Scary Movies: A Generational Perspective

My son is a huge horror movie fan. Personally, I enjoyed them when I was his age, but as I got older that sudden shock to the heart was not as fun. What I have noticed is that he and his friends take horror flicks and television shows in stride. They are fun and, in many cases, funny – and I am not talking about the Scary movie parodies.

Scary Movie Parodies

Scary Movie Parodies

I went with him to see Scary Movie 4 and the then-12-year-old had to explain most of the things he found hilarious as I had not seen the movies they were poking fun at. My thoughts are that shows like Supernatural and American Horror Story and, of course, The Walking Dead, have made them less fearful of the thing in the closet or under the bed. So when I asked him what he thought were the best scary movies, some of his responses surprised me. Here are his in no particular order:

  • The Shining
  • The Crazies
  • A Nightmare on Elm St
  • Misery
  • Hide and Seek
  • The Last House on the Left
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • Paranormal Activity 2

He prefers the new Nightmare on Elm St as opposed to the original that I like, but then I saw it when it first came out at a time when special effects were not as impressive as today. Still, it is fun is watching little kids bringing back the Freddie Krueger costume at Halloween.

Scary Freddie Krueger

Scary Freddie Krueger

Three of his choices I think are quality movies and definitely manipulate the viewers’ fears. Misery, I think, plays on every mans fear of insane women – it must be a mother thing – and Kathy Bates plays the role to perfection. The fear comes from wondering what she is going to do next. The Shining again plays on an insane parent. The vulnerability and isolation builds the suspense better than any current zombie movie. I actually went to Hide and Seek with him. I closed my eyes as he smiled with glee.

Classic Horror Movie, Alien

Classic Horror Movie, Alien

My top three scary movies would be The Exorcist, what he terms laughingly “that pea soup movie,” Don’t Look Now, an obscure but frightening supernatural movie I have not been able to find to test him, and, believe it or not, the first Alien movie. It reminded me of the scary old Outer Limits shows and the closing scene when the monster hops out in the shuttle made me jump a couple of feet out of my seat. My son laughs about that.

Halloween has brought back the scary costumes with the Disney and Nickelodeon costumes being replaced by more frightening options. Have your kids joined the fear side?

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