Originally Posted by ahollis ../..
I prefer a horror film with less gore and more on scaring you with acting, directing and cinematography. Two of the scariest films around are The Haunting (1963) and The Innocents (1961). The Uninvited (1944) leaves you with an eerie feeling also. Of the 70's films, the original Halloween is pretty scary film and the blood is at a minimum and also the same with The Omen (1976). While I dearly love the original Friday 13th and the next two sequels that followed, this was the beginning of the mainstream Horror/Gore film. The Herschell Gordon Lewis films of the 60's were, IMHO, not horror films, but gory, bloody films to shock the viewer and were great Drive-In programmers. Nothing like a double feature of Two Thousand Maniacs and Blood Feast. Just add Color Me Blood Red and you go a weekend winner at the ozoner. And the concession stand did huge business even with the blood splattering the screen.
Have never heard of The Uninvited
(1964). Ray Milland being in the cast is an incentive to see it. The only other recognisable name in the cast (to me) is Alan Napier (Alfred the butler in the 60's TV series Batman).
A horror film not using much gore and one using a lot of the tomato sauce can both be effective. Films which don't use as much gore, combined with acting, cinematography, lighting and writing can make for very effective scares and atmosphere. Some franchise horror films may not always have the best of scripts, but (and maybe I'm being biased) the makers of these films do tick all the right boxes when it comes to a creating a scary atmosphere and setting, even with daylight scenes
(example being the killing of Ned in Friday the 13th (1980).
Having that eerie feeling helps a lot to create an effective horror film with not much gore. And the sense of foreboding, where you know something bad is afoot, but you can't quite put your finger on it, is another ingredient for an effective horror movie.
(1978) is perfect example of a horror film using the fear of shadows and suspense (the thought of not knowing where Michael Myers is, with the supernatural edge, makes the film a near perfect 10 out of 10 for me). A horror film need not have a lot of gore, when you can have a score/soundtrack which adds to the eerie atmosphere and mood of the setting.
Friday the 13th Part 2
(1981) upped the amount of gore on the first film. Have seen the 1980 original a few times, but this and the next nine films in the original series of Friday the 13th films not so much. That's not because I dislike the films, but because some films need to be savoured like a fine wine (you might think this is strange for a horror film or a B-movie picture, compared to a film in the drama genre). Have this thought that if I watch a horror film (either a gore-less or a gory horror film) too many times I'll get fed up of them. Yet if I see Friday the 13th (1980) in the TCM listings, will watch some of the film.
Don't think I've seen any Herschell Gordon Lewis films but Two Thousand Maniacs
(1964) (looking at it's IMDb synopsis it does sound rather good) and Blood Feast
(1963) ring a bell. Were the William Castle films, including those in the Region 1 boxset, particularly gory? Definitely going to get the set at some point, but I like to read people's comments on horror films I've not seen.