For over a hundred years now horror films have touched the lives of people all over the world. No matter the place or background, people are drawn towards these visual stories that are meant to touch their deepest fears. For me in particular, horror films became a fun outlet that stretched its legs most in the month of October. Here in the United States we celebrate Halloween on October 31st, and all things spooky and macabre are brought forth for the duration of the month. This used to be the main season during which I could watch horror movies, due to the fact they were being shown on TV for the holiday season. Whatever I watched or found was solely based on what the TV channels had the rights to play each year. If they didn’t play a particular movie, I was out of luck.
Nowadays we have all sorts of streaming services that allow us to have instant access to all kinds of films. And although this is quite convenient, it still depends on the streaming service having the rights to play them. How do they decide what gets played and what doesn’t? It’s all about popularity. The most popular films always show up each year, being re-binged and introduced to new generations. So, what happens to all of those films that aren’t as popular but are still amazing? They end up being lost to time. Most can still be found on DVD, but even today those DVDs are in lower and lower demand. This cold, dark season, Media Services would like to highlight the horror films in our collection that are very hard to get hold of elsewhere. We want to do our part to ensure that their value and viewership are not lost to time.
Dead Alive is a 1992 New Zealand film made by Peter Jackson, before he became internationally famous as the director of the Lord of The Rings trilogy. In New Zealand, it was released under the title Braindead, but due to existence in the US of a film with a similar title, it was changed to Dead Alive for release here. The film is one of the goriest ever created and was just recently added to our collection. The plot follows an adult “mama’s boy” character who is brought together by fate with the love of his life. However, things get complicated when his overbearing mother is bitten by a rat-monkey with a very sinister disease.
Suspiria is a horror film made by famous Italian director Dario Argento. Although a remake of the title has recently released, the original is much harder to find. The film is not only very creepy with its constant whispering soundtrack, but it also has some of the most stunning lighting, cinematography, and set design. The film follows a young woman who travels overseas to a very famous German ballet school. Things become obviously wrong, however, once the school becomes connected to a series of grisly murders.
Cannibal Holocaust is a 1980 Italian Horror film by Ruggero Deodato. The film’s lack of availability is most likely due to its controversy upon release. The gory effects used in the movie were so appalling at the time that the director himself was put on trial, as it was believed that the murders of the characters were in fact real. The actors themselves had to come forward just to prove they were still living, but the film was still widely banned. The plot follows a professor out in the jungle who stumbles upon found footage of a group of people who were attacked by cannibals.
Don’t Look Now is a 1973 American horror film that features Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in the lead roles. It’s well known for its excellent use of editing that not only pushes the narrative but also makes the viewer question reality. Although the film was critically praised, the film is often lost in the mix of 70s-era films trying to capitalize on Alfred Hitchcock’s style. The plot follows a husband and wife who try to get a fresh start after the death of their daughter. However, Donald Sutherland’s character quickly starts to witness strange instances where it seems that she may be alive after all.
Student blogger Andrew Hartman has worked at Media Services since December of 2021. He is currently studying Cinematic Arts at the IU Media School, and is specializing in screenwriting and the horror genre.