Today I am back to share the 5 best horror movies of the 70’s! This is the era where horror began to become popular. It birthed iconic franchises and lifelong classics. It also started to push cinematic boundaries. If you wish to see my favourites of the 60’s, click here. Without further ado, here is my list!
1.) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
I watched this 1974 classic for the first time last year and instantly understood the hype. Five friends head out to rural Texas to visit the grave of a grandfather. On the way, they stumble across what appears to be a deserted house, only to discover something sinister within. Something armed with a chainsaw. I highly recommend educating yourself on the background of this movie before watching it (see video below). The set was quite toxic and intense for the actors, especially Marilyn Burns. By the end of filming, she felt like she was in a real-life horror story. I definitely want to rank the entire franchise later on in the year, so stay tuned for that. This is a scary film. It will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. I couldn’t not add it to the list.
Jaws is the ultimate creature feature. Its impact on audiences worldwide was massive. The majority of viewers refused to go near the ocean after watching this 1975 horror classic. When a young woman is killed by a shark, near the town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody wants to close the beaches, but Mayor, Larry Vaughn, overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist, Matt Hooper, and grizzled ship captain, Quint, offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature. This movie gave birth to a widespread phobia of sharks. It is absolutely worthy of being on this list. We’re going to need a bigger boat!
This is one of my favourite horror movies of all time. It is a 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel by the same name. Carrie White is a shy young girl, who doesn’t make friends easily. After her classmates tease her about her unexpected first period, one of them takes pity on her and gets Tommy Ross, her boyfriend and class hunk, to invite Carrie to the senior prom. Meanwhile, another girl – who has been banned from the prom for her continued aggressive behavior – is not as forgiving and plans a prank to embarrass Carrie in front of the whole school. What she doesn’t realise is that our heroine is gifted with deadly, telekinetic powers. Sissy Spacek ruled this film with her remarkable acting. Her transformation from a wallflower to a powerful woman was chilling but also, empowering. I don’t know about you but I was 100% here for her outburst. Burn that auditorium down! Also, that ending will stay with you…
4.) The Omen
This 1976 film captured my attention last year and I had to include it on this list. The Omen concerns a young child replaced at birth by American Ambassador, Robert Thorn. The swap was unbeknownst to his wife, after their own son was murdered at the hospital, enabling the spawn of Satan to grow up with wealth and power. If it wasn’t obvious by now, I love religious horror. In my opinion, this is the male version of The Exorcist. By the way, I would’ve included that movie in this post, but I just recently discussed it here. I don’t want to double up too much. I have a bit of a crush on the late Gregory Peck. It was such a joy to watch him act in my favourite genre. I’m a big fan of this classic and want to continue with the rest of the franchise.
5.) The Amityville Horror
Last but not least, we have The Amityville Horror from 1979. Newlyweds and their three children, move into a large house where a mass murder was committed. Soon after, they start to experience strange, inexplicable manifestations, which have strong effects on everyone living in or visiting the place. You know me. I’m a sucker for the haunted house trope. I’ve seen the 2005 remake and I honestly found the original more unsettling. There is a lot of blood! Not to mention a jump scare with a cat that made me squeak. I found James Brolin’s descent into madness much more disturbing than Ryan Reynolds in the reboot. I also believe the Amityville house itself is one of the scariest looking (especially from the outside) in horror movie history. You need to add this film to your list, if you haven’t already.
What did you think of my list? What are your favourite horror movies of the 70’s? Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo