Instructional Media Center
• October Feature •
With the approach of All Hallows' Eve, consider one of the many fine films in the horror genre to copilot your quasi-satanic celebration. Remember "video" in the call# means VHS - those scary looking tapes that your parents used to watch. Never fear - we have VHS players in the IMC. And for your own horror-movie, haunted-house, film-fest, don't forget to reserve a projector and screen from the IMC. Trigger warnings include gore, death, decapitation, dismemberment, disembowelment, defenestration, immolation, annihilation, skinning, scalping, sex and violence.
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror - PN1995.9.H67 N684 2009 DVD The original Dracula movie from famed silent film director F.W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as Count Orlock, is considered the first critically acclaimed horror feature film. Nosferatu premiered in 1922 with different names for the main characters, as the studio did not acquire copyright clearance of the screenplay from the Stoker estate. The real horror came from the ensuing lawsuit for copyright infringement, which they won – with a court order to destroy all copies of the film. Luckily, one copy survived and begat many copies which continue to play among the canon of great films.
The Shining - PN1995.9.H6 S565 2007 DVD Stanley Kubrick directs this Christmas classic with jolly old Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and a supporting cast of fun-loving kids (the twins are adorable). As caretakers for a lodge, the Torrance family gets snowed in making the best of it with games of make-believe, indoor tricycling, and high stakes hide and seek. Scatman Crothers provides comic relief.
Psycho – PN1995.9.H6 P8935 2000 DVD A man, a mother, a motel, and a maiden in distress, culminating in a most unfortunate shower scene. Hitchcock at his best.
Halloween – PN1995.9.H6 H3556 2003 DVD The most common reported nightmare is being chased by the monster that can't be killed. You can thank John Carpenter for that. You can also thank him for reestablishing theme music as part of the horror film aesthetic.
Friday the 13th – PN1995.9.H6 F76 2011 DVD The quintessential summer-camp-blood-bath kicked off the 80s vintage of slasher films, which raised the stakes in terms of creative extermination and iconic supernatural serial killers. It also gives viewers one important message – having sex at summer camp will probably result in your violent death. The IMC has both versions. Skip the reboot and get the original – and the three sequels.
Nightmare on Elm Street – PN1997.A1 N54 2010 DVD The next series of 80s slasher films was launched by Wes Craven in 1984, starring the gruesome Freddy Krueger, a burn victim with a penchant for haunting teenagers’ dreams with his razor sharp protrusions and wit. The film masterfully blurs the line between dream and reality, viscerally escorting the audience into exhaustive contemplation over which realm they are experiencing. The sequels devolve into laughable caricatures of themselves, including a crossover with Friday the 13th – but the original film remains a pillar of the modern horror genre.
Let the Right One in – PN1997.2 .L48 2009 DVD Swedish vampire movie adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist's Swedish bestseller about a girl who has been 12 years-old for a long time. The best of the bunch in contemporary vampire film.
Cannibal Holocaust – PN1995.9.C332 C36 2005 DVD A lesson in the importance of unobtrusive research in anthropological study. Released in 1980, the film was so realistic that the director was charged with murder until he gathered all the living actors and detailed the special effects in staging the various scenes. The movie is still banned in several countries.
Rosemary’s Baby – PS3523.E7993 R672 2000 DVD Roman Polanski’s film about Mia Farrow’s demonic child. This film also gave birth to the demon-child genre as it was followed soon after by The Exorcist, The Other, and The Omen.
The Exorcist - PS3552.L392 E962 1998 DVD The undisputed champion of demon-child films, The Exorcist raised the bar on shock horror. When a young girl becomes possessed by the devil, a priest and his apprentice commence exorcising. Death and gore ensue. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards.
The Blob - PN1995.9.S26 B5 2000 DVD A small town is menaced by a mass of protoplasm from outer space, which turns blood-red and grows larger as it consumes residents. The film was Steve McQueen's debut leading role. See it for the creative silicone-laden special effects and for the hilarity of 30-year-olds playing bad teens.
Eraserhead - PN1997 .E735 2005 DVD What is this film about? Make it up for yourself. Bottom line, it’s twisted and creepy. Not exactly scary, more disturbing. David Lynch’s first full-length film is a must see for film students, an exercise in Lynchian surreality for the rest of us.
Videodrome - PN1997 .V537 1998 DVD Cable TV programmer Max Renn seeks out the ultimate in bizarre shows for his channel. He meets a mysterious supplier named Harlan who gives him access to an underground sex and violence network called "Videodrome."
Hell House – PN1997 .H455 2003 DVD The folks populating the fringes of Dallas, Texas have some serious biblical issues to tell you about. To bring it down to a level we can all understand and fear, they host the annual “Hell House” on Halloween. Inside, the actors (mostly high school kids) play out scenes of eternal damnation. This can be viewed as either a comedy or as one of the scariest movies you've ever seen.
Jaws – PN1995.9.H67 J398 2005 DVD Selachophobia: the fear of sharks. If you don't have that phobia, you will. Surfing in the US was down 20% following the release of this movie.
Poltergeist – PN1995.9.H6 P658 2007 DVD Some of the visual effects haven’t held up over time but the plot and performance make this one of the scariest movies ever. Haunted house – check. Desecrated Indian burial ground – check. Creepy kid that talks to spirits – that too. All the clichés are in place and played out to perfection. But the scariest thing about this movie… the tragic, real-life death of the young actors after the movie’s release.
Alien – PN1997 .A456 2003 DVD Conversely, Ridley Scott’s Alien, made in 1979, has held up quite well in terms of special effects - everything from the sets to the emergence of the little creature itself. This movie launched modern horror sci-fi and several sequels of varying quality.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) - PS3556.I52 I58 1986 video The middle version of three major film adaptations of Jack Finney’s classic science fiction novel. Critics seem to prefer the original for it’s political connotations. This version is scarier and the acting is better.
Suspiria – PN1995.9.I8 S872 2007 DVD Here’s a clip from the IMDB plot synopsis. “While alone in the bathroom, she becomes transfixed by a pair of shining eyes outside the window, and a decidedly inhuman arm smashes through the glass, grabbing her. She is pulled out of the window onto the roof, stabbed numerous times, and then hanged by a cord when she falls through the skylight. The huge pieces of glass and metal that break out of the skylight fall on Pat's friend, killing her by impaling her body and her head in numerous places.” Enough said.
Deep Red – PN1995.9.I8 D446 2007 DVD “A psychic who can read minds picks up the thoughts of a murderer in the audience and soon becomes a victim. An English pianist gets involved in solving the murders, but finds many of his avenues of inquiry cut off by new murders, and he begins to wonder how the murderer can track his movements so closely” (IMDB)
Zombie - PN1995.9.I8 Z6525 2004 DVD "Girl seeking lost father turns up on Caribbean island aided by journalist and two locals, where they meet an English doctor, trying desperately to cure a plague which brings the dead back to life!" (IMDB)
Don’t Look Now – PN1997 .D658 2002 DVD from the Reed catalog – “Psychic terror in a Gothic setting provides the chilling backdrop in this tale of a couple's search for the ghost of their dead daughter.”
Les Yeux sans Visage – PN1995.9.F67 Y94 2004 DVD “A plastic surgeon, holed up in a Paris mansion, is obsessively slicing off the faces of kidnapped women and grafting the flayed skin onto the rotting countenance of his beloved young daughter, disfigured in an automobile accident.”
An American Werewolf in London - PN 1995.9.H6 A54 2009 DVD Comedy writer/director John Landis (Animal House) wrote and directed this bizarre movie that is equal parts comedy and horror. Two friends backpacking across London are attacked by a werewolf, resulting in one animated corpse and one werewolf. Surprisingly good special effects - for 1981.
The Nightmare Before Christmas - PN1995.9.C5113 T56 2008 Jack Skellington “The Pumpkin King” has grown tired of the same old Halloween. Jealous of the attention that Christmas garners, Jack sets out to remake the holiday in his own likeness and in musical fashion. Tim Burton’s unique animation technique set the bar for modern day stop-motion animation, sparking a renaissance in the genre.
Thriller - youtube If you're hosting a Halloween dance party, you gotta kick it off with Michael Jackson's classic zombie funkfest.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - PN1995.9.H6 T49 2006 DVD
Multiple Regression Results for Predication of Overall Fright
Neuendorf, K. A., & Sparks, G. G. (1988). Predicting Emotional Responses to Horror Films from Cue-Specific Affect. Communication Quarterly, 36(1), 16-27.