The Golden Age of Horror - 6 of the top 25 Horror Films
There are 13 basic genres of film: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Foreign, Horror, Kids, Musical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Sci-Fi, War and Western. Almost every film can be broken down into one of those categories. You could even cull it further down and just do Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Foreign, Horror, Kids and Musical and fit all films into one of those 8. When AFI recently did their genre lists they did 10 genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Western, Romantic Comedy (Comedy), Courtroom Drama (Drama), Animation (Kids), Epics (a lot of War films), Gangster (Crime), and Sports (some Action films). They had already done an entire list of Musicals. They had already messed up the concept by using several sub-genres (Sports, Courtroom Drama, Romantic Comedy, etc.) instead of the actual full genre. And they don’t deal with Foreign films. But that still leaves an entire basic genre out in the dark: Horror, of course.
Because Horror films are often thought of as the latest pathetic slasher sequel designed to make quick money (they are amazingly profitable), their long and treasured legacy in film history is overlooked. But they have been around since the early days of film and include some of the great films in history. I will rectify AFI’s mistake before moving on to other genres. My list is 25 because the Golden Age of Horror films was the Universal films of the 20′s and 30′s and a good number of those ended up between 10 and 20 on my list. I also have included a few foreign films on this list. They are part of this grand tradition after all, and really, if you’re a silent film, does it matter what was the language of origin?
A quick note: my originally ranked 1, 2 and 4 films I decided not to include. I categorize A Clockwork Orange, Trainspotting and Taxi Driver as Urban Horror films, because like Dead Ringers and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, they are psychological in bent and focused less towards action (like Crime films) and more towards horror. But they are not included here. (more…)