It’s no secret that horror or thriller movies are made or broken by the quality of their antagonist, in fact, if there is a consistent flaw to horror films; it’s a focus on the villain to the exclusion of everything else. How many low budget features, would you say, are intended to create a character that will last for sequels, while completely ignoring plot, narrative tension or anyone you can actually root for?
When you are discussing villains, the other thing that becomes apparent is that most people are only talking about a small sample size of characters and the same handful of movies. Let’s see, Halloween, Alien, Silence of the Lambs, the Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Rosemary’s Baby, (for the discriminating perhaps the Innocents, the Haunting, Eraserhead, Peeping Tom, Un Chien Andalou and Les Diaboliques) Frankenstein, Psycho. Does that cover the overwhelming majority of the movies and people that are discussed when horror is mentioned? Because its only 15 films. None of them have been made in the last quarter century.
As this site has been a repository for things that the general public does not care about (level-headed discussions on race, articles praising cheap monster shows, sane hip-hop criticism) I wanted to highlight the other films, the ones that get overlooked and neglected and forgotten.
This is going to be unlike the other horror pieces I’ve written in a couple of ways. Normally I overlook slasher and gore films because I find them of little interest. But all characters are in play here. Also, I allowed for the fact that there may be a great character in a lousy film. We’ve all seen it. There are an awful lot of wasted performances in horror.
I hate to even broach this subject, but there are going to be spoilers. Just understand that. But maybe reading some of this will introduce you to films that you actually want to see. Maybe for some kid this will be like the micro reviews I used to read from Roger Ebert and Joe Bob Briggs that made me want to see movies I probably wasn’t supposed to.