Things are pretty scary right now with everything that is currently happening in the world and we’re all looking for some sort of distraction to get our minds off it, even just for a little while. Instead of doomscrolling social media, why not get scared about something outrageous as opposed to something all too real?
Horror movies aren’t simple, escapist fare, though. In fact, they are pretty inscrutable: Character motivations rarely make much sense, and what are those monsters even doing anyway? What media scholars call “intertextuality” — how works of art refer to other works of art to give them meaning in specific contexts — is important for understanding horror, in that some of these movies simply don’t make sense unless you’ve seen the ones that came before them.
If that’s the case: What are the movies you have to watch for more modern films to be legible? We’ve put together a list of 10 of the most essential horror movies ever made, and justifications for their cultural relevance. Get ready to scream.
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