I’m sure we’ve all had nights like this: A friend comes over for a movie night, but while he feels like an action, you’re hankering for horror. How to get your way and still let them keep their "I don’t like horror" persona?
See my handy list below for horror movies to watch with non-fans. I hope it’s helpful and saves you having to sit through The Avengers (again)
The original and the best, this movie straddles the line between horror and sci-fi and does it so well. Many people who declare a hatred for horror films have watched this Ridley Scott masterpiece without realizing they’re actually watching a horror. With its body horror, chest-bursting awesomeness and a relentless alien stalking the crew of that spaceship like a serial killer, this one gets the heart pumping without giving them nightmares (maybe).
Spielberg can be quite the subversive director, dancing between different genres like a ballet dancer and acing them all. Here, he tackles horror with this behemoth of the sea. Jaws scared the bejesus out of me as a kid but now is an exhilarating, action-packed, perfectly played love letter to those monster movies from the ‘50s. A classic for a reason — it changed the face of summer blockbusters forever and is just as good now as it was then.
Yep this is low budget, kinda trashy, badly acted, kids-as-cannon-fodder in the proverbial "cabin in the woods" that find themselves terrorized by aliens, but this film is purposely formulaic and wants to recreate that B-movie charm. The violence is a little more over the top than your regular sci-fi outing, but your friend wont notice, trust me. The thing that makes this movie worthwhile is the ending — unexpected, shocking and outrageous. You’ll want to watch it again just to see it go there. And the soundtrack is pretty great too.
2. The Mist
"Lord of the Flies in a supermarket" best describes the ideas this movie. Based on the novella by genius Stephen King, this film concerns itself with a group of survivors holed up in the aforementioned supermarket while the mist rolls in outside, bringing with it all manner of otherworldly beasties. The real story however, is what happens within that small community of people growing more afraid and desperate. And the ending? Probably the most profoundly upsetting finale I’ve seen in a long time. Your friend will be fine – just tell them to look away during the pharmacy scene.
1. Lake Mungo
It's strange to put this here because I believe this film has one of the most terrifying scenes I have seen in a movie; it terrified me more because of all the connotations and deep-seated questions behind it, far more than what was shown on screen. This Australian found-footage mockumentary about a family learning to deal with recent loss of their teenage daughter and process their grief, is intriguing, sad and sometimes very creepy, but if you turn it off before those end credits that add a whole ‘nother layer of creep, your friend will be fine.
So that’s it — a list to keep your buddy still your buddy and you can still get your freak on. Win/Win I’d say.
Or, you know, you could always pop in a kid-friendly movie like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:
Let me know your favorite choice from the list in the poll below.