Hitchcock cites fairy tale literature as a child’s introduction to horror, but he’s also speaking indirectly about the maturation of horror cinema. The special effects have become more realistic and the violence more explicit, but what frightened us in 1958 remains true for 2018. Classics had to earn your attention through mood and narrative, not with threats of gratuitous jump scares and stomach-churning grotesqueries.
Here’s a list of 11 essential classics of horror cinema that you might have overlooked, all of which are available to view on physical media through Netflix DVD. I’ve drawn the line in the ectoplasm at 1970 because the aesthetics of horror shifted dramatically with the dissolution of the Hays Code and the introduction of the MPAA film ratings system in 1968. American filmmakers immediately began exploring newfound freedoms with regards to graphic depictions of sex and violence, literally rendering the films made before the ratings system a product of a bygone – but no less worthy – era of cinema.Read More