“Listen to them … the children of the night! What music they make!”
COUNT DRACULA (Bela Lugosi)
I’ve been a great fan of horror and monster films since I was a kid. These films have had a powerful influence on me and my writing, and have probably helped shape the way I view the world, for good or bad.
In 2019, I set a challenge for myself that every day during the month of October I’d write and post a short essay about a significant horror film. I would call the project 31 Days of Classic Horror.
(I’ve since become aware that lots of folks on social media do some variation on “31 Days of Horror” posts during October. I’ll need to check them out at some point, once I recover from my own 31-day marathon effort.)
For my list, I decided to focus on films that I considered important or influential, and to avoid remakes or sequels. So no BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN or HORROR OF DRACULA.
The list progresses from the dawn of the sound era to the present day.
A friend asked me why films like JAWS or ALIEN were not included, a tough question because they are both important and influential and undoubtedly scary. However, it seemed to me that those films could equally be claimed by other genres beside horror, adventure/suspense for JAWS and sci-fi for ALIEN.
I wanted to choose films that generate a sense of dread from the opening shot to the last, that clearly and cleanly inhabit the horror genre to the exclusion of any other.
So here it is, the master list of my 31 Days of Classic Horror, originally posted between Oct 1 and Oct 31, 2019.
All opinions are obviously mine and no one else’s! I appreciate the comments and encouragement I’ve received, and I continue to welcome your feedback.
Most rewarding for me has been learning that someone has sought out a film they never heard of due to reading about it on my list. Hearing that one friend had found and watched THE OTHER (1972) and found it horrifying was music to my soul, and made me feel less alone in my admiration for that underappreciated film.
Thanks to everyone who took this 31-day journey with me!
Let the list begin. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE BELOW to read an individual review.