There’s a lot of interest in 60s horror for a lot of people since it’s one of the decades that helped to revolutionize the genre in a lot of ways. But another great part about this decade is that there was a great deal of imagery that took place and tended to build up the story in a big way. Sometimes it worked, other times it kind of fell flat, but the whole idea is that the director was in fact telling a story and not just going for the same shock value that many horror movies try to use today. The narratives that were used back then were a bit lengthy at times and kind of convoluted now and again but they did manage to convey a lot of meaning that today’s audience doesn’t always appreciate or find the time to enjoy. That being said though, 60s horror movies were, a lot of times, more cerebral in nature than anything and as a result tended to be far less gory in some instances. But in others they managed to tell the story while getting down and dirty.
Here are a few of the best horror movies from the 60s.
5. The Birds
Without any doubt Alfred Hitchcock knew how to tell a story unlike anyone else and he could entertain the people in a way that sent chills down one’s spine even as the audience leaned forward to take it all in. Just think about how many birds there are in the world and what might happen if they descended upon one little town without mercy. The press would no doubt seek to demolish pretty much anything that stood in their way since in horror movies once a target is selected the antagonists are going to do whatever it takes to get to that target and eliminate it. When you’re using a swarm of birds from different species you’re bound to scare the living hell out of whoever is watching, and get them to have a newfound respect for our avian neighbors.
4. The Pit and the Pendulum
When it’s Vincent Price you simply know it’s going to be twisted. The man was as much the master of the horror movie as Alfred Hitchcock was the teller of stories. His laugh, his look, and his overall demeanor were just insanely scary and you couldn’t help but cringe upon listening to him. But he was a great actor and someone that deserved a lot of respect since adhering to Edgar Allen Poe’s classic tale was easy enough, but providing the kind of delivery that would allow people to believe that he was utterly mad was something that set him apart from many other individuals in the business.
3. Rosemary’s Baby
When things are going too good to be true the answer to that is that it probably is too good. When Rosemary and Guy decide they want a child it seems to be the best idea in the world, at least until a pact is struck that Rosemary knows nothing about since she’s carrying a child that’s half-human and half-devil. The terrifying part about this movie though isn’t so much that she’s essentially been raped by a supernatural being, which is horrible enough to think about, but that she does eventually get with the program and rocks her child with a small smile on her face, seemingly content to be raising the son of the devil.
2. Night of the Living Dead
Every last zombie enthusiast out there should be able to admit that this movie is one of the first and most important among zombie movies that needs to be firmly recognized as having highlighted the idea of the dead rising from the grave in mass numbers and with only one thing on their mind, to feed. Every zombie movie that’s come after this one has been slightly different and has been tailored for the era and even the audience, but this was the one that created the bar that many had to get past in order to really be considered a true horror movie and not just some cheesy pretender to the title.
For many people there is only one Psycho that matters and this is it. After all this is the one that gave people nightmares and turned a simple thing such as a shower curtain into a tool behind which to hide for maniacal murderers. To think that Alfred Hitchcock took a small motel and a simple story and turned it into such an iconic movie isn’t too hard to believe since he’s done it before and he did it many times before his passing. But Norman Bates was definitely a special case since he was the type of guy that you’d have to wonder about whether he was smiling at you or not.
60s horror movies were definitely on their way to becoming something uniquely terrifying.