Ghosts, gore and genre-bending classics, here’s what you need at your next scary movie marathon!
Horror movies can be quite polarizing in the sense that you either love the genre or avoid it completely. As someone who has recently switched sides from avoidance to admiration, I’m here to tell you it’s not all about shock value and jump scares. The horror genre is complex and diversely shocking whilst being simultaneously hypnotizing. Every primal instinct in your body begs you to run or look away as the movie elicits feelings of terror but you can’t take your eyes off the screen. Horror movies are exhilarating to watch especially with a group of friends as you collectively scream “don’t open that door!” as the main character twists the knob.
The horror genre has an overwhelming amount of content as it splits off into sub-genres and can leave you unsure of where to start. For the perfect scary movie marathon, I suggest watching movies within the same sub-genre to adhere to a theme. Picking what movie to watch is hard enough let alone planning a whole marathon, so, grab your popcorn and a glass of red wine and let me take care of the rest.
This is the category for you if you can’t stomach truly scary movies. Comedy horror films will have you flinching with fear and cackling with glee. It’s a balancing act of tension and release, providing comedic relief to break up the more intense emotions of tension, fear, stress and shock. There is a certain catharsis that comes from laughing in the face of fear that the comedy horror genre delivers. For the perfect comedy horror marathon, watch Gremlins (1984), Beetlejuice (1988), Scream (1996), Scary Movie (2000), Zombieland (2009), The Cabin in the Woods (2011) and This is The End (2013).
Honourable mention too, Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017), a genre-bending masterpiece! Its elements of comedy make it more than suitable for this marathon however, Peele also tackles social issues and societal negligence suitable for a psychological horror marathon as well!
If blood makes you woozy you might want to scroll past this one. There is a certain intimacy that comes alongside the gore of a slasher film, the intimacy of the kill. The slasher horror genre has been referred to as the “stalker films,” “body-count films” and “dead teenager films” but what really defines this sub-genre is its truly iconic villains. Slasher films have been a source of debate since their inception due to the main victim tending to be a sexually transgressive female however, in later years the narrative has changed illustrating the main female victim’s aggression and self-reliance key to her survival. The slasher sub-genre is the most popular horror genre and would make for an intensely scary movie marathon. For a truly gory night watch, Psycho (1960), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream (1996)
If this is the category you choose add aspirin to your shopping list because these are sure to make your head hurt. Psychological horror films dive into human nature and social problems and often have a lot to say. This is a sub-genre meant to disturb us with the use of unstable characters. There is a reason for the madness of a psychological horror film but, it’s often up to the audience to deduce it. Buckle in because the smallest details matter, The Shining (1980), Silence of the lambs (1991), American Psycho (2000), Saw (2004), Split (2016), Us (2019) and Midsommer (2019).
Are you interested in the impossible and the supernatural? If your answer was yes this may be the category for you. Fantasy horror, also known as dark fantasy, turns real-life fears into terrifying creatures and other worlds. If you aren’t looking for gruesome imagery and gore, fantasy horror is a great alternative. Fantasy forces us to look inward, as the characters often realize their monsters live within and their journey isn’t to run away from them but to learn to live with them. For a fantastical movie marathon watch, Edward Scissorhands (1990), Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), Corpse Bride (2005), Monster House (2006), Coraline (2009), It (2017) and Doctor Sleep (2019).