As a small child one of the first emotions we express is fear. Fear of the dark, afraid to look under our bed, and fear of the unknown is not only terrifying but exhilarating.
The horror movies of today have evolved in that earlier horror flicks contained much less blood and gore. One of the classics, 'House on Haunted Hill' starring Vincent Price debuted in 1959 and terrified audiences without showing any gory details. Instead, the director played on our fear and let the audience use their own imagination. The master of horror Alfred Hitchcock knew how to manipulate and shock his audience by merely using camera angles and special lighting, creating eerie shots of terror that panned in and out quickly on his subjects. Who can forget the original 'Psycho'(1960) or 'The Birds' (1963) they are still horrifying to watch.
I've just mentioned a very small fraction of yesterdays classics, but I think you get the idea. In 1999 M. Night Shyamalan Sixth Sense debuted and received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. Although Shyamalan opted to include a few explicit scenes of gore, but for only minor seconds, it still possessed much of the same elements as its counter classics. The same classic style of the past can be said about M. Night Shyamalan's 2001 'The Others'.
Again I've mentioned just a few of what I personally feel will stand the test of time as far as horror classics go. I remember the first time I saw the original 'Halloween' it was 1978 and just into a few minutes of the movie I was hooked. John Carpenter used our childhood fear of the boogyman, and one of the most celebrated holidays of the year to entice our underlying insecurities in the fear of the unknown and the supernatural. I was hooked! But I must say and I think many would agree, the director could have left out much of the slice and dice scenes, and it would have still been a terrifying horror flick.
Oh well, each to their own. One thing for sure there are plenty of horror flicks to choose from, and with such an enormous variety one is sure to find their favorite.