From a very young age I have been interested in horror films and trying to find a way to scare myself or just find an interesting story. The majority of the films I have watched over the last twenty years have mostly been from the 70's and onwards. This is just a list of films that I have enjoyed from each decade.
I will also discuss how horror films have changed over the years in their style and their "scare factor".
The Exorcist- 1973
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.- IMDB
When The Exorcist was released in 1973 it was banned from many countries because of its graphic nature and its themes of demonic possession. Many people fainted an had to leave the theater while they watched the first screenings of the movie. Even though the film started off with a bad reception it still managed to receive ten Academy Award nominations and win two including Academy Award for writing adapted screenplay and Academy Award for best sound mixing.
The Exorcist is the highest grossing horror film of all times grossing over $441 million over the years at the original opening and the many re-releases of the film throughout the years and in the different countries.
To this day this film is still iconic and if you have watched it as many times as I have it is now somewhat funny in a sense.
Here is a clip of the audience at a screening of The Exorcist.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 1974
Five friends visiting their grandfather's house in the country are hunted and terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals. - IMDB
The character of chainsaw wielding murderer Leatherface was loosely based on real-life serial killer Ed Gein. This film was made on a budget of $300'000 and due to its graphic content the directer and producer Tobe Hooper found it hard to find a distributor, Bryanston Pictures eventually bought the distribution rights. Texas Chainsaw Massacre went on to gross over $30 million at the domestic box office.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was remade in 2003 with a budget of $9.2 million and made $28,094,014 on its opening weekend in October 2003.
Both these films had great success in their respective releases. The remake was as close to the original as it can be and not like the remakes these days that can change the original story in a major way.
The Omen - 1976
Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the anti-christ? The devil's own son? - IMDB
When an American ambassador's wife gives birth to a child who dies just after birth he is persuaded by a priest to adopt a child whose mother had died at the same time, doing it in secret without his wife's knowledge he adopts they child and they name him Damien and strange things start happening to the family and those around them. Is it just something strange or is his son the anti-christ??
The Omen had really good success at the box office in 1976. It grossed $4,273,886 in its opening weekend and $60,922,980 domestically on a tight budget of $2.8 million. The film was the fifth highest grossing movie of 1976.
The Omen was also a film that was remade. This remake happened in 2006. This in my opinion just like Texas Chainsaw Massacre was remade scene for scene and followed the original story line and characters.
It's all for you Damien....
Carrie - 1976
A young, abused and timid 17-year-old girl discovers she has telekinesis, and gets pushed to the limit on the night of her school's prom by a humiliating prank. - IMDB
This is a telling of a Stephen King novel of the same name. Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie an odd girl with a highly religious mother. Carrie discovers she has a powerful ability to control things with her mind, known as telekinesis, her mother thinks that it is the work of the devil.
Carrie is not a very popular girl in school and she is bullied quite a lot and made fun of because of her religious background and her innocent ways. Towards the end of the film it shows the drastic impact bulling has on a person and that you don't know who you are bulling and you will feel the backlash.
Stephen King was 26 years old when he sold the rights to the novel "Carrie" for $2,500. Carrie was released in December of 1976 and by January 1978 it had box office success of $14.5 million.
Carrie had other success in the form of a sequel in 1999 titled The Rage: Carrie 2, which focused on Carries sister Rachel, the shared the same father and Rachel had the same abilities as Carrie.
A TV movie was made in 2002 with an updated version being made while it tried to stick to the novel and the original movie even though the end of the movie was drastically changed.
They also made a stage production of Carrie it was debuted Off Broadway in 2006.
In 2013 they released a remake of the 1976 version of Carrie. This remake starred up and coming actress Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie and Julianne Moore as Mrs White. The remake was very similar to the original in terms of screenplay and script. Some scenes were added but none were taken away or dramatically changed and it had that 1970's feel to it. Some people weren't too sure about the remake but in my opinion it was a good remake and it done nothing to ruin the original.
Halloween - 1978
On Halloween night of 1963, 6-year old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill. - IMDB
In my opinion, I have saved the best until last.
Halloween 1978 has to be one of my most favourite horror films of all time. It might be because it was the first horror film I was shown at the tender age of 5 years old. But from then I was hooked. It is the reason for my love of horror today.
Halloween was wrote by a young director named John Carpenter and his producer friend Debra Hill.
Halloween is the beginning of the stalker serial killer movies which made way for films such as Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream.
Halloween was made on a budget of $350,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States and $70 million worldwide and $250 million as of 2014. Halloween starred a young fresh faced Jamie Lee Curtis and veteran actor Donald Pleasence. Halloween became a cult classic and is seen as once of the best low budget independent films ever made.
Halloween had many sequels that followed it over the next 20 years. Some of which deserve their own post. In 2007, Rob Zombie remade the original film with the permission from John Carpenter (Those films deserve their own post, not for the right reasons though). Halloween has become one of the biggest horror franchises to ever come about and in my opinion it is the best film of the 1970's and the best film of the last 40 years or so.
The 1970's was the decade for serial killers, possessions and girls who can move objects with their minds. This was the decade that started it all, that made way for some of our favourite scary movies.
I will continue this list in to the 80's, 90's 00's and 10's. This is just my opinion and just a little information and statistics about the movies I have chosen. If you have a favourite leave a comment and we can discuss your favourite films of the 70's.