Shudder has a great selection of ’70s horror films, including Halloween and Dario Argento’s imagination.
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For many, the 1970s were the era of the horror film as a genre. As a result of the end of the Vietnam War and subsequent cultural malaise, this decade was a difficult one for many people. A significantly more gritty and violent tone was adopted in 1970s films than in their “classical” 1960s counterparts.
The horror genre was greatly benefited by this. The tone of the films was more menacing, the subject matter more unpleasant, and the violence more overt than ever before. The horror genre as we know it today has its origins in the ’70s in many situations. If you’re a Shudder user, you’ll be able to stream several of these vintage flicks.
1. Black Christmas (1974)
The slasher genre was born in this film. When Black Christmas was released in 1974, it changed the way that horror movies were filmed and spawned other copycat slasher films.
The film’s basic plot (a scary guy kills sorority sisters in their house at Christmas) and timeless Christmas atmosphere have made it a modern classic (like shooting through the POV of the killer). This is a classic film that should be watched by as many people as possible.
2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Black Christmas, for some, was the beginning of the slasher genre. Others referred to it as the “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” instead. When it comes to horror, this is one of the most intriguing stories ever put on film, and the title alone is enough to scare away potential viewers.
In addition to introducing Leatherface to horror fans, the film was instrumental in establishing the slasher genre. When it comes to its costume design, the distant rural environment and even its violence, it still has the capacity to terrify.
3. Halloween (1978)
Halloween is a slasher’s dream come true. Unlike Black Christmas and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween refined and presented the genre to the general public.
However, this is only because it has been replicated so many times that its DNA is embedded in the slasher genre’s DNA. All of cinema’s greatest slasher film series have their roots in Halloween.
4. Carrie (1976)
Carrie is unquestionably one of Stephen King’s scariest human villains. On her high school prom night, Carrie is fed up with being tormented and vows to take vengeance on the entire student population.
Carrie is a classic horror picture with timeless themes that are as important today as they were when it was released 40 years ago. Director Brian De Palma’s style is evident in the numerous split screens and unsettling closeup shots that feature Sisy Spacek’s huge eyes.
5. Phantasm (1979)
A horror film cult classic, Phantasm was released in 1979 and is known today for its strange tale and famous villain, The Tall Man. The word “phantasm” perfectly conveys the idea of a child’s overactive imagination.
When I was a kid, everyone was afraid of that one area and thought it was hiding a fatal secret. The Tall Man and his deadly sphere help keep things gory and frightening in Phantasm, which is beautifully nostalgic in its references to childhood experiences.
6. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Wes Craven is one of the best horror directors of all time, and The Hills Have Eyes is one of his greatest works. To put it another way, the film is clearly “outdated” and low-budget compared to its far more expensive remake. Returning to the original after seeing the remake can be intimidating, but it’s well worth the effort.
In The Hills Have Eyes, Craven is at his best, delivering a compelling setting and a clever blend of horror and humor that keeps the film fresh. Plus, Michael Berryman as Pluto is unbeatable.
7. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
The remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is unquestionably one of the greatest horror films ever created.. As a remake of the 1956 original, it surpasses its predecessor in both quality and cultural significance.
The film’s shock conclusion is one of the best ever seen, and Donald Sutherland’s Matthew Bennell is a treat to see. When it comes to science fiction horror, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an excellent example of the genre.
8. Piranha (1978)
Jaws was a huge hit in the 1970s and spawned a flood of copycats, both genuine and ludicrous. Piranha is an example of the former. ‘ Never taking itself too seriously, the film makes sarcastic, self-aware jokes at the audience’s expense.
If you like B-movies, you’ll enjoy this one, but if you don’t like B-movies, you won’t enjoy it. This is one of the most well-known of the numerous Jaws ripoffs, and Spielberg personally complimented the picture.
9. Horror Express (1972)
’70s horror classic Horror Express is a sci-fi horror film from Spain. On a train, Horror Express tells the story of a group of people who find themselves being stalked by a frightening beast.
To be fair, it isn’t all that original, but it has a lot of interesting themes and an original monster. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, two of cinema’s greatest actors, are on hand to keep things from going ridiculous.
10. Deep Red (1975)
Deep Red is one of Dario Argento’s greatest works in the Italian Giallo genre. In addition to being one of the most important examples of the Giallo genre, it’s also one of the greatest horror films of all time. Luigi Kuveiller’s camerawork is really impressive in this picture.
Giallo films are known for their bloody violence, but this one has a surprisingly intricate tale that is far more interesting than most of its contemporaries. Deep Red is the only Dario Argento film that everyone should watch if they only have time for one.