Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What horror movies do you put on for your non horror loving friends?

October is the usual time my non horror friends and family ask what horror movie should they go see. Paranormal Activity 2? Saw 3D? So it's fitting that Mike over @ All Things Horror posed this same question to the horror blogosphere. What horror movies do you put on for your non horror loving friends?

I of course picked the Lucio Fulci's Zombie and you can read why if you head over to All Things Horror. There you'll see the other opinions from some top notch horror bloggers. All have great recommendations and I agree with a majority of their selections.

If I had to add more to my list, I'd definitely add what's already been mentioned. The Descent, Halloween, The Evil Dead and The Shining. All are solid picks.

What I'd also add are a few mainstream selections from my Top 10 Horror Movie list from last year. Zombieland, Let the Right One In, Trick R Treat and Orphan. Non horror fans scoff at "classic horror movies" so you won't be able to convince them to watch something from the slasher 80s or the supernatural 70s. Subtitled? Fughedaboutitt.

I think the criteria has to be the following for non horror peeps:
  • 90 minutes max
  • One star they recognize
  • If it has a zombie, vampire or werewolf it will probably be tolerated
  • Most non horror people always think they are seeing a "scary movie" which is different than a horror movie. It's your duty to recognize what they like and show them what's appropriate
  • If there are boobs and gore, it will usually fly but this might not be for everyone
  • Non horror fans usually think whispering children is scary
  • Horror comedies are always a solid choice. It's something familiar to them and something that's not. Like and Irish coffee.
  • If you are watching a scary movie make sure it's in the dark. Atmosphere is everything.
  • Your non horror fan will never be completely turned over to the dark side. So sometimes you just gotta give up.
Well that's my 2 cents. Be sure to head over to All Things Horror for some solid recs. Now get ready for the barrage of recommendations because Halloween is a few weeks away!


  1. It really depends on what my non-horror loving friends want to see. If they want a comedy/Horror i will invariably go with Shaun of the Dead or Evil Dead 2. [if im feeling especially campy id say Killer Klowns from Outer Space] For a more drama/thriller feel i like Orphan, mainly because its a great slow burner with an amazing build up and then a great twist. If they actually want to be scared, ill put on 28 Days Later and/or 28 Weeks Later because it seems like people who aren't hardened horror fans get invariably freaked out by these [hell, i even got unnerved by them the first time.] Trick or Treat is a good seasonal movie that is pretty accessible. Wes Craven's Scream is also a good one for non Horror fans as well.

  2. Good choices Mike. I love Trick R Treat. I'm probably gonna screen that one for my non horror friends as its just awesome and timely.

    Maybe Zombi 2's gore is a bit much...but Zombi vs Shark!!!!

  3. I had a non-horror fan friend ask me about this. I said, well, what horror movies do you like, so I'll know what to recommend? He was like, oh, you know, The Haunting and the House on Haunted Hill from the 90s. After I stopped laughing I told him I would be taking him to see Evil Dead when it plays at a midnight show this weekend.

  4. @ jaded viewer
    Zombie and most of Fulci's movies can be described as repellent. They remind me of the Troma films: fun set ups, good gore, camp all around, but nasty disposition. Go easier on non horror fans IF you want them to have a good time. In that same breath I wouldn't recommend The Shinning to anyone uninterested in the supernatural. My picks are what have become "good 'ol stand by's" like Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, and especially Re-Animator!

  5. haha, I'm glad you decided to go for the gut with your pick

  6. Army Of Darkness usually does the trick. Who could resist that zaniness?

  7. No doubt the horror comedy is the way to go. @David P. I think Zombi 2 is an unintentional horror comedy but 80s Italian gore might be too much...but zombie vs shark will have them on the floor.

    Can't complain about everybody elses choices. Army, Re-Animator all are solid horror comedies

    People have been asking me about Paranormal Activity and though I liked the first one, its popcorn digestable Hollywood fluff. Not really memorable...hey at least it isn't in 3D.

  8. My fiance does not like horror movies but I have been working on her. The first too I got her to watch were Shaun of the Dead and Monster Squad. I think those are fun jumping off points.

  9. I always tend to err on the side of caution ... classics like Les Yeux Sans Visage or something comedy horror like Creepshow or AWIL.

  10. Good tips. Although sometimes I think horror films with a comedic, light tone are better than straight out horror comedies. This is because half of the time, they don't get the jokes because they are too referential to the genre. Things like The Lost Boys or Monster Squad are good, cause their humor doesn't rely on inside jokes.