Top 10 Horror Films of the 1970s.
The decade that redefined the genre.
The 1970s IMHO was the greatest decade of cinema which produced timeless classics. In fact most films mature with time. The horror genre turned it up so many notches that it reshaped the way we would view horror movies for many generations to come.
#10) Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
One of the major influences for Jordan Peel's Get Out (2017) was the remake of the 1956 classic starring Donald Sutherland that leans more on the science fiction side of things as extraterrestrial life hijacks humans while leaving them devoid of any emotion. A worthy remake to it's predecessor as it continues to grow a cult following for the last four plus decades.
#9) Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
From the king of the zombie genre George A. Romero (May he Rest In Peace), Dawn of the Dead swaps the location from a country farmhouse (Night of the Living Dead, 1968) to a suburban shopping mall. The film focuses on how us as a society react to the zombie apocalypse and how people attempt to maintain their personal moral codes and values.
Another pioneer movie with a cult following that eventually spawned a remake (Dawn of the Dead, 2004) helmed by director Zach Snyder serving as his feature film debut.
#8) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The notorious killer Leatherface who wore people's skin and faces as a mask and violently wielding a chainsaw was an extreme in your face style of horror as it first incepted. The plot is very straight forward as a group of teens are terrorized by a family of inbreds while checking on their grandfather's gravesite on a farm that belonged to their family.
Fun fact about the film is the director Tobe Hooper (Rest In Peace) had a difficult time securing distribution for the film because of the high volume of violent content. It was eventually picked up by a company who's launch was a porno. (Do your googles).
#7) Carrie (1976)
Adapted from the 1974 novel from the master of horror Stephen King, director Brian De Palma brought the tale of a bullied teenaged girl with telekinetic abilities to life.
More of a revenge story the climatic final act is highly satisfying as Carrie played by a young Sissy Spacek can't catch a break throughout the film. From getting picked on by mean girls along with her emotions being toyed with by boys, the audience is rooting for Carrie all the way to the end. Not to mention having an overzealous religious nut for a mother.
#6) The Amityville Horror (1979)
Based on a true story from the accords of the Lutz family who purchased a large home in suburban Long Island, NY that witnessed supernatural happenings a year after brutal murders took place in the home from the previous owners. To this day many wonder if the whole story was a hoax.
Hoax or not, it made for a damn good movie!
#5) The Omen (1976)
Strange things seem to happen whenever Damien is around. Known as one of the most famous horror movie kids of all time till this day. The story of an adopted child of an American ambassador who may just be the antichrist. The Omen has a particular style and sophistication to it that feels like a fine red wine of horror.
#4) Alien (1979)
Forever, Alien will go down as one of the greats in science-fiction horror. The story of a commercial starship crew in deep space who will soon find out that a deadly extraterrestrial life form known popularly as the xenomorph has snuck onto their ship. The film also has undertones and themes of rape, the feminist movement, and big corporation takeovers. The most brilliant part about the film though is that the alien monster is not revealed at least until about forty five minutes in.
The tagline of "In space, no one can hear you scream" sums up everything, letting the audience know what they are getting into.
#3) Jaws (1975)
It's fair to say that experiencing a shark attack from a great white while just attempting to enjoy a swim on a hot summer day is pretty horrific.
Jaws goes down in history serving as the first blockbuster summer movie shattering all types of records. The heart, soul, and pulse of the film is within the characters mainly led by Roy Scheider as Chief Martin Brody, Robert Shaw as Quint the shark hunter, and Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper the young oceanographer.
The best decision director Stephen Spielberg could have made for the film was shooting from the shark's POV due to production blunders and issues with the mechanical shark. During production the shark was named "Bruce" after Spielberg's lawyer.
#2) Halloween (1978)
The greatest slasher flick of all time! Halloween was and will forever be a game changer in that specific category of horror along with the genre overall as a whole. Michael Myers is cemented on the Mt.Rushmore of horror villains and remains probably the scariest of all slashers. That pale white mask and blank stare with those eyes, "pure evil".
The film also stamps Jamie Lee Curtis as the official scream queen of horror. One of the most successful independent films ever directed by a young John Carpenter who also composed the film's score leading with the classic Halloween theme! Halloween has transcendent from being tradition during the season in October to religion. Over four decades old and still holds up like the first time.
The opening never gets olds.
#1) The Exorcist (1973)
The g.o.a.t. of all horror films!
The Exorcist has impacted the genre in so many ways. The story of an actress' daughter (Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil) being possessed by the devil himself. The film builds so well as it takes it's time almost as if it where a larger pot of water coming to an extreme boil. The Exorcist is famously known for not only how scary it was for that time but also it's cultural impact. There are stories of patrons passing out during screenings, being carried out on stretchers, and even vomiting while viewing. It was the first of it's time maybe since Psycho (1960) that had a significant affect on audiences for eras to come.
Just check out the video below.
The Exorcist also suffered from mysterious deaths along with strange incidents surrounding the production.
The original theatrical trailer was banned.
The film even has a National Landmark.
It's safe to say The Exorcist holds the title.
Horror movies are scary fun and the 1970s horror films are scary great fun!