Horror Course: Extra Film Assignment

This fall I’m teaching an upper level course on horror film and literature for the first time.* In addition to what we watch and read as a class, I also want each student to watch one movie outside of class on his/her own and write about it. Students will also have the option to watch a second movie outside of class and write about it for extra credit.** To help keep things focused and to make sure students have a range of films to choose from that are significant to the genre for one reason or another and that they may not know about or choose on their own, I will be providing a list that they will choose from.***

With this list, I’m aiming for chronological coverage, international range, and representations of many subgenres of horror. So the list starts at the very beginning of film and ends with new releases; it includes not only American and British films but also films from several other nations (although it still leans mostly Anglophone); and it includes vampires, werewolves, zombies, body horror, slasher films, psychological horror, religious horror, ghost stories, as well as other subgenres.

I won’t put anything on the list that I won’t watch (so no Saw, for instance) or that I haven’t watched, and I haven’t seen all of these films yet (hello, summer project!), so the list may well change, but this is the list I’m currently working from.

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, dir. Robert Wiene (1920)
  • Nosferatu, dir. F. W. Murnau (1922)
  • Dracula, dir. Tod Browning (1931)
  • Frankenstein, dir. James Whale (1931)
  • Freaks, dir. Tod Browning (1932)
  • Cat People, dir. Jacques Tourneur (1942)
  • I Walked with a Zombie, dir. Jacques Tourneur (1943)
  • Gojira, dir. Ishirô Honda (1954)
  • Diabolique, dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot (1954)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers, dir. Don Siegel (1956)
  • House on Haunted Hill, dir. William Castle (1959)
  • Psycho, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
  • Eyes Without a Face, dir. Georges Franju (1960)
  • The Innocents, dir. Jack Clayton (1961)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, dir. Robert Aldrich (1962)
  • The Birds, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
  • Onibaba, dir. Kaneto Shindô (1964)
  • Repulsion, dir. Roman Polanski (1965)
  • Kill, Baby, Kill, dir. Mario Bava (1966)
  • Kuroneko, dir. Kaneto Shindo (1968)
  • The Last House on the Left, dir. Wes Craven (1972)
  • Deliverance, dir. John Boorman (1972)
  • The Exorcist, dir. William Friedkin (1973)
  • The Wicker Man, dir. Robin Hardy (1973)
  • Deathdream, dir. Bob Clark (1974)
  • Hausu (House), dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi (1977)
  • Carrie, dir. Brian De Palma (1976)
  • The Omen, dir. Richard Donner (1976)
  • Suspiria, dir. Dario Argento (1977)
  • The Hills Have Eyes, dir. Wes Craven (1977)
  • Dawn of the Dead, dir. George Romero (1978)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers, dir. Philip Kaufman (1978)
  • Alien, dir. Ridley Scott (1979)
  • Phantasm, dir. Don Coscarelli (1979)
  • Zombie, dir. Lucio Fulci (1979)
  • Nosferatu the Vampyre, dir. Werner Herzog (1979)
  • The Shining, dir. Stanley Kubrick (1980)
  • Friday the 13th, dir. Sean S. Cunningham (1980)
  • An American Werewolf in London, dir. John Landis (1981)
  • The Howling, dir. Joe Dante (1981)
  • The Evil Dead, dir. Sam Raimi (1981) or Evil Dead II (1987)
  • Poltergeist, dir. Tobe Hooper (1982)
  • The Thing, dir. John Carpenter (1982)
  • Videodrome, dir. David Cronenberg (1983)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street, dir. Wes Craven (1984)
  • Re-Animator, dir. Stuart Gordon (1985)
  • Blue Velvet, dir. David Lynch (1986)
  • Hellraiser, dir. Clive Barker (1987)
  • Near Dark, dir. Kathryn Bigelow (1987)
  • They Live, dir. John Carpenter (1988)
  • Santa Sangre, dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky (1989)
  • The Silence of the Lambs, dir. Jonathan Demme (1991)
  • Man Bites Dog, dir. Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, and Benoit Poelvoorde (1992)
  • Scream, dir. Wes Craven (1996)
  • Mimic, dir. Guillermo del Toro (1997)
  • The Blair Witch Project, dir. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez (1998)
  • Ringu, dir. Hideo Nakata (1998) or The Ring, dir. Gore Verbinski (2002)
  • Audition, dir. Takashi Miike (1999)
  • Ginger Snaps, dir. John Fawcett (2000)
  • The Devil’s Backbone, dir. Guillermo del Toro (2001)
  • Dagon, dir. Stuart Gordon (2001)
  • 28 Days Later, dir. Danny Boyle (2002)
  • A Tale of Two Sisters, dir. Kim Jee-woon (2003)
  • Willard, dir. Glen Morgan (2003)
  • Bubba Ho-Tep, dir. Don Coscarelli (2003)
  • Shaun of the Dead, dir. Edgar Wright (2004)
  • Dumplings, dir. Fruit Chan (2004)
  • The Call of Cthulhu, dir. Andrew Leman (2005)
  • The Descent, dir. Neil Marshall (2005)
  • Slither, dir. James Gunn (2006)
  • [REC], dir. Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (2007)
  • Let the Right One In, dir. Tomas Alfredson (2008)
  • Jennifer’s Body, dir. Karyn Kusama (2009)
  • Splice, dir. Vincenzo Natali (2009)
  • Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, dir. Eli Craig (2010)
  • Maniac, dir. Franck Khalfoun (2012)
  • Black Rock, dir. Katie Aselton (2012)
  • John Dies at the End, dir. Don Coscarelli (2012)
  • The Green Inferno, dir. Eli Roth (2013)
  • Creep, dir. Patrick Brice (2014)
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, dir. Ana Lily Amirpour (2014)
  • It Follows, dir. David Robert Mitchell (2015)
  • Spring, dir. Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson (2015)

Students will write a brief review of the film they watch as well as an analysis connecting the film to our discussions and the texts/films assigned in class that they can post to D2L for the rest of the class to see. They will present an argument for reading the film as horror (or not) to show their understanding of both the film and the genre. They may also discuss the movie’s response to debates within the genre (e.g., the place of women in horror).

I’ve still got time to watch more horror films this summer, so if anyone has suggestions for significant horror films that aren’t already on the list or for subgenres that have been neglected, please let me know!

Horror Poster*The syllabus is still under construction, but I’ll post it under Current & Future Courses when it’s finished, and I may write another post about the plan before the semester begins, too.
**The second movie must be approved by me to ensure students cover a variety of movies and don’t just stay in their comfort zone.
***I’ll let them go off-list if they propose something to me and make a solid argument for it.


1 thought on “Horror Course: Extra Film Assignment

  1. Pingback: Updated Horror Film Review List | Dr. Christy Tidwell

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