When it comes to horror films, there are an immense number of sub genres. However, the most popular sub-genres are decidedly Paranormal and Slasher. What's more terrifying to you? The bloody gore from a slasher film, or the ghostly chills from a paranormal film? It personally all depends on your choice, and fright preference. Let's start off with slashers first!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre happens to be one of the most notorious slashers around because of the lead killer, the infamous Thomas Hewit a.k.a. Leatherface. This film follows a group of teenagers who stop at a farm owned by a cannibalistic family that has gone mad. Leatherface chases, hunts, and catches his prey (the teens). He then kills them, and skins them. He uses their skin to make masks and other objects. Next he gives the leftovers to the rest of his family to cook for dinner. His weapon of choice, of course, being a chainsaw, made this killer hard to forget. When TCM came out in the early '70s audiences everywhere were completely terrified and disgusted. What made it worse then is that the film was marketed as a true story; making Leatherface a household horror icon to everyone across the world.
Halloween the film rattled audiences everywhere. This horror film put audiences into the POV of Michael Myers himself, setting this slasher apart from many still to this day. Michael Myers is an insane killer who escapes from the psychiatric hospital on Halloween every year in hopes of finding and killing his younger sister. Myers can be shot, set on fire, run over, anything-- and he will not die. The theme of Meyers' craziness making him capable of anything and everything, is definitely a factor in this film and throughout the franchise. With a butcher knife being his only weapon, he kills his victims off one by one throughout the film. Being the silent stalker that literally walks the streets without anyone knowing is what sets Michael Myers apart from the other slasher-horror icons.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Jason Vorhees is one of the most infamous horror icons from the slasher sub genre. At summer camp, Jason drowns at the expense of camp counselors not doing their job. His mother, distraught comes back for revenge on all the counselors. Yes, she kills them all, except one. The girl she does not kill, ends up beheading her instead. The killing of his mother however makes Jason rise up again for revenge. And this time he has no mercy. Friday the 13th is one of the gorier films, and Jason Vorhees has the highest body count to date. With his machete as his weapon of choice, Jason is always ready for a messy kill. Don't cross him or his mother...
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Freddy Krueger, the child killer, reinvents the slasher sub genre slightly. Making the horror genre itself a little classier, Wes Craven (director) knew how to give audiences around the world nightmares for years. Krueger himself, the man of your dreams, is a badly burned man who is dead in the real world but definitely knows how to get you in your sleep. With his razor sharp claws and menacing laugh he's more than able to get under your skin. His kills happen to be the most creative, using your pet peeves, genuine fears, and uncomfortable situations in his favor. As this franchise develops, his dialogue becomes even more of a factor. Freddy Krueger has slashed and joked his way into America's heart, and it seems that he's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Now for the Paranormal Horror Movies:
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The classic haunted house story was the most effective in the late '70s. Chilling audiences all over. The spooky tale about a family moving into a house that soon possess the father to kill is unforgettable. With details on the walls bleeding, and hearing whispers and voices telling them to get out and to kill each other. You can see why this film terrified millions. Marketing this film as a true story as well helped the terror factor infinitely. The Amityvile Horror was such a success that remakes were attempted, but they never made it close to the success of the original. Documentaries, TV specials, and theories have been released about the house and the occurrences that took place within.
The Shining (1980)
The Shining is one of the most well known paranormal films for numerous reasons. Stanley Kubrick is not only an amazing director, but the subliminal messages and in-depth detail that is carefully placed within and throughout this film is mind blowing. The initial story is about a family that moves into a hotel for the winter. The father is then approached by weird entities and situations involving the ghosts of the hotel. The father turns on the mother and child, leaving the film hectic and out of control all the way up until the ending. Jack Nicholson, who stars in this film, did a phenomenal job embodying his character. Nicholson alone sent chills up the audiences' spines, making this film creepy and unsettling to say the least.
Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
This film terrified audiences everywhere for one reason: the nature of the ghosts. The film shows how the nephew of a newly deceased uniques collector takes over his uncle's home. To his surprise he also finds his uncle's collection of ghosts. All thirteen of them to be exact. With each ghosts having it's own look, characteristics, and problems, it's intense keeping up with all of them. The scare factor alone is what has kept this film circulating so many years after it was released. And there's always a certain ghost that gets to everyone, that they can't seem to forget. Thirteen Ghosts alone brings the paranormal sub genre up the terror scale, that's for sure.
Shutter was originally a Thai horror film done in 2004. The 2008 version was just as terrifying to say the least. The film's constant theme on karma, that whatever you deserve will come back to you, was heavy throughout the film. However, who would have known the theme was the heaviest twist of the film? With the lead constantly complaining about a pain, and his strange surroundings, nothing makes sense until his past comes to light. And as a viewer, you're not prepared or warned about the revelation of what is to come. Shutter gets under mosts people's skins, simply because no one is perfect. We've all done a little wrong -I'm not saying we've all been in the position of the lead character - however, you never know how you'll affect someone.