Horror movies have been around for an age. The earliest one is a silent film called Nosferatu, released in 1922. It can be tricky to decide which one to watch with all the history and options to choose. To save you arguing with your family or significant other, I’m going to give you some suggestions of the best horror films/ franchises to watch at your next horror-based binge!
Nightmare on Elm Street: The first one and Dream Warriors
Anyone that has ever read one of my horror-based posts, such as my dead meat ranking, which you should check out here:
Knows that one of my favourite franchises is The Nightmare of Elm Street. I’ve always found the idea of someone killing people in their sleep to be an inventive idea! However, I wanted to narrow the choice down to more than watch the entire franchise as it wouldn’t make your movie watching decisions any more straightforward.
Why two for Nightmare on Elm Street.
Now unlike other big franchises on this list, I’ve given two options. Because one works better if you are new to the franchise, and another works well if you are seasoned to the original lore of Freddy Kruger. Either way, I couldn’t just choose one for Nightmare of Elm Street.
Which one to watch?
If you are new to the franchise, I’d watch the first one. Nancy Thompson is an intelligent, fierce and determined final girl who can hold her own. Plus, it has one of the most iconic kills in the franchise. Plus, the tension is sustained well throughout the entire film.
However, if you have some base knowledge of the franchise and what makes Freddy Kruger a horror genre staple, then I recommend the third one, Dream Warriors.
The third one has some layered, developed and interesting characters like Kincaid. Kristen (the movie final girl) is emotional, quiet, and a good team player. The main story is interesting, and seeing a group of underdog kids have to stick together and fight Freddy is a great addition that propels it to my favourite one of the franchise.
Jennifers Body, at the time of release, was underappreciated. It was written off as a baseless, meaningless movie because it had Megan Fox in. However, in recent years society has grown to appreciate and genuinely love the movie.
Jennifers Body is a movie that is a time capsule to 2010. Yet, it provides more than a slither of nostalgia. It has zany characters that are different and easy to tell apart, with a villain that isn’t looking to be evil and is just trying to survive.
Jennifer is pretty sympathetic, thanks to the circumstances. Oh, also great messaging on childhood friendship, growing apart and love. Oh, and it has a great pop- a punk song called ‘Through the woods.’ It sounds brilliant! Just based on that alone, why wouldn’t you watch it!
Jason VI: Jason Lives
Ask any horror fan what their favourite Friday the 13th movie is, and many of them say Jason VI: Jason Lives. And I, for one, have to agree. The first four movies before this are slow, poorly paced. And the ending is usually Jason jumping out of a lake, killing the final girl, and then we all discover it was a dream!
The only time the characters become more developed and enjoyable is during the Tommy Jarvis part of the film series, which Jason Lives’ completes.
This one is the popular one of the franchise because the characters are exciting and dynamic. Plus, the humour and subtext of this film are well played and perfectly edited. On top of that, Jason is brought back and killed in a realistic way that works with his origins. And the threat is high with the use of the kids at the camp, which makes it extra terrifying, and the final two, Megan and Tommy, are intelligent, dependable and have great chemistry together!
Now when this film was released, I was interested and then quickly forgot about it. However, thanks to the Dead Meat Kill Count hosted by James A Jannise, I was reminded of its existence. And after watching it, I recommend it. Is it the most incredible horror movie out there? No. Will it spawn a franchise spawning twenty-odd movies? Also no.
However, the film has a brilliant concept, with fun characters and well-rounded and developed relationships/friendships.
One of the movie’s best one-liners as two characters run away from the killer is ‘You’re black, I’m gay, we’re so dead!’ It also has a thoughtful message surrounding family, growing up, moving on, grief, communication and inner strength. It’s a fun movie that many will misunderstand.
Shaun of the Dead
I’ve always been a fan of the Three Cornetto Trilogy. With Shaun of the Dead being my favourite instalment of the three. Another plus is it’s a horror-comedy film. So I can put it on the list. Why am I putting it on the list?
It’s on the list because it might be a homage to Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Yet, you don’t need to know anything. It also utilises the setting of urban London well. Edgar Wright’s comedy is fast, visual, easy to understand. Plus, seeing how England would fight a zombie apocalypse differently from America is fun to see.
Plus, the character arch of Shaun’s from zero to hero and a better boyfriend is an emotional highlight of the film.
Ultimately these are my top five (or six if you want to get technical) horror films/franchises you need to watch when you need your horror fix or if it’s Halloween.
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