My Top 3 Gore Horror Movies
It’s finally October, y’all!!!
October is my favorite month of the year for several reasons. My favorite colors (orange, green, and black) are everywhere. Ghosties and ghouls and spiderwebs litter the storefronts and suburbs. Pumpkins and pumpkin flavored treats are aplenty. My birthday and my mama’s birthday are towards the end of the month and are a week apart. And lastly, but most importantly, HALLOWEEN!!!
And while I watch (and rewatch) horror movies year-round, October is typically the only month that I can convince my less horror-inclined family and friends to watch them with me. And it’s always more fun to watch these films when surrounded by Halloween decor and goodies, and when the weather is crisp and the sky is extra spooky, right?
So every week for this glorious month, I’ll be breaking down my top 3 favorite movies in each horror subgenre: Gore, Monsters, Supernatural, Psychological, and Slasher. This week’s focus is…
Gore! So, without further ado…
Gore Movie #3:
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a bona fide classic and was (and still is) hugely influential to the horror genre. And, yes, it is technically a slasher film, but just bear with me.
I don’t remember what year I actually saw the Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time. I don’t remember how old I was or who I watched it with. And I’m sure there are several films from the franchise that I’ve never ever seen, so I wouldn’t consider myself an avid fan of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Leatherface franchise.
But I’ve watched the original film several times in at least the last decade and a half, and I watched it again for the upteenth time as I prepared to compile this list. And every time, my reaction to the movie is the same: it’s cinematically beautiful, but it’s also so weird and just plain gross.
I’m not squeamish to blood and gore doesn’t bother me, but I don’t usually prefer it and I tend to get bored. So there aren’t a lot of true gore movies that I’ve actually seen, since that’s the horror subgenre that least interests me. But the reason the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an exception is because the gore isn’t just buckets of blood and shredded bodies for the sake of inducing nausea in an audience. In fact, there’s very little gore shown at all in this one. But it’s implied.
And that’s why The Texas Chainsaw Massacre makes this list, because even though most of the gore is merely suggested, you still feel gross watching it. You can only imagine just how grimy that house must feel, how bad it must smell, and how painful it must be to be hung up on a meat hook. Between the immersive atmosphere of the film and its remarkable cinematography, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre continues to be the first one that comes to my mind anytime gore is mentioned.
Gore Movie #2:
The Thing (1982)
Can you really make a top and/or favorite horror list and not include at least one John Carpenter flick?
The Thing is friggin’ great. I have never again in my life experienced the same shock and terror that I felt the first time I watched the chest defibrillation scene as a kid. It was so unexpected and just gross. I considered putting this film on my upcoming monsters list, as the Thing is, in fact, an alien. But my memory of the film and my focus every time I watch it is less on the idea of the Thing itself and more on the unnatural amount of blood and viscera.
The special effects and sound effects of this movie are just incredible, and are arguably superior to the films of today that rely on loud scores and CGI to produce the same scares. As an adult, the film is a lot less scary and almost funny, but I won’t lie- those little wormy tendrils still make me a bit nauseated no matter how many times I watch it!
Gore Movie #1:
Saw makes the top of this list not because I think it’s incredible, or because I think it’s the goriest film of all time. If we’re being honest, the Saw films fall just shy of great, and the first film isn’t even the goriest film in it’s own franchise. But the first Saw film will always make the top of any gore horror movie list for me, simply because of the personal nostalgia.
I was eleven years old when the first Saw film hit theaters, so I was too young to go out and see it. But shortly after its home media release my dad rented a copy and let me watch it. It was the first gory horror movie I really remember seeing, and it was also one of the first films with a (few) big plot twist that really got me.
I’ve kept up with the franchise throughout the last fifteen years, or at least made a solid attempt to do so. Some films I managed to see in theater, others I rented or borrowed from friends. At this point, I honestly couldn’t remember which film is which by plot or timeline if you paid me to, without at least looking up the synopses for a refresher. But there are, of course, a few signature devices (looking at you, syringe pit) that always stick with you (no pun intended).
But the first film is the only one that really brings that sense of nostalgia for me. And while it certainly isn’t the greatest horror film of the 2000s, Saw is hugely influential and memorable- from it’s overuse of hazy, colored lighting to it’s disturbingly creative devices- and it will ultimately always be my favorite gore horror movie!
So there you have it, my top 3 favorite gore horror movies of all time! Next week I’ll be listing my favorite monster horror films. If you have a favorite gore film that you think I should see, or if you think you can guess my three favorite monster horrors, tweet me!
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