50 Monumental Horror Films (Part 4 of 5)

The films in this, Part 4 of our five part series, are characterized by the end of the slasher film and the rise of vampire films.

We would hypothesize that the reemergence of popular vampire films may be as a result of or reaction to the worldwide HIV epidemic. Never before have humans had more reason to be afraid of the sexy monster that may cause their deaths. We are also seeing more and more book adaptations as time goes on which we see as strong evidence of the mainstreaming of horror fiction. We are also seeing more and more humor used in horror films. And finally we get to the end of the slasher film which will quickly be replaced with the “lost film” genre and torture porn.

Did we miss one of your favorite movies? Be sure to comment below.


31. Hellraiser (1987)

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By 1987 the slasher movie had become incredibly formulaic. That’s not to say they weren’t still fun to watch. But most of them were simply copies or sequels of earlier originals. Hellraiser found many ways to deviate from the standard formula. Of course it didn’t hurt that Hellraiser came from the genius mind of Clive Barker. Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites are visually iconic. One of the things we find so unique about this film is the mix of pleasure and violence. There is something that makes the viewer uncomfortable with the way this plays out on the screen. But of course that’s exactly what Clive Barker intended and he succeeds in both captivating and scaring us.


32. The Lost Boys (1987)

The Lost Boys represents the return of really good vampire movies. Everything about these vampires is just really…cool. They listen to The Doors, they ride motorcycles and they have really hot girlfriends. So what’s the downside? Probably that they are sociopathic monsters. And that is really the dilemma of this film. This is a really fun vampire movie and Kiefer Sutherland is a super sexy vampire! The Coreys are also excellent and add a really fun element as mini Van Helsings. Dianne Wiest is in top form as the seemingly airheaded mom who accidentally relocates with her two sons to a town that is just lousy with vampires.


33. Misery (1990)

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Just the mention of this movie makes anyone who has seen it cringe and feel uncomfortable. Stephen King allows us to view his own personal fears in Misery. The idea that someone (your “biggest fan”) would kidnap you, drug you and force you to change the ending of their favorite book is horrifying for almost any writer (well really, it would be horrifying for anyone). And Kathy Bates is incredible. Like unbelievable. And terrifying. If you have seen this film you know exactly what we mean when we say “the hobbling scene.” And if you don’t know, go see it now. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.


34. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Another incredibly iconic horror classic. We here at Den of Geek have all seen this one enough times to quote many parts of it. Your reviewer remembers dressing up as Buffalo Bill at a friend’s birthday party (hey, I write about horror movies. I’m surrounded by people as weird as I am) and reciting some of his best lines. And of course doing “the dance.” We would almost venture a guess that The Silence of the Lambs has the status of a cult movie. The chemistry between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins is just magical. It’s a chemistry we don’t often experience in horror films.


35. Dead Alive (1992)

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When non-horror movie fans think of Peter Jackson they generally think of Lord of the Rings (2001).When horror fans think of Peter Jackson we think of Dead Alive. Dead Alive is so gross it’s funny. And besides Shawn of the Dead and Army of Darkness, we can’t think of another film that so seamlessly blends horror and comedy. We guess you could also say it is the weirdest romantic comedy of all time. Boy is suffocated by an overprotective mother. Boy meets girl. Boy fights off zombie mother. Girl falls in love with boy. Perfection!


36. Candyman (1992)

There is something very seductive about Candyman. All you have to do is say his name three times in the mirror and there he is. And he captivates us in many ways. Your reviewer doesn’t really have the knowledge or the expertise to delve the issues of race and poverty that are pervasive in this film and we would love if someone would address them in the comments section. Both are very important elements in this film. Candyman is originally dismissed as the boogeyman of the inner city. And then he proves to be far more real than myth.


37. Army of Darkness (1992)

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Some people love the Evil Dead trilogy. And some people hate it. The latter group clearly has poor taste (just kidding). But honestly, many horror fans are torn over these movies. And we think that’s exactly what makes them so wonderful. They are awful in the best way possible. You could say this movie is “groovy” (LOL). Army of Darkness is the best of the trilogy and it is the film that made Bruce Campbell (currently doing a bang up job on the small screen playing Sam in Burn Notice) a cult icon of horror.


38. Interview with the Vampire (1994)

The casting of this Anne Rice film adaptation is incredible. We alluded to the queerness of vampire films when we discussed The Hunger (1983). As a whole The Vampire Chronicles series have a great deal of themes dealing with sexuality. Interview with the Vampire is no exception and the allusions to male same sex relationships are very obvious. We love this take on vampires. It elicits the perfect blend of sympathy and horror. It also fleshes out the vampire in a way we don’t believe any film has done before. These vampires have personality, history and emotions. But they are also monstrous murderers. The blend creates one of the best vampire movies ever made.


39. From Dusk ‘Til Dawn (1996)

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From Dusk ‘Til Dawn blends the sexuality of Interview with a Vampire (1994) with the coolness of Lost Boys(1987). What most people remember from this film is Selma Hayek’s dance. And with good reason! But we also really enjoy watching our heroes fight the vampires with an arsenal of weapons and tools. We’re not really sure what else there is to say about other than it is an incredibly cool film and we love the backdrop of the desert bar. 

40. Scream (1996)

Truth be told we really don’t like the movie Scream. But it is important to horror film history. We think this film really represents the slasher movies jumping the shark. This isn’t to say that there weren’t some really bad slasher movies before Scream. There were plenty. But this movie is kind of a metafilm. It’s a film about a killer obsessed with horror, who plays by the rules of horror. In a horror film. Some people love this film (and they should justify why in the comments below) but for us it doesn’t make it past “so-so.”