I love horror movies. And as a person who loves horror movies married to a person who pretty much hates them, I’ve had to find creative ways of indulging my genre of choice over the years. To the wife’s credit, she can tolerate the occasional horror flick, and she has no problem with me watching them — that just means it’s her reading time. That being said, I’ve occasionally managed to find a scary movie that even she could get behind. Seven immediately come to mind, and I will share them with you now, good reader.
Going by my own personal experience watching this with a non-horror person and discussing it later, this flick works because it’s suspenseful and well-acted and has one heck of a twist ending. The heroine isn’t your typical virgin teen either; it’s an imperfect mother haunted by grief who loves her two surviving children and wants to overcome her demons brought on by a stillborn birth. Deep, dramatic stuff.
Funny and fresh, the original Scream has a great cast and a compelling mystery at its heart while playing quite ingeniously with some of the dumber horror movie conventions. It’s because the movie expertly makes fun of the very reasons your loved one probably hates horror movies that this film works.
5. The Changeling
A college professor who lost his wife and child in a horrible accident buys a house that turns out to be haunted. Intriguing mystery and spine-chilling moments are sure to attract the attention spans of the most anti-horror crusader.
4. The Shining
The Shining — Stanley Kubrick’s version — is one of the creepiest films ever made. So what if Stephen King didn’t like it. Kubrick knew how to make King’s story get under your skin in a way that the author didn’t. (Just watch his blah mini-series remake.) Of course, it mostly works because of Jack Nicholson’s unhinged performance, and again, it’s a more complex family dynamic at work here. This film proves horror movies don’t have to be formulaic and repetitive.
3. Drag Me To Hell
Sam Raimi’s horror-comedy is essentially a PG-13 Evil Dead film. It packs in plenty of laughs and chills, while not overdoing it on the gore. The lead character is relatable and the ticking clock makes you want to keep watching to see how things turn out. This is also one of those rare horror movies that nails its ending. While it’s not as good as The Shining, The Changeling, or Orphan, it has more of what would appeal to a non-horror fan without boring you, the jaded body count enthusiast, to tears.
2. Psycho II
Such a creative way of continuing the series! Norman Bates, the killer from the first film, is now the good guy. (Kind of.) Still, there are bodies piling up, and he is the obvious suspect. But nothing is as it seems in this pot-boiler that manages to be contemporary in its jumps and shocks while paying loving tribute to the original.
You could definitely make the case that this isn’t a horror film. Too many laughs and action, not enough hide-your-eyes suspense. Still, zombies!
What great horror movies do you think a non-lover of the genre would like? Share your thoughts, film fans.
And for more scary fun, check out our 10 Best Halloween Themed Horror Movies.