More about this Supernatural Horror blog
Supernatural and psychological horror movies are where the real scares are – at least for this longtime horror movie aficionado. When a director, cast, and crew work together to create a frightening supernatural horror film that actually gives me the creeps, then they have succeeded. Too bad most horror movies are little more than rubbish.
Favorite horror themes
What horror themes do I personally find to be truly scary? Here are a few of the horror movie tropes that are most likely to produce the chilling effects I look for in my supernatural horror:
- Inanimate objects that move by themselves. Rocking chairs, wheelchairs, etc. – I couldn’t tell you exactly why, but this category truly has the potential to really scare me, if it’s done properly
- Inanimate humanoid forms. Mannequins, ventriloquism dummies, dolls, and dressmaker dummies – even clothing hanged just so, or arranged in certain ways
- Haunted houses
- Poltergeists; unseen forces
- Unknown noises in the house at night
- Religiously themed, "evil" horror
- Psychological horror, dread
- Resurrection, undead, walking dead
The words I look for in horror movie reviews include: creepy, atmospheric…
There are already plenty of horror sites and blogs out there of varying quality, so the decision to create this particular horror blog was not a serious one. It is obviously not something I spend a lot of time with – compared to my other writing projects, at least. This supernatural horror movie blog is probably never going to approach the quality of Horror Movie a Day or They’re Coming in terms of insightful comments about every horror movie I watch; you won’t read here the latest news in supernatural horror.
As a voracious writer, list maker, documentation enthusiast, and researcher, what I have in mind to create here is a comprehensively tagged record of supernatural and psychological horror movies I’ve seen – primarily, supernaturally themed horror films featuring things like haunted houses, ghosts, poltergeists (my all-time favorite entity of fright), Ouija board experimentation, exorcism, etc.
This is an experiment involving the categorization of horror movies using hundreds of tags – descriptive key words – which will allow horror movie fans to locate obscure horror movies relating to very specific key words and phrases. For instance, if you are looking for a supernatural horror movie that includes paranormal investigation, you’d just click on the paranormal investigation tag. A project like this would need to be fairly comprehensive before proving to be particularly helpful, so perhaps this blog will be increasingly useful to true fans of supernatural horror as time goes on and more movies are added. I hope to eventually implement certain search-related WordPress plugins and/ or other features which will assist readers in finding movie titles that fit very specific criteria.
Actually, the detailed fashion by which I’d planned to categorize horror movies is already being done to a certain extent on the AllRovi.com entertainment website; there, you’ll find highly detailed movie categories. What I’m referring to as tags, the Rovi website calls characteristics. For example, here are the characteristics for Tourist Trap (a 1979 paranormal horror movie representing the penultimate in creepy mannequin movies): Nightmare Vacations, Psychic Abilities, Haunted By The Past, Demon, Car, Auto, Couple, Dummy, and Desert.
The target audience for this blog obviously consists of those who think supernatural horror and/or psychological horror are the scariest sub-genres falling within the broad horror category. I’m not very interested in movies about psychotic killers, serial killers, or torturers – horror sub-genres which seemed to dominate horror movies on the big screen for so long (in the 80s, 90s).
I’m thrilled that the last decade or so has witnessed the comeback of supernatural horror! I believe the increasingly popular subject of paranormal investigation is at least partly responsible for the resurgence of supernatural horror as a dominant sub-genre of horror films these days. I also believe that Asian horror films have had a very positive influence on American horror.
I will sometimes include summaries, posters, screenshots from the movies, links to reviews, links to the relevant pages on IMDb (always the first site I visit to read about any movie) and Wikipedia, and my own opinions and observations about the horror movie. But I don’t have time to do this for every horror movie I watch.
So, in order to make this blog more useful more quickly (to bulk it up a little faster), I have decided to add a listing for every supernatural horror movie that I watch – and I watch a lot of ‘em – and tagging these entries with as many relevant, descriptive tags as possible. This way, horror movies will be listed here even when I’ve not taken the time to add descriptions, images, links, etc.
More supernatural horror movies will be added to this experimental blog if I do not wait around until I have time to write them up in detail. My hope is that this will eventually allow users to find horror movies in very specific horror sub-genres by clicking on the terms in the Tag Cloud (see upper right).
For example, if mannequins really creep you out, I hope clicking on the mannequin tag will reveal horror movies you’ve not already seen that include mannequins. Ditto for ventriloquist dummies, dressmaker dummies, poltergeists, the grim reaper, ghosts with a message, surveillance, scarecrows, dolls,and many other tags – including very narrow and specific ones.
Nailing down the main categories of horror films
I am still in the process of revising the categories for horror films. Until recently, there was no standard categorization, and some of the categories were also used as tags (descriptive terms for horror films), which helped make a mess of things.
Should I allow movies to be in multiple categories?
Here are the main categories used here to arrange horror movies:
Resources: Genres, sub-genres in horror films
Here are some resources that might be useful in the categorization of horror movies, themes, antagonists, etc.
- Horror films – Wikipedia
- Main film genres – FilmSite
- Horror films – FilmSite
- A Guide to Film Critique by Philip C. Congleton – Critics Corner
- Horror Move Sub-Genres – About Horror
From Wikipedia on horror films):
The term “horror movie” first appeared in the writings of critics and film industry commentators in response to the release of Universal’s Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein (1931), but has since been applied in retrospect to similar films from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Horror films deal with the viewer’s nightmares, hidden worst fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Although a good deal of it is about the supernatural, if some films contain a plot about morbidity, serial killers, a disease/virus outbreak and surrealism, they may be termed “horror”. Plots written within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, into the everyday world. Themes or elements often prevalent in typical horror films include ghosts, torture, gore, werewolves, ancient curses, satanism, demons, vicious animals, vampires, cannibals, haunted houses, zombies and serial killers. Conversely, stories of the supernatural are not necessarily always a horror movie as well. (Source: Wikipedia on horror films)