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5 Classic Horror Movies Throughout the Decades to Watch

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

By Rachel Mark, Blogger

Halloween puts us in all kinds of spooky moods, and there’s no doubt that putting on a scary movie is the move. Throughout decades, there have been great horror classics that we enjoy and fear watching. Here are five classic horror movies throughout the decades —watch out for jump scares and clutch on to your blankets!

1. “Halloween” (1978)

For four decades, “Halloween” has been a horror classic followed by countless sequels and remakes. Generations have experienced the terrifying frights while watching “Halloween.” There are many important details that make this film an instant classic, from the horrifying masked villain to the suspenseful musical score. “Halloween” offers the perfect amount of jumpscares to the audience, and this movie should definitely be on your watchlist for this Halloween season.

2. “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

“Nightmare on Elm Street” has been responsible for leaving audiences petrified to sleep for years. The classic slasher film focuses on several teenagers who have fallen prey to Freddy Krueger, an iconic horror movie villain who wears a sharp, bladed leather glove. This film gives audiences a twist in the slasher genre since the teens can only die in their sleep; therefore, the teens are responsible for keeping each other awake. If they do fall asleep, however, they are subject to Freddy Krueger’s dream world of torment and pain. “Nightmare on Elm Street” is a classic that leaves viewers scared for days with iconic deaths and characters.

3. “Scream” (1996)

“Scream” gave the horror genre a new and innovative twist, which made the film a mainstay in the ’90s. The horror film blends together elements of fear, comedy and satire, leaving the audience screaming and laughing at the same time. “Scream” does an amazing job poking fun of many horror film clichés. The mysterious element of the film keeps the audience guessing on the killer’s identity and the next victim.

4. “The Ring” (2002)

This horror essential’s plot revolves around an urban legend presuming that if you watch a certain videotape, you will die in seven days. This film is deemed as a classic due to its intense story premise and the iconic scene of a ghost crawling out of the television set. Few films can do urban legends proper justice, but “The Ring” captures paranormal terror perfectly.

5. “Hereditary” (2018)

Even though “Hereditary” is only two years old, this movie deserves a position on the list of classics. This film leaves audiences with a deeply disturbed feeling throughout the entire movie. As the film progresses, viewers continue to stir a sinking feeling as things go from bad to worse. Additionally, “Hereditary” differs from the classic, slasher horror movies from previous years. The film focuses on mental illness and gruesome cult rituals. The character developments are phenomenal, and watching the main characters lose their sanity and give in to dark forces is utterly shuddering. This film contains unique deaths, a fantastic musical score and a surprise ending.

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