The Beginner's Shelf: 12 Horror Movies For Horror Newbies
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The Beginner's Shelf: 12 Horror Movies For Horror Newbies

Ease yourself into the horror genre with these classic picks.

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The Beginner's Shelf: 12 Horror Movies For Horror Newbies
Scream

Horror movie lovers everywhere always have that one holdout friend on Halloween: "I don't like scary movies. I get too scared!" Perhaps you are this friend. If you are, fear not little camper, I have just the thing for you! This list I've compiled for you here is a perfect blend of enjoyable scary movies that are less intense for scary movie beginners. Guaranteed to please everyone at your next Halloween party:

1. Scream (1996)

Scream is an excellent blend of horror and comedy, though arguably more comedy than horror. You don't have to be a horror buff to laugh at the self-aware humor. While the first scene may be a little bit intense for first-time viewers, the rest of the movie will be a smooth and enjoyable ride.

2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

I hate when people immediately write-off old movies as "not scary." It's not true. However, I can admit that that older movies are usually less intense than contemporary classics. There are usually fewer jump scares and Wan-esque tension present in the film. Night of the Living Dead is creepy, and also the beginning of our modern Zombie obsession.

3. Halloween (1978)

As I said before, I do believe that some of the older movies have a tendency to be a little bit less intense than our modern favorites. John Carpenter's original Halloween is a true classic, and newbies will probably only require a few funny TV show episodes after to go to sleep. I recommend the original for beginners, because the 2006 remake has more gore and jumps than the original.

4. Jaws (1976)

Jaws is an undeniable horror classic. However, since the monster is in the ocean, staying home alone after watching it may be easier than perhaps a psychokiller movie or a ghost story. Although, if you do randomly encounter a shark hiding under your bed, please let me know.

5. Signs (2002)


Outside of the Sixth Sense, many people give M. Night Shyamalan mixed or extremely negative reviews. However, I personally consider this movie to be good. It's slow-paced and subtle, but that's what makes it great. It's chilling without being overly shocking.

6. Poltergeist (1982)


Poltergeist is an 80s classic, but let's be real: they now play this movie on the Disney Channel. That shouldn't turn you off to it,but it should clue you in about how intense the movie is.

7. Psycho (1960)


Psycho is not only a horror classic, but a general cinematic masterpiece as well. It is haunting, terrifying, but also slower-paced. The twist ending is still one of the greatest plot twists in movie history. Psycho is chilling, but not excessively bloody or upsetting. Actually, it has one of the greatest twist endings of all time. Do take note that this is a long movie, so consider this when choosing it for a party.

8. The Evil Dead (1981)

Sam Raimi's directorial debut. While many agree that Evil Dead 2 is the better of the two, I think that it can be pretty easy to laugh off any nerves that may pop up (because they will. It's cheesy, but not hilariously bad like Sharknado). I'm not sure if I'm allowed to laugh at "evil molesting tree" as an actual threat, but it sure does make me question who came up with that idea. Be warned that the film is pretty gory, but not realistic at all. Please note that the 2013 remake is notably more intense than the campy original.

9. Carrie (1976)


Carrie is a Stephen King classic. Like Jaws, I find it hard to imagine Carrie randomly haunting you after the film; the threat is too specific to have any lasting effects. Quite the contrary, many people find themselves rooting for Carrie during her wave of destruction. The remake isn't horrible, but in my opinion it does not compare to the original Brian DePalma original.

10. The Sixth Sense (1999)


Another one of the greatest twist endings of all time. Arguably more a psychological thriller than "horror," The Sixth Sense will satisfy your need for something chilling but won't make you horror-sensitive friends cry. M. Night Shyamalan is doomed to forever wander the Earth trying to recreate the success of his first film. Do your friends a favor, and if they haven't seen it yet, don't spoil the ending.

11. Nosferatu (1922)


Anyone who says Nosferatu is not scary clearly has no appreciation for art and the classics. However, I will agree that it is harder for modern audiences to be scared out of their minds by old silent movies. If you can appreciate the artistry of the original Nosferatu, it can make for a really great first horror experience.

12. Old-School Monster Movies


Bela Lugosi. Boris Karloff. Lon Chaney. These are the men who have played the characters and monsters that have built the foundation of modern horror. As I previously mentioned with Nosferatu, it is usually more difficult for modern audiences to fear Dracula and Frankenstein like we fear Bagul (Sinister 2013) and Pazuzu (Exorcist 1973). However, we can still appreciate them just as much.



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