Opinion: Your guide to the greatest horror films of each decade
A true horror fan shares their love for the genre’s films and franchises spanning through the ages. So, whether your black heart pumps for the black and white flicks or you’re obsessed with the gore of famous slashers, here’s our rundown of the greatest horror films of every decade.
The ‘30s were a decade of political and economic turmoil, and amid global events like the Great Depression, there were still full-length films that were produced, including installments that reflected a huge trend in monster movies. With the rise in sound cinema, supernatural flicks were booming introducing movie-goers to a wide spectrum of stereotypical beings such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummies, Vampires, Zombies, and the infamous story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. While this golden age for horror had many iconic creatures that are spotlighted to this day, the 1931 installment Dracula takes the cape for this decade.
The ‘40s was quite a bit slower for horror movie production; perhaps because audiences were less interested in scary movies with so much horror happening in real life? Whatever the reasoning, this decade still contributed to the horror movie library with the introduction of the masterpiece, Cat People, a terrifying film that spurred the introduction of jump scares.
Believe it or not, the ‘50s was a decade that was defined by fear, which had a major impact on TV and film. The scare of nuclear weapons led to a public panic of science gone astray and so the horror genre gained the installment, The Fly. Have you watched this cinematic embodiment of pure paranoia?
The ‘60s weren’t all about peace and love. In fact, it was actually a very dark decade—the start of the Vietnam war and numerous serial killers in America. So, naturally, scriptwriters tapped into this fear in the making of two horror classics, Night of the Living Dead and the sick and twisted Psycho!
Once again, the ‘70s was considered a time of chaos and doubt in terms of global events, spurring the birth of some more edgy films that catered to younger audiences. There are a few nostalgic film franchises that first braced the big screen in this decade including gems such as The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Alien, and Jaws as well as a stand-alone flick that deserves an honorable mention, Carrie.
While horror movies have continued to be great throughout the ages, the ‘80s proves to be the most iconic decade for the genre, with the establishment of slashers are a riveting subcategory. Hellraiser, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street are the most notable slasher mentions of this decade with the addition of both the Ghostbusters and Gremlins franchises coming in with original productions meeting the high-grossing films of the entire decade. Also, let’s not forget movie greatness, The Shining!
While the ‘90s was a fairly lame decade for the horror genre, there were a few devilish additions that should be celebrated. The Scream franchise is one of the most notable slasher ajoinments with indie filmmaking also making an appearance with the creation of The Blair Witch Project. This new era also stunned audiences with The Sixth Sense, Candyman, and Silence of the Lamb.
Monsters and zombies make their mark at the dawn of this new decade and century. Considered to be modern-day classics, films The Mist, The Others, and 28 Days Later, exhibit bleak, murderous, and very scary plots with an end-of-the-world complexity.
While we don’t currently have any horror figures for sale from the above titles, we’re always adding to our collection and hope to expand soon!
Last but not least, the 2010s is known as the decade for the greatest visual effects, combined with riveting plots that are continuing to keep audiences intrigued with unnerving plots and wicked twists. Films from this decade include Get Out, The Conjuring, and IT: Chapters 1 and 2, as well as The Purge Series and Insidious franchise. What a web of scary horror installments!
Did we miss any horror that deserves to be on the above list? Drop a comment below for an honorable mention.