Let’s revisit the 90’s, where we’ll encounter some of the greatest horror films/shows.
One of my favorite shows to watch growing up was The Twilight Zone. I still get chills watching reruns, but it’s not because of those cheesy effects.
I think it was just the craziness of the ideas that started to get me over-thinking everything. The Twilight Zone was the OG of sci-fi, for me. It got me pondering the deep questions, some darker than others. What if there were aliens observed us as we observed animals for entertainment? What if we’re all jacked up to some machine that’s placing us in this environment we know as Earth? That’s the Matrix summed up right there. Anyways, I remember how the show tended to target the deeper elements of humanity, and all the worries of society and such. One of the earliest episodes that got me hooked was “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”, and its theme was solely that humans will destroy themselves. Paranoia and panic were worse than firearms could ever be. That’s some deep stuff right there. “It’s a Good Life” introduced that freaky little kid whose looks were deceiving, who established a superhuman dictatorship. “The Dummy” introduced creepy dolls that tried to take over humans. “Nick of Time” (HEY, KIRK!) emphasizes how humans should take control of their future, and not let their fate dominate what they want. All in all, this was one of my most influential shows that I had ever watched.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) was pretty great. I was really enjoying the themes of the movie, and again, the ideas behind it were extremely fun to imagine and analyze. Similar to Maple Street, it explored the darker side of humanity, with betrayal, paranoia, etc. And zombies. Can’t not love the zombies. I got really into it, up until the end, which was just like Whaaaaaaaaaat? It was named a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film by the Library of Congress, which means that much more. It kinda annoys me how the rest of the humans will never know Ben’s side of the story. They’ll just view him as a zombie they shot down. However, I do like that the story centers on one location, and doesn’t really introduce the world until the end. The remake in 1990 left the ending less arbitrary, with the main character surviving.
The Invisible Man (movie, 1933) shows how the main character can go mad, and cross the line between hero and villain, ultimately repenting in the last scene or so. This is also, kind of, my first mad scientist experience, which really allowed me to take a different approach to how they committed to their work, and were good in the end. It introduced the idea of how all villains make themselves out to be the hero of their own story. I had previously just believed that there was a strict line between the good guy and the bad guy. That blurred line really set the stage for future movies. The descension into madness also helps out, making it feel less like it’s the main character’s fault.
The Invisible Man Returns, which is sort of a sequel to it, takes a different approach towards the main character, starting off with him being sentenced to death for a murder. Vincent Price is an amazing actor in it, and in pretty much all of his movies. The Invisible Man, just like Night of the Living Dead, was named a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film by the Library of Congress.
The Last Man on Earth (1964) was also one of those “only human on Earth” horror films, which always freaks me out.
Maybe it’s the inevitable loss of sanity, or just the loneliness of having no one to share life with, which we’ve all considered.
It’s a vampire film, with the vampires having a less intelligent, zombie-like feel to them. By night, he hides in his house, barricading all doors. By day, he is A VAMPIRE HUNTER. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN.
The main character has immunity (because of a bat bite apparently), which could be viewed as either a benefit or a punishment. I especially liked the part where he had to kill his dog, to save himself. Well, I don’t like-like it, but I like that it was sad. I didn’t really like that it was sad, but I liked that it made me sad? Uh, yeah. The introduction of the half-infected people was a nice twist on the movie, and as the main character began to hate them, so did I. The half-infected remind me of the paranoia factor once more, where the mob goes wild and begins to tear apart anything in their way. It’s creepy enough that the mob is trying to eat you and tear you limb from limb, but it’s worse when they can actually think for themselves and operate with weapons. Yeesh. The remakes were The Omega Man and I Am Legend. The Omega Man kind of has the same premise, but with a more hopeful ending. I Am Legend is great, with the exception of those CG zombies, which were meh. That ending is also kind of saddening, but I get why it needed to be done.
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