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The horror genre always seems to be evolving. Some of these changes happen slowly. But occasionally a single movie rocks the
foundation of horror to such a degree that the genre is never the same. Here are some of the scare-fests that redefined
the horror genre. And our nightmares. “Ha ha!” A
Nightmare on Elm Street For a long time, horror movies were relatively
straightforward with a monster or, like, a crazy person. Then came A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film
that blurred the line between reality and fantasy, creating a teen slasher with a supernatural
twist. In many ways, it was pretty much the first
of its kind. What makes this concept so genius is that,
since Freddy Krueger played an otherworldly role in the film, it left room to keep bringing
him back for sequels — lots of them, actually — to wreak havoc on teens in insane ways
that actually fit the story. Other franchises attempted the same supernatural
slant, but they just ended up creating a bunch of crazy guys with super-strength who never
seem to die, no matter how many times you shoot them. It really wasn’t until Child’s Play stuck
the soul of a psychopath into a doll’s body, that another film successfully blurred
the lines between reality and the supernatural. But the knife-fingered man of our nightmares
went on to become an icon in the horror world, showing it’s not easy to make a freaky psycho
that can endure for decades. Jaws You might think Jaws isn’t really a true horror
film. To that we say: go watch the beginning and
come back. Go ahead, we’ll wait. “AHHHH!” Terrifying, right? The creature is basically unstoppable and,
with no rhyme or reason, starts slaying everyone in its path. Jaws popularized the “giant monsters eating
people” genre for a new age. If it weren’t for Jaws, that genre either
wouldn’t exist or, at the very least wouldn’t be nearly as vibrant as it is today. While it wasn’t the first film to do so, the
way that Jaws portrayed the terrifying creature — almost always in shadows, seeming more
a malevolent force than anything that you could actually defeat — would influence
movies for years to come. After Jaws, came dozens of copies that were
basically just Jaws with a different animal. A bunch of them were amazingly bad. Remember Anaconda? Sorry — you do now. Some were great, like Lake Placid, and some
of them were even made by Spielberg. But none of them would’ve existed if not for
that pesky, man-eating shark. The Blair Witch Project When The Blair Witch Project hit theaters
in 1999, many moviegoers didn’t know what to make of the horrifyingly realistic film. The movie’s shaky camera work, documentary-style
production, and nose dripping close-ups were elements no one had seen before. Plenty of people left theaters thinking the
footage was real. After Blair Witch popularized the found-footage
genre, many aspiring filmmakers applied the idea to their own projects. Thanks to the relatively low budget needed
for filming, newcomers proved that practically anyone could make a movie using this technique
— though making a good one still proved to be a challenge. “Ahhhhh!” As technology evolves so does this genre — smartphones,
GoPros, and security cameras allow found-footage to provide different viewpoints, like what
we see in movies like Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield. Even the last season of American Horror Story
used found footage, setting up a house with hidden cameras and locking people up with
just a smartphone so they could record their own slayings. The Shining Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s
novel showed that you didn’t need cheap scare tactics and obnoxious music to make the audience
jump. Instead, hotel scenes were kept well-lit,
and the ghosts were hallucinations caused by Jack Torrance’s cabin fever and creeping
insanity. Using savvy camera angles and intelligent
dialogue, The Shining redefined what it meant to be a horror movie. The hotel’s creepy sense of isolation is emphasized
by the shockingly small number of scenes that feature all three members of Jack’s family
together. Also, unlike horror movies before The Shining,
most of what could be classified as the scary stuff doesn’t occur until the end of the movie,
while the rest is portrayed in a space blurred between reality and fantasy. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre The movie where we first met Leatherface and
his favorite toy is notable for being one of the most realistic depictions of what it’s
like to live in Texas. No, not the crazy parts. But some parts of Texas are terrifying all
on their own: those big empty wastes where there’s nothing around but fields, and then
a small house off in the distance. It’s on roads like these that the heroes
of this film wander, finding horror as they pick up a stray hitchhiker, only to realize
he’s dangerously mad … and he’s the nicest member of his family. Texas Chain Saw Massacre was amazing for its
time. It was one of the most brutal films ever made
when it came out. And it defined what slashers would come to
be — savage, horrifying, and sometimes just a tiny bit inspired by real-life. Despite a slew of successors, none have come
close to matching the ferocious horror let loose by Leatherface who, oh yeah, is wearing
a mask made out of people’s skin. The first time you see him slaughter, and
the body twitches in detail? That’s an image that’ll stick with you,
whether you like it or not. Alien There had been sci-fi movies with giant monsters
before, but never a straight-up horror film about them. Then, Alien came along. Not only did it bring about a renewal in body
horror across all science fiction, but it also created the modern concept of science-fiction
horror films. If it weren’t for Alien, we would never have
gotten films like Event Horizon or Pandorum. But, being the excellent film it is, Alien
wasn’t content with simply creating a genre — it also redefined how horror films operated. Before this, final girls — the girls who
lasted until the end of the movie and occasionally won — were already a thing. But with Alien came a bold new era of girls
who were as fearsome as the monsters themselves, changing how horror film protagonists worked
forever after. Scream This Wes Craven classic brought horror fans
back into theaters, after many had grown tired of watching the never-ending sequels of ’80s
slasher flicks. Just how many times could Jason and Michael
Myers could possibly die? Scream introduced a fresh, post-modern take
on the genre, completely changing the formula for teen horror films. Craven made sure his characters were familiar
with the tropes of those movies, too — knowledge that would be useful when their phones rang. “For instance, number one. You can never have sex.” “Booo!” Scream all but invented the self-referential,
self-aware horror movie. Even the villain took time out of his bloody
rampage to make horror movie references, as he asks his victims trivia in order to decide
whether they live or die. In order to stay alive, the teens think they
can use what they know from slasher films, creating a set of rules to follow like not
having sex, not doing drugs, and absolutely never saying: “I’ll be right back!” Paranormal Activity When it comes to Paranormal Activity, you
either love it, or hate it. It was filmed with a handheld camera that
almost anyone could afford, in someone’s house, with almost no special effects. There’s almost no plot, no professional actors,
and no real big scares to be seen. It’s either a pretty great film, or the worst
film ever made, depending on who you talk to. No matter what you think about it, though,
there’s one undeniable fact — it helped usher in a huge surge of new found-footage
horror movies. It wasn’t the first, obviously, but with the
success of Paranormal Activity — a movie made for next to no money — it showed movie
studios that people would gobble up found-footage. It even helped keep the subgenere alive long
enough for a Blair Witch reboot. Thank Paranormal Activity — even if a whole
lotta people thought it was boring, it gave us a ton of movies that weren’t. Night of the Living Dead One of the best movies ever made, Night of
the Living Dead completely free to watch because George Romero didn’t copyright it. It’s not his fault though — he wasn’t an
experienced filmmaker at the time. The movie was his first, and it was basically
made with couch cushion change. Despite that , it became one of the most influential
horror films in history. Not only did it bring about a renaissance
in independent filmmaking, it introduced the world to a classic horror staple: the slow,
flesh-eating zombies. Before Night of the Living Dead, most zombies
were magically controlled beings, finding their roots in Western ideas of voodoo. But, Romero changed all of that. He introduced creatures that rose from the
dead, not due to any magic, but because of science. While it’s not explicitly said what exactly
caused the creatures to rise, all of the theories concern NASA probes and viruses. That’s all stuff that exists in the real world,
turning zombies from fantasy monsters to science-fiction horror. The Amityville Horror When it was first released in 1979, was released
in 1979, The Amityville Horror was already familiar to the world thanks to the real-life
crimes that inspired the story. The film fleshed things out, giving viewers
more details about the infamous house — whether the details were all true or not. And it revolutionized the idea that a horror
film could be based on real-life events. While other horror films have certainly claimed
to be based on true events, they’re usually so loosely based that the film hardly deserves
that subtitle. The Amityville Horror, however, used news
reports about the events, interviewed police who reported to the scene of the actual crimes,
and depicted the experiences of the Lutz family as close as they could during filming. The success of the movie inspired several
other paranormal movies like Poltergeist, and demonstrated how audiences are suckers
for horror flicks based on a true story, even if it may not actually be all that true. Saw and Hostel Yeah, we’re cheating and putting two movies
together, but it’s only because they came out at around the same time. Before Saw and Hostel came out, horror movies
were very gore-filled, and very scary — but there were also typically plots and ideas. They were, you know, actual movies, not just
celebrations of gore. It wasn’t until Saw and Hostel came around
that the idea of “torture-based horror” became an actual thing. It led to a slew of horror movies that don’t
care about much outside of shock and awe — no plot, no point, nothing but blood, guts, gore,
and torture. If it weren’t for these films, horror movies
wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as overtly brutal and graphic. And what kind of world would that be? Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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100 thoughts on “Movies That Redefined The Horror Movie Genre

  1. Saw has an amazing storyline with sequels that are actually good and important and they link together so well while slowly revealing information I'm so excited for the next saw movie it's not celebrating gore it changed horror because it took a low budget and made a movie mostly filmed in one room and pulled it off with a great story and when it did so well it gave them the resources to flesh out the concept and make us attached to characters and care about their outcome even fucking Jigsaw

  2. No Exorcist? The list is debunked for leaving the movie that is regarded as the best Horror movie ever created.

  3. Evil Dead was one of the first to have students going to an abandoned cabin in the woods and helped sparked ideas like; evil coming after they read from a book, nobody knowing who the main protagonist will be until halfway into the film (Alien did this after with Ridley) and sequels that actually did the franchise justice.

  4. The apparitions in The Shining were not Jack's hallucinations. They were made real by Danny's power. How else would it be explained that both Danny and Wendy also see them?

  5. Paranormal Activity made me jump… Until I figured out it was fake. Still, brilliant effects and editing. I honestly couldn't tell until I was told.😅

    I remember watching Night if the Living Dead as a kid. I watched it last year and it wasn't nearly as scary 25 years later.

  6. Blair Witch Project was horrible!- but you can't take away the fact that the movie was the first to start the found footage craze.

    Alien definitely belongs in the list. It was also one of the very few movies where the sequel was as great as the first movie.

    Ummmm, Saw had "No point, no story"? Did we watch the same movie? Saw was a great movie even though it only had a handful of characters and it kept you guessing until the end–which was the best part of the movie.

    Where is
    Psycho
    The Birds
    Rosemary's Baby
    Inside aka l'interieur?– Inside was the first movie I've seen were the woman was the hunter instead of the hunted for a change.

  7. The Exorcist should be on here, not Paranormal Activity. They already have one found footage horror film on this list, but what about the movie that influenced hundreds of possession movies and made people pass out in the theatre?

  8. Um psycho and Halloween without Halloween you wouldn't have Friday The 13th or Nightmare On Elm street

  9. Waittttttttt you have hostel on this list but not psycho or Halloween or the first saw movie are you fucking kidding me

  10. fuck off ! -jason has more on screen kills then any other monster or killer in movies ! Jason vorhess is the summer camp champ ! and allways will be he never dies and allways leaves a pile of carange before he leaves ps HE KILLED FREDDY !!!!!! and by the way the new freddy was Trash ! what are we out sourcing horro movies to china ?!!!!

  11. Movies that redefined horror movies where
    -psycho
    -Night Of The Living Dead
    -Rosemary's Baby
    -The Exorcist
    -Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    -Jaws
    -Halloween
    -Alien
    -The Shining
    -Nightmare On Elm Street
    -Scream
    -The Blair Witch Project
    -Saw
    -paranormal activity

  12. So, not even a mention of the film V/H/S in the found footage category? I think it's worthy of a phrase or two.

    But Texas Chainsaw Massacre I watched way too young and it's at the top of my list. Humans make the worst monsters IMO. 😉

  13. Poltergeist, Children of the Corn, Interview with a Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Lost Boys…. You completely overlooked comedic horror like Vampire in Brooklyn, the Scary Movie franchise Not even a nod to action based horror like the Final Destination franchise, or Underworld, no real throwbacks to classics… The Fly, Dracula, The Mummy, Nosferatu, Frankenstein etc

  14. George Romero did copyright his film, the copyright was lost when the title was changed and the new intro didn't insert the copyright again. The original footage containing the copyright was forever lost when they had a flood in their storage.

  15. To me in the essence it all came down to the Evil Dead remake, it had eveything a horror movie could offer, one of the few movies that actually got the job done and scared me shitless…

  16. the exorcist
    Rosemary's baby
    maybe Ghostbusters cuz it is not a horror film but it has a comedic sense to the horror genre
    the evil dead
    an American werewolf in London

  17. I thought The Exorcist and Psycho would be in here.
    Also any David Fincher movie, which defined psychological horror movies.
    Sixth Sense or The Ring could also be in the list, first movie that made me scared of ghosts/spirits.

  18. Man, I remember seeing jaws at a drive in on top of a stationwagon when it first came out. It was awesome. Especially since I was 13.

  19. Hold up, hold up. Where the hell is Halloween? Literally defined a generation of horror movies for the next 2 decades, if not more. I'm not usually one to have gripes with dumb YT lists but I can't be the only one who thinks of Halloween first when I think of horror classics that "redefined the horror movie genre."

  20. Forget Saw and Hostel, Se7en started that shit and at least it did it right, David Fincher scarred me with that movie. that's not a typo folks, I felt seriously messed up, which was the point.

  21. yea…jaws is not a horror film, it's a great film, but for christ sakes, it's simply not horror. it's an action adventure. jaws has nothing in common with any other film listed. why? because the other films are horror films.

  22. and another thing….you cannot put blair witch AND paranormal activity on the same list…that's just plain lazy looper. this HAS to be the most standard , commercial genre list i've viewed.

  23. have you seen cannibal holocaust that was before Blair witch project so Blair witch project was a copy of a better movie

  24. Saw and Hostel both have interesting plots and storylines/meanings. You should actually watch them and pay attention. Saw is about dark, societal justice with an intricate, multi-movie plot, and Hostel is a film that relies on the fear of being in an unknown place while traveling, with social messages discussing the nature of the general dispositions of people towards other cultures, genders, etc.

    The rest of the video was pretty good. Missing The Exorcist, though… probably the strongest portrayal of directly sacrilegious themes in film up to the time.

  25. Saw has a plot that spans through all 7 (not sure about Jigsaw, haven't seen it yet) movies in the franchise and it only cares about gore?? Mmmkay xD

  26. Most of today's movies are so cheap they look like they're made with cell phone cameras. Check out Vincent Price's Mask of the Red Death. Film at its best.

  27. I love Saw and Hostel. Torture horror is totally my thing. Any movie recommendations? I've seen the first two Hostel movies and all the Saw movies (except 6 and 3D)

  28. Wutt? The blair witch? Meh..nothing compare to noroi…it has the same formula..first person horor

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