While Bryan was compiling a comprehensive list of the top 100 horror movies the issue arose of what shared characteristics all the movies in the genre must have.
Bryan says that the content is king and what matters most is what takes place with the characters themselves. His friend Jay, whose help was enlisted for the compilation, maintains that it’s the director’s intent for audience reaction that holds sway.
Who will be tricked and who gets treated on this thriller of a case for Judge John Hodgman!
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Submitted by Bryan
Bryan’s current spreadsheet with his top horror films. (coming soon)
“The Blog receives no traffic (as you can see) I put it up to facilitate discussion with my friends. There is a definition of what a horror movie is and an explanation of my criteria in compiling my list”
Bryan’s top 100 list, as posted on IMDB
Submitted by Jay
These are quotes regarding the definition of a horror movie I found on some reasonably valid websites.
-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives the primary definition of horror as “a painful and intense fear, dread, or dismay.” It stands to reason then that “horror fiction” is fiction that elicits those emotions in the reader.
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-In his 1982 anthology Prime Evil, author Douglas Winter stated, “Horror is not a genre, like the mystery or science fiction or the western. It is not a kind of fiction, meant to be confined to the ghetto of a special shelf in libraries or bookstores. Horror is an emotion.” He was correct and his words have become a rallying cry for the modern horror writer.
-Horror Films are unsettling films designed to frighten and panic, cause dread and alarm, and to invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience. Horror films effectively center on the dark side of life, the forbidden, and strange and alarming events. They deal with our most primal nature and its fears: our nightmares, our vulnerability, our alienation, our revulsions, our terror of the unknown, our fear of death and dismemberment, loss of identity, or fear of sexuality.
Whatever dark, primitive, and revolting traits that simultaneously attract and repel us are featured in the horror genre. Horror films are often combined with science fiction when the menace or monster is related to a corruption of technology, or when Earth is threatened by aliens. The fantasy and supernatural film genres are not synonymous with the horror genre, although thriller films may have some relation when they focus on the revolting and horrible acts of the killer/madman. Horror films are also known as chillers, scary movies, spookfests, and the macabre.
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