H Is For Horror

By Jake Smith


If M is for Murder, then H must be for Horror right?
 
Here at Raindance we have devised a Top 10 Films list that begins with the infamous letter for you to peruse this weekend, don’t worry Harry Brown doesn’t feature..

Hallowe'en1.Halloween (1978)

Directed by John Carpenter
On Halloween 1963, the small town of Haddonfield is shocked when six-year-old Michael Myers returns from trick-or-treating and for some unknown reason stabs his older sister to death with a big kitchen knife and is found by his parents staring into space with the bloody knife in his hand. Sent to a mental institution, Michael spends the next 15 years just sitting, still staring into space despite the best efforts of his Doctor, Dr. Samuel Loomis. Now, on October 30th 1978, something triggers Michael off and during a storm manages to steal a car from Dr. Loomis and Nurse Marion (who was coming to take Michael to a court to keep him locked up) and goes back to Haddonfield where he steals a white mask, let the screams commence!
 
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The HAunting2.The Haunting (1963)

Directed by Robert Wise
Hill House has an evil history with tragic accidents, suicide, and human misjudgement. Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson) is a pyschic researcher who assembles a group with histories linked to the paranormal. Eleanor (Julie Harris) was the subject of unexplained poltergeist activities as a child. She also is riddled with guilt over her mother's death. Theadora (Claire Bloom) is a clairvoyant who befriends Eleanor at Hill House. Hill House tests their wits and their own insecurities. Director Robert Wise created a taut drama where the real question is who is haunted and who may be unstable.
 
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Hellraiser3.Hellraiser (1987)

Directed by Clive Barker
I can’t remember hearing the word ‘Cenobite’ before, but after watching Clive Barker’s directorial debut you know it may bring a new meaning to the word ‘nightmare’. The story goes Somewhere in Morocco, a man named Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) buys an antique puzzle box from a dealer. Back at his house Frank solves the puzzle box and hooked chains immediately fly out of it, tearing into his flesh. Demons from another world called Cenobites appear to inspect Frank's remains. Their leader, "Pinhead" (Doug Bradley), picks up the box and twists it back into its original state, and the room immediately returns to normal - but with Frank nowhere to be found, Frank’s brother and family move in to the house and its not long before the box appears again.
 
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The Hills Have Eyes4.The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Directed by Wes Craven
Most of the films on this list are dated, but we prefer to side with the idea or new take on an existing genre at Raindance. Wes Craven’s 1977 film set conventions that horror writers still follow today; Isolation, Unfamiliar Terrain, Outnumbered, Deranged Hillbilly’s.
When told to stay on the beaten track, retired cop ‘Big Bob’ (Russ Grieve) knows best and unwittingly leads his family into a world they could only imagine. Craven provoked controversy with Rape, Murder and of course Cannibalism in one of the genre defining films of the 70’s.  
 
This film was notoriously made on a low budget. Learn grerat tips on how to go about launching your own movie defining low to no budget film.

The Hitcher 5.The Hitcher (1986)

Directed by Robert Harmon
A portion of horror films has a sole Predator and a chase scenario. From an analytical point of view (Stroking my brow), this film can be likened to Jaws or Halloween.
Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell), a young man delivering a car from Chicago to San Diego, spots a man hitchhiking and gives him a ride. The man, John Ryder (Rutger Hauer), is a brooding, soft spoken man; when Jim passes a stranded car, however, Ryder's personality suddenly shifts. Ryder calmly states that the reason the car is stranded is because he murdered and mutilated the driver, and he intends to do the same to Jim. Ryder produces a switchblade knife and taunts Jim for several moments before Jim realizes Ryder had never put on his seat belt and that the car door was left ajar, so he knocks him out of the car's passenger door. Thinking its all over? Things go from bad to worse for Jim.
 

Hannibal 6.Hannibal (2001)

Directed by Ridley Scott
The films involving Hannibal Lector are simply hit and miss, but it should be accepted he is one of the true legendary ‘baddies’.
Part four in the Hannibal Lector Quadrilogy. Having escaped the asylum in "Silence of the Lambs," Dr Lector goes into hiding in Florence, Italy. Back in America, Mason Verger, an old victim of the doctor's, seeks revenge. Disfigured and confined to a life-support system, he plans to draw Lector out of his hiding place, using the one thing he truly cares for: Clarice Starling. Be sure to catch Manhunter (1986)!
 

House of a 1000 Corpses 7.House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

Directed by Rob Zombie
As far from ‘original’ as you can get, other than some of the Halloween sequels, this is on the list to show what you can do with an existing and possibly exhausted scenario. Rob Zombie shows good plot points and characters with the best thing being the dialogue.
In "House of 1000 Corpses", two young couples take a misguided tour onto the back roads of America in search of a local legend known as Dr. Satan. Lost and stranded, they are set upon by a bizarre family of psychotics. Need I say more?
 
Rob Zombie must know his way round a screenwriter’s book. Why not try out our screenwriting classes to see how he did it.

Hard Candy 8.Hard Candy (2005)

Directed by David Slade
Provocative, controversial and begins with H. Hard Candy hits pretty hard with good performances from Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page. It leaves you with the impression of: Well, who do I feel sorry for..?
With castration on the cards when hiring from Blockbuster be prepared to look away occasionally!
For three weeks, 14-year-old Hayley Stark has been chatting on-line with 'Lensmaster319', a 32-year old fashion photographer, named Jeff. The two agree to meet at a coffee shop, where their relationship is uncertain from the get go.
 
Directing performance is one of the things that can make or break your film, as Hard Candy shows. At Raindance we teach filmmakers how to get the best out of their actors.

Hostel 9.Hostel (2005)

Directed by Eli Roth
Hostel is sure to make you glad that you didn’t take that lads holliday to Eastern Europe and its not all bad sitting at home eating Wotsits.
While backpacking through Europe, college students Paxton and Josh seek the ultimate vacation through sex, drugs and unforgettable experiences. When a friendly stranger informs the two of a hostel in Bratislava that offers the most beautiful and promiscuous women in all of Europe, Paxton and Derek trek with their new Icelandic friend Oli to find the hostel that sounds too good to be true. When arriving to Bratislava, the trio found that the hostel was everything and more of what they expected. The events that follow are sure to deliver the unforgettable vacation that the two were looking for.
 
Tarantino spotted a winner and helped produce this blockbuster. If you think you may be onto a winning idea, why not produce it. We have a Producer's Foundation Certificate that can get the ball rolling.

House of Wax10.House of Wax (1953)

Directed by Andre de Toth
A blast from the past, not staring Paris Hilton. House of Wax
A sculptor of wax figures for a museum is horrified when his partner proposes setting fire to the unpopular museum in order to collect the insurance money. As the wax figures melt amid the blaze, the two men have a fight. The sculptor is knocked out in the scuffle and left to "perish" among the flames. He resurfaces many years later for the launch of his own wax museum. The opening coincides with the sudden disappearance of some dead bodies from the city morgue. His assistant begins to suspect his boss of foul play, especially after the deranged wizard of wax begins eyeing his assistant's lovely girlfriend's friend as a model for a waxed figure of Marie Antoinette..
 
Take a look at the date 1953. Basically Cinematography has come on leaps and bounds, but the essentials remain the same. We can teach you what you need about Basic Cinematography to know to get shooting.
 
So here are 10 Horror films likely to make you think twice about buying a strange antique cube from a 14-year-old hitchhiker on an off road in Easter Europe!
 
It may however interest you into how these filmmakers have made these films and making something of your own.

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About The Author


Jake SmithJake is born and bred in London and is currently studying Film Production at University.
 
He loves to watch and make films and is in the process of launching a Production company and writing his first feature horror film.

He is presently interning at Raindance.

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H Is For Horror Movies