couple of movies were pretty decent as far as horror films go and will always be mentioned in a list of the all-time greats of this genre.
CHILD’S PLAY (1988)
This film was relatively scary for me because it wasn’t a strange man, vampire or monster on a killing spree… It was a doll (Chucky). Laugh all you want at that notion, but as a 10 year-old, like the huge-headed annoying little boy in this movie, I also had a hard faced ugly Caucasian doll. And after watching this film if I starred at it long enough I could see its lips move and a slight scowl creep across its face. *Shudder*
After watching this I stopped sleeping with my dolls at the edge of my bed and instead dashed them in my wardrobe each night. Can you blame me? I didn’t want to wake up with one of them hovering over-me with a menacing look on its ugly plastic face (see above). Luckily I was a bit too old for dolls by that time anyway! LOL!
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
Before he penned the Scream movies, Wes Craven’s horror movie claim to fame was Nightmare on Elm Street and its main character Freddie Krueger. To put it bluntly Freddie was a right b***tard. In all his melted faced glory, he loved nothing more than to inflict pain on innocent teens to get his kicks. But it was kind of fun to watch him do it, especially as he was always quite creative. I can’t remember which of the movies in the franchise it was, but I will always remember when he plucked out one poor young victim’s veins to operate him like a puppet. The ‘Freddie films’ were more squeamish than anything else for me, but that song ‘One, two Freddie’s ready for you, three, four, better lock your door, five, six grab your crucifix…’, was pretty creepy.
Of all the classic horror movie characters Freddie is the most iconic of them all, and his stripped red and black striped jumper, trilby hat and long finger slashers are etched in horror movie history.
It was nice to see, the actor who played him, Robert Englund, pop up later in 80s alien TV series V, playing a harmless and actually quite lovable character. The whole hook with Freddie was he would pop up in your dreams once you fell asleep, thankfully I wasn’t overly affected by these movies, and they never kept me up at night.
This didn’t actually come out in the 80s, but I first watched it in that decade (as did many of my friends growing up), probably because that was when it was released on home video in the UK (1981), so I guess it qualifies. This movie stands out as part of my old school experience as I remember discussing it at school. The story in a nutshell was about a 12 year-old girl (why do these movies always use kids and teens to scare the heck out of us???) who was possessed by a demon. This caused her to go from sweet and innocent to a crazy unhumanely-strong grunting monster! Obviously the classic scenes are the ones where her head spins round and the bed levitating with her still in it! Her mother decides to call in two different priests to deliver an exorcism to rid her daughter of whatever it was that had possed her, but of course things don’t go smoothly – they never do in these films. To be honest, to this day I’ve only really watched bits of this movie, as I was never brave enough to watch it all the way through growing up. I must get round to viewing it all the way through one day though!
When discussing this post with a few of my peeps, everyone agreed that this film is one of the scariest of all time. Omen (eek, eek, eek… LOL!) and devil child Damien! I have a thing about films that are more real than fantasy, and this one was too real for comfort. The way they linked all the 666 stuff to the Bible and the devil and all that palaver. And the fact it was based around what was seemingly a normal family – it could have been anyone!
Damien, the satanic little boy whose ‘look’ epitomised pure evil (great casting) and whenever you see the camera close-up on his little face, you know something bad is about to happen! It was all in his eyes. LOL!
The way people were bumped off in his film was also quite dicey, his mother falling from the balcony, after Damien knocked her over with his tricycle, and the man whose head got sliced off by a pane of glass (that was the worse one for me). The former in particular was something that could have actually happened. I think that started my life-long fear of high balconies and falling. The score for the film was also spot on in that it induced a feeling of terror in your belly, which added to the whole experience. This was one of the few films where after watching it I was scared to go to bed by myself. I waited for my brothers so we could all go upstairs together, while pretending that I wasn’t. This film came out in the 70s, but I first watched it when it came on TV in the 80s.