10 Horror Movies that Should be Taught in Film School

10 Horror Movies that Should be Taught in Film School

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I’m Sareesh Sudhakaran and in this video
I’ll share 10 horror films that I think should be mandatory viewing in film schools
worldwide. Even though many directors have had their start with low budget horror, it’s
amazing how many film schools ignore it. First, this is not a top ten list of all-time
horror movies. It’s limited to what I’ve seen and like. So go easy on the comments.
There might be some spoilers, though I’ll try to limit them. Let’s start with some ground rules. Film
students are poor people, after the tuition that has gone into studying the art form you
hardly have any money left to practice it. Therefore, the films must be low budget, preferably
in a single or generic location accessible to anyone, no expensive production design
or costumes, or visual effects. It should be doable with a small crew. It goes without
saying, it must scare the crap out of the audience, but also look great. So no found
footage stuff, no artsy stuff nobody would pay to watch, no gimmicky movies where the
filmmakers got lucky because their cool idea fell through a crack in space-time. Study
something that you can practically repeat. And finally; no gore. The idea is to scare,
not repulse. Thought-provoking, guys; not thorough puking. The movies and filmmakers
I’ve chosen are in the best traditions of horror. Number 10, I’m going to pay homage to the
Ramsay brothers in India. There are many Ramsay classics, but my favorite, and the one that
scared me the most for whatever reason, is Purana Mandir, literally The Old Temple. This is a team of 7 brothers who made low
budget movies with a minimal crew. You might not find them scary today, but when I was
a kid growing up it scared the pants off me. They are an excellent example of economical
filmmaking, with consistent themes and plots, almost formulaic, but so what? So was Hitchcock.
The idea is to find a team that is disciplined enough to churn out films for an audience
thirsty for more. At Number 9 we have the godfather of many
horror sub genres, Mario Bava. My pick is Bay of Blood, which is probably one of the
first slasher films. His unapologetic style is unique and operatic,
and seriously, if you think Friday the 13th or It Follows is good horror, it’s time
for an upgrade. What makes memorable horror is a unique perspective, not a formulaic approach.
You can see for yourself how painstakingly each frame is designed and shot. When you
don’t have money as a poor filmmaker, you’d better have vision. At Number 8, Audition. For most of this movie,
you’d think you are in a different movie. Then it reveals itself. Audition for me draws
the fine line between gore and horror, so I’m not putting it here for the last scene,
but for the rest of the movie. It shows you how you can tell a unique story
in a non-traditional manner so audiences will talk about it. That’s one of the first requirements
of a hit movie. At Number 7, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
There are so many movies to choose at number 7, like Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Hills
have Eyes, and so on, but really, none of them are as unique as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For a movie that has Chainsaw in the title,
you’d be surprised there’s hardly any gore in it. Sheer terror awaits you, if you
haven’t seen it yet. At number 6, I have Exorcist III. What? No
Exorcist 1? Actually, I’d read the The Exorcist before watching the movie, and seriously,
the movie doesn’t do the book justice. But Exorcist III? Now that’s another thing entirely. How do you follow up to two Exorcist movies
and still come out with something unique and twisted? There are other movies I could have
put on here, like The Omen or The Shining or Don’t Look Now or Body Snatchers, but
none of them come close to this one in my book. Number 5, we go to the source, Nosferatu.
It is unimaginable how this film manages to retain its eeriness and horror after so many
years. That should be thing you should focus on. The creation of atmosphere, a time and
place that will remain forever. Number 4, Open Water. This isn’t an easy
movie to make, but if you can find the right combination of circumstances, cast and crew,
it should be one hell of a ride. Hitchcock made The Boat, director Chris Kentis took
the boat away. This is the movie Jaws would have been, without
the budget. My favorite slasher film isn’t on this list,
but my second favorite is at Number 3. Black Christmas is a must-see study in creating
a tense nerve-wracking claustrophobic atmosphere that ends with a bang. Go watch it now. Number 2. What could be more gut-wrenching
than Black Christmas? There’s only one movie that will eat the insides of your soul. No
gore, pure class. Spoorloos. Nothing will prepare you for the finale. You think I’m
spoiling it by hyping it up? You have no idea. Go see what pure evil looks like. Number 1. Nothing has inspired me more, and
nothing is as well-documented as the struggle to create The Night of the Living Dead. There’s
a book about it, and the struggle these filmmakers went through to complete the movie, have a
great hit, and still not make any money, is epic. If there was a temple of filmmaking,
the study of Night of the Living Dead would be the bible. It is the truth about indie
filmmaking to its very core. I hope you’ve enjoyed this list, and will
take the time to at least watch these movies once. For the sake of closure, if you want
to know what I consider the greatest horror film ever made, in every way, then it has
to be Ridley Scott’s Alien. He had a much bigger budget, but he used it on all the right
things. That’s a lesson in itself. If you want a list of movies I didn’t add
here with reasons as to why they are not on this list, you’ll find them on Patreon. Do you think I’ve missed out on any movie?
Let me know in the comments below. Please hit the like button. Like right now.


  1. You could've picked movies in general, but you chose a certain genre (Kudos for that) and out of all that genres out there you picked Horror! That's why i love you

  2. Takashi Miike makes the most violent movies, his ichi,imprint,audition are extreme movies, my favourite horror would be The shining.BTW have you seen "Come and See(1985)" by Elem Klimov? it is more scary than all of the mentioned movies

  3. What are you talking about? Comparison of the book with the film? It's so stupid, lol. The book and the cinema have nothing in common. These are two different kinds of art,where film can only borrow story or plot.

  4. Ohh boy,you have surprised me at Exorcist III and thanks for A Bay of Blood but how did you like It Comes at Night 2017?

  5. I would say It Comes At Night does a great job of creating horror and tension without ever revealing what happens or what is going on. To me, few films can do it so well.

    Glad Night of The Living Dead is on here.

  6. Until now I thought YOU were intelligent person…Horror Movies Should be Taught in Film School….. Are you mad or stupid …????

  7. Great video. After watching this you should do a video on Dean Cundey. Lot of what you said here applies to his early work with John Carpenter.

  8. WOLFCROW, I love you videos. I must know: what is your favorite slasher film of all time?????? You said Black Christmas is your second fave.

  9. Watch [REC]. Spanish film with some gore, but ultimately suspense-centered. It's the best horror film of the last two decades.

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