Cinematic Nightmares Unbound: From Classic Chills to Modern Horrors

Photo of the outside of The Beverly Theater. Photo by Annie Vong.

The month of horror draws near a close, but fear not because spooky screenings do not end.At the Beverly Theater, the remaining days of trepidation are not to be missed, offering an unparalleled opportunity for both seasoned enthusiasts and young, ambitious directors to delve into the haunting history that defines the very essence of the film industry.

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

Tobe Hooper’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” stands as a seminal landmark in the annals of horror cinema. Its visceral terror and relentless intensity have etched it into the nightmares of viewers for generations. Hooper’s vision served as the inception for the slasher genre, a genre that would go on to spawn iconic figures such as Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, and Michael Myers. This raw, unapologetic tale laid the foundation for the blood-soaked narratives and masked psychopaths that would become synonymous with the genre.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

For those who prefer their scares with a touch of whimsy, Henry Selick’s box office triumph, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” offers a delightful and macabre escape. From the twisted imagination of Tim Burton, this stop-motion marvel weaves a tale that bridges the realms of Halloween and Christmas, crafting a world where ghouls and goblins celebrate the holiday season in their own peculiar way. It’s a masterpiece that perfectly balances the eerie and the endearing, providing a perfect cinematic experience for the squeamish and the fearful alike.

“Night of the Living Dead” (1968)

In the realm of the undead, George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” redefined the horror landscape. This black-and-white classic marked a pivotal moment in cinematic history, introducing audiences to a nightmarish vision of a world overrun by reanimated corpses. Romero’s vision of a zombie apocalypse became the archetype for countless horror tales, shaping the undead subgenre and inspiring generations of filmmakers and storytellers.

If movie theaters are not conveniently located for you, worry not – UNLV has a solution. Explore their extensive collection of films accessible at the Lied Library or through Kanopy.

“Hereditary” (2018)

In the modern era of horror, Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” emerges as a tour de force, bringing a new level of psychological horror to the mainstream. This film delves into the darkest corners of the human psyche, unraveling the intricate and disturbing realities of loss, grief, and familial trauma. Aster’s masterful storytelling and haunting visuals catapulted him into the limelight, establishing him as a formidable force in contemporary horror cinema. “Hereditary” stands as a testament to the genre’s ability to provoke deep introspection and existential dread.

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1920)

In the silent shadows of the early 20th century, John S. Robertson’s adaptation of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” emerged as a cinematic marvel. This silent film, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, brought the duality of human nature to the silver screen in a hauntingly poetic manner. Portraying the internal struggle between good and evil, virtue and vice, the film’s expressive imagery and captivating performances laid the groundwork for future explorations of the human psyche in horror cinema.


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