Flavorwire’s 50 Essential Horror Films, Part 3

As Halloween draws near, you’ll undoubtedly see dozens of lists analyzing the scariest, goriest, and even the funniest of horror films. Nostalgia surrounding the spooky holiday conjures a breathless excitement to seek and share the movies that toy with our deep-seated fears. If you’re new to the horror genre, we don’t want you to feel left out of the fun. We’ve created a list of 50 essential films that will educate and entertain you all month long. Each week, we’ll be counting down to number one and exploring a breadth of titles. Whether you’re looking for a creepy tale to watch on Halloween night, or you’re interested in honing your horror knowledge, check out the second installment in our must-see movies below. Then, catch up with parts one and two. Continue to part four and the top ten.

30. Scream

In 1996, Wes Craven’s Scream reinvigorated and redefined horror cinema for a new generation. The film’s intense opening death sequence quickly made one thing clear: anyone could die — even the film’s top-billed actress, Drew Barrymore. Scream reads like a typical slasher movie, with a host of teen bodies being gruesomely dispatched by a masked killer. The beauty of Kevin Williamson’s script, however, is in his deconstruction of the genre. The writer and director created a self-aware parody that lovingly pokes at horror film tropes. The cast essentially knows they’re in a movie and is sure to do all the wrong things: party, have sex, and explore strange noises alone. The postmodern approach created clever and genuinely suspenseful moments. Scream made us see predictable horror movie conventions in a fresh, new light, allowing us to find a new appreciation for scary cinema.