Sorry for such a long post, folks. There were lots of shining stars to choose from under this letter, and I couldn’t bring myself to leave them out. Also, some honorable mentions include: Cat People, Creepshow, Cloverfield and Candyman to name a few.
“Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller”. Beneath the streets of Manhattan are stores of toxic waste. The homeless who live in these abandoned tunnels have become mutated and are now hungry for human flesh. C.H.U.D. was given a limited theatrical release in 1984, and has since become a cult classic with horror fans.
A highly controversial film, Cannibal Holocaust was one of the first horror films to use the found footage element. A film crew ventures to the Amazon to make a documentary, and they disappear. Their footage is found, which tells the story of their horrific demise. The movie was met with much resistance due to its graphic nature.
Carnival of Souls
This movie was an indie horror film made with a very low budget by the creative and inventive director, Herk Harvey. Harvey relied on setting and mood to carry the film because of the budget restraints. A group of girls are drag racing a car full of boys when there is an accident. As authorities are dragging the lake for the girl’s car, one of them, Mary, surfaces alive. We then watch as Mary tries to live a normal life, but strange things keep happening to her. A haunting score helps to impose the feeling of dread throughout the film. This movie can still be viewed today at certain festivals and fan gatherings.
In 1974, Stephen King presented the book Carrie to the reading world. By 1976 it had become a major motion picture directed by Brian De Palma and starring Sissy Spacek, John Travolta and P.J. Soles among others. Revolving around a shy, awkward teenager, Carrie, who also has the ability to make things happen with her mind when provoked. It was a wildly successful and still is a highly regarded film.
The untold murder of a child, a ghost who wants retribution, and a spooky, old house all encompass The Changeling. With masterful directing by Peter Medak, this film was able to build on fear and tension, utilizing scene set up and ambiance. Frequently found in “Best Of” lists, The Changeling is one not to be missed.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
From the hauntingly familiar 5 notes to the iconic Devils Tower in Wyoming, writer and director Steven Spielberg brought us the story of an everyday man, Roy, whose life is turned upside down when he witnesses an UFO. With worldwide acclaim, CEOTTK won countless awards and was even found to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress, who in turn added it to the National Film Registry.
Children of the Corn
Creepy, pale, deadly children. “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”. And corn. Another Stephen King story turned movie, this one offers up sacrificial killings and a wonderful element of the supernatural. With negative reviews, yet a big box office return, it has seen many sequels since the original film was released in 1984.
More King brilliance, Christine is the story of one beautiful 1958 Plymouth Fury and the boy who loved her. Christine, the name of the car, is a malevolent and deadly force with the uncanny ability to restore herself completely. In one especially horrific scene, she is driving down the road, engulfed in flames, chasing down a soon to be victim. Long live rock ‘n roll!
Everyone’s favorite cuddly ball of death, Cujo, another adaption of a Stephen King novel, brought rabies to light in a big way. Cujo was a St. Bernard that belonged to Tad, a young boy. After being bit by a bat carrying rabies, we see his slow and steady descent. A 100+ pound killing machine, Cujo put fear into the viewers and assured that household pets received their vaccinations.
Creature from the Black Lagoon
One of the most notable creature features from the 1950s, Creature from the Black Lagoon was originally released in 3D. The Black Lagoon, a mysterious body of water from whence no one returns, is home to an ancient creature. Misunderstood, and possibly looking for some love, the creature becomes the interest of a scientific crew. Only killing when provoked, the creature must defend itself throughout the movie. Now known as one of the classic Universal horror films, it has been immortalized through the years through various mediums.