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7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

Gwendolyn Kiste 88 Comments

Horror is the hydra of film genres; watch one movie and two more will already be shot, edited, and released for your viewing.  But we all know that not every flick out of the gore-covered gate will proceed to the pantheon of horror, so the ones that do become even more meaningful.  As for those rare films that completely alter everything that comes thereafter, those deserve a special place of honor.  We could knight them or something.  But in lieu of an awkward ‘Sir’ title, let’s reward them with a list instead.

In that vein, here are seven films that changed perceptions and rewrote the conventions of horror.  For better or worse, the genre’s never been the same.

Gooble-gobble, One of Us, One of Us: Freaks

Controversial for its use of deformed circus performers and overall lascivious themes, Freaks set a new standard for horror on the fledgling silver screen. As one of the earliest banned films, director Tod Browning’s tale of a plotting Jezebel, her strongman lover, and the “freaks” they try to deceive showed just how gritty and uncompromising the genre could be. In an era of Universal monster movies and their lyrical portrayals of evil, Freaks reveals a chaotic and visceral realism that never flinches and never apologizes.

Though the movie is somewhat dated and tame by today’s gore-loving standards, the denouement still proves to be one of horror’s most vicious acts against a lead villain. Think if the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake mutilated and lobotomized Jason Voorhes and left him in a cabin full of hormonal teenagers, ripe for the killing but always out of his mindless reach. That’s the same kind of cunning vigilantism our titular Freaks commit in the final reel. Eighty subsequent years of slashing, torturing, and general depravity barely compare.

Shortly after Freaks’ 1932 release, the dreaded Production Code tightened restrictions and stymied further efforts to produce equally raw horror, a breach of creative liberty that spanned decades.  When the so-called indecency constraints were finally lifted over thirty years later, a slew of salacious and envelope-pushing films followed, but Freaks will forever be the place where the grittiness all began.

7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

The Scream Queen Heard ‘Round the World: Psycho

For those of you who’ve done your homework, you already know that 1960 was a landmark year for horror.  Besides Psycho, you’ve got Peeping Tom.  You’ve got Eyes Without a Face. Even the oft-forgotten Horror Hotel is a doozy with a plot that shares uncanny similarities to Janet Leigh’s stranger in a strangely homicidal land.

Out of these noteworthy contenders, Alfred Hitchcock perseveres as the clear winner.  The tale of Anthony Perkins as the ultimate mama’s boy opened up maniac killer territory for filmmakers of all stripes to try out and call their own.  Although some argue that earlier films such as Thirteen Women deserve the recognition as original slasher, the Master of Suspense had the power to legitimize any cinematic subject and transform it into Oscar-nominated material.  While many have imitated, plenty of filmgoers still consider this seminal slasher to be the best.

7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

Midnight Matinee Meets the Undead: Night of the Living Dead

A casual fan may not realize that zombies weren’t always reanimated dead whose lone weakness was lead to the forehead.  Films until the late 60s used the Haitian legends about people who were hoodwinked and drugged by dastardly plantation owners who needed them to do evil deeds.  Because run-of-the-mill minions apparently weren’t available.  That all changed when death incarnate came to Pittsburgh and established the statutes that celluloid has followed ever since.

But the legacy of Night of the Living Dead goes beyond altering the entire mythos of a folkloric creature.  Previous horror films never managed to distill humanity’s broad problems—in this case, the Vietnam War—into such terrifying and effective entertainment.  The film’s gore, though notorious at the time, was nothing compared to what enlisted men were seeing half a world away, and George Romero knew it.  The realism Freaks initiated thirty-five years earlier came to startling fruition for spectators everywhere.

Although the recent zombie craze may seem to be the true renaissance of the brain-chomping monster, no decade since the progenitor’s 1968 release has been without its undead charms.  Movies as thematically diverse as Zombi 2, The Return of the Living Dead, Re-Animator and Night’s own sequels prove American culture love itself some zombies.  Thanks to Night of the Living Dead, your cerebellum may never be safe again.

7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

A Slasher Sets the Rules: Black Christmas

John Carpenter’s Halloween often earns the credit as the original modern slasher, but even if you’re Team Michael Myers, Bob Clark’s best holiday movie beats the man in the Captain Kirk mask to the title.  Black Christmas seems unusually by-the-numbers until you realize it was the one to establish the ground rules.  Everything starts idyllic enough but slowly deteriorates as characters are picked off one by one until the terrified heroine must fend for her jittery self.

All the usual archetypes are in attendance: the good-hearted Final Girl, a snarky and immoral best friend, a maybe homicidal boyfriend, a motiveless killer, and a horde of coeds eager for the proverbial stabbing.  To this day, uncreative Hollywood screenwriters take the template and Mad Lib their way to a final draft.  Change a few names, adjust the setting, and you’ve got your film.  And since fans expect a few gimmicks, the formula’s worked for forty years.  Killer Billy would be proud.

7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

Horror Goes Indie: Evil Dead

Here in 2014, every single person reading this probably knows someone (or is someone) that decided at some point to pick up a camera and make the next great horror movie.  These days, such stories are almost a sweet coming-of-age trope.  But way back in 1981, when Sam Raimi decided to do exactly that, he was sort of a maverick.  A novice, blood-loving maverick, but still, you’ve got to take your accolades when deserved.

After the unlikely success of Evil Dead, a new brand of direct-to-video/DVD movies was born, and Friday night entertainment has never been the same.  More importantly, it gave every up-and-coming filmmaker hope.  Maybe your movie won’t change the entire genre or earn you the right to boss around Spiderman.  Maybe you won’t even get a distribution deal.  But with a patron saint like Raimi looking over us, let’s throw our savings to the wind and take a chance anyhow.  And that laissez-faire attitude permeates the near slapstick antics of the Ash versus the Deadites trilogy.  Way to give us inspiration and entertainment all in one bright red gory package.

7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

Slasher Reborn—With a Wink & a Nudge: Scream

During the mid-nineties, when moviegoers were fatigued on bland sequels and the horror genre as we knew it appeared to be waning, something happened.  The characters took on the perspective of the audience, learning and explicating every cliché that fans had been griping about for the previous twenty years.  This shot to the genre’s heart made Hollywood see that horror was once again marketable, and studios started pouring buckets of cash at it like never before.  And though you may regard the exploits in Woodsboro as disposable, anyone who lived through the nineties will likely remember it as a dizzying time to be a slasher aficionado. You can argue that Scream never made good on its unspoken promise to bring us years of smart, edgy horror films, but you can really blame it only for its direct failures: those substandard sequels.

In another stroke of trendsetting brilliance for the time, Craven did the unspeakable and cast several already established actors, though ironically the “big names” would springboard the success of Scream to even better careers.  Except for Neve Campbell.  This was pretty much her peak, which is why she’ll be a granny and still playing Sidney Prescott.  Scream XXV: Ghostface Versus the Senior Center.  That might have niche appeal after all.  I for one have my money on the AARP members.

7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

Motion Sickness at the Cinema: The Blair Witch Project

Just when wannabe filmmakers settled down after Evil Dead and started opting for the usual nine to five gigs, there comes The Blair Witch Project to rile them up again. With a scant budget that’s probably less than you’d pay for film school, the unnerving 1999 endeavor won major acclaim, raked in more money than any spellcaster this side of Glinda, and spawned dozens of imitators that persist in producing sequel after sequel.  Paranormal Activity, I’m looking at you.

Back at the turn of the millennium, the found footage angle wasn’t a wholly new concept.  The subgenre could be traced back to 1980’s Cannibal Holocaust, but The Blair Witch Project was the first to prove just how mass marketable a shot-on-low-budget-video mockumentary could be.  Now everyone from George Romero to J.J. Abrams has jumped on that grainy bandwagon, though once the budgets skyrocket into the multimillions, you have to wonder if they might have missed the point.

As a random aside, you could also blame the trend of shaky handheld shots on the film’s pass-the-Dramamine style, so obviously, that Blair Witch must be stopped.

7 Movies That Changed the Landscape of Horror Forever!

Honorable mention for Saw and its introduction of mainstream torture porn.

What game changing flicks did I leave off the list?  Let me know in the comments below!

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88 Comments

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      1. Tiago January 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm

        I disagree about Black Christmas, the “virgin” is the first one to get killed. Also it is not near as good as Halloween. or F13.

      2. Matt Alexander January 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm

        Blair Witch sucked so bad that it made me angry.

      3. Arnold Cuellar January 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm

        Melissa Valero

      4. Shawn Cedric Walker-Hardrick January 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm

        Halloween and Friday the 13th revolutionized horror

      5. Javier Rosario January 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

        “im going pee pee here..some privacy please”

      6. Salvador Tapia January 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm

        Blair Witch project n it was scary

      7. Jimmy Matta January 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm

        I love tha b.w.p. m/

      8. Bigmike Hibby January 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm

        The scene in the picture above was the eeriest of the whole film!! The rest was utter shit!!

      9. Esmerelda Essie Devereaux Dhgo January 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

        Matt Alexander you are my new best friend. I didnt think any part of Blair Witch was scary.

      10. Marcus Silveira January 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

        Blair!!!! Awesome!!!!

      11. Jenna Marie January 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

        Blair Witch sucked…..

      12. Ray Mitchell January 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

        I hear a lot of people hateing on the Blair witch project but I’ve always loved it,,people always said it sucked because it wasn’t real,,,,lol well neither is any other fucking movie

        • Annette Sykes
          Annette Sykes January 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm

          very true

        • Jordan Mando Buell January 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm

          i thought it was brilliant the directors send them in the woods for a few days then they go and scare the hell out of them. the commentary was fascinating

        • Mike Pakabola Ball
          Mike Pakabola Ball January 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm

          I don’t want to start an anger war but the reason why people give it a hard time is because Blair Witch gave way to all these shitty found footage films that keep popping up today. Blair Witch had the highest profit margin of any movie of all time simply because it cost about ten dollars to make. But that’s no reason to keep making the same film over and over again without the same eerie narrative that Blair Witch provided. I enjoyed the last five minutes of BW but I HAVEN’T enjoyed the last twenty copies.

        • Jayde January 19, 2014 at 11:24 pm

          I agree! I remember it being pretty good. I never understood why everyone hated it so much

        • John Carl Toth
          John Carl Toth January 19, 2014 at 11:46 pm

          I am sure it cost more than 10 bucks..But I get your point..The cost was about 4-5k to make and the marketing was around 25k or more

        • Lori Silvers Smith
          Lori Silvers Smith January 20, 2014 at 2:23 am

          Kinda funny though how people didn’t hate it until they came on later in interviews and said it wasn’t real. lol.

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

          Blair Witch scared the crap out of me. The sequels scared me for how BAD they were

        • Soxie Liqueur
          Soxie Liqueur'e January 20, 2014 at 11:24 am

          It sucked because it was a bunch of college students with shaky cameras, screaming, crying and just being plain annoying! I saw it when I was around 12 I think and I haven’t felt a need to watch it again since, but each to their own opinion

        • Petar Vodenski
          Petar Vodenski January 20, 2014 at 3:53 pm

          i kinda disliked the ending because i got into it and was expecting to see something more but i loved that shit !

      13. Darla Johnson January 19, 2014 at 9:50 pm

        This was the creepy part of the movie.

      14. Melissa Valero January 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

        One Of my faves Arnold Cuellar

      15. Niklas Johannes Storvall January 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

        Blair witch was awesome and started the whole new wave of hand held camera movies. It was great BECAUSE you didnt see any “witch”. That would have ruined the film. Imagination and suggested things is the key to the film

      16. Chris Rell January 19, 2014 at 9:53 pm

        Really good movie just started a really bad trend.

      17. Bigmike Hibby January 19, 2014 at 9:55 pm

        You should be ^

      18. Eric Ketting January 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm

        I am missing a very important movie: The Exorcist. And I also have to disagree with black christmas, that one should be replaced by Halloween or Friday the 13th. I also think that A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most original horror movies ever made.

        • Adrienne February 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm

          Definitely agree with you on Nightmare on Elm Street

      19. Bryan Konseck January 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm

        If you have ever been out in the woods in no man’s land in the middle of the night, you Do Not want to hear anyone screaming. …I still get goosebumps!

        • Gabriel Cabrera
          Gabriel Cabrera January 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm

          you did see haunting hour. same R.L. stine

      20. Jennifer Gomez Ball January 19, 2014 at 10:09 pm

        Love love love this movie

      21. Roland Mueller January 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm

        I have a difficult time thinking of Freaks as a horror movie. Blair Witch Is spooky but it was a badly made film . Why did Black Christmas make the list?

      22. Beckie Wilson January 19, 2014 at 10:19 pm

        I hate found footage movies.

      23. Roland Mueller January 19, 2014 at 10:21 pm

        I suggest removing the above three films and adding Nosferatu, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and Nightmare on Elm Street to the list.

      24. Michael Ducharme January 19, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        Scream doesn’t belong on this list. Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Silent Night, Bloody Night belong in it’s place.

      25. Jas Turner January 19, 2014 at 10:35 pm

        Alien should be recognized too… not Scream.

      26. Tina Scott January 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm

        Dont care what anyone says.. this movie fooled the world for a short period of time and was scary because you could actually imagine this happening not like your basic monster movie. I loved it! I met my husband for the first time too when i went to the theater to see it and my daughters middle name is Blair lol!:)

      27. Michael Carden January 19, 2014 at 10:39 pm

        People, this isn’t a BEST OF list. The movies changed things. Blair Witch started a genre, Black Christmas was a major influence for many future slasher films, and Scream basically revived horror in its era.

      28. Eric Dennen January 19, 2014 at 10:49 pm

        hate any kind of “found footage” movies.

      29. Susie Tweedy January 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm

        I know The Blair Witch Project was not true but it scared me when I first watched it.

      30. pizzainacup January 19, 2014 at 11:11 pm

        Ishirō Honda’s Gojira (Godzilla), Mervyn LeRoy’s The Bad Seed, John Carpenter’s Halloween, Ridley Scott’s Alien, Joe Dante’s Gremlins, Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street and Hideo Nakata’s Ringu all deserve a lot credit for their influences on the Horror genre.

        Psycho isn’t a Horror film, nor is it a slasher. It’s a Thriller like Jaws or The Silence Of The Lambs. If we’re talking about a Thriller, what about Wait Until Dark?

      31. pizzainacup January 19, 2014 at 11:18 pm

        By the way, I would replace Black Christmas with Dead Of Night which was also directed by Bob Clark. It predates Halloween, a film that borrowed some elements from it.

      32. Shirley Ann January 19, 2014 at 11:28 pm

        That movie was just stupid

      33. Adi January 19, 2014 at 11:42 pm

        Blaire witch was a good movie that started the hole of fond footage Gener.
        A Gener so good that’s chills you until the end of the movie without any stops.
        For the haters go and see a drama movie or somthing if can’t appreciat a good and new horror Gener and if you don’t like it don’t watch it and go and have a non horror movies life
        Thank you
        Good by

      34. Corinne Valdez Colan January 19, 2014 at 11:52 pm

        the BLAIR WITH PROJECT

      35. Kevin O'Callaghan January 20, 2014 at 1:19 am

        7 Movies huh here’s mine

        Kickass 2

        Star wars episode 1

        Rob zombie’s lords of salem

        The mist

        Nightmare on elm street remake

        Paranormal activity saga

        The last exorcism 2

        • Edwin Madera January 20, 2014 at 6:15 am

          is your list ,a movies that suck list ?

      36. Kevin O'Callaghan January 20, 2014 at 1:19 am

        All 7 movies complete bullshit

      37. Michael Carden January 20, 2014 at 1:41 am

        Well, that was a lot of gibberish. Well done.

      38. Alberto Ramon Carrizo January 20, 2014 at 1:44 am

        This movie is of a year BEFORE The Blairwicht Proyect!This film started a genre, not Blairwicht!:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OouuR7Dw20

      39. Duane Cunningham January 20, 2014 at 2:15 am

        the blair witch was one of the most insane, inane attempts at a legitimate horror movie I have ever wasted my time seeing.

      40. Edwin Madera January 20, 2014 at 6:13 am

        john carpenter’s the thing to me is the best

      41. Hellsing ThirteenThirteen January 20, 2014 at 7:15 am

        Saw introduced torture porn?…..think not. Dee Snider’s Strangeland is the Godfather of Torture Porn.

        • Midnite Marauder January 21, 2014 at 12:18 am

          Was about to say the same thing. SAW was initially a murder-mystery in the vein of Se7en before the sequels got sleazier. I think Hostel is the first movie that comes to mind when one mentions the torture porn sub-genre. Mainly because it gained a quick following for being very graphic and over-the-top in its depictions. Plus Hostel seemed something of a throwback to those previously banned Video Nasties from yesteryear. Not only that, but it certainly cracked opened the door for more ambiguous horror schlock to be put out as consistently as it has been.

          As for your list, among the most defining or innovative horror movies that could be included:

          -The Exorcist, widely considered the scariest movie of all time
          -Alien, a benchmark for contemporary sci-fi horror
          -Jaws, proof that the nature itself is just as frightening as fiction
          -Invasion of the Body Snatchers (B/W), the quintessential alien takeover film
          -Poltergeist, Tobe Hooper’s creepy suburban spin on the haunted house tale
          -The Amityville Haunting, faux demonic house possession purportedly based on real-life events
          -Silence of the Lambs, Academy Award winning suspense thriller about an elusive serial killer
          -Frankenstein (B/W), the granddaddy of classic movie monsters and mad scientists alike
          -The Ring/The Grudge, scary ghost stories widely popular among J-Horror & Asian cinema
          -28 Days Later, redefined the zombie genre by introducing them as rabid, fast moving hordes
          -John Carpenter (70’s thru 80’s), creatively mastered dark, brooding atmospheres in his films

          There’s a couple others that probably deserve mention, but these were the ones I could recall.

      42. anthony buoni January 20, 2014 at 7:52 am

        the mcpherson tape is older, ten years before TBWP. it was passed around UFO freaks as true. there is no telling how much it made, because it was bootlegged so much. good eye, alberto.

      43. Ripley Stone January 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

        Love the found footage genre, it’s been a bit over done but originally it was a cool concept. I agree that Texas Chainsaw massacre should be on the list – it was also believed to be true and some still think it is.

        • Shel February 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

          The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came about because of the real life serial killer Ed Gein. Also Norman Bates was based on the life of Ed Gein and his mother. Interesting to note that almost all of the crazy man/mother scenarios in the movies have some basis on the life of Ed Gein. Leatherface was never real, just a scarier version of the real life skin wearer Ed Gein.

      44. Dale Clifford January 20, 2014 at 9:44 am

        Wolf Creek.

      45. John Ryder January 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm

        Ok, here is the thing about the Blair Witch Project. When it came out, it had a HUGE viral campaign that pushed it as being real. Between the website, tv ads, and even a Sci-Fi Channel documentary about it. I saw it the first weekend it was out (when everyone still thought it was real) and at the end of the movie the WHOLE theater was quiet. Just total stunned silence; and the theater was packed I might add. Once everyone realized it was all fake thats when everyone started “hating” on it.

        The Blair Witch Project is like Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy (NO NOT THAT ONE!!!). It’s great when you believe it’s real.

      46. changeling69 January 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        I agree with most of the ones up there, BUT, where’s NOSFERATU or Dr. Calligaris Cabinet? Are they 2 “mainstream” here?:):)

      47. John W January 21, 2014 at 1:28 am

        I would include Jaws, The Exorcist and Alien. All three perfected their respective sub genre of horror. Man vs nature. Demonic possession. Sci-fi horror. Each spawned a slew of imitators.

      48. Robert January 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

        I love “Psycho”, “NOTLD”, “Scream”, “Evil Dead”, & “Blair Witch”. I haven’t seen Black Christmas. I watched “Freaks” and respect its place in history.

        Let’s also be clear. “Psycho” didn’t just change horror…it changed all of film. 1960 is the dividing line between Classic Hollywood and Modern Film.

        I’d put “The Cabin In The Woods” on this list once it gets updated. That film was amazing and will change the genre. I could see “Rosemary’s Baby” getting noted, because its setting of horror in modern city life definitely helped “The Exorcist”. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” also helped spur low budget filmmakers. And I recently saw “The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari” and I can see its influence through the years.

      49. Maria Haynes February 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm

        I’d have to agree with all of those!

      50. Matt Baker February 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        bring on everyone saying blair witch is shit. its awesome

        • RJ De Wit
          RJ De Wit February 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

          Here I am! I know that it changed the game, but with regards to what it was it was shite.

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca February 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm

          the fact you respect its contribution says volumes about you. not everyone likes it but you cant take away the fact that its signifacnt. Thanks for Commenting RJ

        • Lynn Ess
          Lynn Ess February 24, 2014 at 6:27 am

          Sorry, I still think the Blair Witch project is “shit”. I might not use those words, but the sentiment is the same. And you know what? I’m entitled to my opinion, just like you are.

        • Lynn Ess
          Lynn Ess February 24, 2014 at 6:28 am

          I’m also really shocked at Horror-Movies.ca for condoning a comment that calls people “ignorant” for having an opinion. Shame on you!

        • Matt Baker
          Matt Baker February 24, 2014 at 6:36 am

          “shocked” … “calling people ignorant”! where does it say that you are not entitled to an opinion? where does it say people are ignorant? where does it say on their comment they are condoning people saying you are ignorant? you will have more chance of people calling you ignorant on a thread because of reactions like yours than it ever been based on a movie opinion, its a very strange reaction

      51. Corey Cale February 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

        I love how people say blair witch was awful, yet then probably also have seen every parnormal craptivity and loved them.

        • Lynn Ess
          Lynn Ess February 24, 2014 at 6:27 am

          Not me. Blair Witch was terrible along with everything that followed in its footsteps

      52. Lucynell Crater February 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm

        Great list. Love the inclusion of Black Christmas and Scream. The former is not mentioned often enough and the latter seems to be on a love/hate relationship with the horror community and I don’t know why, providing, of course, that it’s not just my impression

      53. Jordan Mando Buell February 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

        whatever people may say the blair witch project was brilliant. i did a project on it in high school

      54. Brandon Blake February 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        Anyone who does say Blair Witch is shit etc… is ignorant. To dismiss, ignore or play down what that film achieved and did, like it or not, simply makes you look like an ass hat. If you are a filmmaker or a writer… you should strive to achieve, and surpass, the verbal buzz, the feeling and success that this film created. Of course, this is just my opinion.

      55. Jeremy Arruda February 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

        Whatever Paranormal Activity did, Blair Witch did it first and better.

      56. denigris February 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        how about creepshow for the anthology horror films?

      57. Nora Cristea February 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was/is also very influential. But of course it really didn’t change a big existing horror landscape in 1920 :)

      58. Paul Gandy February 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm

        just bought freaks on DVD

      59. Levi Everaerts February 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        People only hate on Blair Witch because of the found footage thing. The opposite happens with Diary of the Dead, which actually was a terrible found-footage film (and decided to completely ignore every rule in that genre before the first act ended) but everyone loves it because it’s by George “Viewers are morons” Romero.

      60. Bobby Morris February 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm

        Blair which project sucked I it my money back after that

      61. Carl McBride February 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        Blair witch was horrible, paranormal is pretty good though

      62. Jennacide February 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        I think most of the people here are missing the point of the list :/

        I would personally add The Bird with the Crystal Plumage… there were “giallo” type films before it (I was torn between TBWTCP and Blood and Black Lace), but TBWTCP definitely kick-started the sub-genre we think of as “giallo” today

      63. Marc Thibodeau February 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        Blair Witch is shit (y)if you`re a sap who takes internet buzz for proof of quality, then i pity you. The only thing that movie brought was a headache and a copout for low-budget movies that can`t, won`t put budget in makeup or a good script. As if this was the first time people went to “investigate” a weird story-movie. It`s sad that a lot of people will only know movies if they`ve played on Netflix, and don`t have a clue as to what real horror movies were all about

      64. Mab Cloggy February 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm

        That I a seriously bad list

      65. D.j. Clement February 23, 2014 at 8:29 pm

        sorry – this list is a farce if it doesn’t include ‘Halloween’….. films like Black Christmas and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre might have come first, but Halloween brought it into the mainstream and really redefined the public perception towards horror films….

        I mean, if you’re going to make an argument for Black Christmas instead, because it was first – then remove Blair Witch Project and put Cannibal Holocaust up instead – since that came first..

      66. Trin T. Sutherland February 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        The found footage sub genre has been over done, but when done right it’s awesome. My father in law thought was real Blair Witch for years.

      67. John W July 17, 2014 at 2:56 am

        I would include The Exorcist which spawned the whole demonic possession genre and the war in Heaven sub genre that includes movies like The Prophecy and Legion.

        The other movie I would have included is Texas Chainsaw Massacre which came out the same year as Black Christmas and probably spawned the whole torture porn genre decades before Hostel.

        Then there’s Alien which straddles both Science Fiction and Horror and inspired a bunch of other movies like Predator and John Carpenter’s The Thing.