3 Classic Horror Movies Everyone Should Watch At Least Once

Horror cinema represents one of the most consistently popular and long-standing genres in all films. Though often maligned, horror movies can also be insightful, innovative, and artistically daring works that experiment with the boundaries of genre and audience expectation. In addition, examining horror cinema’s past can help us better understand the conventions and clichés in the genre today. 

The issue is that there are so many different horror movies representing different eras out there that you won’t necessarily know which one to watch. So why not try all of them? That will take a long time, so wet your palette with these. Here are three to get you started : 

Hellraiser (1987)

Adapted from Clive Barker’s 1986 novella ‘The Hellbound Heart’ comes the twistest tale of lust, hedonism, and horror. This Barker-directed movie tells the story of the Cotton family, who moves into their family home after the disappearance of a family member. 

Soon, the wife Julia (Clara Higgins) discovers the mystery behind this disappearance when the man, Frank (Sean Chapman), returns and asks for her help. Julia finds herself doing unspeakable things to help Frank, especially after he warns her of the hedonistic creatures called the Cenobites. 

A classic Clive Barker, Hellraiser explores what happens when untapped hedonism goes unchecked. The movie is like a sick and twisted romance between Julia and Frank. This movie is known for its mysterious puzzle box, Lament configuration, and gory practical effects. With the introduction of Cenobites, this movie will be sure to have you think about your desires. 

The Thing (1982) 

The first film that begins John Carpenters’ apocalypse trilogy, The Thing, was adapted from the  1938 sci-fi novella ‘Who Goes There?’ by John W Campbell, which was also adapted into The Thing From Another World in 1951. 

Much like the novella and the 1951 movie, The Thing follows an American arctic research team after encountering an otherworldly being that can mimic living beings down to a cellular level. The researchers must now survive and hunt down the Thing before it finds a way to leave the arctic and doom the world. Just one problem, everyone could be the thing. 

The horrifying tale of paranoia and horror is a must-watch for anyone who likes 1980s sci-fi fiction horror. Due to the unique abilities of the Thing, as well as the close and closed-off environment, the Thing plays out like a ‘catch me if you can’ mystery. Mix in paranoia and growing conflict, and you have a powder keg of scared men, high emotion, and the willingness to do what is needed to survive.

In addition, the Thing is well known for its creative, practical effects, which has inspired many to get their hands on fx special effects makeup and attempt to recreate some of these scenes. With an ending that will leave you wondering what would happen next, the Thing is a classic horror movie that everyone should watch at least once. 

In The Mouth of Madness (1994)  

The third part of the John Carpenters apocalypse trilogy was the closest we’ll ever have to a mix between Lovecraft and Stephen King. It tells the story of an insurance investigator, John Trent (Sam Neill), who is trying to prove the disappearance of famous horror writer Sutter Cane (Jurgen Prochnow) is a fraud. His investigations take him on a horrifying trip that will have him questioning his senses, the nature of reality, and fact versus fiction. 

In the Mouth of Madness is an excellent watch for Lovecraft and King fans, making references to both authors. It sets up a great mystery that has a satisfying and exciting payoff. The audience has to pay close attention to clues to figure out what happened with Sutter Cane, and it culminates in a shocking conclusion that will leave you wanting to go back and watch the film again to see if you can spot the hints again.

Final Words 

These are just three horror classics that everyone should watch at least once. There are a lot of different movies that you can check out on your own. And whether your tastes belong to the Hammer Horrors of the 70s, The Universal Monsters, or newer, more independent horror movies, there is a lot out there for you to check out.

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